About Robot Invader

Robot Invader is a game development studio in Silicon Valley. Β We think that games are best when they combine simple, fun mechanics with complex, challenging content.

63 Responses to About Robot Invader

  1. Kegan D says:

    Hey Chris. About the post ‘The Best Way to Succeed is to Fail’, there’s a few things that came to mind.

    I’ve found that combining ‘intuitive’ user control tends to work well since many people are already familiar with it. For example, the iPhone/iPad style zoom in/out gesture is something many mobile users are already used to using, so incorporating that into the game adds some familiarity. This makes it easier to immerse users since they don’t need to think ‘well how do I zoom out again..?’ The first few moments from download to playing that first game/round/level really sets an impression, so whenever I wish to perform some in-game action (such as scrolling around the playing area) I immediately look to what the average mobile user would try to do (in this case dragging).

    The problem with camera and player control is controlling both with any finesse is nigh impossible. It’s not made any easier by many points you’ve made in the past (crappy multi-touch). I feel like there should be an easier way to control games rather than forcing HUD buttons which can be a royal pain with various phone sizes, plus it effectively removes two fingers worth of real-estate. That brings me onto the whole concept of dragging to ‘place’ things, which I really think is a terrible idea, but so many games do it. Take for example, Robo Defence, which I’m sure you’ve heard of since you’ve done Android games in the past. To make new towers you have to drag from the button to the playing area, all cool and neat. It’s intuitive and easy and fast. Except your finger isn’t invisible. So when you place your tower, you can’t see -where- it’s going accurately enough. Most of the time this isn’t an issue, but when you place a tower for $5 and can only get back $2 because you misplaced it really makes things frustrating.

    I gather from what I’ve read that you guys wouldn’t be content with a simple run-of-the-mill style game; you really want to experiment with making a great game, which is why I’ve bothered commenting about certain quirks in mobile games which can cause momentary lapses in gameplay immersion which can ruin the entire experience. I hope you guys make an awesome game, and I look forward to buying it in the future.

    • Kyle says:

      Went to the Android Market and saw your new app, Wind-Up Knight and wanted to try it out. I got the following message when I tried to send it to my phone…

      This app is incompatible with your Verizon Samsung SCH-I500

      I was able to secure the apk from a friend who is rooted and packaged it back up for me and wanted to let you know that the app runs completely fine on the original Samsung Fascinate. It does take about a minute to load and there are some delays between levels/screens but once it’s loaded, the gameplay, sound, and controls are all perfect.

      Just thought you might want to know so you aren’t cutting out a big market of users who upgraded to Android about a year ago (or less) and didn’t have the opportunity to purchase one of the newest phones.

  2. Jorge Diaz says:

    Robot heads, robot name. The look of your blog is awesome. Wind Up night is already boggling my mind just in the name. Keep it going. Good luck guys (TOBOR).

  3. Steve Cho says:

    Love Wind Up Knight! The graphics are great, and I love the challenging gameplay. You guys rock!

  4. Dyckson says:

    Hi guys, your games seem awesome, but I canΒ΄t install on my brazilian Samsung Galaxy S (i9000b). It always says it has insufficient disk space … but I have a lot of free space. Thanks !

    • Chris says:

      Samsung screwed up your phone. The download partition space isn’t large enough for apps over about 30mb. Nothing we can do about it, though we are trying to shrink the size of the executable. You should complain to your carrier for selling you a broken device!

  5. Steve Gehrman says:

    Just downloaded the game and had some initial first impressions. The Introduction screen took a while to load and then I get this play button. That to me seems like it’s going to play a movie which I thought seemed weird. I think it should show a progress bar of some kind and then load an initial screen and then have a Continue button or just auto play. I also didn’t know i could scroll that the contents since I thought I was watching a non interactive movie. the play button through me off a bit. Obviously not a huge deal, but it kind of confused me.

  6. Steve Gehrman says:

    That progress thing with the W on it, I thought it was a button to click. I also switched back to the game and got this Robot Invader screen and it seemed to take a while to get back to the main menu screen. I clicked the W thinking I needed to, and when it finally came up, it went to the store, the click on the W sent a click to the shopping cart when it finally loaded. A bit confusing.

  7. Steve Gehrman says:

    I started the game again, and it takes me through the introduction again. I already saw that and just wanted to play again.

  8. Steve Gehrman says:

    As I retry level one, it always shows the tip on how to jump, don’t need that any longer. Should only show once.

  9. Steve Gehrman says:

    level complete screen is a bit ugly, needs more space at the bottom, font could be a bit bigger or bold. icons should be bigger.

  10. Steve Gehrman says:

    buy screen a bit confusing. There’s a check box to select an item, plus three buy buttons. Do I select first then buy? Do I even need to select? Now says Owned. Not sure a better suggestion, but I think it’s not 100% clear. Did I own it and now the buy failed since I already Owned it? Maybe some kind of check mark, or a cash register sound or something to say I had just successfully purchased it. I’m not sure if that succeeded or failed.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for all the feedback, Steve. By the way, the box on the left is Equip. You can equip items you don’t own, just to see what they look like. Once you hit buy and it changes to Owned, it’s yours, but you don’t always have to have it equipped.

      • Steve Gehrman says:

        maybe you can’t disclose, but wondering if you used Unity or some tool? Looks super nice btw. Really top notch.

        • Chris says:

          Thanks! We used Unity, with a bunch of custom stuff for the UI (which is why they look a little incongruent sometimes–but also why I we can print arbitrary UTF-8 strings). Unity is fantastic!

  11. Jordan B says:

    There seems to be some sort of bug (or I’m missing something), I have collected all the hearts cards and got an S rank on all the book 1 levels (including the red “boss” level I suppose you could call it), the card screen even shows that I have cards ace through king but the hearts armour still remains locked?

    • Chris says:

      Yes, this was a bug, but we’ve just fixed it in the latest update. Grab the update (v0.8), go collect any card in any level (1st level is fine), and the armor should unlock. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  12. J says:

    Uhhhh purchased the book unlock… uninstalled, reinstalled the game only to find that ot is asking me to pay again to unlock. wtf?

  13. Chris says:

    I have read much of your blog, and have played a reasonable amount of the game. I continue to find myself stuck on a level for extended periods of time, only to get stuck on another one or two later. There is one consistent difficulty/issue no matter what the level, and it is inconsistent with what you claim to be the intent of the game.

    The buttons are, quite simply, too small. I find that almost every time I die it is not because I hit the wrong button at the wrong time, but because the touch screen did not register my finger being enough ‘on target’ with the button. If this is part of the intended difficulty of the game, then you must have actually meant to make it about aim rather than timing, coordination, and memorizing sequences. If find this both confusing and consistently frustrating. It also seems to refute this from your blog: “When you die in our game, it must always be because you messed up in an obvious way; unfair deaths would change our rewarding challenge into a recipe for frustration.”

    I hope that this is a fixable issue. Would it be possible in a future version to enlarge either the buttons or the field of sensitivity that surrounds the buttons? Otherwise, I really think that what I otherwise consider a clever and interesting game might have to go dusty and forgotten as more annoying than it is worth. In all other respects, I think it is a great release.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for the feedback, but the rectangles for touching the buttons are much larger than the button graphics. Try touching around the edges, up above, or to the side of the buttons.

      Also, are you playing on tablet or a phone?

      • David Selvage says:

        I have found the same problem on my HTC Sensation. The rectangles for touching the buttons appear to be the same size as the button graphics because I’m often dying as a result of pressing just off centre of the graphic. Very annoying!!

  14. Mathieu says:

    This is really a great game. I am almost done with chapter 3 with only S rank succes πŸ™‚
    I just need a tip on how to grab the card on level 3-1. I can of course see it but I just do find out how to grab it.

    As for the size of the buttons, it happens sometime to me that I miss the button (on a tablet) and I agree this is frustating. I am not sure you can extend that much their size…

  15. Derek says:

    I really enjoy this game but I purchased Books II, III, and IV a few days ago and it still asks me to pay to unlock those books (despite finishing Book I). Do I need to uninstall and reinstall Wind-Up Knight in order for me to play the other Books without using Notes to buy them? This was not made clear anywhere to me. Besides that, I REALLY enjoy this game – looks awesome and is fun to play.

  16. Steve O. says:

    Hey guys, amazing job making Wind-Up Knight.
    That game was so much fun. I beat all 4 books with S-rank for every level! such rewarding feeling.
    That last one with the inverse screen was insaaane. I flipped my phone around to play it…
    Tortoise armor and Magnet shield FTW.

    Anyway, are you guys planning on making more ‘books’?
    Cause the ending didn’t really seem like an ending. lol I was like ‘what..!? damn you, Stan!!!’
    I guess the princess studied the Pretty Princess Primer pretty well. lol

    • Chris says:

      Good work completing the game! We are keeping our options open–it’s great to hear that people would like more levels.

      • Steve O. says:

        yes definitely. it’s a really addicting game.
        the challenges are fun (maybe a little too hard for some casual gamers? i don’t think its beatable by everyone.) which makes the rewarding sensation immense (except maybe the ending, which I thought was sort of an anti-climax.). excellent art & sound (not at all annoying.). great gameplay mechanics.
        One of the best phone games I’ve played. We need more side-scrolling platform games like this. I’m really glad I came across this, and I’ll be telling my friends about it.

        so yes, i support more Books. with proper black-knight (and Stan) slaying ending this time. lol. and maybe players could gain his armor & weapon as trophies. that’d be cool.
        although, I can see how making a boss fight in a game like this could be pretty challenging.. I did have one idea though. how bout having BK fleeing from the knight? and slowly the knight can catch up to the BK and hit him, which will put BK ahead again, and the knight will have to catch up to him again to hit him again. you might have to disable the long-range attack mechanic for this level, but maybe the level can be designed so that it won’t be an issue. OR better yet, you can put BK running in the background (i noticed how in some of the maps, there were monsters far off in the background) and have him come up to the front screen (or even shoot something) every now and then. I’d play that. lol

        Oh and i wanna see the princess. I think that was definitely one of the incentives for this game.

        you guys have any other games, or future projects I can look forward to?

  17. David Selvage says:

    Hi, I’m playing the paid for version of Wind-up Knight on my HTC Sensation, but after Level 6 the graphics go all weird. Could you look into a fix for this please as I really like the game. And where on earth is the playing card hiding on level 6.

    • Chris says:

      Hi David,
      The HTC Sensation has all kinds of problems. I have no idea where they come from–they are specific to that device. We’ll look into it, but I think it’s probably driver-level and thus the outlook for a fix is grim.

  18. mark says:

    The game had disappeared from my installed apps twice. I reinstalled from the market and my progress was still saved so nothing lost. However, really annoying have to reinstall.

  19. Rene Dettelbacher says:

    Dear Robot-Invader Team,

    in the market I saw that you are having performance problems with the SGS2 and thought, you might like to check this out:


    In the article it says, that they tested the SGS2 and also had a performance problem. The problem there is related to the GPU not correctly handling huge VBOs and then slicing out the current view through dynamically created indices (GLES20.glDrawElements). They solved it by using smaller portions, each in a different static VBO and the rendering these. It seams to be problem with the driver …

    Anyway good luck chasing that performance problem. I can feel your pain, as I am writing my own GLES20 game at the moment…

    Keep going, you’ve done a nice job!

    Rene Dettelbacher

    • Chris says:

      Thanks! If that’s the case–that sucks!! It’s a good lead though, thanks!

      • Rene Dettelbacher says:

        Hi Chris!

        No problem. I hope you can solve this issue.

        There is something else I’d like to share:
        The problem Peter Bognar has can be solved (I also had problems installing on my SGS). The problem though seams not to be SGS, it is the new market, that allows only downloads with a maximum of 30 MB (very frustrating!). I read that this issue can be solved by manipulating the download cache, although that one seamed too circumstantial for me.
        But there is a very easy solution too: uninstalling the market update (not the whole market, only the last update)! I did this and voila no problem with downloading and installing “Wind Up Knight” πŸ˜‰

        Rene Dettelbacher

      • Reuben Scratton says:

        Hi Chris,

        Can you confirm whether this was indeed the issue that you got hit by?


        — Reuben

        • Chris says:

          Yes, the link posted above had the keys to the solution. Large VBOs kill the SGS2 at the driver level. Solution is to batch fewer meshes on that device. SIGH.

  20. Jarriot. says:

    What’s the code for wind up knights or how I get it??

  21. Peter Bognar says:

    I have a problem. I needed to do a factory reset on my Samsung Galaxy S (gt i-9000, with official 2.3.4 ROM), and when I went to re-install Wind Up Knight, I got a message that it’s incompatible with my device.
    Well, it’s not, I played it happily before, and is now a bit baffled.
    What’s happened? Can you give me your infuriating but gorgeous game back?


    Peter from Hungary

    • Chris says:

      Hi Peter,
      We turned access to the Galaxy S off because while some users like yourself have no problems, 99% of other users have a version of the phone that is broken and cannot download large applications. They e-mail us about this day and night. We’re looking for a solution for those people, but in the interim we’ve had to disable all Galaxy S access.

      • Peter Bognar says:

        Thanks for the reply. There seems to be a bug in the newer versions of the Android Market app that cause the problem with the large files. Uninstalling the latest update seems to help that, but then th emarket app will update itself quite soon. I’ll write a stern letter to Google about it πŸ™‚
        OK, I guess, I’ll just have to look for the APK of the game somewhere else.

        Awesome work, by the way, the game is absolutely gorgeous, and the fact that you actually made the effort for it to be playable on “obsolete” one-core devices calls for extra respect.

        Keep up the fantastic work!

  22. Ashley says:

    I LOVE this game! I love the amazing graphics. I haven’t played another game on my phone (Motorola Photon 4g) that has had such beautiful scenery for the levels. I love reading the tips while the game is loading. Some of the Pretty Princess Primers are hilarious! I love the music and the sound effects. I love the fact that to not have to pay for the next books, you have to get a perfect score on every level. It makes it more challenging and gives incentive keep playing (even though your battery has died twice trying to get a perfect score on a single level…ahem…”second nightmare”). I can’t seem to put it down! I’m on Book 3…and sad that there is only one more Book waiting on me! :'(

    Ignore all the mean comments on the market…those people just complain about having to pay because they aren’t trying hard enough to get a perfect score. If the game was so easy that you could finish the entire game in an hour, that wouldn’t be fun at all! Keep up the good work! I’m looking forward to additional books.

  23. nick says:

    Can’t for the love me get that darn card on book 3 stage 1. Got all the cards but that one. Any help I can get would be appreciated

  24. Beau says:

    Love the game! Any chance on being able to use the keyboard buttons on my Epic? Also the play button being in the center on my 10.in G-Tab requires me to reset my thumbs pretty quickly before the level starts. Maybe you could move the button to the right or left so that it can be reached by thumb. These are only suggestions and questions, your work is amazing. Thank you for the game and thank you for the blog.

  25. Tyler says:

    I purchased book 2 of wind-up knight and the notes still haven’t downloaded to my device yet. I placed the order on Nov 6th. I couldn’t find a customer service email so I figured this was the best place to go.

  26. Travis says:

    I have all the heart cards so far in books 1 2 and 3 except for nightmare level in book 3!cannot find it!!

  27. L.J. says:

    I know the codes are secret, but is there any way to get a hold of them? Because I don’t see how they come into the game…

  28. Quadratic75 says:

    I have downloaded/played/fully completed the Wind-up Knight game, old school video gamer style …no cheating. I think it’s a fantastic game and one of the best platform games available for phones. I thought that some of the hidden places for cards were exceptionally clever too. *tips hat* I am curious about something though…the books…they are embossed with letters… O, F, C, P. What do they stand for???…I am sure they are not random. I have also been trying to guess what some of the valid secret codes could be…or even just what the whole code system is for in the first place. If the OFCP letters are a spoiler, then keep it a “secret”. I don’t want to spoil anything. Thanks again for creating the game.

    • Quadratic75 says:

      …also…upon viewing Knightmare IV for the first time…made me curse out loud….whis is AWESOME. Rock, rock on.

  29. Nathan says:

    Hey guys, as with so many others, I agree that this is a great game.

    However, I’ve run into a bug that occasionally hurts my attempts to S-Rank the second knightmare level. When jumping, if I go to raise my shield in preparation of the fire gout I’m about to land in front of, I occasionally am forced into a double jump, despite not hitting the jump key a second time. Unfortunately, I can’t intentionally reproduce the bug, and while I thought maybe I was just accidentally hitting jump a second time at first, I’m certain that my right thumb was nowhere near the screen – or the jump button – the last time it happened.

    Also, would it be too much to ask that the note cost for unlocking book 2 be lowered a little? You’re forced into buying a weapon and shield in book 1, and if you don’t go for the cheapest option, you can find yourself hurting for notes at the end without even knowing you hurt yourself. Alternatively, an option to resell equipment you’ve bought with notes, even for a fraction of the original price, could help with this. Obviously, free rewards wouldn’t be eligible.

    And finally, a parting thought: Having some other place to talk about this stuff would be nice, it feels a little awkward to have the ‘bug report’ and ‘suggestions’ posted in the same general area, under the about page. Or, hey, maybe it’s just me. πŸ˜›

  30. Lance McBigHuge says:

    I have an Tmobile / HTC G2 which has a physical keyboard, and the physical keys can be used in place of the touch screen action buttons (and I prefer playing with the physical keys as they seem more responsive). While “roll” and “shield” are mapped to the W and S keys respectively and are conveniently located for play. However, “jump” and “sword” are mapped to the SPACE BAR and LEFT SHIFT keys, and this is inconvenient placement, but I cannot see any way to remap the keys. Is there a way to remap the keys to what I want them to be? If not, can you include this function on a future revision?

  31. Travis says:

    Why cant i get a reply on where to find the card in book 3 level 13 nightmare level?someone post a video on youtube already or just tell me where!!

    • nick says:

      After u do the three double jumps. There is the fire jet and u roll under the spike wall keep rolling till u hit the other wall and then u go left Then u jump and double jump and use ur snails cuz u will be going under the nother fire jet and the card is under that

    • alex says:

      I found it bro. It’s not hidden that drastically; look for opportunities to change direction.