Game Studio Spotlight: Lost Goblin

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About

Greetings! My name is Gustav Seymore, the founder and creative director of Lost Goblin. We are a very small but fierce indie studio based in Auckland, New Zealand, founded in 2014 with the dream of making small but high-quality independent games. We have worked on dozens of titles for over 30 years working at studios like Gameloft, PikPok, Climax Studios, Outsmart Games and others. As a studio we are currently working on our first big PC title – Goblins of Elderstone.

This is us at PAX Australia last year.

Goblins of Elderstone

Goblins of Elderstone brings a unique chaotic twist to the city building genre. It is more than just a city builder – it is a Goblin Tribe Simulator! In Goblins of Elderstone, you will nurture your tiny clan as it grows to become a dominating tribe, standing against the other races and even the gods. Rule over your chaotic goblins as King or Queen and raid dungeons and villages to keep feeding your ever-growing tribe.

We have always loved playing village and city building games and have been inspired and influenced by games like the Anno series, Banished, Stonehearth, Rimworld and the Settlers series. We also love goblins and saw an opportunity for a “villains” version of the city builder genre. We had many cool ideas to add to the genre and love sharing the experience with our fans and our growing community. Goblins are awesome and we believe they don’t always need to be the villains – unless of course you want them to be!

In Goblins of Elderstone the choice is yours. You can be wise and industrious or create a trade empire. You can be the divine chosen one and lead your tribe to glory through the power of your faith in the gods or be a conqueror and show the world the power of your goblin forces. You can be whatever kind of goblin tribe you want!

Goblins of Elderstone is developed in a “low-poly” aesthetic, which was a lot more unique 4 years ago when we first started talking about and sketching out the game idea and art direction. We feel we still have a really clean style that is our own and really pleasant to look at.

We use Blender to create, rig and animate our models and the game is being developed in Unreal Engine 4. We build all the materials in Unreal. We mostly utilize vertex colors for our game, so almost entirely no textures (the only textures we use are for the occasional clan or tribe symbol). We don’t use any complex shaders in game, just a vertex colour material and some basic parameters to keep that clean toylike look. We use some emissive materials occasionally for lights and that sort of thing.

The Tinker

Every new goblin starts with a brief between design and art and then we develop the idea with come rough concept art. We move over into 3D as quick as possible and continue the iteration there. This is another reason the low poly style suits us so well: it really allows us to develop concepts quickly and not be afraid to throw something out if it doesn’t pan out.

The Trade Prince

The reason we went for this textureless approach is that it massively cuts down the development time per asset and keeps us to a very strict polygonal look as each face has to be a flat colour. The only place we use textures is to show the tribe icon on buildings.

The Necromancer was a fun little promo piece we showed around Halloween. It shows an evil enemy goblin necromancer and undead skeletons. The undead attack the village every winter with ever increasing numbers and more powerful units. We have yet to see the Necromancer in game (coming soon!).

Here is one of our buildings, the Guard Tower.

This is a mid game defensive building you need in order to assign guards to defend the village. Here you can very clearly see the clean low poly aesthetic and why we do not need any textures as the planes of the geometry give us all the definition we want.

The Temple is another great example. Here we have a bit of emissive for the glow in the rock and we use a texture only for the icon on the rock and cloth that is unique to your tribe, which you get to select at the start of each new game. The colours of the details and trim of buildings and goblins also changes depending on your choices for your clan.

Sketchfab is a great place to see the work done by 3D artists from other indie games and just a really cool place to inspect other peoples’ work up close.

We plan on posting more content onto Sketchfab in the future to help grow our community and hopefully find and engage new fans to discover our game. For the last few months we’ve been fully focused on getting the game launching into early access and dealing with post launch bugs and updates. Now that this is all settling down a little bit we can refocus our attention on getting the word out and sharing our beautiful little game. Visibility on the Steam store has become a very real struggle and that’s why engaging with fans on other platforms. Sketchfab is a perfect place to show off your game if you have fun and quality models like ours.

We hope you enjoy our work and want to check out our game! You can see our current and future models here on Sketchfab, and please check out our game on Steam, available in early access now.

About the author

Michael

Michael

An artist in the pursuit of dopeness.


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