Happy New Year, Lantanafam! As we begin to get back to our Lan10A celebrations, I’ve realized there’s no other way to say it so I better just say it: no game we’ve ever worked on has been in as good a place as Mondrian – Plastic Reality is right now. Between classic Arcade-style levels, Renaissance recreations, and various Holiday goodies, we have nearly 100 levels built. The brand new *.MONDRIANLEVEL format, which makes load times a thing of the past, is ready and will be included in the upcoming EX10 build (Friday). The game maintains 1080p 60fps even on low-end systems, all three game modes work as intended, there are 3x as many background artworks as featured in Abstraction in Beauty, we have beautiful new gem and particle animations, and even with all this, it’s still barely any bigger than the first game. Put simply, this game is a testament to everything we’ve learned in the last ten years of making games, and we can’t wait to bring you the finished product later this year.

When we say “later this year,” we do mean it. Despite still having plenty of work ahead of us (story, music, bug fixes, etc.) we are aiming to launch version 1.0 sometime by late Summer and we intend to lock down a launch date soon. Right now we have the game running great on PC, and we want to bring it to Mac as well, but we can only do so with your help, so please Support Us on Ko-fi to help make this dream come true!

The number of improvements and features we added to the game in 2019 was staggering. First up, powerup icons became transparent, meaning they will show up no matter the color of the block. Second, pop particles got a massive overhaul. They are now animated, explode on a bezier curve, and the engine can handle hundreds at once. The upgrade into Clickteam Fusion 2.5+ means the game now needs just 80mb of RAM to run, no matter the level. The addition of Exhibit Mode means any level you create can be easily turned into a thumbnail or printable version with just the click of a button. Gems got completely revamped, are between 1.5-4x as big as the old ones, are animated, and we’ve seen players be much more interested in catching these than the old ones, so mission accomplished! We added new special effects too, like CRT filters, zoomies behind the ball and paddle, and new analogous color schemes. Between the added content, boosted effects, and improved gameplay, 2019 was a stellar year for Mondrian – Plastic Reality!

Of course the question is, what’s left to do? Well, now that the new level format is finished, we can begin working on and implementing the game’s story, which will take players on a time-spiraling adventure through the lives of our characters to uncover their missing masterpieces. We can’t say any more than that or it would spoil the story, but think Magic School Bus meets The Joy of Painting. We of course have plenty more content to build, but that also means we’re going to need some new block shapes to make that all happen. Both mod.io and Steam Workshop support need to be integrated, and we’re also looking at ways we can use the Discord API to share your work with friends as well. We want as few barriers to entry to creating and sharing content as possible, and content sharing is certainly one area we’ll be giving extra love to this year.

Speaking of creating content, we can let you in on a few new features we have in mind for Mondrian Maker this year. The first is layers. We’ve begun experimenting with multi-phase levels using phase blocks, and organizing these into layers would simplify the process of making big levels. With layers will also come Z-ordering, so you can have deeper control of which blocks are under or on top of others, even within one layer. Ideally we’ll also add layer modifiers to speed up the process of applying mods to multiple blocks. Speaking of modifiers, at some point we’ll be making some big improvements to Shifting, including 360-degree compatibility and a Mod Switch to make them start at the beginning of the shift-cycle, rather than the middle. Finally, as mentioned above, we’ll be adding in new block shapes, and rebuilding the block selection interface to be more intuitive.

Now all that being said, it doesn’t matter how great the game is if there isn’t a community behind it to play and even share their own creations throughout the world. We would love it if you joined our brand new Discord Channel, where you can catch up with us and other Mondrian Makers every day! Our Discord is going to be our big community focus going forward and we think it could be a great hub for sharing creations, high scores, tips, tricks, videos, screenshots, gifs, stories, and other Mondrian related stuff!

I bet you’re wondering where you can play the game, right? Well, you can grab an early access copy on itch.io or GameJolt for just $15! If you’d like to check it out in person before committing to a purchase, that’s cool too. We’ll be at any demo night in the Boston area we can get to, hopefully somewhere around PAX East and BostonFIG Fest, we will be at One Up Games in about a month (more details soon), and as always you’ll be able to see any upcoming events on the front page of this very website.

Calls to Action

If you made it this far, chances are you care enough about us and this project to help us out. Here are a few, free things you can get in on that’ll do just that:

If you want to go the extra mile, you can:

Once again, Happy New Year, and Happy New Decade! Let’s make the 20’s roaring, starting with Mondrian – Plastic Reality in just a few months. As always, thank you for your support, and thank you for playing.

– Danny