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Robot Rumble 2.0

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A member registered Sep 26, 2017 · View creator page →

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I just realized that I had an un-checked box for "Send a Final Welcome Email" in the signup form setting.  I just checked the box, which will only send the email for future subscribers. 

 In your case, if it gave you a web popup, you should be signed up.   

Sorry about the lack of introduction - my name is Chris.  I'm the project lead for Robot Rumble 2.  Nice to meet you!

1. Most likely the tournament system won't be ready, even in a rudimentary form.  We literally just started it a few days ago, and right now all it does is randomly generate matches between two robots.  It has a LONG way to go before we are ready to show it.  I'm hoping we can get the tournament system to a presentable state for whatever release happens after the this next one, but out of all of the key pieces of the game, the tournament system is the longest ways off.

2. I like the ideas for gameplay settings.  One of the ideas that got the axe due to time concerns, at least for now, was a user-made arena builder.  Your idea is a significantly scaled back version of this, where the existing arenas are at least somewhat tweakable.  I'm putting these ideas on our feature request list.

> Thank you for making a robot fighting game that is actually a good game. Sorry if I seem pushy at times, I am just excited about the game development. Hope to hear from you soon!

I don't know about "good".  I'm shooting for a just plain "game" at this point. :)  

Hopefully the "good" part will come after lots and lots of player feedback and refinement.  It helps to have an encouraging community though.  I'm hoping that the community will really sink its teeth into AI and component modding once the tools are available for these.  Get the word out -- the more people that know about this project, the richer the game will be!

Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad you are excited.  I am too! :)

1. In the Robot Workshop you can expand out the x/y/z position menu on the right side of the screen.  This will allow you to position objects to the nearest millimeter by typing numbers directly.  I put this onto our Trello board as something that we can hopefully make a little more clear to users.

2. We should have a second Alpha build out by the end of the month that allows you to do matches with any combination of 4 robots, including robots you have built in the Workshop, as well as ones that we have pre-made.

3. Last year I took a guess at a March, 2019 closed Beta release on Steam.  We are nowhere near feature-complete at this point, so instead we will be releasing a public Alpha build here on itch.io.  We should have a bunch of new features to sink your teeth into on this Alpha.  I'm frantically trying to get user-scripted AI up and running.  It is coming along well, and I'm hoping to put it into the next release.

4. Yes - this is a commercial project, but no word on price yet.

5. We would love to have you as a Beta tester!  The signup form is on www.robot-rumble.com.

6. I will put the follower camera back on the Trello board.  No promises, but I do still like the idea.  Implementation is tricky though.

Thanks for the feedback!

Horizontal spinner is definitely on the list of things to do.  We originally had one, but had to remove it due to licensing concerns.  

Licensing is complicated.  All of the roboteers we have spoken to would love to have their robots in the game, but in many cases the display rights are held by third parties who tend to be very guarded about granting the rights to other parties.  Licensing is something we are looking into, but we can't make any promises without signed agreements.

We have played around a fair amount with cameras, and your point is well taken.  I initially pulled the over-the-shoulder and first-person cameras because the robots jumped around so much when they got hit.  It was a lot like sticking a camera on a real robot.  I got sick watching it.  The over-the-shoulder camera had similar issues, plus all of the technical challenges of making sure the line of sight between the camera and the robot wasn't obscured, as well as the fact that the robots respond extremely quickly, resulting in the camera swinging wildly around the arena.  In the end, I found that it was much easier to control the robots with traditional cameras mounted to world space, rather than cameras that were operating in the reference frame of the robot.

Thanks for the suggestions!  UI is a work in progress, particularly as we add buttons in the workshop.

I just put this on our internal Trello board to fix.

Sorry about not being able to rotate the camera!  This is super important when you are building.  To rotate the camera, you have to hold down the middle mouse button and drag the mouse.  This means you are out of luck if you are using a touch screen, trackpad, or 2-button mouse.  As a macbook user, this is definitely on my list of things to address before release.

Right now, motors are not modeled in a realistic way.  We have just taken guesses at things like torque and speed to get something that looks and feels close enough for now.

Over the coming months, we will be adding components and figuring out how specifications affect gameplay.  I am hoping to include real-world DC motor specs like rated voltage, no-load speed at rated voltage, stall torque at rated voltage, and max voltage.  Battery ratings would be things like rated voltage, max current, and amp-hour capacity.  Of course, all of this is subject to change if it turns out to be too confusing for players.

 Once we get the mechanics of this working in actual gameplay, then we will put together documentation for everything.

Apologies for the long-winded response, but hopefully it provides some insight into where we are and where we would like to go.

Absolutely!  We still have a lot of functionality that needs to be built into the robot workshop.  Once things are in place, we will start working through how to get new players into building robots.

If you don’t mind my asking, where did you first get stuck?

I like where you are going with this!  Yes, the .RR2bot file is plain text, so it should be doable.  We haven’t finalized the format yet though.  We are still grappling with custom components.  

As far as simulating battles, the battle themselves are simulations.  They just take a while to run.

What did you have in mind?

Steve,

I'm thrilled that you love it so far!  It is definitely a labor of love, and we are doing our best to keep things as close to the feel of the source material (real life robot combat) as we can.  Three members of our team try to compete in robot combat competitions when we can, so we all have tremendous respect for the people who do it at the highest level.

We would like to get more bots in the game, but this is, of course, time dependent.  We are still working on the core game, and will add robots when we are satisfied with it.

I am pretty confident that we can do 4 robots.  6 robots should be doable too.  I have a "magic mobility" physics system in testing that can handle up to 12 robots, but I would prefer to not use it, as it sacrifices fidelity and flexibility.

Timers are coming -- probably in the first closed Beta.  Having timed matches is kind of key.  Cosmetics  will fall under the category of "last minute polish", once the rest of the game is working well.  Hopefully there will be a LOT of polishing before launch.

We are working on the GDD document right now to flesh out the types of matches, and having different match types is definitely something we are thinking about.

Our audio guy perked right up when you mentioned having an in-game commentator.  I'll let him run with that. :)

Thank you for all of the great feedback, and we will do our best to make you proud!

-Chris

Great question.  To be honest, adding mod support is really hard -- significantly harder than just making a robot fighting game.  That being said, we are doing as much as we can to push in that direction:

1. Users already have the ability to create custom shapes in the BotLab, and to store and share their robots via .RR2Bot files.  Since the files are text-based instead of binary, it is possible to go in and change the robots by hand, or to write tools to automate the process.

2. In addition, this week I am working on BotLab texture generation and saving.  By the end of the next week or so, I am hoping to have a system in place for creating custom textures, saving them to a file, then loading the back into the game.

3. Once user-created textures are working, we are hoping to explore the ability for users to import UV-mapped .obj files in something like Blender or 3DS Max that they can bring into the game as custom shapes.  If this works, a user with sufficient 3D modeling skill should be able to create parts for any robot they want, texture them in an external program, then bring them into the game. 

We are DEFINITELY going to do #1 and #2.  

BIG CAVEAT - #3 is entirely aspirational at this point.  

I hope we can get to #3, but at this point our first priority has to be getting BotLab robots fighting each other.  We are a really small team, so any hour  we spend working on a modding feature is an hour not spent working on the core game.  The core of the game has to come first.

Thanks for the questions.

The entire damage system is effectively a placeholder right now.  Once we have BotLab robots fighting each other and a chance to make sure the physics feels right, we will go back and rewrite the damage system.

What you see right now is most likely going to change significantly over the course of the next 12 months.

Good questions!

1. We have to remove any robots that we don’t have permission to use in game.  Unfortunately, Carbide, Eruption, and Original Sin are on that list.

2. We are working on getting BotLab robots fighting each other now.  It is our top priority for the first closed Beta.  We are hoping to have it ready by March.

Uh oh!  What type of a computer are you running, and what happened when you tried to launch the game?

We are looking to release a first closed beta by the end of March.  We still have a TON of work to do between now and then.  We will try to keep up with the status on Twitter as we get new features working.  In case you are curious, we are currently working on a texture painting system for the BotLab, as well as getting BotLab robots fighting each other. 

To be honest, the entire damage system is going to get a complete rewrite once we have nailed down BotLab physics.  At the moment, we are working on getting BotLab robots to fight each other.  Once this is working, the order of priority will be:

1. Make sure BotLab robot vs BotLab robot combat physics looks and feels good, with a minimum of physics "explosions". (physics)

2. Make the damage system feel good. (game design)

3. Make damage look satisfying. (art and sound)

The damage system that currently exists is effectively a placeholder -- I am expecting the final version to look and feel different.

Excellent!  I was a little worried if it wasn't running well on a MBP.  Thanks for this!

We do!

Its actually a closed Beta test team.  The signup form is on http://www.robot-rumble.com.  We are shooting for a first Beta release in the early spring.

All in good time! :)

Right now we are reworking BotLab physics to make everything as stable and as fast as possible.  Once BotLab physics is solid, we will go back to tweak everything so that it is possible to make great spinners and flippers.

Thank you for this.  I hadn't considered that the game would be GPU limited, because it is CPU-limited on both the Air and my MBP.   Fortunately, it is easy to tweak graphics on our end so that they look good but don't consume too many resources.  We should have this worked out by launch.

Thanks for the feedback on this.  We haven't put any effort into the settings interface yet -- the one in the Alpha release is just a placeholder.  

I'm actually developing on Mac, so Mac performance is an issue I am sensitive to.  Right now I have a 2016 MacBook Pro as my primary development machine, and am using an early 2014 MacBook Air for testing.

If you don't mind my asking, what kind of Mac are you using?

Thanks for the feedback.  We have both of these on list of stuff to fix, and will get to them when we can.  Lots of physicsing to do over the next few months...

Thanks for the feedback!

1. Heat is something we haven't even taken a preliminary pass at -- it is pretty much a placeholder in the Alpha release.

2. Robot drivability is huge for us.  We have a lot of work to do to get things to drive reliably.  Most of the issue is caused by uneven friction between the left and right sides of the robot.  Drivability is going to be one of our major areas of focus over the next few months.

3. I like the way you think regarding damage/points/time limits.  We definitely need a few more options here.

4. We need to think about how to do resizing to keep things realistic.  It might make the most sense to have "small", "medium", and "large" options for the premade components, then the ability to create and save your own.  Otherwise people will be able to make things unrealistically big or small things.  Then again, maybe it's okay if they are unrealistically small/big...  Thoughts?