Gremlin Labs

Roles: Developer/Programmer and QA

Gremlin Labs is an idea created by Mallory Thompson whom I met at my first game jam making Woodcutter Adventure. She asked me to come on to assist with making the game and focus on implementation while she focuses on art.

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The main premise of the game is that the gremlins themselves want to make “designer” gremlins to sell to the peoples of the world, infiltrate society, then topple it. It’s not set in stone yet as we haven’t gotten to implementing any of the simple story components yet, but that’s the idea.

Gameplay! As you can tell we don’t have many UI assets yet

The gameplay goes as follows: You’ll start with a certain amount of gremlins, then you can splice their genes together to make another gremlin. The genes that you want displayed on the gremlin will be displayed on the screen so you know what you’re aiming for. That gremlin will then inherit one random gene per trait (ears, tail, etc. ) from each parent. What is displayed depends on the combination of genes inherited. If you have a dominant and a recessive gene passed down, the dominant one will be displayed. Two different dominant or recessive genes means the displayed one will be random between the two. If this sounds familiar it is because of high school biology and punnet squares. Remember these?

Punnett square cross between two heterozygotes
‘B’ is the gene for purple flowers, “b” is white

This is the largest project I’ve worked on, and the most code I’ve wrote for a game. The game pulls all the data for the game from xml files then loads them into the game, then when you press a button it’ll splice a new gremlin and put together different images to make up all of its traits. For this project I am the developer working hands-on with the engine and doing all of the programming. I am also the tester and in charge of making the game feel good, so I’ve implemented functionality to help the player have fun! For example, there is a behind the scenes algorithm that runs when you splice the same gremlin’s genes that will make it more likely for you to get which genes you want.

My codeveloper Mallory’s Instagram can be found here, as well as links to some of her other art and the indie pin database that she operates herself.