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Project: Gnomus Maximus
Project Started: 17th December, 2007 Last Update: 8th January, 2014
Project Owner: s-m-r Project Members:
Project Type: puzzle-platformer Project Progress:
More Info: Faves: 1

Project Overview  
Preview I used DavidN's tutorial, found on the Clickteam website, to create a custom platform engine.

In Chrono Crystals, you play the part of one of a group of garden gnomes in Mr. McSmitty's backyard. During daytime hours, the lot of you are frozen in a stony form, but when the sun goes down, you and your gnome friends reanimate, taking care of the McSmitty garden plot. But one day, you come to realize someone has stolen all your tools...! You, being the bravest of the gnomes, set out one night to reclaim your purloined items from whomever was responsible.

Unidentifiable tracks lead into a mysterious cave in the hillside...Could this be where your trusty tools are located?

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COMPLETE, with reconstructive surgery
Posted 8th Jan 14, by s-m-r Post A Comment
So I jumped into a Christmastime "secret santa" game jam, and this was the result. Download it here:

I ended up panning DavidN's fastloop platformer and building something using the Platform Movement Object/PMO, and actually finishing it. The game is no longer called Chrono Crystals. It's now Gnomus Maximus, named after the participant for whom it was made.

The game has four different challenge modes: two which are relatively easy, and two which are much harder. Veteran arcade platform junkies will extract the most enjoyment out of it, while today's generation of spoiled-rotten gamers will likely find it "too hard" or something like that. I don't mind. I built it and I beat it, and so did some Austrian guy whom I've never met. So that's good enough for me.

Plus, this is like my farewell/love letter to TDC. Much has changed over the years, and it's likely I will not be stopping by very often anymore. So let's leave my "legacy" on a good note, eh?

update: 24 december, 2008
Posted 25th Dec 08, by s-m-r Post A Comment
Good news and bad news to report.

One of the recent levels I'd created was pushing the Active Object limit, and during testing I noticed that some objects failed to load. I pored over the code and optimized as much as I could; eventually I decided to look back at DavidN's tutorial once again, and discovered that Backdrops can be changed to the "Obstacle" type.

Originally, I hadn't understood the option to change the type of Backdrop (ladder, obstacle, etc.), so I sidestepped that issue by using Active Objects. Now, the limit of Active Objects is catching up to me, and I've needed to compensate. The difficulty I'm encountering is now related to the fact that I've replaced Active Objects with properly-defined Backdrops...My code needs to be altered, coding needs to exclude the backdrops but include the permeable platforms...It's all very frustrating and time-consuming.

One interesting aspect to this sloppy coding of mine is that I've discovered a "quicksand" effect which allows the player to slowly sink while overlapping a particular type of platform...But that's small comfort regarding my current dilemma.

I think I need to sit down with a note pad and simply plot out all the changes that need to be made, so that my code looks more like the example engine. Another option that I'm considering is simply stealing the entire engine, and replacing everything within with my own sprites and animations. I'd be more satisfied if I had developed the code myself, but now I think I'd be most pleased by simply putting this project to bed.

So the good news is that I've figured out how to use Backdrops properly; the bad news is that I want to replace my code accordingly, which takes time and diligence. Coupling this new wrinkle with the holidays and all the places I'll be visiting in the next couple days...Perhaps this won't be done by the New Year at all.
update: 21 december, 2008
Posted 22nd Dec 08, by s-m-r 2 Comments

Wow...Looks like I took a year off from this one. But I've learned a tremendous deal of new techniques since starting this project. The later segments of the game will be sure to include these more advanced aspects.

Here's a current situation report on current features:
+ custom platform movement
+ different animations for running, jumping, and falling (particularly proud of this and how the little guy looks)
+ solid platforms that cannot be jumped through, as well as "ledges" that the player can jump through and then land on
+ moving platforms, activated by the player shooting a projectile at an activation switch (appears as a large, red crystal that spins once activated); on some later levels, these platforms are time-sensitive, and need to be reactivated
+ "trampolines" that allow high jumps when the player bounces on them
+ implemented the player's weapon: throwing magical dust on enemies that freezes them for a short time, rendering them harmless
+ eight out of ten levels are completed
+ final artwork is about 85% complete
+ three different enemy types, each with different styles of attack

+ two additional levels await completion (to make 10 total)
+ finalized artwork, including parallax backgrounds and more special effects
+ an intro screen; cutscenes between levels
+ music; not sure if I'll have MP3s of live music recordings (my personal preference), MP3s of studio music, or rely on MIDI music (the worst-case scenario, to be honest)

The included screen shot shows the third enemy, which launches a snowball at the player once spotted. Please note the final background is not displayed in the screen shot.

I intend to finish this project before 1st January, 2009.
moving platforms
Posted 1st Jan 08, by s-m-r Post A Comment
finally worked out how to make fully-functional vertically- and horizontally-moving platforms...The vertical ones were trouble, until I realized that they simply needed to be in the same Group as the horizontal platforms.

Lesson of the day: more comments in code = fewer problems.

another beta level has been added, implementing a few new things:
--the aforementioned vertically-moving platforms
--falling stalagtites, that descend from a ceiling point once the player touches a certain invisible trigger
--flying, bat-like enemies, that have a defined territory (defined by invisible objects), and who "go to sleep" if the player is not overlapping their territory markers
--once the player is killed by something, they are immediately teleported back to the start point of the level

download the most recent version of the beta here:

please post any comments or thoughts on the current state of "chrono crystals." thanks!

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