We are back! After a couple months of plugging away at new content & bug fixes, we are happy to say that Mondrian – Plastic Reality EX7.1 is now live on itch.io and GameJolt. This update includes another overhaul of our particle system, TWELVE new included levels, and changes to powerup styling. Let’s dive in and check out just a few of these news additions.
First and foremost: powerup styling. Since the days of Abstraction in Beauty, powerups were black shapes on top of the blocks. This was okay at the time, as blocks rarely, if ever, spawned black (except for an early-days bug that spawned levels totally black), and if you ask us, an occasional secret powerup is never a bad thing. However, with the recently added ability to paint your levels, keeping powerups visible became even more important. Our solution to this problem was to make powerups translucent, giving them an almost glass-like quality instead of a full cutout. This means powerups are not only always visible but also take on the color of their blocks – painted or not. It’s a new twist that adds a lot of visual clarity, and we think you’re going to enjoy it!
White Hot Particles
We love Mondrian’s particles, but we were starting to feel the old system needed some visual magic. Even though Clickteam Fusion can’t do hardware particles and work wondrous magic like in Tetris Effect, there were absolutely some additions we could make to bring the game a bit closer to that level.
The first change was to double the number of particles spawned per pop, because obviously. Then came animation. Instead of just fading the particles over time, we animated each particle with an inner glow of a block’s color on white, quickly cooling off to the block color, and then fading out. This naturally extended the life of particles, keeping them on screen for a longer amount of time. In order to visually compensate for the larger amount of longer-living particles, we set particles to spawn at random sizes, with the game’s default particle size as the max.
The result is a particle system that is much more exciting than we’ve previously seen in the game, and that, from our testing, takes up no more resources than the original system. A huge win all around!
We also made a similar change to gems. Instead of fading in and out, gems now blink to white and back to their color. This makes them much clearer to see when they spawn, and our hope is that by subtly blinking them white, instead of invisible, newer players will be more enticed to grab them.
This latest update includes TWELVE new levels, all built in Mondrian Maker! These levels come courtesy of our level builders Hannah and Andrew. They run the gamut from classic Mondrian challenges to retro-game inspired throwbacks and even interpretations of classical artworks. Some are painted, some are unpainted, and some combine both styles of blocks together. Some of them even pull off some unexpected special effects, so get ready to have some fun!
The addition of these levels brings the total level count in Mondrian – Plastic Reality to 52, or 208 variants. Don’t forget to share your own levels and other Mondrian creations over at mod.io!
This update brings some major bug fixes to Plastic Reality. First up: portal blocks. Originally, when the ball hit a portal, the game would generate a random value based on the number of portals in the level, and if that portal was active, the ball would teleport to it. Unfortunately this didn’t always work, and the ball could sometimes choose the same portal to exit that it entered, shrinking it permanently, and ruining the rest of the level. The portal system has now been rewritten from the ground up to keep track of individual portals in a list. This list is then constantly culled and refilled based on deactivated and reactivated portals. This way, the game literally cannot select the same portal to exit that the ball entered, and the whole teleportation system is now rock solid.
Another bug got fixed that prevented levels from ending. Gems would sometimes slip through the detection cracks and ending up outside the play area without getting destroyed, causing the game to hang. Levels should now always end when all blocks and gems are destroyed (win) or if the ball and all gems are destroyed (loss).
As always you can View the Patch Notes to see all the new features, changes, and bug fixes.
MassDiGI Game Challenge & PAX East
One last thing to note: this weekend we’ll be at the MassDiGI Game Challenge! This will be the first time we’ve competed in the challenge, as opposed to just hanging out and displaying what we’re working on. We’re super excited to bring Mondrian – Plastic Reality out to Worcester this weekend, and if you happen to be going, stop by and #MakeAMondrian of your own!
PAX East is also sneaking up, and at the moment the plans are up in the air. Danny will be on a panel on Saturday at 3pm, “The Return of Couch Play,” alongside Christoffer Holmgård, Ken Gagne, Tanya Short, and Tommy Sunders, so come see that! As for displaying Mondrian, we’ll be able to put more solid plans in place after the Game Challenge this weekend, so stay tuned.
As always, thank you for playing, see you in Worcester, and enjoy the update!