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Saikyo Robots » Meaningful Choices

In Saikyo Robots you use robots to fight, to collect resources and to produce more robots. They are your most scarce resource. Figuring out where to best use them isn’t always simple and that makes strategy games fun. While Saikyo Robots gives you lots of interesting choices there was one choice that was boring

One Robot into each Building

If you put robots into a building it produces something. For instance the library produces upgrades, the green factory produces swordbots and so on. The more robots you put into a building, the faster it produces. My idea was that the player would have to make an interesting decision → where to best use their robots to produce what they want the most. No one cared though. Instead they put one robot into every building… me included.

The root of all evil

A year ago I planned out the upgrades. Since the game should let you end with not too many or too few upgrades I ended up with the following:
The library takes 80 seconds to finish one upgrade if you put 1 robot in.
The library takes 30 seconds to finish one upgrade if you put 50 robots in.

That means each robot increases the production by only about 1 second. That’s just not that much! But how could I change this? If I lower the 30 seconds, you end up with too many upgrades. If I raise the 80 seconds you end up with too few upgrades.

Creating Problems

Lately I realized that in my games I often give the player some power. That power makes the game easy / boring so I give them an obstacle that they can only overcome with the power I gave them.

In general I often create solutions without problems which isn’t good. But now that I know, I try to give every solution a problem. You’re probably thinking that this is backwards isn’t it? But that is how my brain works!

What’s the solution / power I give you? You put more robots into a building to raise its production speed.
What problem can this solution solve? The default production speed is insanely high unless you put lots of robots into the building! What means putting just 1 robot into each building doesn’t do that much.

Simple? Well to be fair the code behind it is a bit more complicated since there is a robot limit. At the begining you can only put 5 robots into the library. Other buildings work in the same way. Upgrades let you put more robots into the buildings. This complicateded things a lot but here is the final version I created:

Library can have 5 robots. Production takes
200 seconds with 1 robot
90 seconds with 5 robots
→ Each robot raises production by about 27 seconds

Library can have 50 robots. Production takes
140 seconds with 1 robot
30 seconds with 50 robots
→ Each robot raises production by about 2 seconds

As you can see the robots now raise the production speed a lot at the start of the game. Producing in the library with just 1 robot is still an option but not really worth it too much. In the future I might make this even more extreme to completely discourage people from having only 1 robot in each building. But for now I created a good problem.

Thank you for reading
– Deniz