Robocraft - DESIGN AND TEST DEMO Live Tomorrow!
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Everyone, it’s time to mark your calendars and prepare for a historic day! 18.10.2022 is Robocraft 2’s day-zero!
Tomorrow we’ll be releasing the very first build of Robocraft 2. The team have all worked really hard to get this build ready and we hope that you all have a ton of fun playing it and joining us on our development journey.
This is your reminder to come and join the Robocraft 2 discord where you’ll be able to send us feedback, share screenshots of your awesome creations and talk with other robocrafters to learn building tips!
Our first playable build will not feature any combat gameplay but will allow you to experience the full power of our building system. You’ll be able to bring your creations to life within a test map to test their manoeuvrability and weapons. Once you’re satisfied, you can even share your creation online using the CRF2 so others can try it out. You can also download robots from other players if you’re in need of a bit of inspiration!
In time you’ll play against others online on dedicated servers across multiple regions of the world. Our next update will focus on this online battle arena gameplay. This update is just the beginning and we can't wait to give you a platform to express yourself and power your creativity… oh, and also blow up robots too!
We’re going to release a build on 18.10.2022 and all the features that’ll be in tomorrow's release are included below. But before we get into that there is some housekeeping we need to address for new players and even our veterans.
I’m hyped, but what is Robocraft?!
We released the original Robocraft almost ten years ago, giving birth to the Build-em-up combat genre. Over 16 million players joined us since that release.
The objective was to build a robot, drive it into battle and fight against others online. This resulted in the popular tagline Build, Drive, Fight!
Players build Robots of all kinds including Tanks, Mechs, Hovercraft and Aircraft and face off against each other in team battles in various PVP game modes.
Awesome, so what is Robocraft 2?!
Robocraft 2 brings together years of technology development we’ve been working on since Robocraft 1. It all started with RCX (standing for Robocraft experiments) and culminated in Techblox which is the core technology powering Robocraft 2. Whilst working on Techblox it became clear [with some encouragement from the community] that the technology we had developed would be perfect for a new more sophisticated and reimagined Robocraft, one suitable for a fanbase now nearly 10 years more mature. So we listened and decided to go for it.
So what’s new in Robocraft 2?!
One of the biggest changes from the original Robocraft is how you will place blocks. Originally, you would place blocks with a click and this would allow you to place a single block. In Robocraft 2, blocks can be scaled to fill up a large area or create very detailed builds.
This is one of the most powerful new additions and combined with many of the other features below, you will be able to create some incredible and truly unique machines!
This was such a heavily requested feature that it had become a meme in itself. We had always wanted to do proper jointed Robotics since Qbotics (i.e. pre-Robocraft) but didn’t have a way to do this online so opted to avoid joints in Robocraft 1.
But the technology has evolved and we’ve been able to implement this long-running suggestion by introducing an aim axle servo.
This aim servo works by focusing on the 3D position of the player's mouse cursor in the world. We’ve gone one step further and even introduced Hinge aim Servos too which pivot along the base and allow for new engineering opportunities. We have also added other powered joints such as Pistons, Servos and Motors.
A New Block-By-Block Destruction System
We have implemented a new destruction system which allows chunks to fall off your Robot and remain active and physically simulated, even allowing machines to be sliced in two with both halves remaining in the battle. This is a really satisfying physics destruction model and in tomorrow's playable build you’ll be able to experiment with the destruction physics by blowing up targets, walls and even a giant tower in the middle of the map!
We have a new structural integrity system which determines how strong your Robot is when it comes to collisions with other Robots and the world. If you want to smash through a wall to gain entry or want to charge head-first into another Robot and win, you need to think about making the front of your Robot tough.
You can paint materials onto your blocks to change their physics. Different materials affect your mass, centre of mass, toughness, friction and bounciness. Build your robot using an assortment of material types for maximum structural integrity and battle effectiveness. We have three material types launching in tomorrow's build.
Choosing the right material is dependent on the type of robot you want to create. Do you want a speedy scout-like vehicle that jumps quickly in and out of battles? Or do you want to create a hulking beast of a vehicle which can withstand more punishment?
Weight really matters in Robocraft 2. If you use the toughest and heaviest materials throughout a large Robot, don’t be surprised if it isn’t the most agile craft on the battlefield.
Weapons are a huge part of Robocraft, if we ever released a version without weapons, the art bot will reign supreme!
Weapons are a part of the game's DNA and we have some huge plans for the future regarding physics-based weapons like gravity guns.
Tomorrow the first playable build will launch with the first two weapon classes. Lasers and Plasma. Weapons in Robocraft 2 are a lot less automatic, as you can rig them in a myriad of different ways to gain meta advantages in battle. One simple way is to put multiple guns on a single aiming turret to save CPU on the joints.
We’ll get into the destruction aspect of these weapons soon, but one of the big features added to Robocraft 2 is a recoil system which will require you to build your robot with it in mind. Whilst it’s possible to create a towering robot figure, placing the weapons near the top will likely knock it down
Of course, you probably want to blow something up with these weapons!
SCU's Are Real Playable Characters
The SCU’s are real playable characters in Robocraft 2. You can hop out of your Robot and even jump into the seats of other players' Robots to co-control them or into battle map features like controllable OP gun turrets.
The pilot seat is back too, but if your Robot is destroyed you are not dead, you’re only dead when your SCU is killed.
In the first public demo (COMING TOMORROW) You can even leave your machine and get into a stationary turret placed within the test map.
There will be three characters at the launch tomorrow, Cray, Gene and Tianhe. You will remember them as the SCU' from the original Robocraft. Over time we will be looking to add more characters to this list and will even be providing them with assault rifles so that they can defend themselves even while out of the robot.
Realistic Physics Simulation
We’ve focused on realism in the physics simulation of Robocraft 2. Wheels are modelled with the kind of precision you’d normally see in car racing sims featuring real models of friction that vary depending on the surface you are driving on. For this reason, we’ve kept Suspension and Wheels separate so we can release different wheels that have pros and cons for different surfaces and build styles. Engines are also separate are the power drivers for wheels and are simulated realistically with different engines being appropriate for different classes of Robot.
This particular engine is used to move mid to heavy vehicles and its properties like power, torque, gear changes etc are all designed to match what you’d expect with a traditional APC engine type in the real world.
We will be introducing more types of engines in the future and each one will fulfil a different purpose.
Many of the functional parts have stats that are customisable by you. For example, you can tweak the stiffness and damping of the springs in the suspension for a better ride feel in your Robot.
Wiring is a very important feature in Robocraft 2. All functional parts can be rigged and wired in different ways for insane amounts of potential metabot creation. The example below shows how the Pilot Seat has been wired to control an engine:
This same wiring system can be used to combine sensors, robotic joints and weapons for all kinds of crazy destructive contraptions.
We have introduced an auto wiring system too! It will hook up logical parts like engines, wheels and aim servos without the player ever needing to wire anything manually. You can create a simple robot which is drivable in just a few minutes!
The auto wiring feature will automatically hook up your machine with wiring that would seem logical. Just place parts that should be wired together down and the auto wiring system does the rest. The result is something that can be as simple as Robocraft 1 but with so much more power to be used for tuning and adding creative features to your Robots as you gain confidence in the new building systems.
Math And Logic Blocks
Are you a total nerd? Don’t worry, we are too! The math and logic blocks offer an extra level of complexity to building that can be explored if you so wish. These are usually combined with an assortment of powered joints and can be used to create interesting actions.
This is a very powerful new mode to Robocraft which transcends beyond just a single build. If you have a design you like to use frequently, you can copy it, and save it to your inventory.
You can then load up another save and place the Precon you just created in a completely different save
The Other New Features in Robocraft 2:
There are also a number of other features that we feel you’d really like as you spend more time with it. These include
Plates - new shapes that are ⅓ of a block thick to allow building with more fidelity
⅓ grid placement - allowing you to place on a finer grid when you need it
Base toggling - reduces the need to create scaffolding or ‘proxy build’
The Hotbar - Creating palettes of commonly used blocks as you want
Familiar features in Robocraft 2's Day Zero Build
Now that we've covered many of the new features that Robocraft players will be introduced to, below is a number of features that players will be familiar with, albeit with a few changes.!
The Test Map Area
We wanted to design a test map area that looked familiar to Robocraft players but shows off some of the unique features that are available in Robocraft 2.
There’s a structure in the map that may look familiar to Robocraft players, we’ve revamped it a little bit to include targets which you are able to shoot and test your weapon’s accuracy.
Additionally, unlike any map in Robocraft, this structure also features a working elevator that is activated based on the player activating a positional trigger.
This has enormous potential for future game modes!
We’ve already covered the tower in the centre of the map that is destructible earlier in the post. But surrounding that tower is a number of simple AI bots which drive around in a circle. You are free to use these for target and ramming practice!
If you want to test your machine's own structural integrity you can of course shoot at it with the stationary turrets on the map, but are you brave enough to step into the aggro zone of an auto-aim turret?
Over 200 Building Bays
Previously, Robocraft 1 was limited to just 100 build bays. We have ramped this up to 250 build bays!
The Community Robot Factory 2 will be an important part of Robocraft 2 and we have uploaded a couple of robots for you all to test. The CRF in the original Robocraft required players to purchase the robot before they were able to test it, this was a significant issue because it felt like players were not quite sure whether a robot they purchased controlled as they expected.
In Robocraft 2, The CRF2 allows you to test a robot before you exchange currency to use it in battle!
Once you have uploaded a bot to the CRF, you are able to change its name and description, but you cannot edit it.
We need the CRF2 flooded with awesome robot designs! So we can’t wait for you to download it tomorrow and start uploading your bots!
In the very first build of Robocraft 2, you will only have access to a small number of colours. We are working on a palette system which will allow for full RGB colour customisation.
So now we’ve gone into detail on all of the changes, improvements and additions based around Robocraft 1, given you a date for the first playable demo and told you what you can expect to play… We should also talk very briefly about our plans beyond this.
Our next BIG release will be to get online multiplayer working with server-side physics in the very first game mode for Robocraft 2. This is a huge challenge and we will be keeping you posted on the development on our discord server and our socials.
Below is a list of other features that are on our minds, but we don’t have any dates for these.
Online battling with a new Battle Arena game mode with maps that have varied game features such as drivable Payloads, mannable turrets, spawnable megabots that can be controlled by multiple players at once, varying gravity, even zero’G
Robot Switching mid-battle so you can adapt to the battle by changing Robot as the in-battle tactics shift
A new seasonal Tech Pass progression system
Competitive leagues including constructors championship for the best builders on the CRF
Modular Tank tracks
Hovers, Aircraft, Mechs - then who knows, maybe Boats, Subs, Spacecraft
Assault rifle for Cray (and other playable characters)
Triggerable TNT-style blocks
Full RGB colour painting
More build tools
Physics-based weaponry (think gravity guns or grappling hooks)
Thank you everyone for reading this far and we hope you’re excited for Robocraft 2’s day zero as we are!