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Author Topic: Voxatron (indy dev's "Robotron w/ Voxels")  (Read 1069 times)
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Blackjack
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« on: January 06, 2011, 04:02:44 PM »

I still play and love Williams' Robotron 2084 on my Atari Lynx (developed by Shadowsoft).

So when I read about a new indy game likened to "Robotron with voxels," I got excited. Though it's apparently not due out until Fall 2011, it'll be on Windows and Mac. A "one-arena preview version" is supposedly due at some point.

Voxatron official site:
http://www.lexaloffle.com/voxatron.php
Quote
Voxatron is an arena shooter that takes place in a world made of voxels (little cubes, kind of). Everything in the game is displayed in a virtual 128x128x64 voxel display, including the menus and player inventory. If you look closely, you can sometimes see the inventory (score/life/ammo) casting a shadow on some of the objects on the ground.

I've been working on voxel rendering and modeling tools for a long time now, with the ultimate goal of making a large explorey adventure game. About half a year ago it fused with work I was doing on arena shooters for Conflux, and this is the result.

It's quite a simple game at heart -- mostly just Robotron set in a 3d destructible world with goofy creatures. I'm unsure how major the implications of destructibility will be for gameplay, but it sure is fun to blast away pieces of wall. I've also added an experimental wall-building pickup you can use to construct barriers to hide from scary monsters.

The game takes place in a small set of arenas. Some of them feature rooms with set action pieces, somewhere between Knightlore and Smash TV. This is some of the original adventure based design sneaking back in, and an excuse to create thematic environments.

Features:
- Custom software rendering with soft shadows.
- Built-in sound and music synthesizer (also used to make the trailer music).
- Playback & post game recording.
Voxatron: Robotron With Voxels
http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2011/01/voxatron_robotron_with_voxels.php

I'm almost more inclined to call it "Robotron with Legos" but I think that's a trademark issue.  icon_razz It seems to have some destructible environments to some extent too.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 04:05:46 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Blackjack
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 04:08:16 PM »

The guy (I think it's a solo dev) answered some questions in the comments thread at his site:
http://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=201
Quote
dMITIC - the player can shoot 8 ways. It's actually just a fluke it doesn't happen in the trailer (maybe because I was grappling with video capture hotkeys)

[Question about having 2-player play] csigh - for sure. Perhaps not the adventurey levels (it complicates the design too much) but 2-player robotron style levels on the same machine.

dcco, efnx - the rendering engine is quite simple and brute force. It's all in software, and each frame everything is 'blitted' into a back-buffer voxel map. At the end of the frame, the voxel map is scanned for possibly visible edges and drawn as a bunch of polygons lit with a shadow map that is generated every frame. There's no spatial optimisation or anything, because the voxel data can change arbitrarily every frame and it's not worth calculating.

dcco - the physics is quite standard 2d platform physics. The main difference is that when pieces of wall/ground start moving, they are broken out of a fixed world voxel map, and then burnt back into it when they stop moving. So it's easy to let exploded monsters pile up etc. -- I just don't do it because the world gets too messy and starts to look like a pollack painting.
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 08:01:46 PM »

The alpha of the game is now available from http://www.humblebundle.com/

I'm liking the Adventure Mode so far, though it's quickly becoming Nintendo-hard (at least to me).
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Harkonis
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 08:32:08 PM »

watching the money tick up is sad because so many people are paying $1
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 09:25:58 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on October 31, 2011, 08:32:08 PM

watching the money tick up is sad because so many people are paying $1

True, but that's probably more than they would have paid if the game was $15.  When you combine thousands of people paying even $1 instead of not buying the game at all, it can add up to considerable amounts.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 10:06:20 PM »

Given my current "Trine 2 beta won't even start" status, I'm a little hesitant to go in on an alpha, even if I did start this thread.  icon_smile
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 11:16:41 PM »

does one game count as a 'bundle'?

i'm still going to get it, as i like these frantic shooters and the aesthetics are immensely pleasing (to me, at least).
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 11:24:58 PM »

I'd say it is definitely in better shape than I expected for an indie game in "alpha" state.  Pretty fun little game so far.  

I'm not sure I really like the limited view that they have implemented, especially since enemies "off screen" can be shooting at me, but if they had a proper view distance that went until the end of my screen I would be able to see them.

I also hope that they change the controls to allow dual stick shooting, since most of the time you are running one direction and firing the other, and it kind of sucks to have to start running to the right to get locked into shooting that direction before you actually start running left.

I would also like to see a mode where all the enemy gibs are permanent, so you're just building up a giant pile of little blocky enemy guts.  smile
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Blackjack
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2011, 03:57:52 AM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on October 31, 2011, 11:24:58 PM

I also hope that they change the controls to allow dual stick shooting, since most of the time you are running one direction and firing the other, and it kind of sucks to have to start running to the right to get locked into shooting that direction before you actually start running left.
That sounds a little like one of the firing modes in the Atari Lynx version of Robotron 2084. That's still one of my favorite Lynx games but with no second gamepad, they had to settle for some very awkward firing schemes that couldn't replicate the simple joys of the arcade game's twin stick setup.

There was one mode where you had to sort of fire in the direction you were moving. In the mode I usually use, each button press rotates the aim a few degrees clockwise. Which sounds awful but was the closest the Lynx controls could get to a free wheeling twin stick mode  icon_smile
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 03:59:34 AM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2011, 04:44:37 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on November 01, 2011, 03:57:52 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on October 31, 2011, 11:24:58 PM

I also hope that they change the controls to allow dual stick shooting, since most of the time you are running one direction and firing the other, and it kind of sucks to have to start running to the right to get locked into shooting that direction before you actually start running left.
That sounds a little like one of the firing modes in the Atari Lynx version of Robotron 2084. That's still one of my favorite Lynx games but with no second gamepad, they had to settle for some very awkward firing schemes that couldn't replicate the simple joys of the arcade game's twin stick setup.

There was one mode where you had to sort of fire in the direction you were moving. In the mode I usually use, each button press rotates the aim a few degrees clockwise. Which sounds awful but was the closest the Lynx controls could get to a free wheeling twin stick mode  icon_smile

Now I feel old as I remember that game fondly on my Lynx. biggrin

Also, boughtenen. And for $15 as well. Loads of fun, really, really needs a Robotron firing scheme. All it has now is 'push and hold fire to keep shooting that way', although mouse controls have some kind of funky 'rotate to a point to rotate your firing position'.

Should be interesting to see what the modders do with this.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2011, 04:54:14 PM »

I'm puzzled on PC why it wouldn't just let you aim/swivel aiming direction with the mouse (as with, say, Shadowgrounds, Alien Breed, Alien Swarm). Unless either, they really want to limit you that way, or there's some technical flaw in the engine that prevents them from doing that.
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2011, 08:30:04 PM »

They've added Blocks That Matter and The Binding of Isaac to the bundle, if you pay more than the average.
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