Videogame / Robocraft

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robocraftlogo_5915.png
Build. Drive. Fight.

Remember when you built things out of LEGO as a child, imagining what it would be like to ride and fight with them? This is pretty much that.

Robocraft is a Freeware multiplayer vehicular combat indie game developed by FreeJam. The basic premise is simple: you construct a mobile robot out of blocks called "Cubes", which can be anything from bricks to shields, wheels to thrusters, radars to weaponry, etc. Once you're done building, you can then take it into the battlefield. There are currently six game modes you can bring your bot in :
  • Test Robot : Exactly What It Says on the Tin, takes you to a test area where you can check your bots abilities before bringing it to actual combat.
  • AI Bots : spawns you on Birmingham Power Station map against AI-controlled robots to fight in a Basic Mode copy. You can get random item Crates in this mode.
  • Basic Mode : two 5-player teams put against each other on a small map. Victory is achieved by either team scoring enough kills (number depends on the players CPU levels). Unlike Elimination, this mode does feature respawn.
  • Normal Mode : game mode with respawn where two teams are put against each other. Victory is achieved by charging your Annihilator orbital weapon before the enemy does the same with their one. Each player's score at the end of the game decides whether their League ranking and MMR (Matchmaking Rating) will increase, stay the same, or decrease.
  • Brawl: Replacing The Pit and Elimination, players are paired up in two teams and set out to eradicate the other team, with various rules set upon the players to make things interesting.

The game is currently in the Beta stage and is constantly being worked on, and it was recently greenlit on Steam where it can be downloaded and played from. You can find the main website here.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.


Tropes pertaining to Robocraft:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: After Lord Adsoy killed Emperor Fanelli, Brotherhood of Q'An, lead by the Child-Emperor J. Bentley-Allen the Liberator (12 years old), took the CF-Alliance's capital under it's control.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: While armor cubes cost only 10 RP, functional parts' cost increase exponentially as you level up. For instance, the low ranking "wasp" variant of the game's SMG cost only 900 RP, but the high-ranking "disintegrator" variant costs almost one million.
  • And I Must Scream: Losing all your weaponry and means of movement basically amounts to this. You are incapable of doing anything, just sitting there as a clump of wreckage waiting for death, or if you're lucky enough, auto-regen after a while.
  • Anti-Air: The Aeroflak Sentinel and Aeroflak Guardian.
  • Anti-Rage Quitting: Leaving a battle more than twice in a row incurs a five-minute join penalty.
  • All There in the Manual: The only way to learn about the Robocraft universe in-depth is to read "Robonews" and "Daily Robot" on the official site of the game.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Protonium-511, which can stabilize nuclear fusion reaction and, somehow, enhance one's mental abilities.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: Barely noticeable, as all the guns have the same range limit, which is pretty freaking far. Though at the same time you can't shoot people from, say, halfway across the map.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Many early Megabot builds fall into this trope due to many players adopting a "charge in headfirst and crush everything" playstyle, which sounds good on paper but fails utterly in practice because not only are Megabots giant and slow, but the other team has one too and it will not hesitate to mow you down with the help of his teammates. Humongous death machine or not, you still need teamwork to win!
    • With the new meta, the Legendary gear become this, save for a handful. The weapons in particular are hit with this - they hit like a tank and are usually paired up with an extra one or two launchers. However, they're energy hogs that peter out after a few seconds. On the other hand, players will latch themselves onto the Ghost and Blink devices, mostly because they pair up wonderfully with the Tesla Blades.
    • Artbots, i.e bots designed mainly with aesthetics in mind. They look awesome, but that often comes at the cost of combat efficiency.
  • Beam Spam: Multiple Nano Disruptors (up to ten) can look like this.
  • Beam Sword: Tesla Blades, at least in name. They take the form of a line of electricity kept active by two tesla coils that shocks the ever-loving hell out of the enemy that touches it.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Selective destruction of the enemy's weaponry is a viable tactic; if he loses all his guns, then he can't fire back. This is doubly crippling for Rail Cannon users, as losing a cannon that was charged causes the charge to be lost and thus forcing a sooner recharge, which is very bad for them if you're keeping on the pressure.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Justified, since all the weapons use energy and not ammunition. However, only the Laser Wasps, Tesla Slicers and Nano Menders lack energy consumprion, while rest of the weapons and modules (except for Weapon Energy Module, which instantly restore 50% of your energy reserve) will eventually drain out general energy bar.
  • Boring Yet Practical: A problem with the recent meta is that you can make an amazing robot, but they can be obliterated by someone using the green-level lasers.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Premium users gain, more or less, twice as many items from crates that they receive. The items that they recycle also have three times as much value as those of non-Premium users.
  • Car Fu: A robot with enough weight and speed can knock other robots around fairly easily. It doesn't do damage, but it can leave them prone for you to start laying on the pain with your guns. Adding Tesla Blades can allow this to do damage, however.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Your team's HUD and projectiles are blue and the enemy's are red.
  • Combat Medic: Some people wielding Nano Disruptors will also compliment them with Tesla Blades or other weapons. In addition to healing teammates, these robots can join the battle on their own, though they prefer to stay behind the bot they're healing and use their weaponry only when it's relatively safe (like finishing off crippled enemies or attacking the Protonite Core, when every single shot is important) or when there's no other option (escaping from the enemy without teammate covering you).
  • Comeback Mechanic: In Normal Mode, if the losing team destroys the Protonite Core, their superweapon's charging percentage will become equal to the winning team's.
  • Competitive Balance: The bots are sorted by their CPU level. The more and/or "heavier" parts your robot has, the higher it's CPU level will be.
    • The weapons themselves also have unique gimmicks to set them apart:
      • SMGs are fast-firing hitscan weapons and can be accurate at a range, but still have huge accuracy falloff the more distance there is between the shooter and the target.
      • Plasma Launchers do monstrous damage that spreads out along their explosion, though you have to combat the arc and low firing rate if your number of plasma launchers is small, making it hard to hit air targets.
      • Rail Cannons excel at sniping and punching through select pieces of cubes, though they take a long time to recharge and have horrible accuracy issues if you're moving whilst shooting.
      • Nano Disruptors fire a continuous beam that auto-targets to heal teammates, though it has a very short range, and cannot damage enemies or protonium crystals.
      • Aeroflak cannons are excellent against air units, due to their shells exploding when near to an airborne bot (whether due to simply flying, hovering too high, jumping, or falling). However, they have to hit ground targets directly, and the shell does half damage to them.
      • Tesla Blades do a massive amount of damage and do not consume energy. They are also easily destroyed, so stealth and/or flanking is required.
      • Proto-Seeker is fast-firing weapon with homing projectiles and instant target lock, drains very little energy, but it's heavy, has a short lock-on range, eats lots of CPU and does very little damage.
      • Lock-on Missile Launcher fires pretty powerful homing missiles, but it's very big, heavy, eats lots of CPU, has a slow target lock, drains entire energy supply in six shots, and rockets are very prone to flying strange trajectories, which makes hard to hit fast-moving targets. It also warns a target during the lock-on sequence, giving away its user and allowing target to escape.
      • Chain Shredder is a giant rotary cannon. It takes a while to spin up, but when it's running at optimal speed, not many things can survive stream of bullets from it. However, it's really big, CPU-heavy and drains energy all the time trigger is held, even when just starting to spin.
      • Ion Distorter is a shotgun-like weapon. It does monstrous damage at the short range, but has a huge damage fall-off even at the medium distance, pretty big, heavy, eats a lots of CPU, and drains entire energy supply in four shots.
    • The same goes for the various means of propulsion:
      • Wheels are a good balance of speed, maneuverability, cost and size, but you need several of them.
      • Hover Blades allow you to hover without being affected by terrain as much as other robots, but having a blade shot off is rather debilitating.
      • Tracks are tough and give you decent speed and maneuverability, but they are big and therefore easy to hit.
      • Skis allow very fast movement, but they need to be paired with thrusters to be able to go forward, backwards and steer in other directions than towards the front. This also makes them less accurate.
      • Aerofoils allow for agile and fast flying, but if they are shot off you'll come crashing down. They require thrusters too.
      • Helicopter blades allow for stable and fast flight, but they are very large and easy targets, especially for rail guns.
      • Insect legs allow you to climb mountains, but they are available only at higher tiers and are not as fast as other options.
      • Mech legs have good mobility and immense durability, but don't increase in speed like Tank Tracks do.
      • Sprinter legs allow you to move at high speeds and have a unique forward-leap ability, but it comes at price of stopping for a short time after the leap and having less shielding than Mech Legs.
      • Propellers give a slow, but powerful thrust and are mostly used to build either heavy planes or drones.
    • The overall effectiveness of your weapons peaks at having as many of them, as stated in theirs nominal count.
    • What a Piece of Junk: Some of the unassuming ones can be pretty strong too.
  • Cool Starship: The now-crashed E14's ESS "Vanguard".
  • Covers Always Lie: The robot shown in the image at the top of the page is frequently shown on promotional materials. Neither its decorated blocks, its wheels, the arm on the top or the lasers it uses are parts that are in the game.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. You can continue to lose cubes until your CPU reaches 25% of your bot's total CPU, at which point you die. If you're lucky enough, you can survive with just about critical amount of CPU and, after spending ten seconds without being shot at, regen back to the perfect state.
  • Death from Above: Plasma-toting fliers excel at this. A skilled and accurate pilot can rack up a large number of kills just firing Plasma bombs into the crowd.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Depends on the game mode you're playing in. Played straight in the Pit, Team Deathmatch and single player mode where respawn times are extremely short. Averted in Brawl; once you're dead, you're out of the battle. Zigzagged in Battle Arena and League Arena; Respawn times are initially near instant, however they sharply increase as time elapsed and your overclocking level increases.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Possible by killing enemy with low-damage SMG's or proto-seekers.
  • Deflector Shields: Electroplates can be placed onto your robot to serve as these. They are very useful for blocking Plasma and Rails, though a bit less effective versus SMGs. Beware however: once an electroplate takes too much damage, its shield shuts down and has to recharge, during which time it can be blown off entirely if you don't hide. There's also a shield module, which projects a disc-shaped smaller version of the base's fusion shield, that lasts for five seconds.
  • Deployable Cover: The Disc Shield Module deploys a small shield that you and your teammates can shoot through, but your enemies cannot.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Your accuracy takes a hit if you fire while moving in any way, though the only weapon it affects significantly is the Rail Cannon - a Necessary Drawback, as being able to move at full speed while sniping would get overpowered very fast.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Premium users gain many more customization colors that non-Premium users do not have access to.
  • EMP: The EMP Module creates a cylindrical area that momentarily disables enemies caught in its radius.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: Comes as a cube literally named "Enemy Radar". There's also the Radar Jammer that screws with the radars of enemies, and the Radar Receiver that shows you what's on your teammate's radars.
  • Energy Weapon: All weapons use energy from your energy meter. The meter must be recharged when it runs out before you can use your weapons again.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: SMGs are this. They fire in succession, peppering the enemy with laser pellets. Cheap and simple to use, and properly aimed they can eat through armor and even electroplates like candy, though they otherwise lack the raw power of Plasma or Rails.
    • Nano Disruptors are also this. They fire a continuous, auto-targeting beam that heals allies but does no damage to the enemies or crystals. It's also very short-ranged.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The post introducing the Mech Legs gave them the full name "Balance-Assisted-Durable-Auto-Stabilizing-Strider". Also doubles as Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Future Copter: Hoverblades provide control by tilting in order to vector thrust, though the vast majority of robots use more hoverblades than the two used in traditional futurecopters (four is the usual amount if you want a stable robot).
    • There are also actual rotor pieces which allow the players to fly. Again, while nothing prevents you from building a copter with a single blade, you will generally want more than four.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: As the game is still in beta, there have been a few. These include: falling through the floor under certain circumstances, server overloads that have prevented players from being able to play, the anti-cheat software locking players out, and so on.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Downplayed : Depending on how your robot works, getting certain cubes shot off can put you in some... interesting situations. Losing enough wheels or thrusters can severely hamper your movement, losing your aerofoils and rudders can make it damn near impossible to fly straight, losing all your guns prevents you from returning fire, and so on. It's not uncommon to lose all means of mobility and get stranded. However, the auto-regen mechanism allows you to get back to full health if you're left alone for long enough.
  • Gatling Good: The Chain Shredder.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Glass cubes are purely aesthetic, they do nothing more or less than standard cubes.
  • Grenade Launcher/Plasma Cannon: The Plasma Launcher is quite obviously fusion of the two, lobbing plasma globs that explode violently on impact. Very good at taking out whole chunks of robot. though electroplates can tank them easily enough. They take a few seconds to recharge after each salvo.
  • Glass Cannon: Bombers generally fit this role, although they have an excellent vantage point and can drop massive firepower, they are also extremely open and losing even one wing can be a death sentence. Artillery also fits, you can easily disable or destroy most bots in one hit, but you will be left defenseless for the long reload.
  • Healing Shiv: The Nano Disruptor, which fires a constant short-range beam can repair and replace an ally's cubes that have been destroyed in battle.
  • Homing Projectile: As long as the Missile Launcher stays locked on to a target, its missiles will hit something. The Proto-Seeker bullers are similar in this, but they have limited homing abilities and tend to miss if fired at extreme angles in short-range fights.
  • Improvised Armor: Failing stacking cubes or electroplates, the various hardware you can put on your robot can also serve as armor. Even the purely cosmetic stuff can block shots for you if properly placed.
  • Invisibility: The Ghost Module allows the user to become invisible until available energy runs out.
  • Kill Sat: Used to be a Fan Nickname for a robot design that uses helium cubes to levitate itself to a great height (they thus work more like zeppelins than satellites, though they tend to resemble the latter more), then uses Rail Cannons to snipe at enemies. Means of propulsion optional. They no longer exists, but rail copters, being able to snipe enemies from the sky still apply for this trope.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The missile launcher.
  • Mighty Glacier: Tank Treads are the heaviest and second most well-armored method of locomotion, but also the second slowest.
    • "Landships", a common top-tier design, are enormous tanks with thick spaced armor that makes them very hard to kill, but they're also usually very slow and cumbersome.
    • Mech Legs, a new movement type, skirt the line. They are more agile than Tank Treads and even more tanky, but are very large and do not increase in speed during a battle, unlike Tracks.
  • Misguided Missile: Making oneself invisible automatically disables the Missile Launcher's lock-on. Hiding behind cover or otherwise having the shooter lose sight of the target also disables the lock-on.
  • Missile Lock-On: The missile launcher must lock-on to an enemy before you can hit them.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Done quite literally. If by losing a cube the bot is split into two or more parts, only the part with more CPU stays while the rest is immedialy destroyed.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: The best way to disable a robot is not to aim at its functional parts, but to instead aim at the armor cubes those parts are sitting on; the armor cubes themselves, despite their name, are actually less durable than most weapon/movement cubes. Conversely, constructing a robot with proper armor means hiding those cubes behind other cubes or electroplates as much as possible.
  • Orbital Bombardment: The goal of normal mode is to charge the Annihilator weapon of the team's spaceship, so it can blow the enemy's reactor up with a single shot. Also, your mothership can fire a powerful Electromangnetic Pulse, if you equip your robot with the EMP Module and use it to designate the target.
  • Ramming Always Works: The entire idea behind Tesla Blades is to drive them into the enemy, which does a massive amount of damage. A robot covered with Tesla Blades all over is not something you want to let near you.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: According to the "Daily Robot", Child-Emperor J. Bentley-Allen the Liberator composed his first symphonic opera at the age of five, mastered over a dozen of musical instruments and is also skilled pilot and tactician, who personally planned retaking the capital and led it from his prop-driven plane.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Ion Distorter.
  • Shout-Out: Emperor Fanelli and Lord Adsoy's duel is very similar to the fight between Emperor Palpatine and the Darth Vader at the end of the Return of the Jedi.
  • Sniper Duel: Happens frequently between two Rail Cannon users, usually either ending with the Cannons blown off or a good killing shot to a critical connection point.
  • Spider Tank: Can be built using the walker legs.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • What happens when a bot's health reaches zero.
    • In Normal Mode, a battle always end with the losing team's reactor violently exploding.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: Missiles will turn around and try to hit the target until they succeed or hit something else.
  • Tank Goodness: Unlocked from the start, tank tracks allows you to build... well, tanks.
  • Teleportation: The Blink Module allows the user to teleport to where his or her crosshair is pointing at.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Despite the obvious issues that would arise in reality, there is no penalty for completely encasing the main armor body in armor cubes without any window, as gameplay is done in third-person from outside of your robot.
    • Copter blades do not care about center of mass. A huge chunk of armor blocks with rotors at the back will fly perfectly fine.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Rail Cannons start out as small-scale versions, but gradually get big enough to fit the trope wholesale, and they hit every bit as hard as one. Rails will easily punch through a robot lacking on armor, possibly even scoring a One-Hit Kill if you can nail a critical connection point. These take quite a while to recharge after their energy is expended however, so be ready to run and hide after you're delivered your payload.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/Robocraft