Automata (Battle bots like)

So I was messing around with the idea of a battle bots like game mode I have tentitively called Automata.

The basic premise is you build some remotely controlled ‘bot’ and drive it into battle against other bots. Forms of propulsion would be restricted similiar to how the life support / resource distribution systems work so that you don’t have super huge unrealistic bots. The idea is to encourage smart, efficient bots that can go into the battle area and battle for a while then return to the build area to refuel, etc. My thoughts for tracking ‘kills’ would be to have an entity that MUST be contrained to your bot that when it becomes unconstrained, i.e. your bot is destroyed, it counts as a kill.

I am just curious if anyone has any comments about my ideas or if they see it as a stupid waste of time.

I’m not imagining any sort of art assets will be required (which is good as I am no artist) and the mapping would be really basic. Here’s my test map:

http://intreza.net/automata/automata1.jpg

Basic idea is you have 4 build zones (4 teams) and you build the bot and drive it into battle area, the rest is self explanitory.

I want to/have done some coding to prevent certain situations:

  1. Players are not allowed to leave the ‘build’ areas. This means that the bots must be remotely controllable and have some sort of camera system to allow remote piloting. In my test map I have brush entities that trigger based on touch of a player to prevent them from leaving these zones, might be a better way to do it.
  2. Restrict the control entity to one per person, such that a player, a) can only have one bot, and b) if a player’s bot is rendered useless for some reason, they must clean it up (counting as a kill)
  3. A refueling type resource entity so that refueling your bot is very fast and easy, basically a simple entity that pumps out tons of every kind of resource. This entity of course must be restricted such that it can’t be spawned or moved outside the build area.
  4. New combat entities probably based on gcombat or cds, possibly even using their default entities
  5. New propulsion entities that consume resources of various types, i.e. Energy wheels. Normal wheel, thruster etc entities are not allowed (including wire ones, the new ones would support wire)
  6. New physical damage weapons, saw blades that actually do real damage, hammer/spike like objects, maybe mines
  7. Varied terrain maps might be fun, like smaller, almost maze like ones that are more about manuverability and driving skill vs ultimate super battle tank.

Garry’s Bots.

Sounds cool

Also, whats with the swastika map:hitler:

^ Heh, I just noticed that too.
Anywho, this sounds like it could be great fun if taken seriously and finished.

Just sort of happened that way, just seemed like the most obvious way to build a hallway that would allow vehicles through but couldn’t see between the ‘build’ area and the ‘battle’ areas. I’m sure I’ll come up with better maps later.

[editline]11:14AM[/editline]

Garry’s Bots is good fun but I see this as a bit different in a few ways:

  1. I don’t necessarily want ‘rounds’ with a buld time and battle time
  2. In Garry’s Bots you build almost any kind of monsterish bot without any regard for efficiency
  3. Garry’s Bots is mostly focused on physical damage, which I would like to have but I would also like to allow for constrained ranged weapon systems

The Garry’s Bots concept of the bot ‘Core’ is very similiar to the concept I am going to use. I also like the Garry’s Bots prop team coloring, I might take that and just use it as a tint rather than just full red or full blue.

Are you coding this?

Yes, I am currently working on this, focused on the basic coding to get it functional.

Idea for the Camera Thingy:

How about, if someone would make a little “Spy Cam” model (A small round camera) that you can put on your bot.

With that, I mean so you dont need that big Camera on top of your bot.

Kinda nice project bytheway.

Or else, just use the normal “Wire Ranger” model for it.

A better / smaller model might be nice. I was kind of thinking that the difficulty in placing / protecting the camera would be part of the challenge. In Garry’s bots you just spectate the camera during the battle round, I was envisioning actually using the camera and having to navigate through it. Thus if the camera got destroyed the bot was pretty much useless, unless it had some automated ‘go home’ feature built into it.

Pretty nice idea, but wouldn’t that be kind of hard to make? xD

Not sure exactly what you are refering to as to be hard to make? The automated return home function?

Might not have to be automated, could even just be a gps system on the bot and piloted back with known coordinates, perhaps tied into a digital screen with some markers on it.

[editline]02:25PM[/editline]

I’ve created my refueling entity and a basic multi-resource consuming wheel based off the petrol wheel. Working on multi-resource thrusters and then hydralics.

As for weapons I have been testing with CDS weapons and the missle launcher explosion seems like the best weapon at this time. It does a lot of damage against almost everything. It has a damage area that makes it a bit tough to defend against. Weaker entities (wood, glass, wire gates, etc) easily get destroyed even at a few ‘feet’ behind a metal plate. In my testing the missle launcher explosion would most often destroy the control systems of a bot long before the bot itself was destroyed. Many of the other weapons seem relatively ineffective against metal plates or even some of them against the plastic phx plates. I’d like to have some balance so that everyone doesn’t just make super tanks, something smaller and more agile would be fun too.

I would recommend tweaking the CDS weapons to have smaller explosions. Also, you should restrict the props allowed to use to a custom spawnlist, so that you can regulate mass, and therefore health. Also, a money system might be cool.

Custom spawn list might be a good idea to restrict things. What were you thoughts on the money system? Like some set of normal props that are free and then better props cost money, you get money for kills / damage type thing?

Exactly. Also, you could restrict some of the better weapons by cost. And, on the map, you could add multiple battle rooms, and if your bot is too strong (Health + Weapons + Speed), it wont be able to go in. That way beginners wouldn’t get roflstomped by the stronger guys.

Also, If you need any help with this let me know, I’m on steam as [BS] iR| Companion Cube |STZ|.

Use playerclips to prevent people from getting out.

I might be able to make a map for you…

Its a great idea hope you keep up the great work

Thanks

Sure, I could definatly use some help with the mapping, I’m certainly no artist.

My existing concept is pretty evident, other’s had mentioned possibly having two large arena’s, one for beginners / testing, possibly unscored or something, and another for the real combat. Perhaps they could be stacked with ramps going from the build areas to the upper or lower levels?

Also I had another thought that maybe the build areas should have spawn areas for players, a build or construction area, and then a larger open testing type area. Haven’t thought this through much yet so any thoughts are certainly welcome.

[editline]08:47PM[/editline]

Current testing map dimensions:

Battle Area: 8192 x 8192 x 2048 tall

Build Areas: 4096 x 4096 x 1024 tall

No real reason for these numbers, just wanted large open areas to begin with.

I already did this some two years ago. It’s called Garry’s Bots.

[editline]10:29PM[/editline]

Full steam ahead then boyo. :eng101:

So I have been messing around with the custom spawn list but I’ve decided that I really need the default spawn list for things like wire and constraints. Any good way to Hide the default spawn list but leave the tool list intact? I’ve tried messing around with the hooks a bit but it doesn’t seem obvious. I can of course disable the spawn list from working but it seems like that might just frustrate people who don’t get it at first.

What I may do is allow people to spawn things from the normal spawn list but add costs and such for spawning them in addition to having a custom spawn list with detailed info like cost, health, etc.

If I remember correctly, in Garry’s Bots, we pretty much just overrode the whole damn thing.