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From Lunchbox to Xbox: The Story of Conarium

We were on a lunch break in 2014 where we first started talking about Conarium. It was 11 years after we founded Zoetrope Interactive and 4 years since we’d released our last game, Darkness Within 2. At the time we were still working our day job at a mobile phone company. Bored, restless and at our wits end, our hearts had become set on getting out and creating games full-time – we just needed a good project. Luckily for us, we just experienced The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which we thought was fantastic and it sparked our imagination. Eventually, we settled on the idea of doing a modern take on our past titles in this style – an adventure game rooted in atmosphere, puzzles and H.P. Lovecraft.

Conarium

Turkey in the early 2000s was not the easiest place to become a game developer. When we started out, there wasn’t really an industry to speak of, which meant no support or infrastructure either. Finding talented coworkers was next to impossible, and even using the internet to share ideas or connect with professionals online was a daily nightmare. But somehow, we did it. We developed games we wanted to play.

At Zoetrope, we’re big fans of classic adventure games, and we’ve long been drawn to the themes of cosmic horror – existentialism, transcendence, the limits of our minds and senses. We thought it would be great to create a game that takes place after the events of “At the Mountains of Madness” – one of our favourite novellas. We sketched out the setting, characters, and story pretty quickly, came back to what we found interesting and started expanding on it.

Conarium

After months of evaluating our own ideas and the tools we wanted to use for development, we went straight to our long-time publisher Iceberg Interactive. They’re really an extension of our team, and supported us with funding, marketing and the technical side of production. We decided build Conarium using the Unreal Engine – making our coding as straightforward as possible without sacrificing any graphical prowess.

Conarium is our first game on Xbox One, and the journey to get here has been full of interesting and exciting challenges. It’s fair to say we underestimated the task, and the time it would take us, but we’re so grateful for the support of our friends, family, and fans all over the world.

Conarium

We’ve worked hard to make Conarium Xbox One X Enhanced and we’re really happy with the HDR10 support. The game also uses Unreal Engine 4’s Spatial Resolution Scaling to upscale to 2160p. On Xbox One X Conarium runs at a fixed 80% resolution scale, which amounts to a native 2784 x 1728p output – the highest resolution on any console.

Conarium is available now on Xbox One and is Xbox One X Enhanced. You can pick it up via the Microsoft Store or on the Xbox Store for $29.99.

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