GA Spring 2023 – The Gnoming

Welcome to The Gnoming!

Prepare to protect your ritual site greenhouse from pesky enemies trying to stop you…

Swing your trusty old hoe, plant defensive plants and stand your ground through endless hordes of enemies as they try to take down you and your greenhouse!

The idea
At the season start, we bounced some ideas off of each other. Some of us had ideas for more casual and relaxed games, some had ideas about horror game elements. We ended up going down a sort of a middle path, landing on a Plants VS Zombies inspired tower defense game with some slight atmospheric horror elements. The team had some differing ideas of how to go about with the whole tower defense mechanic, and even with that we ended up reaching a middle of the road type of an agreement. We moved more towards an open arena instead of a small and tight grid, but still kept that horizontal directionality instead of going to a full 360 arena around the defendable point.

Early development screenshot

Even before the project started, we talked a little about the upcoming graphics workload, and ended up deciding to go for a retro-inspired direction with a downscaled resolution and forced limited color palette through a custom LUT. While the idea allowed for fast work and quick iteration, it came with its own set of challenges, as visibility suffered greatly during the darker periods of the game, which were supposed be the highlight of the entire game. In the end we managed to work around these issues, but they still persist to this day to some degree.

Working with very simple lowpoly models helped us to create required assets a little faster than what we would’ve been able to do compared to, for example, more realistic graphics, which was another topic of discussion in the beginning of the project. We ended up sticking with it, and while some of us had slightly different styles of work, it blends together thanks to the limited color palette and downscaled resolution!

The whole gnome theme came from the casual game ideas, those being more towards something like Stardew Valley, and so we just ran with the idea and ended up sticking with it. A garden gnome defending his home sounded like a cool idea at least!

The Result
Despite a bit of a rocky development, the end result ended up being a relatively polished experience, although we’re still a little unsure about the actual balance of the game. We’re all proud to present the it to the world either way!

Download the game from here!

The game project was created by our lovely team Bluescreen:

Lauri Vahosalmi – Artist

Hannes Karttunen – Artist

Eetu Vartiainen – Artist 

Teemu Herrala – Programmer

Jesse Vuorela – Programmer

Inka Harilainen – Programmer 

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