2023 wrap-up

This is it. The peak.

Submachine: Legacy was released. Thank You everyone for reading! See you next year!

Jokes aside, let’s take a closer look at what happened in 2023.

Submachine Legacy. Finishing and releasing the game on Steam. Please remember that finishing all in-game puzzles is not the end of development. After that comes entire late-development phase, which includes adding all notes (yeah, I still haven’t decided how to display those, that’s why it’s pushed back to the later stage of development), creating intro, outro, cinematics between chapters, also let’s not forget entire sound design that I have to do with ThumpMonks on board. So there is still a lot of work to do. Be patient. I know you are. Be more patient. It will be worth it. I can’t wait either.

The thing that wasn’t listed above is the Shattered Quadrant, an entire new chapter in the Submachine saga derived from already existing Subnet locations, few room designs I created randomly live while streaming and few completely new locations. I wanted to use literally EVERY SINGLE room design I ever created for Submachine in this remaster. This information was kept from the players before game release because I wanted it to be a surprise for returning players. I wanted to make sure that even if you played all Submachines ten times before the remaster, you’d still find something new and never seen before in this game. The game was released in October, on Friday the 13th nonetheless.

Submachine Card Game. Plan minimum here is creating Kickstarter campaign and seeing what comes of it. Then plan and execute accordingly. I know, all I’m saying here is  sweet nothings, but hey. I’m neck deep in the Legacy and don’t think about this project that much. Some progress will be made here. Maybe.

Yeah, nah. The word “maybe” turned out to be the operative here. Let me explain. I forgot about something. I forgot that after releasing a brand new game on Steam you spend approximately an entire month still working on the game, fixing all bugs found by players, correcting typos in notes, adding stuff you forgot, creating new builds of the game daily. I have to change my approach to this in the future. No matter the amount of testing I do myself, there’s no way to catch it all. So I spent entire next month fixing things. There was just no time left in 2023 to do this. This caused the Kickstarter campaign to remain in dormant form, because, not sure why, but I feel making a campaign right before holiday season in December is not that good of an idea. Maybe I’m wrong here, but hey.

Blaki 5. Yes, a comic book. Would you believe it. I want to at least try to come back to the idea of drawing a comic book. Try to remember how to do it, at least begin painting that new album. At least try. You know, this entire album is already written and sketched out. All I have to do is draw and paint it. That’s all. So little, yet so much. Just try to begin. You can do this. One page. Maybe just one, single page for the new album. Is that too much? Let’s wait and see.

Sure, a comic book that I’ll create in 2024. I did try to begin, I looked through all those scripts, ideas and story beats I already have, I kind of prepared mentally to sort it into proper  sequence to fit a comic book album, but I haven’t drawn a single page yet. I can’t rush this process. But I drew TWO unrelated comic book pages! One is the end of year Santa comic (this counts, right?), and the other one is a project that’s still top secret and I can’t really talk about it. More info coming soon probably.

 >> Speaking of things that were done but weren’t on the to-do list >>

Daymare Stray. In march I took a short break from submachining and dusted off old flash engine skills and remastered Where is 2010? into lore-friendly Daymare Stray. To be remastered again in the main Daymare remaster.

Daymare Cat 10-year Anniversary edition. These decades are flying by quicker and quicker. This is scary. Anyway, this game needed a bit of love, I changed some animations, especially main character running. I added a bitmap background testing waters for the future Daymare Town remaster. You guys seemed to like it, so now entirety of DMT will look like this and it’s all your fault. Read more.

Slice of Sea major update and overhaul to version 2.0. After releasing Submachine: Legacy I immediately wanted to update the older game with new UI stuff I created for the remaster. And this is how Slice of Sea got full controller support, new cursor showing hotspot regions where an inventory item can be used and update to entire code, rework and refactor of all mechanics in the game, making them more robust and unbreakable, just like in Submachine: Legacy. Read more.

Daymare Town remaster. Well, this one needs a bit more explanation. You see, I work alone, you know that. Of course, ThumpMonks are making music and sounds, but the rest is me. When you release a game (Submachine remaster in this case), your brain is working on 150% of it’s capacity. Before the release you have to oversee literally EVERYTHING (and more) concerning the release process, and after that there’s this forementioned month of fixing the game on the spot daily. During this process you’re fully enlightened and completely in the zone, you know everything there is to know about your code, how you wrote it, the architecture, design and so on. This knowledge fades in time once you step away from the game. Once you turn the oven off, it’ll take some time to reheat. So, the best thing to do is just to NOT step away, but pivot into new project and keep running, never stopping.

This is how Daymare Town remaster enters the fray. I wanted to transfer everything I still remembered about creating a good point and click mechanics into this new game while I still had all that knowledge in my head. This process also leads to even further improvement of the point and click code engine, previously thought to be bulletproof, but now reaching new heights of coding prowess. I’m pretty sure I’m on the tippity top of my abilities and I’m only half way up. Been that way since 2005 really. That’s so fascinating about writing code actually. You can only draw or paint as good as you trained yourself to, but coding? Sky’s the limit. There’s always something new to discover to make all your previous work obsolete. I love it.

So December was spent creating a Daymare Town prototype, available over at Patreon. It has all major mechanics lifted from Submachine, it even has entirety of Daymare Town 1 backgrounds added to it. I never even intended this project to start this year, I remember saying something about taking time off, like a vacation or something (funny, I know), but here we are, already ankle deep in the next remaster.

Since I already started talking about future projects,  let’s take a closer look at 2024 – the year of the return of multi-project multi-tasking. There’s this saying about too many cooks in one kitchen – how about one cook in two or more kitchens?

Plan A

Daymare Town remaster. Also known as THE LAST remaster. I don’t want to remaster anything else after this game, I want to get back to creating completely new games. So this remaster requires expanding all remaining backgrounds and adding shop and stash mechanics. That’s the minimum for 2024. We’ll see how far I’ll be able to go with puzzle design this year. Looking back at the Submachine remaster, recreating all puzzles was the most misjudged milestone time-wise of the entire process. It’s entirely possible that I’ll switch to remastering small platform Daymare games to add them into this project as well, mainly Daymare Cat, Stray, Invaders and kite. Having said that,  I don’t think I’ll be able to finish and publish this remaster in 2024, but we’ll see. There is a Steam Store Page already live, go wishlist it today if you haven’t already.

Blaki 5. Yes, I’m coming back to comic books. This year for real. Starting with this book, because this series has a nice round anniversary coming up this year, as it’ll be a full round decade since the previous entry in the series, which, yes, I can’t believe it either, was published back in 2014. Which is insane. Luckily I have lots of story bits for this book already written. Now it’s a matter of putting them all in the right order and painting it all.

Plan B

Submachine: the Engine. This one will take few years to finish, so don’t get your hopes up just yet. This is also why I’m making the last remaster now, I’ll just combine the repetitive work of remastering with creative work of designing a completely new game. In 2024 I want to at least write a part of the story of this game, the how, the why, the where, maybe create sketches of some locations, maybe do some puzzle design. I already have few ideas on my mind, however this is not something I can hurry up. This process will take a long time to finish. Luckily we’re not in a hurry.

Submachine Card Game. I’m in the middle of preparing Kickstarter campaign. All other plans for this project are depending on the outcome of this campaign, so there’s nothing much more to say at this point. The minimum plan would be to have a successfully funded campaign, print as many decks as to satisfy all backers and that’s it.

Plan C

Streaming on Youtube. Two things that can and will be streamed: DMT remaster process – at least the first phase of resizing and redrawing all backgrounds to 1920×1080 format. (Original games are in square ratio). The second one is painting the Blaki comic book album.

Daymare Morphs eBook. This is a collection of 46 short stories on over 250 pages written by Nikodem Skrodzki and put to paper by me. Just to clarify here, Daymare Morphs were a Patreon milestone back in 2016. Now I’m just putting them all together into one eBook for easy access to my free patrons, since that’s a thing on Patreon now and I want to give those people an incentive to maybe become paid patrons of mine. This eBook will be free of any charge.

Revolutions eBooks. At some point I want to have my entire Revolutions series in eBook format in English available online. I feel you guys are missing a large chunk of the expanded Skutnikverse without these books. They will be sold in my shop and also offered as free perks for my patrons.


There’s so much to do this year. Or maybe I’m just getting old, because 10 years ago this entire list would probably be done in half a year. There were years with brand new Submachine, new Daymare Town and a full size comic book in one year. You know, the good old times. Oh well.

Let’s get to it.

See you next year.