botZilla : A Programming Challenge.

by Steve Baker


Known Bugs & Limitations.

Since neither of these things affects the result of the contest, these problems will be fixed in time for the actual contest.

Improvements since 0.1.3

  1. Added collectibles.
  2. Added speech balloons.
  3. Robots can now move slowly backwards.
  4. You can find out more information about the enemy robots inside your robot control progr am.

Improvements since 0.1.2

  1. Added LOTS more bot graphics. There are now 15 different models to choose from. That should be enough to allow every competitor to have their own unique graphic throughout the contest.
  2. Added ability to select which graphic each bot uses (see the comments in 'data/robots.dat' for details).
  3. On-screen scoring now switches into two columns when there are more than 7 robots.
  4. Each robot has it's own unique icon.
  5. If you have a pair of 3D glasses (the Red/Cyan kind), put them on with the red lens over your left eye and hit 'S' (for 'stereo') hit 'S' again to go back to normal rendering.
  6. While testing, you can run 'zilla' with a '-d' command-line option to disable the shrinking force-field effect.
  7. Added a few more building types.
  8. In v0.1.2, the graphic images of the bots didn't match the icons in the on-screen scoring. That's also fixed now - it's a lot easier to see which 'bot is which.
  9. I changed the code that flies the camera around to do a smoother job and to try to avoid having all of the action happen behind a large building. It's still not ideal - but it's a lot better than in 0.1.2.
  10. There was a bug in the code that tries to avoid putting two bots too close together at the start of the game. It was VERY unlikely to be a problem in two player combats - but cause real grief with 20 robots in the arena at once!
  11. The only change to 'bot behavior from 0.1.2 is related what happens if the bot sends the simulator a NaN or an Inf. In this case, the bot will be frozen in place until it ceases to send illegal numbers.

Improvements since 0.1.1

  1. Zilla version 0.1.1 doesn't incorporate the shrinking forcefield effect. That's fixed in version 0.1.2 and later.
  2. When you do a CHOMP action and there was nothing there to chomp on, the animation happened anyway. That doesn't affect the underlying simulation - but it's confusing to look at. That's also fixed in 0.1.2.
  3. Version 0.1.2 and later includes a command-line flag '-a' to make the game end automatically after 5 seconds when only one bot is left standing.
  4. For some unexplained reason, the music and sound effects didn't seem to work under Windows. There is a work-around for this in version 0.1.2 and later.
  5. I finished working on the 'complex_robot' - it actually does a pretty reasonable job now - it's very hard to beat with the joystick controlled 'bot.