We're Going to Troll You

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And you’re going to like it. Just look at em, what’s not to like?

Trolls are an iconic fantasy race. We see them in everything from Tolkien’s works to Dungeon and Dragons, and of course every work that’s influenced by them. Trolls in all these cases tend to be hulking brutes with more strength than intelligence. And we figured why knock a good thing, especially when their concept is so good at knocking over things. Or in the case of A Giant Problem - walls.

The difficulty in actually designing a troll comes in making them recognizably trolls. If you compare all the trolls in pop culture there is no one set idea of their appearance. Some trolls have hair, some are tall, others short, some resemble the environment, and still others have bright colors.

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If we look to mythology then it gets even more confusing, because the further back you go the less definite the idea of a troll becomes. During some periods the word troll is used to describe any magical creature. That encompasses what we know today as gnomes, dwarves, and elves. If we look at modern Swedish, then the word troll can be translated as troll, goblin, hobgoblin, or ogre. And forms of the word troll are even used today to describe humans - trollkarl translates from Swedish to English as wizard, magician, warlock and all of their synonyms.

So what’s a troll to us? From a game design perspective, it’s a tank. Trolls are characters that are quite strong, hearty, focused, yet slow. They’re the perfect battering ram. If players are tasked with defending the village and its walls, then the troll makes for the perfect high priority target. Of course they’ll be balanced against some other enemies, but more on those in a future update.

Game design, especially character design, needs to take into account more than just the role a particular enemy plays. Given A Giant Problem is a VR game, every enemy needs to be readily identifiable. And not just from their silhouette. Most first person games have you looking at other characters in a straight-on view, but as you play a giant your view of enemies shifts to being closer to an isometric one. This means the troll has to be identifiable from more angles.

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The easiest way to do that is scale. Trolls are some of the largest enemies you’ll face in the game, but of course you’re still bigger. We’re hoping to show you how big soon. Until then be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on A Giant Problem, and don’t forget to wishlist our game on Steam!