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Gnoblins - Development journal of an indie game

Gnoblins Alpha Demo released !

Posted by , 28 February 2013 - - - - - - · 1,896 views
Gnoblins, Demo, Alpha
Today I'm proud to announce the release of the alpha demo of Gnoblins. You can download it directly from our homepage over here or from IndieDB.

Gnoblins is a 3d dungeon crawler game, a rogue-like in its heart, with a lightweight RTS part. You need to save the world of Amunlak from an upcoming peril. You, a former novice of the destroyed secret society of the guardians, found yourself in unknown underground world inhabited by the unimpressive appearing people, who call themselves the Gnoblins. But with the help of these people, you must find a way to save the world from its own greed and hate.

The demo features the first underground world consisting of several levels which contain randomized parts. You are able to explore the underground world in first person perspective and to seek hidden treasures and secrets which might be helpful in your quest. Additionally the Gnoblins will lead you a helping hand, at least for a small obolus. With their help you will be able to craft better equipment and build your own dungeon to survive the dangers hidden in the darkness.

The game is still in the alpha stage, therefore expect some bugs and glitches and consider that most, but not all features have been implemented yet (details). But if you like the game, please consider supporting us. Just mentioning our game on twitter, facebook or your blog would be really help to us. If you need some footage take a look at the screenshot section (including a small press-kit). Although vote for Gnoblins on Greenlightand on IndieDB. If you have some questions, take a look at our FAQ
section or post your comments on either Greenlight, IndieDBor our own forum.

Here's the trailer again

Is Sony the new Lehman Bros. ?

Posted by , 25 February 2013 - - - - - - · 1,381 views

*rant ahead*

The game market is changing, rapidly, still all are waiting for the next console generation. Sony presented its newest generation of consoles, the PS4. Nothing to say about its hardware, sounds great to me. I think that AAA titles are the problem, as already stated in a previous journal entry. With this hardware at hands, they will need immense budgets to lift the games to the next generation.

I compare it somewhat to the last DVD to blu-ray transition. After all the hype I bought a PS3, as blu-ray player and I have just bought one AAA title for the PS3 which was quite disappointing (streamlined version X of game francise Y, come on, this is no longer fun). So, most often I use my PS3 to watch DVD, not even blu-rays, because only highly polished movies with lot of effects really needs a blu-ray.

Back to the PS4. A lot of horse power, indie support (?). Therefor only highly polished and very expensive AAA titles would justify a PS4 ? If this is the only reason to buy a PS4, sony will be really in trouble. Sony has suffered in almost all of its divisions in the last years and PS Vita isn't lifting off either. So, what will happen if the PS4 flops ? Will be microsoft the winner ?

No, I fear not. I think that it could result in a chain-reaction similar to the one Lehman Bros. initiated. The reason is, that if PS4 fails, no AAA publisher will have the selling plattform to overcome the break even of the overaching costs of next gen titles (they already need to sell them on XBox+PS3+PC, even then many games failed the expectations).

This would hit microsofts new console too and I believe, that piracy killed the PC as selling plattform for AAA titles. A fail of the PS4 could rip off sony, microsoft would be fine, though the Xbox720 will suffer, but the AAA market will not likely survive such a hit, the bubble would explode.

There're hints, that others see the risk too. As example, EA is already preparing with stripping off titles and laying off workers. I think that the big publishers will focus on the most promising AAA titles, only a handful of tiles, but will this be enough to lift of a new generation of consoles ? Why the hack should I spend a few hundred bugs for a console to play the 10th installement of the same game, with the same story and streamlined, softened gameplay ? Maybe it is time to let go of the dinosaurs...

Gnoblins Alpha Demo Trailer

Posted by , 17 February 2013 - - - - - - · 1,672 views

Here's the newest video of the upcoming Gnoblins Alpha Demo at the end of this month Posted Image


Cel-Shading test

Posted by , 07 February 2013 - - - - - - · 1,396 views

Always looking to improve the non-photorealistic rendering look of Gnoblins, here are two images showing off different rendering approaches, including two new cel shader. Currently the warp approach is in the game.

What do you think ?

Posted Image

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Gnoblins FAQ

Posted by , 05 February 2013 - - - - - - · 1,142 views
Gnoblins, FAQ
Here the first draft of the FAQ for Gnoblins:


Is it a RTS game, or RPG or dungeon cralwer , shooter ?
In its heart it is a dungeon crawler in 3d, a roguelike, with RPG elements. But there are some tweaks.
The most important one is, that you are not alone. You can build up a small community of gnoblins,
which introduces elements of a RTS game. And no, it is not a shooter.

So, you are running around with an army of gnoblins ?
No, the gnoblins live in your home dungeon. They work for you, but the want payment and they demand
some level of comfort. The comfort level is represented by the reputation of your dungeon.

So, no gnoblins will follow you, you are running around in the dungeons alone ?
You can take a single gnoblin with you as companion.

Do you only play in a single dungeon ? How is the game structured ?
You play only in dungeons, but there are several of them. Each dungeon consists of several levels
and a certain setting.

Why do I need this gnoblins ?
There's no town, there're no merchants. The gnoblins are the only one who are willing to help you.
The most important aspect is the crafting. You find equipment, but with the help of the gnoblins you
will be able to craft better equipment, potions etc.

Can I only build caves in my home dungeon ?
No, later in the game you will have the option to change the appearance of your dungeon, e.g. in a more
castle like setting.

Are gnoblin just an other word for goblin ?
No, gnoblin describes a fanatsy race of its own. There are goblins in the game too.

Well, what are gnoblins then ?
Gnoblins are a mix between gnomes and goblins. They are not as aggressive and dumb as goblins, nor are the as skilled and intelligent as gnomes.


What is perma-death ?
Perma-death is a game feature, that when your character dies, you will no longer be able to continue playing this character.
This is tightly coupled with the save game. The game automatically saves the game state, but you don't have the option
to save/load mulitple states of the game.

So, one unlucky hit by a monster and it is game over ?
Not at once. The game features several difficulty levels. In most modes you will have several lives. If you die, you will
respawn until you run out of lives. In easy mode your lives will be reseted at certain stages of the game, in hard mode
you will have a set number of lifes for the complete game and in rogue-like mode you will have only a single life.

Do you really have perma-death in, and that in the year 2013, why ?
Yes, once your character finally dies, it is game over. The reason is quite simple, you design and play a game
with perma-death in a really different way as a game without this feature.


What art style is it ?
It is a NPR style. NPR stands for non-photorealistic rendering. It is not a cell-shader or toon shader, but it uses outlines
and handpainted textures. The detail level of textures,characters and environemnt is low to support this style.

Is this placeholder art ?
Emm... no, sorry. The qualtiy of the art might improve over time, but expect that the art style will not change dramatically.

The art style is ok, but the outlines give it such a toon look, can you please remove them ?
You can turn them off in the options.


What is the current state of the game ?
The game is in the alpha stage. An demo of the game will be/is released in Februrary 2013.

What is the difference between alpha and beta stage ?
A game in alpha stage is not feature complete, content is missing, have more bugs, the art is not as polished as it should be etc.
A game in beta stage should be feature complete, but you still need to test and tweak the content and gameplay.

What is your target price tag ?
In is not decided at the moment, but I think that the final game will most likely settles down in the teens.

What about early access ?
We evaluate the possiblitly to release it as alpha funding download on desura. You can then get the game and ongoing updates
for a lower price tag.

Will there be a kickstarter campaign ?
Kickstarter is currently not planned.

Final thought

Are these really frequently asked questions or have you invented them all ?
Not all, but most :-)