August 24th-27th 2012 :: Theme: Evolution

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Robo Rancher

by metadept - 48 Hour Compo Entry

My first LD submission, Robo Rancher is a game about breeding little robots for desirable characteristics, then feeding them into a hellish test course. Written in XNA/C# so it requires Windows and .NET libraries. Enjoy!

Notes: Unfortunately I didn't set this to use Reach (was very tired when I compiled, go figure...) so it won't run on some lower end systems. I'm working on a post-compo version to add some efficiency and usability improvements, as well as more exciting and challenging progression of the test chamber for those who are interested.

Downloads and Links




Porpentine says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:59am

I like the interface. Maybe I was expecting more out of the testing chamber (greater fluidity of speed, carnage, something like that?), but this has a cool tactile feel in the dragging of things around to little boxes.

thewiseguy99 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 3:29am

Nice first time entry. Good Job

dredlockz says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:47pm

This computer doesn't support the HiDef profile, you should consider using the Reach profile for XNA if your game doesn't require the HiDef capabilities (i'm pretty sure small 2D games like these don't).

Kayelgee says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:41pm

ok I played this for too long now, I've decided there isn't an end to this game, after having the perfect farm bot with everything maxed except hostility, there's nothing more to do
I noticed that it's much harder to lower a skill when it's already pretty low but it's easier to increase a skill which is already high.
The interface is kinda annoying, I'm constantly clicking breed, getting a tank from holding to exam, then check my breed bots then scrap one of those three and start over.
the scrap box is waaaay to far away from the exam & breeding box. I would like to see a scrap all tanks in holding area button or hotkeys would also help.

Overall I really like the game I would like to see a post compo version :)

kibertoad says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 10:13pm

Best UI ever. Also great idea. I'd pay for it should it get developed in a full game :).

plule says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 10:38pm

Great, it really deserves a more polished version!

hgcummings says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 10:43pm

Innovative idea and nice graphics. Some sound would make a big difference I think. The gameplay got a little bit repetitive: Perhaps the test chamber could be made more exciting/challenging.

PaulSB says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 10:46pm

Oh nice idea... well once I got past the idea of robots breeding... hehe. Interface is really nice just lacking a bit of sound. Progress in improving the bots was very slow but overall nice effort!

Aug 30, 2012 @ 6:57pm

Wow! I really loved this one. I really loved what you did here. The UI setup is pretty brilliant (except maybe the placement of the scrap button, but that's a minor issue). Overall, one of my favorites! I'd love to see you take this one a few weeks further at least.

ramoncb says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:27pm

Very nice idea, and fit well with the theme! I just think the test chamber needs more 'action', perhaps the possibility to put more than one tank, for example, definitely deserve a post-compo version!

Sep 1, 2012 @ 6:40am

Definitely enjoyed this (actually got a little addicted). There's a lot of good stuff that's been pointed out so I'll skip straight to what I think could make this even better.

The main problem is there really isn't a win OR lose condition as it's super easy to earn way more scrap than you need (I ended my session with over 1400) and the game doesn't even let you place a bot in the Test area if there's only two left. I found out that it does game over if you instead drag one of the two remaining bots into the Trash but that seems kind of silly as no one would do that except by accident.

What I would propose is a timer. Give the player a set amount of time to make it as far as they can in the Test area. You could do the inverse as well by requiring them to make it certain distance and then judging them based on their time.

I would also make scrap far less abundant. Since defeated towers turn into scrap themselves, it seems like you would only need separate piles of the stuff right at the start and then the OCCASIONAL pile further down the road. More powerful towers (which would look visually unique) might also be a good addition for the mid to late game, and they could turn into those "super" scrap piles when defeated.

As for the interface, I found myself immediately dragging every new bot into the Exam area, so I would suggest, to save a lot of unnecessary mouse manipulation, that each newly bred bot is placed into the Exam area automatically. If the player clicks Breed! again before doing anything else, that bot would get bumped into the Holding area and the new bot would take its place.

Also, moving the Trash much closer to the Exam and Breeding areas would be good, as has been pointed out already. It might require redesigning the whole layout of the interface to accommodate the change but it would definitely help usability.

So anyway, this is an impressive first LD entry and with a few tweaks and a little more polish (and sounds and music!) this could be a really fun little game. And if you remade it in Flash (Flixel would work perfectly and isn't hard to pick up) I could see it being received quite well on a portal like Kongregate.


TheRealJefe says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 3:17am

I think I might need a bit more time to understand how the breeding works but damn is this good ^_^

michax says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 8:38pm

Wow, fresh idea with nice graphics :) Enjoyed playing it. As improvement it would be nice to have some visual distinction showing how "good" tanks are.

Gabriel says ...
Sep 13, 2012 @ 10:53pm

Nice concept! And the graphics are awesome too!
It kinda reminds me a mix of tamagochi with Tower Defense, I think it definitely has potential specially if you add a challenging progressive difficulty (right now, it's impossible to die due to lack of ability or poor choices). Hope you keep developing it! ;)


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