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Old 07 July 2010, 19:06   #1
Heavy Stylus
CD32 Fanboi
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Exeter, UK
Age: 39
Posts: 523
Robotz Dx - Enhanced remake of an Atari ST classic :)

Many, many moons ago, I used to play this little game on my Atari ST:

I loved it's simplistic strategic 'daleks' game play, and have been waiting for years for a PC remake. Waiting so long in fact, that I gave up waiting and made one myself.

Robotz DX is an unashamedly old-school, single-screen shoot-em-up with strategic game play. Although simple in concept, it is a difficult game to beat; you will die many times before you master all 30 arenas - and even when you do conquer the game, it's randomly generated level layouts will provide a new challenge on every subsequent play-through.

On each level, the goal is to destroy all the robots within a time limit of 60 seconds. To destroy the (shielded) robots, the player has to blow up the red, pulsating shield emitters first. You'll know when you have successfully hit a target because it will flash white. There are bonuses to collect, and computer banks to use as temporary cover, or to simply blow up for extra points (and note that there is a small chance of the computers hiding an additional bonus within).

Sounds easy? Well, it isn't. The player takes one hit to kill (or contact with an enemy), and those 60 seconds run out fast.

The game was programmed in 3 weeks using Game Maker 8 Pro (using GML); a language I'd highly recommend for people who want to make simple little games and have little/no programming experience.


[ Show youtube player ]


Robotz DX is NOT a straight 1-2-1 remake of the Atari ST public domain classic. The design evolved during development to the point where only the basic dalek movement and shield-emitter-destroying game-play is faithful to the source material, so really this should be considered a tribute to Robotz, or a re-imagining.

Let's discuss the differences (in brief). In the original Robotz, the walls were deadly (not at all fun), shield emitters took about 20 shots to destroy (annoying) and the player only was allowed to fire one bullet at a time. Also, the robots had only one movement pattern, and took turns in moving one tile at a time. There were a maximum of six robots in a level, and shooting at them when shielded paused them for a second or so.

The deadly walls were removed first, but then the game became too easy, so pausing robot moves was removed and two shot kills were implemented to make it harder. Simultaneous robot movement/firing and more aggressive attitudes meant that I had to balance the game by adding more player shots. Bonuses, computers, and more enemy types were simply added to provide variety and more bombastic action.

The end result is a game that clearly resembles the original, but plays as though it has been injected with steroids. When playing, I find Robotz DX to be equally addictive and frustrating - which was exactly what I was aiming to achieve.
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