May 02, 2022

Ark: work notes


Note: this project is currently work-in-progress.

Ark is a game where you are an artificial life organism inside an automated, abandoned spaceship. The game is currently being developed with Twine.

  • You start as a small lump of cell with limited capabilities.
  • Throughout the game, you gain skills such as vision, language or mobility through consuming lumps of nutritions and mutating yourself.

Goal of the game

Ark is a text-based adventure that has three goals:

  1. Gain enough nutrition to evolve yourself in order to proceed to the next stage
  2. (Optional) discover the secrets inside the spaceship
  3. Reach outside of the spaceship to see ending

Secrets of the game

  • The goal of the spaceship is to terraform and colonize another target planet.
  • Humans inside the spaceship have died due to an unexpected cosmic ray accident. You are a mutated seed of life that weren’t supposed to have any consciousness.
  • Your ultimate form, when fully developed, is an automated organism that gathers resources from the planet eternally.
  • If you discover all of these hidden documents you can choose a different route at the ending.



Your goal in the tube is to consume lumps and get enough nutrients to grow yourself.

Lab level 1

Your goal at lab level 1 is to get stronger than crazy starving mutant mice in order to escape from them.

  • From lab level 1, you can gain special abilities such as eyes or noses.
  • A pack of crazy starving mutant mice chases you and tries to eat you.
  • You will get eaten by the mice if speed/mass is low.
  • You will lose skills if you get partly eaten by ONE mouse
  • You lose the game if you get held by several mice and gets eaten by them.

Lab level 2

Your goal at level 2 is to gain special abilities and discover the secrets of the spaceship.

  • You need to gain enough consciousness to read lab documents and diaries left by the previous inhabitants of the spaceship.
  • Too much time spent in level 2 will deplete the fuel and will end the game.
  • If you spend too much time gaining nutrients, some of the mice will gnaw the paper/wires so that you cannot discover the documents/system logs anymore.
  • Lab documents
    • you are an unexpected mutant life seed that is supposed to terraform the planet that you land.
    • Once the ship lands at the planet, life seeds will start consuming the adequate nutrients and evolve into mindless workers.
    • Your original goal is to successfully terraform the planet, mine resources and send them to the conglomerate that is gathering infinite resources for a galaxy scaled space war.
    • The whole process should be automated but for some reaso sentient beings inside the spaceship died from unexpected radiation.
    • The radiation also caused you to mutate and behave unexpectedly.
  • System logs
    • Unexpected space radiation killed every sentient being in the ship. The ship is now in autopilot mode.
    • The ship has low fuel because of unexpected detour.


Based on the secrets you discovered in the previous levels, you can choose your endings in the corridor.

RoomEnding type
Control roomEnding #1
* Forced to select if consciousness level is 4, becuase you have consumed all the nutrients without doubting what they are designed.
Escape podEnding #2
Engine roomEnding #3
Unlocked by reading documents or system logs

Ending / outer space

Ending #1You decide to go to the control room and safely land the ship to nearby planet, submitting your fate. You start a new life as a mindless harvestor that kills existing lifeforms in the planet, grows engineered lifeforms like you and sends resources to your creators.
Ending #2You manage to find a space suit that fits you and escape the spaceship by an emergency pod. You will start a new life escaping the spaceship and finding your own way of life.
Ending #3You discover that this ship shouldn’t have existed. You also discover that you are a designed life form that is made to colonize another planet. Similar lifeforms like you are already harvesting massive resources from millions of planets and sending them to their creators which is fueling a galaxy-scaled war. In despair, you decide to self-destruct the ship.

Player parameters

The player starts as a single organism of cell which is tiny, weak and cannot move. As you float around the tube, you can consume lumps of nutrients and randomly increase parameters that help you survive and clear each stages.

Blue lump (speed)0: can’t move
1: snail speed
2: human walking speed
3: human running speed
4: cheetah speed
Red lump (mass)0: a lump of cell
1: size of a hand
2: size of a human baby
3: size of a human adult
4: size of an elephant, unable to move
Purple lump (consciousness)0: no thought
1: limited thought
2: thought
3: deep thought
4: embracement of fate

Player skills

The player starts as a single organism of cell without any skills. In the early stages of the game (Tube / Lab level 1), you can gain special lumps of nutrients that makes you gain skills through mutation.

LanguageMore detailed description of situations
Unlock documents
EyesAbility to sense lights
Unlock documents
NoseAbility to sense smell
Unlock sense of danger
Legs, tentacles, handsEnhanced speed
Teeth, fangs, clawsEnhanced weaponary
MouthEnhanced nutrition
Unlock shout / taunt option
EarsAbility to sense sounds
Unlock sense of direction

Jeeyoon Hyun designs and develops weird websites and virtual experiences. Based in Brooklyn & Seoul, she is currently pursuing her master's degree at NYU ITP.

If you're looking for more detailed stuff, check out the old blog links here!