Submachine 1: the basement – changelog

Hey, I really love your submachine games, I think they’re the best point and click games on the internet and I can’t wait for the sixth one.

My only problem is that I have seen at least two versions, maybe three, of the original Submachine.  It’s sorta confusing which one is the original and which one is that latest.  I appreciate some of the changes you made to it but I think it would be good if you posted a Sub1 change log, the clarify things a little.

2009/9/18 Joe Dawson

I agree with the above. As I look back at the basement changes, there were too many versions out there  to leave that without a changelog. You can click on each screenshot and play each version separately, I know it’s pointless and boring, but still. It is the history of the series. So here it goes:


Download all five versions in .exe form for PC in one convenient zip file


version 1, September 2005


Also known as the original, or the short version. This version had… 9 rooms. Which is about 1/16 of Submachine6. But those were the early days and who could predict that this series would grow to such extent as we see nowadays. As I checked this version I was really surprized that it was so small, yet there were so many things to do in such space. We can see an inventory on the right side, with static icons of found items. You had to drag them onto stage for some kind of interaction. What a drag. :D.

Fun fact: this version didn’t even have a menu at the beginning, you just went straight to the gameplay after initial Submachine logo. Maybe that’s what caught the imagination of so many…


version 2, October 2005


Also known as the extended or the official-plot-version. Overwhelmed with the surprizing success of the first submachine I thought: I can do better than this! So I created this extended version. This extention summarized in adding one more puzzle, a whooping number of total 20 rooms and most importantly – the introduction of the wisdom crystal (gem) in the series. Those crystals played their role in following episodes and I’m pretty sure we’re not through with them. I also introduced another new thing in the series: a Dead End. You could actually find yourself in point of no return, or, to be more precise – point of no progress. You could always return, restart and try again. There’s even a restart button in the inventory, look above, there was no such thing in the first version. I know, that was a stupid idea and I never repeated that mistake. Not only in other episodes that followed, I also removed that from following versions of the basement.

Fun fact: Back then I really considered that game to be big. :D


version 3, October 2007


Also known as the unknown version or version that no one actually played. This is the extended version rebuilt around a new engine (no, not Float yet). This version skipped the flawed inventory of Submachine 2, and went straight to the no-visible-inventory mode of Submachine 4 and 5. Items found just happen to appear on the right side of the screen, so when you have none of them the game presents itself in a nice graphical form of a room surrounded by black thick outline. That sophisticated graphical design went down the drain once you found your first object in the game, but what the hell. It looked nice for a second, goddamit.

Fun fact: I’m not even sure why I made that version. That’s a mystery. I probably thought that the engine of Submachine 4 was freaking awesome or something.


version 4, June 2008


Also known as the last or the current version. I don’t intend to create anymore versions of this game. I’m through with that. For now. But who knows. Maybe I’ll come up with something better than the Float someday. Oh yes, that’s the version built on the Float Engine, finally. And that’s the main reason why it’s the last version. But still – 20 rooms… What was I thinking. If I’d now come up with a new submachine episode that would consist of 20 rooms I’d be laughed off stage, or slaughtered by those craving more and more (as in: too short,too simple, make it bigger and harder lol !!!11!!eleven).

Fun fact: As this version is considered to be most advanced in terms of action script programming, it doesn’t have any option to turn the music on or off. All previous versions had that. This one doesn’t. Go figure.


version 5, March 2014

This version is basically the same as the previous one. However, in 2014 I was finally able to contact the musician behind this game’s ambient music, which, by now, is iconic part of the entire Submachine series. Since this piece was originally downloaded from some website with free sounds (I know, I know, professionalism at it’s best) – first of all I asked him for a permission to use this music in my game. Only 9 years too late, but hey. This humble and generous man said yes. His name is Marcus Gutierrez and his name landed on the menu page, properly credited as music author. Besides that ambient revelation, this version also introduces the ancient coin inventory item instead of ye-olde Euro coin. This change was dictated by making sub 1 more lore-friendly, since it all revolves around ruins, runes, old artefacts and what not. Euro just doesn’t belong in this world. This might be a small change programming-wise, but it’s big enough for me to grant a new version of the game.
[V5 description was added to this article in January of 2021, after EOL of flash player in browsers, while exporting .exe files for preservation].
Now back to original article…


Luckily for us this is the end of the log.

Or is it…

why did you initially decide in the second version to introduce two doors and later removed that?

that’s a very good question. After sub1 I had no idea what sub2 will look like. There was a moment when submachine was going to look like a normal pnc, like Covert Front for example. Normal view without moving rooms. Yeah. And that was that screen. I still have that early version of submachine2 – looking like a normal pnc , I’ll post that eventually for you to see. [here it is]

So once I realized that this is a dumb idea and that the uniqueness is that room movement precisely, I scratched the project and started over, creating the lighthouse as you all know it. Therefore – that screen had to go. But look out for the sub2 sketch. That’ll be proper fun. :D [here’s the fun]