This page talks about the spinoff game to the main series. For the page regarding the entire domain of submachines, see subnet.
This page is updated to reflect the current condition of the free downloadable HD version of the game. The online version is outdated. To download the HD version, visit Mateusz Skutnik's itch.io page.
v0.0 - 2009
v1.0 - June 8, 2010
v2.0 - June 15, 2010
v3.0 - January 26, 2013
v4.0 - November 11, 2016
HD version - January 26, 2017
Submachine Universe (abbreviated as SubVerse/SU, previously known as SubNet Exploration Project/SEP, Subnet and Submachine Network Exploration Experience/SNEE) is a spinoff game to the Submachine series.
This "game" in the Submachine series plays differently than the other games, as there is no linear plot. The player starts off in a laboratory location with the portal coordinates 000 and is given a list of six other coordinates. These six coordinates contain clues to coordinates of other locations, which in turn contain clues to even more locations, and so on. The often-perceived "point" of the game is to explore as many locations as possible. Even though there are 1000 different lab locations that could theoretically exist, only a certain number are used, and it is up to the player to find which ones are active, whether by using the clue system, picking random coordinates to try, or by going through each location one by one.
List of lab portal locations
List of karma portal locations
List of alternate layer coordinates
List of single-coordinate portal locations
- See also: SubVerse changelog for detailed updates including the time and additions/modifications to the Subnet.
Mateusz Skutnik had been thinking about the Submachine Universe for at least two years before it was released. From the start he made it clear that it was "NOT a game".
While the nature of the game was not revealed entirely during its production these facts were made clear:
- There would be no 'actual' puzzles, but there might be some totally unrelated puzzles that might or might not take the player anywhere.
- It would not be a game like the others, but it would be an "exploration experience".
- Most of the old locations would be revisited.
- There would be a lab unit in the start of the "game".
Originally the game was supposed to be released before Submachine 6: The Edge, but then the author stated that 'it would be mistaken as Sub6' and put it aside despite the anticipation of the fans.
Many anticipated a quick release after the release of Sub6 based on the earlier discussion, but to everybody's surprise the game didn't present itself.
Then he posted the teaser picture on the official website, which promised that the game would be released during the fall/autumn but it still didn't come forth and eventually the fans forced Mateusz to remove the message as fall had gone by.
Another great anticipation wave came after Daymare Town 3, because many were saying that 'the game is almost ready' and 'Mateusz just has to put it up to the internet'. But it soon became apparent that Mateusz was going to take a break of work instead.
About a week before the release of the game, when the holiday had gone on for almost three months, Mateusz tried to fool the fans by saying that he wouldn't release the game at all. This resulted a wide discussion about whether he was joking or not, but many thought the rumour to be false.
V1.0 was released on June 8, 2010 with the first 50 locations, containing 23 theories.
In this version of the game there was a re-occurring glitch while playing called the black screen of death, name derived from the Blue Screen of Death computer problem. In it the game would only show a blank/black screen after warping and on some occasion UNDEFINED would be seen in the place where the text in plagues would be seen.
V2.0 was released on June 15, 2010. Mateusz Skutnik has redone the mechanics of location change in order to fix the loading problem when the game froze after loading new sets of rooms, also known as the black screen of death. He also advises players to use Firefox when playing the game.
On June 19, 2010, the game had its first addendum. Mateusz Skutnik added 9 new locations to the game, bringing the total number of locations in the game from 51 to 60. From the 9 new locations, 8 locations are from Submachine 4, and one location is from Submachine 5. He also added three new theories to the game, bringing the total number of theories in the game from 21 to 24.
After items were added in 19th of September 2010, one could go to a location, for example the tri-gem room, where you can pick up the three wisdom gems and teleport away from that location and go back and find the three gems at their original place, while the three you got would still be in your inventory. This would work for all items, like the Laboratory Key and weight stone.
Technically this would mean an infinite amount of items for any player.
The glitch existed for at least Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. It apparently was caused by old game data mixing together with new data. You could fix the glitch by opening the settings by rightclicking the game window and setting the amount of memory space the game can use to 0. Then you had to restart the game and set the memory space back to normal.
After doing an experiment in the net Mateusz forgot to remove the totally empty coordinate 011. After teleporting to this location the player would be unable to leave the room without erasing the history of the computer.
The glitch existed for all browsers.
It has since been fixed, and eventually replaced with a new location in version 4 of game.
The next two years showed a steady increase in the number of rooms, as well as an increase in complexity of room design and added items.
V3.0 was released on January 26, 2013, continuing the work of the last two years but on a more refined scale. This version carried into the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, bringing the total number of locations to 101.
In mid 2015, after setting up his Patreon account, Mateusz set further expansion of the Subnet as a $1400/month goal. This goal was met in July, and Mateusz projected the release to be in 2016 after he finished making Submachine 10: The Exit. However, due to Sub10's immense success upon its late release on 21 December 2015, Skutnik decided to take a break from game development and pushed the next version to an unspecified date. The only thing that could be assumed to be known was that the HD version of Submachine Universe, which would prompt V4.0, was "done and ready to be delivered". The Patreon goal was later removed.
By the time September 2016 had rolled around, no updates had been made or or discussions provided by Mateusz since he spoke in June 2015. However, with the assumed upcoming release of the HD version of the game, an update was expected to be included with the following changes:
- A patch to the collector's room, which has not been updated with objects/devices from Sub10 or FLFHD
- Addition of a few items and puzzles that were installed in the latest update but never used, such as the scale machines and the sewing machine devices, as well as the pedestal in hpl
- The appearance of a tribute location that pays homage to the musical artist Prince.
Then, on 12 October 2016, Mateusz Skutnik opened a thread in Pastel Forum specifically for questions about the future of the game, both online and in HD. Around this time he also presented SubVerse V4.0 as a Patreon goal again ($1000/month), saying
- "Each month I'll create a brand new Submachine Universe location. Yes. That's right. I said it. I want to turn that thing into the biggest free online exploration game of all time. OF ALL TIME."
Through Q & A on the thread, he revealed that
- SubVerse HD would be released in Flash just like all the other SubHD releases, quenching rumors that it might instead be ported to GameMaker. However Mateusz did promise a complete port of the game, along with all the others, to GameMaker if his Patreon successfully reached $3000/month, at which point he would take the series to Steam, abandon the SD version of the SubVerse, and continue updates to the SubVerse only on Steam.
- the unused items would find uses in the new version.
On October 14 he revealed that version V4.0 was tweaked to be completely non-browser-based, with the only things missing being the menu and some sfx/music options. Even so, he would wait to make those changes and release the game until after he finished making two other non-Submachine games in GameMaker.
On October 21 he revealed that the locations would include
- expansions of all previous single rooms drawn in livestreams, including the Prince location, fan works, and single screens seen here.
- future fanbased locations. He promised a new thread to be made for suggestions and reference material once the Patreon goal of $1000 was reached.
V4.0 was first released without the accompanying HD version on 11 November 2016. The major changes within the first few minor updates included:
- encryption of all location files within the .swf file
- the collector's room being updated to reflect elements from Sub10
- the cameras in 317 and 902 becoming mobile drones and evading the mouse much like the broken karma pieces from Sub10. They also gained the ability to take pictures.
- all floating karma portal pieces became mobile and now evade the mouse when moused over, like they do in Sub10.
On January 20 2017 Mateusz wrote an article on his website titled Subnet Dilemma in which he addressed the multiple problems he had been dealing with while trying to figure out how to best release the SubVerse HD to the public. He had mixed feelings about releasing the game for pay, separating the game from its online version, and also did not want to infringe on the rights of forum members and fans by selling a game with their theories, words, and other contributions. After conversing with multiple forum members and followers on his social media, he was able to come up with a solution that worked for him.
Three days later he wrote Subnet solution, where he stated that he had decided to release SubVerse HD for free and continue to update it as he normally would, thereby leaving the online version outdated. This circumvented many of the problems he was dealing with. He promised that the HD version would be out soon with two new locations.
On January 26 the game was released for PC and Mac, containing two new locations and one new item. At this point, talk of releasing one new location a month had died down as Skutnik turned his mind toward other projects, but he promised to continue updating the SubVerse in due time. A major development point was reached as Mateusz was able to export each location file separately and encrypt it, thus making load times faster and making it more difficult for people to guess which file led where.
The next large update came on 9 February when Mateusz implemented a technical overhaul of the system in v4.5. Various locations were updated visually as well. Among the numerous changes, Mateusz
- changed animations to display in 60fps
- got rid of individual theory screens and reworked the display to be formatted across all theories in "karma blue"
- removed coordinates from theories and notes, as well as clues to locations that were duplicates
- introduced the cluster concept by adding four new connected locations
- updated previously unused devices and added new unused items. This confirmed the notion that the project is continuously onging and one has to be patient to wait until "the subnet expands again" to use newly acquired items and devices.
Mateusz made it clear after this update that the project felt, on a technical level and as far as working on the gaming system behind it, virtually complete. He stated that the only updates left to add were more locations, devices, and items. It was also at this time that he stated he was starting to rework the Float Engine in GameMaker.
Version 4.5.1 introduced the first few locations in the history of the project that were not directly tied to either lab portals or karma portals.
On 27 of June 2010 Mateusz created a thread in PastelForum called "Your theories - a request". He asked the forum users to post one of their theories, spellchecked and polished, so that he could include them to the Subnet. Mateusz had somewhat finished the ideas he had for the net at this point and he wanted to include theories of eager Submachine fans. The thread immediately caught everyone's attention and many forum users posted one of their theories.
Some questions were raised concerning the length of the theories, because some of the theories were quite long. Mateusz stated that the longer the theory is the longer it would take to read, and this was his intention. He also said that the theories would be signed by that user's forum login name.
Then forum member dVanisAWESOME created a theory and 'dared' someone to post it under the username of Sunshine_bunnygirl_17. Somebody made the account and posted the theory. Some argued that it wouldn't be in the Subnet, but Mateusz found the whole ordeal funny and so the theory was accepted.
In the end, the thread became cluttered by speculative discussion and was subsequently abandoned. Mateusz stopped accepting theories from then on out.
Mateusz has reopened the addition of fan theories to the SubVerse with the release of v4.5, where locations tend to be influenced by fanarts produced by active forum members and other members of the encompassing Pastel community. However the addition of fan theories has been strictly controlled to certain people and does not reach anywhere near the extent of influx as it has in the past.
First release and aftermath
The reception of the Subnet was thoroughly positive among the fans of the series and many game sites gave the game good reviews.
The fans in PastelForum created location lists, but initially the full lists of locations were deleted by the author because they were seen as cheating. Mateusz also has on multiple occasions shown annoyance towards those who blind jump through all the coordinates of the net.
He also said in his PastelStories website;
- "please don’t post location lists in the comments. I will delete them. Let’s keep it unspoiled for those to come."
There were some who were disappointed that their theory didn't make it into the net. For some, the reason was just because they didn't post their theory in the Your theories - a request thread in the PastelForum, but for some the reason was that Mateusz just couldn't find the theories from the thread overflown by random chatter.
Mateusz Skutnik then released a new thread to give the others another chance. In the opening post of this thread he openly said that no chatter was allowed in this thread and it was for theories only and only one per person.
A list of how the current locations in Submachine Universe link together from the clues that appear in the experience is given here.
|Submachine Universe locations|
More info: Submachine Universe walkthrough
Theories in Submachine Universe
To be updated after the release of Submachine Universe HD
- ↑ Skutnik, Mateusz (2010-06-10). "Audience participation in single-player adventures#comment-3184". Mateusz Skutnik. Retrieved 2010-06-10. "np. thanks again for this insight. do we call it snee? we can call it subnet. ;)"
|Main series||1: The Basement • 2: The Lighthouse • 3: The Loop • 4: The Lab • 5: The Root |
6: The Edge • 7: The Core • 8: The Plan • 9: The Temple • 10: The Exit
|Side series||Ancient Adventure • Future Loop Foundation • FLF • 32 Chambers • The Engine • The Explorers|
|Other games||iSubmachine • Sketch of Submachine 2|