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A jam entry

POLYBOT-7View game page »

Destroy. Rebuild. Adapt. The world is your inventory.
Submitted by Kyzrati (@GridSageGames) with 1 day, 5 hours before the deadline

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Visit POLYBOT-7's game page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Completeness#14.0004.000
Overall#63.5563.556
Aesthethics#93.6673.667
Scope#123.3333.333
Fun#143.3333.333
Innovation#153.3333.333
Roguelikeness#203.6673.667

Ranked from 3 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • A great spin-off of cogmind. Changes the core game by making your character a magnet for whatever utilities and weapons happen to be nearby. The purge mechanic is interesting - you can occasionally purge and toss off half your equipment and hope to grab something better. Otherwise you are left running with what you have - which at some level does relieve some of the pressure cogmind has in terms of the sheer number of choices. So, a nice choice for a 7DRL. Certainly worth spending a lot of time on this one.

    As to be expected from this author, the interface is top-notch and the graphics are perfect (ASCII mode for the win). Sounds effects are just the right amount - not too little and not too much.

  • POLYBOT-7 Is a delightful game that takes the unique character building aspects of COGMIND and turns it up to 11.

    It is very complete and polished. I bumped into a few issues when running windowed on linux (mouse cursor missing, couldn't get map panning to work particularly well) but it was otherwise just fine.

    As always, the attention to detail in the UI was quite nice. The box drawing characters for walls was an interesting touch but had the unfortunate side effect of leaking information about where other non-visible walls were somewhat unappealing artifacts. I don't think this is a huge deal overall but actually made that part of the game feel a bit less polished than it actually was.

    I struggled a bit figuring out how to rate POLYBOT-7, as a 7DRL, w/ regards to innovation/scope considering it's starting point. I decided to mark it 3s due to it's striking similarity to COGMIND. That's not to say I think it is bad in any way.

    While I do think POLYBOT-7 is great, I found the tractor beaming a bit frustrating. I almost won a few times but found most of my runs ended up taking a nose dive when running into a parts drought and ending up with insufficient propulsion. I guess I'm not very good at it yet, but after about 90 minutes I felt like I usually just got jammed up :(

  • Polybot-7 was overwhelming for me. I had a hard time figuring out what was going on, even with a readme, a manual, and a dev diary.

    The game is attractive but tends toward sensory overload. The very first thing I see upon starting  is a flashing "MATTER WARNING." What is it trying to tell me? What are the C, E, M, CORR, TEMP, and SPEE meters? The help screen expands on the names; I'm still not sure what they do though. The manual does not cover this.

    Hovering the mouse over some of the items in the world displays both a tooltip next to the cursor, and a line of details in the lower right corner of the screen. The tooltip goes away when you mouse off but the details remain, which is a bit confusing because they're right under the inventory, which makes it seem like maybe something in your inventory. Once you pick up the same item, hovering over it in your inventory does not show the same details in the lower right. Instead, you have to right-click on the item, at which point you have an entire half screen of other stats to contend with.

    After examining all of the blue icons surrounding me I think I'd like to pick up a leg. So I move over it, but I seem to have picked up some light armor instead? This seems to be a pattern: I never pick up the item I move onto. I keep moving around and eventually manage to pick up all of the items, at which point I get a flashing "ENERGY WARNING" message. What does this mean? So I start off down the corridor, at which point all of the items in my inventory do a dance and reorder themselves. I have no idea what happened or why. Do the letters next to my inventory items correspond to keys to press to use them? No, apparently not. I don't know what the letters are for.

    Having read the dev diary I understand a bit more about what is being attempted; something about having a cloud of potential equipment following you around. It's an interesting idea.

    I love the look of the dungeon, with the line walls and the doors that open up when you approach them. However, there are detailed-looking but non-functional (I think?) things on the map, which can be confusing. Likewise, when you get damaged, there are full-screen effects (random letter glitches) that make it hard to see what the important things were that happened. Messages show up in the upper left and then disappear, and simultaneously the items in the inventory flash and then disappear, at the same time as weapon effects in the main screen. Meanwhile various numbers and graphs on the right are changing, so it is hard to know where to look to figure out what just happened. There are numerous tactical overlays that can be toggled, and a half dozen versions of the inventory display. Despite all this I have a hard time knowing what I need to do to get good.

    I'm sure that if I devoted enough time to learning this I might be able to come to grips with it, although I had a similar experience with its parent game Cogmind. So I suspect I may just not be a very good player.

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Comments

What are the C, E, M, CORR, TEMP, and SPEE meters

if you watched the stream video on the page, its sorta like a long tutorial

I will give you the link to make your internet life easier 

Developer(+1)

Nope, though like it's predecessor it works perfectly in Wine (I specifically fixed the few bugs that originally could occur under Wine, and its stability and polish are on par with running it under Windows itself).

Hi there. The gaem looks pretty. Is there a chance for a Linux Port?  

Developer

Thanks! It did turn out pretty fun, and I feel that at its heart the 7DRL event is all about experimentation and innovation. Always plenty of interesting things that come out of it each year :D

First of all, let me congratulate you for making a game with such an innovative design choice: To make the whole level some sort of inventory instead of one which is connected to the character was a clever move! I really appreciated that, and that's the main reason why I recommended it in my article about it. But it's also such a great strategy and exploration game and nails the whole roguelike genre perfectly. I'm amazed, and I hope more people will play and rate it! Maybe our little gameplay video will help with that. :)

Best wishes,
Sebastian

Developer

And a win! I streamed POLYBOT-7 this morning and apparently made enough right decisions :P. Seems pretty balanced overall :) 

Developer

Another video, this one by regular Cogmind player nuzcraft:  

Developer

For anyone looking for a longer gameplay video, check out Nookrium's 20-minute run. He tried out POLYBOT-7 right after it came out, and has played a bit of Cogmind before:

I'll probably be streaming some of it myself eventually as well, and upload the results to my YouTube channel, but have to finish writing my in-depth 7DRL postmortem for the blog first :)

Really nice game! I included it in my 7DRL Challenge compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :)