RoboCo is an educational sandbox video game about designing and building robots to serve the needs of squishy, hapless humans in the world of tomorrow. Assemble bots piece by piece, rigging each creation with motors, gears, and customizable wireless controls in order to conquer tricky, open-ended challenge courses where the solutions are as varied as your engineering ingenuity. A PC-first, VR-compatible release inspired by makerspace programs and robotics organizations, RoboCo aims to ignite player interest in STEM fields by offering players the tools to unleash their problem solving skills and creative potential.
Originally conceived as a platform for teaching fundamental engineering and design thinking principles to young players, RoboCo is conceptually aligned to popular K-12 robotics programs like FIRST Robotics Competition, Vex Robotics, and LEGO Mindstorms. Similar to these programs, RoboCo is designed to foster the fundamental “4Cs” of 21st century learning; namely, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. That being said, the game is not designed to replace robotics programs, but rather to serve as a gateway to them. Using game design techniques like scaffolding via level design and just-in-time information, we can make robotics more accessible to novices than would otherwise be possible. In RoboCo, building robots is intuitive – mechanical parts like rods and wheels “snap” in place when connecting to each other, for instance, while properties such as a motor’s rotation speed can be manipulated on the fly via simple, easy to navigate in-game menus. While RoboCo’s approach to designing and building robots makes it ideal for new players, the game also provides advanced features suited for those seeking a deeper, more complex engineering experience.
RoboCo itself is fun- but underneath the simplicity lies a complex and intelligently built sandbox toolset that offers users a huge degree of flexibility and empowerment for creative expression. As an open-ended robotics sandbox experience, RoboCo will afford players the ability to form hypotheses, build robots, test, and iterate, offering players an accessible, engaging inroad to the world of robotics and mechanical engineering. Featuring physics-based puzzle challenges, a build-whatever-you-can-imagine sandbox mode, and a delightfully strange aesthetic, RoboCo aims to ignite interest in STEM fields by offering players the tools to unleash their problem solving skills and creative potential. RoboCo will be released for PC desktop and VR in 2021.