Patch Notes!

Feb. 22 at Noon EST, The Painter’s Playground 1.03 is available. A lot has been accomplished in the past two weeks, and we couldn’t have done it without our awesome community of artists and collectors.

The funny situation I’m in: I want to link the patch notes in the current build, but I can’t link it until I post the patch notes, so the notes have to be posted *before* the build goes live…

Here are the patch notes, please read carefully, since it differs from the previous announcement.

  • Cleared up a bug that was causing improper displays in the leaderboards.
  • Cleared up an even more insidious bug that was giving everyone the wrong number of “thumbs given”.


  • Zoom level has been increased.
  • The base calculated price of paintings has been slightly decreased.
  • You can now set the prices of your paintings *lower*, as has been requested.
  • Removing a painting from being on sale can lower its market value. Seller beware!


  • Something I put in a long time ago, and forgot about…
  • When you’re in the Harbor, you can press ‘S’ on the keyboard to see which paintings *you* are selling.
  • You can also press ‘W’ to see which paintings you are showcasing.
  • I’m not sure whether this will be developed further, removed, or left alone.


  • There is now an “Are you sure” pop-up window when flagging a painting.
  • You can now click on an artist’s name in the Harbor or Community gallery, and see all their public paintings.
  • You can now use the TAB key to scroll through your favorite colors, in addition to the existing 1,2,3,4,5,6 hotkeys.
  • Press SHIFT while painting to save your work in progress. This happens automatically occasionally, but better safe than sorry 😉
  • There are now “search modes” in the Community Showcase gallery!
  • There is now a “folder” button in the lower right in Your Private Gallery.
  • This opens the media folder on your computer where your local paintings are stored, to make it easy to share your work with the world.
  • So please share your work with the world: twitter, instagram, deviant art, facebook, etc.


  • You can now tweet links to finished paintings:
  • Go to “Settings” and turn Auto-Tweet On.
  • Each time you finish a painting in your studio and you upload it directly to the Harbor, you will have the option to tweet it to your followers.
  • This also works when completing a daily challenge.
  • It does not work in Oyster mode.
  • Paintings that are not immediately uploaded can not be auto-tweeted, because there is nothing to link to.
  • But with the new easy access to your media folder, you might be able to do this yourself 😉


  • Steam Achievement Tracking


  • Looking deeper into achievement tracking, due to player reports.


  • Steam cloud is not perfect. Due to the nature of the game, it has a lot of files, and this can take a long time to sync up, especially on slow connections and/or old machines.
  • Orinigally, we had it so that your local gallery paintings were not stored in the steam cloud.
  • But then users were missing paintings between computers.
  • So now, the steam cloud has been set to include your local gallery.
  • If you notice problems, let us know, and you can contact Bob directly at saunders72 at hotmail dot com


The Future:

We are working on our road map for The Painter’s Playground right now. We can do a small-to-medium sized update in about one month, or a larger one in about three months.

We’d really like to give you some new painting tools, we’ve had lots of suggestions from this thread. Getting them right will take time. And there’s also the Golden Gallery to think about, *and* an art gallery companion app on Android!!! So yeah, busy :steamhappy:

Keep painting, spread the word, and enjoy!


1.0 Launch! And Contests!!!

…And we’re off! Thank you again to all of our beta testers and supporters for making this game a reality. We are forever grateful.

To all newcomers experiencing The Painter’s Playground for the first time – WELCOME! We hope you enjoy your stay here in Painter’s Port. The community so far has been *wonderful* in every way possible. Bob and I will be quite active in addressing any issues, questions, comments, or concerns through the Steam forum.

Alright, now onto our two launch contests!


Create a LetsPlay video of The Painter’s Playground, and post it here on the Steam video tab in the community hub. It can be anything you want, as long as it’s at least 5 minutes long. Ideas for videos could include a tutorial, tips and tricks, or just you doodling. Once you’ve posted the video, either friend me on here (you can unfriend after I give you the key, if you would like, no worries), or email the evidence to Dorkoski at

I will buy and send this Huion Tablet to the first player who reaches Artist Level 50. This contest will require some serious work – you’ve been warned haha 😀

The only caveat is that I have to be able to ship it to you through Amazon. If by some reason I cannot (or the shipping is insane), I’ll send you $20.00 USD through a Steam Gift Card instead.

Now we said we weren’t going to do save wipes – and we aren’t. BUT if you plan on going for level 50, we ask that you in-good-faith delete your current artist and start over to be fair to newcomers. Thank you!

Post your level 50 screen shot here on Steam and also email the link to Dorkoski at We get an email when someone reaches level 50, but this will nudge me.

Thank you all for reading. Happy Painting!

Ryan and Bob
Next Zen Mechanics Limited

DMCA Safe Harbor

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Just keep in mind that I am not a lawyer, and am only trying to educate myself, and in the meantime maybe share my journey with you.

We are getting *very* close to release (Feb. 8 2018), and as with any new venture – we are learning a ton. The interesting thing about The Painter’s Playground is that it isn’t just a ‘game’ as far as legality goes. It turns out that we the devs are legally considered ‘service providers’. What ‘the service’ in this instance is, in my mind, is the sandbox that is The Painter’s Port. Real life gamers go in and create wonderful and brilliant things to share with everyone else. It’s super cool if you ask me. But… Okay, so what?

Well, one surprising thing I have learned very recently is that all ‘fan art’ is not necessarily legal. In fact, if the art being copied is copyrighted, then unless the individual doing the fan art has proper license(s), it is in-fact illegal. Makes sense in hindsight, but I guess I just didn’t grasp that right off the bat.

Anyways, things get more complicated when there is user-generated content (UGC) involved. The issue of unlicensed copyright infringement is a very serious subject and needs to be addressed. Thankfully this was all brought to my attention before release.

TL;DR Next Zen Mechanics Limited (the devs) take no ownership for any UGC with The Painter’s Playground. We are merely service-providing ‘middle-men’. We take no part in policing the UGC of The Painter’s Playground unless we are served with what is called a DMCA Take-Down notice. Paintings that are removed/deleted via too many red flags are done so automatically by computer algorithm, and not by us.

If we are served with a take down notice, we will immediately address the issue. See our legal statement in the link below, or on the Steam store page.

DMCA stands for ‘Digital Millennium Copyright Act’. If you are interested in more details, here is some primer reading:

Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act

The Next Zen Mechanics Limited DMCA Legal Statement

At this point we’ve taken all necessary steps to be covered in DMCA Safe Harbor status.

It’s funny. I never thought fan art could be illegal. The things you learn, am-I-right?

February 8th Launch is Coming!

The Painter’s Playground full release is February 8, 2018! Things are coming along nicely, and we look forward to more fantastic artwork.

Note: the full version is no longer ‘free’ via, and a demo proper is forthcoming.