Welcome to Mondrian - Plastic Reality's Early Access

Hello friends, and welcome back to Mondrian. You're probably wondering, "Wait WHAT? A NEW MONDRIAN? What is going on? And who are these characters? And IS THAT A LEVEL EDITOR?!?!?!" Calm down, I will happily answer everything.

What Is Mondrian - Plastic Reality?

Mondrian - Plastic Reality is the followup to Mondrian - Abstraction in Beauty. You can call it a sequel if you like, but it's kind of its own monster. What we have done is taken the foundation laid out by the first game - 3 game modes, 3 game speeds, 4 difficulties, modernist styling, dynamic generation, gem collection, color palettes, etc. - and expanded on those systems in ways to give power and creativity back to you, the player. It all starts with the Curators.

Five Great Artists

The Curators are the drivers for your paddle. Each Curator has 3 game stats: Top Speed, Acceleration, and Braking. Top Speed denotes the fastest a Curator's paddle can move. Acceleration denotes how quickly they can reach Top Speed. Braking denotes how quickly it will take their paddle to brake when you let go of the controls. What this delivers is a massive amount of variety in how the game is played. Some Curators can be sluggish, while others are quick. Some may stop like they're on ice, while others stop on a dime. It's made for an amazing amount of variety that we are still tweaking, but pretty happy with how they're all feeling, and giving each Curator their own personality just through movement mechanics.

Front and center, we have Piet Mondrian, the game's namesake. Anyone who has played Abstraction in Beauty will feel right at home with Piet, as his stats are all right in the middle.

Next, we have Sophie Taeuber-Arp, the mother of Dada. She has a fairly low Top Speed and minimum Braking, however her Acceleration is fairly high. This means that while she can't move too fast, she doesn't struggle to get up to speed, and her lack of stopping power makes for some very interesting strategizing.

Third, we have Hale Woodruff, the great African American Post-Impressionist. Hale feels deceptively sluggish, but don't be fooled. His high Top Speed and Braking are offset by his midrange Acceleration, meaning he has a very unique feel overall and controls much more tightly than you'd think. His first impressions are tricky.

Then there's Andy Warhol, the king of Pop Art. We wanted to bring Andy's personality into his play, so he can best be described as a laissez-faire lightning bolt. Andy has the highest Top Speed of any Curator, but fairly low Acceleration (meaning despite the Top Speed he takes a couple seconds to get up there) and almost minimum Braking. It was actually Andy's insane control that made us tweak the movement controls to cut Acceleration in half the moment you change direction.

Last but not least we have Loïs Mailou Jones, a local Bostonian, world traveler, and fantastic Impressionist painter. Loïs has midrange Top Speed, but high Acceleration and Braking. Loïs actually plays very similarly to the original Mondrian game jam from April of 2015. Her stats are midrange, so she is quick to move but deceptively slow to stop.

Mondrian Maker

Our first ever level editor, Mondrian Maker makes it super easy for you to build a level in seconds. Drag and drop any block shape onto the field, then nudge it into position, align it with other blocks, apply block modifiers, or flip them to Grays, Portals, and other block types which will be incoming over the next few months. You can also now rotate and scale blocks to your heart's content (and we are building a custom mipmapping system to keep blocks looking good as you scale them up). Levels export to convenient files which you can share with friends and family.

You can learn more about using Mondrian Maker and building your first level here.

Mondrian Maker also includes a convenient File Browser to help you save, load, import, activate, and deactivate levels. Import functionality is still in development but shouldn't take very long to finish.

You can learn more about Mondrian Maker's file browser here.

Other Improvements

Don't think for one minute we've stopped at playable characters and a level editor. Those would be awesome on their own, but we always go the extra mile.

  • ALL in-game graphics have received a graphical overhaul, from complete redesigns of powerup icons and their animations to baked-in antialiasing around every image, giving a much improved look to assets as they spin around.
  • The menu has also had a complete overhaul, and now game options are in the menu itself instead of being on a separate screen.
  • Analog stick controls have been deprecated until we can complete research into improving them and making them more... clocklike.
  • The value of gems you get in a level is now based on your selected difficulty: Relaxing only has 1's; Easy has 1's and 2's; Medium has 1's, 2', and 3's; and Hard has 2's, 3's and brand new 4's.
  • Challenges are also deactivated as we develop a brand new Dynamic Challenge system that will even allow for YOU to create your own boss rooms in Mondrian Maker.
  • We are currently building a new Campaign Mode, which will allow you to string up to 10 levels together with story-bits in between. This will also require a different format for level files, but we will provide a way for you to convert any levels you make in the meantime to the new format when it is ready.
  • All previous DirectX effects have been cut from the game. This means no more pixelized looks, as we are focusing on cross-platform compatibility. Palettes are still in, and we will also be providing ways in Mondrian Maker to assign permanent colors to blocks. This will help you with, say, recreating your favorite 8-bit characters out of Squares, styling your Stars into actual sunbursts, whatever you can dream up.
  • So much more we can barely keep track, and there's more on the way too!

In Summary

If you liked Abstraction in Beauty, you're going to love Plastic Reality. If you didn't... well, there very well could be something in Plastic Reality that you'll like. We've taken a lot of the criticisms from the first and worked on incorporating fixes, particularly for content, the rough look, and the controls. There's a lot to love here, and we hope you'll love it too!

Don't forget to at least also read the Introductory Post on this blog for some more background info on the changes and improvements we've brought to Plastic Reality. As always, thank you for playing, and I can't wait to try some of your levels!

- Danny

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