Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Check out our new app Dokobots!

Woohoo!  Our new app Dokobots is in the App Store!  This is the secret project we've been mentioning from time to time, and we're really excited for its release.  The app is a departure from our line of audio products and returns to the realm of location-based games, but Dokobots is very much a different game than Seek 'n Spell.

You've picked up Safaritron!
Like Seek 'n Spell, the game is based on an outdoor search for virtual objects, but the pace of the game is much more leisurely (no timers) and what you do with the objects you collect is entirely different.  Dokobots isn't played competitively in discrete sessions, instead it's an ongoing game that continues every time you launch the app, and rather than picking up letters, you're collecting robots and batteries.

Why 'bots and batteries?  Because the Dokobots - a host of amicable alien robots stranded on Earth after a mysterious accident disabled their ship - require our help to complete their quest to map the known universe.  Players can pick up both activated and unactivated bots, and with enough batteries they can boot one up.

Scanner view
Once you've activated a bot, you assign it a name and function to help focus its efforts in mapping the planet.  The name and function also help other players decide what info to give to a bot when documenting the planet in the form of photo and location Journal entries.

Now the Dokobots are going to be mapping anything and everything - from the natural geography of Earth to the organisms that inhabit it to the diverse idiosyncrasies of human culture - so there are infinite possibilities as to what a robot can specialize in!  We want players to let their imaginations run wild and create bot after bot that engages and interests other players.

Journal entry
So how do you go about finding the Dokobots?  After all, before you can start journaling for a bot, you've gotta go get one.  What you do is open up the Scanner, a map of your current location overlaid with the positions of the bots and batteries nearby, and go to the location of the object you want to pick it up.

After you activate a bot or pick up a Dokobot activated by someone else, it stays in the Guesthouse.  This is where you can open up the Journal, see entries others have added, and post your own!  A location entry marks a map with your current location, and a photo entry places the bot in the photo you take.  You can resize and position the bot to fit the scene, and there's the option to add captions to either entry type.  See an entry that's freaking awesome?  Share it via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

My Stuff is the screen where you can create, change, or log in to an account, but it's the three other panels that are its focus.  The Workshop houses all the inactive bots you collect - just swipe through to pick the one you want to activate.  The other two panels are My Dokobots and the Guestbook, and these are where you keep track of the bots once they've left your phone.  My Dokobots lists all the bots you've created, just scroll through to pick the one you want to check up on.  The Guestbook is exactly the same except it lists the bots you've hosted that were activated by someone else.

For a quick and easy way to see which bots have been recently active, check out the NewsFeed, a list that updates whenever your bots are picked up by other players and when entries are added to their journals.

The last part of Dokobots is the Store, the part of the app where you can buy some of the items that are used in the game.  DokoAir is an airline company that caters exclusively to bots - trade in some batteries to send your bots to cities around the globe.  Bot Salvage is a sort of pawn shop of Inactive bots, also available with the exchange of some batteries.  So if you want a particular bot but don't want to go find it, or if you want to send your bot someplace exotic that you can't go yourself, save up some batteries to purchase either of these items!  Incidentally, the last part of the Store is the Battery Shack, where you can buy batteries with real money via your iTunes account, should you be too tired to go outside and pick 'em up yourself.

And the most exciting thing about this game?  You can get all this fun for free!  So that's the game Dokobots, we hope you'll find it to be as much of a blast as we do!

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