33 Sneaky gnomes

I have been working on a new gnome type that is really living up to the ‘hiding’ part. So see for yourself how this works out!

And I have been experimenting with an overview map to tie all the levels together. But that is going to need some more time to come to fruition.

Find the Gnome – Update

This is a fresh video with the latest gameplay. The tutorial level is overhauled to feature this new gnome. And on the end you see a sneek peak at the map!

Hiding gnomes

It was an item on my list for a long time: some type of gnome behavior that will make them to automatically hide behind stuff, so you don’t see them. And when you move your camera to look at them, they will move to a new ‘obfuscated’ spot.

This ‘obfuscation’ system is what I worked on past weeks. If you look closely at the video of the introduction, you will see the starting level having this type of gnome now. It still needs some tuning, but it already adds a lot to the ‘find a gnome’ mechanic.

It took a long time to start working on it, because I had this fantastic over-the-top idea of how to implement this. So it naturally took an eternity to actually start working on it. Is was a waaay to complex approach to solve the problem, so even the thought of needing to start on is was paralyzing on itself.

So I took a shortcut: You set a point on the map, and this point will check if its visible (with a single raycast to the camera). If not visible, it will be usable by gnomes to walk to and hide in. This gnome then hooks into the events of this ‘obfuscation’ point and when things change (it becomes visible / is already taken by another gnome while moving to it) the gnome will change its plan accordingly.

It works like a charm. Yes it is not checking for total obfuscation, but hey now you keep to see parts of the gnome and that is actually quite helpful for the gameplay. And I have a 1 sec delay on raycast checks. Mostly for the same reasons: yes that is partly optimization, but it also gives a funny look and adds to the gameplay of quickly reacting while you still see them.

Map

I am working on a map that will join the different levels together. The original Find the Gnome had one, but that one looked terrible. In the past 3 years I did think a lot on how to improve this specific part, and I ended up on keeping it but totally redesign it.

However as with all idea’s: when you actually make them come to life they end up different than imagined. Yes the looks are actually as I imagined them, but it just doesn’t feel right. I think the forest part is waaay to detailed and not as cool as I imagined it to be. (And yes the map is far from finished, but if you imagine everything in the screen being these forest tiles you see where this is going.)

Further more I wanted this map to have some exploration in it too. So my idea was to have these cloud formations that obstruct the map and clear up while you unlock levels. And some even allow you to find them early and thus unlock new levels yourself.

But this mechanic also needs more testing before I can add it. The looks are a bit ‘meh’, and gameplay wise it is unclear why you can unlock some by clicking and some other only by completing levels.

So that’s it for now!

Thanks for the read, and see you next time.

Published by Erik_de_Roos

Erik de Roos is a Freelance software developer.

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