Poll

What do you like doing most in RA2/RA3/robot combat games?

Building robots
Local single player battles with manually-controlled robots
Local multiplayer battles  with manually-controlled robots (PvP with controllers or a shared keyboard)
AI-only tournament battles
Other?  Please comment below.

Author Topic: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development  (Read 15336 times)

Offline Thyrus

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2017, 06:16:24 AM »
As the online multilayer of RA2 is non existend people had to rely on AI to host tournaments. We never really had a choice to say we prefer AI over PvP as we haven't experienced PvP in a propper way yet

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2017, 08:58:50 AM »
As the online multilayer of RA2 is non existend people had to rely on AI to host tournaments. We never really had a choice to say we prefer AI over PvP as we haven't experienced PvP in a propper way yet

Fair enough.  I thought about including online multiplayer in the poll, but left it off for two reasons:

1. I'm not aware of any robot combat games that do online multiplayer.  The closest thing I know of is the original Robot Rumble for AirConsole (local multiplayer) that I built, and games like Rocket League which don't have nearly as many moving parts, and have a massive development team.
2. It is *really* hard to build an online multiplayer game based on 3D physics.  You have to worry about variable network latency and accurately predicting the motion of objects when each player has a physics engine that is essentially a random number generator generating different position, rotation, velocity, acceleration, etc.

As it is, it scares me to even consider building online multiplayer in RR2.0.  I really like the AI-only solution -- I think it is really elegant, and changes the dynamic of the game to something that is more strategic than fast-twitch-response-based. 

I was thinking we could still do local multiplayer running on a single screen.  I have many fond memories of playing Mario Kart 64 with friends while sitting on the couch.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 09:46:43 AM by cjbruce »

Offline Badger

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2017, 12:53:28 PM »
If the focus of the game is multiplayer, it will die off pretty quickly due to a lack of sustainable userbase. While multiplayer functionality would be great, I think the focus should be AI combat. It should also be possible for users to make the AI control their own bots.
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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2017, 01:17:32 PM »
If the focus of the game is multiplayer, it will die off pretty quickly due to a lack of sustainable userbase. While multiplayer functionality would be great, I think the focus should be AI combat. It should also be possible for users to make the AI control their own bots.


Not exactly, im sure there are people who want a good multiplayer combat fighting game, i know 2 kinda modern rc games, they both did ok, one is the dreaded RA3. THey both had multiplayer, but they were all full of bugs. If you can make a better game then both of those, people may think fighting robots with other people is fun, if you market it right, dont have bugs.
One thing RC games ive seen latley, there made in unity as well, but are really buggy. But there are also nonbuggy games in unity, so it is possible to avoid bugs, if you just market it well, this is key, lots of people who never heard of robogames , Robot wars or battle bots may join. YOu should do multiplayer. Make it so it automaticly connects to random opponents. One game gave you a code and made you give it to someone else , i doubt it was used there, i am voting for multiplayer.
Can you define exactly what you mean by makes sense and irl an no loopholes  in your rules? thanks








Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2017, 01:21:09 PM »
If the focus of the game is multiplayer, it will die off pretty quickly due to a lack of sustainable userbase. While multiplayer functionality would be great, I think the focus should be AI combat. It should also be possible for users to make the AI control their own bots.

I agree on both counts: 

It takes pretty significant numbers to support online multiplayer rooms.  This is pretty rare for indie developers to sustain an online multiplayer community for more than a few months, and nonexistent for part-time indie developers like me.  Local multiplayer is another story, however.  "Robot Rumble" averages just under 2 players per game - people are more likely to play while sitting together in the same room than they are to play single-player.

I envision an improved robot building lab that is designed with AI building in mind.  There should be at least one screen (maybe a tab called "AI software"???) where players can configure the AI for the robot directly inside the robot lab.  It is going to take a lot of thought to get this right -- 15 years of AI development by the GTM community boiled down into one easy-to-digest screen is not going to be easy, but I think it is doable.

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2017, 01:30:16 PM »
one is the dreaded RA3. THey both had multiplayer, but they were all full of bugs.

i am voting for multiplayer.

I personally haven't tried RA3 yet.  How is the online multiplayer experience? 

I'm afraid of underestimating how difficult it is do this well.

I expect that there would be a lot of robot parts that appear to randomly teleport when a packet arrives that is delayed by 300 ms and the robots are forced to shift their positions to the new spot.  Even with interpolation, there could be weirdness as robots rotate into position under the control of a linear interpolation function instead of the user's input.

Offline TheRoboteer

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2017, 01:37:16 PM »
one is the dreaded RA3. THey both had multiplayer, but they were all full of bugs.

i am voting for multiplayer.

I personally haven't tried RA3 yet.  How is the online multiplayer experience? 

I'm afraid of underestimating how difficult it is do this well.

I expect that there would be a lot of robot parts that appear to randomly teleport when a packet arrives that is delayed by 300 ms and the robots are forced to shift their positions to the new spot.  Even with interpolation, there could be weirdness as robots rotate into position under the control of a linear interpolation function instead of the user's input.
RA3 multiplayer is a bit of a mess. It's buggy, occasionally laggy, and you can only play with people on the same continent as you with no option to change servers. It is still far better than RA2 online via Gameranger though.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2017, 02:00:07 PM »
RA3 multiplayer is a bit of a mess. It's buggy, occasionally laggy, and you can only play with people on the same continent as you with no option to change servers.

I suspect that the same continent rule is designed to mitigate the problem of >1 second lag and lots of loss as packets travel around the planet.  I probably would have made the same design choice.  In a game that doesn't require as much synchronization, I think you can get away with opening players up to servers on other continents.  For example, this is much simpler for a 2D game where you only have to deal with translation in x-y and a single degree of rotation, maybe with a few height values thrown in here and there.

Offline Dreamcast

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2017, 02:42:12 PM »
The only reason why we have so much AI is because online play is horrible.

Not that there's anything wrong with making it easy to AI a robot, or having AI'ing options. The Starcore AI pack robots were (IIRC) designed as sparing partners for multiplayer.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2017, 03:11:04 PM »
The only reason why we have so much AI is because online play is horrible.

Not that there's anything wrong with making it easy to AI a robot, or having AI'ing options. The Starcore AI pack robots were (IIRC) designed as sparing partners for multiplayer.

Given the choice between AI robot battles and a fun PvP online multiplayer experience with manually controlled robots, you would prefer the latter?

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #50 on: August 18, 2017, 03:17:51 PM »
Another option I toyed with back in February was to create a point-and-click control scheme.  Robots would fight with AI, but you would tell them where to go and who to attack.

This might be the worst of all worlds though: it would lack the immediacy of direct controls, would still suffer from syncing issues as robots automagically lerp() to new positions and rotations, and require someone else to be online to battle.

Offline Asbestosstar

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2017, 03:28:28 PM »
But there is a multiplayer game worse than RA3 worse than RA2, rumble bots, for that, it just gives you a code to give to someone else which is just your ip adress, even worse, they suggest you be on the same connection which almost kills the point, and it is really glitchy, like other bots not moving, so yes there is worse than RA3 and RA2 with GameSpy.
Another option I toyed with back in February was to create a point-and-click control scheme.  Robots would fight with AI, but you would tell them where to go and who to attack.

This might be the worst of all worlds though: it would lack the immediacy of direct controls, would still suffer from syncing issues as robots automagically lerp() to new positions and rotations, and require someone else to be online to battle.
thats gonna be hard to do, have you ever tryed to AI in RA2?
You also need to name your controls and have smart zones and everything, and point and click will be also hard to code.
Can you define exactly what you mean by makes sense and irl an no loopholes  in your rules? thanks








Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2017, 03:58:43 PM »
But there is a multiplayer game worse than RA3 worse than RA2, rumble bots,

Thanks for the suggestion to check out Rumble Bots!  We looked at it last year but we never tried online multiplayer.

Point and click targeting isn't too bad.  The code for "go to this spot" is identical to the code for "go to this target", which already exists in Robot Rumble.  In Unity, I believe this means just adding a raycast from the mouse to the arena floor to find the target location.  I have also done A* pathfinding before to navigate around obstacles, but doesn't Unity have this capability built in with the NavMesh system?

I downloaded DSL, and still need to play around with it to get the hang of how the whole thing works.  My goal is to create something simple and intuitive for beginners, but robust enough to handle a functionally infinite variety of AI designs.  This might be beyond my ability, but I will start working on a 2D version of the robot builder in the next few weeks to see how it goes.

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2017, 04:13:36 PM »
 never heard of Robot Rumble, is it a game?

Do you mean bot arena?
THat has a point and click interface, i think its left clicking targets you bot(But its 2D not 3d), you should consider trying.
Can you define exactly what you mean by makes sense and irl an no loopholes  in your rules? thanks








Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2017, 04:28:15 PM »
Robot Rumble is a game that a group of students and I released back in February for Airconsole (www.airconsole.com).  RR was a student project, and for RR2.0 I am looking to release a much more polished product.

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #55 on: August 19, 2017, 11:12:32 AM »
I have been playing around with Rumble Bots on an iphone.  It is well done, but it appears to be a 3D game with 2D physics.  It is a smart choice, because that makes everything faster and online multiplayer much easier.

The key issue I have with online multiplayer is dealing with flipper bots and latency.  If I were fighting against a flipper bot and a couple of packets were lost or delayed, I wouldn't know, and would charge at my opponent who would apparently be standing still.  Meanwhile, on his screen, he might see me standing still and take advantage of the situation.  I think I have just scored a good hit, then suddenly, BOOM!  I am mysteriously on my back, having lost the match.  Rage would ensue, because from my point of view I should have just scored big.

Offline Badger

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #56 on: August 19, 2017, 11:18:08 AM »
It might not be my place to say, but it looks to me like you have all these ideas you want to implement, but you don't have much of a base game right now. Multiplayer is a very complex and difficult thing to implement properly, and I personally think you should just get the physics engine and a couple bots sorted first as a proof of concept (like Jules did), and from there you can add onto that. I've fallen into the trap of having a huge scope for an awesome project, then realising after a ton of work that I can't do everything at once, and I end up with nothing to show. I wouldn't want this project to befall a similar fate.


You can conceptualise and post cool ideas all day, but if you can't implement those ideas into a game it's all for nothing.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2017, 03:26:29 PM »
You can conceptualise and post cool ideas all day, but if you can't implement those ideas into a game it's all for nothing.

You are correct about this, of course.  I hadn't mentioned yet that @tashic and I are working together.  He already has a working base of a game.  The physics need a lot of tweaking.  We were hoping to bring @jules in, but he won't be available for this project.

So far the team is just @tashic and me.  We are still working on bringing in a lead Unity developer, and are hesitant to go too far into the official Unity project if there is a chance that we will bring someone on who will want to work with their own programming paradigm/style.  This is why we are doing things like artwork and 2D mockups at this point.

So far we have the following scope:

COMPLETE OR NEARLY COMPLETE
-3 different drivable robots (functional, but the physics needs a lot of tweaking -- see @tashic's thread)
-2 different arenas (1 complete, 1 more on the way)
-Working robot AI in a different game engine

HIGH CONFIDENCE ITEMS
-A complete game UI for selecting robots and playing single player or local multiplayer with game controllers / AirConsole.
-iOS and Android ports of the single-player game.  I have moonlit as an iOS developer for the past 5 years, and have launched an 1100-hour project for iOS.  I am confident in my ability to modify this game for iOS.
-A build system based entirely on predefined and pretextured models: pick a chassis, place motors, place wheels, place weapons, place sensors for AI

MEDIUM CONFIDENCE ITEMS
-A build system that allows a player to create their own chassis mesh, as exists in RA2/RA3.  I have most of the principles figured out, and know where to borrow most of the code.
-A bot-sharing server and database, where players can share their designs and download new ones.  I have experience building several server-based apps, and know exactly how I would do this.

LOW CONFIDENCE ITEMS
-A build system that allows players to texture their chassis.  I know this is doable in principle, but I haven't started investigating it yet.

EXTREMELY LOW CONFIDENCE ITEMS
-Online multiplayer:  Unity has a pre-made signaling server, with Photon as another option.  The hardest part of this is client side, and I have enough trouble wrapping my head around realtime multiplayer with something relatively simple like a top-down shooter.  I don't think I could deliver a good player experience with this game.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 05:45:21 PM by cjbruce »

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #58 on: August 27, 2017, 03:42:42 PM »
Good news!

We are thrilled to announce that we have put together the core team for "Robot Rumble 2.0".  tashic, tomgsx, and I will be working together on the project, and have set a launch date target of mid-2019.  Starcore has graciously offered his guidance in the development of AI, and we are hoping to make this a big part of the game at launch.

Thank you for all of your kind words of support, and we hope to make this game something that we can all be proud of and enjoy for years to come.

-The Robot Rumble 2.0 Core Development Team

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #59 on: August 27, 2017, 03:44:50 PM »
Great news!
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