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DF Brad

Automaton ARMS!

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Hey guys! I'm back with more SPREADSHEETS! :D!

This one's for the Automaton ARMS! We're trying to keep these really simple so that they will be as predictable and learnable as possible. There's going to be enough randomness and unpredictability from the Head behavior that keeping the Arms as basic as possible is going to be a huge win.

Notes:

Mining Laser - The only thing that can damage the Fusion Cores found in the world and release their energy. You'll need to construct Automatons to harvest these for you!

Klaxon - This sound is super loud and will trigger other Automatons that can react to audio input.

Mule Nub - A sphere with arcing electricity. Grab anything and throw it at the Mule Nub and it will stick, allowing you to create Automatons that can carry stuff for you!

Energy Collector - Gathers loose Energy. This Energy is released when the Automaton is deactivated or destroyed.

Laser - Standard "machine gun" style laser.

Suicide Hammer - Melee weapon that destroys the user but does a huge amount of PBAoE damage.

Sniper Laser - Standard sniper type weapon - high damage, long cooldown.

Helicopter Blade - Melee weapon that deals constant damage.

Grenade Launcher - Medium range launcher, high chaos factor from poor accuracy. Also the explosions are LOUD!

Scatter Laser - Standard "shotgun" laser.

Artillery Launcher - Long range artillery. Can fire over walls. Explosions are also LOUD!

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Interesting stuff. Particularly like the idea of the Mule Nub. If I'm gonna have a bunch of robots around, it makes sense to make them carry my stuff for me.

Will the Energy Collector also be something the player can carry and use, or do they need an automaton to be their "battery" in order to move energy from place to place?

What does the PB in "PBAoE damage" stand for? I'm familiar with Area of Effect, but that's new to me.

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Interesting stuff. Particularly like the idea of the Mule Nub. If I'm gonna have a bunch of robots around, it makes sense to make them carry my stuff for me.

Will the Energy Collector also be something the player can carry and use, or do they need an automaton to be their "battery" in order to move energy from place to place?

What does the PB in "PBAoE damage" stand for? I'm familiar with Area of Effect, but that's new to me.

The Energy Collector is a bot-only arm, the player can't use it. It's really more of a convenience arm. The bot will incidentally collect loose energy for you and then it will drop it when you deactivate it or its destroyed.

The PB stands for Point Blank! It's just a shorthand to denote AoE's that can only go off at the origin of the attacker! :D

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Is the Klaxon supposed to attract your Automatons, or enemies? or both? I guess it would make the most sense for both, maybe triggering a suicide bot to do his thing and triggering enemies to prematurely do whatever they do.

Dumb idea of the day I just had that you should ignore:

You have a first person camera with arms stretched out, what if you could hug your bots and give them buffs/heals?

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I'd have to see it in the game to be sure but I'm not too keen on the sniper laser. I generally don't like snipers in games, being shot by some unknown enemy from some unknown location is never fun. It seems that the only fun to be found with snipers is when you're the one doing the sniping, but since this is a weapon only a bot can use that side of the equation feels negated.

That being said, setting up a sniper bot on a ridge that reacts to movement and has good vision might be an effective way for a player to clear out an area. Once the area is cleared the player could deactivate the sniper and move in. I not sure, however, if the kind of standoff-ish gameplay that a sniper laser provides is a good fit for the game. Autonomous feels more like a game that want's the player to be in the chaotic mix putting themselves in harms way.

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@Brad: Makes sense, but I guess what I was wondering was more along the lines of "Can the player pick up energy on his own?" Obviously, the Fusion Core energy will be bots-only, but once it's been liberated, I mean. Once an automaton goes down, can we store his energy in like a battery and go find other primitives to infuse with life, or is it immobile and we need to carry our primitives to him in order to assemble them?

@Bent: You seem to have played games where snipers haven't been designed with good counter play. Go watch this video for a few good examples of how snipers can be interesting to play against.

In this game, I'd say it depends pretty heavily on how the balancing falls out. My first instinct would be to have sniper fire be damaging, but not so much that a faster robot with a higher-DPS weapon couldn't take a hit and shoot back if you invested energy. Another idea would be to maybe give Earbot a particular ability to triangulate the origin of a sniper laser's distinct firing sound*, then drop artillery shells from outside visual range. Or you can just make lots of cheap automata to zerg snipers down before they can get through their cooldowns. There's many ways a sniper can be countered, but it depends on the balancing choices.

*Inspired by things like this, even though a single Earbot wouldn't really have the microphone dispersal needed for good triangulation.

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@Bent: You seem to have played games where snipers haven't been designed with good counter play. Go watch this video for a few good examples of how snipers can be interesting to play against.

I recognize that snipers often seem to serve as a trump card of sorts that keep certain classes and strategies from being overpowered and that some games would be ruined if snipers where to be removed without replacing them with something that plays a similar role. However, from a visceral gameplay experience perspective I find that snipers, even if there are built in strategies for dealing with them, ratchet up the frustration factor and decrease my enjoyment of a game.

That being said, I think it's important not to lose focus on the fact that Autonomous is not an FPS. It's a different beast altogether, it won't really have the any of the same mechanics. My concern runs more to the idea that in a game in which the player is up close and hands on in the craziness and has only one life, that ranged anonymous damage doesn't seem to add to the fun or jibe with the rest of the gameplay.

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@Bent: You seem to have played games where snipers haven't been designed with good counter play. Go watch this video for a few good examples of how snipers can be interesting to play against.

I recognize that snipers often seem to serve as a trump card of sorts that keep certain classes and strategies from being overpowered and that some games would be ruined if snipers where to be removed without replacing them with something that plays a similar role. However, from a visceral gameplay experience perspective I find that snipers, even if there are built in strategies for dealing with them, ratchet up the frustration factor and decrease my enjoyment of a game.

That being said, I think it's important not to lose focus on the fact that Autonomous is not an FPS. It's a different beast altogether, it won't really have the any of the same mechanics. My concern runs more to the idea that in a game in which the player is up close and hands on in the craziness and has only one life, that ranged anonymous damage doesn't seem to add to the fun or jibe with the rest of the gameplay.

I think you guys are jumping the gun a bit on this stuff! :D It's fun to theorycraft gameplay but when you're dealing with something weird and new like Autonomous you really don't want to slice off avenues too early. It's super quick to get a sniper rifle in and try it once we have our bot weapon systems working (SUPER CLOSE NOW BTW!). We'll get it on screen and mess around with it and see how it feels and make tons of adjustments.

I agree that in theory it could feel terrible to have a bot snipe you from a long distance. But we have soooo many variables we can tune! Damage, Fire Rate, Accuracy, Tracking Speed, etc. We don't have to make the MLG PRO NO SCOPE HEADSHOT sniper rifle if it's wrong for the game. :D

I think the pros of having long range weaponry in the game far outweigh the cons right now so we're gonna try it! :D

If it's terrible we're definitely adult enough around here (just barely!) to remove them and try something else!

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*delete*

caught up on some video/streaming content and answered my own question! =]

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I think you guys are jumping the gun a bit on this stuff! :D It's fun to theorycraft gameplay but when you're dealing with something weird and new like Autonomous you really don't want to slice off avenues too early. It's super quick to get a sniper rifle in and try it once we have our bot weapon systems working (SUPER CLOSE NOW BTW!). We'll get it on screen and mess around with it and see how it feels and make tons of adjustments.

I agree that in theory it could feel terrible to have a bot snipe you from a long distance. But we have soooo many variables we can tune! Damage, Fire Rate, Accuracy, Tracking Speed, etc. We don't have to make the MLG PRO NO SCOPE HEADSHOT sniper rifle if it's wrong for the game. :D

I think the pros of having long range weaponry in the game far outweigh the cons right now so we're gonna try it! :D

If it's terrible we're definitely adult enough around here (just barely!) to remove them and try something else!

It's all cool man. I don't think anybody here was actually worried about the inclusion/exclusion of the sniper laser. I for one (and I think everyone else as well) was assuming that you'd try all this stuff out and make decisions accordingly. However, it's just as you said it's "fun to theorycraft gameplay" and I find that it's through discussion that new ideas are generated and existing ideas refined. And after all, if not for discussion then what are the forums for?

Edit

Fixed some Copy-Pasta

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Brad seems to have a real head for design, and it's fun to see his enthusiasm in the videos. Kaiju Piledriver was the only one I voted for, and part of that was my confidence in Brad's work, but it seems like he's really bringing a lot to Autonomous, and now that's the one I'm most excited for.

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Helicopter Blade - Melee weapon that deals constant damage.

When it's on, in addition to being a melee weapon, will the Helicopter Blade affect bot speed or suck stuff to it (or blow stuff away) such as the player or random garbage?

Also, I know it's not on the spreadsheet so I don't expect it in the prototype, but I was wondering how much thought was given to a set of arms (or something) that would allow a bot to go around and pick up robot parts and assemble them into finished bots.

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Helicopter Blade - Melee weapon that deals constant damage.

When it's on, in addition to being a melee weapon, will the Helicopter Blade affect bot speed or suck stuff to it (or blow stuff away) such as the player or random garbage?

Also, I know it's not on the spreadsheet so I don't expect it in the prototype, but I was wondering how much thought was given to a set of arms (or something) that would allow a bot to go around and pick up robot parts and assemble them into finished bots.

I love that idea! I don't think it will get in for the prototype, but have the helicopter blade push things away when it's in use is very interesting. It would blow debris around, tripping Movement Responses from bots that can see it. That's pretty sweet and very chaotic!

It's an interesting idea, but I think that we want to keep construction as something that only the player can do. But the idea of picking stuff up and dropping it in a certain location is kind of cool!

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