Been a while

Wow, it has been a while since I have posted anything. My apologies for that, but, honestly, there has not been a whole lot to write about until recently. Let me get you up to speed.

Shortly after my last blog entry I entered the Google AI contest. I didn't get to put a ton of time into it, but winning the contest really wasn't my goal. I had two goals going into the contest. One goal was to beat the AIGameDev.com bot created by Alex Champandard. The other goal was simply to create a bot that functioned and did relatively well. I did and up beating the AIGameDev.com bot (he placed 633, I placed 431), so goal number one complete.

As far as the second goal, my bot functioned well and placed in the top 10% of the contest, so I consider that a good showing for the relatively small amount of work I put into it. But, it was more than that. This was the first time I coded something like this from scratch. Most of the work I have done up until that point felt more like modding to me. Sure, I created the AI Overlord, but that wasn't really all that big and really not that hard at all. No, I really wanted to challenge myself to make something from, essentially, nothing. No existing code to look at. Nothing to cut and paste from. Just pure, out of my head, code. I even had a co-worker look at it for me when the contest was over to get a code review. I know, it sounds a little paranoid (for lack of a better term), but I really needed to see if I could do it.

The rest of October was spent porting code from SupCom 2 over to Kings and Castles and getting it to the point that it didn't cause the game to crash. Then came the new project. Most of November and December were spent doing lots and lots of documentation and investigation. That is why I said there really wasn't much to write about. Who wants to hear about me having to investigate code and write documentation? Heck, who wants to be the person writing all the documentation? I learned I don't like to be that guy. That was also a part of why I entered the contest. I needed a project to work on and it came at a good time.

More recently, I have started getting to code things again. For now, I have mostly been working on UI stuff, which has been interesting. At least I am getting to work on code again. I think my upcoming project assignments will put me back onto the game play side of things again, and I truly look forward to that. I can't wait to be able to share more detailed info.