New Year in the Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom counts years from the day of the Ark Fantastic marooning on land. This is an event that signalled the end of a great flood and of course holds a big significance in their society and mythology.

The years before the flood are lost to everyone and unmentioned even in the oldest tales, but in art and literature it is usually portrayed and referred to as an idyllic heaven-like state where animals lived in harmony as there was no conflict and everyone knew their place. The game begins in 1883AA (After Ark), which is 1883 years after the flood subsided and the animals founded the Animal Kingdom they live in today.

You can read more about the day of the New Year in the Animal Kingdom in our blogpost about the Day of the Bells here!

Open source game appreciation month: Krita

Hi, I’m Serena, the character artist for Trip the Ark Fantastic.

This week for open source game appreciation month I’d like to write a bit about the tool we use for making the art of our game – Krita. It’s an open source program for painting which can be used in various ways – from portraits to comics to game art. It’s compatible with most graphics tablets and is easy to set up.

Image result for krita logo"

Prior to this project, I haven’t really worked with Krita, and learning it was really no problem. The interface is very easy to learn – which makes it great for beginner artists and animators but also those already working in the industry, since it uses similar UI features as other professional tools.

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The Day of Bells

While the counting of years and the year of the Ark myth is firmly established, the exact date when the Ark was found is based on pure speculation, and therefore the date of the new year is calculated purely based on ceremonial reasons.

Usually, it is the birth-date of the current king, but there are a few instances in recent history when this wasn’t so – during King Michaël, the date of the New Year was set to the discovery of Ark Island (corresponding to our mid-June), and the current New Year coincides with Pride’s Day of Bells.

This day marks the beginning of the Lav rebellion, and is a holiday festivity across the Kingdom, in celebration of Lav’s victory over tyranny and oppression. It corresponds to our own late September.

There are no Santas or Christmas decorations in the Animal Kingdom, however, there is one tradition held for over three decades now – the Day of Bells is celebrated at noon by ringing all the bells in the entire Kingdom, which you will be able to experience yourself in the game (be careful about the volume on your earphones though!)

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Open source game appreciation month: Godot Game Engine

This week for open source game appreciation month we would like to pay some tribute to our game engine of choice: Godot Game engine!

When comparing Godot to other solutions on the market, one is quick to notice that it is a relatively new engine (first released in 2014) that hasn’t seen any big game releases yet (although it did for example port Deponia to PS4 and iOS). As a result, choosing Godot as our main engine might seem like a daring decision and it is one that has thus seen some critique from others in the game industry. The things that made us fall in love with Godot go hand in hand with benefits that are deeply intertwined with the essence of FOSS (Free and open-source software).

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The Lav Rebellion

A score ago, the rebellion ended. Leopold the Lion, also called The Tyrant King, was overthrown by his brother Lav. Like his father Leonard, Lav is a gentle and enlightened monarch, versed in the sciences as well as the nuances of politics. 

The rebellion was led by Lav, a lion, but it was a rebellion that included all castes of society. After years of war, a vast alliance of animals finally reached Blackbark, Leopold’s capital. The capital was well stocked and could endure many years of siege, giving it enough time to regroup and defeat the rebellion. When they were besieged, Leopold had sent all the citizens not in the armed forces out of the city to flee, knowing that Lav would have to take care of them and lose food and other precious resources. Lav decided to send them all to Pride, the hometown of the lions, and enter the city by force, thus ending the war then and there. 

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Open source game appreciation month: Ink

It seems it’s open source game appreciation month!

Since that’s the case, we wanted to give a shout out to all the open source tools we use! Of course there are so many, and December only has a few weeks so we decided to focus on three of our most important open source tools – Ink for interactive dialogues, Godot Engine for code, and Krita for art.

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The Myth of the Ark

It’s the first #ArkLoreTuesday! We decided to share a bit of game lore with everyone every week, starting today!

The centrepiece of the Animal Kingdom is the myth of the Ark Fantastic. Thousands of years ago, the lions built a sturdy ark that housed all the animals and saved them from a giant flood. 

As the myth goes, the lions built it, the noble cats administered it, the strong animals protected it, the weak ones worked hard on keeping it afloat, and only the untrustworthy vermin had no role but destruction and chaos. 

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Our first press release!

Trip the Ark Fantastic – an immersive story-driven scientific adventure set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of industrial and social revolution.

We have been working for the past few months on something to show everyone, about the project, about the game, about the narrative, themes, graphics, music, and so on. Of course, since this is such a big undertaking, we naturally needed a lot of time. Well, that time is now! We have produced:

  • A very detailed press release explaining the core tenets of the game
  • A very nice teaser trailer detailing the atmosphere of the game
  • A press kit with key art and even some gameplay screenshots
  • Our first social media push

So we’ll just go through all of these, and how / why we made them.

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