I just received confirmation from Neil Haran, co-founder of Rawbots, that this unique robot-crafting sandbox game is coming to Wii U. And let me tell you that this game is going to be big. Potentially, Minecraft-like big. It might not be for absolutely everyone but for those who love any form of customization, crafting, or frantic multiplayer games, they will fall in love with the idea. I have no doubt it will one day have a dedicated fanbase to itself.
I originally met Neil after he read my article on Why Kickstarters Fail and How to Avoid It. We discussed his upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Rawbots. Of course, one of the first things I asked him was whether he\’d like to bring it to Wii U. The Kickstarter just went live today and Neil got back to me with good news. Although the Kickstarter page hasn\’t been updated yet to reflect this, he told me that he can 100% guarantee it will be coming to Wii U alongside the other platforms announced so far. Provided, of course, that it reaches its basic funding target. No stretch goal required.
[Edit: The Kickstarter page has now been updated so you can clearly see the Wii U version was added.]
So, what is Rawbots? And what is a robot crafting sandbox game? You\’ll be forgiven if you don\’t automatically have any preconceived notions of what exactly those words mean. Because Rawbots is a very different concept to anything you\’ve played before. Similar to how Minecraft might not have made so much sense before you actually played it.
Neil initially described Rawbots to me like this:
\”Think Minecraft meets WALL-E in an open world multiplayer robot building sandbox where players can design, build, and program their amazing robots. They can have their own universes and invite others to join them in any type of gameplay they wish to play (arena battles, races, CTF, RTS, FPS etc). In addition, players will be able to terraform the world, change the landscapes of the planet, build bridges, doors, traps etc.\”
Now, there is a lot to learn about the world of Rawbots, because it’s an enormous package of a game. You\’ll learn about crafting your robot from different parts and visual programming that allows you a crazy amount of customization of the actual physics engineering of your robot– pure heaven for geeks who love to tinker with robotic engineering. (You don\’t have to have a PHD to play the game, as it’s also intended for regular gamers, but there’s no limit for those who really want to dig deep.)
Once you\’ve built your custom robot it’s time to enter the Multiverse. Essentially, this is like being a dungeon master. You can build your own universe with its own set of rules, landscapes, and a contract framework that’s up to you to decide. You can make your universe peaceful if you want, dedicated to designing and build robots in cooperation with others. Or more likely, it will be a fragfest. But contracts have so many options to them that you can come up with any kind of universe you want, with any goal behind it. Here’s a few ideas to get you started: Robot fighting competitions, board games, RPG campaigns, FPS, CTF, and RTS genres- nearly any genre you can think of can be programmed as the contract that defines your universe. The only limit is your own imagination.
And of course, Universes can vary greatly in their environments. A Universe has planets and each planet can have water, caverns, continents and floating islands. You can build bots that can go underwater, drive over land, hover and travel between planets, etc.
Then there are the infinite possibilities of the economy and barter systems in the game. But we won\’t even go into that. Basically, this is the ultimate sandbox, in a very different way than we\’ve ever seen before. The physical components of a robot are up to you. The programming operants of your robot are up to you. The Universes are created by you. And so are the goals that define them. There are few limits to the possibilities.
Since the basic Kickstarter campaign applies to the Wii U version as well, make sure you back the campaign from the beginning and bring this incredible game to completion.