Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Trip the Ark Fantastic | The Hermitage of Pride

Pero_Gamechuck

Gamechuck
Developer
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
108
Location
Turmoil
Hey y'all! I'm Pero from Gamechuck; a Croatian (indie) game development team. We're currently working on several projects, but our flagship game is an adventure RPG Trip the Ark Fantastic.

Trip the Ark Fantastic is a story-driven role-playing adventure set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of both industrial and social revolution. The story follows Charles, a hedgehog scholar on a mission by the lion king to save the monarchy, but his decisions could end up helping reformists or even to bring about anarchy.



The first teaser trailer



The story revolves around an ancient myth that forms the basis of the Animal Kingdom’s caste system - the myth of the Ark Fantastic. As the myth goes, the ark was built by lions millennia ago to save all animals from a great flood. The king’s gambit is that, amidst whispers of reform and revolution, a reputable scholar such as Charles proving the existence of the mythical ark might sway animals toward a royalist stance, and thus uphold the monarchy.

Charles is accompanied by the king’s trusted advisor Philippe the Fox and the captain of the royal guard - Andre the Boar. Their task will lead them to the fringes of the Kingdom and beyond, in search of elusive truth.

LINKS

Ark Fantastic on Discord
Ark Fantastic official website
Ark Fantastic on Twitter
Ark Fantastic on Facebook
Ark Fantastic on Instagram

UPDATES

New article: How we created a society in our game

Locations

The Burrows

Lore

We are re-evaluating the game artstylehttps://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.p...fantastic-new-lore.130997/page-4#post-6731010
Ark Fantastic stories: Legion of the bloodthirsty undead
The three game factions explained: Your choices WILL matter so choose wisely
Duke Nicolas and the Reformists
Work sets you free: A dark and disturbing past of Prisons, Gulags, and Work Camps of the Animal Kingdom
How do you send letters and why?
Do animals eat each other in our game?
How we created a society in our game
Three rules on surviving the coronavirus if you're a BUNNY
TYRANNY in the Animal Kingdom
Impact of the Ark Myth on Society
The myth of the Ark Fantastic
The Lav Rebellion
Day of Bells
The Lynx Rebellion

Development

Character creation process
The tools we use for Trip the Ark Fantastic development
Using the Godot Game Engine
Speedpainting a character portrait
Our plans for 2020

FEATURES

  • A deep and immersive secondary world set in an Animal Kingdom on the verge of industrial and social revolution, content-rich and filled with intrigue, side-quests and flavor at every step
  • Completely original gameplay mechanics based on the scientific method: research, discuss, experiment, and finally publish arguments in the Animal Kingdom's papers
  • An exploration of how myths, science, and philosophy can influence society, and how monarchies, democracies, and anarchies view power, authority, and legitimacy of rule
  • Gorgeous art including frame-by-frame animation and vibrant landscapes inspired by the golden age of animation, as well as music inspired by the works of R. Wagner
  • A gesamtkunstwerk approach in which the art, music and gameplay all tie closely to the story of scientific discovery and the role of myths in different types of societies
  • The entire development completely done in open-source technologies, including Godot Engine, Krita, Ink and MuseScore, among others
GAMEPLAY

The player progresses through the game by solving the Kingdom’s various problems and mysteries, but his method of solving them is a scientific one - he publishes compelling arguments in the Animal Kingdom’s scientific papers to prove his theories and disprove those of others. Only arguments with sound logic and solid evidence will have the power to sway public opinion and change the course of history.

mechanics-research.png

Research
Sifting through the archives of the local library can reveal some important clues as well. Investigating the location of the hidden Parrot Enclave? Maybe check out the logs of the explorer’s guild!

The evidence itself can be found by talking to the local denizens (after learning their language, such as squirrelese), by using scientific equipment (a microscope, or a chemist kit), or, as a true scholar, by “standing on the shoulders of giants” and using evidence from the works of other scholars found in libraries across the Kingdom.

mechanics-investigation.png

Scientific Equipment
A picture is worth a thousand words, so taking a photograph is often the most compelling evidence. But the camera is just one of many tools at the player’s disposal!

The player’s main challenge will be finding all the relevant evidence and then choosing the right conclusions, which are then published and reviewed by his peers, potentially resulting in a boost to his scholarly reputation.

mechanics-languages.png

Languages
Sometimes, the player will need to question other animals for more clues. However, not all animals speak the common tongue, so becoming fluent in the local language goes a long way towards solving the mystery at hand.

Additionally, since Charles’ scientific conclusions can have large-scale consequences on the Animal Kingdom and the monarchy in particular, there is a looming moral dilemma over whether the player should publish a certain argument or not.

THEMES AND INSPIRATIONS

We draw inspiration for the game from modern fables of classic literature, such as Animal Farm or Watership Down, as well as deep story-driven games from the roleplaying and adventure game genres, and games with unique and experimental gameplay mechanics.

ark_03_4k-1-scaled.jpg


Our goal is to use the game to explore various types of society (monarchy, democracy, anarchy) and to tackle questions such as how rule is legitimized, what role myths play in the shaping of society, and so on.

ark-jungle-river-wallpaper.png


The animation is drawn frame-by-frame to be reminiscent of early animated classics, and the music takes cues from 19th century romanticism with the use of leitmotifs inspired by Wagner and gesamtkunstwerk opera.

ark_06_4k-scaled.jpg


ark_05_4k-scaled.jpg


The game is developed using open-source software, such as the painting tool Krita and the Godot game engine. Gamechuck studio is also a sponsor to both Krita and Godot Engine and, in the case of Godot Engine, actively contributes to its development.

WHEN IS IT COMING AND ON WHICH PLATFORMS?

The game is still in an early phase of development, but our goal is to release Ark Fantastic in 2022 on PC/Mac/Linux and consoles.

MORE TO COME!

If you have any questions in the meantime, I'll be glad to answer!
 
Last edited:

Alex_Gamechuck

Gamechuck
Developer
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Zagreb, Croatia
Hi, another person from [the ark team] here! Pero_Gamechuck called me down here to spread wisdom.

Glad everybody knows and loves Farthing Wood! That and Watership Down were great examples of serious stuff happening to cutesy animals.
I personally love that dichotomy and that's why we're doing that. There were other ideas like let's make the game look like this:

unknown.png


(Just one of many sketches of how it could have looked, googled some images and cobbled it together quickly, hated it and moved on).

But this style we chose in the end (pre-3d-disney / don bluth / whatever Zagrebfilm was making in the 80s/90s) is what we're going with so GGWP. Example in-game of the same location as sketch above:

unknown.png


We decided to go side-scrolling instead of top-down for artistic purposes. Most RPGs are top down but since we don't need combat and spatial orientation so much, this is for me better (you can show the skies etc, all of which is not possible in isometric view).

As for the anarchy / revolution / political stuff - it's mostly a 18th / 19th century setting, so don't expect any liberal/conservative issues on the forefront.

The reformists are in essence democrats, they are mostly made up of the rising bourgeoisie and their argument is that centralised power can be used for good, but it shouldn't be left unchecked. Their arguments will be similar to Thomas Paine or the philosophers of the enlightenment era. The main figure for them will be the wealthy tiger family and their duke Nicholas.

The monarchists are the faction in power in the Animal KINGDOM (obviously) and their main arguments are that a ruler shouldn't be chosen, but groomed (via the best tutors available etc), and that his power should be absolute so that a benevolent ruler could respond to crises as best as possible and not have to think about petty interests etc. Mostly Hobbes' arguments from the Leviathan and maybe a bit of Spengler etc. Their proponent is the current king Lav, a wise monarch who brought about an era of education, freedom and enlightened rule (hence, the opposition).

The anarchists are going to opt for something like direct democracy. Their main argument is that power corrupts, and they will use arguments from various anarchists, early (pre-soviet) communists, anti-statists, some anarcho-libertarians, etc. They don't have a leader per se, as the other factions do. You mostly meet them in the lower castes such as vermin or in the commoner caste. Their ideology is the most difficult for me to write but we want to have this triumvirate surrounding consolidated power in society - should it be checked, unchecked or should power not be consolidated at all. The thing is to try and make all sides equally interesting, and not go the easy route of "lazy wannabe despot" and "rich machiavellian schemer"... It will be a tough choice on the player and not so much personal as philosophical.

There, hopefully that fuels some likes and comments :P
 

Tigranes

Arcane
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
10,350
This is.... weird, but

Completely original gameplay mechanics based on the scientific method: research, discuss, experiment, and finally publish arguments in the Animal Kingdom's papers

Alright, I'm down. Give me something where we're actually gathering evidence as opposed to talking to three NPCs with giant exclamation marks, and then choosing different combinations of theories instead of the One Right Solution, and I'll play whatever silly animal kingdom thing.

Once it's more developed (seems very early to announce), the key would be to see an example of a particular 'case' and how it plays out.
 

V_K

Arcane
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
7,714
Location
at a Nowhere near you
Completely original gameplay mechanics based on the scientific method: research, discuss, experiment, and finally publish arguments in the Animal Kingdom's papers
Not sure how I feel about the game that is supposed to play exactly like my work. But if you introduce a mechanic of hitting peer reviewers with baseball bat, I might be convinced.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,200
Will we have the option to overthrow the king and give him justice in the proper French way? Aka, the guillotine.
 

Alex_Gamechuck

Gamechuck
Developer
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Zagreb, Croatia
So two answers here:
1) Peer review - it is intended to be FUN (so the exact opposite of the real world but oh well) - the point is that you publish something and then you read this in the Kingdom's paper tomorrow and if your argument was too radical for the meager amount of evidence you submitted (or you submitted bad evidence, or made nonsensical leaps without the adequate evidence etc) then you will have your scholarly reputation lowered a bit and some badger scholar will just write "bad scientist this charles" articles... On the other hand, if you play your cards right you can gain so much reputation that later in the game you can even get away with some outlandish claims (obvious example: that you found the ark and it's all true) and people won't be so quick to bad mouth you since you are a persona. Of course this "subtle" gameplay jab obviously hints that I side more with Thomas Kuhn than for example Karl Popper in how I believe science works. In any case, no baseball bats.

2) Off with their heads - YES INDEED if you play your cards "right" you can get a bloody revolution, but you don't really personally administer the head-shaving since at that point you're very far from the capital (and, obviously, a mere timid scholar who wouldn't hurt a fly).
 

Divine Blessing

Scholar
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
107
Location
beyond
finally nouvelle cuisine, applause for this refreshingly brave approach on a stagnant (and therefore degenerating) genre. no more power fantasies, but edutainment, the hows of society to explore and form - the sociological concept is as impressive, as the art style more than an aestehtic reference (to distinct from AAA).
guaranteed https://buried-treasure.org/ would serve premium platform for coverage, as the average AAA player (and most Codexians) wont fit the target audience (although the teased C&C should be contagious).
personally the idea of this (potentially, cuz just a teaser) very educative blend between political simulator and adventure is intriguing, my hope is that even a potential small success may have some inspiring input on the whole industry.
 

Verylittlefishes

Sacro Bosco
Patron
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
4,731
Location
Oneoropolis
Have you read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality? I think its the kind of game its protagonist would approve.

I'm personally not a big fan of cuteness or furry, but the concept sounds pretty interesting.
 

Alex_Gamechuck

Gamechuck
Developer
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Zagreb, Croatia
i checked out the methods of rationality when it was on its 50th chapter or so... seemed like a fun idea but i abhor fan fiction (even more than furry cuteness)... but the furry cuteness is i hope alleviated by the fact that they are not antropomorphic furry-suit people like in cartoons such as zootopia... i really wanted them to look like real animals (hence no clothes, huge size differences, etc)... but i guess as soon as it's animals it's considered furry
the other way to go would be either caricatural which wouldn't fit the theme well, or too naturalistic which would maybe work better but has its downfalls as well, such as being too edgy / artsy and therefore not approachable...
oh well!

as for buried-treasure post above - cheers and thanks for the kind words! hopefully the game doesn't disappoint
 

Pero_Gamechuck

Gamechuck
Developer
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
108
Location
Turmoil
Hey guys,

Every Tuesday we'll (do our best to) bring interesting nuggets from Trip the Ark Fantastic lore, so you can get a better idea of what's going on in the game and why.

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.

This myth has provided the mythological basis of the caste system in place in the Animal Kingdom for millennia - the lions on top as kings, the noble cats governing over provinces, the [burgher caste new name] as guardians of the land, the commoners as hardworking freefolk, and the vermin as slaves and serfs.

This myth has legitimised the role of Lions as Kings for centuries, but as the Animal Kingdom has modernised, fewer and fewer animals believe in it, opting instead for reforming or even breaking the caste system.

The story of “Trip the Ark Fantastic” starts with Lav, the Rebel King, sending Charles, an esteemed scholar, on a journey to find the remnants of this mythic vessel, in a hope to maintain his seat of power.

Here is part of the myth in its modern form, the part which in essence legitimizes the caste system:

jI7puA0.gif

As the entire land was covered in water, there was only the Ark housing all animals.
The Ark was kept safe by the lions who ruled over all with compassion and much wisdom.

Below them were the great noble cats, they too were wise and benevolent rulers, carrying out the will of the lions for the benefit of all.
Under the noble cats lived the guardians, responsible and loyal animals. For their duties in protecting the Ark they were later given the responsibility of keeping the dry lands safe.
All the other animals worked hard on keeping the Ark afloat under the diligent instructions of the guardians and for that they enjoyed the privileges of carefree life.
In the crooks and bowels of the Ark lived the vermin, lazy and mistrustful beings. For the good of the Ark, these animals were not allowed to roam free.
It was only due to the leadership and wisdom of the lions that the Ark did not collapse nor fall to anarchy and finally, when the waters receded, the Ark stranded and the animals spilled forth and came across the northern place we now know as the Animal Kingdom.
 

Verylittlefishes

Sacro Bosco
Patron
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
4,731
Location
Oneoropolis
Spoiler alert: the myth was created by the ruling pantera-feline classes to justify the cast system of exploitation of vermin proletariat.

sorry i took too much disco
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom