Good Robot #42.75: Pro Strats

By Rutskarn
on Mar 6, 2016
Filed under:
Good Robot

“There’s something you can do to help get the game ready to ship,” said Arvind over Hangouts.

“What do you mean, ‘ready to ship?’ It launches in a few weeks. I finished the script, like, hours ago. What’s left?”

“Playtesting. How many hours have you been playing?”

“Aw, jeez.” I checked my counter. “About 75 hours this week?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah, sometimes fourteen hours at a time. I’m playing right now. I’m sorta waiting for you to hang up so I can go back to talking to it like we’re friends.”

“And have you found any bugs?”

“I don’t know if I’d call it a bug, but Vaegir Guards are just the worst. They’re like drunk dumpster gnomes on drunk ponies. How’s a girl gonna conquer Calradia with a horde of these chumps?”

Picture: Some game? I think it`s about robots?

Picture: Some game? I think it`s about robots?

“You’re playing Mount and Blade,” said Arvind.

“I think so? I’ve started just calling it Windows. I downloaded a mod so royal couriers bring me my e-mail, and…”

We’re not making Mount and Blade!”

I slapped the numpad to bring my archers out of cavalry range. “Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that. I think we’re leaving money on the table there.”

If anyone out there works at Google, you might want to take a few hours away from Mount and Blade to playtest Hangouts. I’ve noticed that every thirty minutes of conversation or so there’s an audio tic that sounds sorta like a withering, gut-shaking sigh.

“Quit the game,” he said.

“You can do that? Oh. Here we go. Now what?”

“Just play Good Robot for a few days and tell us what you think. You do know how to the play the game?”

“I know the game better than anyone, Arvind. I wrote it. You might have a passing familiarity with the game’s body, but I have wrought its very soul. I have made its world as real as the walls around me. Now–are you seeing my screenshare?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Please tell me which of these little robots is me.

I`m the one that`s about to be blown into a billion pieces. Thought I`d clear that up.

I`m the one that`s about to be blown into a billion pieces. Thought I`d clear that up.

So I’ve been playing Good Robot for about twenty hours now, and as you can imagine, I’m now extremely familiar with level 1. I think I can make some pretty confident conjectures about level 2 as well. Therefore, I feel it is my solemn duty to pass on what wisdom I have gleaned to you, the next generation, that you might transcend Adequate Automation and be at least as Good a Robot as I am.

Let’s talk Pro Strats.

  1. Learn the mechanics. Unlike most videogames, Good Robot is not an open-world medieval simulation with pitched battles and faction reputation systems. Cavalry charges and political marriages won’t get you very far–as a matter of fact, there aren’t any of those on level 1 at all.
  2. Terminals are your friend. If you find yourself getting stuck, try reading through dialogue to get clues as to what the thematic motifs and central conceits of the setting are.
  3. Know your weapons! Good Robot has dozens of playable weapons. There’s a launcher that fires bouncing, exploding frisbees, and there’s a bunch of other bullshit in case you can’t find the frisbee thing.
  4. Death is cheap. Don’t get too hung up on dying. You might be tempted to give up in frustration after a few deaths, but you’ll discover it’s infinitely more satisfying to explosively ragequit after thirty or forty.
  5. Click “New Game” to start a new game.
  6. Upgrades! Blow up enemies to get cash to upgrade your systems. This lets you blow up even more enemies, get even more cash, and upgrade even more systems. Before long you’ll be blowing up tons of enemies, getting mountains of cash, and placing a down payment on that townhouse you’ve dreamed of since you were in middle school.
  7. I haven’t found them yet, but I presume the Vaegirs still suck. If they declare war on you, don’t worry about it. It’s fine.
  8. Relax. Settle into a groove, blast robots, dodge projectiles, and have a good time. This is good advice even if it’s not technically your job.

That should get you started. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ve almost made it to level 2. Arvind and Shamus are gonna be so jealous–I remember it took them months to finish level 1. Scrubs.

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20626 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. Doc. Lock says:

    It never fails to make me laugh when you do this Rutskarn, I just thought I would stop lurking for once and tell you (7 years after starting to read this blog).

  2. Da Mage says:

    5. Click “New Game” to start a new game.

    Needs to be pinned at the top of the FAQ.

  3. Those Vaegirs and their absolutely laughable dreams of world domination. Now, a fully armed Sarranid army marching towards you, that’s a pants wetting prospect.

    • John says:

      Bah, I say! Swadians are superior. Too bad about the map position though.

      • Mr Compassionate says:

        Swadian Knights are so powerful that once you hit critical mass you can beat just about any number of anything else. 400 Vaegirs? Easy. 600 Sarranids? Why bother. Fortified position? No problem.
        You only really need 40-70 of them, once you have that any battle worth less than 20 renown is just beneath you- Oh yeah also congratulations making Good Robot! Good job all around probably.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      Sarranids? Their top-tier units are the worst!
      Now, Rhodoks, that’s a thinking man’s army. No flashy cavalry, just strategy and planning.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        Oh come, now. The only way to truly rule Calradia is to forge all the peoples of Calradia into a single unified empire, with each faction providing its share of the troops.

        Well, at least it is a convenient way to engage in brigandage.

        One time I tried to forge my own Calradian Empire and got pounced on by three factions at once. (Maybe declaring myself emperor while still a commoner was a bad idea…) That went poorly. I actually do pretty well with Rhodoks as a base of operations, though.

      • Ian says:

        Best thing about playing Rhodocks, is not having to find fight the buggers in sieges.

  4. Yanni says:

    You know Shamus its kind of funny that a lot of your advice for “Good Robot” could transfer over to you playing Dark Souls. ;)

  5. baseless_research says:

    Arvind and Shamus are gonna be so jealous–I remember it took them months to finish level 1. Scrubs.

    *golf claps*

  6. Somniorum says:

    … so, at which levels do the cavalry weddings and political charges get introduced?

  7. 4th Dimension says:

    I don’t know why but this is what broke me:

    “I downloaded a mod so royal couriers bring me my e-mail, and”

  8. Akuma says:

    You are a hero and a villain Rutskarn.

  9. Naota says:

    Ross’s task list, week 1:
    -Make level 1 easier and less confusing.

    Ross’s task list, week 31:
    -Level 1 is killing lots of our play-testers. I think for real – none of them ever get back to me after the first test. Make level 1 easier again.

    Ross’s task list, this week:
    -Somebody survived the process! I think Level 1 is just about easy enough after the last commit.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Question:Did you name any of the “bad robots” JJ8?

  11. Cinebeast says:

    This is missing the point entirely, but weirdly, now I want to play Mount and Blade.

  12. Vdweller says:

    That’s good PR, there. Nice diversion technique, with humour and self-sarcasm, and strategically-placed game features and highlights. Well played (pun intended)!

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