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.
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.
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!)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our project has just received support from the Creative Europe MEDIA fund of the European union. As such, we are the first project from Croatia to have received this fund. Full details as well as other selected games can be checked on this link:
This comes as great news since we put in a lot of effort into writing this grant – meticulous details regarding finance, timetables and similar need to be provided, and only projects which are awarded enough points are eligible to receive the grant.
It’s still missing a few art-pieces (that are currently being refined), but we do hope you thoroughly enjoy the current website.
Here are some free wallpapers showcasing several parts of the game’s setting:
The first wallpaper shows a nice vista of one of the larger redwood trees in the Redwood Forest, which is a huge forest in which most of the animals live. This particular part of the forest is called the ‘Scurries‘ and is inhabited by a large community of squirrels. During the game, Charles will visit this community and, if the player wills it, help them deal with some of the mysteries surrounding a certain series of burglaries tormenting the poor squirrel inhabitants.
In the distance lies the ‘Aviary‘, an island unreachable by land or sea and home to most of the Kingdom’s birds. The birds maintain relative independence from the King’s laws and debates, in scholarly circles, are still very much ongoing on their exact place in the Ark mythos.
In the search for the Ark, Charles, Philippe, and André will have to explore and cross the uncharted jungles of the southern continent. Pushing through the jungle’s impenetrable undergrowth might not always be feasible. Using rivers and other kind of shortcuts to reach far-away places is necessary because supplies are limited.