About the death of Shark Leonardo wrote:
> I don't want to upload Shark any more: it is my weakest robot and
> I've lost its source code in a crash of my HD, so I can't improve it :(
I liked Shark very much. Sure, it wasn't exactly strong, but it was so untipical.
To be true, I'm not very happy when I see people uploading Rabbit or Rook,
and I don't like either when they do a Platoon-clone based on the tutorial.
Many people put a lot of efforts into the coding aspect of this game,
instead of thinking about new strategies; me and BingleFish are not
professional programmers, but we are both engineers, and we think we've
proven that analysis, physics and a good strategy can yield top-notch
results, I see many of you begging for API calls and OOP to improve their
robots, but I want to say, there's no need for fancy data structures,
esoteric objects, clean interfaces; all you need is: arrays; physics; ideas.
Some people needed explanation about Leonardo's enemy speed calculation
functions, I obtained it by myself a lot before it was published on the
tutorial, and there's so much more under KB's hood that many of you would be
surprised to see it if we decide to unveil it; in my vision this is a game
for engineers, not programmers, if you don't have the necessary knowledge of
math, physics, and even signal processing theory is useful, then you've
better turning your attention toward other competitions, there're so many
sheer programming championships that you won't miss JRobots.
I have to say that even Leonardo somewhat encouraged this approach ("don't
innovate, tweak and refine instead") because since the beginning he clearly
explained his robot's strategies to the others, favouring clone-makers; if
you lose the strategic advantage, you can only win by having more efficient
code, but that's a lot affected by the well known cpu-speed issue, and in
the end, a better idea is a lot more effective than weeks of tuning, IMHO,
even if ideas are usually easier to copy than code.
When I developed my first robot, I didn't even take a glance at the
tutorial, in fact I believe that Monty (the original) was the first
competitor to leave the Platoon-like fashion (run straight at top speed) to
try something new (non linear movements); the older players will surely
remember the 3 strongest robots of the first challenge, Chaky, MarukoV4 and
Vampire, they were improvements over Platoon but they were very similar to
it in behaviour; then it came (I believe) Jimbo with the first circular
movement, then MontyZ and Tiny with a zig-zag path.
Shark's circling at corners (like cartoon's sharks) is so nice that I'd hate
not seeing it in action anymore; when you look at a team match which
involves for ex. Shark, Fish, KillerBees and Phalanx, you find it a lot more
entertaining than a match where all the robots cross the arena more or less
erratically: you see the sharks haunting the corners, with their slow and
menacing circling; the phalanx advancing tight and steady like a real army;
the bees buzzing around their nest; the fishes roaming left and right like
in an aquarium...
Two other robots I like are Pulse1 and Epa1, they're both very innovative
and show uncommon features, I don't want to discuss them in depth because I
don't want to harm them by exposing some of their strategies to the public;
Marvin3 is cool, but I find its pattern movement too similar to Epa1's one
to call it innovative, and it has still to prove it's stronger than Epa even
in double play.
Me and BingleFish could possibly decide to publish KillerBees source code,
but I'm wary of doing so since it could mean a wave of new KB's clones...
Walter (author of KillerBees)
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