Ok, technically that's two questions but I'll let you off this time. Shartak is both the name of this game and the name of the island. It doesn't mean anything, it was a nonsense word that was selected from quite a lot of possible names.
Simon Amor is the developer. However credit should also go to the following people for much appreciated ideas, inspiration and testing. Kevan (the man behind Urban Dead upon which this is based), Lori, Holly, Mike and Adrian.
Yes, it does look similar because I consider the Urban Dead interface to work quite well. Kevan knows about Shartak; He has encouraged its development and has played it. Luckily there are no zombies on the island of Shartak (except sometimes on Halloween), there are however a lot of animals, some with a taste for human blood.
I got horribly addicted to Urban Dead but thought it would be interesting to have a truely three-dimensional map that can be expanded easily, and a two-sided game where both sides have a similar selection of actions unlike the zombies in Urban Dead who can't search, use most items and have fewer skills than the survivors. A jungle theme was what I used to test the idea of being able to go up/down, inside buildings and move around on several levels, and Shartak evolved from there.
Put simply, zerging is creating multiple characters for the purpose of attacking a common target, healing each other, or other forms of interaction that give you an unfair advantage over other players. Details of the origin of the word can be found at Wikipedia.
Because it ruins the game for those who play fairly, zerging behaviour is frowned upon.
Yes, but they should lead very separate existences within Shartak. The island covers more than enough ground for them to stay apart. There are 8 different camps to choose from so it's probably best to use a different camp for each character since they're less likely to bump into each other that way. If you do find that you've run into yourself, just keep on moving so as not to anger the spirits! Do not attack, heal, or give gold to your own characters.
If you're sharing a computer or network with other players, you should probably not work too closely with them as this could mistakenly be considered zerging by other players. In order to keep the game enjoyable for those who choose to play fairly, punishment for intentional cheating may include expulsion from the game.
To prevent a single person easily creating tens of characters and engaging in unfair zerging behaviour, there is a limit to the number of hits to the main game page that can come from any single IP in a 24 hour period.
The limit should allow you to play 2 or 3 characters before you run into problems, however if you share an internet connection with other people (for example at work or university) you may find that you run into the limit a lot sooner. If you don't want to worry about the hit limit, a small donation of $5 or more will make your character exempt.
If you are caught zerging, you may lead a cursed existence for a while. After much consideration, it has been decided that since zerging behaviour gives you extra AP, the most fitting punishment is to remove the benefit of the extra AP. The curse is to act as though you're moving through treacle, and increase your AP usage rate to double its normal rate. If you are cursed and continue with the zerging behaviour, your AP usage rate may increase up to 5 times the normal. If you have been cursed and it hasn't worn off, it will appear in the "info bar" where it gives your current HP, XP, AP and gold.
Check the wiki and if it's not there, add it to the suggestions page. If you're unable or do not wish to use the wiki, you can also use the Feedback option.
Check the wiki and if you can't find anything relevant, add it to the bugs page. If it's an urgent bug, you can also contact us with all the relevant information, including screenshots where appropriate. It's also worth checking the Not Bugs page as sometimes things that look like bugs are actually features.
Advertising is one way that we can try to recover costs for the server and bandwidth that Shartak uses. Donations are another way. If you wish to advertise, please see the advertising page.
You can find details on items, locations and much more in the documentation. You can also pop onto the IRC channel (irc.efnet.net #Shartak) and ask someone.
Yes, there is an official forum at http://forum.shartak.com/
When you are logged in, visit the game page and click your name where it appears underneath the map. At the bottom of your profile will be a button marked "Edit Profile", click this and you will be presented with a page that allows you to edit your character description and several other options.
Character logins have now been replaced with Account logins. You have a single account login which will let you access any of your characters. There are no individual character logins now - however, if you had a character before the 9th August 2009, you can import your old character to your new account.
You can only import a character if it was created before August 9th 2009. You can have 3 undonated characters and as many donated as you want.
Look for the "Your Account" button under the map. Clicking this will take you to the main account page. Once there, simply click the "Login" link alongside your desired alternate character. Repeat as often as you need, but when finished do not forget to choose "Logout" from the main account page if on a shared or public computer.
You should only use this button if you are sure you no longer want to play this character anymore as it isn't reversible (without assigning a donation to the character). The character will idle out in the usual manner, but you will no longer be able to play this character. It does open up a slot for you to be able to create or import a new character.
Send us some feedback and let us know!