This project's funding goal was not reached on August 6, 2014.
About this project
Algo-Bot is a puzzle game currently in a playable Alpha stage, starring a little blue robot called Algo. Your mission is to find the optimal series of commands for the robot so it can execute its job.
Before Algo can reach the exit, it will have to carry around toxic containers, store them away safely and rely on the help of other robots when there is more work to be done than it can handle by itself.
Here’s an example of a very easy level and 2 different solutions. The first solution is to put all the commands one after the other in the main line of commands (not very efficient) and the second way is to use a function (a set of commands) to optimize Algo's laziness factor. In other words, the shorter the main line, the higher the score.
"Algo-Bot is there to entertain *while* training in the sort of basic Jedi mind skills involved in making notoriously weak-minded computers to do what you want them to do" said our backer, Tom Kiefer
Algo-Bot has been Greenlit by the community on Steam! All we need to do now, is to finish the game.
For every new pledge we’ll donate one license to a student.
Register your school here.
The most important thing we learned about Kickstarter is that social networking is everything. Each backer that shares our Kickstarter page can bring us more backers. That's the reason we'd like to encourage you to share our page and tell your friends about it!
Every time the page reaches a Social Goal, backers receive the extra gift associated with that goal (if funded). Backers of digital pledges will have to pay 10$ of shipping if they want to receive physical gifts.
The gameplay has been imagined by Guillaume Bouckaert who was the crazy Level Designer on Shifting World. If you know this game, you'll probably understand what I mean.
Core gameplay, background story and characters
Welcome to Algo Corp, assistant! It's your first day on the job and I bet you don't understand anything of what exactly you have to do. Let me give you a tour.
My name is Tina, I am the mechanical engineer of this power plant. My job is to make sure that you don't mess up my robots. They are delicate and cost an arm and a leg. Secondly, I am here to explain what your job is and how to do it properly.
Robots are machines and like all machines they require commands to function. That is where you come into play. Your job is to give orders to these robots -- not to destroy them, please, the last assistant was terrible and the power plant lost a fortune.
See the blue round robot? That's your main robot, Algo. Help him find the shortest path to the exit represented by the red node to win the level. Keep in mind that you will only be able to exit the level if the node turns green. To make this possible, you'll have to sort all the crates, represented here in green and violet. Pick up a crate from a spot and leave it on a node of the same color set. Doesn't seem too complicated, what do you think?
Algo Corp likes to reward its employees when they are doing a good job. Sometimes, you can complete special missions to unlock skins that can be used on Algo.
At the $250 pledge level you will be able to create your own skin for the release version of the game.
They are quite easy to understand.
The first group is for directional/actions purposes: straight, left, right and activate.
The second group contains the functions. A function can be used to program a set of orders and to execute this set multiple times without duplicating it.
The third group is made of variables and conditions, you’ll use these in more advanced levels of the game.
The last one is for control: Cancel/delete a command from the command lines, start/pause the robot and also change its speed.
Dear programmers, this part is specifically dedicated to you. You are probably wondering what Algo-Bot has to offer, for both beginners and veterans alike, from a coding point of view. In other words, this game is a tool that allows you to play around with your programming logic, no matter which programming language(s) this is. You will play with the programming basics, such as functions, variables, condition, loops,...
Ok, so you are a brand new coder. Welcome! You have to know that there's no place like 127.0.0.1 :-) and there's no place like Algo Corp to learn the basics of coding efficiently.
More than teaching you, Algo-Bot is doing it in a fun way while sparing you from hours of book reading. Moreover, we can guarantee that the teaching process is working. The game has been tested in a training center and received very positive feedback. The difficulty curve is quite well balanced but stills needs improvement. But don't you worry! We will strive for perfection so YOU can become a good programmer by bringing you challenges at the right moments.
What will this game offer you? First of all, fun! It can also test your knowledge and see how good you actually are. Algo-Bot is part of our recruitment process, here at Fishing Cactus. Will you be better than our programmers who created it?
After nearly a year of production, the game is at a working alpha stage with a level editor, a lot of assets produced and a very clear idea of where we are going. The Alpha is already available if you pledge $35. At the $75 pledge level, you'll have access to our level editor with the ability to submit levels for the final version of the game.
- Level Editor
We want to deliver our backers with early access to a level editor that we are currently using internally to build levels (Tiled). You will use it to send us your levels that can be included inside the final build of the game!
- In-game coding
The initial steps of the game are about learning the logic behind coding: usage of loops and functions, juggling with variables and ultimately synchronize several entities together (yes advanced parts of the game will allow you to control more than one robot at the same time). Once you have played enough with all those mechanics, it would ultimately be good to take a peek behind the scene and view the real code of every single gameplay block. We also want you to be able to manipulate high level code and create new gameplay blocks to be used in the game to some extent, modding.
While the gameplay is in a rather well defined state now, the overall aspects of the game still require some more polish. We want to improve the sounds, tweak the UI, integrate a better lighting system, add a bit more juicy effects, increase the reactivity of the game and finally extend the story of the game to make it more interesting in the long run.
The game already runs on Windows but we will port it to Mac and Linux when the specific stretch goals are met. If the campaign goes further than that, we will add even more platforms!
English, French, German.
We already have a running alpha version of the game. You will receive it with any pledge over 35$ but to make this game a successful release, it still needs a bit of graphic design, a full UI revamp, extra animations, testing, better sound design and an in-game editor with Steam Workshop integration. This will allow players to easily build, share and play custom-made levels.
Actually, we would like to have your support so we can fully embrace the game as imagined in the first place. Not to dumb it down like those “OkIlearnedsomethingandsowhat?” games you may have already seen. The game has to make you feel like you are living in a world where logic and skills are your best tools.
Our infinite gratitude! And exclusive wallpapers to remind you that you helped make our dream come true ;)
Exclusive wallpapers + infinite gratitude + Digital downloadable copy for WINDOWS (or any other desktop platform supported).
Previous pack + Algo-Bot papercraft + Your name in the credits + Participate in project development surveys + Vote for the future programming language the game will support.
Previous pack + Alpha access. As soon as this is funded you will immediate get access to the current version of the game.
CONTRIBUTOR PACK + 4 Digital downloadable copies for WINDOWS (or any other desktop platform supported)
Alpha pack + Boxed copy + Reader access to project management tool and development forums + Algo-Bot memory stick + Level editor and ability to submit levels for the final version of the game.
Previous pack + Limited edition watch.
About Modify Watches
The reason why we decided to work with Modify Watches for this pledge is that we love the concept of customization.
Imagine you pay for a watch and after a few months you still like the face but not the strap anymore. All you have to do is to change that strap! You don’t like the face either? Just change it! Choose it from multiple designs or create your unique one. Nobody will stop you from having a picture of your dog on your wrist this time.
Previous pack + Design an element/object that will be added in the game.
Previous pack + Design a skin for the final version of game.
Previous pack + Robot Unicorn version.
Previous pack + Your name in the game as Tina or the director.
Previous pack + Your doppelganger as a character in the game.
From an educational side, the alpha was a success. We released it in Technobel, a training center and people really liked it. More than just played with it, they learned from it.
For every new pledge we’ll donate one license to a student.
Register you school here
Also one of the very specific goals we are setting for this project is the free school license. Yes, we would like to offer a free license of the game to all the schools around the world! It might sound crazy but we feel programming is something that impacts everyone, young and old. Learning it will never have been so easy, all thanks to you, for backing us on this project.
"I've played through several levels, and so far I can tell that Fishing Cactus has a good thing going (...) I'd highly recommend pledging to this cause, as Algo-Bot has found my favor"- Steve Cathy, examiner.com
We had to know if people would have any interest in our project. So, we shoted it as often as possible to to a wide variety of audiences.
At first, we showcased the game at Indie Prize where indie-developers and others found it very interesting and enjoyable to play. After that, we had to be sure that Algo-Bot was a good product educationally speaking. So, we submitted it to the Serious Game Expo 2013. The competition was fierce but we won. What a pleasure it was to bring back that trophy to the studio. :)
- Top 5 Indie Prize Showcase at Casual Connect 2013
- Best Serious Game HR - Training at Serious Game Expo 2013
- Second Place European Serious games award 2013
Risks and challenges
Building a game about coding is not a simple task, we need to satisfy everyone, from beginners to experts. Providing logical puzzles that will prove experts they can still learn things. But on the other hand, we need to make the game simple enough for people who don’t know anything about programming.
We’ve been working on the game for more than a year now and it has been playtested several times in real-life conditions with great success. Core game mechanics have already been developed and the level editor is powerful enough to create hundreds of levels (the game currently features 60 of them).
As you may have spotted in the video, Fishing Cactus is not a one-man studio. We have the required amount of resources to make this game as intended. Our team has worked on some nice games in the past decade such as Creatures Online, Shift (remember mind twisting black and white action platformer) and SEGA After Burner Climax (mobile version).
We’ve built Algo-Bot with our own multi-platform C++ engine called Mojito. So for us, there is no need for extra licenses or a black box middleware to make the game available on Mac, Linux or even tablets! Yes we have an engine running on Linux and if we can get to that stretch goal, we will make Mr Torvalds proud.
Right now there are more challenges than risks and the team is eager to put the last layer of polish on the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)