Programming as a game

I think there’s been a few games in my time where the game consists of actually doing some sort of programming.  Most would involve combat in some way.  The first I probably encountered was on the MoleMan’s Atari ST called Omega.  You had to provide the logic for how your tank would behave.  You could make it as simple or as complicated as you wanted.  You could make a tank that randomly drove around and randomly fired it’s cannon.  Or you could have routines that would actively use it’s scanner to seek other tanks and how it would behave if it got hit.  You would then throw that tank at game provided tanks or tanks that your friends created.  I never made a tank of my own.  It sounded neat to me, but I couldn’t see taking the time.  I figured it would be a bit frustrating.  Kind of funny considering that’s what I used to do for a living and would like to get back to doing.

This blog post by Jeff Atwood is what reminded me of these types of games.  I’ve heard of Java Robots which is meant as programmer entertainment and as a learning tool for newer programmers.  I should take a look at it and see what it would be like for a total newb and maybe use it to teach my oldest programming.

I’ve often thought of creating some sort of game where the players would select predefined logic for their sport players or provide their own.  Just another one of those plethora of ideas that roll around in my head, making me what I am.



2 Responses to “Programming as a game”

  1. gojim Says:

    You’ve never heard of Core Wars or Redcode? What kind of second rate school did you go… uh, don’t answer that.

    Core Wars is the grand daddy of all programming games – some neat programs for that one, and lots of information on the intertubes. Also spent some time in school doing C-Robots, which was kinda cool (especially with the group we had). I wouldn’t mind getting into a small group that would do something like that again – it’d be kinda fun.

  2. No Clue Incorporated » Blog Archive » Brain Dump Says:

    […] on the spurs of a comment about teaching my oldest to program in my post on programming games, a couple blogs I read noted that Sun has put up a resource for young […]

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