Goblinstomper Against the Paradigm Shift! – Episode One: The Phantom Menace of Maps

heroFirst things first:  We aren’t getting to the thirtieth installment of the Development Diary series.  I’m stuck on “celebrating” the thirty milestone, which means doing unnecessary work rather than important stuff.  Which means I don’t talk about the game on the site.  As I want to talk about the game on the site, that’s a problem

So.  No more in the Development Diary series.  Or, at least, no more with that in the title.

Problem solved, block removed.

Second things second: While April wasn’t astoundingly productive in terms of Goblinstomper! production, major changes did happen in turns of how I thought about the game.  Changes that have fundamentally altered how I’m proceeding with the game.

A paradigm shift, if you will.

The next few posts will cover a few of them so we’re all on the same page as to where the game stands.   Today we start with the small stuff.  The stuff that happened before the paradigm shift, but what ultimately fed into the change.


We’ve talked about this, but let’s refresh our memories.  Above is a portion of the First Act World Map, the area the player will initially explore in the game.  The course goes from the Castle on the upper left to the port town on the lower right.  In-between the two is a forest dungeon the player must navigate to get from one point to another.

Now what we haven’t covered is that little town in the forest.  This is Genrist, and as it stands, it has absolutely no function in the plot.  I have a map made out for it, but it needed peopled, the people needed scripting, treasures needed placing, and so on and so forth.

Loads of work, in other words.

Let’s expand our field of vision here a moment:


Notice at the upper right portion of the continent.  There we have another town, called Hilrid.  This one, while not vital to the plot, has a better function than Genrist.  At least Genrist as conceived.  This town the player no doubt will go to restock on equipment, heal up, and so on.

While the same could be said for Genrist, it felt more important.  Despite the fact Hilrid had no map at all.

Now the weight of this project is always on me.  First Act has a ton of writing to do, a ton of maps, a ton of game mechanics, potentially a ton of art on my part to do and it’s the First Act!  Simplification of the process would help in that regard.

Pardon me while I laugh maniacally at that.  We’ll cover why the mirth in the next post.

The net result was the complete and utter destruction of Genrist.  No town, no work.  The map I had could be repurposed for Hilrid.  Easy peasy.

In fact, it felt pretty damn good.  I’ve mentioned the pleasure of ridding yourself of characters (Mein Gott!  Ten years ago!)  This was the same delight, only more so.  A whole town!  Gone!  What a relief!

Yeah.  Well,  We’ll get back to that later.

Roughly around that time I became unsatisfied with the Mysterious Forest of Elven Mystery map.gs-development-035

It’s the tile set.  While the trunk portion is okay, the leafy section on top looks off to me.  Too much black.  On this, you get the area down to a single tile, it looks flat-out wrong.  It’s limiting in too many ways.

This, I should point out, isn’t the first time this has happened.  The original Genrist map was made out of the same tileset and I had the same problem.  For it I came up with a solution: I removed the trunk and leafy tiles and replaced them with tree tiles.

This is the results:

Gs Development 079

A vast improvement, don’t you think?  A little bright for a “Mysterious Forest”, but I could fiddle with the lighting if I wanted.  (Or, and the thought come to me now, have someone comment on how bright it is, too… hmm…)

Anyways, it worked.  No doubt it would have been just fine, had the paradigm shift not happened.

But again that’s next post.

One other thing I did, unrelated to that ominous, ominous paradigm shift, was I worked on putting my own art into the game.  It’s not something I’m looking forward to, because if I can’t mimic the RPGMaker art convincingly I’m going to have to redo all the art, from characters to the tilesets themselves.  More work, more work, and more work.

That’s problems for another day, though.  Here are some initial idea sketches.  Ideas I’m playing with.  They don’t match the game’s style, but that’s not the point yet:

Gs Development 080

I also did base faces for the Character Generator, in case I get frisky.

But as I said, things moved slow for me and Goblinstomper!.  There was progress, but not a lot.

Then the paradigm shift happened.  It’s like the glory days of February all over again.

What happened to cause this?

I bought a video game.

More next post.

EDITED TO ADD:  Oops!  Forgot to add the dire threat.  Here it is:


2 Replies to “Goblinstomper Against the Paradigm Shift! – Episode One: The Phantom Menace of Maps”

  1. Great work on the game. I can understand the monumental work load that it’s taking to get it where you want it to be. After all, even the most simple games out there, being sold, have required significant time and more people. If the game is any good, literally years!
    I agree, regarding the Mysterious Forest of Elven Mystery map. The “mystery” is within the story itself and not “Where’s the rest of the map? What’s with all this black space?” This is born out by my sojourns through local Filipino forests/jungles. Even in the middle of the day, the weirdly intense sunlight peeking through doesn’t hide the nervous feeling of probable dangers lurking about!
    Also, my advice is to be cautious regarding using your own artwork (especially with the danger of having to redo all the art). In my opinion, your time might be better spent on the story-line – especially the dialog. With the older style games, story/dialog always trumped graphics.
    And I wonder what video game you just got…

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