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gamescom 2021: The Gunk Re-Emerges in the Lead-Up to Launch this December

Guten tag, everyone! Thanks for waiting so patiently for more information on Thunderful’s new title, The Gunk. The dev team have been toiling away since July last year to get the game ready for prime time. We’re extremely happy to have finally revealed our first gameplay trailer during the gamescom 2021 – Xbox Stream.

Early on, we decided to use Unreal Engine 4 to bring this story to life. It not only allows us to rapidly prototype and iterate, but it also offers us incredible flexibility and powerful graphics tools that have made the jump from 2D to 3D extremely smooth for the team. On top of that, we added some of our own super cool tech to do things like give the gunk a life of its own. From the outset, our goal was for the gunk to have this mesmerising quality, something you can just sit and watch bubble away for ages, like a lava lamp.

Partnering with Xbox has been incredible, and we wanted to leverage the power of the Xbox ecosystem to its fullest potential. We’ve made a massive effort to ensure that whatever platform you play on, you will experience our full vision of The Gunk.

As is to be expected, we’re using Smart Delivery to best support all Xbox platforms. On Xbox One, you can expect a stable 30fps experience that offers the beautiful art design and graphical flourishes that you have seen in our trailer. If you’re playing on Xbox Series X|S or a high-end PC, everything is dialled up and we aim to provide you with a smooth 60fps gameplay experience at up to 4K resolution.

It’s the latest title from the team that brought you the SteamWorld series… us! However, once partnered with Microsoft to develop for the Xbox platform, we decided to go in a very different creative direction from the SteamWorld series. The Gunk is our first 3D project, so we wanted to use that literal extra dimension to craft a more cinematic and immersive experience than anything we’ve done before. What we’ve created is a story-driven sci-fi exploration game that really focuses on character development.

The Gunk

You play as Rani, one part of a space hauling duo who are mining the galaxy for whatever resources they can sell to make ends meet. When she and her partner Becks land on a seemingly barren planet, they find the gunk, a previously undiscovered substance that could mean a big payout! The only problem is that the gunk is somehow harming this natural habitat, which brings about a dilemma – should Rani and Becks be interfering with something they don’t fully understand? Will this dangerous discovery cause a rift between two friends?

The Gunk has a big emphasis on exploration and the world you’ll discover contains different biomes like a rocky canyon region, a dense jungle, deep subterranean caves (we couldn’t help ourselves) and a few more surprises, too. The gunk is turning all of these zones barren, but as you remove it you’ll discover the flourishing ecosystem that this world seemingly had before this destructive goo arrived.

The Gunk

You can scan the environment to make new discoveries and learn more about the world. All that’s left is indigenous wildlife and ruins of an ancient civilization that seems to have either left the planet or died out. Maybe the gunk has something to do with it? All your findings are added to a logbook, so when you have a spare moment, we recommend digging in and reading up on the entries. You may find some clues as to what happened here!

Our heroine Rani is equipped with her trusty upgradeable prosthetic power-glove, which she affectionately calls Pumpkin. With it, she can suck in the gunk which not only looks really cool but plays into the key mechanics of transforming the corrupted areas of the world back to their natural state. When Rani removes the stranglehold of the gunk, you’ll see the ecosystem bounce back, which is extremely satisfying to watch. From a creative standpoint, the contrast of barren gunk zones transforming into flourishing havens were fun and inspiring for the team to work on.

The Gunk

We can’t wait for you all to get your hands on The Gunk this December, we’re really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve with Xbox and we’ve been blown away by the support they’ve given us. At its heart, The Gunk is a story about friendship and the impact we have on the environment, so we hope it resonates with you. We wanted to create a fun, modern and inclusive game which is in line with our core values.

That’s all from me, have a Thunderful day and see you in December!


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