In many aspects 2019 was crucial for us – we decided on all the main story beats, finally found and gathered the entire team which (crossing our fingers) won’t change for the rest of the game’s development, secured funding and started working on the project, even releasing a teaser trailer and going public with the project. It’s been great, a lot of good feedback and even some early fans on our Discord.
Our first Ark Fantastic teaser trailer
As we enter the roaring 20s, we prepare ourselves for the coming year and our plans for it.
Drafting the entire game in 2020
On a productional perspective, 2020 should see us finish drafting the entire game (sounds ambitious but since we’re working on this full time, it’s doable).
We should be done prototyping most of the mechanics (dialogues, languages, science, research, reporting, exploration, day and night cycles, etc), and that would leave 2021 for making sure they work seamlessly together and that our hunches were correct. Once this is done, our plan is to produce a demo that showcases how it all works, and then keep tweaking it until release in 2022.
Bunnies are super cute. This one serves as an example of our quest
for finding the perfect character animation frames per second
The story and dialogues should be completely drafted in 2020 for all the (three) acts of the game and should leave 2021 for revising and tweaking the script where needed, adding fluff and so on. We have finished the draft of the Burrows, Scurries and started on the largest city in the Kingdom – Pride, but we still have a lot more to go. Ideally, we will start on the Colony (Act II) sometime in the summer, and Act III mid-autumn.
A very, very early in-game dialogue preview
Artistically, we are slowly creating characters, locations, and UI for the game, trying to wrap our heads around the idea of musical leitmotifs for various themes, characters, and locations and have it all work in tandem with the story, which is proving to be a very difficult job, but we hope to have some kind of musical prototype of how this works by spring.
Finding the publisher
On an organisational perspective, we’d like to find a publisher with a deep understanding of what we’re trying to do here (on a thematic, narrative, artistic and gameplay level), as well as better understand where our potential player-base resides (since what we’re doing isn’t a clear cut genre, this has been difficult to pinpoint so far). We will keep producing content for this blog since it greatly helps us organise our thoughts and, naturally, keep a steady momentum and maintain a dialogue between our three avid fans who read this and us.
Since many have clamored to see more gameplay in our trailer, we will try to produce a “gameplay trailer” as soon as possible, maybe even some time in the summer if we’re lucky. Some things, like the reporting mechanic, are going to be extremely difficult to craft and hone, but until we capture that fine line between fun game-like reporting and actual dull reporting, we will just use the examples we know must work.
More trailers and gameplay
We will also start going to game events in Europe and showcasing our trailer(s) and gather feedback on them. Most probably we will not go westward to the Americas, so expect us in the major European capitals such as Vienna, London, and Berlin, as well as all over our immediate neighbourhood in cities such as Ljubljana, Dubrovnik, and Belgrade.
Our other projects
On a final note, the year 2020 will be interesting for our studio from a different perspective as well – we will release the interactive comic books and retro games we developed in 2019. They might not be as huge of an undertaking as Trip the Ark Fantastic (all of these interactive comics are short 20-30 minute experiences), but if you’re here because you’re fans of interactive story-telling, these games are something you might be interested in as well.
Hopefully, some of you reading this will stick around till next year and we’ll see how well we managed!