Recap 2020 – Moving 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).
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.
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:
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).
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:
- 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.
- We’ll also produce a new trailer as the teaser from December 2019 is now over a year old.
- 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.
- A crowdfunding campaign is also not out of the question, perhaps in the summer time.
- 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!
Thanks for reading up to here and have a great 2021!