Robot Angst: Making it Work With Booze and Adventure
I was in the midst of precarious platforms and robots blasting me with lasers that it clicked. This is my childhood. As I navigated the battle arenas of Dejobaan Games Drunken Robot Pornography I was nostalgically transported to another age. An age of building towers from blocks and creating robotic menaces from erector sets. In Drunken Robot Pornography I became that brave action figure who destroyed the menace, flying through the air with blaster smiting action. Though as a child I was not motivated by booze - but Reuben is, the game's protagonist and bar owner. I asked Ichirco Lambe President/Founder of Dejobaan Games about this unlikely hero and the origins of Drunken Robot Pornagraphy, "[It happened] While on a magical high-speed train out of Shanghai during the Game Developer's Conference, fellow developer extraordinaire Tim Ambrogi suggested to me that our game should experiment a bit with narrative. I listen to whatever Tim says, because he's bright and awesome. So, in DRP, you're a bar owner [Reuben] who owns a robot bartender, named R. Tim Ambrosia in honor of Tim Ambrogi -- see! You give him sentience, he processes all the patrons' sob stories all at once, and goes crazy."
Crazy indeed. The self described first-person-shooter bullet-hell with giant robots and a jet pack delivers just that. There is no denying the excitement of the move and shoot, power-up scramble, boss-fight rush. It comes on slow for some levels but then spirals out of control like an aptly intoxicated fiasco for others. These robots are not just giant robots, however. They are Titans. Not the stoic "prepare for Titanfall" Titans. Drunken Robot Pornagraphy's titans are classy. No, really: they wear top hats while dealing death, at least on special occasions. That's pretty respectable. If being fashionable wasn’t enough the Titans explode in glorious, segmented chunks. I was consistently satisfied collecting temporary upgrades to Reuben’s blaster to destroy these floating harbingers of angry robot angst. All the while avoiding thousands of drones, rockets and of course, the 40 Titans themselves. But wait, there’s more; twelve suggestively named robotic “centerfolds” have joined your former bartender in ending future Boston. The provocatively named robots are the only risqué aspect to DRP (aside from some questionable player made content). All of this occurs over the course of 52 levels of frustrated robot madness aimed directly at you. It gives that sense of the classic shoot 'em up though wrapped in a first person package that is incredibly reminiscent of Jumping Flash/Jumping Flash 2 for the PS1. Where the Jumping Flash series successfully translated a platform game into first person, DRP does the same for shmups. I was also delighted to flit to platform to platform “conversing” with my own chatty robot-flight suit. I did feel a pang of guilt dispatching so many of his brethren, but that faded. Gunning down robots was like popping candy, and I really like candy. Except nougat, I never really got into that.
I spent a fair amount of time tinkering with the robot and arena creator. A quick tutorial aided me in constructing a spider-like robot which I could test out by blasting it to bits in the simple arena that I constructed. Though if I were motivated, I could create a proper arena in which to dole out mechanized demise. All the Titans and arenas you design can be uploaded for others to use on the Steam Workshop. At the time of writing there are almost 200 arenas and over 450 Titans in the Workshop. If you need some further guidance on design and creation tips, you should follow and/or visit Dejobaan’s Twitch channel. Videos for building are plentiful there.
Still not enough DRP? When can we see new content you ask? "Right now," exclaims Lambe. In addition to player generated content Dejobaan Games has been putting out new levels as part of their Drunken Robot Battle Royale. "Every week (except when we're travelling), we've put out a new challenge that typically comprises a new level, new Titans, and so forth. Players give that a go, and compete for first place. Rinse. Repeat," states Lambe. Lambe continues, "this is giving us a chance to have fun with the game's level and Titan editors (how many times can I copy-and-paste a row of robots before it bogs down the system?) and feature the best player-created levels."
Hope for a console port for DRP may be on the horizon for Sony and Microsoft, though Lambe stresses “we're already invading the living room via Alienware's sexy Alpha console, and I'd like to see our games go beyond PC/mobile.” Looking at the eclectic library that Dejobaan Games has produced and the current atmosphere of “indie friendliness” we are bound to see their titles on consoles eventually.
One of the most important things to know about while playing Drunken Robot is that you shouldn't stop moving. Just don't. The game begs you, it demands your locomotion. It also helps to look where you are going. Also don't stop shooting. Move across the arenas and dodge those death rays. Did I mention there was a time limit? Though you cannot ignore the satirical, yet allegorical messaging inherent in this tale of technology gone wrong. You can pose your questions of life and how our emotions intertwine with our logic. Or maybe you should just blast more robots. You’ll be glad you did.
Drunken Robot Pornography is available on Steam.
Day 7 | Dejobaan Games