Yes, yes. I know. It wasn’t weekly.
Went back to working on the game itself, but kept to the theme of reducing barriers to entry. Specifically I focused on usability during bot creation. This
weeks update contains some very powerful, but very simple improvements to the code monkeying section of the game.
- Bots now die when they throw an exception (this used to crash the simulation…)
- All exceptions now display the current location in code including label, instruction, and instruction offset indexes(if you see any raw python exceptions point me to them and I will get them properly wrapped!)
- Minor bug fixes
I also spent a good deal of time testing the game to find the best ways to improve the experience. By testing I of course mean ‘testing’, which of course means playing. I have created a new bot the shows off some of the more powerful uses of the scan operator and has basic circling, distance adjustment, and target following algorithms. It is available in the forums, and is distributed with the games starter bots as well. Its name is Tracker. I demand you kill it and send me the bot that did it!
I may have been a bit distracted this week by Mass Effect 3. However that is not to say I am still not working on improvements. I have been doing some background research into hosting a simple website to allow bot submission and stats tracking. This is not my primary realm of expertise so I am taking my time and making sure everything is actually as awesome as it was in my head once its a finished product. For now just continue to create bots, and by continue I of course mean start. There is as much activity in the forums as I expected (read: none). So, feel free to be the first to make a killer bot that will rule over the presently non-existent competition.
This weeks update is both small and awesome. It is a precursor to getting the game to be a web app instead of something you download. The intent being to lower the barrier to entry for new players. The basic plan is to get the game up and running in a HTML5 friendly way, then slap some basic website goodness around uploading and sharing bots. In the processes though I still squeezed in some new features.
In this case a picture is worth a thousand words, especially since all of this weeks update is visually noticeable! However, I have a demo as well, and I would venture it is worth at least a thousand pictures.
Picture for good measure:
Wait what, where did weekly Update 0.1-0.5 go? Good question. I have decided to start posting updates on the blog instead of just updating the readme file and emailing everyone. So for a brief summary of all the updates not posted(full change log in the readme):
0.0 – First playable
0.1 – Random starting locations so two bots don’t always fight the same way
0.2 – Arena boundaries and bot state inspection registers
0.3 – Better flow control operators and radar
0.4 – Scanner and various bug fixes
0.5 – Missiles and optimization
Now the moment you all didn’t know you were waiting for: 0.6 ! This week I have added hardware build options. The intent being to support a wide range of very powerful weapons and operators that can be so awesome because they require you to spend build points to turn them on. Currently missiles, scanners, radar, and explosive shots are hardware options.
Explosive shots? Yeah, I added those this week as well in my push for getting a base set of interesting weapons in. Same as normal shots except they explode on impact with a bot, dealing 1.5*power in damage in a 36 unit radius.
Not sure how far I will get in 0.6 but my goals for now are as follows:
- Finish weapon spread (lasers, healing shots, explosive shot weapon interactions)
- Add status panel to the battle viewing window so you have some idea of current state of the bots
- Team communication operators and team death-match
- Non command line way of browsing and picking bots for a match
Once those are implemented I will proudly stamp the game as alpha and move on to even more crazy ideas I have.
Where do you download the game? Well, EA is still considering whether I am a threat to there economic well being. So, I am still on private distribution only. That said if you want a link ask, and if you have an old link to the Files directory just change pyRoBeta_0_X.zip to the correct version and it will be there.