Happy New Year to all our wonderful artists! 2021 was filled with trials and tribulations, but it's tough to be more excited than we are about where the last year took Mondrian - Plastic Reality. Here's just a little summary of everything that happened with the game in the last year:
- The Creators Update introduced Mondrian Studio, a built-in design suite to create Steam Workshop thumbnails and shareable social media images from your Mondrian Maker creations
- Cross-promotional contests with our friends at SmartEgg Games and their wonderful Mondrian Blocks tabletop puzzlegame led to unbelievable amounts of growth for the game and our social channels. Big thanks again to everyone participated! More of these to come in the future, keep an eye out.
- Introduction of live events like Art Hallow's Eve and Makersmas to encourage community participation.
- We brought the game to lots of digital events, like Nordic Games Conference, and finally returned to in-person events with the Indie Showcase at Balance Patch in Boston!
- Began hosting Creative Workshops on GamerJibe and Twitch
- Added slightly more in-depth tagging functionality to Mondrian Maker, so you can now make your levels private or friends only, plus submit them to any live event Gala contests we have ongoing.
- More big improvements to Mondrian Maker, like precision painting and more logical Z-ordering (new blocks are always on top)
- Lots of gameplay improvements, such as end-of-level proximity homing and increased Museum inventory size.
- Introduction of Columns, Ceilings, and Baseboards in the Museum, resulting in (currently) over 10 BILLION different Museum spaces you can build!
- Ended the year by getting Mondrian - Plastic Reality Intel™ Iris Graphics certified!!!
2022 Plans and Goals
With such an enormous year behind it, how could we possibly top it? Well, there are two - just two - high priority goals we have for 2022:
- Steam Deck: We have already received confirmation that the game runs, looks, and sounds great on Steam Deck! With today's 1.0.10f9 update, we've also made sure that images exported from Mondrian Studio will no longer awkwardly crop at screen resolutions other than 1080p, meaning creating Mondrian levels and artworks on the go will be easier than ever! That said, Mondrian Maker itself, admittedly, has a ways to go to be completely Deck-ready, so our highest priority for the beginning of the year will be making sure Touchscreen and Controller functionality is working everywhere. Mondrian Maker will be receiving an extra amount of attention in this regard. We want it to be possible to make creations with just a controller, while also making a combination of controller and touchscreen functions feel not just natural, but beautiful. Mondrian Maker needs to be a show-stopper, and a killer app for all Steam Deck owners.
- Episode 2: I know I haven't talked about this in a while and it's way overdue. Wish I could say more, but what I will say is this: a good portion of development time last year was devoted to improving our internal storywriting tool in preparation for Episode 2, and that is still getting picked at. Ultimately, all story data for an episode will get contained in a single file, so even Episode 1 will receive an update. I'm hoping there'll be more to say in a few months, especially with regards to where the story is going, but keep your fingers crossed we can get Episode 2 out this year, and get on a steady stream of story content from that point forward.
Two more endeavors this year include the DLC galleries and a demo version. While both are still in a very early, pre-production state, they both fit with our mantra of making creativity as widely available as it can be. The tricky part is that the demo version does need to include regular gameplay, Maker, AND Studio, so the current plan is that the demo will include ~10 levels, Endless Mode, Mondrian Maker without the Open Level window, and Mondrian Studio with a watermark and corner logos forced on. However, it will also be fully compatible with Steam Workshop, so any levels you want to share, you can, and any levels you want to play in Endless, you can play. While it won't be possible to play these levels in Test mode since Mondrian Maker won't have its open window, you will be able to test out anything you make, and get back to it if you purchase the game or... just never close it. 😂
Ideally, this demo will be more like a Free Version than just a demo, and kept up-to-date with the Premium version of the game. Expect more news on this very soon!
Full Patch Notes
The keen-eyed among you probably noticed a pretty sizeable patch was pushed this morning. The game has indeed been updated to version 1.0.10f9! This will be the last addition to the Anniversary Update Movement, with the next Movement due out later this winter/early Spring. This particular patch has some exciting new additions to Mondrian Studio to help you mix up your thumbnails even more, and of course requisite bug fixes and adjustments. Plus, we have updated the core game engine, to help with text rendering times.
- Studio: Added a “Negative Color” function under the Custom Framing tab, which lets you set the color of the Negative Space outside the frame. You can choose between the day/night mode Gesso Color, the current Frame Color, or the current Primary Color.
- Studio: Added a “Transparency” slider under the “Background Canvas” tab, which lets you control the transparency strength of background images. Default is 50%.
- Studio: Added a “Canvas Fill” slider under the “Background Canvas” tab, which lets you control the color behind the background image. You can choose between the day/night mode Gesso color, the current Frame color, or the Primary Color.
- Global: Ended the “Makersmas” event
- Global: Updated core game engine to the latest version, which may result in slightly improved text rendering
- Studio: Reworked Snapshot Capture to be based on screen width/height percentage, rather than the pixel position of the Gallery Frame. This has fixed the issue of captures being cropped awkwardly at resolutions other than 1080p.
- Studio: Limited functionality across the Custom Framing, Color Palette, and Background Canvas tabs when in Mask mode to only the options that will not interfere with masking
- Game: Fixed story and tutorial dialogue loading from campaign progress, rather than the selected level
- Museum: Fixed story levels unlocking by continuously beating previously completed levels
- Studio: Fixed a bug where 4 image selection arrows would be created in the Background Canvas tab rather than 2
- Studio: Fixed one-color background images resetting to the Primary Color when selecting the Background Canvas tab under the Random color harmony
- Studio: Fixed thumbnail images exporting in an awkwardly cropped state with black borders when saving or copying an image at screen resolutions other than 1080p
Now that the New Year has hit, it's back to the grind. Top priority is getting that Steam Deck verification as quickly as possible, while also trickling out other updates and keeping up support as we've always done. While there is no specific roadmap for 2022, there's lots to do, and all of it doable, but we'd prefer to do it with your help, so please make sure to Like and Share this post, buy a copy of the game for a friend while it's still on sale (Winter Sale ends Wednesday!), or grab some merch off our Redbubble.
Thank you all so much for playing! Let's make 2022 ours.