Plans for 2021!

Recap 2020Moving to Croatia

Even though most of us are from Croatia, 2020 was the year the entire Gamechuck team moved here, even our composer relocated here from the UK and our Belgian coder found a nice flat in Velika Gorica. We’ve expanded the team only slightly and carried on completing our various projects, including Trip the Ark Fantastic.

Usually moving to Croatia means enjoying the sunny bars and seaside but this year was a bit different. Like everyone else, we’ve had to work from home during various lockdowns, and even when there was no imposed lockdown, many people continued to work from home so they can take care of their loved ones and stay in other cities (be it Čakovec, Varaždin, Rijeka, Zadar or something else entirely – we’re from all around).

Circled in blue: strategic places we’ve occupied during the lockdown. If you’re wondering where this little country even is, there’s a more famous country on the bottom left called Italy (that’s almost where the Pope lives).

Then we’ve also had a 5.5 earthquake in March and a 6.5 earthquake near Zagreb just last week. The Zagreb Innovation Center where we host our offices suffered some minor damage but the real damage was of course the psychological stress that many people feel when they figure out that they live on top of an angry pile of rocks.

It’s become a faux pas to ask “can I get a Corona?” in a bar. Now even “can I get a shake?” is getting a bad rep.

There’s also some wild (and cool?) conspiracy theories looming around. Like this tweet from a few weeks before the biggest earthquake in 140 years that got a lot of interest:

Of course, the pandemic had other interesting effects on our business – since everything is digital now, we’ve been able to attend more game development conferences and gaming events than ever before, at a fraction of the cost, so our “business development” side is booming. More on that in our 3 year recap from July.

Anyway, enough about the past. You’re REALLY here to hear about the future!


Well, we’ve come very close to finally making a polished and working prototype of the game. We’re still playing around with making the UI work as shown on e.g. this animation:

The other game we’ve made (the retro action game Speed Limit where every level is a completely different arcade genre) is about to release on PC and all consoles next month so that’s a big deal now too. Here’s how that looks if you’ve somehow missed it, straight from our publisher’s Youtube account:

Speaking of publishers, as soon as we make the Trip the Ark Fantastic prototype, we’ll continue our hunt for interested parties. We’ve received plenty of feedback already regarding art and so on, so we’ll implement all that in the demo once we have it.

Since we’re done with Speed Limit, the retro team is also brewing something else entirely, but more on that later. For now, here’s a mysterious picture to fire up your imagination:

Suddenly there came a chucking, a new game chucking in the Gamechuck store.

The Fantastic Prototype

Ok, back to Trip the Ark Fantastic prototype.

It is going to be a few hours long – it will feature the beginning of the game – the first city in the Animal Kingdom – the hometown of our protagonist Charles and also the center of the Rabbit Mining Company – “The Burrows”.

Charles has went through a few iterations over the past year and we’ve finally nailed him down to a good combination of introverted scholar + cute hedgehog:

This prototype will contain almost 50.000 words (check some on the link) and showcase several quests in the Burrows, including a strange illness that the rabbits caught and Charles can help cure, as well as several some engineering shenanigans with the old steam engine.

We’ve also completed the graphics for the second town in the Kingdom, the Scurries, which is ready to be animated and scripted as well:

We’re also drafting the final city of the first act (before Charles sets off to unexplored territory on behest of the King), and that’s Pride:

So 2021 should be the year when we finish those cities and start working on Act 2 (which includes the Kingdom’s trade colony in the southern continent, a penal colony and, if rumors are true, even a secret native city made of SOLID GOLD).

Then in 2022 we should finish up with the end-game where you wrap up your investigation on the Ark myth and by doing so change the Kingdom forever.

The game could be out some time in 2022 or if we wish to port it to a billion next-gen consoles then perhaps a bit later.


These are lofty goals but let’s focus on the short-term now, just 2020:

  1. We’ll finish up the prototype hopefully before summer. It will be a 2 hour experience and will showcase maybe around 5-10% of the full game. We’ll showcase it to interested parties in hopes of getting someone to finance the rest of the development of the game.
  2. We’ll also produce a new trailer as the teaser from December 2019 is now over a year old.
  3. Once we’ve secured financing of the production phase, we’ll get more animators, writers, artists and so on, and head onwards to polishing the rest of the game.
  4. A crowdfunding campaign is also not out of the question, perhaps in the summer time.
  5. By the end of 2021, we hope to have an interesting (and playable) first half of the game.

What else is there to say? Not much. Here’s another mysterious picutre from a potential project from the Gamechuck oven, and be sure to visit us on our Discord!
Who are these people? Why are they dancing this weird dance?

Thanks for reading up to here and have a great 2021!

The Scientific Method, Peer Review and Fake News: Gameplay Mechanics of Trip the Ark Fantastic

scientific report title

The Scientific Method, Peer Review and Fake News: Gameplay Mechanics of Trip the Ark Fantastic Explained Step By Step

With Trip the Ark Fantastic, we’re striving for a rich and varied narrative experience, but that doesn’t mean that story takes a back-seat to gameplay, quite the opposite. So let’s talk about the gameplay.

Btw, we’ve talked about it before but it didn’t have concrete examples back then:


As a scholar, your main method of solving the quests and mysteries of the Kingdom is by employing the scientific method.

This means that you first gather clues – such as testimonies from other animals, physical evidence, facts from books and so on.

Afterwards you choose which one of those clues you want to use to form your thesis or argument. Specific combinations of clues unlock unique conclusions, which you can then use to submit your report and finish the quest.

The Burrows Epidemic


As a famous scholar, your scientific peers will diligently follow and review your work, which you always can read about in the Kingdom’s newspapers, and so can all other animals.

This means that you have to be careful because if your report meets with disapproval from the other scholars, you will lose reputation in the scientific community, or in extreme cases, when many of your reports sway too much towards one single faction, you might be seen as a political pawn and some doors in society might be closed to you.

While this might seem very punishing at a glance, there will be many sidequests and smaller scientific reports which will give the player an opportunity to rebuild his bad reputation


While gathering clues is intuitive as it features gameplay mechanics seen in other RPGs such as Exploration, Branching dialogues and Interaction with the environment; the scientific report mechanic and the reputation needs a more in-depth explanation.

The Blackbark Discrepancy

In the example above, the player is investigating a famous legend that general Lav infiltrated the city of Blackbark using the sewers. The legend holds an important place in the public perception of the Lav rebellion.

However, modern architectural accounts agree that the sewers become flooded during heavy rain and are therefore un-traversable.

The player could conclude that the whole thing is just a tall tale, but he decides to purposefully ommit an important weather report from his thesis and conclude that the legend is true.

Btw, here is a bit more about Blackbark from one of our previous blogs:


As there are many ways to find clues – such as from books or from testimonies, and many ways to combine them and weave them into different conclusions, all of which impacts the world in a different way, the game will offer a significant replay value.

Also, as the story unfolds, you will get entangled further and further in the social, scientific and mythological intricacies of the world: will you adjust your discoveries to suit your political goals, or will you follow the evidence wherever it leads you? Do you wish the Kingdom to prevail or to change, and how?

Questions like these form of the brunt of the conflict the player will need to resolve, culminating not only in different quest outcomes but ultimately in three distinct endings – the preservation of monarchy, a demoratic reform, or a revolutionary coup.

Btw, more about the factions can be found in a separate blog:


Don’t forget to ask them here or elsewhere. On our Discord perhaps.

This is how we made our brochure for publishers

This is how we made our Trip the Ark Fantastic brochure for publishers and investors

In our last blog we talked about how we made our pitch video aimed for publishers and investors. In this blog, we are talking about something similar – a brochure.

For starters, you may ask yourselves: why would you make a brochure if you made a pitch video? Pitch video is much more cooler and, at the end of the day, way more dynamic. And, yep, we agree. That’s why we’ve made the brochure much before the pitch video. Look at it as the first step in getting closer to getting a publisher/investor.

If you’re an indie developer and looking into making your own brochure, here are a few tips ‘n tricks.

What to talk about in your brochure?

Sure, you decided to make a shiny new brochure that will blow away your potential publisher, but first, you need to know what will you talk about in it. So, here are a few bullet points to get you started:

  • What is your game about
  • Three to five key features in your game (and explain them a bit)
  • A bit about the story and lore (if you have any)
  • Gameplay mechanics
  • Your team
  • Your inspirations
  • SWOT analysis
  • Some facts about marketing you did by yourself so far (if you did, that is)
  • Details about your budget, e.g., what will you spend on all those millions you get from the publisher
  • Also, don’t forget about the timeline for the production of your game

We used only free and open-source software for the brochure

When you’re an indie developer, you’re always on the budget. Until you get the investment or a publisher, you’ll have to find a workaround for everything. Luckily, Gamechuck comes to a rescue!

For this brochure, we used three completely free and open-source software solutions. For image manipulation (and much, much more) we used Krita, which we already wrote about. Read more about Krita below.

Now, for everything design-wise, Inkscape is the way to go.

Basically, you’ll have to do the brochure page-by-page, and Inkscape is a pretty powerful tool for that purpose. Inkscape is made for designers, illustrators and magazine/newspaper publishing, so you may say it’s rather capable. The UI is a bit rough around the edges, but you’ll get the hang of it relatively quickly.

The software saves your progress as a SVG file, but it can export the page in various formats, as shown below.

Considering we use an open-source desktop publishing tool, Scribus, we have exported each page in PDF format.

Scribus is another neat open-source software, and pretty easy to use. Basically, all you have to do is to know the dimensions for your brochure, and you’re ready to go. Why the dimensions? Well, because you’ll also want to print your brochure for all the events you’ll attend when this pandemic goes away.

When you generate a new document, then you’ll just import all the PDF files you’ve made with Inkscape; page by page, of course. Like so:

And, that’s basically it. When you’re satisfied with the layout, just export the thing, and you’re ready to spam the publishers and investors about the awesome new game you’re making!

Does making a brochure take a lot of time which I could use for making my game instead?

Glad you asked that!

It definitely depends on how much you want to show in your brochure. It took us about a week of continuous work only on the brochure with additional fixes and updates. So, in total, we spent around two weeks on it.

Does it mean that you could have spent that time for game development instead? Well, yeah, but your brochure is definitely necessary as a communication tool you’ll use to reach the publisher and/or investor.

Or you could just ask your colleague/friend/family member to help you with it. It’s up to you.

But, before you go, here’s something really cool!

As a token of gratitude for reading this blog, you can download our Trip the Ark Fantastic brochure on this link.

How did you like it? Let us know in the comments below, or on our TwitterFacebook and Insta!

This is how we made our Pitch Video

This is how we made our Publisher & Investor Pitch Video

In our quest towards making Trip the Ark Fantastic an adventure RPG like no other, the development of the game is made on several fronts. The one of the key fronts is business side of game development.

Yep, we made a pretty cool brochure, too. Also exclusively for publishers and investors. BUT! We are going to show it to you in our next blog!

Basically, we are looking for a publisher that is going to help us with our vision for Trip the Ark Fantastic. But, you have to gain some interest from potential publishers, right? Sure, the brochures and Powerpoint presentations are cool and all, but the form of a pitch video is much more tangible and personal. So, we decided to do just that.

Making the storyboard

Every video out there starts with an idea. For our Trip the Ark Fantastic pitch video specifically, Alex, Gamechuck CEO, and the game’s project manager first created a storyboard that contained all the scenes. Then, we were ready for some rough sketches that looked like this. And, nope, we are not kidding.

In the first idea, Alex was supposed to stand near Gamechuck arcade cabinet, but we later changed that

This was pretty much enough to make a first rough draft, so we did just that. Igor, our marketing guy, and community manager powered-up his favourite video editing program and created the first version of the pitch video.

Our very first Ark pitch video draft!

Upon finishing that, we wanted to show that cool office dynamic!

Time for filming some scenes at the office!

Gameplay, artwork, trailers. Those are always great to see, although for this occasion, we simply had to catch our team on camera. Luckily, every month we have one of those major production meetings, so it was a perfect time to film people how they work, and catch some of the meeting itself.

Some casual photos of the team as they arrive to the office.

Also, seems like Matija wasn’t that amused 😀

Resemblance is uncanny.

One of the most important scenes to film was the one when Alex introduces himself, so we filmed several takes. The last one was selected for the pitch video.

Then, it was the time to get some videos and stills of people working. Granted, this was somewhat staged. Each team member has a role in production, so we wanted it to be obvious on the video. So, for example:

Piet working in Godot Engine
Jan using Ink for story and the dialogues
Ivana using Krita for some sketches and animations
Fenton working on the composition for the soundtrack

Finally, the meeting itself, where we talked about the next steps needed to be done for the game.

And, this is basically it. The next step was to put everything in the video editing software, record the narration, make several more changes and the video is almost ready for sending!

Do you have any tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below, on our Twitter, Facebook or Insta!

New Day – New Coder

New Day – New Coder

Since last month, we have a new coder on our team! It’s Krunoslav Gregorec, who has years of experience in several Croatian gamedev companies, including on his own hobby projects (such as Orc Dentist!).

Orc Dentist, Kruno’s hobby project

He isn’t a senior in Godot but has learned many engines during his career (including making his own engine at some point!)

He is currently learning the ropes and making some tutorial projects, and then he’ll move on to working in our shared codebase on Git.

Here’s a few questions we asked him:

Why did you decide to join Gamechuck?

Well, I loved your titles (even though I personally don’t play that kind of games) primarily because they show a lot of creativity from you guys, and an attitude, “We do what we want!”.

It shows you’re driven with a creative and artistic spirit. Additionally, Gamechuck is the only company in Croatia with this level of worker rights and everything around that.

What are your top 3 games ever?

I would definitely put Final Fantasy up there as the first. I literally named my daughter after the character from one of the Final Fantasy titles hahaha. It’s “Aeris”.

The other two? Horizon: Zero Dawn and Half-Life franchise.

What do you do in your free time?

I don’t have free time, I have kids hahaha. Jokes aside, I’m mostly watching YouTube and similar services for coding topics, e-sport, quantum physics and similar scientific topics. I’m also driving a bike, and one of my biggest wishes is downhill. I often find myself exploring interesting stuff in nature around Zagreb.

I also play guitar, and I even started teaching my kid to play the violin. In the past, I used to do handwork with wood or similar material.

How did you spend the quarantine time?

If you mean the lockdown period, well, at home usually coding stuff. When we were bored with everything, we’d take our kids to the nearest lake and have a picnic, somewhere with no people around, of course.

What do you think about the Godot engine and why is it the best game engine in the universe?

Well, I don’t have a complete picture about Godot since I’ve been using it for a short time, but what I definitely dig about it – it’s so lightweight! The whole engine can fit on a floppy disc haha!

Also, some things around the workflow are a lot better than in e.g. Unity. Those damned collision matrices. Although, it’s lacking in the scripting editor. Inability to natively open the project in Visual Studio, and that everything works like you’re using C# is slightly frustrating. Not being able to re-arrange the docking window is also a bit weird. But, the rest of it is pretty damn good.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years? In this situation around the world is very difficult to predict where the hell will I be in a year!

How about in 55 years?

Oh, this is definitely much easier to predict! I’ll probably be dead hahaha!

Follow our progress on this development blog, on our Twitter, Facebook and Insta!

Naming places for our fantasy game

Naming places for our fantasy game

How to name things in fantasy is always a tough one. On the one hand, you don’t want to sound too mundane, and on the other, crazy hyphenated and apostrophated names like Gi’zzor the Terrible and Duke Belerofont are done to death. Tolkien did it in a nice way – as a linguist, he made up entire languages and then emulgated the names for things he needed from these languages. For example, Gandalf means elf-friend in elvish, but humans call him Mithrandir, meaning Grey Pilgrim, and his original name is Olorin, which translates to “dreamer” in the Quenya tongue.

Naming places
Our version of Gandalf??? No, but almost.

However, we’re not Tolkien, and also we’re leaning heavily on not inventing languages but just treating the game as translated from the animal languages to modern English for the player. So when they use a latinised word like Superb!, we don’t imply that there was a Latin language that the Animals spoke, it’s just our translation of their animal word for this language.

On the other hand, personal names and city names need some thought. Our idea was to make the locations correspond to the group nouns for the animals that live there. For example:

– A group of lions is called a Pride of Lions, so the city of lions is called Pride

– A group of squirrels is a Scurries of Squirrels, so the city of squirrels is called Scurries.

Naming places
Does this look like The Scurries or what?

The same with Flocks, Skulks, Packs et cetera. Most of these cities are not going to be accessible to the player in the game as they are far away and not related to the plot, but we’d like the name itself to explain the city. So, for example, when you hear of the count Urlich von Packs, you should immediately summon forth an image of a wolf nobleman, as Packs is a group name for wolves.

We use group names for other things as well, because they fit so well in the context of the animal kingdom. For example, in the case of the Scurries, their elected “mayor” is called The Dreymaster, because another group noun for squirrels is “a drey of squirrels”, so a ruler of squirrels could be called a dreymaster.
The noun for a group of tigers is – Streak of Tigers, so… Welcome to the Streaks!

Of course not all cities are called by these group names. There are cities whose names bear historical significance in the game, such as Valencia, the colonial city built by King Valent.

We believe such things will resonate well with the players. What do you think – let us know in the comments below, or on our Facebook, Twitter, and Discord!

Everything about the hamlet of Scurries

Everything about the hamlet of Scurries

Hello again, dear readers! After a few weeks of summer holidaying, we’ve decided to go back on track and continue the tradition of bombarding you with blogposts every Tuesday and Thursday, starting with this expansive Ark Lore Tuesday about the town of Scurries.

Scurries is a small trading town that was built on the crossroads of many important routes – to the east, there is the road to Pride (once the summer palace of kings, now the capital of the Kingdom), to the west it leads to the mining town of Burrows, and to the north the road leads to Flocks (a famous wool factory made of course by the sheep themselves).
From left to right: The Dreyhouse, the waterfall, the school

There are different types of buildings in the Scurries – those by squirrels and birds are mostly on treetops, but those of other animals are mostly built on the ground from either fallen trees or built. The biggest and most luxorious house in the Scurries is of course the Dreyhouse, where the current dreymaster resides with his family.

The Dreymaster is something like the mayor and judge of Scurries, he is elected once every five years and has the administrative power over what will be done in the Scurries, such as repairing bridges or fixing water-pumps, as well as presiding over grievance cases.

This system is an anomaly in the Kingdom, and there is a historical mystery of when this system came to be, and why isn’t it more aligned with the caste system as in the rest of the Kingdom – with a noble family from the Steward caste presiding over administration. It was a point of great interest to young Coriolanus as he studied the bureauology of the Kingdom. The common explanation for this is that the Scurries, as a small very dynamic market-town with animals moving in and out continuously, never had the capacity to impose a noble or a heavy tax system. If this were done, the traveling merchants from Flocks and Burrows would just move elsewhere down the road.

However, as time went on, the marketplace expanded and is now a real bustling town with a newspaper printing press, and even one of Lav‘s public schools of the Kingdom.
Most of the animals of the Scurries such as the squirrels and birds live on treetops but there are some buildings on the ground as well, mostly for land animals situated in the Scurries.

The western-most part of the Scurries, which is closest to the Flocks-road and the northern pass which leads to the northern lands, is where the Scurries Inn is located.

This inn is also a place where royals of the north come to stay the night if they were caught by nightfall on their long trip to Pride, so it’s probably the most elegant and rich building in the Scurries.

Now the tough question. What will the entrance to the Inn say? And – in which language?

If you liked the city, tune in on Thursday to read all about how we decided to go about naming the various toponyms of the Kingdom – Scurries, Dreymaster, Flocks, Pride, et cetera.

Learning Languages with Hyeronimous the Owl

Has Tuesday come and gone already? Where’s the Ark blog tuesday, you ask?! Well, during these hot and humid summer months we do tend to get a bit lazy, but have no fear, ark lore is here! This time, we’re talking about the (second?) most important bird in the game: Hyeronimous the Owl!

Hyeronimous explaining some languages to Charles

As you might know, our game will feature a very cool mechanic involving learning animal languages!

A language’s difficulty is decided by following factors:
1. How close (in taxonomic terms) the language is to another language that the player has already mastered. I.e. Learning the Rat language becomes extremely easy when the Squirrel language has already been mastered. While learning the language of the Birds is very difficult and requires a much bigger effort.
2. Ease of exposure to the language, some animals might not speak in their native tongue when you are listening nor might they be inclined to teach you.

To learn a brand-new language, the player has to visit the owl, Hieronymus, an expert in different languages that will help to get you started for a modest fee.

In general, and regardless of the player’s previous linguistic skills, there are 3 different important parts involved in learning languages:

Vocabulary / Exposure

Hieronymus explains to you certain key words that are the basis for the entire language that you want to learn. So for example, one of the keywords of the Squirrel language words is ‘acorn’. In-game this would correspond to a distinct squeaking sound that is easily noticeable. To get yourself acquainted with these keywords, Hieronymus sends you off to listen in on conversations to hear the word ‘acorn’ used in all of its versions. A possible conversation between a customer and a shopkeeper selling some acorns, which just
sounds like squeaking to the player:

Shopkeeper: You-buy-what?
(= What do you want to buy?)

Customer: I-buy-1-“acorn”-please.
(= I want to buy one acorn)

Shopkeeper: I-give-1-“acorn”. You-give-10-“acorns”.
(= Here is one acorn. That will be 10 coins)

Customer: I-give-10-“acorns”.
(= Here are 10 coins.)

Shopkeeper: I-thank.
(= Thank you)

Customer: I-give-many-“acorns” –to-you!
(= Best of luck to you! This is a typical Squirrel goodbye)

Shopkeeper: I-give-many-“acorns” –to-you!
(= Best of luck to you! This is a typical Squirrel goodbye)

You witness this conversation and write down the relevant animal runes (which are common to all animals) in your journal. All instances of the rune corresponding to the word “acorn” will be underlined and the matching circumstance. E.g. the customer used the word “acorn” when giving the money to the shopkeeper, which might mean that money is also called “acorn” in the Squirrel language! Also, the verb ‘to buy’ is repeated twice in previous example and the player might deduce the rune’s meaning from this.

When you have found enough usages of “acorn” (and other keywords) in their natural
environments, you’re ready to go back to Hieronymus and take the syntax exam.

Syntax / Exam

After being exposed enough to the language’s keywords you can go back to Hieronymus and he explains you the syntax involved in the language. An example of possible rules:

– Verb goes at the end of the sentence.

– Subjects all go to the beginning of the sentence.

– If there are two objects they should be right before / after the verb.

– You can’t use the same rune more than two times in a row.

– Each sentence must start and end with a special rune in this language

(and so on)

After learning the correct syntax rules, you can do a mini-game in which Hieronymus tests your mastery of the syntax of the language using the animal runes. This mini-game is a random conversation you have with Hieronymus that involves a given task. (Ex.: Order some acorns from me in the market!). Hieronymus will talk to you in the Squirrel language and you’ll have to give the correct combination of runes that obeys the language’s syntax and vocabulary.

After successfully completing this mini-game, you now know the basics of the language and can talk to squirrels in their native language.

Morphology / Experience

When questioning suspects and witnesses, you aren’t able to discuss more advanced topics such as science due to the language barrier. After each conversation you get a more firm understanding of language’s intricacies and the relevant chapter in your journal grows with additional syntax rules and translations.
If, after acquiring enough experience, you wish to completely master a certain language, you can try your hand at the morphology exam, which involves a more difficult mini-game with Hieronymus and uses more advanced syntax rules.

After succeeding this exam, you can now fully understand and discuss scientific topics in the, now mastered, language.

All these steps can be significantly shortened when you already know a taxonomically close language. (I.e. Rat and Squirrel are both rodents, so their languages are quite similar) The result is that much less exposure is required to the language’s peculiarities before taking the syntax and morphology exams.

That’s the general idea of how we want you to learn languages in the game. What do you think about it? Let us know on our Discord server, or anywhere else!

Art in Our Art III: The Last Interview

This is the third and final in a series of art talks with our painters. As you might have read, our game will feature paintings from acclaimed Croatian young artists. For example, when you enter Orville’s mansion, he has pictures hanging on his walls, from some of our finest fine artists (pun very much intended) as seen here:

Orville’s mansion features artwork from some of the best young Croatian painters – Tara Beata Racz and Luka Kusevic.

Today we interview Tara Beata Racz, whose pictures grace many of the Burrows interior, including the Badger portrait in Orville’s office:


Tara Beata Racz holds a masters degree in painting on the Academy of Art in Zagreb in 2019 in the class of Ksenija Turčić, as well as a masters in psychology from 2016. During her studies, she received two Dean awards from the University of Zagreb and exhibited on many galleries including the Zagreb Biennale of Painting in 2019. She also finished a two-year program of Clinical Expressive Art Therapy, which combines her two interests – psychology and painting. Here follows an interview with Tara, who does paintings for many different interiors of the Animal Kingdom (and beyond it).

Bol je katkad lakše naslikati nego izreći: Mlada psihologinja i slikarica  objasnila nam je kako funkcionira terapija umjetnošću - tportal
Picture of Tara in her element, found somewhere on the world wide web.

How did you decide which animal portraits to paint and which style to paint them in?

I am currently exploring animal themes in my work so this task was an opportunity to expand on it. However, I decided to try a different style, inspired by the works of Franz Mark and Wassily Kandinsky. I wanted to combine the figurative visages of animals with the abstract shapes and symbols. Special importance and prominance in my paintings is given to strong use of colors and powerful expressive gestures. The choice of style for each animal depends on the symbolism of each animal. For example, I have decided to paint foxes because they are one of my favourite animals; they are the protagonists in many folk tales and fables, and they are described as quick, cunning, ingenious, shrewd, and excedingly intelligent animals.

Philippe, is that you?

What do you think about combining the modern (video game) and the old (painting)?

I find it interesting when artists combine a classic traditional medium such as painting, sculpting or graphics with modern expression or new technologies. Many of such interesting examples could be seen last year on the Device Art festival with the theme “Machines Are Not Alone”.

On the other hand, video games are a medium in itself with its own set of rules and aesthetics. It is genuine art to create a good video game. I especially enjoy good concept arts and character designs, or when the aesthetics of the game is based on a painting aesthetic, for example Okami which was inspired by the works of Katsuhika Hokusai or Ori and the Blind Forest which was inspired by Hayao Miyazaki, or Ico which was inspired by Giorgio de Chirico…

The Bates family is a relatively wealthy family in the Burrows, so they could afford this big piece.

What is your general interest in art and painting?

Some of my favourite paintes are Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Mark, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard and Henri Matisse. Even though their expressions vary, they are connected by their relationship to color. I am interested in the psychological effects of colors and their symbolism. I am also exploring how different color contrasts can be used to express certain emotions and moods. I believe art and painting can have, beside the aesthetic, also a therapeutic function. I love the whole creative process of painting as well, because through it I can surface certain subconscious conflicts and express what is unexpressable through words.
More foxes!

What else is there to be done in this project, in your opinion?
I find the idea of characters in the game nurturing culture and art fascinating. I also believe it is commendable that the company supports young artists and works with them to create paintings for use inside the game. I would be especially happy if the game space would expand to other continents with animals who have different cultures, such as the southern colony where there is the Monkey Civilisation. Their artistic expression could be very different from what we saw till now. It would be interesting to envision how their paintings would look, and I already have some ideas, and am waiting for the chance to realise them.

And what else are you doing? Where can everyone see your work?

I am planning two solo exhibitions in early December. The first will be in the Zlati Ajngel gallery in Varaždin. There I will exhibit my Transanimalia cycle where I showcase various fantastical animal creaters, who are transformed under the influence of their surroundings and this transformation reflects their inner and outer metamorphoses and mutations.

Raznolikost generacija i poetika -
Tara on the Zagreb Biennale of Painting in 2019, picture from somewhere on the internet.

Painting animals today is a way to give them a voice because, as we live in civilisation, we forget about the wild, we are often unaware and indifferent to the fact that species are dying out. Did you know that among all the mammals on Earth, only 4% are still wild animals? Besides this, by painting animals, I can explore the animal in man as well as the human in the animal, questioning my own identity in the world around me and inside me.

The second exhibition will be in the Kaj Gallery in Zagreb. For this, I am preparing a series of nudes made from motor oil on jute fiber. This series is about the dark nature of human psyche known under the jungian concept of the shadow archetype. In this period of crisis, pandemic and quarantene, many changes are happening that affect the human mood and behaviour. We have never participated in such a global experiment that forced us to physical isolation, closing in appartments, stopping of many activities, introspection… In these circumstances we turn more toward ourselves, submerge within ourselves and meet our own shadow. Still, this is a chance to bring our shadowy places to the light.

It will be great to see these ideas in reality in December. Thank you for the interview!

Also, if you wish to follow Tara, she has an Instagram account. So do we!

Famous Buildings of Pride: The Hermitage

This most important building in the art-world of the Animal Kingdom is the hermitage of Pride. It is the gallery house where newest art exhibitions are shown, as well as the theater and opera house where the hottest hippest plays are shown to the royal and noble clique.

Today we’ll dive into its interior, as we have some sketches and we love showing off our sketches and you love checking them out!

One of the most important buildings in the art-world of the Animal Kingdom, the hermitage of Pride.
This is NOT the hermitage but we seem to have lost the hermitage exterior sketch. Will replace later.

As you can see in the picture below, the main foyer of the Hermitage consists of a hallway leading either to the gallery exhibition on the left, or upstairs to the theater balcony:

One of the most important buildings in the art-world of the Animal Kingdom, the hermitage of Pride.

Next up is the gallery of various paintings (and sometimes even statues) for the enjoyment of the Pride populace. The theater dressing room can be accessed from the small room underneath the staircase of the gallery, as well as more balcony rooms upstairs:

The dressing room is where the actors prepare for the plays, and rehearse, and then head out to the theater stage to be seen by their fans in the audience:

This building is the center of the “culture life” in Pride, and one can often see important animals there, such as the tiger duke Nicholas or even the King himself!

That’s just one of the many buildings you’ll get to visit in Pride, and explore, once the game is up-and-running. Hopefully, you enjoyed the sketches and can’t wait for the full game, just like us!

Let us know what you thought about our article which talks about the most famous buildings in Pride; right in the comments below, or via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!