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Fragment of a discussion from User talk:Voidious
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Now available in a browser near you. :-)

Voidious (talk)02:09, 20 November 2013

Wow. I am impressed.

One suggestion: when mouse is on the battlefield window one one see humongous pause symbol right in the center blocking the view. May be putting it somewhere at the conner would be a better idea.

Beaming (talk)03:29, 20 November 2013

Thanks, that's good feedback. If you didn't notice, the controls disappear if the mouse is still for a certain time - I'm basically trying to emulate typical video player behavior. So I think I should probably do two things:

  • Shorten the delay before the controls disappear on desktop (responding to mouse movement).
  • Make the controls graphics smaller on desktop.

As a side note, the timer is actually much longer on tablets because I thought that felt more natural there. Probably because you typically make a lot more ambient mouse movements than touch events to extend the timer.

Voidious (talk)03:41, 20 November 2013

Well, as Skotty mentioned below it is FAST. Sometime player control has no time to disappear and game is already done. May be it is enough to respond on click event in the battle field area for "pause"? We are all sort of used to this behavior in players.

And I second Skotty, it definitely need slow down button. I think it exists in the desktop version.

Beaming (talk)05:05, 20 November 2013

Alright, I think these have been addressed, though I've kept the video player style overlay.

  • Defaults to 30 fps (half speed) with options for faster.
  • On desktop, pause/play controls are smaller and disappear more quickly (by ~30%).
  • All the controls are shifted down a bit.

Thanks to both you guys for the feedback! I'm pretty happy with these changes.

Voidious (talk)03:47, 23 November 2013

I think it is very nice now. The player controls disappears with just a right speed (at least to my taste).

May be a small landing paragraph at the very top would help newcomers. What is this game about and what is its goal.

For example if one just hit run the match (I as I did) it is unclear who wins and why. Since both of the bots just bounced around. And within a few seconds it is all done.

If you do not want a paragraph at least add an about page, since the help page talks only about inner implementations while there are now even the game definition. This is actually turn me away originally from the original desktop version, since at that point even after reading your description here I did not get the philosophy of the game.

I think from newcomer prospective the lua scripting is not the most important part. We all care about SCORES, so let us know what to do to gain points :)

I am sorry to bring sort of negative feedback, but I hope it will help to make the game better.

Beaming (talk)04:05, 23 November 2013

No, I appreciate it! I'll have to give some thought to this. For the web UI, I tried to pick sample stages and bots that would be self-explanatory. But some explanation of the individual stages would still be nice, and/or high level info about the game itself. And maybe Joust isn't a good default stage. I thought its rules would be pretty clear and that it was simple enough that you could make progress in a few minutes. So I may try some other stage selections.

In the desktop app, I think the current stage preview does a pretty good job explaining the gameplay of each stage. Or is it something else that's lacking? Like maybe you mean more the type of thing on Robocode/Game Physics or BerryBots Specs? The API Docs are prominently linked and specify a lot of that stuff, but that's a bit of a firehose vs what you're looking for, I think.

Voidious (talk)04:55, 23 November 2013

One more thing: the physicist in me cannot understand "The wall absorbs half the force the ship exerts against the wall." How can something absorb the force? You can do it with energy, may be colloquially "absorb the speed", but force cannot be absorbed.

It is similar to incorrect use by the robocode's of the term "bullet power". It drive me nuts, it is actually bullet ENERGY.

I think you meant "the ship loses tangential to the wall velocity component proportionally to the velocity projection along the normal to the wall". I know it makes anyone to stop reading the rules right away :) May be we can say "there is a friction which is proportional to the normal component of the velocity at the contact time". But then due to friction it must loose only tangential components and the rules for the normal one need to be defined differently.

Beaming (talk)05:46, 23 November 2013

Wiki, somehow ate my first and more important reply.

The links above, discuss game rules and API but they do not state the game goal. Should I kill all of the bots or just get to the certain point on map? It is probably scenario dependent but a short sentence like "kill them all style game" would be quite useful.

I also notice that Robocode wiki suffer from the same problem. If I had not run across a blog entry I would not guess the game goal. Since wiki discuss much finer details, like game physics, targeting etc. It assumes that we know that the bot with highest overall score wins. And it is not even a surviving bot.

Beaming (talk)16:23, 23 November 2013

Awesome. Very well done. Not that I'm an expert on the variety of these types of games, but I've never seen one where you could do all the coding and battles online before.

Is there a way to adjust the game play speed? I don't recall seeing that. It would be nice if play could be slowed down. The default speed seems so ADD.

Skotty (talk)04:54, 20 November 2013

Thanks. It's certainly not the first to run in a browser. Most of the ones I've seen use Javascript for the bots and actually execute the game engine in the browser too. This is offloading the game processing to an Amazon EC2 instance and then viewing the replay. Also, some web based games are like a whole platform where you upload your bots, compete in ladders... This is more of a stand-alone try it / demo thing, at least for now.

In the desktop app, you can adjust the playback speed, but I didn't get that into the replays yet. And I've been considering switching the default from 60 to 30 fps... I guess that's one vote in favor. :-)

Voidious (talk)05:08, 20 November 2013

Alright, the web UI now defaults to 30 fps with options for fast (old speed) or crazy fast. I think I just have an affinity for smooth 60 fps graphics, but it really just feels so much more sane this way. You calling it "ADD" gave me a chuckle. ;)

Voidious (talk)09:29, 21 November 2013