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Highlighting another baddie from the upcoming retro-arcade, pixel-art, twin-stick shooter COVIDTRON 2020 - the 'Covid Karen' bot!

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ROGUE'S GALLERY: Spotlight on 'Grunt / Covid-Karen Bot'

Robotron 2084's 'Grunt' grunt COVIDTRON 2020's 'Covid-Karen' Bot covid karen

I wanted to stay true to the original ROBOTRON's lineup of enemies, but updating their appearance and behavior slightly to fit our story. In the original game, the Grunt was the slow but relentless chaser of the Hero. They didn't shoot at you but just kept following the player until shot or they ran into you and killed you. In the early waves of the game, their numbers were manageable, but by wave 9, you were facing 60 of these guys.

My vision for the Grunt was something like the medical robot from EMPIRE STRIKES BACK that tended to Luke's wounds. They would be smaller, humanoid, and wearing a mask of course, because you can never be too careful...if a goat and a papaya can catch COVID-19 (seriously reported in the news!), then robots are certainly not exempt!

Just like in the original, when you shoot them, they explode into slices perpendicular to the angle of the projectile that hit them...credit to Eugene Jarvis for this cool effect! I love particles and gibs that drop and bounce on the floor after an explosion, so I decided to add the two masks as 'gib' particles that fall off of a dead Grunt bot, which makes an interesting trail of used masks lying on the floor as you blast away at these baddies!


I decided to give them a female robotic voice that would chant the COVID lockdown era mantras..."Stay at home!', 'Six feet apart', 'Wear a mask!', and so on. Since the Hero is maskless in our game, it seemed fitting that they would chase the player down waving a spare mask for him and droning on with their endless chanting of the COVID truisms. Here are a couple samples: Wear a mask! Flatten the curve! Stay at home!

While I've never personally encountered a real-life 'Karen', my wife and daughter have while shopping this year, and they swear that our bots act almost the same as the lady that chased them down. So it seemed fitting to name this annoying, mantra repeating robot after the real-life phenomenon of COVID enforcers roaming your local supermarket! And that is how we named our grunts the 'Covid-Karen' bot.

Covid-Karens attack!

In this section of over 800 lines of AI code written to bring the Covid-Karen bot to life, you can see the CHASING behavior as well as the code that generates a random mantra sfx to annoy the Hero! If you look closely, there is a portion of a sort-of Easter Egg behavior we included for some humor!

grunt code

Here's the Easter-egg behavior in action!

Grunts down

Well, that's all for this Rogue's Gallery...I hope you've enjoyed hearing a bit about how I made one more of the baddies in our upcoming game.

I hope you'll check back regularly as we continue to spotlight the baddies from our new twin-stick shooter, COVIDTRON 2020!


Check out our promotional / sales website for COVIDTRON 2020 here: Covidtron2020.com

Download our playable, 7 wave demo here: Indiedb.com

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