5 December 2019, Zagreb – Gamechuck has just released the first trailer for their upcoming role-playing adventure game Trip the Ark Fantastic, the first Croatian game funded with the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union.
Trip the Ark Fantastic is planned for release in 2022 on PC/Mac/Linux
and consoles, and until then Gamechuck is inviting all interested gamers to follow them via their newsletter, Discord channel, or other social media at arkfantastic.com.
“Under our homes and under our hearths, civilisation itself stands on a story. Words tied us all together, and they could unravel the world.
Find it, Charles; uphold the Myth!”
Trip the Ark Fantastic will have:
- A deep and immersive secondary world set in an Animal Kingdom on the verge of industrial and social revolution, content-rich and filled with intrigue, side-quests and flavor at every step
- Completely original gameplay mechanics based on the scientific method: research, discuss, experiment, and finally publish arguments in the Animal Kingdom’s papers
- An exploration of how myths, science, and philosophy can influence society, and how monarchies, democracies, and anarchies view power, authority, and legitimacy of rule
- Gorgeous art including frame-by-frame animation and vibrant landscapes inspired by the golden age of animation, as well as music inspired by the works of R. Wagner
- A gesamtkunstwerk approach in which the art, music and gameplay all tie closely to the story of scientific discovery and the role of myths in different types of societies
- The entire development completely done in open-source technologies, including Godot Engine, Krita, Ink and MuseScore, among others
Trip the Ark Fantastic is a story-driven roleplaying adventure set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of both industrial and social revolution. The story follows Charles, a hedgehog scholar on a mission by the lion king to save the monarchy, but his decisions could end up helping reformists or even to bring about anarchy.
The story revolves around an ancient myth that forms the basis of the Animal Kingdom’s caste system – the myth of the Ark Fantastic. As the myth goes, the ark was built by lions millennia ago to save all animals from a great flood. The king’s gambit is that, amidst whispers of reform and revolution, a reputable scholar such as Charles proving the existence of the mythical ark might sway animals toward a royalist stance, and thus uphold the monarchy.
Charles is accompanied by the king’s trusted advisor Philippe the Fox and the captain of the royal guard – Andre the Boar. Their task will lead them to the fringes of the Kingdom and beyond, in search of elusive truth.
The player progresses through the game by solving the Kingdom’s various problems and mysteries, but his method of solving them is a scientific one – he publishes compelling arguments in the Animal Kingdom’s scientific papers to prove his theories and disprove those of others. Only arguments with sound logic and solid evidence will have the power to sway public opinion and change the course of history.
The evidence itself can be found by talking to the local denizens (after learning their language, such as squirrelese), by using scientific equipment (a microscope, or a chemist kit), or, as a true scholar, by “standing on the shoulders of giants” and using evidence from the works of other scholars found in libraries across the Kingdom.
The player’s main challenge will be finding all the relevant evidence and then choosing the right conclusions, which are then published and reviewed by his peers, potentially resulting in a boost to his scholarly reputation.
Additionally, since Charles’ scientific conclusions can have large-scale consequences on the Animal Kingdom and the monarchy in particular, there is a looming moral dilemma over whether the player should publish a certain argument or not.
THEMES AND INSPIRATIONS
We draw inspiration for the game from modern fables of classic literature, such as Animal Farm or Watership Down, as well as deep story-driven games from the roleplaying and adventure game genres, and games with unique and experimental gameplay mechanics.
Our goal is to use the game to explore various types of society (monarchy, democracy, anarchy) and to tackle questions such as how rule is legitimized, what role myths play in the shaping of society, and so on.
The animation is drawn frame-by-frame to be reminiscent of early animated classics, and the music takes cues from 19th century romanticism with the use of leitmotifs inspired by Wagner and gesamtkunstwerk opera.
The game is developed using open-source software, such as the painting tool Krita and the Godot game engine. Gamechuck studio is also a sponsor to both Krita and Godot Engine and, in the case of Godot Engine, actively contributes to its development.
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