A blog about casual gaming

Mateusz Skutnik

Mateusz Skutnik

Mateusz Skutnik is a rarity: a gifted artist who is also a skilled coder. He is responsible for some of the most beautiful casual games on the web.

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Published by Alex Kearns on 19th November 2009

There are two types of artist. The first sort can spend an age on a work of art, painstakingly, bit by tiny bit, building it up until, finally, often years later, they deem it ready for public consumption. And then there are those rare individuals who are blessed with such an abundance of talent that they can turn around wonderful artworks in the time it takes some of us to read a book.

In the casual gaming world, Mateusz Skutnik is undoubtedly one of the latter. Over the past few years, his output of games has been nothing short of phenomenal. Eight games in his hugely popular Submachine point-and-click series, no less then 12 Ten-Gnomes games (quirky takes on the hidden object genre), two editions of the much-acclaimed Daymare Town series, three Covert Front games, and that's before we even get on to some of his lesser known works, including my personal favourites, the Squirrel games, of which there were more than 25 at last count.

Mission to Saturn, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik, Casual Girl Gamer
Castle Run, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik

Mateusz's games cover the whole range of genres. This game - Mission to Saturn - is a fun drive-as-far-as-you-can game.

And we are not talking low production value games here. His games are notable for their brilliant artwork, gripping storylines and imaginative reinventions of existing genres. Mateusz is that rare specimen, a gifted artist who also has the wherewithal to write computer programs and market his creations. Until relatively recently, he created the majority of his games single-handedly, doing all the graphics and programming himself. With growing recognition of his work, Mateusz quit his regular job a year ago to focus on his gaming business. He now runs a small game studio - Pastel Games - with Karol Konwerski.

Scene of the Crime, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik, Casual Girl Gamer
Scene of the Crime, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik

Scene of the Crime - one of Pastel Games's latest offerings - looks very intriguing.

Mateusz was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us:

Your output of new games over the past few years has been nothing short of phenomenal. And you do all the graphics as well as the programming. Do you ever sleep?

Umm, sure. It's not like all those were made simultaneously. For example it took almost two years between Covert Front 2 and 4, and one-and-a-half years between Submachine 5 and 6. Besides, developing doesn't take that long. To create a game from scratch I need about three months, so it leaves more than enough time to think all [the game] stories through, create a game and have a normal life afterwards.

Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik, Casual Girl Gamer
Covert Front 1, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik

Mateusz's brilliant artistry is evident in Covert Front 1, the first game in the popular Covert Front series.

Where do you get your inspiration for your games?

Everything and nothing. In 10 Gnomes it was the surrounding that I was setting the game in. Sometimes it takes just good sounds or ambients to spawn an idea, sometimes something I see in a movie or TV.

Your games are notable for their brilliant unique graphics. How did you become such a great illustrator?

Years of training. Twenty years of drawing comics, five years of learning how to program these things. There's no way around it. Time is the answer.

Do you think games can be considered to be art?

10 Gnomes received a Storm of the Year Award in 2008 in the multimedia category. That's an art award. Does that answer your question?

Castle Run, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik, Casual Girl Gamer
Castle Run, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik

Castle Run is one of my favourite Mateusz games. It features a cute hero and fun platform-style game-play.

What are you working on at the moment?

Daymare Town 3 point and click game, and trying to get on track with a new Revolutions comic album, but that's on a hold right now.

Which of your games are you most proud of?

Can't judge. There's no favourite, besides they're all different and incomparable really.

Is it possible to make a good living out of developing casual games?

Yes. A year ago I quit my regular job and I'm still alive today. That proves the point.

You have recently moved into iPhone development. How does developing games for the iPhone differ from creating Flash games?

Teamwork, proper programmers, graphic and level designers, project managers. Kind of professional compared to one-man developing process.

Toxic Jump, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik, Casual Girl Gamer
Toxic Jump, Developer Spotlight: Mateusz Skutnik

Toxic Jump - a simple concept done well and with great graphics. Typical Mateusz fare.

Are their any game developers whose work you particularly admire?

All stuff made by Wada Nanahiro, Amanita Design and Ferry Halim.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to draw a full comic book next year. Concerning games - probably new Covert Front, Submachine and Daymare Town. The usual point and click trinity.

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Add comment

Published by Submechanic on 31st May 2012
He is absolutely talented. I love all of his games. I like point and click in general, but his games are much more bigger in scale and they all have amazing back story. Not to mention the artworks... I regularly check pastel stories for updates.
Published by Sara on 12th March 2012
I really like his work. Mateusz Skutnik puts so much effort in his work. I saw some games that he has made and most of them I liked it. I was wondering if he is standing behind the artwork of the game “The Chestnut Racing Horse” that I played at http://www.funhorsegames.net/ .
Published by Casual Girl Gamer on 25th November 2009
Meman32 The below link includes info and screenshots of Mateusz's graphic. novels. Hope it is of use http://www.pastelportal.com/stories/graphic-novels/
Published by Meman32 on 22nd November 2009
Sweet interview, I hadn't actually heard of him before (I've played submachine, but haven't payed attention to who made it). Toxic Jump was fairly sweet, and I'm definitely giving daymare town a try. Did he give any info if the comic book would be available online?
Published by Ernesto Quezada on 19th November 2009
Great interview, a bit short but still good. I liked a lot the intro to the interview as well. Mateusz is one of my favorites game developers out there, definitely a rarity as you said.

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