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Pinoy-made 'Gnome More War' is an action-packed arcade-style mobile game

Action-packed mobile game "Gnome More War" is all about shooting pesky, thieving gnomes out of the sky, and it sure as heck is satisfying.

Created by independent developer Lorie Jay Gutierrez a.k.a. Hobbi Games, "Gnome More War" is a shooter and castle defense hybrid that's a throwback to the classic arcade games of the '80s. That's no surprise, given it was inspired by "Pooyan," a game he loved as a child. "Gnome More War" benefits from modern game design sensibilities, of course, not to mention prettier visuals.

Shoot 'em down

Gnomes are dropping down of the sky and onto your farm. And not because they want to make friends: With weapons and allies in tow, the greedy little things are serious about raiding your barn for your prized livestock.

What else can you do but jump into your winch-pulled cart and start shooting down the vertically challenged invaders? It certainly helps that you've got loads of power-ups and upgrades to unlock. The latter, which include everything from armor enhancements to goblins you can recruit to fight alongside you, can even be combined for maximum utility.

"Gnome More War" is in open beta and can already be downloaded for free on Google Play Store

Boasting three maps, 19 diverse gnomes, and over 30 upgrades, "Gnome More War" turned out well for Gutierrez, who says he's really proud of the artwork.

"I really like the way it looks. I also like the 'Electro Orb' power-up, because it spawns 'children' upon impact, which can cause a cascading effect – really cool when there's lots of enemies on the screen."

"Gnome More War" was even praised by IGN Southeast Asia for its colorful visuals and nostalgia factor.

"Yes" to more content

Despite its polish, "Gnome More War" isn't quite complete in Gutierrez's eyes. Apart from adding new features to it, he wants to release the game on iOS devices so it can reach more people. As such, he has initiated an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to make his goals achievable.

Some of the new features Gutierrez wants to add include three bosses, one for each map.

"The first boss will be a 'Gnome Chieftain' that rides on an armored eagrett (gryphon)," he said.

"Aside from different attack patterns with his axe-throwing, he can also summon gnomes to keep the players on their toes. The second boss is going to be a giant insectoid called 'Waspis Queen.' It will also have various attack patterns with various skills, like a melee blade attack, ranged blade attack, acid spit, and summoning waspis drones. The last boss I have in mind is the 'Sky Pirate Gnome.' This one will ride on a steampunk-inspired aircraft and will have various attacks like missiles, etc."

In addition, Gutierrez wants to introduce new maps and locations, such as a winter map, summer map, Halloween map, swamplands, and more. He also wants to add a "Zen" mode that has no enemies or fail states, and that will simply task players with shooting balloons within a given time frame.

Passion project

"Gnome More War" is a remake of a minigame for an action RPG that Gutierrez started back in 2006. But "I never got around to finishing. I decided to remake it using the Unity game engine."

Ten years later, Guiterrez started developing "Gnome More War." Its web-based prototype is still playable on Gamejolt

"Since then I've been developing the game in my spare time, which is around one hour a day on average," said Gutierrez. "I work as a full-time software engineer, mostly on payment systems, and making this game serves as a stress release for me – if that makes sense considering making games can be quite stressful!"

Undying passion

Gutierrez has been expressing his creativity since childhood.

"I remember starting to pick up the pencil to draw 'Bambi' when I was 4," he said. "In my younger days I used to draw comic books and show them off to my classmates."

While his dream was to become an artist or illustrator, he eventually chose to pursue a more career-oriented course.

"However, I never stopped drawing, and I improved my skills on my own."

Gutierrez also discovered his passion for game design early in life.

"I always appreciated games that shipped with a map editor," he said. "I remember spending countless hours making maps for 'Battle City,' but it wasn't until I discovered 'Age of Empires'' scenario editor that I realized I wanted to start making games of my own."

This prompted him to shift courses from Civil Engineering to Computer Engineering.

"As a game developer I just want to get my ideas out there – make games that are fun for me, that I hope will be fun for other people, too. I also want to eventually have a full-time career as a game developer, but I want to be the one calling the shots and make games that I myself would likely play."

Gutierrez has been a software engineer for 15 years. Despite the demands of life and work, his passion for drawing, programming, and playing and making video games never died.

While "Gnome More War" is Gutierrez's current focus, he has already started prototyping his next project. — LA, GMA News

Tags: gaming