Rawbots General > Development

Where to from here?

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So... I'm really starting to hit a wall with 'unofficial' development in terms of "what is actually feasible." I'm sure there are still a few tweaks I can make here and there, but none of the truly fundamental aspects of the game are all that open to editing by me. I also have it on good authority that the multiplayer builds of Rawbots never really worked (not in an en-masse playable way), and I doubt any real work was ever done on a workable in-game economy.

So where to from here? Just play Rawbots for what it is, as it is currently? Keep trying to push XFM as far as I can? Re-build in Unity? Re-build on some other engine? Build a different game based on the same concepts with a totally different style?

I really don't know at this point :-\

Other than the NaN issues and deleting huge bots, the game as it is now with XFM installed is stable and works well.

Obviously, if you or other suitably qualified people had an unlimited amount of free time, re-building the game in a way that you can actually make fundamental changes to would be the best option. I don't know anywhere near enough about game development to be making useful comments on how you should proceed. Attempting to build a new version of the game seems like it would be a lot of work, considering how few active players there are these days.

honestly.. unless  Neil is willing to give you the source (under a nda ofcourse) then there isn't much let to do for Rawbots. We can't finish Neil's dream for him. Asking you to rebuild the game in different engines is overkill considering the amount of work you would face for such a small community.

I am already getting ready for hibernation mode, Rawbots content can only entertain me soo much ya'know? and I think eventually we'll all get bored. The webforum will slow down to maybe a post a week , and I am okay with that.

so long as this webforum exists, it represents the dim hope that rawbots may comeback 4-5 years from now. And if it doesn't, atleast we kept the hearth burning at home'ya know?


--- Quote from: MarvinMan on March 29, 2016, 02:37:59 pm ---...considering how few active players there are these days.

--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: cupid_the_conqueror on March 29, 2016, 03:37:47 pm ---..such a small community.

I am already getting ready for hibernation mode, Rawbots content can only entertain me soo much ya'know?...

--- End quote ---

There's two separate issues here:

1: The 'Rawbots' name has shot it's bolt. I feel bad for Neil, but realistically you get one shot at doing it right,  and once a game's name becomes tainted with failure it's all over. I actually quite seriously doubt there will ever be a real resurgence of a playerbase with a game under the Rawbots name, simply because most of the people who had been interested in Rawbots in the past have moved on, and simply think of Rawbots as 'that half-finished abandonware robot game.'

2: There isn't enough to do in Rawbots to keep anyone but the most hardcore going for long. Particularly applicable for the more 'casual' style of gamer, who doesn't want to have to spend hours building their playground before they can play in it (imo, taking Stardust out of the 'base' game was a massive mistake, doubly so for the constructed 'starter' world that was in 0.0.9) The deep complexity of Rawbots is great, but it's wasted if 90% of the people who pick up the game get put off by the fact that there isn't really anything to play with when you first open up Rawbots 0.1.4, only the tutorial missions and Blueshift. Even though there are some bot blueprints lying around in the resources.asset file (which a 'regular' user would never encounter), as well as TrookLue's collection of bots in tut-practice there aren't really any simple examples that a brand-new user would be able to look at the code of and be able to say "Yeah, I can see how that works. Now I can use that to do -this-."

It should be more like playing Checkers, Chess or Go. You can pick the basic rules of how to play in under an hour, but you can spend the rest of your life mastering the subtleties of tactics and strategy. It doesn't mean 'dumbing' the game down, but it does mean setting the game up so that it can be enjoyed by players at any level of mastery (ok, any reasonable level, I remember reading through the posts Rawbots topic over on facepunch from one user who had trouble simply grasping the basics concepts behind how Rawbots VP works. There is a limit to how much the game is supposed to compensate for people who are technically adults but have such a poor grasp of grade school maths that they can't understand how to get the 1 output of an input_sampler to drive a wheel properly)

And then there's terrain crafting. Yawnfest intensifies. Simply put: It's boring. Sure, you can do some cool looking stuff, but at the end of the day, as a 'playable' surface you have two options, dirt and metal (fine, 3, there is grass too but imo it's ugly). Ice isn't that useful (I only use it for walls that visually contrast with dirt floors), the water hexes look awful because the hexes only almost line up, and the lava is more irritating (as a player) than anything else. And then Stardust disappeared (it's actually still there in the game files, but whatever) and while apart from the water planet all the other planet types are just "red-ish, brown-ish or grey dirt" in terms of physics, they at least offer something other than 'small brown hexes to the edge of the draw distance.' Ice and Lava planets would have been cool, and grey 'rock' hexes would have at least offered the opportunity for some variety. Then we could have added Sand hexes and planets (high rolling resistance, lowish friction), a grass terrain hex that looks more like a Minecraft 'grass' block (and why not a grassy planet while we are at it!) as well as an Ore block that you can plop the resource extractor on so it can do it's thing. In the game files there's also ground/ceiling features (sized to fit on the large hex_earth terrain, but scale can be adjusted) like stalactites/stalagmites, craters and crystal formations, as well as a random asteroid field generator (and asteroid art assets!). But ofc, none of that really made it into the released versions of the game.

And that's what kills me about the whole thing. There's all this stuff there, but it can't be used because none of it was converted for use with Bullet, and it's not really possible for me to shoehorn them back into the game. And the same goes with doing what should be simple, like making a clone of the small_hex_earth (and associated ramps) or a planet type with a different texture or physical properties. And to make it worse, someone comptetent adn familiar with the Rawbots code/assets and with access to the Unity project files could add everything I listed above in a few days, even someone who is barely competent could do it in a few weeks, and Rawbots would have been a much more fleshed-out game because of it (I wasn't going to even mention the bot parts that got left behind: body/armor parts, the pressure plate, two types of switches, the magnet, resource extractor and the crystal processor. But I will, and whoever made the decision not to include those parts moving forward should be shot, or at least kicked hard in the shins a few times)

I'm sure I had a point when I started all this, but I'm not sure it was a convincing one. [/rant]


--- Quote from: PressureLine on March 30, 2016, 11:08:46 am ---I'm sure I had a point when I started all this, but I'm not sure it was a convincing one. [/rant]

--- End quote ---

Remembered my point now 8)

There is obviously a market for Rawbots-type games, even otoh I can list a few reasonably popular 'sandboxish contruction games' as well as a few programming games (including a few that when at their 'prime' were very popular) So it's not an issue that 'Rawbots was always doomed because it is too niche' but as I posted above, development simply lost traction (especially after the always-doomed kickstarter, because lets face it, 300k was never going to happen) for the want of someone spending a few hours a week prepping the existing content that hadn't been fully implimented as a way of keeping interest (and sales!) up.



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