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Redbot’s Reboot Official Thread
Posted: 16 November 2012 05:37 PM
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Project Lead: Oliver Franzke

Of course everybody knows Redbot as explorer of the great gray pyramids and teacher of programming methodologies. What most people aren’t aware of, however, is that he is also a connoisseur of a wide range of different alcoholic beverages. Every once in a while the algorithm that is supposed to control his intoxication level fails for mysterious reasons (Redbot blames gamma-ray radiation) and he has a few too many drinks. One buffer overflow leads to another and before long memory gets corrupted and Redbot has absolutely no clue how to get home anymore. This is where he will need your help! In this strategic platformer you have to program Redbot to find his way back home. After cueing up individual traversal operations like walk forward, jump or slide (to name just a few examples) you can reboot Redbot and see your plan unfold. But did you account for that new oil spill or the other roaming robots? No matter the outcome watching Redbot stumble through the world is fun and he probably won’t remember a thing anyway…

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Posted: 16 November 2012 07:12 PM
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Welcome to AF thread about Redbot’s Reboot.

Please feel free to ask me questions or to share your thoughts. I’m excited about AF. Let’s make Redbot’s Reboot happen together!

http://www.humblebundle.com/double-fine#redbots_reboot

edit: Link to pitch added

[ Edited: 19 November 2012 11:43 AM by DF Oliver ]
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Posted: 19 November 2012 01:31 PM
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Here some answers to frequently (and potentially) asked questions:

What is idea of the game?
Redbot’s Reboot is a 2D platformer with a twist. Unlike most sidescrollers which are action-based this game requires the player to look at a given scenario and formulate a solution to the problem of how to get a robot from the starting point to the exit using discrete steps (aka commands). After programming Redbot using an intuitive user interface you can see your plan unfold by executing the algorithm you designed.

What about an intuitive example?
Imagine Redbot has to traverse the following level from start to exit:
eggEM.png
To reach the exit Redbot will have to walk forward until he reaches the wall and then jump on top of it before walking to the exit. So the solution to this scenario looks like this:
ej5jW.png
More complex scenarios will require the player to navigate Redbot around hazards like oil spills and electric fields or other (drunken) robots. The goal is to make the planning aspect fast and fun so you can see the results of your algorithm as quickly as possible.

How did you come up with idea?
The idea for this game originates from the initial stages of the Double Fine Adventure project for which I created and animated simple red robot in order to be able to test the navigation system. While walking Redbot around in the early 2D environments I kept wondering how a turn-based sidescroller would look like and Amnesia Fortnight seemed to be the perfect time to experiment with this idea. Combining well-known game mechanics in interesting ways is fun.

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Posted: 19 November 2012 02:38 PM
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In the latest professor layton game (Miracle Mask) there’s a turn based robot minigame where you have to get him past obstacles and to a goal. If you haven’t seen it i’d recommend youtubing it, but anyways, do you think there’d be any possibility of having multiple solutions to each area that you traverse? Or would this be more strict and only allow one possible solution?

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Posted: 19 November 2012 02:49 PM
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also, do you remember castle of dr. brain by sierra, oliver? theres also something like this. can you elaborate a bit further why is your game different?
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mXAMPFpOsw goto 4:20

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Posted: 19 November 2012 02:54 PM
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thoseposers - 19 November 2012 02:38 PM

In the latest professor layton game (Miracle Mask) there’s a turn based robot minigame where you have to get him past obstacles and to a goal. If you haven’t seen it i’d recommend youtubing it, but anyways, do you think there’d be any possibility of having multiple solutions to each area that you traverse? Or would this be more strict and only allow one possible solution?

There will definitely be different ways to solve a scenario. You could use the environment or other robots in creative ways. Also I was thinking about a mode where you could pick up special commands that you can then use in later levels. The goal is to feature exploration over brute forcing… grin

Thanks for the tip I have to check that game out.

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Posted: 19 November 2012 02:58 PM
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Black_Hand - 19 November 2012 02:49 PM

also, do you remember castle of dr. brain by sierra, oliver? theres also something like this. can you elaborate a bit further why is your game different?
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mXAMPFpOsw goto 4:20

Oh man that looks awesome. Thanks for letting me know.

Other inspirations are board games like Robo Rally and Space Alert.

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Posted: 19 November 2012 03:07 PM
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ill check out those games youve posted, thanks smile.

you have no idea how much i have played that game, when i was a child. the scariest thing about that is that much later on, i have actually realized that it is considered to be an “educational” game :X. its still an awesome way to spend your time during travelling with a tablet or something. also works with scummvm! its also considered an abandonware too so, just grab it over here: http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/49/Castle+of+Dr.+Brain.html . since youre a programmer, i suggest taking the expert level difficulty. the second game in the series is less programmer focused though smile.

btw space alert is czech? lol kinda makes me proud that it had became so popular. but the name of the guy behind it seems quite familiar. i guess he made way too many board games.

[ Edited: 19 November 2012 03:11 PM by Black_Hand ]
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Posted: 19 November 2012 03:34 PM
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DF Oliver - 19 November 2012 02:54 PM
thoseposers - 19 November 2012 02:38 PM

In the latest professor layton game (Miracle Mask) there’s a turn based robot minigame where you have to get him past obstacles and to a goal. If you haven’t seen it i’d recommend youtubing it, but anyways, do you think there’d be any possibility of having multiple solutions to each area that you traverse? Or would this be more strict and only allow one possible solution?

There will definitely be different ways to solve a scenario. You could use the environment or other robots in creative ways. Also I was thinking about a mode where you could pick up special commands that you can then use in later levels. The goal is to feature exploration over brute forcing… grin

Thanks for the tip I have to check that game out.

Sounds awesome smile best of luck!

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Posted: 19 November 2012 08:45 PM
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There are also more recent games that want to teach you the basics of programming: http://www.kongregate.com/games/Coolio_Niato/light-bot
What a horrible world we live in. Every good idea has already been had. XD

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Posted: 19 November 2012 08:49 PM
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Dimitri - 19 November 2012 08:45 PM

There are also more recent games that want to teach you the basics of programming: http://www.kongregate.com/games/Coolio_Niato/light-bot
What a horrible world we live in. Every good idea has already been had. XD

Oh wow… yeah that is pretty close to my idea. It doesn’t have Redbot though! :D

Thanks for the link Dimitri.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 02:00 AM
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This is how you demonstrate programming to a liberal arts guy like me.

I’m picturing a notepad++ window that opens over the game screen as the interface. Is that close to your concept, or am I way off?

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Posted: 20 November 2012 08:46 AM
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You surely know Space-Chem:
http://www.spacechemthegame.com/

Oliver

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Posted: 20 November 2012 11:07 AM
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VicOfAges - 20 November 2012 02:00 AM

This is how you demonstrate programming to a liberal arts guy like me.

I’m picturing a notepad++ window that opens over the game screen as the interface. Is that close to your concept, or am I way off?

Thanks for your question VicOfAges.

The idea is to demonstrate the principles behind programming in an intuitive visual way. Basically I want to emphasize that it is fun to experiment with different ways to solve a navigational puzzle through programming.

For the GUI I’m envisioning a row of empty slots where commands can go into. You also have a pool of possible operations and you add them to the queue simply by clicking on them. Then you can hit run and see what happens. Even if there is a ‘bug’ in the solution it will still be fun to see Redbot stumble through the world and fall over stuff. ( Playing Space Alert with friends made me realize how hilarious unexpected behavior can be… grin )

But the educational aspect is just one of the facets I’d like to explore. I was thinking about collectible commands that give Redbot special abilities which you can then use to reach areas of levels you previously couldn’t access. Also I imagine the environment will play an important role. For example there could be escalators that move things (robots, crates, ...). Anyway I think there would be a lot of potential to explore.

grin

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Posted: 20 November 2012 11:19 AM
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Sleepcap - 20 November 2012 08:46 AM

You surely know Space-Chem:
http://www.spacechemthegame.com/

Oliver

I know about it but it I didn’t get around playing it yet ( I really would like to get this game for a tablet device wink )

My plan for Redbot’s Reboot is to make it as intuitive as possible. SpaceChem looks complicated at least at the first glance, but I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks dude!

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Posted: 20 November 2012 12:11 PM
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So schwer ist das gar nicht.
Es gibt nicht viele Befehle, die man anwenden kann, aber das timing ist kniffelig.
Wenn’s auf dem IPad mal günstiger wird (momentan 4.99€) werde ich das dort auch nochmals kaufen…
(Werbung aus)...

grin

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Posted: 20 November 2012 12:27 PM
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Sleepcap - 20 November 2012 12:11 PM

So schwer ist das gar nicht.
Es gibt nicht viele Befehle, die man anwenden kann, aber das timing ist kniffelig.
Wenn’s auf dem IPad mal günstiger wird (momentan 4.99€) werde ich das dort auch nochmals kaufen…
(Werbung aus)...

grin

Oh cool. Ich hab es gerade fuer iPad gekauft. Jetzt hab ich was zu zocken waehrend Thanksgiving.

Thanks Sleepcap!

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Posted: 20 November 2012 04:07 PM
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So glad this has spawned its own thing.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 04:26 PM
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Hey Oliver!

Seeing Redbot drunk like that reminded me of Bender from Futurama. And seeing as how “Happy Song” turned into a licendeced game eventually, maybe licencing Futurama would heat up this project.
Putting this in the world of Futurama would probably allow for more creativity.
Although, To be honest, I’d hate doing that since it would limit the scope of this, so I think imagining the game as a Futurama game and getting inspirations from that fantasy to create a personality for the Redbot is the best route to go for.

My thoughts:
Maybe putting the Redbot in a surreal landscape where the players have no expectations of what’s gonna happen, kinda like how LIMBO surprised the players, could work…
A fantasy surreal world with a new (programming) language? Perhaps?
... Oh man! I just made myself excited! If only I could work with you guys over there at DoubleFine…

PS: Loved the crazy eye/lips animation in the pitch video!

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Posted: 20 November 2012 11:34 PM
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DF Oliver - 20 November 2012 11:19 AM
Sleepcap - 20 November 2012 08:46 AM

You surely know Space-Chem:
http://www.spacechemthegame.com/

Oliver

I know about it but it I didn’t get around playing it yet ( I really would like to get this game for a tablet device wink )

My plan for Redbot’s Reboot is to make it as intuitive as possible. SpaceChem looks complicated at least at the first glance, but I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks dude!

Once you (successfully) complete a level in SpaceChem, you can compare your performance to that of the other players. This is shown in a graphical form (check 3 graphs to the left in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPvjpRBxcGw)

Since we’re talking algorithms, I would like to have something similar in Redbot’s Reboot: at first, performance could be measured by how many commands were used and how much time it took for Redbot to reach the exit.

Do you have any plans of implementing items? Something like putting a trampoline in front of a wall, then jumping multiple times on in until maximum height is reached, then jumping ahead. This could help to increase the number of possible solutions as well as creative solutions. This could be a third way to measure performance/efficiency/efficacy of the solutions.

Since we may have to repeat a fixed set of commands multiple times, it would be good if we could create/save subroutines. E.g. a subroutine could be a user-created single command representing all commands executed to place the trampoline in front of the wall, then jumping on it and then jumping ahead.

Having a text, notepad-like, interface for writing algorithms is a must, but having an interface with buttons representing the basic commands would be good too.

In the full game, please don’t forget about the level editor.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 02:25 AM
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I like the idea of a game which teaches programming, and I like the idea of a platformer which is not reflex based, so this looks cool.

Jon N/A - 20 November 2012 04:26 PM

Maybe putting the Redbot in a surreal landscape where the players have no expectations of what’s gonna happen, kinda like how LIMBO surprised the players, could work…

In my mind Redbot somehow travels to different worlds each time it drinks, by some unknown mechanism (which might be discovered over the coarse of the game), so he can end up in a classic fantasy world (where he must rescue the princess), a steampunk one, or something no one has seen before. This can allow putting other DF worlds and characters into the game, for extra fun. Just imagine Redbot going through a Psychonauts or Stacking scene, helping the heroes (or villains) of Middle Manager of Justice, etc. This would be awesome!

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Posted: 21 November 2012 02:33 AM
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nah, i think that redbot should travel every time he Jumps to Next Zone.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 06:32 AM
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The promotional video for this idea was kick-ass! By far the best in my opinion.

Most of the other guys just threw a red curtain behind them…Lazy!!!

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Posted: 22 November 2012 03:03 AM
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Hmmm, i think this game or the idea needs more polishing.
Not sure what it needs though, but i think in it current form it woud be a niche product.

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Posted: 22 November 2012 03:19 AM
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This resembles the way i learned java.

Karl is a “robot” used to learn students how to work with methods and algorithmes.
Is this a coincidence or did you used this as an inspirational source.

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Posted: 22 November 2012 10:15 AM
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It is sad that this is ranking so low.  It reminds me of light bot from Armor Games and I think you could make it a little more open ended than that.  Hope this goes forward, regardless of being a top 4.

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