Skip to main content

Build A Punchbot: Robofighting In Voice Of Steel


Bif! Bam! Clonk! Fzzt! Pop! Krrrnkzzap! Korrhkkkslrrp! Those sounds and more will surely be heard in Voice of Steel [official site], a newly-revealed online fighting game where robots will bash each other to pieces. They're not plain old off-the-rack fightbots, but ones you design yourself by snapping together components and even designing physics-simulated fighting moves.

Want to make your robot jab fight at the foe's block to knock it clean off? You'll get to create that. I'm a lover, me, not a fighter - I intend to teach my robot my coolest dance moves. Though as I once broke my own nose with a knee to the face during Total Eclipse, it'll end in oiltears either way.

Robots in Voice of Steel are made of 16 different components, with different parts having different attributes, and can be painted as well as taught moves. Look, here's creating that cheeky robojab:

Watch on YouTube

Russian creators Point Cloud Studio explain how it works:

"We have developed a unique physical system, which allows you to animate the robot, create movements and strikes for them. It also determines the outcome of the battle as well. The skeleton of the robot has more than 2000 connections; it is simulating rigid structures, joints, tendons and muscles. No ragdolls! The collision system runs in a full contact with physics. During rendering of a stroke, close to reality model is used. It is taking into account the mass and the velocity of each collider from head to heel. Properly delivered blow is the key to a victory. Adaptive algorithms are used for simulating both - the robots and the environment without appreciable loss of performance. Physics frequency is 60 ticks per second without FPS failures."

As well as keyboard or gamepad, it'll support voice control for yelling names of your moves so you don't need to remember mappings. That sounds appropriate to me; if I created a fightbot, I'd probably spend a lot of time yelling "No! Don't do that! No! Do the Thunderpunch! You lousy robot!"

Point Cloud plan to release Voice of Steel for Windows, Mac, and Linux in summer 2016. It sounds like it'll have a management side too. Okay, here's another trailer, showing two punchbots punching each other real fast:

Watch on YouTube

Read this next