Many side quests in The Good Life involve tasks with photography. This makes sense, since Naomi Haywood is a photographer and journalist. The residents of Rainy Woods are well-aware of her profession and her talents, so they aren’t afraid to ask for help. One such side quest in The Good Life is set by local William Dickens, appropriately titled “Genius Creativity”, since William acts like a genius and is very creative. He’s looking for inspiration for his novel, and asks a quirky favor of you. He wants you to photograph some gnomes for him. That’s easy enough… right? It mostly is.
“Genius Creativity” actually comes in two side quests. The first is pretty easy, but the second… It’s not hard or impossible, but it can be confusing, if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. That’s what this guide is for.
Take a look at some other guides for The Good Life:
- Rita Barrett’s “Mnemosyne Has Forsaken Me” Side Quest Guide
- Jan Yi Han’s “Lonely Mrs. Jasmine” Side Quest Guide
- All Shrine Locations Guide
The Good Life is out now on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
Note that this guide may contain spoilers for the game’s main story.
PART 1 – GENIUS CREATIVITY
You cannot start this side quest without first speaking to William, so go and seek him. He’s a slim black man dressed in a grey pinstripe suit. You can find him over at his house, which is just across the road from Naomi’s house. If he’s at home, he’ll be sitting at the patio table (located around the side of the house). If he’s not there, he may be at the town hall. He can also be found at the town square, and some evenings in Mushroom & Evans. He doesn’t venture beyond Rainy Woods, so he won’t be far and won’t be difficult to track down.
Once you do manage to catch him, speak to him. He should have a green exclamation mark next to his name, meaning he’s got a task for you. William is a keen novelist, but is stuck for ideas. To help unblock his writer’s block, he sets you an odd task. He wants you to photograph three gnomes together… and that’s it. That’s pretty straightforward, and it is, but first thing’s first, you’ve got to find some gnomes for your photo.
Gnomes can be found in Rainy Woods, mainly in people’s gardens. You’ll have to hunt the whole of Rainy Woods town to locate them. You should be able to find at least five gnomes around town. The good news is that if you take a gnome, it’ll get replaced with another, so you can take as many as you like. Don’t worry, you won’t get arrested for stealing gnomes! You can take anything you like from your neighbors in The Good Life; you can even harvest their crops! No-one will complain, apparently.
(For specific locations where you can find gnomes in Rainy Woods, go to the end of this guide.)
Once you’ve found some gnomes, you’ve got to gather them up for a photo. This is easy. You simply need to set them down somewhere, together, and take a photo of all three gnomes. You don’t need to worry about any special camera lenses. Just a standard photo will do. So long as all the gnomes are accounted for, you’re good. You can check by previewing the photo and bringing up the tags. The tag “Gnome” should appear three times if done correctly.
Be careful where you set your gnomes down. If you put a gnome down in a random place and then hurry off to grab another gnome, you might return to find that the gnome has disappeared. To avoid this happening, you should ideally put the gnomes in Naomi’s garden. The gnomes will safely remain in place if you drop them off here. You can also store gnomes in the storage box.
Once you’ve got a good photo of the three gnomes, return to William to deliver the photo. Make sure the side quest “Genius Creativity” is selected from the menu when you speak to him. This is a requirement if you want to trigger the right dialogue. William should request the photo. Hand him the photo of the three gnomes and he’ll be happy. If he rejects the photo you give him, you’ll have to use another one or even retake it, if necessary. So long as you give him a photo will all three gnomes in the frame, there’s no reason he shouldn’t like it.
That’s it for part 1 of “Genius Creativity”, but there’s more…
PART 2 – GENIUS CREATIVITY: THE SEQUEL
You’ve done the first part of “Genius Creativity”, which is great, but there’s a part 2. The second part of this side quest is appropriately titled “Genius Creativity: The Sequel”. After you’ve done part 1, William will ask for your assistance again. Look out for the green exclamation mark beside his name. The premise of this next mini quest is the same as before. William wants another photo of gnomes, but this time, he wants a little more. Firstly, he wants five gnomes instead of three. Secondly, he wants the gnomes gathered around a red flag.
Hmm, a red flag? Now, where would you find a red flag in Rainy Woods?
If you’ve been playing through the main story of The Good Life, you might know where you can find a red flag, or several, in fact. During Route B, you’ll travel up the snowy mountains to reach the old mine. Dotted over these mountains are red flags. They are flags, and they are red – but these are NOT the red flags that the quest is referring to. If you whip your camera out and focus on these mountain flags, they’re not even tagged. You need to look elsewhere for a red flag. (This is actually a good thing, for a few reasons. Firstly, you don’t have to go back and forth to the mountain with your gnomes. Secondly, you don’t have to spend ages assembling your gnomes around a flag from the campsite storage. Thirdly, you don’t have to deal with that big mean scary bear!)
So, what other red flags are there in the world of The Good Life? Well, this “red flag” isn’t as straightforward as that. You need to think a little outside the box. The request doesn’t exactly mean a literal flag that is red. All William wants is something resembling a flag that is red. So, what could that be? In actual fact, when the quest is talking about a “red flag”, it’s actually referring to red cloths hanging on washing lines. Now you have the answer, where can you find one?
The answer lies not too far from William’s place. Next door to William’s house is a garden. There, you’ll find a hanging line with cloths… and some of these cloths are red. This is exactly what you need for your second photo for William. If you get your camera out and focus on the cloths, they are tagged as “Red Cloth”.
Now you’ve got your “red flag”, all you need are your gnomes to model in your photo. You need two extra gnomes from your last photo. You can grab the last three from Naomi’s garden and set them in front of the red cloth. The gnomes should obediently stay put and not go astray.
When you set all five gnomes up, make sure they’re in shot with the red cloth. Like before, a standard camera angle works just fine. Just make sure all the gnomes plus the cloth are in the frame together. If you get the photo right, the task will be checked off the quest list.
Now you’ve got your second photo, go and report to William so you can hand it over. As before, make sure the side quest “Genius Creativity: The Sequel” is activated when you go to speak to him. Remember that you can check the tags on the photo before you hand it in. The correct photo should have the tag “Gnome” repeated five times, plus include the tag “Red Cloth”.
If you give William the right photo, he should be happy, and that should be the end of his gnome-photography assignments for you!
WHERE TO FIND GNOMES IN RAINY WOODS
For each part of William’s side quest, you’ll need to search the town of Rainy Woods for the gnomes. You cannot complete the task without them. Fortunately, Rainy Woods has a few gnomes in your neighbor’s gardens. Your neighbors won’t mind if you borrow them either, so don’t be shy about grabbing them when you see them.
You need three gnomes for the first photo, then five for the second. You can find at least five gnomes in different spots around Rainy Woods. The great thing is that they respawn, so if you pick one up and take it away, another will appear in its spot. This is handy if you cannot find any other gnomes, so you won’t get stuck.
But where are all the gnomes exactly? To help you, here is a list of five different spots where gnomes spawn in Rainy Woods:
- Head down the road where Naomi’s house is. There’s a road that turns off left. Just past this is a house. If you look in at the front patio, you should see a gnome. The gate is shut, but you can go around the side of the house to reach the gnome.
2. Go into Jan Yi Han’s backyard, where Mrs. Jasmine the chicken hangs out. There’s a gnome hanging out there too.
3. In the front garden of the Macauley’s house, in front of the pink rose bushes.
4. In the garden behind the Cameramart shop, a gnome can be found here. You’ll have to go around the back of the shop through the gate to enter the garden.
5. Head over to the White Estate Cottage (opposite the driveway leading to the big manor). There’s a gnome at the entrance to the pathway leading up to the cottage.
You may also find gnomes in locations beyond Rainy Woods. If you do find any, you can store them in the nearest storage box, located at every campsite scattered across the map. You can retrieve any stored gnomes from the storage hut back at Naomi’s house.
And that concludes this The Good Life guide on the “Genius Creativity” side quest!