Concept art: Robotic races

Not all the races in Predestination will be organic; The race below assembled itself from a crashed transport full of worker droids, service bots and military hardware. To survive, they had to adapt themselves  to their new home and fossil fuel energy sources. We haven’t named the race yet, but the population and ships will have a steampunk visual style. Different tasks like industry or research will be completed by specialised robots, so the military robots may look very different to the researchers or workers. Below is concept art for the race’s industrial worker droids, produced by our new character artist Connor Murphy:

Unique race gameplay

In the last post, I talked about the fact that each type of race is specialised for a particular type of planet: Aquatics on ocean worlds, robots on ice planets (so they can overclock themselves), lizards on deserts etc. But the differences between the races go a lot deeper than just their preferred planets and some stats. Every race type will have its own unique gameplay that suits that race, and a research field that only that type of race can access. Our current thinking for the robotic races is to give them:

  • Factories that build new population rapidly.
  • Population consumes energy instead of food.
  • Unique technologies let you upgrade the population or produce huge mechs and ships.
  • Terraforming technology lets you freeze over planets, turning them into ice worlds.

What kind of unique gameplay and technologies would you associate with robots? If you could have any feature in a robot race, what would it be?

About Brendan Drain

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6 comments
Stephane Presseault
Stephane Presseault

Robots. The ultimate evolution. Since robots have no requirement to keep their current shapes, as they are driven to greater efficiency rather than cosmetics, the way I see a race of robots is thus: A generous research tree about self-modifications. Allow the robots, more than any other race, to modify their own 'bonuses' by reasearch. The disadavantage being over-specialisation. The way I see it, every planet has a central computer controling its population. Depending on the kind of central computer researched and installed on a colony, it can either have large bonuses to mineral or food harvests, large bonuses to research, large bonuses to civilian production, large bonuses to military production, or large bonuses to terraforming. And penalties across the board for the other categories. Computers, being ageless, do not understand the concept of 'rushing' and therefore don't care if other aspects of their production fall behind as long as their primary goal is accelerated. Dismantling and replacing the CPU of a planet should be costly endeavour that disables the entire production while it's under way, so it creates a weakness and encourages robot players to plan ahead longterm and slows down their reflexes in case of a surprise attack or reversal. Compensates nicely for all those hefty bonuses machines that never sleep and can single-mindledly focus would get. Then again, thats just my take :) Jubilex Prime - I'm not a robot, but I do play one in RPGs.

Josh Thomson
Josh Thomson

I love the robot idea! They should definitely act like a computer. Factories=Processors Habitat=Memory/Disk Space. Going with the overclocking theory they should get penalties to production, growth, morale? (if robots have morale) when on a barren/lava planet and a small penalty on a terran planet. Another cool idea would be a weapon of mass destruction unique to the robots that can freeze over planets instantly! Just some ideas, but i love robots/cyborgs in scifi games!

Pav
Pav

Looks really good. What is the timeframe for this game?

Nyphur
Nyphur

We're aiming for release in Q4 2013, with a staged beta starting before the end of 2012.

Arghy
Arghy

I could actually see them living on a hot world and extracting energy from that or just have them start out cold then perform better on a hot world once they've reached such a mass that energy needs out weigh cooling needs. A balance between them becoming so numerous that they are extremely efficient with a hive mind type and a tipping point where they become so massive they splinter. They would be the ultimate rushers but if they expand to quickly they would run the risk of ultimate rebellion. Super durable ships where you literally have to scrap the burning hulks because the ship is just millions of independent units that will always repair themselves. The down side would be the energy consumption since you could not kill off the independent units by draining their power so you'd have to share the entire ships power equally meaning their weapons would be extremely limited once damaged. Strong ability to adapt meaning they have a wide research tree but extremely poor creativity meaning its very narrow and hard to advance. I never bought the whole 'machines innovating' why the hell would a computer build smaller computers instead of just building millions of bigger computers? The full grasp of physics takes more then just math it takes imagination and computers simply cannot do that. This can also be used for ship design and layouts so every ship is very predictable to counter. No regard for organic life so radiation and evil weapons ala starsiege, down came the glitches and burned us in ditches. Translates into very poor diplomatic skills. A choice between a collective of individuals and a ruling class system ala the buliterian jihad. The collective is prone to splintering but it is more creative and adaptive while the other option is a single group controlling thousands of mindless slaves. In the dune books the robots basically enslaved mankind and tried to wipe them out but in reality the leaders of the machines were immortal humans who transferred their brains to robot bodys.

Nyphur
Nyphur

I like a lot of these ideas, they're similar to what we were thinking too. I was thinking there would be three types of robot: workers, researchers and military. There will be a unique tech tree to let you augment the race, so you might choose between boosting production or research, or adapt them to geothermal energy so they'll perform better on molten worlds. They would be immune to radiation and organic toxins, so their special tech tree might include advanced nuclear and biogenic weapons. You could nuke enemy planets to trigger a nuclear winter and make the planet more habitable to you, or kill the population with plagues to take it over more easily with ground troops. There would be a huge diplomatic penalty for using the weapons though.