Rabid Robots (web) - (Released)

#1

Hey all. I’m working on finishing a little project that I’ve had sitting around for a couple years, called Rabid Robots. It’s a simplified rip-off of the web game Frantic Frigates, if anyone’s ever played that.


Now released on Kongregate:
https://www.kongregate.com/games/Ross_/rabid-robots


It’s a very simple action/arcade game. Your character follows your mouse cursor and automatically shoots the closest enemy. You walk around dodging bullets, picking up gold, buying upgrades, and trying to survive as long as you can.

I’ve had tons of ideas on how to make it bigger and better, but at this point I just want to polish it up and release it, and leave everything else for a possible sequel. If anyone here wants to do me a favor, give it a try and let me know what you think! I’m sure there are a bunch of little things missing that I’ve glossed over, and any feature requests are welcome. I don’t plan on making major changes, though if it’s just not fun at all then I’ll have to rethink that. My to-do list is pretty much empty, so let me know anything that comes to mind!

Cheers!

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#2

Would love to try it, but I don’t have access to a laptop for another couple of weeks! It runs too slowly on my phone, I’m guessing there are a bunch of shaders in play?

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#3

It’s cool! I guess in my mind I see this kind of game to have a bit more rhythm and waves.
Also it would be interesting to see the effect of limiting the range at which the shooting begin.

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#4

It was fun but it didn’t run very well on my laptop on Chrome. It became quite sluggish after a while. Also the difficulty curve probably needs a bit of tweaking. When is new enemy types introduced? Based on time or based on what I’ve bought? It was only towards the end that it became really challenging and at that point it felt more because of low fps than due to too many bullets to dodge.


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#5

Ah, I didn’t test it on mobile, but I’m not surprised. No shaders (only the default ones anyway), but there are a lot of objects and scripts updating. I will try to optimize it more.

Cool, thanks! Hmm, yeah, Frantic Frigates has bosses which divide the game into chunks. Maybe I should consider that. Do you mean the range of the player shooting, or the enemies?

Hmm, that’s a pain. I will try to optimize things more, but maybe I will just have to reduce the amount of things on-screen.
New enemies are introduced at set times. Ah, too easy, eh? I was worried about it being too hard! And with low FPS too, I guess you are better at dodging than I am. :smiley: I will tweak it.


Awesome, thanks for the feedback, guys! I’ll take it as a good sign that no one commented about bugs or usability issues. It looks like performance is the biggest issue, which is a real pain, but I’ll see what I can do.

I replayed some Frantic Frigates last night and got a bit depressed, haha. I think in my game I removed most of the design features that make Frantic Frigates interesting. So now I’m back to waffling between, “There’s no point in releasing a mediocre game, work on it for another couple weeks+” and following Edicts #12 and #13.

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#6

Whoa, something weird is happening on Chrome on my machine. DrawRenderList is taking 27ms instead of the 1ms it takes on Firefox. Hmmm.

(You can press F8 in game to toggle the profiler.)

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#7

Are you using a debug or release build? The debug builds check for errors between every graphics call and this is extremely slow on Chrome. It can be disabled though:

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#8

Ahhh! Yup, it’s a debug build. Thanks! I will upload a release build.

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#9

Or modify index.html and disable graphics call error checking.

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#10

Yeah, maybe I will just do that. (done)

Incidentally, did it seem like it was running in slow motion when you tried it with Chrome? When I try it, not only is the frame-rate low, but it’s actually running the game slower. If I watch the play-time counter in the top right, it’s going about half speed. I just ask because this would make the difficulty a lot easier.
(It runs correctly if I lower the frame cap in the project settings.)

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#11

After every upgrade, the magnet range is so wide that the game becomes a simple bullet dodge game.

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#12

Yup, that’s true. You also have no need for money at that point. In fact, most of the enemies that spawn at the end of the game don’t drop gold at all. Is that . . .“bad” to you? You want to keep amassing tons of money anyway? I figured it would just be distracting and cost performance for no reason.

Thanks for your feedback! (this is something I would never think of.)

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#13

It is kind of hard for a casual player like myself, at first I was running in circles around lots of enemies thought gold came just from the kills… then I realized you had to pick it up, and things got interesting. I liked it, the gameplay is cool.

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#14

I am loving this game :heart:

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#15

Some after thoughts about this game:

  • Again, I :heart: this game.
  • Consider adding a pause button and a show shop button to pop-up shop even on mobile devices (or maybe gestures?)
  • As you wrote in a previous post, you should consider adding Bosses/Something similar to the game, which divide the game in parts. The game could then be saved after you defeat each boss.
  • Give us a break!! - You should really consider adding short breaks during waves. It is very hard to go on continuously :stuck_out_tongue:
  • Add more items and weaponry ?
  • Pickups?
  • Zoom into the screen more like Frantic Frigates. This will reduce the number of enemies that have to be on screen at an instant and also will increase the fun imo.
  • Performance - Initially runs very smoothly, even on mobile devices, but begins to lag after enemy hordes begin to appear.

Have you considered releasing this on mobile stores?

3 Likes

#16

Well, I was being kind of a wimp about putting in the time to really change & improve things, but then it only took about one (long) day yesterday to totally revamp the shop. Now it’s like Frantic Frigates, instead of all the upgrades adding up, you have a limited number of equipment slots. You can buy more slots, and can equip and un-equip any upgrades that you have purchased. I think it makes it way more interesting, and extends the play time a lot because you have so many more options.

Of course that changed the balance completely! I’ve got things back to a reasonable state now, but it will definitely need more testing and tweaking.

Other changes:

  • Added double-clicking to the shop for buying/equipping/unequipping, as appropriate.
  • Revamped the appearance of the UI a bit so it doesn’t look like complete garbage.
  • Paused enemy spawning at the end of each stage until you kill all the enemies.
  • Added a progress indicator showing roughly how long the current stage will last.
  • Show HUD messages when changing stages, etc.
  • Player HUD: Only show current health. The “max health” business was pointless and confusing.
  • Increased the gold duration by 25%.
  • Added a new, fast, harmless enemy to the early stages.

@Edd Cool, thanks for the feedback! I’ve changed a bunch of things, so now I have to rebalance things again, but I am spending a lot of time trying to make it easy in the beginning and ramping up later.

@TheKing009 Haha, glad you like it! (obviously I can’t take credit for the basic game idea.) Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback!

  • #1 - :defold: :heart:
  • #2 - Mobile controls: Yeah, I should probably get with the times and try to support mobile. I’ll look into this. Is it possible to detect if the user is on a mobile device from a HTML5 game?
  • #3 (and #4) - I already had set up stages when the enemy spawn distribution changed. Now I made it so it pauses spawning at the end of each stage until you kill all the enemies on screen. So if you’re doing well, there’s basically no break, but if you’re in trouble, you get as much time as you need to try and recover (though sometimes you may still die of course).
  • #5 (and #6)(More, more, more! Items, weapons, & pickups!) - Heh, hmmm, maybe. I’ve considered letting you buy one special ability (that uses gold maybe, or just a cooldown). but I’m not sure. This is the kind of “extra bonus” feature that I’m most likely to cut. Also if I want to support mobile there’s the problem of how to control it. Also if I add much more I’ll have to add another page to the shop, haha.
  • #7 - Zoom: Hmm. I’ll think about this. I don’t think it’ll actually help performance noticeably. Generally if there’s a lot of enemies they’re all in a clump in the center of the screen. Also I don’t think it’s rendering that slows the game down, and all the scripts will still be running even if they’re off-screen. I may give it a try for the fun-factor though.
  • #8 - Performance: Gotcha, yeah. I need to figure out some way to reduce the max number of things on screen in a natural way, while keeping the game balance.

Nope. Well, not until now (…but still not really). I don’t own a mobile device myself, and generally don’t have much interest in mobile stuff. (Yes, it’s weird that I’m using a mobile-focused engine…)

2 Likes

#17

I got super hooked on this.

  • Took me a moment to understand the equipping mechanic - I had the upgrades but not the slots for them.
  • I felt balance was good, leaning towards hard (but in a good way).
  • I was at a point where my speed exceeded my magnetism, so (I think) money was despawning while it was “chasing” me. That didn’t feel great, cause I constantly had to intentionally stutter / quickly turn to grab money. Maybe that’s intended, because it did make things more challenging.
  • It ran perfectly for me, no performance issues at all.

Great job!

2 Likes

#18

OK. I’ll see about adding some feedback or instructions about this.

Yeah, I haven’t fixed this because I kind of like that it forces you to take breaks from endlessly orbiting around the outside of the screen. But, it is pretty annoying, so I’ll probably fix it soon.

Thanks a lot!

1 Like

#19

New version up—Added sounds, final score display, fixed the magnet, etc.

Changes:

  • Made weird sounds for most things.
    • (One of these years I need to write myself some sound editing software…)
  • Added a volume slider to the main menu and save & load the setting from disk.
  • Added some notification messages to the shop to hopefully flatten the learning curve a bit.
  • Added a number to the HUD to show the current stage number.
  • Show final scores in main menu after you die or quit.
  • Changed the magnet to have proper falloff.
    • You can still get a clump of money chasing you, but only at higher speeds, and this can actually be fixed by buying a bigger magnet, since the pull is no longer linear.
    • IMO the smooth attraction looks nicer, and sometimes you get pleasing, curved trails of money in your wake. :smiley:
  • Increased the starting magnet range a bit to account for the weaker pull at the edge of the range.
  • Optimized enemy bullets and money.
    • There used to be a script on every enemy bullet and on every coin. Now there isn’t, the bullets use go.animate() and the coins are all managed by the coin spawner script. I tweaked the code to make it a bit more efficient as well.
    • I’m honestly not sure how much this gained me, but I know it didn’t hurt. It’s a bit hard to tell exactly without having two versions of the code and setting up specific tests, which I didn’t feel like doing.

[Edit] Ugh, and apparently I added some bugs…with things I didn’t change at all…

2 Likes

#20

I’m enjoying the sound effects and the QOL fixes.

I like the magnet, though it seems a bit off towards the very edge. It looks like the money is within range but the movement is so slow that it appears to stand still. Minor nitpick that.

I think I’ve hit some sort of bug. By the end of stage 6 / moving into stage 7 units stopped dropping money and their spawn rate seems to have dropped off massively. The baddies have also stopped shooting!

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