What is “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament?”



A hand-sketched 3D adventure game for Windows PC, Mac and Linux platforms. Control Sketch, unfinished and wishing to know who it was supposed to be. The only clue is to follow a pencil that continues to draw in the distance, followed by an artist’s voice as he struggles to complete his work. To reach new areas, the doodle will find left-over sketches to use for new abilities throughout the journey.

  • Collect abandoned sketches of other ideas as new swappable abilities, letting Sketch jump, run, fly, and more to progress through the environment.
  • Featuring traditional 2D animation in a 3D environment filled with crumpled paper and unfinished drawings from the developer and 25 other artists.
  • A short story of the art and his artist told in parallel, of themes of acceptance and self-discovery.

DISCLAIMER: this game is 5 levels long, and can be speed-run in under 30 minutes.


System Requirements:

Windows OS (XP, Vista, 7, 8, or higher), Mac OS, or Linux OS. DRM-Free. Available on Steam and IndieGameStand.

Minimum Requirements: Intel Duo 2 Core processor or better, 2 GB of RAM for 32-bit OS, 3 GB of RAM for 64-bit OS, Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better, 800 MB available hard drive space.

FREE DEMO for Windows, Mac, Linux, plus promotional materials. Please test before purchasing to ensure game can run, and to help you decide if this game is right for you.

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Development History:

The basic ideas for “Unfinished” came one night in December 2014, forcing the developer to give up sleeping to write the ideas down. It came from a desire to finish a second game (after “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth”) quickly and to take advantage of the “3D Cel Animation” technique utilized by Dust Scratch Games, and so the main character was designed to be drawn and animated with less importance on consistent detail then previous efforts.

The gameplay is also intended to have more variety through using swappable “power-ups” in the form of forgotten sketches lost in the environment. Aside from this, the levels are minimalist, many of the story elements are told in abstract fashion through visuals and narrative dialogue from the “artist’s” voice in the background. It is intended for the later environments to be filled a bit more with black and white concept art and simple animated characters. The game as a whole is meant to be short, with only five levels intended.

The themes of the nameless doodle seeking to find out who it was meant to be takes some cues from “James – Journey of Existence,” and has thus taken its place while “James” remains indefinitely postponed, although the story elements of “James” are easier seen in “Drew.” The themes include self-identity and reliance from the perspective of the doodle, and writer’s-block and acceptance from the perspective of the artist, which the developer hopes will be relatable to many other developers and artists. The developer also describes the story and overall game as “a stuffy, self-important idea not unusual for an experimental art class project,” although he also hopes the themes appear accessible to certain audiences and the delivery does not prevent people from trying it out.

Because of the personal nature of the game, “Unfinished” was purposely set to be developed by a one-man team. However, later in development Jake Butineau was brought on the team to provide music, due to lead programmer’s insecurities of personal musical ability and to help speed up the development process.

At Stage Select Gaming Expo, the lead developer started a promotional event by allowing fans to submit “unfinished” artwork to be used in a specific level (Level 4 out of 5) of the game, in exchange for their name in the credits and a free copy of the game. The was opened up online as well, adding a few other artists to the list. Over 25 artists provided artwork for this level of “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament.”

Development for “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” began in March 2015, with a teaser trailer released in April 2015. The game was shown publically at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (at “Comics vs Games”), DigiFest and Bit Bazaar in May 2015, at Stage Select Gaming Expo in June 2015 and at ConBravo in July 2015. The game was successfully passed through Steam Greenlight before release on July 3, 2015. A tentative release was planned for July 31, 2015, but after feedback from ConBravo and other elements taking longer than planned, the release date was pushed back to August 4, 2015.

The game was inspired in style by games like Journey, Flower and The Unfinished Swan, with the “power-up” elements taken from Super Paper Mario. The developer also admits inspiration from the 2014 film Birdman (in appeared in theatres around the same time the game’s concept was formed). The game was also compared to “The Magic Circle,” another indie game released around the same time that focused on game developers unable to finish their work with a humourous perspective, while “Unfinished” focuses on artwork and is more somber. The general idea came from the developer’s struggles to finish anything due to it not meeting his or others’ expectations or due to inspiration not coming when it was needed.

Artwork from other artists can be viewed here: http://www.fromdustscratch.com/2015/08/unfinished-an-artists-lament-unfinished-sketches-from-other-artists/

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“…creating empathy with nothing more than a few lines in motion…”
Indie Game Magazine

 “It’s a cool looking game about unfinished art. It looks beautiful actually…”

“…both interesting and quite unlike most other puzzle platformers in recent memory…”

“Have you ever been watching a cartoon when suddenly the screen goes white, the main character is standing there alone, and the animator’s pencil drops down into screen to mess with the world?… now it’s coming to games….”

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Developer / Contact Info:

Developed by Dust Scratch Games

Contact: ahlynka@fromdustscratch.com

Programming, Art, Animation, Story, Voice-Acting: Andrew Hlynka
Music: Jake Butineau

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