The Fellowship of the Ark

The Fellowship of the Ark

Following the Charles’ biography lore blog, where we’ve put everything you wanted to know about the game’s main character (but were too afraid to ask), here we have a nice blog about the three unexpected friends that went on a grand adventure.

Charles

Charles is your introvert prototype. He doesn’t like socialising, is even less fond of big crowds of people, and gets very shy around strangers. Although, when there is a conversation topic revolving around scholarly stuff, especially those that are his domain, Charles gets very excited and quite talkative.

Following the Charles' biography lore blog, here we have a nice blog about the three unexpected friends that went on a grand adventure.
Our creative process of making new Charles

Also, did you know that Charles is actually a pretty famous hedgehog? The folk won’t remember him if you mention his name, but everyone knows who is the inventor of the shower; a byproduct of Charles’ artificial herbarium. Charles feels a strong sense of responsibility at being given the task to find the Ark, while also placing a large emphasis on his dedication to the truth. Which is more important to him (truth or duty) is up to the player to decide.

The moment when Charles receives a letter from His Highness, king Lav.

His relationship with Philippe and Andre, his journey’s companions, starts as cold and distant. However, after engaging in conversations with them more often, Charles becomes close friends with one or even both of them.

Philippe

A witty fox, many would say. Philippe is usually sarcastic and shrewd. A bit arrogant, too, and wants to show off that he is correct. He might not sit well with everyone, but he gets the job done. In case you’ve played D&D before, he would be charactarised as “lawful neutral”.

Philippe, the youngest and most ambitious member of the King’s inner circle.

Philippe volunteered to accompany Charles on his mission in attempt to steer his decisions in the correct direction. He believes that finding and proving the Ark’s existence will consolidate the Kingdom’s power structure for the next few decades. Some people don’t like his sarcasm and attitude, but most can agree with his sound arguments.

When he’s not busy checking up on his “contacts”, he enjoys a good philosophical discussion with Charles while smoking some of his favorite tobacco.

André

André , honor bound captain of the Royal Guard.

With such a rich background as André, many would simply embrace all the benefits of their status, but not this boar. Despite having rich parents and a profitable farmland, André decided to join the military. As one of the most loyal members of the Guard, the
King tasked him with keeping Charles safe during this potentially perilous mission.

He doesn’t really get into complex abstract arguments with Philippe and Charles but he has strong opinions on the royalty but he doesn’t like to discuss them because he believes he couldn’t defend them properly.

He believes the system is fair and his experience is that if you try hard you can succeed and that the people against the king are plotters and schemers and generally not honest folk. Nevertheless, he has fairly strong opinions on the Kingdom’s hierarchical system and his place in the world. As a result, he accepts Philippe’s superiority and obeys his orders without hardly any question. He loves eating and drinking and finds joy in the simple things in life.

Enjoyed this blog? Let us know what you thought on our FacebookTwitterDiscord, or on the blog itself, just below in the comments!

General Horse and the Guest Blog of Doom

You may be wondering why you are suddenly surrounded by photos of ugly old people and screenshots depicting a trashy video game.
Ah yes. The revenge of the guest blog.

You may be wondering why you are suddenly surrounded by photos of ugly old people in a place where you would expect pretty drawings of bunnies and hedgehogs. The answer is simple: It’s another guest blog!

You may be wondering why you are suddenly surrounded by photos of ugly old people and screenshots depicting a trashy video game.
Not CGI but real sets!

Hi, I’m Zvonimir and I work with Studio Spektar, an indie game company known for bringing you the true indie experience of games made by just a few people, weird art, inappropriate humor and everything going wrong all the time. Back in 2013, while larping, Sven and I met
Gamechuck’s own Aleksandar and together we started working on Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure.

It was a very silly point and click adventure about an unemployed street sweeper Viktor who decides to become an emperor of Austria-Hungary by overthrowing the current emperor:

https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/550990/header.jpg?t=1569425421
https://store.steampowered.com/app/550990/Viktor_a_Steampunk_Adventure/

After three years of on and off work, we finished the game and launched it onto the unsuspecting public. After seeing the sales figures, Alex went on to found Gamechuck and become filthy rich (I hope), while Sven and I decided to keep making games in our spare
time.

We wanted something simpler. Something where we would have fun making the game and with minimal programming work. So I suggested we build a short ’90s style trashy FMV game, but with a bunch of original concepts and completely improvised acting. After half-listening, Sven took my suggestion with complete enthusiasm, but also a few caveats:

a) he had absolutely no idea what an “FMV” is, but he figured he’ll learn along the way.

b) the game needs to be bigger. Much bigger! Lots of encounters! Lots of planets! And no, it wouldn’t be just the two of us with puppets and silly voices, we are going to recruit a bunch of larpers to improvise with us.

Thus, the adventure began. We bought a large green sheet after realising my blue bed sheet is a bit sheety. We traveled across Croatia, from abandoned communist monuments to my grandma’s backyard.

We used all the costumes, masks, and props we could build, borrow, or dig out of our LARP equipment. We brought friends who were given a nice vacation and/or up-to their weight in alcohol to improvise silly voices, terrible accents, and vague goals that often went in a completely different direction.

You may be wondering why you are suddenly surrounded by photos of ugly old people and screenshots depicting a trashy video game.
These screenshots make you wonder why you’re following Trip the Ark Fantastic at all.

Of course, after a party comes a hangover. It took us literal years to assemble all the material with horrid mistakes, bad focus, wrong sounds, green-screen-unfriendly lighting, and a plethora of other issues. It is now stuck together in surprisingly coherent gameplay.

You may be wondering why you are suddenly surrounded by photos of ugly old people and screenshots depicting a trashy video game.
Green screen magic.

“But what the hell do you do in this game is this even game what is wrong with you”, I hear you ask. It’s a travel game with resource management. Think Oregon Trail, but everything that happens is a live action movie sequence.

You obtain and spend resources like food or fuel by interacting with people who LARP at the camera. Your choices decide how much you get or lose. There are many more random encounters than you can see in one or two playthroughs, so every new game is a different adventure.

And the audience? As is normal with this kind of game, the audience is small but dedicated. But it seems that people on Twitch love it.

There’s just something about a trash film full of improvised acting with russian-like accents that turns every streamer into a member of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Apparently, we unknowingly made a great party game to play in a room with friends.

If you have or are planning to have a trash movie party, I definitely recommend you bring this new piece of modern history.

Here’s the link again, have fun with this GOTY title:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/813480/General_Horse_and_the_Package_of_Doom/

Guest blog: Support Saint Kotar on Kickstarter!

Guest blog: Support Saint Kotar on Kickstarter!

Hello, mighty community of Trip the Ark Fantastic! You really are something special, you are following a fantastic project!

I’m Marko, the CEO of Red Martyr Entertainment. Just like Gamechuck, we are also from Croatia. Although, we are on the coastline, in Pula, and the guys and girls from Gamechuck couldn’t be more jealous of us. They just don’t want to admit it.

I’m also the game director, writer and narrative designer of Saint Kotar, a psychological horror point & click adventure.

Saint Kotar latest trailer

Not to worry, the focus is on the psychological side, not the horror side, and the story actually has many other genres as well: detective, mystery, crime and drama.

The interesting thing about Saint Kotar is that its story takes place in Gorski kotar, a mountain region of Croatia. A beautiful and mysterious region and a perfect setting for our game which recounts a tale plagued by macabre murders and strange phenomena, allegedly related to devil worship and witchcraft.

Saint Kotar screenshot

Image 1 of 5

What’s also interesting is that the Saint Kotar’s prologue was released a week ago. It is completely free, offers 2 to 3 hours of gameplay time, it is fully voiced and localized into multiple languages. Players are giving very positive review ratings on Steam!

And here comes the sad truth: Red Martyr Entertainment needs more funds to develop the rest of the full game Saint Kotar.

Saint Kotar screenshot

Image 1 of 5

We turned to Kickstarter for that matter, and the campaign was launched on the same day of the prologue’s release. Right now the project is 33% funded, with over 400 backers, but we need more people to come aboard and get the word out. Consider backing us:

Also, don’t forget to continue following this great devblog! The Gamechuck team is doing a great job and they deserve to be supported as well.

Stay safe!

Another week, another (humble) bundle!

Another week, another (humble) bundle!

Following a gargantuan charity bundle organized by Itch.io which raised over $8 million USD, we are giving a big shout-out to another fantastic bundle that we are part of, created by Humble. For a price of $28 USD (or more), you get $1,243 worth of awesome stuff.

Gamechuck is participating with All You Can Eat, an interactive comic where you take a role of a “hero” so lazy he decided to quit his job and just spend his life inside an All-you-can-eat diner – which is closing down.

Will our hero finally settle down and find a regular job? Of course not. His life mission is to save the diner!

There are several great story-driven games that can be found in the bundle, and one of them definitely is 11 Bit Studios’, This War of Mine.

In this side-scrolling game, civilians are trying to survive in a besieged city (inspired by the dreadful events in Sarajevo during the ’90s); struggling with lack of food, medicine, and constant danger from snipers and hostile scavengers. The game provides an experience of war seen from an entirely new angle, and the player will have to make life-and-death decisions.

Moving on from those grim realities that happened in our past, to a messed-up underwater metropolis. If you haven’t, Bioshock (remastered) is a game you definitely should play.

The atmosphere, the characters, the enemies, the Big Daddies, and Little Sisters. Also, there’s a lot of hacking (plumbing). Seriously, though, you should play it.

Similarly, the bundle offers System Shock: Enhanced Edition and System Shock 2.

If you’re more into adventures, Humble is offering Broken Age, a family friendly, hand-animated, puzzle-filled adventure game with an all-star cast, including Elijah Wood, Jack Black and Masasa Moyo.

The two protagonists are two teenagers in strangely similar situations, but radically different worlds. The player can freely switch between their stories, helping them take control of their own lives, and dealing with the unexpected adventures that follow.

In the vein of All You Can Eat, Framed Collection is a series of visual puzzles, requiring logic and imagination, where each panel move changes the current narrative, leading to all kinds of comedic blunders, untimely deaths—and when solved correctly—stylish heists, fast getaways and nail-biting escapades.

There are a bunch of other great games to be found in this Humble bundle. Make sure to check it out!

Itch.io Bundle shoutout!

Today, we wanna give a shout-out to the Itch.io huge 1400+ games bundle (including Gamechucks own debut All You Can Eat) for only 5$. If you already played it (and its free spiritual sequel vApe Escape), don’t worry, the bundle has you covered with many great story-driven titles such as:

Night in the Woods – a story-driven adventure about returning to a small town you grew up in… If you are following Trip the Ark Fantastic because you like animals walking around in a side-scrolling manner and having meaningful dialogues, this is gonna be right up your alley!

Night in the Woods - Wikipedia

Oxenfree – another side-scrolling adventure about a group of teens unravelling a mystery while vacationing on an island. Short but with many endings and some cool replay value, not to mention several innovative game mechanics like using a radio and interrupting other peoples dialogues.

OXENFREE: LAUNCH TRAILER - YouTube

They also added Celeste, another story-driven side-scroller but unlike the previous two titles this one actually is a platformer and requires some platforming skills, but since we’re no strangers to difficult action games, we love it anyway!

Celeste on Steam

Then there’s “Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger And The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist” – if it’s not already obvious from the title (why wouldn’t it be?), this game is a spiritual sequel to the Stanley Parable and offers a short but great (bizarre) story-driven experience.

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A ...

Apart from these heavy-hitters, there’s also a ton of other stuff, like for example a cute pen-and-paper roleplaying game with mice called Mouseritter. Maybe we’ll try out some internal Trip the Ark Fantastic PnP roleplaying in this system at some point, who knows!

Anyway, all that and over a thousand more titles, just for 5$, which go to charity anyway? A great bargain, we’d say!

By the way, if you want to discuss cool games we like, be sure to join our Discord! We’re all there and love talking to fellow story-driven-gamer folks!

The Three Game Factions – Explained

The Three Game Factions – Explained

In the past few months we’ve endeavoured to explain the basics of the political and social intricacies of the Animal Kingdom in 1848.

You can read about the principal actors – Coriolanus representing the revolutionaries, King Lav representing the monarchy, and Duke Nicolas representing the reformists. But what are the real differences between all these eagles and tigers and lions, if any?

Well, our ambition was to write these factions as equally appealing and for the player to have real difficulty deciding which faction to side with, not going the easy route by giving each leader certain flaws so the choice is between varying shades of dark-grey (like in so many games today), but for them to be paragons of real underlying ideological issues they present. We wanted their worldviews to give you real pause about their world and by extension ours.

The Three Game Factions in Trip the Ark Fantastic
Charles receiving a letter from the King Lav.

In essence, the main question that divides these factions is their view of the concentration of power – should concentrated power be checked (and if yes – who watches the watchers?), or on the flipside – should concentration of power be done away with completely?

To find relevancy, one might liken the royalists’ worldview to the modern managed democracy of many technocratic governments, the reformists to the worldview of representative democracies seen in the liberal west, and the revolutionaries worldview as the equivalent of direct-democracy.

They will all be presented to the best of our ability, and as this is a difficult task, we’ve decided not to dive into any of their arguments today (however we have been known to discuss this on our Discord). We will leave the bulk of this for the players and the game, but today we will just “lay out the battlefield”, and let your imagination take over, after reading the three “manifests” of these factions.

ROYALISTS: MONARCHY – The current world

The Three Game Factions in Trip the Ark Fantastic

First, there is the monarchy – the rule of Lions, and the land-owning right of the stewards and nobles of the Kingdom. The world is an unbroken constant – unfaltering like the line of kings from the time of the Ark to modernity.

The debate over nature versus nurture finds no quarter with these sovereigns – they are both born and bred for leadership. A kingdom that would tie the hands of these titans away from the absolute rule would be a kingdom that is more foolish than cautious. The petty motivations of lesser castes – wealth or food or pride – these are all given to lions at birth, and their only focus – the big picture and the wheels of history – that is what every lion thinks of.

And that is why the monarchy has prospered so well in the millennia of earth. A different system has never existed nor has it ever been tried. This is how loyalists view the monarchy and its feudal rules – dictated by tradition, and just and true by its very definition.

REFORMISTS: DEMOCRACY – The emerging world

The Three Game Factions in Trip the Ark Fantastic

Opposing the loyalist view, one can hear the whisper of reform creaking through the halls and balls of high society. The world is not constant, nor is it the recurring pattern of the ebb and flow following the great flood.

Where once were fields, now stand the mines of industry, and where once was an infinite and impenetrable sea, now is a route of trade and possibility. It stands to reason that the roles within such a society must change as well, with the changing times, and with the changing names. The responsibility of rule is not something one should be born with, it is a reward to be earned – and re-earned: the steward who ruins the mill he runs should not be left in charge of it, nor should a ruler disliked by his subjects be left on the throne unchecked.

The captain of industry who captains no more should be allowed to fall, so that a better may take his place, and the same goes for Kings as well – for the good of the realm. These are the whispers of democracy and these whispers, coming from the Tiger Duke and his allies, are slowly getting louder, and more appealing.

REVOLUTIONARIES: ANARCHY – The unknown world

But across the sea, in the colony prison, the rocks are beaten into pebbles, and pebbles into the sand, and sand is thrown back into the sea. The meaninglessness of society starts to sink in after a few decades of such work, as these people have seen the backside of wealth and power, and know it exists.

For whoever wields some power or wealth, and tastes the sweet fruits of their use over others, only desires more power and a larger divide, so wherever there is affluence, there must also be poverty, and wherever there is the powerful, there must also be the rejected. A just society cannot abide by such contradictions, and therefore – they must be done away with.

The only truly just world would be a world – without power. A world where the structures of power – the thrones and bureaus and offices and prisons – are done away with, completely. In this reasoning, the prisoners, dissidents, rejects, and criminals have found a common cause with the beggars, the farmers, the miners, and slaves. These are the ramblings of anarchy, as it slowly stirs and wakes all over the Kingdom.

Which one do you choose?

So, which one of these factions suits your play style the best? Let us know in the comments below, or poke us on Facebook, Twitter and Discord!

Communities we use to talk about our games

Communities we use to talk about our games

Communities we use to talk about our games

Making a completely new game in an unknown franchise made by a relatively unknown developer without a publisher is a rather difficult task nowadays, primarily because you have to do everything. Including the marketing part, which is something game developers don’t necessarily like, but hey, who’s gonna hear for the game you’re making, and pouring all the blood, sweat, tears, and time in?

That’s where the communities come in, and in this text, we are going to share some of the communities we use to talk about Trip the Ark Fantastic, Speed Limit, and our other projects, and why.

Below, you will find some of the best communities and forums for your adventure, RPG, Pixel-Art, and any type of genre title you may be developing.

Continue reading “Communities we use to talk about our games”

Our favourite TV shows

Our favourite TV shows

The quarantine may have been lifted in some countries, and you (yes, you) might still be stuck at home thinking what to do next. Not in that situation? Worry not, because what we have in store in this blog article, is for everyone, because… TV shows can be watched at any time, anywhere, even when you’re commuting to work while staying as far as you can from that guy with a runny nose who keeps leaning onto you.

If you’re still reading all those books we have recommended before, keep reading! Those TV shows, well, probably won’t go away anywhere (even though some TV shows do tend to disappear from some streaming services).

Continue reading “Our favourite TV shows”

How we make music (Part Two – Examples and a Music Tool!)

How we make music for Trip the Ark Fantastic

How we make music (Part Two – Examples and a Music Tool!)

Hi again, this is Fenton (composer) and we will be delving into part 2 of our music blog for Trip the Ark Fantastic.

Last time we talked about how the music will be an adaptive score and take the form of an instrumental opera, following the player and reacting to their location, decisions, and situations in the game.

We will follow this up by looking more in-depth at the challenges of making a Romantic style score adaptive, as well as giving you a taste of how this will work with an early build of the music tool that we will use for the game.

Continue reading “How we make music (Part Two – Examples and a Music Tool!)”