Gladiabots - GFX47


New rules

Let’s dive right into it, starting with the bad one.
I introduced 2 new important rules in this version.

The first one limits the size of the AIs you can use in a multiplayer match to 2000 nodes. It only counts actions and conditions in the set of AIs (and sub-AIs) your bots are linked to. Each AI and sub-AI is only counted once.

You can check the size of your AIs from the AI editor:



The second one limits the number of nodes that can be evaluated by each bot on each AI tick to 200 nodes. Once again, it only counts actions and conditions.

To help you monitor it, the AI debugger now shows how many nodes were evaluated in previous tick:



Now there are 2 kinds of reaction to this announcement.
Either your AIs are nothing like those numbers and your reaction is like:



...then cool, you can skip to the next chapter ;)

Or your AIs are pretty huge and you’re more like:



...before you rage quit, please let me explain why I did it.

There are actually 2 reasons.

The first and main one is a game design decision.
I wanted for quite some time to add an AI size limit in order to boost players creativity instead of brute force completion. We know how constraints helps our brain to be more creative. It also offers similar chances to newcomers and well established players… or at least the challenge seems more feasible ;)
The only thing preventing me to do it was the hardcore players telling me it would ruin the immense AIs they've put effort into building for months.

The other reason is technical.
Whatever the optimization level of the game code (which is already quite high), the game just can't evaluate an infinite number of nodes on each tick for each bot without hitting a CPU limit at some point (being it on Android or PC/Mac/Linux). Reminder: each bot checks its AI 4 times per second (every 250ms).
During the latest weeks, I received an increasing number of bad performances reports from players who were matched against ridiculously huge AIs (thousands of nodes deployed, hundreds of nodes evaluated every tick).
That's what convinced me that I had to implement these limits.



I know it means losing a lot of nodes for some of you (most likely you included as you’re reading this). So I asked the community on discord which part of their AIs was consuming the most nodes. And the answer was "counting using tags" for most of Grandmaster players with using complex AIs. Counting time passed since an action, the number of shot fired, the initial resources on the map, etc.
So the good news is this update also includes a big refactoring on the AI system, allowing counters. More about it in the next chapter...

Counters

Bracket yourselves, maths are coming! (got it?)
Introducing built-in counting logic! \o/

You now have 5 counters specific to each one of your bot and 5 counters shared by your whole team (a bit like the existing tags).
Each counter can be set, incremented or decremented via dedicated actions to/by a custom numerical value or an entity count (using filters like any other action in the game). You can for instance set your first bot counter to the number of resources in short or medium range or increment a team counter every time an enemy bot is fleeing, etc.



You can also have counting conditions using a custom value or a counter as parameter. For instance, you can check if the number of remaining resources is greater than 2 or if one of your counter is equal to 10 or compare the number of allies in short range with one of your team counters, etc.



During a match, all your counters can be seen on your side of the screen (bot counters only appear when you select one of your bots):



I can’t wait to see how you will use this new tool!

If you used binary counting via tags so far, you can scratch and replace this (most certainly) big part of your AI with the new built-in counters. It should definitely get you to a more reasonable node count.
If you need help using counters, I recommend you join the discord server and talk with other players who are already using them on the release candidate versions. They seem to appreciate the changes.

Customization system revamp

Beta 2 skin colors and textures were unlocked by customization slot. Each bot has 4 of those slots. So if you wanted to use the same color or texture on 2 of those slots, you had to unlock it twice.
Players feedback suggested that this system was a bit confusing and frustrating. So I decided to rework it and make unlocks independent from the customization slot. Now, once you unlock a texture or a color, you can use it on any customization slot, on any of your bots.

The other change in Beta 3 is about the way you pick the colors you unlock. From now on, you'll unlock colors one by one, not by group anymore. This counterbalances the previous change so the unlock points are not spent too fast.

As a consequence, I had to reset all the colors and textures you unlocked so far. But don't panic, I also refunded the unlock points you spent for them ;)

I also added a new customization pattern on each bot class and a few textures variations, raising the number of possible combinations to a bit more than 8.4 billiards (you can add 15 zeros after the point), which should allow some creativity ;)



New customization options will come in the future. Also I'm not happy at all with the skin setup UI, I'll change that in the future. It's just not the most prioritary branch in my AI right now ^^'

UI scaling

Big screens owners should like this one.
You can now tweak the scaling of the game UI in the settings menu. You should find your ideal configuration whether you like your (UI) buttons big or small.



Changelog

Here’s the full changelog for Beta 3:

New content
  • AI: added counters actions and conditions
  • AI: added time passed conditions
  • AI: added max evaluated node limits
  • Multiplayer: added max deployed AIs size limit
  • Campaign/Multiplayer: added random tips on game over
  • Customization: added a 4th color pattern
  • UI: added scaling option

Improvements
  • AI editor: improved selected AI after deleting another one
  • Customization: colors and textures unlocked for all slots and classes
  • Tournaments: fixed/improved tournaments sync

Fixes
  • UI: fixed unlock points not displayed when having a negative balance
  • AI editor: removed bugged "new AI" button in sub-AI list panel
  • AI editor: fixed sub-AIs when importing a match AIs
  • Tournaments: fixed tournament matches sorting
  • AI editor: fixed selectors after selecting action

Release candidate

I’d like to thank the player who help me test this new version. Here’s the list of them:



So thank you guys very much, you should get an in-game reward very soon ;)

If you want to test the next updates before they get released and help me improve and debug it, you just have to switch to the “release-candidate” branch in the Steam app. Here’s how to do it:



Note: this branch is public, so you don't need to enter any password.
Note #2: it’s sometimes required to restart the Steam app when changing branch to get the game updated.

If you do, please join the #release-candidate channel on discord. You will find detailed changelogs, instructions and help. You may even make some new friends in the process.
Please also use it to report bugs and give your feedback on the RC versions.

What's next

In the next update, I’ll try to focus on these topics:
  • Abilities
  • New game modes
  • Mod support
  • Localization

Stay tuned and enjoy this update! ;)
Gladiabots - GFX47


Here's the changelog:

New content
  • Stats: add previous seasons leaderboard ("Pantheon")
  • Settings: add account options (security code, email)

Improvements
  • AI editor: increase max AI name max length (from 30 to 40)
  • AI editor: improve node duplicate position
  • AI editor: specific node shape for instant actions (tagging)
  • AI editor: display folders when selecting a sub AI
  • AI editor: duplicate folder
  • Training: improve the "click on that bot, ffs!" animation

Fixes
  • AI editor: fix Backspace shortcut conflict
  • Fix "Unable to complete SSL connection" errors
  • AI: fix several instances of a sub-AI only checked once
  • AI editor: fix comments not always saved
  • AI editor: fix sliding bug when moving several nodes
  • AI editor: fix filters orders
  • AI editor: Fix parent AI button disappearing when using "undo"
  • AI editor: fix node edition buttons overlapping sub AI nodes when using "fit to screen"
  • AI debugger: fixed valid/invalid node icons position
  • Multiplayer: fix matches locked in "waiting for deployment" state
  • Training: fix shield mission in portrait orientation
  • Stats: fix league latest matches filtering
Gladiabots - GFX47


Hey,

As you may have noticed, the first update of Gladiabots early access, the "Community Update", is now live and includes some of the features and improvements you requested the most.

I'd like to start by thanking the players who help me test the version before the official release. Here are their names:



COMMUNITY UPDATE

I actually covered the update in a stream a few minutes after it went public:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QXDsSRFyq0

I agree, it's a bit long and boring, so let's have a closer look at the main novelties here...

New campaign missions

Some of you don't want to risk themselves on the multiplayer, I get that. It means you need more challenge with the campaign.
That's why I added 10 new chapters, each containing 6 missions. Believe me, you'll get your share of challenge with them ;)



Campaign leaderboard

Challenge is good, competition is better.
Introducing the new campaign leaderboard, featuring rankings for each individual mission, each chapter and global ones!
> https://stats.gladiabots.com/campaign?&chapter=1

NB: you need to replay the missions you completed with the previous version to submit your score.



AI folders

Keeping track of your AIs can become tricky when you use a lot of them.
A lot of you asked for a way to classify them.
A folder system seemed like the best way to do it so I implemented a first version of it in this update.
It's based on AI names for now, following the <folder name>/<AI name> pattern, and lacks a few QoL features but I thought it was better than nothing.
It will be improved in future updates.



New target filters

Filtering entities by health and/or shield is a crucial feature of the AI system.
So far, you could only check quarters (0-25%, 25-50%, 50-75%, 75-100%).
This update adds "empty" and "full" values.
Meaning you can now retreat only if your shield is completely depleted, check if a target didn't lose any health, etc.



Customizable filter combinations

Most filters are exclusive inside their category. For instance the "target current action" category has the different possible actions which are exclusive (you can't do several actions at once).
Now imagine you want to attack an enemy bot only if it's neither attacking me or attacking an ally.
Before this update, as the category had a predefined combination logic (OR in most cases), you had to select all the other actions to do it. And no, "not attacking me OR not attacking an ally" doesn't work because it's always true.
You can now customize the logic. In our example, you can now select "not attacking me, "not attacking an ally" and set the logic to AND.



Comments

Every programmer will tell you that a good code is a commented code... but will fail to show you one :D
Anyway, I implemented AI comments! (I'll comment my code later)



SEASON RESET

Now let's talk about the second seasonal multiplayer rankings reset.
Please note that it will occur next Monday (September 24th) at 7pm CEST / 10am PDT.
So it leaves you a few days (including a full week-end) to improve your ranking and get the highest reward:

Season 1 ending rewards

Here are the unlock points rewards by league:

Bronze score x 100% Silver score x 100% Gold score x 125% Platinum score x 150% Diamond score x 175% Master score x 200% Grandmaster score x 300%

So, for instance, if you're in Gold league with a 1200 score, you will get a reward of...



...yep, 1500 unlock points (1200 x 1.25).

New league caps

The demotion/promotion scores will evolve in season 2 to improve players distribution across leagues:

Season 1 Season 2 Demotion Promotion Demotion Promotion Bronze none 1000 > none 1000 Silver 950 1100 > 950 1100 Gold 1050 1250 > 1050 1250 Platinum 1200 1400 > 1200 1450 Diamond 1350 1600 > 1400 1800 Master 1550 1800 > 1750 2100 Grandmaster 1750 none > 2050 none

Yep, Grandmaster will be an even bigger achievement to reach :)

Scores reset

Last but not least, the scores reset rules:

Current score New league New score >=2100 Grandmaster 2100 >=1800 Master 1800 >=1450 Diamond 1450 >=1250 Platinum 1250 >=1100 Gold 1100 else Silver 1000

I can't wait to see what the next season will look like!

WHAT'S NEXT?

My plans for the next major update include:
- translation (I'll need your help on this one, please signal yourself in the comments if you're willing to participate)
- new game modes
- mods

I hope you enjoyed the ride so far.
Let me know if you have remarks or questions in the comments below.

Cheers,
Sébastien/GFX47
Gladiabots - GFX47
Putting the finishing touches to the "Community Update"...



This first update includes quite a bunch of new features, improvements and fixes requested by the community since the early access started (see the list below).

It will roll out to the public today at 7pm CEST / 10am PDT.

I'll cover it with a Steam broadcast at the same time.
So don't miss it if you have questions! 😉

Epic changelog:

New features:
  • Campaign: 60 new missions!
  • Campaign: result reports for future leaderboard (https://stats.gladiabots.com/?display=CampaignLeaderboard)
  • Combat: new rewind buttons (1/10/30s)
  • AI editor: Add AND/OR switch on filter categories
  • AI editor: import your AIs from a multiplayer match
  • AI editor: comments in AIs
  • AI editor: AI folders
  • AI editor: new empty/full health/shield filters
  • Stats: multiplayer ghosts history

Improvements:
  • Steam: player account linked to steam account
  • Multiplayer: better matchmaking (matches you against opponents with closer scores)
  • Multiplayer: remove "NEW" tag on already viewed tournaments
  • Campaign: highlight last played chapter
  • Training: highlight last played chapter
  • Training: show "Add AI" button during "Teamwork" mission
  • AI editor: improved "duplicate with links" feature behavior
  • AI editor/debugger: middle click shortcut = "fit AI to screen"
  • UI: increased drag threshold (avoids miss-clicks)
  • UI: auto-focus on text fields

Fixes:
  • Combat: fixed AI tick durations
  • Combat: black screen when using left + right click while dragging the arena
  • Combat: "teleporting resource" visual bug when watching a replay in fast-forward
  • Combat: fixed playback buttons disabled after a time over
  • Multiplayer: nodes wrongly converted when used in multiplayer matches
  • Multiplayer: draw matches displayed as defeats (red instead of grey)
  • Sandbox: fixed bots initial positions
  • Training: fixed "Team Composition" mission not saving AI modifications
  • AI editor: selected AI not updated when navigating through sub-AIs
  • AI editor: sub-AI navigation enabled when AI list is displayed
  • AI editor: node selection mode enabled when AI list is displayed
  • AI editor: selection bug when releasing Ctrl key before left click
  • UI: shortcuts active behind panels
  • Data sync: fixed empty match lists after resolving data sync conflict
  • Fixed unlock points calculation
Gladiabots - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

If, like me, you’re too rubbish at coding to get anywhere in Exapunks (won’t stop me from trying though), but love the idea of programming a swarm of robot minions to do your bidding, then Gladiabots might be for you. Released into early access on Steam today, it’s a game about using visual flowcharts to program the AI of a team of heavily armed robots. Your goal: Either blow up the enemy team, or play a successful round of ball-dunking sports in amidst the hail of gunfire. The future sounds like such a fun place.

(more…)

Gladiabots - GFX47
The game will release on Steam today at 10am PDT / 6pm CET

There will be 2 editions:

The Standard Edition
Content: the full game
Price: 14.99$ -10% = 13.49$ during the first week
Store page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/871930/Gladiabots/

The "Optimized Edition"
Content: the full game + the "Optimization Pack" DLC (see below)
Price: 24.99$ -10% = 22.49$ during the first week
DLC Store page: https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/7990/Gladiabots__Optimized_Edition/

The "Optimization Pack" DLC
Content:
- 30 000 Unlock Points you can use to unlock bot skin parts (equivalent of 30 colors / 10 color patterns / 6 textures)
- 4 bot classes 3D models for 3D printing (Assault, Machine Gun, Sniper and Shotgun)
- 5 exclusive wallpapers (in 4K resolution)
- 1 exclusive player icon
Price: 9.99$
DLC Store page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/914280/Gladiabots__Optimization_Pack/
Gladiabots - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Gladiabots

For all my trying, I have the coding ability of a turnip, but that hasn’t stopped me trying every robo-programming game released thusfar. Gladiabots is the latest in this small but underappreciated genre of problem-solving strategy games, giving you a small squad of mechs, a battle/sports field and tasking you to program their brains through a visual, flowchart-like language so they can get the job done. It surfaced as a prototype on Itch back in 2016, but now it’s evolved into a full commercial game, due to arrive on Steam early access this August 9th.

(more…)

Gladiabots - GFX47


Finally, I can share it, it's official:
Gladiabots is coming to Steam Early Access on 9th August!

Check out the new trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyoHsmKiOIk&ref=st_eaa

Wishlist now and get notified when it starts: https://store.steampowered.com/app/871930/Gladiabots/?ref=st_eaa

Don't forget to share the news with your friends!

Cheers,
GFX47
Gladiabots - GFX47


Hey guys!

If everything goes according to plan, I should be able to announce the early access release date very soon!
So stay tuned for updates...

Pro tip: wishlist the game and get notified when it's available ;)

https://store.steampowered.com/app/871930/Gladiabots/

Cheers,
GFX47
...

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