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Evan Polakię Games Patreon Media

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Welcome, potential member-of-the-press! Here you'll find all the information and goodies I have prepared for you, should you have any interest in covering Polakię Games!

Who is This Guy?

Name: Evan Maruszewski (eh-venn mah-roo-sheff-skee)

DOB: 11/26/1980 (sagittarius)

Occupation: Video Game Maker! (and freelance multimedia guy)

I was born and raised in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Growing up was tough with two older sisters, a pronounced overbite and a proclivity towards nerdy things like science and art.

I was bullied pretty severely in gradeschool, so I spent a lot of time inside my own imagination. I drew constantly, built all kinds of stuff with Lego©, and when we got our first computer, I fell instantly in love.

I was lucky that my mom was always a gadget fanatic. Apparently, it runs in the family. She ensured all her children were tech literate, for which I will be ever grateful. In a lot of ways that computer kept me going.

When I was in my early teens, I started making my first video games. At first I started with games that allowed me (as the hero) to beat up all the bullies in my school. Eventually I got over my petty motivations and concentrated on honing my craft. At that point I hadn't seriously considered computer games as a career.

Fast forward (quite a bit) to college. I attended the University of Milwaukee's film and video program through the Peck Shool of the Arts. I look back on my time there fondly. I met a lot of great people, learned a lot about visual design and learned how to critique myself and my work.

Upon graduation I started applying to jobs where I might be able to use my degree and my natural abilities to illustrate and animate. It was then I found Byte Studios. Michael Diedrick, my soon-to-be boss, mentor and friend, looked at my portfolio and said something along the lines of "Nobody is hiring illustrators, sorry." but when he learned that I was tech savvy and had a degree in video, he gave me a shot. I'm lucky he did.

During my time at Byte (nearly ten years) I had the opportunity to really bulk up my skill set, branching out into visual and sound design, directing, and eventually coding. That was the lynch pin. Learning to code coalesced all my creative disciplines together into what I came to realize was my future. It felt like my destiny.

Soon, clients were approaching us with interactive media and game projects. I was the resident Flash guy, so it fell to me to do the lion's share of the game making, taking each project from concept to deployment, and support thereafter. The work had great potential to be thrilling. Software development fed my hunger for creative problem solving. Learning scripting languages kept my linguistics center firing on all cylinders. Best of all, I was learning new skills and techniques every single week.

Eventually, as happens with many technologies, Flash began to sunset and the writing appeared on the wall. A few years ago I made the difficult decision to leave my job and pursue a lifelong dream: to start a computer game company.

That is Polakię Games, the realization of that dream. As of right now, it's a big gamble, and there are certainly no guarantees I'll succeed. In the end, it was something I had to do, or risk living with the resentment and disappointment that come with never having tried.


About The Company

Company Name: Polakię (poe-lock-yen)

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mission Statement: To make unique computer games!

What does polakię mean?: As far as I know it's not a real word. It is a fabricated declension of the Polish noun Polak, meaning "a Pole." Let me explain...

Years ago, when I first started making and sharing games of my own, I needed some kind of production name. I enjoy my Polish heritage, mostly because I love pierogi, kiełbasa and my enormous last name. However, I know that I am not Polish. I am incredibly American. My grandparents specifically chose not to speak Polish around the house, so as to better assimilate into American society. The Polish language stopped with them.

Still, I wanted a word that spoke to my ancestry, but didn't try to commandeer it. The conjugation of Polak for a male speaker is polakiem, and for a woman is polką. That little hook beneath the "a" is called an ogonek, and nasalizes the vowel to which it is attached. It is one of the features that makes Polish such a beautiful language.

So I neutralized the gender of the word and maintained the nasalization, thereby also keeping the visual symmetry of the word itself, with the final ogonek balancing the descending stem of the capital "P."

My make-believe word also had the added benefit of being easily searchable, yet still translatable by the casual reader.

So, Polakię is my way of saying "Hey, I'm proud to be Polish-American, but I have no delusions about where I come from and who I am." I'm distinctly American and proudly Midwestern. I just so happen to also love czarnina and have some wicked digraphs in my last name!


Computer Games

As mentioned above, computer games have played an important role in my life. They've been safe retreats, saviors and creative outlets alike. One might ask: "If all you want to do is make games, why take the risk of going off on your own? Why not just join a studio and earn a comfortable salary?"

It's a good question. The answer is complicated.

I do love computer games, but I've come to dislike a lot about what I'll refer to as the "status quo." I specifically use the term computer games when I refer to what I love to make, because for me it recalls the early days of interactive digital media.

In my youth, when computers weren't as ubiquitous as they are now, media for them was incredibly varied. There weren't real genres that defined what a game was. Experimentation and innovation ran rampant as studios and individuals toyed around with their medium and its capabilities.

The first name that jumps to my mind when talking about true innovators is Steve Moraff, for lots of reasons. First and maybe foremost, his games were always shareware. For those who might not remember, or weren't around at the time, shareware was software that was freely distributed for consumption and dissemination. It was awesome.

The other aspect of Moraff's games that really appeals to me for comparison's sake was how incredibly varied and often weird they were. Steve Moraff made the kinds of games he wanted to make, and although they weren't often very popular, they were always of great quality, and they were always interesting!

This isn't going to devolve into a rant about "these kids today," but I do pine sometimes for the sheer diversity of games back then. You never knew what kind of odd thing was going to pop up on ExecPc. It was like the wild west of computer games. I want to express that kind of diversity in my own computer game projects.

I can't help myself. Usually about two or three times a week I'll wake up early with a fresh, strange game idea on the tip of my imagination, and I'll have to jump out of bed to start fleshing it out. The list of game ideas grows and grows, and gets more and more varied as it does.

That's why I can't just join a studio and earn a nice salary. My imagination won't let me. I need to make these games because, mainly, I want to play them! No other company is going to design the kind of experience I want, so I just have to go ahead and do it myself. They can't be blamed, really. It's the prerogative of any game company to make money, for themselves and their investors. I get it. But, that leads me to my next point...


Patreon?

Most game studios have to treat their work like any typical product. They need to make it salable to the broadest market they can, and the need to do so for the highest price point possible. That doesn't and has never jived with me.

I recognize that money makes the world go 'round. Trust me, I wish it didn't. My own personal tastes aside, I live in reality and am beholden to its rules. However, that doesn't mean I need to treat my own work like a commodity.

Patreon allows creators like me the opportunity to work on projects and share them with the world without worrying about the status quo. When your hands aren't tied by investors or market testing, or consumer statistics you can enjoy unprecedented freedom of expression. You can be honest. You can be original. You can also treat your users like human beings!

As it stands today, our advertising based economy hungers for more and more data from more and more people, every minute of every day. Software gets more invasive, more insecure and more protective of its own proprietary with every generation. Companies are currently working to erase consumers' rights as fast as they can while maximizing their own, to the benefit of a very few.

I'm not saying crowd funding is the solution to society's ills. I am saying it feels like a much better fit for me, for what I want to create and for how I want to share it.


Visual Goodies!

Here are some visuals I have prepared for use in publications! Please use freely!

Full Logo (Opaque JPG)

Full Logo (Transparent PNG)

Company Title (Opaque JPG)

Company Title (Transparent PNG)

Ogonek the Eagle (Opaque JPG)

Ogonek the Eagle (Transparent PNG)

Company Title with Slogan (Opaque JPG)

Company Title with Slogan (Transparent PNG)

Vector files available upon request! ♥♥♥

 

all materials © polakię games 2014 — patreon