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October 24, 2014, 01:16:45 PM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhalltrAInsported: Experimental game done!
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Author Topic: trAInsported: Experimental game done!  (Read 603 times)
Germanunkol
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« on: April 02, 2013, 10:02:47 AM »

I've recently finished my new game, trAInsported (website).
By "finished", I mean it's playable and feature complete, it only needs a few tweaks and minor bug-fixes.

The story: The near future - trains are no longer controlled directly by humans. Instead, players need to write Artificial Intelligence to control the trains. Transport more Passengers than other players in a shorter time... and let your AI rock the score boards!



The game:
  • It includes tutorial levels which teach you how to write Lua code in an interactive, hopefully fun, sort of way.
  • Challenge maps test your brains a little more... here, you need to write AIs that complete different tasks within the specified time.
  • Upload your AI when you're done. It will automatically start battling other AIs on the server. You can watch the battle, live!
  • Code your own challenge maps and share them through the website!

Download...
... the game from here. There's versions for Windows and Linux and Mac.



Trivia
  • The game-server and web-server run on a raspberry-pi. How cool is that?!

I wrote to multiple indie-news-websites and told them about the game. Not one of them replied or posted something... help?
I realize it's sorta geeky and only servers a small player-base. But I'm a little disappointed that _none_ of the sites wrote about it. I thought 'niche', 'geeky' and 'experimental' is what indie-games are all about?

Any hints on how I could get the game known? I'd also love it if you guys could share it/distribute it and talk about it...
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 12:01:11 PM by Germanunkol » Logged
johnki
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 10:05:32 AM »

This looks great. Even the graphics (minus the HUD) are appealing so if the implementation is good, then this'll be fun.

I'll try it out later. Smiley
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Germanunkol
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 11:59:53 AM »

Hm... the HUD is auto-generated (read: rendered) at runtime though. None of the button images exist before starting the game the first time... Does that make it cool?  Grin

Some people told me I should use dithering to make the gradients less harsh. Maybe one day I will...
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johnki
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 12:14:59 PM »

Hm... the HUD is auto-generated (read: rendered) at runtime though. None of the button images exist before starting the game the first time... Does that make it cool?  Grin

Some people told me I should use dithering to make the gradients less harsh. Maybe one day I will...
Well, my problem with it is that it's stark and plain and looks a bit like a brightly colored version of the default Torque Engine HUD. It's less the buttons and more the "bubbles" around the buttons.

tl;dr They really don't fit the style of everything else.

Oh and I greatly appreciate the cross-platformness. :D

EDIT: Working on Tutorial1 right now. After placing my first train and letting it go halfway around the track, it froze for about 30 seconds.

EDIT2: Okay, seems to freeze up periodically. At least I don't lose the code when that happens.

Also, for things like the "distance" function, it would have been nice to just have had that built in since I'm probably just going to copy-paste it around like I do with most functions like that that never change.

EDIT3: It says on the site that all uploaded scripts are public domain and open source. How do you download/view them?

EDIT4: Given all the stats and the push towards building a community around the game, a forum would be nice and if you can't host one on-site, setting one up on IndieDB should be relatively easy.

Also, the game error'd out when I tried to watch a match within a few minutes of the next one starting. Forgot to grab the error but I assumed that it was caused by fast forwarding to the end of the match.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 05:33:34 PM by johnki » Logged

Germanunkol
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 03:45:26 AM »


EDIT: Working on Tutorial1 right now. After placing my first train and letting it go halfway around the track, it froze for about 30 seconds.

EDIT2: Okay, seems to freeze up periodically. At least I don't lose the code when that happens.
I've never had this, and no one ever reported this. Can you tell me the steps to reproduce, show me your AI code and tell me your PC specs please?


Also, for things like the "distance" function, it would have been nice to just have had that built in since I'm probably just going to copy-paste it around like I do with most functions like that that never change.
The problem with built-in functions is that a) players who haven't code much wouldn't be "forced" to understand them, so they'd have a harder time understanding what's going on and b) because of the ai interface/sandbox they'd take slightly longer to execute...

EDIT3: It says on the site that all uploaded scripts are public domain and open source. How do you download/view them?
Yes, the site is not fully done yet, but you can already view the scripts by appending /upload/ai to the url like so: http://trainsportedgame.no-ip.org/upload/ai/
I am still thinking about whether I'll link to the scripts immediately or wait for a week after upload and then make them downloadable.

EDIT4: Given all the stats and the push towards building a community around the game, a forum would be nice and if you can't host one on-site, setting one up on IndieDB should be relatively easy.
Great idea, thanks! Will do!
Also, the game error'd out when I tried to watch a match within a few minutes of the next one starting. Forgot to grab the error but I assumed that it was caused by fast forwarding to the end of the match.
Will look into this as well.

Thanks for the feedback!
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johnki
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 03:52:40 AM »

Yes, the site is not fully done yet, but you can already view the scripts by appending /upload/ai to the url like so: http://trainsportedgame.no-ip.org/upload/ai/
I am still thinking about whether I'll link to the scripts immediately or wait for a week after upload and then make them downloadable.
Well, to be honest, as much as I love open source games and all, my problem with forced open-sourcing of AIs is that I'm a bit worried that, eventually, people will just start copying others' AIs without trying to make their own until, eventually, we're just left with one do-it-all AI that everyone uses. That would absolutely kill the competitive nature of the game.

Maybe make it so that the site checks to make sure that 2 AIs aren't exactly the same? I dunno. It's just a concern for the game as a competitive multiplayer game.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 04:06:40 AM by johnki » Logged

Germanunkol
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 05:41:26 AM »

I thought about that a lot. I don't think it's that much of a problem though, because players who don't want to write their own code won't play the game anyway. And I like the fact that players can learn from each other.

Also, I was afraid at first that a "perfect" AI would emerge, but I have not seen one so far, and I think there is enough decision-making involved that makes the game more than just about pathfinding.
However, I might still add a small update that force AIs to make more choices, so it's less likely of one AI being perfect in all aspects...

If the problem ever does happen, I can still make it closed-source again or manually delete duplicates (so far the number of active players is still overseeable).
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johnki
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 05:49:51 AM »

Alright, makes sense. Smiley

I've been looking at some of the AIs that people have created so far, though, and I am going to have to put in a lot more effort than I originally anticipated haha.
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Germanunkol
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 07:39:42 AM »

Indeed, I was quite surprised at how sophisticated some of them are! I thought most people would write small AIs that "guess" their way around the map, but it turned out quite a few used Pathfinding...  Beer!
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Germanunkol
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 01:36:09 AM »

Yay!
Been featured on indiegames.com!!
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