Submachine interview for LParchive.org


What’s the most interesting urbex-related thing you’ve found that you couldn’t fit into Submachine?

Anything bigger than a simple room. That includes big shipyard halls for example, large steam engines etc

Why use hindu and buddhist theming? Karma portals, Shiva…is it just for flavor?

It’s not only hindu and buddhist. If you look closely you’ll find a lot more religions in submachine. The point is it all blends together in the post-industrial era of submachine.

If you could redo any section of any game in the series, which would it be and why?

No, I’m not the type to dwell on past mistakes or missteps. I just do another game. However, once I’ll be putting out steam version of submachine I’m sure there will be changes made to locations and puzzles.

What is the exact chain of events and circumstances behind the Submachine(s), how did everything happen, why did they happen, what are the Submachine(s), and what was actually going on throughout the games?

So you want me to completely strip down the mystery of submachine. Why would I do that?

If you could go back and change one thing about each Submachine game, what would it be (if there are any)?

Again, nothing. I don’t imagine myself going back and changing things in finished projects.

Did your vision on what was going on and what you planned to have happen change over the course of creating the games?

It was created on the game-to-game basis. Each chapter was written after previous one was released.

Is there a conventional Earth like the one that we know, or has humanity in the Submachine series been living adrift in these strange, floating worlds of the submachines forever?

Yes, there is. After all, these machines are submerged. This is a world with most of physics similar to our world.

Did you ever sketch official character art for some of the characters like Mur and Elizabeth?

No. There was no need for it.

Did the submachines exist before humans? If so, then were the submachines ever meant for a different non-human civilization?

No. The first submachine was created by an architect.

What are some things that most people don’t know about your game series or haven’t noticed yet? Any plot details or design decisions would be cool to know.

People know much more about the series than I do. Maybe they don’t know that the series will return with new episodes in the future on steam (if they accept it).

Why is Murtaugh so mean? Leaving people to die doesn’t seem like a very nice thing to do.

It’s all explained within the games themselves.

Who are the people who worshipped Murtaugh and placed him in a sarcophagus? Is Liz pissed about being buried next to him?

That’s a mystery. How can you be pissed once you’re dead?

What is up with Einstein the cat?

What do you mean?… It’s a trans-dimensional cat, like all of them. He can move between layers at will.

Also what do you think the scariest detail you have put in your game is? For me, it is the part about how submachine can loop itself ‘vertically’.

Yeah, the idea of a loop is quite scary. So can be the location clusters in the subnet. It is possible to get stuck between two locations.

Now that old puzzles from previous Submachine games are being re-purposed, I’m ready to ask: For how long was it planned to have the final Submachine game reprise the series’s iconic locations? How many of these puzzles were designed for Sub10 and how many were extra ideas that couldn’t be fit into the previous games?

Not until writing submachine 10. I had an idea for it and then looked up previous games which part of them would fit that narrative.

I realize this is a stupid question, but I’m still trying to figure out how you bury a lighthouse while leaving it structurally intact. The Kent Lighthouse was a regular lighthouse, wasn’t it? Or is that an assumption too far?

it is. You bury a lighthouse by bringing together two layers, one of which is turned 90 degrees in relation to the other and then you let the sand slip from one to the other. You can transport entire desert that way.

Who were the Fourth Dynasty, and what happened to them? Their Winter Palace in the core of the Submachine had the same architect as the Kent Lighthouse, apparently outside of the Submachine — what was that guy doing, anyway? How were people apparently naturally living in the Submachine?

these are good questions, perhaps for more chapters of the game.

How far in advance did you plan the games? I imagine at some point there must have been some serious planning done considering items from Sub1 become useful in Sub10.

No. They were retrofitted to appear in submachine 10. As I said before, there was no series-planning up until like sub8 when I started thinking about how to finish this series.

Why was Mur buried in the lighthouse? This note “It’s no wonder they wanted to bury this whole lighthouse with him still inside. The collapse death toll was growing exponentionally. L” makes it seem like it was done to stop him from destroying more of the Submachine with his karma portals, but that doesn’t make sense to me as he was buried in it before he ever entered the Submachine (as far as I can tell). Is Liz just saying that she understands why people would want to bury him in the lighthouse even if that wasn’t the direct reason, or does the Submachine’s time distortion affect even the outside?

Murtaugh most definitely entered submachine before they buried him. That’s kind of a staple of the whole story.

Do you have a favorite fan theory about the submachine? For instance a way to look at it you never even considered yourself?

No. I try not to read too much into them, I don’t want to copy ideas from them, even semi-consciously.

Is the Submachine real?

Of course. We established that 10 years ago.

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