2020 wrap-up


Ok, let’s do this. 2020 is gone, let’s wrap it up and put it away. This year was dramatically different then any previous year, I don’t have to tell you that. Some things didn’t happen as they were supposed to, other things popped up spontaneously out of nowhere. Let’s confront the to-do list from back when the world was still relatively normal.

Plan A

The big game. Drawing all remaining inks. Painting all watercolors. Finishing puzzles, adding intro, outro, finishing the game. Testing. Creating three trailers: reveal, release and gameplay. Besides all that – the future is foggy.

The big game… Yeah, this working title is no more relevant, since the biggest thing that happened last year was it’s title reveal. Working on Slice of Sea took 90% of my work time last year, and deservingly so. This is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on, spanning more than three years by now. All remaining inks? Yes. That means all backgrounds for the game. Right now the count of locations stopped at 165, however since then I wrote few more locations into the game, will be drawing them shortly. Each location consists of at least three drawings, so to put this to perspective – this amount of drawings would translate to around 5 or 6 comic book albums that I used to draw one of yearly. Painting all watercolors? Well, kind of. That plan changed since 2019, there are no actual watecolor paintings in this, instead everything is colored in photoshop using watercolor textures created by me. So yes, all watercolor is done. This change was implemented to keep the game cohesive and somewhat unified in it’s look. Also – this way I have more control over the color and how it looks. I was able to tweak colors or move around particular parts of backgrounds instead of having a full watercolor drawing just sitting there looking pretty. Finishing puzzles? Hell no. This is the part I’m doing right now and I’m giving myself few more months to do this right. Intro, outro, finishing the game – all of this is still in the future. Testing? Happens daily since 2018. Three trailers? Only one by now – the biggest one, title reveal. This was a big milestone for me, as I said before – biggest of the year, as I was able to share something with you guys. It also proves to you that the game is actually happening.

Plan B

But not so foggy for me to not see that there are 10 Gnomes in Malmo and Where is 2021? on the horizon. Because they are. Gnomes being penultimate in the series, Santa not.

Yes! There were some game releases this year. 10 Gnomes in Malmo, not only released during Covid-19 quarantine, but also shaped by it. The same thing can be said about Where is 2021?, since this game observed return of point and click to the series and Santa being, let’s just say somewhat passive. I want to underline that these two games are, and will remain the only pieces of my work that discuss Covid-19, as I don’t plan or intend to bring it up in any of my future games. Nor comic books, once/if I get back to creating those again.

Plan C

Things that are uncertain and/or unlikely. Trying to publish Submachine Card Game. Still not sure what to do with this one. I’m torn between getting a publisher and releasing it myself. Maybe getting back to comics? But that’s a big question mark right here. We’ll see.

Oh boy, here we go. Submachine Card Game.  There were some developments last year, for example I’m no longer wondering how to publish this thing. We’re going with the self-publishing option and most likely will make a Kickstarter campaign for it. Hopefully this year. The game was being tested, changes were made, the only thing that’s still somewhat up in the air is game instructions – I’ve been rewriting and perfecting those immensely. As of today I’m trying to prepare cards for professional printing to create a deck that can be used in promotional photos and videos for said Kickstarter campaign. However, Slice of Sea overshadows this process, that’s why it’s taking so long. Besides that, there was something else that happened in 2020.

Covid-19 quarantine drawing challenge. I know, the word “challenge” is cringe, but I just like to throw my way some kind of challenge from time to time to keep my synapses going, just like when I painted entire 46-page long comic book album in 46 days few years back. Anyway, starting on March 12th, through entire April, and finishing on May 30th, 79 days of daily drawings. Large part of that was drawing Slice of Sea, but I also managed to draw unrelated, random ink pictures, just like during Inktober a year before. I still plan to sell them at some point, once I gather enough will to actually do it, which can happen tomorrow or in 2022. Again, Slice of Sea overshadows everything else.

Comic books. No. This is the second year without any of that noise. Do I miss it? No, not yet. Funny side note: on the picture below you can see that I mark number of comic book pages created that year in red. I’ve been doing this for the last 10 years, you can see it in all previous yearly wrap-ups. This year I completely forgot about it. I remembered only after looking through catalogue of those yearly summaries that I keep on file, as you do. Kind of scary how much human mind is able to adjust to the current situation it finds itself in.

I think that’s all from 2020. Let’s look ahead.

Plan A 

Can you guess? Finishing and releasing Slice of Sea.

Plan B

The last entry in the 10 Gnomes series. The project of 12 years is finishing this year. And it’s going out with a bang, since the final gnomes take place in New York. I could write a long and sappy story about gnomes starting back in 2008 in my home town and finishing in New York of all places, but I think I’ll save that for a proper post-mortem article about gnomes once it’s done and shipped. Also – Where is 2022? Yeah, sure, at this point, why not? I’m sure Santa is up for that as well.

Plan C

Submachine Card Game Kickstarter campaign and whatever happens after that. This plan is so undefined and unstable yet that I do not dare to say more.

Plan D

Comic books? No.

 

 

~~

 

 

This is it. That’s all there is.

[Trying to come up with a witty quip to end this post, but drawing a blank.]

See you next year!



Adobe Flash Player End-of-Life (EOL)


When is the Flash Player end-of-life (EOL)?

As previously announced in July 2017, Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player after December 31, 2020 (“EOL Date”). We made this announcement in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – which issued complementary announcements with more technical detail on what the Flash Player EOL will mean for developers, enterprises, and consumers using their specific OS environments or browsers.

Why did Adobe decide to EOL Flash Player and select the end of 2020 date?

Open standards such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly have continually matured over the years and serve as viable alternatives for Flash content. Also, the major browser vendors are integrating these open standards into their browsers and deprecating most other plug-ins (like Adobe Flash Player).By announcing our business decision in 2017, with three years’ advance notice, we believed that would allow sufficient time for developers, designers, businesses, and other parties to migrate existing Flash content as needed to new, open standards

How will this decision impact Adobe Flash Player support and distribution for the remainder of the year (2020)?

Adobe will continue issuing regular Flash Player security patches, maintain OS and browser compatibility, and add features and capabilities as determined by Adobe through the end of 2020.

Will Adobe make previous versions of Adobe Flash Player available for download after 2020?

No. Adobe will be removing Flash Player download pages from its site and Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.
Adobe always recommends using the latest, supported and up-to-date software. Customers should not use Flash Player after the EOL Date since it will not be supported by Adobe.

If I find Flash Player available for download on a third-party website, can I use it?

No, these versions of Flash Player are not authorized by Adobe. Customers should not use unauthorized versions of Flash Player.  Unauthorized downloads are a common source of malware and viruses.  Adobe has no responsibility for unauthorized versions of Flash Player and customers’ use of such versions is entirely at their own risk.

Which browsers and operating systems currently support Adobe Flash Player?

Please visit http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/tech-specs.html for the latest list of Flash-supported browsers and operating systems. Note, as it gets closer to the EOL Date, the number of Flash-supported browsers and operating systems may decrease so Adobe strongly encourages customers to migrate to other standards.

Will Adobe provide security updates for Flash Player after the end-of-life date?

Adobe will not issue Flash Player updates or security patches after the EOL Date. We recommend that all users uninstall Flash Player before the EOL date (see manual uninstall instructions for Windows and Mac users). As of mid-October 2020, users started being prompted by Adobe to uninstall Flash Player on their machines since Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.

Does Apple Safari support Flash Player?

Apple Safari version 14, released for macOS in September 2020, will no longer load Adobe Flash Player or play Flash content. Please visit Apple’s Safari support for more information.



2019 wrap-up


Come on boys and girls, let’s take a look at last year, but be haste, for I have little time to spare. Details on why below.

Plan A

the-Big-Game. I think there’s nothing more to say here. I don’t want to dwelve on the specifics and milestones, but the plan is to actually finish and release the game this year. Oh, and I also plan to reveal the actual name of the game this year as we go along. Not sure how to do it yet, I’ll probbaly create a video with the reveal. But not sure when to do it. I think I’ll keep it secret until I have a feature-complete build on my hands. I’m also falling into the feature creep a bit, which is scary. I’ll just have to say “enough!” at some point, and I’m bad at it. The same thing happened with ‘Where is 2019?’. If not for the December deadline I’d just be adding more and more to this game. But here it is, THE plan for 2019. There’s almost nothing else on my mind right now. The focus is set, engines are being revved and the countdown to liftoff already begun.

Aaaaaaand the countdown is still running. Ok, hold on, don’t laugh, don’t leave the stream just yet. Look here, listen. It’s nothing new when I say that I have a HUGE PROBLEM with estimating exactly how long my work will take. Especially if the project at hand is not one hundred percent written and sketched at that time. Having said that – when I look at the big game right now – it’ll be about 50 percent larger than expected. As in actual rooms / views count. Besides that, it will be much more complicated graphics-wise. Ok, in lamen terms – it’ll be bigger and prettier, and it just takes more time. But I assure you, right now I’m working around the clock daily, including weekends, I guess that’s the way these things work. Once I heat the furnace, the production goes into insane mode, so to speak. Title reveal was postponed intentionally by me after learning closer about how Steam actually works and it’s policy on being able to reserve a game name (spoilers: it’s non-existent, therefore you STILL don’t know what the game name is). Me being totally in tune with the big game development is also the reason why this article comes so late. I had to literally force myself to exit photoshop and game maker to write this.

Plan B

10 Gnomes in Oristano. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Hold on now, you cheeky bastard, is the game already done and you’re just witholding it from us? Like the one in Paris? Well, not entirely. It’s like 85% ready. The locations are done, the gnomes are not. I’m shooting for June or July release. Probably July.

Aaaand, as expected, May it was. This game marks the first time of gnomes being actually nicely animated in Spine, I know, about time, right when the series is almost done. What can I say, I learn along the way. Not sure what I’ll learn in the future, because, you know, the path is winding and it’s all foggy down here on the treacherous road to game development immortality. Wait, when did I become a prosaist? I guess I’m reading too much Wegner nowadays. But the gnomes being released earlier was also a sign of deepened focus on the big game – I was just cleaning the house before the big push. Go and download the gnomes here.

Where is 2020? We’ll continue the adventure of Santa, we’ll find out what happens after he met Seaweed and move forward the narrative. Some of you are asking for a point and click gameplay to return in this series. We’ll see.

What do you think happened. He moved away from the Seaweed and went in different direction. Is that symbolic? Well, no. Santa just has his own boombastic adventures this year and met another prominent figure at the end of this game. Go find out who it was here.

Plan C

So here’s the thing. There is no plan C. And this is kind of big news. It’s also the testament of how much I want to focus on the big game. This year, for the first time since… Let me think… 2003?… So for the first time since 16 years I’m not doing a new comic book. The streak ends here. I’m diving straight into the big game right now in January and don’t expect to surface until the release.

Aaand there was no comics this year. Not even a single page was drawn. All drawing powers went straight into the big game. Well, there, and I also took part in this year’s Inktober challenge. I like a good drawing challenge from time to time. Honestly – this was not a good challenge. Not challenging enough, if you will. Read more about it here. Oh, almost forgot, I also helped in graphical translation of Crumb comic book. Graphical translation? What is this? Find out here (once I write about it in the future :D As you can see there’s no time spare for side projects here).

Unexpected Plan D

Seems I can’t just focus on one thing at any given time, even if I try. This is how the Submachine Card Game came to be. Me resting my  mind from gamedev for a bit. This game was developed in August and right now I’m looking into ways of publishing it. Read more about this game here.

So, that’s 2019. Let’s take a look at what’s coming up…

Take a look at the above picture. What do you see? Lot’s of red? True. But I see a man who THOUGHT he’ll release the big game to the point of writing down actual spoilery development milestones on the yearly projects page. Includin the actual game name at the top. That’s how much I thought I’d be able to release the game in 2019. And here we are.

Plan A

The big game. Drawing all remaining inks. Painting all watercolors. Finishing puzzles, adding intro, outro, finishing the game. Testing. Creating three trailers: reveal, release and gameplay. Besides all that – the future is foggy.

Plan B

But not so foggy for me to not see that there are 10 Gnomes in Malmo and Where is 2021? on the horizon. Because they are. Gnomes being penultimate in the series, Santa not.

Plan C

Things that are uncertain and/or unlikely. Trying to publish Submachine Card Game. Still not sure what to do with this one. I’m torn between getting a publisher and releasing it myself. Maybe getting back to comics? But that’s a big question mark right here. We’ll see.

That’s all I’ve got for you this sunny morning of non-winter in Poland.

I’m going straight back to drawing board, got some more locations to draw for the big game.

Go away now.



Squirrel Escape 14 years later




2018 wrap-up


Ok, let’s do this, by now you know the drill.

 

Plan A

 

The Game. Further development of the game. Let’s pinpoint: merging two engines into one, thus creating final base of development. Evaluating the main character of the game. Creating side characters, and lots of them. Sketching out locations. Creating environmental puzzles, as well as classic point and click ones. Trying to find final “look and feel” of the game. And so on. Do you feel it coming? I do.

Yes, I still feel it coming, even more so than a year ago. Merging two engines – done, you’ll walk around and interact as in ordinary point and click. Evaluating the main character – yes, we have the Seaweed, his story, his character arc, everything. Even though you might have seen him in action already – his graphics and animations will be completely redone to match the style of the game. Creating characters – yes, you’ll encounter different creatures from Daymare Town and my comic book – Morphs, of which there are tons of them, as well as Revolutions. Sketching out locations – well, kind of. They’re sketched inside my head. Does it count? Creating puzzles – those are also inside my head. But it’s a good place, don’t worry.  Trying to find final look and feel – well, still working on it. This one is tricky, because with this game I’m going not only with something I’ve never done before, I also want to change the workflow a bit. Creating locations and then adding more to them, more layers of interactivity and animation. Previously I was drawing games the same way I drew my comics – once the drawing is done, it’s done. This time – not so much. Things will be perfected over time.

Revolutions 11: Apocrypha. The series marches on, strong as ever, into it’s second phase. This time it’ll be a round up of older stories released in different magazines and anthologies, put together for closure reasons as well as new stories written by Polish best comic book writers that I managed to deceive into thinking writing for me was worth their time. All those new stories will be painted and streamed on twitch.tv this year as Ink Companion season 2.

This one was more time consuming then I expected. You see, the ‘older stories’ part of it had around 40 pages. I thought I’d add few new stories from my fellow authors and be done with it. However, I kind went overboard a little bit with gathering those additional stories. There were just too many good authors I wanted to invite. All in all, I ended up creating additional 100 pages for the book. Which is good and bad. Good – because you got a bigger, better book, bad – because it took too long to finish. But that created another piece of big news for you, more on that below. The book is here.

 

Plan B

 

10 Gnomes in Paris. Yes, Paris. It’s already shot and partly done. I want to release it before summer break, so expect it late June. Let’s say… June 20th. This time I can make that prediction with a certainty. Let’s see what will happen now that I’ve said this. Stupid, stupid me…

And June 20th it was! I wasn’t so stupid afterall… Ok, I’ll share a little secret with you. The game was ready long before that. Just sitting there on my drive waiting to be released. I know, I know, I’m a cheeky bastard. That’s a first, by the way. The fact that one of my games were finished long before the release. That actually never happened before. You can find this game here.

Where is 2019? Well, what a surprise, right? As I still want to make it a bigger game than before, let’s shoot for… let me think… 12 screens of content, ok? Let’s not overthink it for now. Santa returns, as he’s the character where it all started 10 years ago.

Sure, of course, you just played it like a week ago, right? And, uhm… 12 screens of content? It’s actually bigger than that! Pwned, me from a year ago. Take that! How big is this game? Well, you can count all the screens here.

VormkfasA #60, the final issue. [This is the festival xerox zine that I give away to people who meet me during comic festivals]. Yes, all things must end. I seem to be killing more and more of my old projects each year. Last time it was the Morphs, now this. I’m ending it here because I wanted this run to last for as long as the first run lasted, seven issues. And as it rounds up nicely to overall 60 issues, this is the good point to let it go.

Yes, that’s done now. After finishing all side game development projects, I moved to wrapping up my comic book side projects. Between this and that Rewolucje anthology I was talking about just now things are pretty wrapped up by now. More on this below. You can take a look at the final isue of VormkfasA here.

 

Plan C

 

streaming on twitch.tv. As I mentioned before, I found a new home on twitch. A new little corner where I can sit and share my things with you. I’m not expecting it to bring any money or fame as I am realistic about how many people might be interested in watching some old-fart draw live, but I genuinely just like doing it. And that’s a good sign. I’ll create my new comic book here and also parts of the game, those not-spoilery ones. Let’s shoot for, I dunno, 200 followers in 2018. And I promise to talk more.

Yes, stream I did. Even somewhat regularly. But by now I feel that I’ve shown everything that I could show you on my streams, different styles of drawing, painting and what not. The career of a streamer didn’t take off and therefore it’s on a hold for now. Mostly because of me focusing on the development of the big game, which can’t be streamed, because spoilers. You can check my entire 2018 twitch adventure here.

Linux versions of my games. Last year I tackled OS X, Linux MUST be simpler, right? Right?… Guys?…

Sure, simple enough. It however was a completely new beehive to kick and stir up. You see, at least OS X is complicated but a single endeavour. With Linux? There are so many versions, and Game Maker covers only one of them. But yes, Linux versions of my games are somewhat available, arguably, not sure, but you can find them here. And here’s the troubleshoot.

I think this is it. This to-do list seems shorter than before, but hey, we’re focusing here on the game. Joking around is over. Now is the time to shut up and just DO IT.

Oh lol. You thought this to-do list was short, me from a year ago? Wait until you see this year’s list. Speaking of…

 

 

Plan A

 

the – Big – Game

I think there’s nothing more to say here. I don’t want to dwelve on the specifics and milestones, but the plan is to actually finish and release the game this year. Oh, and I also plan to reveal the actual name of the game this year as we go along. Not sure how to do it yet, I’ll probably create a video with the reveal. But not sure when to do it. I think I’ll keep it secret until I have a feature-complete build on my hands. I’m also falling into the feature creep a bit, which is scary. I’ll just have to say “enough!” at some point, and I’m bad at it. The same thing happened with ‘Where is 2019?’. If not for the December deadline I’d just be adding more and more to this game. But here it is, THE plan for 2019. There’s almost nothing else on my mind right now. The focus is set, engines are being revved and the countdown to liftoff already begun.

 

Plan B

 

Please note that I’m doing these two projects only because they’re the only recurring series left. Me, being kind of obsessively addicted to completing unfinished projects, I just can’t let them go. At least 10 Gnomes have a proper finish line on the horizon, so there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.

  • 10 Gnomes in Oristano. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Hold on now, you cheeky bastard, is the game already done and you’re just witholding it from us? Like the one in Paris? Well, not entirely. It’s like 85% ready. The locations are done, the gnomes are not. I’m shooting for June or July release. Probably July.
  • Where is 2020? We’ll continue the adventure of Santa, we’ll find out what happens after he met Seaweed and move forward the narrative. Some of you are asking for a point and click gameplay to return in this series. We’ll see.

 

Plan C

 

So here’s the thing. There is no plan C. And this is kind of big news. It’s also the testament of how much I want to focus on the big game. This year, for the first time since… Let me think… 2003?… So for the first time since 16 years I’m not doing a new comic book. The streak ends here. I’m diving straight into the big game right now in January and don’t expect to surface until the release. There’s just no time to be spared for a comic book. Here we loop back to the issue of Rewolucje 11 being too big and taking too long to finish in 2018. It took away some of that precious development time. Too much of it to be honest. At this point, I don’t care much about keeping the streak of publishing one book per year alive anymore. All that matters is the big game. Nothing else. Maybe I’m just hyper-focusing on the game, or maybe I’m just getting old and a bit tired of comic books. Who knows. Let’s get back to this subject next January.

And with that I leave you.

See you next year for another wrap-up, which will be completely different if everything goes according to plan. Fingers crossed.

We’ll finally have answers to some big questions that I dare not to ask at this point.

Anyway, back to work.



the Tuning




the Big Game pre-alpha


Platform + pnc engines combined.



Linux Install Troubleshoot


If the game doesn’t open and you get this message:

Could not display “game name”.
There is no application installed for executable files.
Do you want to search for an application to open this file?

You have probably need to make the game file executable.

Right click on the game file, click on Properties, choose the tab Permissions. Check the small square Allow executing file as program.

 

~~~~

 

Written by Edwin Vigneau.

The following are instructions to run the linux versions on certain linux distributions in which they do not run out of the box.
All commands are to be entered in a terminal.

A 64-bit linux distribution is required.

Debian 9 (“Stretch”)

libssl1.0.0 is missing and it is not in the repositories. Install it from the “Jessie” repositories or download it from https://packages.debian.org/jessie/amd64/libssl1.0.0/download

Fedora 27

openal is missing, install it with:
su -c ‘dnf install openal-soft.x86_64’

libGLU is missing, install it with:
su -c ‘dnf install mesa-libGLU.x86_64’

libssl1.0.0 and libcrypto.so.1.0.0 are missing, but they are not in the repositories or even available as a package. We need to compile them from the source code.

If you don’t have gcc, install it with:
su -c ‘dnf install gcc’

Download the source code from:
https://www.openssl.org/source/old/1.0.0/openssl-1.0.0s.tar.gz

Extract the archive

Open a terminal in the extracted directory

compile it with:
./config shared
make

Move the compiled libraries to their proper place with:
sudo cp libssl.so.1.0.0 /lib64/libssl.so.1.0.0
sudo cp libcrypto.so.1.0.0 /lib64/libcrypto.so.1.0.0

The game should run now.

~~

If your distribution is not mentioned here and the game does not run, start the game from a terminal.
If there are missing libraries, their name will be shown so that you can install them.
They may not be in your distribution’s repositories however, since some are quite outdated.
You may have to compile them from source.



Linux games now available!


Hi there, Linux / Ubuntu users!
Today is your day. I finally managed to harness the knowledge of creating virtual machine, installing Ubuntu on it and connecting it to my good ol’ PC work station. Thus, linux versions are now a reality. Get them all here:

10 Gnomes in Trstenik
The Peter Navarre Crecy Evaluation
Where is 2018?
the Ravine

These builds were created to the exact specifications of Game Maker Studio 2.
I used Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS (Trusty Tahr) as instructed by the how-to page.
They say it’s the only version of Ubuntu they support right now that creates stable builds of games.

If you run into problems while trying to run those games (missing libraries etc), read this troubleshoot article written by Edwin Vigneau.

Believe me, connecting Ubuntu Virtual Machine to Game Maker Studio 2 on my PC is kind of a peak of my tech-savviness when it comes to Linux. The process is then automated, therefore tweaking it by me myself is out of the question for me.

However, I hope majority of you will be able to open and play these games! A side note: this only concerns games from 2017, which were created in Game Maker Studio 2. Games from 2016 were done in a previous version of the studio without access to Linux versions. Buying that access on a defunct and unused engine now seems a bit redundant, doesn’t it?

(Yes, that also means that all my future releases will be available on Linux on premiere day as well).

Happy days ahead!



10 Years of 10 Gnomes


Lately I found this small article from 5 years ago. I noticed that the time span in that article was also 5 years. Which means 10 Gnomes were created as a concept 10 years ago. Somehow that fact hit me more than when Submachine turned 10. Somehow I was ready for Submachine being this old, but Gnomes?… Well, time flies, as usual. Now’s the moment to time stamp this occasion.

Also: a quick study on how to completely destroy a city skyline by building skyscrapers without proper urban design. Sheesh.

[  click on pictures to zoom in  ]


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