Hello everyone! Well, today is the day. Mondrian – Plastic Reality version 1.0 has launched on Steam! It’s been a fascinating three-and-a-half year journey to get to this point, but we’re incredibly proud of where the game is, and where it will go from here. We wanted to lay out what’s in store for you in terms of content, and what our plan is for growing that content over time.
Today, we are excited to officially announce Adventure Mode, the game’s episodic story mode. Unlike other episodic games, however, we are not taking a serial approach, but a series approach. We’re going episodic for a few different reasons:
- Episodes allow us to cover a variety of topics, especially other aspects of art, like color theory. This way we can go on lots of different adventures through art and art history, much as Miss Frizzle took her classes on different adventures through science in The Magic Schoolbus.
- We can incorporate player feedback more easily for future episodes to help improve stories over time.
- Down the line, you’ll have access to the same tools we’re using to build stories so you can build stories of your very own! I’ll be honest though: they’re still a bit too quirky for prime time, so we want to put them through the paces first and make sure they’re solid before they get permanently integrated into Mondrian Maker. Expect the story tools to make it in shortly after Season 1 wraps.
Every Episode of Season 1 is included with your $15 purchase. We expect Season 1 to go for around 10 episodes. We don’t know what Season 2 will have in store, and we’ll jump that bridge when we get to it.
So now the question is, how will we handle telling these stories? Everything starts in the Museum, the game’s customizable hub world. Right at the start of the game you’ll be placed into the Museum to set off on your quest to uncover the Lost Modernist Masterpieces. As you find these works, more levels will open up, as will your ability to decorate your museum with the Gems you collect in-game. Each room has eight Spotlights, on which you can place different kinds of furniture. This includes pedestals, which hold Artpieces you can buy with your Gems. You can also change up the Walls and Floors, and even more Construction options will be added over time. This essentially takes the place of the Boutique from the first game as the place you spend your Gems. We will also be adding new decorations once a month during our Gallery Openings, and each pack will have a varying pricing model – some will be free, some will be extra premium (for example, if they benefit charities), but most will be $2.99. Core Story and related Museum content will always get added for free. DLC packs will include items like Museum decorations, custom Levels, Background artwork, and other cosmetic goods; never anything you need to win the game or give you a Leaderboard advantage. The DLC exists solely to help you support Mondrian’s continued development and give you more ways to customize your space.
The game is launching with 12 Walls, 12 Floors, 18 Pedestals, and 18 Artpieces. With 8 Spotlight areas and, of course, ignoring them being an option, that’s over 400,000 possible combinations of Museums! New stuff will be coming in consistently, so be sure to share your galleries and keep checking the game for the latest additions.
Each Adventure includes 10 levels, and we’re starting things out with a Piet guiding you through his early years. This first story includes some light tutorialization and, for players of Abstraction in Beauty, will feel familiar, but will also include some new twists.
Next up, we have made the decision to focus solely on Steam for the time being until we can get mod.io directly integrated into the game. We are not taking our mod.io page down, but there are just a few too many complications to worry about when it comes to trying to upload to Steam Workshop from outside the Steam ecosystem. With all that in mind, we’ve made the decision to pull the game from itch.io, GameJolt, Kartridge, and Discord for the time being, and end the game’s early access period. To the handful of people who tried the game out, your pre-release Steam keys are waiting for you on itch!
For everyone else, Steam Workshop will be waiting for you, and it couldn’t be easier to upload your Mondrian Maker creations there!
- Make your level
- Create a Thumbnail, even by using Mondrian’s Gallery Mode. Name it the same name as your level, but with .jpg instead of .mondrianlevel. For instance, the thumbnail for Metahex.mondrianlevel would be Metahex.jpg. Workshop can accept 1×1 and 4×3 thumbnails, and both of these ratios are available in Gallery Mode. Hit C to toggle image info and crop marks.
- Place the thumbnail image in the game’s Thumbnails folder. You can access this from the Main Menu under Options > Open Local Content.
- Click the Share button in Mondrian Maker, followed by the Steam Workshop button
That’s it! 2-3 seconds later, your level will be up on Steam Workshop for the whole world to check out.
The game’s “launch period” will comprise the first couple weeks or so after launch. During this time we will be paying close attention to your feedback to fix bugs, improve gameplay, and adjust/add content as needed, especially in the Museum. We will also be releasing story episodes in October, November, and December, including some Holiday-themed stuff! We can’t wait to share what’s in store with you.
Finally, and maybe most exciting of all, we’re ecstatic to announce our partnership with Razer and integration of Razer Chroma into Mondrian – Plastic Reality! We’ve been working alongside the team at Razer over the last few months to make this happen, and the results look awesome. Each level, your Razer or Chroma integrated devices will light up to match the color scheme on screen, and every single individual zone will randomly generate a color within that color scheme. Everything from the Viper Mini Mouse all the way up to the Raptor 27 Monitor, and even Philips Hue bulbs and Nanoleaf LED panels, will instantly change color to match your Mondrian gameplay!
A few things to note about this integration:
- Performance impact is zero. The colors are set as a level loads, and Chroma integration is not called again until the next scene.
- You can turn off Chroma integration from the main menu. Look under Options > Special Effects.
- You do not need to be logged into Razer Synapse in order for the colors to generate. Guest Mode works just fine!
- Even if you are logged into Synapse, we do not gather any of your data from it. It is purely used to match your PC’s or room’s ambience to the action on-screen.
This is an integration we are looking forward to expanding over time, and post-launch we intend to add options to make it even more dynamic. Stay tuned!
This is easily our biggest and most exciting launch to date, and we’re excited to have you come on board! Don’t forget to join our quickly growing Discord server, follow us on all the socials @lantanagames, and most importantly – BUY THE GAME!!!
Thank you for playing.
Seems like an interesting game concept, would love to hear more (if you are open to share) the number of wishlists you manage to build before the game was released and the day after if possible? Wish you some great conversion rates on those numbers! :)
Hey thanks so much!
Unfortunately despite a lengthy and hearty Wishlist campaign, we never got beyond 160 Wishlist adds before yesterday. We've since added ~20. So that's okay at least, but in terms of conversions... let's just say I don't know what everyone is waiting for. Maybe they're saving their pennies for Cyberpunk or something. But honestly even 100 something sales would be enough to get the train rolling, and 1000 would be a dream come true.
Marketing this game has been an uphill struggle. Even the original game sold a solid 20,000 copies and made its way to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. One would think that a followup that incorporates actual creative toolsets, Steam Workshop, a dynamic color scheme system, and much deeper gameplay would be a no-brainer. Yet despite the effort and solid plan, we never found a marketing partner who would go beyond two meetings, or who wouldn't use the pandemic as an excuse for not doing their jobs. Factor in social media REALLY no longer being an effective promotional platform and no money for advertisements, and that leaves us with grassroots.
Luckily, we have built the game not as a Day 1 "what you see is what you get" title, but as something we knew would be a slow burn over time. That's kinda the nature of live service, but this is a weird one since it's single player, user-generated-content focused live service. Like if Photoshop had its own DeviantArt built in and you could then blow up everyone's artwork. The game itself is very different, so obviously the same old song and dance for marketing isn't going to cut it.
TL;DR: Our Wishlist campaign got hampered by a lot of factors: weird game, social media algorithms, no real world expos/events, and uncooperative marketing firms. That in turn hampered launch, but we knew it wasn't a game built for launch hype, but a game that could grow a creative community behind it over a long period of time, and if we can give that community a fun game with nice additions at a consistent rate, having an effectively "failed" Wishlist campaign won't have even mattered. Time will tell.