I’ve dived into a fun side project called tinysmash, and it’s an homage to RoboWar, the 1990 Mac programming robot battle game.
There are certain very magical things about RoboWar, summarized as follows:
- The concept of a “robot” is very abstract, since you can create any icon art you want. This allowed for conceptual robots and subverting and playing with robot design.
- The game held tournaments, and you could build your robot against copies of the recent tournament winners, so the overall metagame continued to evolve.
I also want to make at least one change to the RoboWar formula:
- RoboWar’s very low-level programming language RoboTalk actually gets in the way of tactical focus. I want to use a higher level language that gets the players thinking strategically right away. This comes at a cost of “hotrodding” your robot by shaving off clock cycles, etc.
I mocked up a basic arena, and today I searched for interpreters that could run the code to control my robots. I considered Python and LUA interpreters, but decided on Dynamic C# by TrivialInteractive. It’s a wonderful, simple package, and I’m using their tank game demo as a basis for further tinkering: