Happy Friday, RoboEngineers!
RoboCo has been updated to Version 0.7.4, also known as the Copper update! If you’re curious why we called it that, check out our previous dev blog, An Update Regarding Updates!
We’ve got some new features and improvements to share!
Cut, Copy, and Paste of Transmitter Controls
Cue classic infomercial voiceover: “Are your robot’s controls mapped to the E key on the Purple Transmitter? Do you wish you had mapped them to the U key on the Orange Transmitter instead? Aren’t you tired of migrating controls one at a time?”
“Introducing cut, copy, and paste of transmitter controls! Yes, folks, thanks to state-of-the-art technology from the scientists at RoboCo, you can now migrate an action or an entire transmitter with ease. Sign in to your copy of RoboCo and experience this pioneering achievement, absolutely free!”
“You worked hard to build that robot! Isn’t it time your robot worked for you?”
New Mini-Challenges for Improved Onboarding
As we’ve evaluated your Early Access feedback, we’ve found that the main trend for players who try to get into RoboCo but fall off is that the learning curve is too steep, particularly at the outset.
Building robots is inherently challenging (and fun!), but one of the coolest advantages in building robots digitally like in RoboCo are all the video game techniques we can employ to make onboarding smooth and engaging. One of those is the difficulty curve of the levels themselves.
One of our main initiatives on our road toward 1.0 has been to add new mini-challenges throughout our campaign to smooth the difficulty curve. RoboCo’s campaign is a grab bag of increasingly difficult activities. The innovation is great for keeping your engineering challenge fresh, but it can be hard to feel prepared for turning a valve to stop a goo leak when your last challenge was about playing the cello for a romantic dinner.
The main inspirations for our campaign early on were Besiege and Octodad, but another inspiration we’ve had in the mix was the Nintendo Switch puzzle game Snipperclips. Something Snipperclips’ campaign does well is in the short term, you get a variety of activities: fit an outlined shape, pop the balloons with a sharpened edge, or transport an egg without it breaking. But in the long term, you see the activities repeat but in a more difficult form.
Revisiting this based on our Early Access feedback, we broke each of RoboCo’s challenges into “skill atoms.” For example, the Sandwich Server challenge requires: 1) Basic driving/tank controls, 2) Carrying an object from point A to B, and 3) Stabilizing a raised object. We then highlighted skills that we felt we could break into a single objective mini-challenge, brainstormed a theming for the mini-challenge, and got to work prototyping!
At this stage, we have several mini-challenges in production and on their way to you, but for our first release, we wanted to make sure we started with the two that would come right at the start, before Sandwich Server.
Plus Small Improvements!
The full benefit of the mini-challenges to the campaign progression will become clearer as we integrate more into the campaign, but you may notice how even with just these two, we were able to move our initial tutorial to the Same Day Delivery mini-challenge and to space out our RoboRepair levels into nicer batches.
In the spirit of improved onboarding, you may also notice that we now default to the Constructs tab instead of the Parts tab when entering a scene. We’ve also added some Base constructs that give a few different vehicle shapes to snap your favorite wheels to.
You can get a full list of everything in the Copper update by checking out the release notes on Steam.
This is just the beginning of our mini-challenges and other improvements, so stay tuned! Our next update is code-named Aluminum and will be released between Nov 28 and Dec 28, as you can see on our roadmap.
And that’s it for this week’s devblog! We’re excited for copy/paste of transmitter controls to speed up your robot setup, and for new mini-challenges to make RoboCo better for you and your friends!