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Trip the Ark Fantastic | The Hermitage of Pride

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Pero_Gamechuck, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Sorry for replying late. Perhaps I have missed the notification. There won't be any combat. The game relies on exploration, dialogues and the reporting mechanics, which is (likely) an original game feature.

    Basically, the player progresses through the game by solving the Kingdom’s various problems and mysteries, but the protagonist's 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.

    The reporting mechanics looks like this:



    It's still in very early alpha. The UI will be updated, of course.
     
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  2. vazha Liturgist

    vazha
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    So basically a visual novel & adventure with rpg elements. Not that anything is inherently bad with that, but I still yearn for muh Redwall tacticool rpg that never was.
     
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  3. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Yup, you got that mostly right. The game is an adventure with RPG elements, but there won't be any combat tactics or any kind of combat, at all. You'll do a lot of talking with people, and solving the issues.

    Everything revolves around the "myth of the Ark". It's your duty to prove there actually is (or isn't) an Ark where all animals came from. In short, if you manage to prove there is an Ark, everything stays as it currently is; all animals are divided by castes. If you manage to prove the Ark doesn't exist, well, your report might result in chaos and anarchy in the Kingdom.
     
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  4. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Ark Fantastic stories: Legion of the bloodthirsty undead

    Unlike in some other RPG titles, you should not believe just everything you read, and not everything is a part of the game lore. Or is it? As a reputable scholar, Charles will often be in a position to debunk such stories, or, better yet, use his scholarly reputation to prove them true!

    In this Ark Lore, we bring another tale from the Animal Kingdom, written in the form of a diary by an unknown hero, who fought a legion of the Undead.

    Author’s remark: The images seen in this blog may not be related to the characters or the places of the story.


    “How I defeated the Scourge of Blavgoz and his legion of bloodthirsty undead” – A true story
    Dear reader, How I would love to tell you of my successful infiltration into the wolf’s den!

    Infiltrating the lair of the villainous monstrosity has become quite easy after using my superior intellect. Letting the poor townspeople deliver me in an empty casket of wine, as an offer to the wolf, was really an ingenious plan!

    [​IMG]
    The hero is unknown, but his diary has been preserved. Legends about his adventures are still alive among the town folk who occasionally talk about the grim past of the Kingdom. But, they are just legends, after all.


    But now came the more difficult part of my quest: finding and destroying the ritual foci so that these bloodthirsty undead might finally be put to rest.

    Unfortunately, I found myself in quite an ordeal: They had delivered the barrel right in the midst of their living quarters and from the sounds permeating the thick oaken barrel, I could hear their vile gurgles and cries, as well as smell the thick rancid stench coming from the decomposing bodies of the undead soldiers.

    The only thing that stopped them from breaching the barrel this instant was a speech from their master, the dretched scourge of Blavgoz himself!

    [​IMG]
    The legend says, some herbs can protect from the “blood-suckers”. Garlic is the best, apparently.

    I was sure that I could take out a dozen or so of these creatures with my martial prowess alone. (My rapier was left behind in Blavgoz as the still wine-coated inside of the barrel would taint the fine steel of the blade, a risk I was not willing to take.)

    There were, going from the sounds, hundreds of those creatures just waiting for their master’s speech to finish! Even my formidable abilities would be tested to their utmost limits when faced with a horde of that magnitude!

    And suddenly, in a flash of insight, I connected every puzzle piece and clearly understood what I had to do. From my satchel, I took the wooden doll I had found by the roadside. This, dear reader, was the doll that started this entire adventure, the doll of which I had traced the origin the entire way to the downtrodden village of Blavgoz.

    [​IMG]
    An ominous-looking gate.

    All the while under the impression that I had to find the poor little girl to whom it belonged. Nothing could be more false… I actually had the ritual totem on me all the time and I didn’t even realize it!

    I took another look at the doll and clearly saw the vile miasma surrounding it, why hadn’t I seen this before? I made my decision and snapped the doll to pieces in a single, fluid motion.

    Suddenly I heard bodies collapsing on the ground, at least a hundred of these bound creatures were finally free from their wretched curse. The wolf almost choked in the middle of one of his sentences and it became quiet…. Very quiet…

    [​IMG]
    If you want to hear some scary stories from the legends of the Kingdom, camping is the best activity for that.

    “Well”, I thought, “Time for some fine ass-whooping!” as I burst from my barrel in a cloud of oaken shards and metal fringes. And let out one of my world-famous battle cries. Before beating the ever-living snot out of the still bedazzled scourge of Blavgoz.

     
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  5. CyberWhale Arcane

    CyberWhale
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    I'm a Mouse Guard fan and my favorite childhood cartoon is Disney's Robin Hood. I think it's pretty obvious I will love this.
    Pero_Gamechuck hope your game is successful enough - I would love to see a Dinosaur game built in the same style.

    :love:

    EDIT: tek sad skužio da ste iz Hrvatske! Savršeno, Čarobnjakov Šešir i Čudesna Šuma su napokon dobili dostojne nasljednike, makar u nešto drugačijem mediju. <3
     
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  6. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Art re-evaluation time!

    We’ve been working full-time on Trip the Ark Fantastic for almost a year now! It’s a large undertaking for a small indie developer such as us so we decided very early on we’d like to find a publisher to help us out. For this reason, we’ve been sending our Trip the Ark Fantastic brochure to a lot of publishers these past months.

    The good news here is that literally everybody loves the idea of the game. We sent the brochure to almost 30 publishers and everybody was enticed by the atmosphere, themes and gameplay decisions!

    However, there was also some bad news. It seems that many people (that we showed our current game footage to) were worried that the art style wasn’t artistic enough and didn’t convey the atmosphere well enough. Most importantly, they believed there was a discrepancy between the characters and the background, as seen here:

    [​IMG]

    This is a scene from the announcement trailer, which can be seen below.



    Of course we could go full-render with the characters as well:

    [​IMG]

    But this is definitely not in line with the artistic old-school style we’re going for. So we decided to really take a few steps back and rethink our design decisions.

    We decided to do this by making a new artwork in various styles and try to see what works best. First, we started with a sketch, like always:

    [​IMG]

    Then we made line-art from this sketch to see if that would help:

    [​IMG]

    Then, we rendered it in full detail as before:

    [​IMG]

    However, this still has the issues that were prevalent before, the mismatch of backgrounds and characters (here’s a trashy example to prove our point) :

    [​IMG]

    We figured that a very appealing part of the background was the sketch-work itself so we decided to embrace that and put the colors on top of the sketch-work:

    [​IMG]

    And then we started working on characters animation that would fit that kind of “sketchy” artwork, as seen below:



    In retrospect, this is what the game looked like before, artstyle-wise:



    What do you think, is the new “artsy” idea better and more in line with our general story and gameplay decisions, or should we stick with the luscious artstyle we had so far? We gotta say, the team is slightly divided and/or still on the fence.

    Thanks!
     
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  7. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Haha, hvala ti meštre :) Da, imamo ljude koji su radili na Letećim Medvjedićima i još ponekim poznatim crtićima i kratkim filmovima ;-) HVALA TI na podršci!!!
     
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  8. Vlajdermen Arcane

    Vlajdermen
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    Odličan vam je artwork, nego je li ova pozadina

    nastala na uzor francuskih crtića i stripova? Skroz mi baca na Iznoguda
     
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  9. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Imaš dobro oko, svaka čast. Goscinny, Uderzo i drugi europski autori generalno inspirirali su Sanju i Zlatka, članove Zagreb film studija :)
     
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  10. Eisen Literate

    Eisen
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    Cool furry porn
     
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  11. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    I'll take that as a compliment :-D
     
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  12. Siveon Bot

    Siveon
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I say go with the sketchy art, all the way. Not only does it evokes the sketches in between each chapter of Redwall, but I think it helps suspend that disbelief by adding in a little more disassociation between real and fantasy. But just as well, because of the detail and tone, keeps it just grounded enough.

    Both are still wonderful ideas either way, but the sketchy style would be my choice.
     
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  13. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Thanks for the feedback! Actually a lot of people are saying the sketchy art style is more visually appealing.
     
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  14. Siveon Bot

    Siveon
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    Well I suppose I'm with the majority then. Medieval animals and sketchy backgrounds just fit, I guess!
     
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  15. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Hi y'all, I'm back with another cool lore post. This one is about the wastelands in the game, and how they came to be. Hope you'll like it.

    Exploring the wastelands of the Animal Kingdom

    Even though the environments we publish on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are often beautiful, lush, and “friendly”, some of those can be considered rather unhabitable and hostile.

    We are talking about the wastelands Charles will explore in Trip the Ark Fantastic. As you may have seen in the “Mysteries of the Southern Continent”, Charles looks like he is embarking on an adventure through the jungle with his friends.

    [​IMG]

    Looks pretty neat, right?

    Well, this part of the game will require some navigation skills, as you’re going in an uncharted territory which is literally uncharted. There won’t be any maps guiding you to go up or down, right or left. You’re on your own.

    The wastelands are a dangerous place. They used to be a lush forest, but have turned into a scorching desert in the last 1000 years. Charles, being a hedgehog, can’t survive in this blazing heat, but we’ll leave this part of the game to you, the player.

    There is an interesting lore background for the wastelands.

    Over 3000 years ago, the lions tried to usurp the hierarchy and failed which resulted in the usurper family being banished north over the mountains – which is considered a death sentence.

    [​IMG]
    The so-called snowy wastelands. If you end-up there, well, good luck with that.

    The usurper’s son Antimocles the Red was the father of Alexander the First who founded the Animal Kingdom. The split (and the harsher climate) made the lion’s rule weaker and in the following millenia they eroded from a powerful force that ruled over everyone in the southern territories to just a lion tribe in the caverns ruling over themselves with Nerva as Emperor.

    After a couple of generations in the southern continent they decided to leave because they saw they could not prosper in the monkey civilisation which was thriving and they went over the land bridge to the northern continent and started subjugating the primitive cultures of smaller animals (rodents, birds et cetera).

    After a few generations, they had built the Animal Kingdom that spanned the entire continent, subjugating also the great cats. Some animals were still very resistant because they weren’t used to living under the centralised rule and so after many generations, one lion family had invented the Ark myth after a failed bloody rebellion by other animals.

    Following the change of the ruling branch, the myth was thought to be true even by the ruling lion family, and the way it was fabricated was lost to history.

    By that time, the land bridge to the southern continent had already collapsed after centuries of diminishing because of the rising sea levels. The ice melted, which led to warming in temperature.

    [​IMG]

    What do you think, with Charles being a hedgehog, how can he pass through the wastelands?
     
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  16. CyberWhale Arcane

    CyberWhale
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    You can even have clearly cartoonish character art on slightly sketchy backgrounds. They don't need to match 100% necessarily.
    If there is an option to simply add a layer of sketchiness over the existing art, you might consider having an option to toggle it off or on.
    I really like Mouse Guard artstyle, but clean old school Disney is also beautiful. Check the new side-scrolling Spiritfarer too see how beautiful it looks in motion.

    P.S. You're maybe giving out to much with these updates, have you consider saving something for the release itself? Execution is the most important, but genuine surprises are worthwhile as well.

    EDIT: Disregard the art part, I misunderstood what you were going for. Go full clean sketchy, no CGI render required.

     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  17. Horvatii Educated

    Horvatii
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    XDXDXD
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    Well, most of the stuff we're showing is lore, which is a background part of the game. There is a lot, and I mean a lot more of stuff to show, as we are still somewhere at 15-20% in the development :)
     
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  19. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    :hero:
     
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  20. Pero_Gamechuck Gamechuck Developer

    Pero_Gamechuck
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    I'm back with another lore article, hopefully as interesting as some previous ones :)

    [​IMG]

    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!

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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!
     
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