So, I really wanted to participate in this Robot Day. Here is my story about how I failed, if anyone cares to read (?)
If not, at least let me wish you a nice and happy robot day ^.^
- All right - I thought - I've been playing around with Unity for years now, It's time to make a game -
So I went to the newgrounds calendar and checked if there was any intresting event. Posting a game on a specific event day could help me attract some general attention, which is pretty useful if, you know, no one knows who you are. It also allows you to interact with this community in a nice and friendly way c:
And there it was, RobotDay, August 26. I knew I had more than enough time to finish a game for that day, I just had to keep it simple.
I started by contacting MindChamber, and asking a few question that were not clear enough to me. He even wished me good luck!, but I guess you need more than good luck to do this kind of things :p
Many thanks and love to him, for making this kind of things ^.^
Now, with the rules and parameters clear, it was "game design" time, if you can even call it that...
First, I wanted to focus on what I can do. I'm particulary bad at art. Pixel art is actually really hard to do well, and I have no tools or abilities to produce anything more fancy. So, what other art syles could I go for?
I first considered low poly, seems simple enough. So I installed blender and tried some things, but let's be honest, I'm no artist, that was never going to work. So instead I opted for some "low res" voxel models. I had some (very little) experience with voxel stuff, so I knew about this program called "MagicaVoxel". I believe Monument Valley models were made with that, but I'm not completely sure. In any case, the tool is both great and free.
Unlike SpritePile, which I had used before, MagicaVoxel is specifically designed to make voxel art. It optimizes the polygons on your mesh and works great with unity, preventing horrors like this:
And instead doing this:
Sprite pile is meant for other things, like sprite stacking. So don't hate that program. Every tool has it's purpose.
About the sounds, my plan was to use free use sound effects. There are tons of those in the internet.
For the music, I would either compose a simple background track or find a musician here on newgrounds and ask them if I could use their songs...
So yeah, a videogame about robots that kill each other or something...
My first idea was good enough, I think. You would be a robot worker in a big underground facility that's full of other robots. You get hacked and repurposed to destroy the whole facility, and more specifically, the Core.
R0gueR0bot was the name.
The core mechanics were similar to "Pixel Dungeon", a turn-based, top viewed, roguelike rpg where you run around collecting items and killing anything on sight, but you would be able to strip your defeated enemies of their bodyparts, and replace your own parts with those. Different type of parts would allow you to play the game in different ways. You could have a powerful sonar that would detect every enemy in the level, but that would give away your own location. To survive the following onslaught, you could equip some heavy machine gun, armored body and tank treads.
On the other hand, you could make a full stealth sniper and sneak your way into the core room.
Looking back, I guess I was just imitating CogMind, which honestly was not what I intended...
My first objective was to make a decent dungeon generator, since this would be one of the core features of the game. Everything was going well. After some iterations, I managed to make a decent generator that would manage maps of any size. Here are some examples of my early testings. Here is one which is more up to date, where I experimented with different types of rooms and random stuff:
-Nice! With some random items and objects, this map generator will be just what I want! - I thought - It's time to work on those juicy game mechanics -
While I don't have much to show, I swear it was going kind of well. No bugs yet, and a good general structure for how different things would work and interlock. But then... Well, university suck up all of my life energy.
I just could not bring myself up to continue the project, so I had to rethink the whole thing. I needed something simpler so that I could work on it as soon as I finished my last exams and have it in time for robot day.
That sounded incredibly good in my mind, so I had to try.
Each level would consist on a battle with a few objectives, like surviving for X turns, killing Y enemies, or reaching a certain position in less than Z turns.
You would control 3 robots. Each one would have a whole different deck (called "Thread"), based on what body parts and programs it has installed. There would also be a fourth deck that contains general use cards.
Every turn, you would play up to 8 cards, from any thread you like (2 per thread), as long as you have sufficient CPU to play them. Then, after you are finished, the enemy bots would move towards you and, if possible, attack.
After the battle, you would collect all the scrap left and use it to create new robot parts, upgrade the ones you have, or repair damages. The name of the game, "Scrap Bots", originated from this concept.
I worked a LOT on this project, but I just could not make it in time for robot day. It turns out that doing art and videogames is incredibly time-consuming. :c
I do have a few things to show, though.
Here is an example of what I have...
As you can see, I have some unused panels. The UI is mostly incomplete in a visual sense, but surprisingly it's almost ready in terms of functionality.
Every robot consists of 3 parts: A movement part, a main body part, and a cannon. These are all interchangeable. Most graphics look kind of bad because I still need to fix a thing related to materials property, but I have already tested some things and found how to fix it easily.
I also have lots of art and stuff for the game cards too, but I haven't yet implemented their appearing on the screen, so you can't see them ingame u.u
Here are some cards by themselves:
The values, art and description of each card will automatically update depending on the robot part from which the card comes. I honestly feel bad for my friend, because I couldn't have the game ready for today, and he put a lot of effort and time into this.
Still, I did put a lot of effort too. For the last four or five days, I've been going to sleep no earlier than 6:30 am, spending all day and night doing stuff for this project. I feel like I haven't done much, though. Maybe I'm just a slow worker.
Now that I'm out of time, I'll relax a little and start going to bed a little earlier, since there is no rush anymore. Maybe one day I'll finish the game and upload it here, on a random, non-event-related day c:
But all that's left for today is go and appreciate what everyone on this site is doing on this day.
With all that said, the next time I review a game, image or song, I'll remember just how much work, time and effort it means, and appreciate the love that all kind of artists put into their work!
Have an excellent robot day ^.^
PD: I honestly don't really expect people to read all of this, but if you did, thanks a lot for doing so! It really means a lot to me. c:
PD2: If you have your own story to share, I'm all ears!