Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more
After the Pulling the Plug announcement (Jan 28), we got lots of moral support from people saying the game must not die - plus $452 in Steam keys and $400 in eBook sales. This modest amount will enable us to keep going at least another month. Selling more Steam keys and eBooks is keyl to keeping the game alive, see http://steamcommunity.com/app/263040/discussions/0/606068060836404191/ for details.
What would help us the most is you spreading the word about Bot Colony.
We’ve started working on in-house servers as a long-term solution. When that is in place we’ll talk to Steam about putting back the BUY button on Bot Colony.
Since the update, we’ve fixed missing background facts in Intruder and Charlie being stuck in Arrival. We've added checkpoints to Arrival so you won’t lose your level progression. Robot Visual Memories (RVM) offers (by far) the most interesting gameplay in Bot Colony - make sure you play it! You need to find out what happened since Jimmy arrived, and why the house is now empty. The tech behind RVM is described here http://gamasutra.com/blogs/EugeneJoseph/20140626/219765/Natural_Language_Understanding_and_TexttoAnimation_in_Bot_Colony.php
Currently, few players get to RVM. Why? You get the RVM mission AFTER your score for Intruder is displayed and Arrival is unlocked - so most move on to Arrival. CHEAT: you can actually start playing RVM right after dealing with the police Bot; if the owner comes home and catches you, just re-start from the last checkpoint (every 3 objects).
The Bot Colony experience is defined by how good Natural Language Understanding (NLU) is, so improving NLU is #1 for us. Lots of NLU work is still needed to make the robots in Arrival smarter. Mike's navigation has many problems, but you should be able to get him to do what you need. With enough sales, we may even be able to deliver more content (Riot and beyond – watch the Story Untold video from our Store page).
Here are TIPS FOR PLAYING that everyone buying eBooks or Steam keys receives. Following these tips will result in a better game experience.
We're now making a last ditch effort to find a solution to keep the game going past March 15. Since Valve removed the BUY button from our page, we're now offering Bot Colony Steam keys directly to our fans: you can buy packs of 3, 5 or 10 Steam keys; you can get a Steam key for buying the Bot Colony eBook; we're offering Steam keys to customers writing reviews on our Steam page, or to the first players who beat RVM and document that. See http://steamcommunity.com/app/263040/discussions/0/606068060836404191/ for details. About the eBook: few people heard about Bot Colony, so even fewer heard about the Bot Colony novel. It's an industrial espionage thriller depicting realistic verbal interactions with robots – it was meant to set the benchmark for the kind of AI we hoped to achieve in the game.
A gift to our fans, Bot Colony - The Untold Story was uploaded to Steam recently (it's the 3rd video from the left on our Store page). This 30 minute video was made to give a potential developer a complete view of the game, to help estimate the effort required to complete it. The video goes through all 12 episodes, using prototype assets and stills. A bit clinical (given the intended audience), the video does give a good idea of the scope of Bot Colony, and how much we had advanced before we had to stop. I hope that people who watch it will agree that Bot Colony can be a lot more than just talking to boring drones.
The game now has quite a bit to offer. In the new update, you piece together a juicy story from video clips a domestic robot recorded (RVM’s). You discover these video clips through conversation – truly unique gameplay not offered by any other game. In the two episodes released, you command robots through language under time-constraints – also unique gameplay. With the Untold Story video and the eBook – the Bot Colony story now has closure and can be enjoyed 'as is', like a released game. If Bot Colony continues to attract attention - it's now rated as popular content on Steam, who knows?
“Despite...my occasional exasperation with Jimmy, it turns out I enjoy the hell out of telling robots to do things and then watching them do things. When it works, it’s oddly satisfying. When it doesn’t work, it’s generally amusing.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Season One: Landfall is the initial Bot Colony core game featuring the Intruder and Arrival playable episodes, in addition to the pre-order and first access to Riot, this season’s third episode.
Copyright © 2014 North Side Inc.
Bot Colony is a registered trademarks of North Side Inc.
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