Robocraft

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Robocraft
Robocraft Logo black.png
Developer(s) Freejam Games
Publisher(s) Freejam Games
Designer(s) Mark Simmons
Programmer(s)
  • Edward Fowler
  • Brian O’Connor
  • Sebastiano Mandala
Artist(s) Richard Turner
Engine Unity
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox One
Release August 24, 2017
Genre(s) Vehicular combat, third-person shooter
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Robocraft is an online vehicular combat game developed and published by Freejam Games. The game is set on different planets, with players constructing robots to fight with and against others in battle.[1] The game features contained garages in which players can build various functional vehicles with basic block-based parts, such as cubes and wheels, along with weapons that can be used for combat. The initial alpha build was released in March 2013, and gained over 300,000 players by the following year.[2][3] It officially released out of beta on August 24, 2017.

Gameplay[edit]

Robocraft is a "build, drive, fight"[4] game where players build their robots from building parts that can be bought for "Robits", the in game currency. Robits can be earned by fighting battles, where you earn more by destroying more enemys and capturing more mining points, or by selling building parts. Players have the option to play multiple game modes that offer different experiences, for example Player Vs AI, Brawl and custom games.

Currency and Experience[edit]

Robocraft uses "Robits" as its currency. Robits are used to buy parts, which is called "Forging". They are earned by selling parts using the "Recycler" or playing matches. Before June 19th 2018, you could also get items from crates. After that date, they were removed and instead you get Robits only[5]. The more Experience you get in a match, the more Robits you earn. Currently, you can not have a level above 10,1000.

Building a Robot[edit]

The tech tree was added on June 19th 2018[5] , this allows players to get the different parts that they want instead of them being randomly given parts via crates. Players are given the freedom to build and customize their robots in any way they like,[1] as long as it does not exceed their in-game CPU limit (2000). The player's CPU limit does not increase as they level up. Different chassis and hardware blocks consume different amounts of CPU. The game also has a weapon energy system, which defines how long you can shoot with your weapons. Different weapons consume different amounts of energy per shot. After a bot passes 2000 CPU it becomes a Megabot, which can only join Custom Games and Play vs AI gamemodes. Also as of June 19th

Battle Variables[edit]

The game features a part-based damage model. To destroy a robot, 75% of the robot's total CPU must be destroyed. The damage model permits creativity and complex engineering in the areas of damage distribution and redirection. Robots have an automatic regeneration ability that slowly repair themselves after not being damaged for 10 seconds. If a robot is damaged while auto-repairing, the 10-second timer is reset and auto-reparating stops.

It also features a "damage/speed/health boost" system, which improves a bot's stats depending on how it is built: a robot with low CPU will have high damage boost, a robot that spends most of it's CPU in chassis/health parts will have high health boost, and a robot that spends most of it's CPU on movement parts (Hovers, Thrusters, Wings etc.) will have an increased speed boost.

Gamemodes[edit]

Robocraft features seven game modes:

  • Test
  • AI Bots Deathmatch
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Battle Arena
  • League Arena
  • Brawl
  • Custom Game

Players can earn experience and loot in all game modes except Test and Custom Game.

Test[edit]

The Test game mode is a simulation map with rugged terrain and flat platforms. The purpose of this game mode is for players to test their robots in the absence of other robots and objectives. No experience is earned while in this game mode.

Play VS AI[edit]

Play vs AI is the same as Team Deathmatch, except that all the other robots in your team and the robots in the other team are AI controlled

Battle Arena / League Arena[edit]

In Battle Arena, gameplay is much more complex. Robots respawn after being destroyed, each team's base has a Protonium Reactor, which harvests Protonium from Mining Points to load the Annihilator. A match is won when the Annihilator reaches 100%. The reactor is protected by a Fusion Shield. Players are healed by the Fusion Shield at their own base, which is impenetrable by enemy fire from the outside and inside. Throughout the map, there are three Mining Points which have to be captured to charge the Annihilator, Once a point is captured, the Reactor emits the Fusion Shield and is able to charge the annihilator, the more points you hold, the faster it charges. Succeeding in holding the three points for a period of time will result in "Dominating" the game, which increases charging rate to very high levels.

League Arena works the same way, however rewards are higher and do not depend on Final Score and you gain MMR, which is used by the matchmaker to pair you with similarly skilled players.

Team Deathmatch[edit]

In this mode, two teams of 5 players fight with 5 second re-spawn times and a frag limit. The frag limit is 15, the game has a 10-minute timer, and if the timer runs out, the team with the highest score wins. If both teams have the same score, it goes into sudden death, where the team who destroys the next robot wins.

Brawl[edit]

Brawl Consists of several changes to rules and mechanics of other gamemodes, such as slower time, lowered damage, increased player counts and limitations as to what you can play with. Furthermore the game mode can change as well along with rules. That can include the original Elimination mode, Team Deathmatch, Battle arena or Pit. These rules are changed every so often as to not be repetitive. Once a new Brawl has started, players get a 2XP bonus for their first victory.

Custom Game[edit]

Custom Games are customizable matches in which several mechanics can be changed or removed at will by the leader, as well as selecting maps and team sizes. It is constantly being improved and updated by the developers to add more freedom and options for a custom game. This is the only gamemode, along with Play vs AI and Test Mode, in which Megabots are allowed.

Weapons[edit]

There are several different weapons in the game, including

  • Laser (a machine-gun-like weapon, has two versions: front mounted and top mounted)
  • Plasma (fires a plasma grenade with an arc that explodes on impact)
  • Rail (A sniper-like weapon, fires a single high-damage shot with a very low rate of fire and high accuracy)
  • Nano (a healing gun with a short range that is incapable of dealing damage)
  • Tesla (a dangerous blade which heavily damages any bot it touches)
  • Aeroflak (An anti air gun that fires projectiles that explodes near flying bots)
  • Proto-Seeker (fires many small, seeking projectiles that lock onto enemies at short range at a very high rate of fire)
  • LOML (after spending 2-3 seconds locking on, it fires seeking missiles that explode on impact, if losing lock on a target, the already launched missiles will continue to seek their target)
  • Ion (a shotgun-like cannon that deals massive damage in a short range)
  • Chain (a Gatling gun/minigun like weapon that spins up for a very high rate of fire)
  • Mortar (A short-range Plasma like cannon that cannot aim straight horizontally or vertically, acts like an artillery)

Almost all weapons have multiple rarity variants, each having different stats, such as requiring more Weapon Energy, increased Damage, increased ROF, etc.

There are also Modules (Disc Shield, Blink, Weapon Energy, Electromagnetic Pulse, Windowmaker, and Ghost Modules) which have certain abilities such as deploying a large temporary impenetrable Shield, traveling certain distances in less than a second, stunning all enemies in a radius, etc.

Social[edit]

Players can friend other players or add up to 4 other players to their platoon (regardless if they have premium or not) in order to play on the same team in the same match together. Players can also join Clans, a group of players with a maximum of 50, wherein players can cooperatively earn SXP (Season Experience) awarded at the end of a match which will then be converted into Robits at the end of the Clan Season. The Robits accumulated from the clan's TXP (Total Experience) will be distributed equally to clan members,albeit those who do not contribute in it in any way wouldn't receive any amount of Robits.

Development[edit]

Robocraft uses the Unity engine and Yahoo Games Network.[citation needed]

2014[edit]

A November 2014 update added EasyAntiCheat (EAC) software to the game's client, in order to counter various hacks such as zero reload time. Freejam has stated that the EAC team will focus on anti-cheating, allowing them to focus on new features. A major game update was released on December 9, 2014, adding Tank Tracks and Tesla Blades, a unique melee weapon, alongside several new features.

2015[edit]

On February 18, 2015, the "Dawn of the Megabots" update was released.[6] This features a wide array of updates including new matching systems. "Megaboss" and "Challenge Mode", and rotor blades were introduced to let players construct "New helicopter style Copter Class Robots." These were all introduced alongside many new updates.

On April 30, 2015, "Respawned and Overclocked" was another large update,[7] which completely changed the core gameplay. The robot-building remained unchanged, but the battles were given new mechanics, such as Protonium Crystals that must be destroyed instead of the previous goal of capturing the enemy base. Also added were Fusion Shields, SCU's, Fusion Towers, and Overclocking, as well as other changes such as rebalancing armor and healing.[8]

On June 24, 2015, the controversial update "Team Orders"[9] was released. Most restrictions found in this update were later removed in Robocraft: Unleashed due to a heated response from the player community. A new ping system was added that allowed players to send messages to teammates on the map including: "On My Way", "Danger", and "Go Here". The current Surrender Vote, Leaver Penalty, and Battle Stats Screen were first implemented in this update. This update also reduced the number of towers in Battle Arena mode from 4 to 3, to "Give one team a constant advantage".

On July 28, 2015, Robocraft: Unleashed[10] was released. This update removed a variety of build and combat restrictions implemented in the Team Orders update.

On August 27, 2015, Legends of the Pit[11] became live. This update introduced the long anticipated game mode "The Pit" currently only available in custom games.

On September 24, 2015, the update Share, Drive, Fight[12] became available to all players. This update included the Community Robot Factory, a place to buy, rent, and sell robots designed by users. A Single Player Mode was also introduced featuring AI enemy combatants.

On December 17, 2015, the update Full Spectrum Combat[13] was released. This was the first update to implement The Vision[14] proposed by FreeJam on their forums. This updated included an update to the Unity 5 game engine, the ability to paint cubes, and the collapse of all armor cubes to one type. However, a variety of new armor cube shapes were introduced. In addition, up to 25 garage slots are now free for all users. Hotly debated[15] on the forums was the removal of the Pilot seat, a notable design feature since the early days of Robocraft. The Megaseat was also converted to the Mega Module, and it's extinct from purchase forever, although players who had an existing inventory gets a chance to keep it.

2016[edit]

On March 3, 2016 "Maximum Loadout" was released after being delayed for a week due to bug testing. The update introduces the ability to use multiple weapon types to be used on a single robot. In addition to this, the maximum pFLOP was increased to 1750 at Level 150. Firing weapons drain the power of your bot, which then regenerates over time, though it is possible to get a Weapon Energy Module which reduces this process from 10 seconds to 8. In addition to this, two new modules have been added to the game. The DSM or Disc Shield Module deploys a stationary shield, which can be fired through only by the team of the player that deployed it and has a long cooldown. In addition to this, the BLM, or Blink Module, will allow robots to warp forward a relatively long distance, at the expense of massive power consumption with short cooldown.

On April 13, 2016 the update "Ghosts in the Machine" added the Ion Distorter, a futuristic shotgun, and the Ghost Module which allows invisibility at the expense of your power meter.

On April 28, 2016 an update named "Epic Loot" switched currency and got rid of the tech tree, allowing players to buy any parts without needing to level up. Galaxy cash was removed too.The currency RP was switched to "Robits". This update also removed cube depots and introduced crates as one of the only two sources of parts in-game, the only other way to recycle weapons or other items into "Robits" and forge new weapons or items in the "cube forge".

On June 1, 2016 "Battle for Earth" was released, adding a new map based in Birmingham, Earth. This map is based on a power station, which was "New and hi tec, yet old and abandoned", with a cooling tower in ruins in the centre. This map was exclusive to a new mode called "Team deathmatch", which replaced the old Team deathmatch, renamed to "Elimination".[16]

On June 26, 2016 "Aeroflak sentinel & power update" was released, adding a smaller version of the aeroflak, namely the "Aeroflak Sentinel" and changes were made to power usage.

On July 14, 2016 "Enter the shredzone update" was released, adding a new mini-gun named "Chain Shredder" and a new module called "EMP Module" which disabled the enemy robots in a certain radius after it's activated for a certain time, when hit you can't move or shoot you weapons and the screen becomes less colorful. The effect lasts for 3 seconds. Diagonal rods, a new game mode called "AI Bots Deathmatch" and a Tutorial were also added in this update.

On August 4, 2016 "Strut Your Stuff" was released, adding Struts, better protected aerorods, and a center of mass feature.

2017[edit]

On May 4, 2017 "The Windowmaker update" was released, removing all radar accessories, moved all shields to the "special" category, and added a new module called the "Window maker module", allowing the players to detect all enemies within 7.5 seconds at the cost of some energy, currently the cheapest module ever. And a shrunken version of the Chain Shredder, the "Chain splitter", whom cheaper than it's larger variant and also lighter.

On August 24, 2017, the game went into full release with the drop of 1.0. This update removed Carbon 6 weapons, all cosmetics, and some building blocks from forge. Cosmetics can only be earned by receiving them in crates. People who were a part of beta got Pilot seats as a thank you reward. Depending on what year you joined leading up to 1.0, you got a set number of Pilot seats and Protonium crates.

On September 19 2017 the "Gyro Mortar" update was released.

On November 19 the "Body Builder" update was released.

Monetization[edit]

Robocraft is a free-to-play game where players can get to the end game "without even paying a cent".[17] FreeJam operates on a "Pay To Progress Faster" model where in "Premium" memberships can be purchased which doubles the rate XP is earned. The developers often partner up with certain charities or companies to release "Bundles", which often come with cosmetics and the promoted company's logo on a "holo-flag". These bundles often come at a significant discount from how much it would cost to normally purchase the items. The addition of painting cubes has been controversial, as the colors available for free players are extremely limited (Only being white, gray, light blue, and orange) while other colors, previously available for free as tiered armor cubes, are now exclusive to Premium players, however new colors were promised for future updates. All premium players receive 3 times the recycle rate of parts.

Reception[edit]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun described the game as "good for a few hours of light and casual fun".[18]

In December 2014, Robocraft was voted, by users of the IndieDB website, the number one independent game of 2014; earning the prestigious accolade "Indie Game of the Year".[19]

After EasyAntiCheat was added to the game's client, there was discussion within the Robocraft community[by whom?] about the spyware-like qualities of EAC. Some players[who?] even requested EAC to be removed from Robocraft entirely in fear of having their computer scanned and screenshotted. Robocraft responded by explaining in full detail what information Roboshield/EAC captures, what that information is used for and with whom it is shared. The short list consists of username, IP address, HardwareID and executable code memory.[20]

In November 2015, Robocraft: Unleashed was honored by TIGA as the Best Debut Game for 2015.[21]

As of the epic loot update, many players have become angry with the game developers, and have been asking them to revert the game back. This is because it is "More difficult to progress,", and the game's RNG (Random number generator) based economy makes the game "Luck based" according to some players.[22] The developers took notice and improved aspects of this new economy system over time (and are still to this day improving them even more), stating however that the change was final and reverting to the previous one was not part of their plans. This decision was reverted and in May 2018 work began to remove lootboxes.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "ROBOCRAFT". ROBOCRAFT. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  2. ^ "New UK indie Freejam Games Unveil Robocraft at Insomnia 51". GamaSutra. April 10, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Has the indie bubble burst on PC?". Develop. May 29, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  4. ^ robocraftgame.com
  5. ^ a b "Tech Tree Update – Out Now!". ROBOCRAFT. 2018-06-19. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  6. ^ "Dawn of the Megabots". robocraftgame.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Robocraft Respawned and Overclocked".
  8. ^ "Robocraft gamepedia".
  9. ^ "Team Orders". Robocraft.com. FreeJam. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Robocraft: Unleashed". Robocraft.com. FreeJam. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Legends of the Pit". Robocraft.com. FreeJam. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Share, Drive, Fight". Robocraft.com. FreeJam. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Full Spectrum Combat". Robocraft.com. FreeJam. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  14. ^ Simmons, Mark. "Chapter 7 - The Final Chapter". Robocraft. FreeJam. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Removing Pilot Seats: WORST Idea Ever". Robocraft.com. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  16. ^ "BATTLE FOR EARTH – 0.13.1580". ROBOCRAFT. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  17. ^ "Robocraft Exclusive Interview". Freemmostation. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  18. ^ Livingston, Christopher. "The Lighthouse Customer: Robocraft". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Indie of the Year 2014 feature". Indie DB.
  20. ^ "Roboshield and EAC Privacy Details". robocraftgame.com. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  21. ^ "Winners & Shortlist". tiga.org. TIGA. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  22. ^ "We're down to 40% positive, people! • /r/Robocraft". reddit. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  23. ^ Simmons, Mark. "No More Crates". Robocraftgame.com. Retrieved 24 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Official website