- Robot Radio Interview - Orcs Must Die 2 and Hero Academy Info - Sixokay and Radiokenny Posted on: April 3, 2012
More: Robot Radio
Dean23 Apr 20135448
So things have been pretty quiet lately with Robot Entertainment. Never fear, this is to be expected from a relatively small studio when they are between games. Silence never means nothing is happening, quite the opposite it fact – it means they are hard at work on new games!
However in amongst working on new games the Robot’s are also working hard to being Hero Academy to Android. Porting the game to Android has long been mooted and was one of the things asked by the community in the REF Six things for SixOkay. Today however a few days ago on the RE.com forums LeWZ wrote:
So please, RE, PLEASE, port it to android. I’m sure a whole LOT of people will buy it, even though a bunch might just get it illegally and overload your servers, things will eventually settle down and your fan base will be doubled or even tripled guaranteed!
Community Manager, Justin “SixOkay” Korthof has today responded with some good news for budding Hero Academy fans:
We are. We’re just having to do a lot of squashing of bugs and the like to make sure that it works with all of the different systems (different store, wide variety of devices, etc). Honestly, you can blame me for the silence. I don’t want to go announcing anything specific until we know for sure what’s happening and when. But take heart – the testers sitting at the next desk over from mine are digging through it and talking about the build as I type this. As we said before, if we have to make the decision to not pursue the Android version, we will for sure let everyone know. If we’re quiet? Well, in this case, the silence means we’re still moving ahead. I’m sure it’s frustrating not to have any real updates, but I really do appreciate your patience. We want to get it out to you as soon as we can, but we also want it to meet the quality standards that we held the game to on previous platforms.
It looks like great news indeed for all those Android owners out there. Keep your ears to the ground as a Hero Academy for Android announcement might not be too long away now. As always, shipping a quality product is high on Robot’s to-do list, so there is a chance that if the Android version doesnt meet the standards required it might not be do-able. Hopefully though the talented bots will find a way.MNC-Dover27 Mar 20135427
When designing this team, I wanted to make them feel new and familiar at the same time. To accomplish this, I stayed with the 4 units/1 super unit concept and tried not to add too many new mechanics so as to confuse newer players. A lot of changes occurred during their creation and I’m pretty happy with the results. Of course, no team is perfect. Without a way to balance test the team it would be difficult to say whether they are fair or not versus the other teams. Buffs and nerfs would probably happen to even things out.
Before you read further, I’d recommend downloading my design document information found here. There you will find a statistical break down of each unit along with their special abilities.
After going with the team bonus of destroying Crystals, I next focused on a new range mechanic. 4 out of 5 units on the team are ranged. I made an item called the Crystal Wings which would increase any attack range by +1. To make this fair, I limited all of the unit’s starting range to 2 and made this item take place of one of the armor slots.
This one mechanic allows the player to customize the team to their distinct playstyle. Want a three range stomp? How about a three range heal? The choice is yours. With only three of the item in your deck, you can’t have all four units with the range bonus so you need to choose carefully. Basically, this item allows a lot more flexibility when dealing with different situations.
After the range mechanic was done, I focused on the melee unit, the Guardian. In order to make him stand out from the tanky Knight and the horrifyingly good Void Monk, I tweaked his design. For starters, his base attack damage is 300. No other fighter unit starts with an attack that high. That means he becomes a 450 damage attacker with a Rune Crystal upgrade. Not having a three range movement and only a +10% physical defense made him not too over powered.
To give him a unique twist on gameplay, and to keep with the Crystal theme, he gains a nice power boost when positioned on a Gem Boost tile: +10% to both resists and unable to be moved by any push/pull mechanic (Knight’s attack, Impaler pull, Typhoon, etc). Now you could position him to grant your team extra strength while attack Crystals, but having to sacrifice your highest damage outputting unit.
Next up was the ranged attackers, the Geomancer and the Rogue. I’ll start with the Geomancer.
The Geomancer is basically a ranged stomp unit like the Necromancer or the Witch. He can be upgraded to 3 range with the Crystal Wings making him awesome in team killing strategies. His stomp is turning the KO’d unit into a small crystal which counts towards the team’s overall Crystal health. Keeping it in line with other range stomps, I gave it 250 hp and the bamboo ability of claiming any tile it rests on. This will typically mean an opponent will spend two AP getting rid of it, 1 if they have a 300 damage attack. In addition, these Crystals can be used by the Golem to regenerate health and boost attack damage.
The Rogue is the AoE attacker on the team. I wanted a variation on AoE attacks, but Robot Entertainment seemed to cover all kinds. I ended up with a cardinal direction style splash meaning the center unit takes full damage and the units above, below, and to the sides take splash. Diagonals are safe. I had the splash damage do 75%, which is higher than normal for a splash attack, because it hits less units overall. Her ability becomes much better when combined with the Purifier’s debuff attack.
Speaking of the Purifier, let’s talk healing. Her role as a healer on the team is average at best. I wanted to make a support unit that could do more than heal though. Her special ability is when she hits an enemy unit, they permanently give a stackable 5% debuff to any of their Crystals they are with range of. This is like a reverse Paladin’s aura. Players will have to move their units away from their Crystals or risk making them more vulnerable to attacks. If the Purifier hits two units near Crystals, that means a +30% damage bonus against them by any unit on the Crystal Keeper team. Giving her a range boost also makes her as flexible as the Priestess in healing and attacking.
Finally we have the Golem, a walking mountain of Crystal energy come to life. This unit is unique in that it can heal itself when attacking a Crystal as well as power up its next attack. The Crystal Keepers as a whole don’t output a lot on non-Crystal damage so the Golem compensates by being able to juice up its next attack by attacking its teams own Crystal. It can also use Crystals created by the Geomancer to heal/boost without retreating the front lines. That being said, the Golem isn’t overly strong and has to be used carefully, not unlike the Council’s Ninja.
That will do it for this part of my team breakdown. I’ll finish up with some final thoughts on the characters art design, provided by the amazing Ashely Sarroca, as well as some details on the items for the team, their map, and any questions you might have about them.Dean01 Mar 20135404
Today marks the 4th anniversary of Robot Entertainment. Formed back in 2009 following the closure of Ensemble Studios, Robot Entertainment is today a grand 4 years old!
In that time it is fitting that they have worked on / released four whole games, namely Age of Empires Online, Orcs Must Die!, Hero Academy and Orcs Must Die 2!
The Fabulous Four are certainly all fantastic – but which is your favourite? Let us know in our poll!Loading ...
To celebrate Robot Entertainment is having a 75% off offer on the official Robot Entertainment store. If you’re missing a game or some DLC you can pick it up at a mammoth 75% normal prices. Age of Empires Online is excluded as it is not a title published by Robot Entertainment. Don’t miss this great chance to complete your Robot Entertainment collection thus far!MNC-Dover10 Feb 20135392
I’m not much different than any other gamer out there. I love playing games of all kinds and sharing my experiences with friends. I’m also fairly creative and love trying new things. When I got my game design degree at the end of 2012, I knew a career in the industry was the next step. While this sadly hasn’t come to pass yet, I have decided to take my passion for creation and my love of game design and create a Hero Academy team.
If you’re a dedicated fan of Hero Academy, you’ve probably let your mind wander and dream up new ideas for teams to be added to the Robot Entertainment strategy game. For some, this means wildly brainstorming some ideas, for others it could mean jotting down some notes, and some take to their favorite forums to post their team concepts online. For me, it went a little deeper.
I wanted to create a team that fit within the lore and theme of Hero Academy, fun to play, fairly balanced, introduced some new mechanics to the existing engine, and was as professionally complete as possible. Because of this, I decided to create a design document for the team detailing every aspect of the team’s creation and the reasoning behind these choices. In addition, I enrolled the help of a former artist classmate to breathe life into the unit creation. I believe that my final product shows that I accomplished these goals and made a truly unique and complete team that would fit in nicely within the Hero Academy world.
The first thing I decided on was creating a unique theme. We’ve had varieties of races and themes amongst the teams so far, so I went with a focus that was unique to the game and kept with the theme; the Crystals. In Hero Academy, the Crystals are generally just thought of as objects used to help teams achieve victory, but what was the story behind them? My team was created with the idea that a rag-tag group of outcasts and vagabonds have come together in the pursuit of Crystal study and worship. They wouldn’t mesh well together, but the draw of the power from the Crystals has given them unity.
With the theme in play, the next thing to do was create a team bonus to center them around. Keeping with the Crystal theme, I gave them a +20% damage against Crystals. This would tend to have the team become Crystal destroying specialists, but I was OK with this as there isn’t a team that does this already in Hero Academy, the Dwarves probably being the closest. I also decided to stick with a standard, four units plus one super unit format for the team. This kept them familiar to the other teams making newer players feel more comfortable with using them.
After all of that was decided, I began the process of creating units. Not wanting to have overlap with the existing human teams, Council and Shaolin primarily, I came up with units that looked not only like strangers to one another, but rejects from the world proper. After a lot of experimentation and research, the team finally consisted of: the Guardian, the Rogue, the Geomancer, the Purifier, and the Golem.
So take a minute to look over the team and see what you think. You’ll find all of the stats, mechanics, and artwork for the team below. I will go into more details about my decisions for the individual team members and the challenges in balancing them in my next blog entry.Dean09 Feb 20135379
Congratulations to all the team at Robot Entertainment as Hero Academy wins the “Best Mobile Game” at the 16th annual DICE awards. This is a prestigious awards for developers and Robot Entertainment was up against 3 other games in the mobile category including Fairway Solitaire, Horn and Rayman Jungle Run. Its fantastic to see Robot’s hard work recognised with this brilliant award.
CEO Patrick Hudson and COO Harter Ryan were on hand at the ceremony to collect the award.
Celebrations were a plenty this morning at Robot HQ:
Six answers from SixOkay
In and amongst the celebrations for Hero Academy Justin Korthof, Community Manager has responded to the “Six Questions for SixOkay” feature we ran around Christmas. Reading through the responses we picked out the following six questions to be answered. So without further adue, here we go!
Are there any plans to release detailed statistics about traps?
At the moment, no. We don’t plan to add those into the game or release them in general.
Is there any more DLC coming for OMD2?
We’re giving it some breathing room now. We are really happy with the three booster packs that are out there now, and we’re all hard at work on some new exciting stuff.
Have the way players have completed levels in YouTube videos surprised you compared to how the designers thought the level would be played?
One of the most exciting things about developing both OMD games was knowing that we were designing it in a way that allowed people to complete levels in different ways. We always knew that people would find interesting ways to kill orcs that we never expected. The community hasn’t disappointed us in that regard.
Any news on Hero Academy for Android?
We don’t have a ton of new news here. We are fully committed as a studio to developing our new projects, and we don’t have the internal development resources at the moment to do a full Android port ourselves, but we haven’t stopped pursuing it. We’re currently looking at other options to bring Hero Academy to Android. Until we know more about how that’s going to progress, there won’t be much news. However, if we hit a dead end and decide not to pursue Hero Academy on Android further then we’ll let the community know for certain.
Were there any traps that you liked but didn’t make it into the game?
We have always poured out a TON of ideas when making these games, and there’s always stuff we have to cut out. I just can’t tell you about much of it because some of that stuff could come up again in future games. There were definitely a few things in OMD2 that were revived after not making the cut for OMD1.
Can you shed any light if OMD2 will be receiving custom onslaught and mod support any time in the future?
It’s highly unlikely at the moment.
Although many of the community may be saddened to see there has not been much movement on Hero Academy for Android, we must bear in mind the project is not off the table entirely. Its still something that is being explored and may still happen if an appropriate means can be found to bring Hero Academy to Android. It’s not a “No” folks, but its not a “Yes its coming” either.Dean05 Feb 20135373
The latest update for Hero Academy has now gone live across both Steam and iOS devices. The update is no great surprise and many of the changes have been announced previously. Now that the update is live though we can now read about the precise changes that are now taking effect. The details of the bug fixes and balance changes are as below.
Check out the official Robot Entertainment forums for community reactions!
- Fixed First Turn AP settings to work properly
- Fixed train hazard to correctly keep the initiating player’s units alive at 100 hit points
- Fixed bug with bamboo tiles not appearing until late in the game
- Changed the Shaolin game board to have only one speed-boost tile
- Fixed Bloodrage icon to display properly when activated
- Fixed bug that kept Shaolin win achievements from being granted
- Updated Paladin description text to mention Revive
- Fixed a bug that prevented colors from changing correctly
- Fixed a bug that prevented taunts from displaying for opponents
Dean25 Jan 20135365
- Wraith’s starting HP increased by 150 and soul charges reduced by 50 HP
- Paladin HP decreased to 900
- Shaolin monk movement increased to 3
- Poisoner debuff increased to 50%
- Sniper crouch bonus reduced to 250
- TF2 heavy HP reduced to 1100
Robot Entertainment have posted on their Facebook and Twitter sites that the latest update for Hero Academy has now been sent to Apple for approval. Following approval the game changes will be made live. Be on the look-out for a new Hero Academy update to launch imminently!