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VOLT: Robot Battle Arena» Forums » General

Subject: Some thoughts about the development of the new edition rss

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Roland Goslar
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Autumn 2015 I started working on the new edition of Emerson's game as my first project for Heidelberger.

I liked from the start the reduction to just 3 steps of programming and that the orientation of the robots doesn't matter as 5 steps plus many turns make RR really annoying for many many people.

First idea was to change the handling from 3 dice on 2 control units to 3 dice on 3 control units with a fixed order. Together with the direct visual parallel connection between the dice on the control units to moves and actions of the robots in the arena this lead to a wonderful low number of mistakes in programming.

The next big step came after some months of testing: Colors for 3 module types: damage, movement and specials. Together with the restriction to just 2 permanent installed modules of different colors this gave an easy way to have control where to go when taking new modules not always drawing things you don't need. Together with the restriction of the most modules to a dice color and a range of pips and the introduction of breakpoints in many modules for tactical decisions while activation the balance seems quite fine right now.

Third step were the b.e.a.s.t.s.. They came up when we started to integrate more advanced obstacles in the arenas. We started with typical tiles from RR but they felt fixed and lame and the programming was more about bypassing them than totaling opponents. The monster from Friedemann's Fearsome Floors let us think different: A running and biting monster which can be killed for VP. After many tests of programs to get the monster not to strong and not to weak we are quite happy with it: A bit random, some times very strong some times just dull like ourselves.

Last came a catch-up mechanism. We always felt a killed robot should be pushed or raged up somehow to avoid frustrations. We tested resources you could spent for an extra damage or an extra step but none created memorable fun. Talking about the feel of modern shooters: Coming back after seconds right into the action wearing new gear my eldest Johnny had the idea of receiving 1 new module but not in exchange for an old (as we tested many times with bad experience) but as a 1-time module. This worked unbelievable well right from the start creating epic moments by activating up to 4 modules with 1 dice.

At this point in November 16 I hope the new VOLT will see the tables soon as I believe it's one of the best skirmish games I've played creating tension not by rolling dice but by thinking about the possible actions of your opponents who have only a small number of rational moves. Not random as in many table tops and not fixed as in many turn based games and not just arbitrary as in many blind bidding games.
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Mark McGee
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I'm having a hard time visualizing the controls with "3 dice on 3 control units with a fixed order". Does this mean that each control unit can be either movement or attack? Or does this mean that there are 3 different actions, and they resolve in the same order each round?

Maybe it's something that would be much clearer if I saw it visually.


On a different note, I'm interested to hear what encouraged your company to mode a new edition. Was it just that it was well received and you're trying to reach a broader audience? Did Emerson feel like the first edition didn't fully realize his design's potential? Something else? I'm curious.
 
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Roland Goslar
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Hi Mark,
I haven't got a proto till new year to post a foto.
Here is a little example from the prototype rulebook:

As you see there are 3 out of 4 dice, 1 on each control unit.
Blue dice (Move) can be placed only on blue buttoms, red dice (Shoot) on all buttoms.

From a designer standpoint the only difference to the old version is that you can move or shoot twice in the same direction.

Through testing we had much faster programming whith less errors this way.

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Mark McGee
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This does make it clearer. Thanks!

I can see immediately how it makes the resolution of programming more intuitive.
 
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Richard Yasi
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Hi Roland. Glad to hear this new version is coming. Can you reveal anything at this time re: the release date?
 
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Roland Goslar
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sy no.
if it were my decision we'll start right now as I love the new edition but...
 
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Srdj
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Would it come out mid year or later this year or?
 
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Richard Yasi
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RoGo wrote:
sy no.
if it were my decision we'll start right now as I love the new edition but...

Haha. I understand. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long!
 
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David Jordan
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This looks fantastic! I stumbled over it while researching the new RR 2016 rules and it looks like a great addition to my robot game collection.

I've cast Bruce Hirst's full RR 3D tile set and your game begs for the same treatment. Can you elaborate on the new floor tiles? I see conveyor belts in your rules picture, but what else is there? Anything not originally in RR that I might get some advanced time to create a mold for? Or maybe tell Bruce so he can create a new mold with the new pieces?
 
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Roland Goslar
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Thx for the hint. I hadn't seeen these RR tiles so far.

About Volt:
We don't have any conveyor belts.
By heart there are just Walls, Pits and plain spaces.
Some Special spaces just show Workshops, targets or starting spaces.
The last is marked by arrows looking a bit like a conveyor belt.

This reduction in comparison to RR is a main point of Volt as we want the players to fight each other and not the arena.

Together with the unimportant orientation of the Robots we create a really fastpaced experience.

But yes a 3D arena should be a nice thing to have.
We'll discuss this.

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