Tired of those stupid and buggy AIs in video games?

Gladiabots is a competitive strategy game where you design the artificial intelligence of a gladiator robot squad.
Compete against players from all over the world, perfect your strategy and reach the top of the leaderboard!

The game is currently in free alpha version on PC, Mac, Linux and Android (iOS coming soon).

Features

  • Intuitive Visual Programming
  • Badass Robots
  • Solo Missions
  • Cross-platform Multiplayer
  • PC / Mac / Linux + Android (iOS incoming)
  • Community Powered
  • Pay What You Want Alpha

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Gladiabots Inception

News 9 comments

THE GAME OF MAKING GAMES

It all began when I was working on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) of the Non Playable Characters (NPCs) for a military strategy game.

One of the most important and time consuming part of this task, was testing: hunting bugs, finding potential improvements and most of all keeping the game “fun”. And without a good testing environment and a specific set of tools, it can easily become a painful experience.

At first I was simply playing against the computer waiting for bugs to jump at my face and hoping to have this “eurêka” moment dictating me what to change to get a better AI. Not really efficient, as you can imagine.

That’s why I decided to set up a test scene with 2 teams of NPCs fighting against each other. It quickly proved to be a much better way of iterating on the AI system.

Passively watching the game running allowed me to focus on the various problems occurring on screen.

The AI controlled NPCs exposed my system to much more and diverse situations than I could do by myself, revealing much more bugs very early.

Improving the AI design was also easier: I started a game with both teams using the same AI, tweaked the first one until it could beat the second one, and then repeat with the new AI.

But most of all, this iterative process of building AIs was actually fun and rewarding! Sometimes a few tweaks made my little guys completely outsmart the opposing team. Some other times it made them dance around covers and throw grenades at their teammates’ face.


That's how I realized I could make a cool game out of it.

BREAKING THE RULES

Nowadays, AI has tons of different applications. Video games are just one of them and use very specific set of rules.

The design approach is very “player oriented”: what matters is what the player sees and feels. If a NPC is out of screen, it doesn’t necessarily need to run the AI system, saving resources for other parts of the game.

Behaviours don’t have to be realistic, as long as they fit the game design. More often than not, we take shortcuts. Like when an enemy starts reacting to your presence even if it doesn’t have a clear line of sight to your position because distance check was enough.

But the most important rule is once again to keep the game “fun”. Which often means searching for the best compromise between dumb meat bags and omniscient overseers.

Enemies shouldn't be too dumb or the player wouldn’t have any challenge beating them. But they shouldn't be too smart either or it would feel like the game is cheating. They must feel fair, don’t forget they are meant to die anyway.

Same goes for player allies on the battlefield. If they are just following him, attracting enemy fire toward his squad, the player will probably want to shoot them in the kneecap and move on. On the contrary, if they headshot every opponent they “see”, they may steal the show and get the same reaction from the player.

These rules exist for the sake of gameplay but I often asked myself what if we could forget them and just go for the smartest AI possible.


THE ANSWER

Before I knew it, a game was born in my mind. A game about crafting the best possible AI. This game is called Gladiabots.

Gladiabots is a competitive programming game where you teach badass killing machines how to kill your opponents and fulfil various missions.

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? And a video is made of thousands of pictures. So this should be worth a million words:

The game is currently in free open Alpha and offers solo missions against pre-programmed robots as well as online multiplayer matches against other players AIs.

It’s available on PC, Mac, Linux and Android at GLADIABOTS.com.

And this is just the beginning, there’s a lot of new features coming up:

  • Bot classes and customization
  • A map editor for solo and online missions
  • Periodical challenges and tournaments
  • And obviously more content: new game modes, new entities, new AI components, etc

If you want to take part in the game development or simply give your feedback, please join the growing players community at gladiabots.com/community.

(reblog from Madewith.unity.com)

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Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Windows32bit

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Windows32bit

Full Version 1 comment

Introducing new bot classes (Shotgun, Machine Gun and Sniper), fixes and improvements!

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Linux

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Linux

Full Version

Introducing new bot classes (Shotgun, Machine Gun and Sniper), fixes and improvements!

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Android

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Android

Full Version

Introducing new bot classes (Shotgun, Machine Gun and Sniper), fixes and improvements! Also available on the Play Store: android.gladiabots.com

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Mac

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Mac

Full Version

Introducing new bot classes (Shotgun, Machine Gun and Sniper), fixes and improvements!

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Windows64bit

Gladiabots Alpha 5.2 Windows64bit

Full Version

Introducing new bot classes (Shotgun, Machine Gun and Sniper), fixes and improvements!

Alpha 4.2.2 - Linux 64bit

Alpha 4.2.2 - Linux 64bit

Full Version

Gladiabots Alpha 4.2.2 for Linux 64bit Gladiabots is a Tactical AI Programming game where you teach badass robots how to kill your opponents and fulfill...

Comments
Gn0meSlice

The basic idea has been done a few times before, but I really like the interface and overall look you're going for with this one. Very promising project!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
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PavleVrabac
PavleVrabac

Interesting...

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
SniperCharlie
SniperCharlie

Very original.Tracking:)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
INtense! Staff
INtense!

I've seen a few games attempt this kind of mechanic. Really cool very interested to see where you take it

Reply Good karma+3 votes
sovenysh
sovenysh

Looks cool.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
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Gladiabots
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GFX47
Engine
Unity
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Latest tweets from @gfx47

Japan vs Murica! #GameDev #IndieGame #MadeWithUnity #Robots T.co

6hours ago

ICYMI, a quick timelapse of the modelization of @Kuratas01 in @Gladiabots #GameDev #IndieGame #MadeWithProBuilderT.co

11hours ago

And @Kuratas01 is ready to kick some robotic ass! #GameDev #IndieGame #GiantRobotDuel #Kuratas #MegaBots #RoboticsT.co

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RT @GFX47: Let's stream some more @MegaBots modeling for @Gladiabots! Twitch.tv #GameDev #IndieGame #MegaBotsT.co

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Let's stream some more @MegaBots modeling for @Gladiabots! Twitch.tv #GameDev #IndieGame #MegaBotsT.co

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