|This page has links and references to incredibots.com and the incredibots.com forums, and needs to be updated. While most of the information is accurate, and some of it references the Jaybit edition, be advised that not all information posted here is correct.|
Hey there! Get ready for all sorts of wacky, physical fun - okay, more mental
than physical, but there are physics involved - from the comforts of your computer
chair! This is IncrediBots, and you'll be building, guiding, jumping, and
doing all sorts of wonderful things with your very own robots, spawned from the
depths of your creativity, in a wide-open, physics-based playground!
NOTE: You can link to specific steps or sections by clicking step numbers or headings and copy-pasting the URL in your address bar.
- Main Menu
- The Robot Building Screen
- Play! And replays.
- Cheat Sheet -- Hotkeys
- What's new in the Jaybit Versions?
When you start the game, you'll be greeted with the Main Menu.
From there, you'll decide if you want to get learning (Levels),
thinking (Challenges), or just building to your heart's content
(Sandbox). At the top-left corner of the Main Menu,
you'll find the Load Replay, Load Bot, and
Sandbox buttons. Each of these, of course, will begin their
respective modes, but before we get into those, let's talk a bit more about the
foundations of the game!
If it's your first time playing, you'll probably want to play around in the Levels first, as they'll effectively teach you how to build robots and make use of the game's physics engine. You'll learn the basics and mechanics of the game through playing all eight levels; choose any level you like; there is no penalty for going out of order! Levels can be selected from the table of buttons at the top-right part of the Main Menu.
Once you're familiar with how the game works and how robots can be built, you'll probably want to flex your brain a bit and customise your own robot in one of the nine Challenges, each of which is listed in the large table on the lower-half of the screen, along with the difficulty levels you'll get to choose from for each task. Each Challenge has a specific objective that must be reached, and you'll only have a certain number of Credits to build your robot with in order to meet those goals. Oh, and you'll be timed as well - but better times lead to greater bragging rights among your fellow IncrediBots Builders, so practice makes perfect! As you might expect, each of the nine Challenges has three difficulty levels to choose from, with the harder levels adding difficulty by limiting how much material you can use in the construction of your robot. But hey - you're smart, you'll figure it out!
Finally, there's the Sandbox Mode, a place where you can really give your imaginative gears a grind! Sandbox Mode is the big empty canvas of IncrediBots, where you get to supply the paint: you can make any robot or wild contraption-device-object you'd like, and once you've built it, you'll be able to film it using the Replay function!
After selecting any of the three game modes (Levels, Challenges,
Sandbox), you will find yourself at The Robot Building Screen.
From here, you will be constructing all of your robots and machines, from the ground up!
Your options and materials are represented in the buttons displayed on the
toolbar at the top of the screen, with the creation tools
being displayed as the group of blue buttons.
If you'd like to take a look at the environment that's been generated for you to play around in, simply click your mouse cursor anywhere in the worldview, hold down the mouse button, and drag around to your heart's content! (This will come in quite handy for the harder modes.) Alternatively, you can use your keyboard's arrow keys to pan the view. And, in the toolbar at the top of the screen, you'll see buttons that will allow you to Zoom In and Out.
At the very top of the screen, you'll see the drop-down menus. They are: File, Edit, View, Share!, and Help. "File" will allow you to save robots and replays, log in to the online IncrediBots database, and view your High Scores. The "Edit" menu provides shortcuts for manipulating your shapes, objects, and robots (Cut/Copy/Paste/Undo/etc.). The "View" menu will help you gain some new perspective on your robot and the world around it; allowing you to Zoom In or Out, Show Joints/Colours/Outlines, Center on a selected object, and Snap to Center.
The "Share!" menu will allow you to comment on a robot on the forums, link
to a saved copy of the robot, or embed it in your website or blog. The "Help"
menu will hopefully lead to a solution for whatever problem you're having with the game!
When you're ready to start building your robot, you'll want to click on either the Circle, Rectangle, or Triangle buttons to lay your basic foundations for the robot.
If you want to draw a Circle, Rectangle, or Triangle, after
you've clicked the corresponding button you'll want to click your mouse in the main view window
and drag the mouse to make the object as large or as small as you'd like. When drawing
Triangles, you will need to set the three points of the object; just click once
for each point, anywhere on the main window.
Now that you've got your shape and its size all settled, you'll notice that a menu has popped up on the left-hand side of the screen, allowing you to further manipulate your nice new objects by altering their density, enabling the camera to focus on and track the movements of a particular object (which can be very important for replays), changing their colour and appearance, and rotating, cutting-copying, and deleting them.
The density of a selected object can be adjusted using the menu's sliders or by
entering a number in the density text box. Lower density objects are very important
for lighter robot parts; however, higher density objects can make aspects of your
robot heavier, which can be very important in resolving grounding and balancing issues.
NOTE: Low density objects and high density objects will cost you more
credits in Challenge mode! Objects that are of a "medium" density will consume the
fewest number of credits.
While not as significant, the appearance of your objects can also be fully adjusted; from the colors and outlines to the opacity. If you'd like to render an object invisible, enter a zero ("0") in the Opacity text box; this can be handy for making invisible rigging for your movies, or for making crazy contraptions a la Rube Goldberg.
Once you have your body-objects made, you'll need to get them attached and functional! To do that,
we've given you three Joints to choose from when creating your robots:
- Fixed Joints, which attach one body-object to another with an inflexible
"weld"-type joint. If you want to use this in your robot, click the blue "Fixed
Joint" button and then click to place it, ideally someplace where you want to attach two
objects together with no motion involved! Selecting a previously placed Fixed
Joint will bring up an options menu on the left-hand side of the screen; from there,
you'll be able to delete the joint.
- Rotating Joints, which attach two body-objects together and will allow
rotation of one part relative to another. For example, two circles attached to a rectangle via
Rotating Joints could create a basic wagon or car. To create one, click the blue
"Rotating Joint" button and click on an overlapping portion of the objects you
want to apply the joint to. To give power to the joint, click the "Enable Motor"
checkbox in the options menu which will be displayed on the left-hand side of the screen. Then,
assign keys to control the motor by clicking the "Rotate CW" and
"Rotate CCW" text boxes and then pressing the desired control key. In this way,
you can assign any key on your keyboard to make the rotating joint move clockwise or
counter-clockwise. Or, if you'd prefer to have your motor always on, you can click either the
Auto-On CW or Auto-On CCW checkbox, to have the motor
continuously rotate in the desired direction. Additionally, you'll be able to tweak said motor(s)
by their strength and speed; for example, slower, stronger motors are handy for
making rotating parts like controlled lifting arms.
Rotating Joints can also be held rigid by unchecking the Floppy Joint checkbox; the joint will then not rotate at all unless you press the assigned motor control key. The final Rotating Joint options are their rotation limits; these allow you to set the lower and upper limits, in degrees (0 to 360), at which the joint will stop rotating. These limits can be used to ensure that the joint will only rotate between specific points, and will prevent the joint from achieving continuous 360-degree rotation.
- Sliding Joints, which will attach two body-objects together and will allow one
part to slide relative to the other, like a piston, pogo stick, or jackhammer. To create one, click
the blue "Sliding Joint" button, and then click twice: Once on each of the two
objects you would like to join. NOTE: the distance between your two
click points will determine the size of the created piston.
For Sliding Joints, the left-hand options menu will allow you to adjust the Piston Strength, Piston Speed, and the control keys used to cause the joint to Expand and Contract. Additionally, you will also have an option for your joint to "auto-oscillate," as opposed to having to press control keys to get the joint to do its thing. You can also change the joint's color and add or remove the joint's outlines.
All joints can be cut, copied, and pasted, using the usual Cut, Copy, and Paste buttons in the toolbar. Simply click on a joint, cut or copy it, then click "Paste" and click again to specify a location for the joint (click twice for sliding joints). The cut/copied joint will have the same settings as its parent joint; this can save time if you're creating a lot of joints with similar settings!
NOTE: All of the above joints will consume credits when used in challenge mode. Enabling motors, increasing motor strength, and other options, will increase credit consumption further, so tweak with care! To see how many credits you are being charged for a joint, select it. The credit cost will be displayed at the lower-left corner of the screen.
In the Robot Building Screen screen, you select an object/shape by clicking on it;
and if multiple objects are overlapping, you'll want to keep on clicking until the game highlights the
object you want. To move a shape, click, hold, and drag it, releasing the mouse button when you have the
cursor in the place where you want to put the object. Keep in mind that any other objects attached via
joints will be moved as well; if you want to move jointed objects individually, you will need to delete
the corresponding connecting joints first.
If you have multiple robot parts to work with, there are two ways to move things in groups. The first method is to hold down the Shift key and click on each item that you want to manipulate. The alternate method is to hold the Shift key, and then click and drag a selection box around the objects you want to manipulate. Once you've got your objects selected using either method, an options menu will pop up, allowing you to further manipulate your objects by rotating, cutting-copying, and deleting them.
By now, you've probably also noticed the blue Text button in the toolbar near the
top of the screen. This will allow you to insert various text messages that can be displayed during
replays. If you're using IncrediBots to make a machinima movie, this will be
quite handy for things like dialogue and narration; if you're making customised levels and/or robots,
you'll find it has its uses for providing instructions to those who'll be playing with your toys! (And
yes, it's precisely what we've used in the construction of our own replays and tutorial Levels!)
To place your text, click the Text button, then you'll want to place your text box somewhere in the level by clicking on your desired spot. (You can also click and drag to create a text box of your chosen size if you'd like. Your text box can be resized at any time by clicking and dragging any of the four corners.) Type up your lovely text in the box that will be displayed in the menu that will appear on the left-hand side of the screen; and while you're there, feel free to play around with the size and colors. You'll also notice a checkbox that says, "Scale With Zoom"; enabling this will determine whether the text will change its font size automatically when you zoom in or out of the screen, or if it will stay the same size no matter how far in or out you are. In addition, you'll see a box that says "Always Display"; this option will enable your words to stay on the screen permanently for the duration of the level, or, if unchecked, will allow you to trigger the actual display of the text you've written via the your assigned control keys. If you'd like to have the text display itself via control keys, un-check the "Always Display" box, and then click on the "Display Text Key" text box in the left-hand menu, and input your desired key. Different keystrokes can be assigned to different text boxes, and you'll be able to have as many lines of dialogue and instructions as you'd like, so don't hold back!
Alright, you've built, revised, re-built, re-designed, and otherwise regard your robot as ready for
fun. Time to get on with the other significant aspect of IncrediBots: the gameplay! After
you're finished with the Robot Building Screen, hit the "Play!"
button and your robot will be sent to the field. At this point, every thing you do with your bot will
be recorded by the software. (But don't worry, we won't be spying on you! Promise!) At this point
you'll have some new options appear at the top of the screen for you to play around with.
First, you'll want to get familiar with the "Zoom" buttons, as they'll allow you to zoom in or out of the action in real-time as you're controlling your robot (very handy for getting a feel for the level and its objectives). Any changes you make to your Zoom level will be kept as part of the replay, along with any other changes that are made to where the camera's perspective is set. (Don't forget that you can alter the screen's position on the level by clicking and dragging at any time!)
The "Pause" button will allow you to stop and take a break, or plan your next course of action with your robot. This can be quite useful if you want to take advantage of the ability to pan or zoom without losing control of your robot, or stop and think without losing time from the Timer during Challenges. When you're done, just hit "Resume" to continue.
If you like, you can use this opportunity to Comment (on the game's forums), or take your robot's replay and share it with the world by Linking to, or Embedding your replay in your own website or blog!
If you're done playing around in the level for any reason, simply hit either the "Stop Simulation" or "Save Replay" buttons. Finishing a Challenge or introductory Level will open up some new options to you: Viewing a Replay of what you've just done, Saving a Replay, or Submitting your Score to the worldwide high score List.
All right, that's all you'll need to know! Now get in there and have fun! If you get stumped, just drop by the forums and have your questions answered by fellow IncrediBots Builders!
These hotkeys can save you some time when you're assembling a robot via the Robot Building Screen:
|4||Create fixed joint|
|5||Create rotating joint|
|6||Create sliding joint|
|C||Copy the selected object|
|X||Cut the selected object|
|V||Paste the most recently copied/cut object|
|R||Rotate the selected object|
|DEL||Delete the selected object|
|Z||Undo the last action|
|Y||Redo the last undone action|
|SHIFT||To select multiple items, click and drag while holding SHIFT to create a selection box. Or hold down SHIFT and click multiple objects to add them to a selection group.|
|ARROW KEYS||Left/right/up/down to pan around the level while at the Robot Building Screen|
In both IncrediBots 1 and IncrediBots 2:
- Save bot to file (click Save...)
- Load bot from file (click Load Robot/Replay/Challenge or Load...)
- Load bot from file and insert (click File, then Load and insert)
- Import and insert (click File, then Import and insert)
- Shape counter
- Convert code to file and convert file to code
This is nothing new since the previous owners of IncrediBots have announced the open-source release
of IncrediBots (and the shut down of the original IncrediBots servers), but there is something
different about the export code from the Jaybit versions 1.20 and 2.30: the export code (the
text code that gives you when you export the bot instead of saving) will NOT work in the first original
IncrediBots games released with the open-source or any IncrediBots variations created by other
people. What this means is that the given export code will only work in the Jaybit versions
1.20 and 2.30 (will not work in 2.24).
However, importing code from the original open-source games (or before the games became open-source) into the Jaybit versions will still work; just not vice versa.
For those who still fancy the export code, click "Save" and when you put in the name, description, and exposure setting (the drop-down box below the description...go to Section 5-C for more information about the exposure setting), click Export instead of Save.
You can now save and load bots to and from your own computer! Instead of copy/pasting code in and
out of text editor programs, you can simply click "Load..." to load from a file or "Save..." to save a
bot to a file!
To save your bot, click "Save..." and a box will pop up asking for the name, description, and exposure setting (the drop-down box below description...go to Section 5-C for more information about the exposure setting). Type in a name, optionally a description, and an exposure option, then click "Save". Your computer will ask you where to save the file (the default location is the Flash plugin's default folder to save or load files). Choose a location, then click "Save" and you're all set!
To load your bot, click "Load..." and choose either "Load robot", "Load replay", or "Load challenge". Your computer will ask you what file to load. Go to the location where you saved your bots and choose a file to load, click "Load", "Open", or "Ok" and it will load your bot!
There is also a converter in-game that will save the export code of your bots to a file (the "Save text to file" button in the main menu). This way, you can keep all of your existing export codes as files on your computer! When you import the code into the converter, it will ask you to put in a name, description, and exposure setting. The name and description should be the same as the name and description of the bot from the IB servers when you exported them (or from the Jaybit versions), but you can still change it to your liking. Then when all is done, click save, choose a place in your computer to save it, and click "Save", "Ok", or "Done" to save it on your computer!
If you want an exported code of the bot from a file, click the "Export file to text" button in the main menu. This code is the same as if you were to export the code instead of saving it to a file.
The exposure setting is the drop-down box that appears below the description box when you save a
bot (or converted export code to a file). Exposure setting is its public or private state, if it's
editable or uneditable, or if it's unsharable.
The public or private and unsharable state only applies when you upload it to the IncrediFriends site right here (and the public/private/unsharable state is changeable when it's uploaded on here). When it is public, it shows up in the public listing. It will show in the public list and will be on your own public bot list on the forums. When it is private, it will not show up in the public listing. It will not be in the public list and will not be on your own public bot list on the forums, but it is still viewable by direct link unless it is unsharable. When it is unsharable, it is only viewable by you, even by direct link.
The editable and uneditable state applies everywhere, regardless if it's a file on your computer, an export code (exported from the Jaybit versions 1.20 and 2.30), or on the IncrediFriends database. When you save a robot or a challenge as editable, it will be editable to anyone who has access to the bot. When you save a robot or a challenge as uneditable, it will not be editable to anyone; it can only be played.
Take a look at these robots and replays for examples of what you can achieve
Amazing bots!: cars, Rube Goldberg machines, "programmed" robots, and weird things!
Sensational replay movies!: The adventures of Mr. Monocle!, A castle siege!, and a space adventure!
We're sure you can create even greater things with IncrediBots, and we can't wait to see them. Have fun!