Bot wars

All things BZFlag - no [OT] here please
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AnakinPiewalker
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Bot wars

Post by AnakinPiewalker » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:00 pm

I think it would be cool to have a tournament/match where the players are all bots, made by programmers, with their "owners" directing them--but not controlling directly. So in the end, the best programmer wins.
what do u people think?

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Teppic
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Post by Teppic » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:13 pm

Good for people with bad lag, send your bot code to a central place and let it do battle by proxy.

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macsforme
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Post by macsforme » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:44 pm

Unless I'm mistaken, the newly-improved bzrobots (daxxar's GSoC project) should allow programmers to do exactly this, and quite easily at that.

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AnakinPiewalker
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Post by AnakinPiewalker » Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:17 pm

bzrobots? what are those? where could i find out more ;).
is there a way to create bots in c#?

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Post by joevano » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:55 am

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Post by XLR8 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:38 pm

I'm a little confused. What do you mean by "directing" the bzrobots? Would the players program them? If so, It seems to me like that would be a good opportunity for programmers to give their bots awesome mods to make them invincible, or have improved speed, or something of the sort. But, then again, I don't know much about programming. I don't really know what kind of things you'd be able to do with a robot. But is this whole thing I'm blabbering about a misunderstanding? Am i misinterpreting something terribly wrong? Like I said, I'm confused. :oops:
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what if

Post by Evanejk » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:04 pm

What if someone makes like a really amazing one and releases if and then everyone uses it. The game would be boring. I don't know if it's just me but I hate auto pilot.

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Re: what if

Post by Joe-Schmoe » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:18 pm

Evanejk wrote:What if someone makes like a really amazing one and releases if and then everyone uses it. The game would be boring. I don't know if it's just me but I hate auto pilot.
I seriously doubt any program would outclass the players. Any anyway, what would be the point of running a bot to win at a game you're not even playing? It's like saying that chess is boring because a computer beat a chess champ.

Servers could also prevent robots from joining, I believe.

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Post by blast » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:32 pm

BZRobots is a system that enables people to create bots. The way it does this is by exposing a set of commands and information. So basically, the code that someone would write would not control whether or not the tank would blow up.

So, in a simple example, it would be as follows:
  • Where are my enemies?
  • Turn towards them
  • Move towards them
  • Shoot at them
  • Next target
daxxar's blog for BZRobots
Screenshot of the bots in action with just a very basic script.
Some protocol documentation
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Post by learner » Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:31 am

Anakin,

Great suggestion, and something already in the works. More news to follow but the idea is that there will be a competition coming up sometimes either later this fall or this winter to get folks introduced to bzrobots. With cash prize(s). Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime it's worth folks' time to check out bzrobots to get a leg up on the competition. :-)

Cheers!
Sean

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Post by angryfirelord » Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:36 am

AnakinPiewalker wrote:is there a way to create bots in c#?
Not directly because if you look at the file extensions for bzrobots, they have a .CXX extension, which is an old style C++ extension. Plus, C# is mainly tied to Windows, so using it for a game that's ported to almost anything would be impractical.

With that said, if you know C#, you should easily be able to pick up on C++.

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Post by BinarySpike » Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:26 am

I had this idea when I first joined bzflag.

The only problem about making bots is, there is no way to create a universal map pwner.

You would have to make a bot specifically for a map. Secondly bots know things that players don't, like on lasermania they could hit perfect hits.

And finally, *sarcastically* my bots would pwn all of you... so be scared... be very scared... :tired:

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are we going for it?

Post by Evanejk » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:47 pm

Are we actually going to do this? We need a leader with a domain to make a server that we can agree on. We should send our bots to this person so he/she and set them up to reduce any lag. He would have to somehow make it so you couldn't join except as an observer. We need to make a deed line, and schedule a time to have them fight. I hope that that made sense, and we have ppl interested.

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Re: Bot wars

Post by The Equalizer » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:44 am

AnakinPiewalker wrote:I think it would be cool to have a tournament/match where the players are all bots, made by programmers, with their "owners" directing them--but not controlling directly. So in the end, the best programmer wins.
what do u people think?
this reminds me to Robocode (it's basically the same idea idea) :

http://robocode.sourceforge.net/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robocode

regards,
The Equalizer

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Post by macsforme » Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:13 am

BZRobots is actually Robocode ported to C++, I believe.

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Post by learner » Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:23 pm

It's a little more than just Robocode ported to C++, though that was a critical step. There's more information about it in the wiki in the Google Summer of Code section, but the basic idea entailed:
  • - implementing BZFlag-compatible run-time protocol engine
    - converting Robocode API from Java to C++
    - extending API to support 3D worlds (Robocode is 2D-only)
    - enhancing API to support BZFlag gameplay (flags, jumping, etc)
    - learning the existing interface provided by BYU
    - extending the BYU text-based communications protocol
    - adding support for scripting languages (e.g. Python)
    - porting a few existing Robocode bots for testing
For the most part, all of those were completed though there are some production integration and testing required, particularly in order to support writing bots on Windows. Otherwise, though, daxxar did a great job getting things up and running. I'm hoping that once some of the portability issues are sorted out that we can hold a Bot writing contest where users will have their bots compete against each other.

Cheers!
Sean

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