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Gnoblins
April 12 - Ashaman

We are still working on the art part. I've called the current goal Project 20, that is, integrate 20 different creature models into the game. In total we have currently 27 character models of different creatures (with up to 6 sub-categories), 20 of them needed to be textured,rigged,animated and integrated into the game. Well, art is always something to show something off, so here are some of the current models we are working on.

Here's a demon I have modelled and textured.



Here's a gorgon, the model is teamwork, the texture is painted by me.



And finally a model and texture made by Gerog.

March 29 - Ashaman

It is art time again :-)

I'm working on the creatures you can encounter in Gnoblins at the moment. Currently there are almost 20 different creatures in the pipeline, most are still in the modelling state. But I've created lot of new blender templates for rigging certain types of models (like humanoid, quadruped etc.), a new texturing template and new tempaltes for baking and rendering models. The current pipeline is modeling->rigging->texturing->animation, all done in blender, even the complete texturing process. Here's a render of a golem I've almost finished so far.



The golem demonstrated the art guide we have developed over the time. The golem is one of the creatures I've created alone from concept over modelling and rigging to textureing, so by definition it is programmer art ;-) Nevertheless, I believe that it is a decent improvement over a simple ascii text in your common roguelike game ;-)

March 13 - Ashaman

Here is the monthly update.

Recently I worked on the fluid simulation in Gnoblins. Until now fluids in Gnoblins were merely a visual effect, but under the hood it was already a working simulation. To utilize it completely I needed to introduce the ability to swim. So, gnoblins and other creatures are now able to swim now. When swimming, each creature will be affected by an effect. Most creature will be slowed down and get exhausted faster, but there will be although creatures, which will get faster, get healed or get damaged.

I've added a new video link to present the fluid simlation, so take a look.

I called it fluid simulation because it is not very good suited to represent water in a realistic way. For this task the simulation is not fast and detailed enough, but for slow moving fluids like lava and slime it works great.

An other feature I have added recently is the addition of environment agents, how I like to call them. Basically it is an AI which manipulates the environment. Currently it is able to change a lot of things, but I will present this in an other post. For now it is only important, that with the help of these environment agents the fluid is able to interact with static environment objects like torches. So, when watching the video take a look at the torches when the fluid level rises.

So, why add a fluid simulation to Gnoblins ? Well, I think that it smooths the way for some interesting gameplay. For one you are able to control the fluids by using doors or better floodgates. Doors will only slow it down, whereas floodgates will stop them completely. An other effect is, that fluids will damage or destroy your furniture and limit the abilities of your minions or even hurt them. On the other way, you could use it to fend off enemies.

Eventually I want to talk about what we are working on currently. First off, I have updated two additional tilesets for the dungeon, the sewer and castle/fortress tileset. I will show them off in a future post, I think that one of the next levels will be a sewer level utilizing some slimy sewage water :-) An other task is the addition of more creatures. Currently there are 6 different kind of creatures, each with 2-4 variations, which are in the state of getting finalized. Creatures are the most costly element of Gnoblins. You need to model, texture, animate, add some behavior and add some variation to them.

There is some interesting stuff in the pipeline I will show off in future posts, so stay tuned Posted.

February 28 - Ashaman

One critic about our development process is the lack of updates. That is always hard for me, because each update consumes a notable chunk of development time. But I promise to improve the community update frequency. I can't provide weekly updates, but I will do my best to deliver at least one update each month. Considering, that most people are not interest in topics like 'multi-threaded support of internal scripting engine', I will wait until I have to show off some screenshots or best a new video. So, stay tuned.

An other news is, that Gnoblins got its own facebook page. Check it out: http://www.facebook.com/Gnoblins

February 16 - Ashaman

A long time since we last posted some information about Gnoblins, but eventually we are back with some great news.

First off, I will explain the reason behind the long period of silence. After we have released the first versions of Gnoblins, getting the first feedback of testers and gamers, it got clear, that the game was somewhat confusion , unfinished. Our attempt to create a hybrid game seemed to make it obviously very confusion for a lot of people.

For one we got the RTS gamers who didn't get warm with the first person interface to get into the dungeon building aspect of Gnoblins. On the other hand many people ignored the dungeon building part at all, just seeding a feature poor first person RPG. This put us in a really frustrating dilemma. a gimmick, an additional feature, the first person mode just stole the show of the core concept of Gnoblins.

Afterwards we first tried to fix it, but this was a very daunting experience. Like pulling at both ends of a rope at the same time, supporting one feature results in some design issues at the other end of the game. We had to admit, that we tried to create two games in one which doesn't seem to work very well. At this point we were really close to abandon the project at all.

But we put just too much passion in this project and after getting green-lit, we wanted to change the situation.

The only valid solution seemed a complete restart, going back to the core concept of Gnoblins, focus on this concept and start a massive re-factoring. This has been done behind closed doors, without any public information leaking out. The reason was simply, that we would like to present progress instead of talking about it all the time. We wanted a proof of concept first, a working foundation before presenting it to the public.

This time has come now. Here is the first glimpse a the completely reworked Gnoblins game. This time we focuses completely on the gnoblins and dungeon building aspect, cutting off the first person mode and the RPG player avatar. The game is presented in a more traditional bird-eye view, the dungeon building part is mostly integrated in the view. Thought the player avatar has been removed, some important features has been moved to the gnoblins instead. In example you are now able to take a handful of your minions to explore parts of the dungeon, fight creatures and find treasures.

I've updated the medias to represent the game in the current state.

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