Monday, February 25, 2008


Ouch. DroidBattles is probably awesome to people who already code in assembly, and enjoy coding in assembly so much that when they're not coding in assembly to be productive, they're desperate to code assembly for play.

I'm so not that guy. If I had even a rudimentary understanding of any solid programming language, I'd be trying to use it to make Phantasy Star II Meets Phantasy Star III Meets Wizardry VII. I don't. And if I'm going to take the time to learn a programming language, it will be so I can make that game, not so I can play DroidBattles.

Basically, writing code is 'playing' DroidBattles. I'm sure that, at its most basic and simple level, i.e. just getting a droid to run, it's not very complex. But just getting a droid to run doesn't sound very rewarding, while the alternative - spending hours upon hours in a custom-built version of assembly writing search routines and device drivers for your droid's various components - sounds nothing at all like fun.

I did test the game, for the record. If you follow the instructions in the documentation's 'Quick Start', you end up with a little droid that goes in circles looking for other droids with a scanner, and shoots them when it finds them. All you can do with it, however, is put it in an arena with another of the same type (because I didn't have a different bot to test it with), and see which one blows the other up first.

You do not actually interact with it. It's code battling code, which is especially pointless if you're like me, and it's the same code battling itself. It's not like you're going to determine which one is better, y'know?

This game works fine, as far as I know. I was able to test its features, and they performed as described. But unless you're really into writing code, uhmm... why bother? It's actually a really neat idea, and I'm just being mean because I feel inadequate. But I can't help but think that the number of people this game would appeal to is pretty gosh-darned small. Maybe not. Does that screenshot up there make you horny? Then you should totally check out DroidBattles.

For the record, it would probably be a lot of fun at programming-challenge events. Watching matches between a bunch of droids built by a bunch of different would sort of be like the software equivalent of the robotics competition they have every year at my alma-mater.

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