RoboCaptain 2.0

Just wondering if anyone still actually has this blog in a dusty corner of their RSS reader?

I dusted off my old 2011 7DRL RoboCaptain a few months ago and have made steady progress. The new engine utilizes the wonderful rot.js and is fully re-coded in CoffeeScript.

It looks kind of like this:

For the first time today I actually spent time “playing” the game for more than testing purposes. There are already some interesting tactics arising from having to utilize different systems. There is a lot of work to be done on balancing this mechanic. I think the original 7DRL struck a chord with lots of people, but having to constantly switch between systems in order to recharge them seemed very fiddly to me by the end.

The current mechanic modifies the original one. You don’t have to worry (as much) about recharging your systems, but instead you need to pick which one is currently ACTIVE. 

Some systems function whether or not they are active, but being activated makes them better. Active lasers will have 2x change of critical hits. Active shields will recharge over time. Active melee weapons will perform special attacks like shoving enemies back or piercing through multiple enemies (thanks Brogue).

Other systems only function while active. The cloak is an obvious one. The promised jetpack also makes an appearance (jet-punch is a must-have feature). When activated, the Armor system makes your melee attacks do double damage and allows you to smash through walls — very satisfying.

I’m still working out how to balance the two different kinds of systems with things like melee weapons, limited ammunition weapons, and rockets. I think melee weapons will become systems. Since you are limited to 5 or 6 systems, this will become a strategic choice. I may also add ammo-based weapons that are designed to be disposable, but have special features when compared to the default laser. In theory you could even drop your lasers and do (for example) a melee/cloak-only build. Or even leave your shields behind and stack your robo-suit with 4 weapons systems.

Currently I decided that you can’t “carry” systems around to install later, so the strategic choices around which 5 (or 6) to keep installed is an important one.

Anyways, if you are still listening, drop me a line. I will need beta testers soon enough.