Just remembered this game so here is a long overdue review.
Cathode Raybots is a very well-made game with a brilliant concept! Games that let the players get creative catch attention for sure. Combined with skilful gameplay perfect. The gameplay is pretty challenging, the art fantastic, sound effects and voices great and the menu looks cool too. The music that plays in the character selection screen is beautiful! The best part is viewing the user content, makes me happy to see those carefully crafted levels and good looking bots.
This is clearly not a game that can be finished in one go. It may take several attempts to beat some raybots, but every single one of them is beatable simply because the creator of a bot cannot submit it without beating it at least once. There is always a way! Taking some time to recognize the movement pattern, keeping an eye out for safe spots and using charge shots when possible will help you for sure. The bots that spam projectiles randomly can be intimidating, but rapid fire is usually accompanied by low damage. Charged shots and Flamethrower work well here, matter if you take a few hits.
Going to list down some observations and ideas (crazy ones):
1. I think the game urgently needs more easy campaigns after the 4th one (Bourgeois) to give some time for the players to adapt before moving onto the more difficult bosses. Maybe Jerk Squad and TravisBots can be moved up in the list as they are relatively easy. If you look at the player profiles, notice that a vast majority has quit after getting the 4th medal. I couldn't get past the Emote bosses myself on day 1 and had half a mind to stop playing. Glad I came back the next day though, as I found I had adapted better to the pace of the game. Realized that and Angryfaic are not impossible like I had originally thought, they are just cleverly designed and require players to plan their tactic a bit before jumping into action!
2. Bot personality - Could have the bot talking with the help of dialog boxes/speech bubbles that appear now and then. Or maybe when the bot wins or loses. These short messages could be player-fed at the time of bot creation. So not giving your bot just a face, but some personality too!
3. Custom campaigns - Ability to create own campaign with multiple bots provided the player is able to beat his own campaign. They can be listed under a custom campaigns category with their own rating system and scoreboards. Maybe once a campaign is rated high enough or very popular, you could add it to the regular campaign list and add a medal! Of course, bots once included in campaigns be modifiable anymore.
4. Win percentage - For regular (and custom) campaigns you can have a difficulty rating that shows next to its name in the menu. Also maybe some stats like overall player win percentage or wins:losses showing next to each campaign to make it more interesting. Also gives the players an idea of how difficult that mission is.
5. Delay between saving bots to avoid spamming of bots (Example: bots that went over several hundred pages). It would be great if all such existing bots are deleted as those bots always appear 2-3 times when you choose the mission.
6. Ability to delete own bot entries. Useful when you accidentally save something twice.
7. Search bar to search by username or name.
8. Individual scoreboard for each bot if that too much data? Top 5 maybe? Might be interesting for players to know who beat their bots.
9. Custom bot headgear and arms creation if possible. I realize this can be too much to ask for but it would be amazing to have because customization is the strength of the game!
10. An active list of players who logged in recently, and Achievements next to their name such as medals. And maybe a grade system that ranks players similar to what you have after beating each campaign/bot! Could also have a small avatar image of the human for each player if you plan customization for humans in the future.
11. Ability to see the full roster of bots in a campaign before beginning. Unless you intended to keep it hidden for the element of surprise.
12. RETRY buttons wherever possible.
13. Sort by rating Would be nice if it included only bots with at least 20-30 votes of rating, as it is not useful at the moment.
14. Sort by difficulty option To find those really hard bots! This would be a more honest sorting as some people may ragevote a good bot down when they lose. Also just curious, how is difficulty calculated?
15. Noticed that people import custom Faces and save the face again passing them off as their own. Maybe not intentionally. know if anything can be done about that though.
16. A PAUSE button, unless you want that. Either way I can right-click the mouse to pause :P
17. Have a look at some campaign bots like Blue Mario, Luis, Big Fag (Ft. Ching). Easy to find like this Sort by Date, Ascending. I think carrying an older damage mechanic because their projectiles do VERY high damage. Blue Mario can kill in 3 shots. Good bosses though.
18. The flickering static loading screen is cool but a little harsh on the eyes.
19. Could have the timelimit bar flashing in those last 10 seconds. Never know when someone gives you just 30 seconds to beat their bot.
20. Random bots unlimited campaign Similar to Random Gang, but unlimited until the human loses. The number of bots defeated at one stretch becomes the Score. Good challenge. Also gives those old bots a chance to surface again.
21. Ability to choose different colour themes, backgrounds and tilesets for the level platforms while creating a bot. Or if you could have another section where the player can create custom tilesets for the beautiful.
22. I agree that introducing upgrades and powerups for the human may actually take away from the game. So I was thinking - what if the human had many weapons/gadgets to choose from, but could carry only 2 weapons out of those to a mission? I understand it will still be very hard to come up with more weapons and maintain the balance at the same time.
Arsenal more weapon ideas for the bot
- Frost Sword Low damage, freezes player for a short duration. Frozen player keeps slipping away in the direction of knockback, because ice is slippery.
- Invisibility Lasts for a few seconds when activated, large cool down time. Could be interesting when used right!
- Duplicate Holographic double of the bot that spawns 15-30 seconds later (no. of seconds set by the creator) following the same pattern. Shared health between the two bots, halved attack power.
- Energy shield When active, reduce damage taken from facing direction by %. But the bot also gets a walking speed reduction (considered at pattern creation).
- Disorientation beam Used like the vertical beam. Low damage, disorients player (Left arrow key moves Human right, and right moves left) until next contact with the same beam.
Ok, enough of those lol.
Such a good game deserves to be taken care of. I hope there will be plenty of updates in the near future. Or if going to be a sequel or something new using a similar concept, be waiting. Keep up the great work!