Robot Picnic

5 Sep

Robot Picnic is a one-screen, Warlords-esque RTS game that I designed and worked on with a few friends. The initial idea was to release it through the XBLA indie games channel, but some issues with their development prevented that, as well as not everyone actually owning an xbox. However, I’d like to get what we had working on another platform sometime in the near future.

1-4 players, with at least 2 players (AI controlled, if 2 humans are not present.) Each player has their own color used to mark their base and robots.

Each player is given a base in a corner of the screen, and they are all allowed to build robots from the base, and send them to the opponent’s bases. Robots attack other players’ robots and bases. Victory is attained when only one player’s base remains.
RM: since there was talk of the control points, should this be another condition? Most points at the end of the round or last factory standing?
AK: Control points are going to give an amount of cash that will increase as the game progresses. This will hopefully serve to speed up the game’s end.

Rounds last a set amount of time, and are interspersed with an additional allotment of funds, as well as a round where players can purchase new items and robots.

Also planned are hero units. Each player can deploy their hero unit and give up control of robot production in order to directly control a unit.

Robot Production Mode
– Left analog stick : Aim robot deployment
*Note: This will probably be indicated by a player-color arrow pointing outwards from the base.
– A, B, X, Y buttons : Build robot corresponding to button.
– Right Bumper (hold) : Access 2nd tier robot page.

So each face button will correspond to a robot. Pressing that robot’s face button will build it and send it in the direction currently being aimed. Holding the Right bumper will switch to a different selection of robots to build. Not all robots will be available at the start of the game.
– Left Bumper : Deploy hero unit.
– D-Pad left and right : Cycle through usable items.
– Triggers : Deploy usable items.

Hero Mode
– Left analog stick : Move hero
– Right analog stick : Shoot with hero
– Left bumper (when near base only?) : Retreat hero, return to Production mode.
– Triggers : Deploy usable Items.

Each “combat” round (robot combat on the main map) will last a set amount of time. At the end of each combat round, there will be a brief cash round where all players are given more funds to build robots (some bonuses being given based on performance?) followed by an auction and buying round, where players can bid on and purchase items.

Cash round. It’s not completely necessary to have the unit stats here, but it would be ideal to have the amount of money everyone’s getting for next round, then named bonuses for whatever the players did to earn money.

Auction round. The Auction is in realtime, so after a few seconds, the bidding starts and players hit X to increment the price (probably in multiples of 1 until the price hits 10, then in 2’s or 5’s.) After a few second of nobody hitting X, the item sells to the last person to hit X. This will almost always be an item that can’t be bought.

Shopping round. Here you can buy more mundane items. all players get a tiny UI, and there will be a fairly generous timer, as well as a button players can press when they’re done shopping to ready up for the next combat round.

So what are the players bidding on and buying? How do they help them win the games? There will be a few items separated into categories.

– Usable items : These will be used by pressing a trigger while in a combat round. They will have varied effects. example:
EMP Bomb: Destroys all robots within X feet of your base. You can’t build robots for a short while (10 seconds or so.)
– Blueprints : These will give you new robots to build. When you acquire a new blueprint, it’ll either ask you to assign it to a button, or it’ll fill in an empty spot and tell you the button to build it (X, LB + Y, etc.)
– Investments : This will let you spend money to have a chance to earn more money later in the game. Some might just increase the amount you get at the end of each round, while others might have a low chance to paying off, but give you more when they “proc.”
– Upgrades : These will either be robot specific, or let you pick a robot when you buy them. they increase a robot’s specifications. Some upgrades might increase the stats of your hero unit.

Here’s the units currently planned. Any numbers here in parens are suggested, and probably not final.

Basic Robot
Cost: Low ($3)
HP: Medium (20)
Speed: Medium
Attack: Medium range projectile, normal speed, medium damage (5)
Availability: Starting robot
Notes: Standard size sprite. Fast projectile or hitscan/laser attack.

Shooty Bot
Cost: Medium ($5)
HP: Low (12)
Speed: medium-slow
Attack: Medium-long range projectile, medium-slow speed, medium-ish damage (6)
Notes: artillery attack?

Tank Bot
Cost: Medium-high ($9)
HP: High (36)
Speed: Slow
Attack: Short range projectile, medium speed, high damage (8)
Notes: Larger sprite size.

Fast Bot
Cost: Low ($4)
HP: Low (15)
Speed: High
Attack: Melee, faster speed, medium damage (6)
Notes: Slightly smaller sprite. Lower engage distance?

Turret Bot
Cost: High ($10)
HP: Medium (23)
Speed: Low, special
Attack: Extra long Range, slow speed, Medium-high damage with falloff? (9-3)
Notes: Walks a short distance, then deploys into a turret.

Magnet Bot
Cost: Medium ($8)
HP: Medium (18)
Speed: Medium
Attack: Special, aura, long range
Notes: Slows down enemy bots in its aura.

Saboteur Bot
Cost: High ($11)
HP: Low (14)
Speed: High
Attack: Melee, normal speed, high damage (9)
Notes: Insanely small engage distance, other enemies have a lower engage distance against him.

Wrench Bot (???)
Cost: Medium ($7)
HP: Low (12)
Speed: Medium-High
Attack: Healing, Low healing (2)
Notes: Targets each friendly bot it comes across and attempts to heal them.

Guerrilla Bot
Cost: Medium-low ($4)
HP: Medium (18)
Speed: Medium
Attack: Identical to Basic bot, slightly more damage (6)
Notes: Constantly changes bot target, if possible.

Berserker Bot
Cost: Medium-high ($9)
HP: High (30)
Speed: Medium-fast
Attack: Melee, normal speed, High damage (10)
Notes: Omniscient, picks random targets to attack. After attacking once, has a 50% chance to pick another target.

Sniper Bot
Cost: Medium ($7)
HP: Low (10)
Speed: slow
Attack: Long range, slow speed, medium damage (7)
Notes: Prioritizes Weak targets.

ITEMS These Items will be available for purchase at the standard store available between each round. cycle between them with the d-pad, deploy the currently selected item with LT.
Items are divided into three categories: Usable items, which are consumable effects, investment items, which alter your cash flow, and upgrade items, which change the properties of your robots.

Usable Items:
Box o’ robots – This item spawns a fairly large quantity of basic bots (unaltered, if you have upgrades to them?) that leave the base in a random spray (or leave within 20 degrees of the last robot you built?.) Great for supplementing attacks or defending in a pinch.

EMP bomb – This item destroys all the robots within a range of your base, or on the entire screen. If all items aren’t clearly marked in players’ inventories, this one should be. Maybe non-basic bots only lose half their life?

Shield – This item protects your base from damage. It’ll break after x seconds or y damage, whichever comes first.

Bomb – This item deals a ton of damage. Is it something your hero throws, or is it a special robot that detonates when it gets within range of something?

Investment Items:
Blue Chip – Moderately priced,this gives you a tiny bit of money each turn.

Stack of lottery tickets – A little on the pricey side, and limited to one per player, this gives you a low chance to land a giant wad of money.

Loan Shark – Free money, but damages your base after several rounds?

Upgrade Items:
These will be purchased, and then you will be asked to apply them to a robot blueprint you own. That robot will be upgraded, and have augmented stats from then on.
Health – +10% health or 5 health, which ever’s larger. +$2 to cost.
Damage – +5 damage to a slow attack, +2 damage to medium and fast attacks. +$3 to cost.
Speed – Move about 10% faster. +$3 to cost.
Optimization – Decreases the robot’s cost by $2.


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