Artifex Mundi is a Polish studio known for developing HOPA (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure) games. It was founded in 2006 by Tomasz Grudziński.
The first game released by Artifex Mundi, Scriptarians: The Tournament (2007), is a fairy tale themed logic game which teaches programming. In 2010 another project was published. It was Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba, a HOPA game, that is a game in which one of the basic challenges was looking for objects hidden on the screen. Joan Jade received a warm welcome and thus the company decided to focus only on developing games of this kind.
Artifex Mundi's projects were initially sold by the biggest HOPA publisher, Big Fish Games. The Big Fish store enabled the Polish company to reach broader audience (mainly foreigners, because HOPA games were not that popular in Poland at that time). However, because of the number of games which were being published, it was hard for the new projects to stand out among a whole lot of similar games. That is why Artifex Mundi quickly developed a recognisable formula which helped the company build its own brand: the simple HOPA convention of looking for hidden objects was combined with a well-outlined plot and logic riddles typical of adventure games.
These are the assumptions of the game that reassured the company's position in the market. It was called Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart (2012) and it took advantage of the popularity of the film series Pirates of the Caribbean. Over subsequent years, Artifex Mundi released new games, such as next editions of Nightmares of the Deep, the series Enigmatis with horror themes, the series Grim Legends presenting alternative, gloomy versions of the popular fairy tales and steampunk game Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink. It is worth mentioning that Artifex Mundi was a pioneer company in the Polish game industry in the scope of developing games addressed to female gamers. Moreover, in the majority of Artifex Mundi's games the protagonists are women.
The further success enabled Artifex Mundi a considerable extension (there was a new studio created in Kraków apart from the existing one in Zabrze) and becoming independent from external publishers. The company turned into one of the best-reviewed producers of HOPA games in the world and it started to publish games developed by other studios, such as the Warsaw-based studio The House of Fables. In 2016 Artifex Mundi debuted at the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
Originally written in Polish, translated by MW, March 2018.