Well, there is a lull in bot development in the Doom community these days, as we all know. The only current bots are for Skull Tag, & they are very promising. Come, let us reminisce over the heyday of Doom bot development:
Nexus Bot: This was the project of Aurican, who used to have a Doom related site called Nexus. He spent quite a bit of time on the movement code (& little else), optimizing it & waxing eloquently on velocity & lateral movement & such. Early releases consisted of a bot that ran a circuit through a map, going from node to node. These nodes were the black candles, a choice that was echoed later in the node-based movement of the Doombot & the Cajun. The Nexus bot could not go around obstacles, & it was amusing to stand between it & the next node, watching it back up & stand there, confused. A later release had the bots firing blinding sheets of plasma. The MBF-based NBot was its last incarnation, & it was quickly abandoned after that. It never did become a battleworthy opponent, & the disenchanted Aurican now trolls around in #Doomroom with other former Doomers.
Gravity Bot: This was hyped by Grave, who never followed through with it (or on anything else that he hyped), & so it never saw the light of day.
Doombot: Fly's first Doom project was based on old DosDoom code, got stuck often, & bumped its way around maps like a wind-up car. The Doombot was steadily improved as it moved to the Legacy platform & finally ZDoom. The final version was a seriously butt-kicking bot that played CTF & dominated maps on which it was noded. He dropped it after the final switch to ZDoom & turned to work on the controversial CSDoom. The jury is still out to see if the TF-Doombot will ever materialize. Fly said that it was contingent on the development of client-server netplay.
Cajun Bot: Yoghurt released it originally as the Doombot, as he was not aware of the existence of Fly's Doombot. He quickly changed the name to avoid confusion. This bot had unpredictable, lifelike movement, but was generally easier to beat than the Doombot. It later featured node based movement, although the node files were enormous. It also began to show signs of CTF ability. The final Cajun was quite adept, & would greedily snatch powerups & other items with frightening speed. Yoghurt had planned to port it to DosDoom, but merely gave the source code to the DosDoom team, who did nothing with it. He later gave the source to Randy, who promptly integrated it into ZDoom to create the ZCajun. Yoghurt abruptly disappeared from the Doom scene, & removed all traces of his work.
Deathbot: Later DosDoom & EDGE has this bot included. It navigates poorly, & isn't too alert, but has great aim. It is the only bot that works with my obscure DDF-based mods.
Thrust: This was a project by Darkfang, which has since been converted to the Quake codebase, & is therefore no longer relevant to Doombots. It was never released.
Skull Tag: Good old Carnevil has a very promising project in Skull Tag, which is comparable to Quake 3 in how it features different arenas with unique bots. These are the only currently developed bots for Doom.
And thus went an era in Dooming. It's been a great ride, eh? We'll see what else is in store . . .
State of the Skulltag
The latest build has greatly improved the bots' aiming. I was running around a test of Afterglow's ST map, which BTW is a great Edge-like map with probably the most vertical action I have seen in a Doom map, & as I leaped from one edge to the other, Deimos railed me in mid-air. "Ownage!" he said, & I had to agree. Not to worry, though--each bot will have varying accuracy. Their different personalities are great. Chubbs cracks me up when he says things like, "I wish this map was smaller so I didn't have to run around so much."
There is so much that can be done with this game. When I go into the setup menu & see the goodies that can be toggled, it gives me goosebumps. I'll see if it's cool w/ Brad for me to go into more detail about that stuff, but let me say that there are things that ST will do, out of the box, that UT needs mutators to do. And they are all as easy to set up as toggling menu items. Skulltag is a Doom player's wet dream, but this is no dream.
It will be possible to invent different gametypes: ctf, domination, etc. because Carnevil has made things simple & flexible. You will be able to set up the bot's nodes in a map editor, like the old Doombot 2.3 (remember that, the first CTF Doombot?), but there are more than one type of node. Besides nav nodes, there are the more UT-type nodes planned (e.g. snipe, defend, etc.).
CSDoom is continuing to be a wonderful experience. I am seeing more servers going up, as well as a new, (hopefully) Tom-proof channel (man, I just don't understand that dude's motives or rationale). I'm not sure that it is for public knowledge yet (to protect it from a few killjoys), but I am sure that if you ask around you will get invited. I really enjoy those Gothic2 maps (now playing at crystal.telefragged.com:12000), & I really must dl Fly's personal favorite, TNTGrievance (up at crystal.telefragged.com:10668). There is even E1M1 up on 22.214.171.124! If you don't have CSDoom, get it man!
BTW here is a little CSDoom launcher batch file I whipped up, just put it into your CSDoom dir & type cslaunch.
Skulltag Will Rock
I had the intense pleasure of testing out the latest build of Skulltag, & I was very pleasantly surprised at how well the bots have come along. As you may have already read, the bots have their own personalities, which will interact in interesting ways (c.f. Gutboy's Hole for some insight into this).
I was strongly reminded of Q3A: starting a new game will actually launch you into a dm botmatch. You can select the difficulty setting, & the bot's skills will change accordingly.
These bots are based on the old Cajun code, but Carnevil has cleaned it up considerably, removing the slowdown bug in the Cajun which was most noticeable whenever the Cajun would fire the RL. They fight somewhat like the Cajun, but seemed a bit flatfooted at times. Once I found my rhythm, I was able to mow these things down pretty well, & anyone who has encountered me on the csDoom servers will know that I'm not the most proficient DM-er. Granted, these bots are still being worked on, & the skill settings aren't fully implemented yet. There was even a secret bot I got to try out, whom we glimpsed earlier this year in a great project which was quite popular when it was released.
The grenade launcher is fun, firing these rubbery bouncing projectiles which bounce very well, indeed.
A weakness I remember in the Cajun was the way it would navigate at times, getting stuck on obstacles between it & its apparent waypoint, be they ledges or 2-sided impassible linedefs like grates. The Doombot is strong in this area--perhaps Carnevil would do well to study that Doombot source.
All in all, Skulltag appears to embody almost everything I have wanted to see in my botmatching experience. New weapons, a new gametype, interesting & unique individual bots, ease of launching botmatches from menu--it's going to be my most anticipated Doom project, no doubt.
BTW, I am very impressed with Fly's hard work on csDoom. He was the first to make a true bot for Doom, & now he has done csDoom, which works very well. Fly--well done, brother. Now, about that TFBot . . . ;-)
Doombot Arena 4.1 Patch
Here is the update, which enables support for Doombot 4.0, Cajun 0.98, & ZCajun. It's a miniscule download, yet it does so much. ;-)
Doombot Arena 4.0
Here it is, folks.
New for Doombot Arena 4.0:
I will add Cajun 0.98 support, as IMHO it is tied with the Doombot 4.0 for best current DM bot. I haven't given it as much attention since it is Legacy based, & Allegro doesn't like my sound card. But now that I have everything tied together pretty well, it is more feasible to turn my efforts towards supporting multiple bots. I added the ZCajun support strictly for co-op. The gentle ZCajun (based on older Cajun code) is terrible for DM, but it is the best current co-op bot. Cajun 0.98 in co-op will forget to roam &/or follow you after you get killed once. ZCajun is still not too great for roaming in co-op, but at least it does better than anything else currently out. Doombot 4.0 does not play co-op. Too bad.
- Support for forever.wad by Ginge (NOTE: This wad contains profanity. If, like me, you don't care for it, simply use Wintex to delete DSPLPAIN.). This is a brutal set of maps that was plugged at the Execution site.
- Support for Vicious Circles--these maps really demonstrate the power of the Doombot 4.0 nodes. You may notice that the crew from this project also helped out with the recently released Execution wad.
- There is now a Personal Map List, allowing you to set up 7 slots to launch your own maps This was a feature I had wanted from the start, but needed to lay the groundwork first. Let me know if 7 slots are enough.
- You can launch Doombot 4.0 with any map: This feature is found under the Personal Map List.
- I cleaned up the code. It's not something casual users may notice, but the new arena40.bat is slightly smaller than arena.bat was, even though it does far more.
- I added SLIGE support to generate maps & play them with either Doombot 4.0 DM or SP co-op with ZCajun.
- I added Nodeshop for Doombot 3.0+ for easy noding of maps This is an improved version of the noder I released recently.
- For the sake of completeness, I have bundled Doombot 4.0, Doombot 3.0 (for nodemaking), ZDoom 1.22 (for ZCajun co-op), SLIGE build 485 (for random map generation), & BSP 2.3 (for final step in random map generation). I apologize for the large download this will be, & I promise that subsequent versions will be leaner. I felt that with the major changes I have implemented, it was best to have everything self-contained.
Well, here is a little item that I personally use for my own noding pleasure. I decided to pack it up with the old Doombot 3.0, which a few people have had difficulty getting from Fly's site. dbot3noder.zip
Doombot Arena 3.1 Release
I am fried. I just added Execution support right after dl'ing that wad. 3.1 can be found someday here (when DW's ftp stops acting up), & right now it's also in the cdrom.com /incoming dir.
I have really been looking forward to Execution, & it has lived up to my expectations. It credits the GothicDM maps for inspiration, as the looks attest, but these maps flow like butter, unlike the Gothic maps. The added music, sounds, & textures are all first-rate, so grab it quickly.
Doombot Arena 3.0 Release
Here it is, in the incoming dir of cdrom.com for now. Here is where the Doomworld link is. I have just discovered that none of the Doombot Arena versions have been dl'able via Doomworld ftp. Marv says it's fixed now, so hopefully you all can get ahold of this thing.
New for 3.0:
- select 1-6 bots in the menu before launching a botmatch
- ability to name & record demos from the menu
- new graphics in menus
- view last recorded demo from main menu by pressing "V" (you can watch me get clobbered)
Doombot Arena 3.0 Progress
I am very surprised & pleased at how many downloads the Doombot Arena 2.0 has received. I'm glad it has been so well received.
I have been reading up & trying different things for the past few days, & I have successfully been able to get this thing to let you choose the number of bots you want to start with. Also, it will now let you record a demo. All you have to do is choose "record a demo", choose the map & number of bots, & type in the name for the demo. The next step will be getting it to write a unique batch file to play your demo.
Also, I've found that ANSI editors have come a long way in the past 7 years. I'll still use the trusty old TheDraw, but I also have a few new tricks up my sleeve as well. So after the "coding" is done, expect some new cosmetic changes as well.
I do plan to support the Cajun as well, but first I want to get everything running the way I want first. The "code" is still pretty fat & not as flexible as I'd like. & I'm learning more tricks as I go which should help streamline things & make them more powerful. I'm sure all you real coders will find my little journey through batch programming to be amusing, eh?
Doombot Arena 2.0
Here is the latest version, Doombot Arena 2.0.
It has color menus. Any of you old timers who remember bbs's may have a deja vu experience. The inclusion of an ANSI interpreter has made the download a little bigger.
It now supports all the dm maps in dark2.wad.
Doombot Arena 1.0
I "coded" up the Doombot Arena 1.0.
On another note, DwangoAC has posted another OCTF demo, this one for 51 frags.
- It includes the nodes to selected maps from Darkening 2, Slaughter DM, & Brit11.
- It features a menu that lets you select the wad & map you want, then it launches the Doombot 4.0.
- Not too shabby, considering I cannot program, eh?
Well, so much for the idea that the Doombot 4.0 works on the internet w/ bots. Apparently, it will crash whenever you chat or add bots. Bummer. Maybe all it needs is some tweakage?
I forgot to mention the another Doom news site, DoomHQ. Sorry about that. So there are 5 Doom news sites & counting. I will link them in the sidebar. Be sure to round out your Doom diet by visiting all 5.
Last, but not least, DwangoAC has sent in a demo of him vs. 5 blue bots in OCTF. DwangoAC, as his nick implies, was a regular on Dwango back in the day, even to the point where he became a moderator. After a few years off, he's back in the scene. Anyway, he scores 30 frags in 5 minutes, beating my score. Check him out, & see if you can beat his record. Keep those demos coming.
New Map For Doombot 4.0
I just put together a map called Octf. It is the very first Doom map I made, redone for CTF play. Before you write off a first map, let me say that I have been told that it is a good map. I concentrated first & foremost on making a fun layout.
I also added some excellent IMO music, so if you're curious about the kind of music I like, check it out. It was tracked by the great Zack Ohren, who has made music for some N64 games. Search for Zack at traxinspace.com if you want more of his mods.
It also features Iikka's base textures, which I think look very nice indeed. Now, between those textures & the music, this is a fairly large download for one map.
If you haven't already used the ctfteam.cfg which I suggested a while back, I've included it. You can map it to a key for easy starting of ctf matches.
But wait, there's more! I've also included a node file & 3 batch files. One will launch a normal ctf game. Another will record a 5 minute demo. The third will play the demo. There is even a recording of me in there, so before you record your own demo, you may want to see how I fare against the bots.
How many bytes would you download for all this? 30 meg? No! 20 meg? No! 10 meg? No! For a mere 2.4 meg dl, you can have all this & more! Send your demos in & match your skills against Captain Mellow (ahem, shouldn't be too hard). I'll post them up for all to see.
One very important thing that should be touched on is that not only is the Doombot 4.0 capable of CTF, but it is possible to play others over the internet. This means that it is theoretically possible to play CTF on Doomserv with or without bots on each team. I have yet to test it, since I haven't visited Doomserv in some time, but we'll see how it goes. If you are successful in getting some CTF games going over the internet, please let me know, & even send me some demos.
Nali City for Doom?
That Doomsphere site is a nice addition to the community. What I especially appreciate is how mappers can submit their maps there. It reminds me of Nali City, which hosts & reviews Unreal & UT maps. Keep up the good work, Saint. One thing, though: he appears to have inadvertently usurped Doomshack. The header of his page reads DoomNation, DoomSphere, DoomWorld - the triumvirate of Doom-sites. Whoops! Saint, that would be four, buddy. Give Doomshack their due props there, dude. Anyway, it is a well-presented, well-written set of pages, & Saint has done a good job in filling an important role by doing some things that other sites don't, & in not trying to do what the other sites already do. I also like how they have a wad search service where they will track down hard-to-find maps for you.
Eric Sandberg, of the EDGE team, sent word of a possible project after the release of EDGE :
I have some ideas about how to write a bot that kills more than any other bot. Perfect strategy. Nodes may be used, but the main point is that it is a modular engine, which knows loads of different strategies, and learns which to use in different contexts. By adding the strategies from all other bots, it will combine the best of every bot, and hence it will be better than anyone else.
This is something that was discussed way back in the days when the Deathbot was still on the front burner, when DosDoom was still in development. Perhaps the old Valkyrie, Demolition, & Bloodfoot mods will get dusted off & updated for EDGE, & used with a more competent bot. One can dream . . .
BTW it seemed to go unnoticed, but I did post some SkullTag texture out-takes over at MLP. I believe that I may use them in an old CTF map by Gokuma I have been tweaking & noding. It was originally intended for TFbot, but that bot never came to be--yet. Speaking of which, Fly's announcement of pursuing client/server for Doom is intriguing, especially when I remember that one of the reasons that Fly abandoned the TF bot idea was because he felt that without c/s, the TF bot wasn't worth pursuing. Now, he has released a bot that can play over the internet in multiplayer, & he has begun work on client/server. It seems that the pieces are all falling into place . . .
Quick Notes On Nodemaking
There was an error in the nodemaking instructions which I got from Fly's site. He says to test the nodes, type doombot.bat -altnode -testnodes -nodes nodebase.nod -warp... -file..., which is supposed to make the nodes visible & lets you watch the bot run around without getting shot at. But I have found that you actually have to type doombot.exe -altnode -testnodes -nodes nodebase.nod -warp... -file... instead. Just a little tip, & no disrespect meant to Fly.
When you are making nodes, make sure that you follow the instructions about making your last node someplace where you can see the first node. You must make a complete circuit, or the bot becomes disoriented. Granted, it can still thrown down, but it won't run through all the nodes like you want if you don't do it correctly.
This is tangential, but I think this is a good time to send in some demos. Record some demos of yourself smacking some version 4.0 Doombots around on the maps that are included in the Doombot 4.0 zip file. Make it a 3 minute time limit, & send it in. As more nodes are released, we can expand on this. I for one would like to see an individual named Density back up his claim that he can easily own the 4.0 Doombot by sending me a d3emo of such a feat.
I am a bit concerned, & I hope that I don't offend Fyrestorm (Mike O'Neal). However, I really feel that some things need to be said, so here goes:
He has seemingly good intentions for the Doombot. His plans include:
However, there have been a few red flags:
- All original DoomBot bugs will be fixed.
- The source will be updated to Zdoom's 1.22 (and maybe we'll have glZDoom in there too.
- Improvement on the CTF (as in Ridahs Eraser bot for Quake 2)
- New customizable bots (Like Cajun/Eraser)
- A "1337" front-end launcher.
It is my hope that there are many different Doombot projects, & no one single project. Having the plethora of Doom ports is awesome. One can see so many different ideas being done in different ports which would have otherwise been squashed by some team committee. Please, if any of you want to do something with the Doombot source, just do it. Don't talk about it & get caught up in all the silly trappings of having a team (coughOGREcough) & a web site & hype & glory. Just do it, & let your work speak for you. Do it out of a love for the game, not out of a love for glory or a desire to be on a team.
- He isn't a coder. He plans to lead whoever chooses to join him.
- He claims to be the current leader of Strain2, yet the site has him listed as a questionable member. Now, to be fair, the site may not be up to date.
- Some of his grandiose rhetoric reminds me of Grave, or perhaps Monolith's Jason Hall. Does anyone remember Grave? He had hopes of succeeding Chi as the next DosDoom guy. He left the DosDoom team after a failed attempt at a coup, & tried to get most of the team to defect with him. He then announced many plans, like a Doom port, a Gravity Bot, etc., but he lacked focus & direction, running from one thing to another. The last I heard of him, he had "taken over" the Golgotha project, only to ditch that as well after not being able to work with the people on that team. He liked the idea of being in charge of a team or project, & he enjoyed hyping them up, but he didn't seem to care much for the actual work that goes with such things. He was motivated by self-glory or megalomania. My point is that I am very suspicious of people who remind me of Grave.
Mike, I hope you are successful in the goals you delineated. But please don't be doing this just for the rush of being in charge of something. Make it happen for the right reasons. Don't arrogate the Doombot name, & then sit on it. I hope that all my paranoid perceptions are mistaken, & I apologize in advance if they are. I hope you can see where I'm coming from, & not take it personally.
Anyway, here is my wish list for the Doombot source code:
On a final note, I was very impressed with what the Doobot 4.0 did in one of the ffi_z maps. It was going for the SSG that was on a platform, which you needed to climb some perpendicular stairs in order to reach. The bot did just that, & that map wasn't even noded! How about that, eh? Pretty smart bot. A lesser bot would have made a beeline to the SSG, & gotten stuck against the bottom of the platform instead of going around to the stairs.
- That the 3.0 source be used for making a ZDoom compatible node-making bot. Currently, you need to use the Legacy-based 3.0 bot to make nodes for the 4.0 bot. This is bogus, & should be integrated with the ZDoom bot code.
- That the Doombot 4.0 code be integrated into the EDGE code, so that my interest in that project can be rekindled.
- That Yoghurt finds out how Fly got his bot to not cause slowdowns.
- That Yogurt shows Fly how to make the Doombot go from map to map, as the Cajun has successfully done for ages.
- That Randy Heit integrates the Doombot source into ZDoom as an auxilary bot that can run in tandem w/ the ZCajun, allowing matches w/ Doomserv players, ZCajun bots, & Doombots, all together in one big, fragging, blissful throwdown! (/me changes shorts after that one)
- That Carnevil plugs some of that code into his Skulltag bots.
- That bots come out for Boom, SMMU, MBF, etc.
I started playing around w/ the nodemaking in Doombot 3.0, & I realized something that should have been rather obvious--you cannot make nodes for ZDoom-only maps, because Doombot 3.0 is Legacy-based. Sari tru! Maybe you can convert ZDoom maps over to normal Doom, & then make the nodes, but I'm not sure, as I haven't ever done any ZDoom mapping. If anyone has additional insight into solving this conundrum, please let me know.
On another note, Fyrestorm, an individual with a penchant for verbal abuse, has announced his intention to pick up where Fly left off. He is trying to form the Doombot team, though with the publically released source, it is conceivable (& hopeful) that there could be many Doombot teams. I am all for healthy competition, as it tends to let the cream rise to the top, & there are bound to be some great concatenators like Randy Heit who manage to integrate everything into a nice package.
Doombot 4.0 Tweakage
A few clarifications I should make about what I did to tweak my teamplay config:
I left the old botteam.cfg file intact, & made an edited version called ctfteam.cfg, that reads:
// team names MUST be "red" or "blue" to worker properly in ctf mode
color "bf 00 00"
// red team
// blue team
I bound some keys by adding the following to zdoom.cfg:
bind "t" "exec BOTTEAM.CFG"
bind "y" "exec ctfTEAM.CFG"
The old node placing method of using an editor to place black candles will not work with the 4.0 Doombot.
Also, you must use the 3.0 Doombot to make nodetables.
The ZDoombot Cometh
Ahhhh, life is good, isn't it? Doombot 4.0 is Fly's bot-writing swan song, & now he moves on to writing a GL version of Doom. He also released the source code at the same time, so I imagine he intends any bug fixing to be done by someone else.
Excellent fighting & moving. I remember when the old Doombot would bounce around like a pong ball & get stuck in corners. This baby has come a long way. It has a fast reaction time & dodges around nimbly.
Guard & free commands: apparently they work on all bots in sight. Very handy for CTF games, eh?
No more crashing when you change levels! This long time thorn in the Doombot's side has finally been removed.
The Doombot doesn't cause massive slowdown when it gets the RL, unlike the current ZCajun.
Demo playback works great. Fly even includes a demo of himself. I think I should start up the Doombot arenas again, with the maps that he included the nodes for.
Executing the team.cfg during a ctf game results in all red team bots, instead of an even red & blue team matchup. Whoops, I just read the docs, which say that the teams in ctf need to be either "red" or "blue". I changed the botteam.cfg file accordingly, & everything''s working fine.
When you switch levels, the bot appears to follow you to the next map in the scoreboard, but he is actually nowhere to be found. Too bad. Still not up to par with the Cajun in this respect, but it's much closer than it's ever been.
No weapondrop. I always loved how the Cajun could do this, & I miss it with the Doombot.
As you can see, there's some good stuff here, & the bad isn't too terribly bad. Don't forget to change botteam.cfg so the bot teams work properly in ctf mode. Well, grab that source code, somebody, & fix those bugs! Add weapondrop & make the bots go from map to map properly, & this bot will be perfect.
ZDoombot Debuts Soon
Fly had this to say: I'm going to release the new Doombot in a few days :-)
Now, that's a bot I've been looking forward to for a long time. How about you?
Myself, I've been busy working on textures for Skulltag, Doom Resurrection, & most recently Covert Ops. I have some Skulltag texture out-takes that I probably will be releasing soon over at MLP.
Back to the Drawing Board
I've gotten back into the artistic groove, & it's nice. Over the weekend, I started doing some textures for some friends who are working on different projects. There's something about the creative process that is very satisfying. I believe that I may start up some kind of new site here for my art. One personal project I have planned is an unauthorized texture set for SkullTag. I have many ideas that don't fit into the theme Carnevil is striving for, & so I will be releasing some textures that are for 3rd party SkullTag mappers. The flexibility of SkullTag will allow others to invent different gametypes, even ones which Carnevil hasn't thought of--things like Domination, etc. To this end, I would like to get some different ideas out.
Ah, excuse me. There's a flak cannon calling me.
Fellow bot fan Carnevil has a little tidbit of news that we should enjoy hearing:
I've got some really good news for everyone. I've started working with
the Cajun bots contained in ZDoom, and will have Skull Tag bots in the final
release. My hope is that they won't be just limited to just ST, but will be
workable for CTF, Domination, and anything else people come up with using
the ST engine. I've talked with the Cajun bot creator, Yoghurt, and he's
interest in helping out and may be able to lend a helping hand. I also
pretty much ripped apart and put back together how the bots work in ZDoom
over the past day or so. It was a lot of work, but the code is a lot easier
to understand now, will eventually be more powerful, and has also taught me
a ton about how the bots work, meaning I should be able to do lots of cool
things with them. These bots oughta really be something shortly.
Q & A
Fellow UT player Randy Heit was kind enough to answer a few questions for me:
Q: I was wondering if you have gotten around to updating the ZCajun with Yoghurt's latest code.
A: No, I haven't seen any new code from him, and probably won't see any until he hits version 1.0.
Q: Also, with the release of the Quake source, do you plan to look into adding the Quake network code?
A: No, Doom and Quake are different enough that about the only thing useful from Quake's network code I could use would be the code for transmitting reliable and unreliable packets.
On an unrelated note, it seems that Dagger has stopped by Nali City. Look under the December 26th news for a screenshot . . .
One last thing--a few people have asked me to beta test some things for them. They are looking very cool, & I think you will all like these projects when they are completed. That's all I should say for now on that . . .
Final Doombot in the Works?
You do realize that Unreal Tournament has been out. You know what that means for me, right? Yes, I've been through the DM & the Domination tiers. I'm about halfway through the CTF tier. Assault mode is without question the most intense thing I have ever experienced in an FPS.
Ahem, but I digress. My point about the Doombot was that Fly mentioned that he intends to make one last Doombot before retiring from bot-making: a ZDoom-based Doombot. This is wonderful news, eh? I am anxiously awaiting that one.
Another thing that I & some other interested parties are anxiously awaiting is for Randy to update the ZCajun. Let me just say that there are some other things in the works that this will impact . . .
And what of the EDGE bot? Will there even be one? Got me. The team's had the older Cajun source for months, even longer than Randy had it. What will they do with it? Hmmmmm . . .
A Moment of Silence . . .
. . . for the passing of the Doombot. Yes. It's a sad day indeed. Says Fly:
I have bad news... The DoomBot project is closed :-(
I've started another project... opengl Doom :-)
New Cajun 0.98 Really Cooks
Holy cow, the new Cajun rocks! I tried it out in Surge2, which really handicapped the previous Cajun, & this time I got hammered.
The Cajun now strafes & zips around on par with the current Doombot. Instead of shooting fish in a barrel, you become the fish.
This thing will grab all the weapons very quickly, so you'd better run fast to get those guns before they're all taken. In Surge2 maps, they go quickly. too. What really impressed me was how these bots would rush for the weapons the moment they respawn. It was very annoying (heheheh)! Turning on weapondrop alleviates the gun shortage--somewhat.
This new Cajun will really keep you on your toes. I was pretty blunt in my review of the previous version, & Yoghurt has really met the challenge of the then-superior Doombot well. I would say that now both of these bots are pretty competent in combat, & now the race for the extra features remains.
I was very pleased to see that Yoghurt plans to implement "follow" & "guard" commands for bots, as this will work great with CTF games.
Nodes are back, but now you have raw node files (*.t) & compiled (*.tbl) node files.
To place nodes, go around the map using console command addnode to place nodes, which are visible as lamps. Bind a key to addnode by using bind (key) addnode so that you only have to press one button. As usual, nodes should be placed so that the each node is visible to the next one. Then, when you're finished adding nodes, you type savenodes (filename without extension) at the console, which will generate the raw nodes file, which will have the file name you specified plus a ".t" extension.
To compile the raw nodes file, just use the p.exe file to run the following: p tablename.t -max 1500. The -max value can be between 1000 & 8000. Higher value = better nodes & longer compile time. After p.exe compiles, it will spit out a .tbl file, which you then load during the game with loadnodes (filename without extension).
Yoghurt also released Doom Wars, which allows you to spawn monsters during deathmatches & Cajun botmatches, which cost varying amounts of mana, which appear as glowing blue orbs in the game. Use map item # 111 to place mana in levels with any good wad editor.
There are new commands which are set up in the options--setup keys menu. They allow you to toggle between spawning & normal shooting, cycle through monster types, & command your monsters to guard or follow. The follow command doesn't seem to be working just yet. Also, is you try to spawn a barricade, it will crash the game.
I can see some strategic elements, in that you would want to make monsters guard the mana respawn areas. Yoghurt plans to make the mana spread like the tiberium in C&C, as well as adding gun towers.
I would love to see some kind of control points that you can gain points for controlling, like Domination mode in Unreal Tournament (which you really must try, if your rig can run it). CTF would also be a complete blast with Doom Wars.
I have tried out the latest ZDoomGL, & my dream has come true. Kokak has fixed everything that I wanted to see fixed:
Md2 support is in. Together with the player md2's done by Edmundo Bordeu, & all the essentials for the ZDoomGL botmatch experience are in place.
It is now possible to load external wads with custom graphics! I was ecstatic to see the old favorite, gothic2.wad map30, in all its glory.
Those rocket trails are the most beautiful thing to behold. The first rocket I fired, I sat stunned, mouth agape, tears of joy welling up in my eyes. Never mind that they are slightly offset from the rocket md2's, I was still in awe.
Dynamic lighting & coronas work. A wonderful thing.
Thank you. Thank you to everyone who has made this all possible. Thank you to all who have made features which were integrated into ZDoom. Randy, the great concatenator, you are the man. Thank you for ZDoom. Kokak, you have been working very hard & made impressive progress in a few short weeks. Thank you for the wonderful GL work. Yoghurt, thank you for sharing the Cajun source & continuing to develop your bot. Thank you to all the modellers who have made the great md2's. I love how this has all been coming together, all without the trumpeting & hype of an official team. Just everybody stepping up to the occasion & contributing in their own way, & everything coming together in an awesome spontaneous jam session.
And now, the wish list for ZDoomGL:
Fix the offset rocket trails. They are very beautiful, but not properly aligned.
The player models need to change color properly. ATM they're all green.
Ability to have different models as well as skins (eg Q2's PPM's).
How about a visible weapons feature? We have the weapon models, & they are the right size. How about having them mount on the player's hands? That would look sweet, especially with weapondrop 1.
Edmundo, how about getting rid of the rifle that drops beside the dead player model? With weapondrop 1, it looks kind of funky to have a rifle & a RL both dropped.
The skin on the chaingun model is messed up / blacked out on the sides.
Speed optimization! It gets really slow. How much is the infamous Cajun slowdown, & how much is the md2 support? Unreal & Unreal Tournament play faster on my machine!
Md2 animation optimization! The animations are too stilted & slo-mo ATM.
Doombot! Fly, share your code with Randy! Your bot would have been in ZDoom first instead of Cajun if you had been the first to share your code with him. & the prospect of having yours & Yoghurt's bots in ZDoom together is something that makes me drool. Think of the wonderful things that could result of your collaborating with Randy & Yoghurt: Your bot could learn to go from level to level without crashing & to drop weapons, the Cajun could learn to stop slowing down people's computers, & your bots could smack each other & the player around in the same botmatch! Excuse me, I need to breathe into a paper bag now . . .
ZCajun Reevaluation, etc.
Well, I was a little unfair in my assessment of the new ZCajun, as most of my testing was in the Surge2 maps, which gave the ZCajun a lot of trouble. I just tried the ZCajun out in some of the Gothic 1 & 2 maps, & the bots fared very well, with a few exceptions, like the Darkness Beneath. And I must say that I really love the atmosphere of the American Gothic level. The music goes with the look so well.
I am looking forward to seeing the Doombot porting over to ZDoom, as that is the only port that lets me play music. & let me tell you, these midi songs sound sweet on my system. Plus, The pending ZDoomGL will make a wonderful addition to botmatches.
Perhaps Randy will integrate these 2 bots so we could spawn a few ZCajuns & ZDoombots into the same game? That would be very cool. It was a concept that was discussed by the DosDoom coders for the Deathbot's ai, but sadly, development on DosDoom bots has halted. Another thing I would love to see in ZDoom, & it certainly is plausible given that it uses some of the Hexen code, is the use of classes. This could really open the door for a true TF mod, & with Zscripting, this would be very cool indeed. How great it would be if you could spawn bots of different classes! The different classes, besides having different abilities, could also have different ai's. The Doombot ai could be used for CTF offensive classes (flagrunning), ZCajun for freelancing & defense, etc.
Enindo has sent in some nodes, which I will post after I check them out. There are some very important new additions to the Doombot nodes that will make it able to use platforms & ride them up to get to specific items. Nodes like teleport, use, move slower, stop, & wait can make the Doombot do things no other bot for Doom has been able to do. It will be great to see the Doombot get used to its full potential. Hey, Fly, how about some additional nodes like camp & defend? & maybe an escort node which makes the bot wait until a teammate enters its fov & then it follows that teammate? Would be cool for CTF type scenarios.
Back to the Front
Okay, I had my little fun with the Unreal Tournament, & I am definitely looking forward to the full version. That game epitomizes everything I enjoy in the fps genre. Bots, game modes, mutators, scores, announcements--wow. I have always been one upgrade behind the cutting edge gaming masses, & this is a rare treat to get to participate in the latest Big Thing as it comes out.
The Unreal mapping community is mindblowingly strong & vibrant, with tons of incredibly cool maps coming out constantly. Since Unreal maps will work with Unreal Tournament, we will see a lot of great maps that will work with it. When the full verion of UT comes out, you may see me drop out of sight for a bit again--but at least you know why.
Re: Doom, I finally checked out the latest ZCajun, & I must agree with Carnevil, who said that it is much slower now. I fragged the living daylights out of two bots through most of the Surge 2 maps, & completely outmatched them at a ratio of 10:1. I will have to play around with the bot cfg file to try to make them more challenging. I fired up the latest original Cajun for comparison, & again it was quite easy. I think it is the layout of the maps which may cause the trouble, because they did quite well in Edge, which I believe was done by those Brits who made Brit11 (but what an annoying scream that wad has!). Fly's latest Doombot was far more challenging, moving & strafing much more nimbly than the flatfooted Cajun. In fact, there were occasional moments when the Doombot would zip away with unbelievable speed (as in cheatingly fast). Also, I noticed the "spinning bot" animation bugs that plagued the original ZCajun. Ah, well. I should try them out one-on-one rather than with two bots, as your chances are better against two or more bots than with just one. You see, with just one bot, you are the object of its undivided attention, but against more bots, you stand much better odds.
I have always loved the concept of the Surge series: small, nicely detailed maps with maximum flow for true fragfests. One of my favorite maps from Fragfest Initialized was Hector's Cellar, a very Surge-ish map (heh, Mike Tawney is probably wondering why I didn't like that new map he put in his RageDM 1.1 then). I like what I've seen of the Surge 2 maps. The detail is better, & there is some good variety on the trademark square with a crossover layout that Surge was famous for. In fact, some of the maps are quite roomy.
BTW, since the latest Doombot uses nodes, hopefully Enindo or some other will become inspired to send in some nodetables for the Doombot. I saw that there was a new map called Boo that came with a Doombot nodetable included. Send in some Doombot nodes, folks!
Sorry true, but I have been away in bot heaven. Some may know it by its other names, Unreal & Half Life. Yes, I have been enjoying the splendors of out-of-the-box botmatches in Unreal, & patched-up added-on Phineas Bots in Half Life. Everything I have been pleading with the various Doom port teams to do, Unreal already is. Can you blame me, a former semper fi Doomer, for seeing my two mistress games? Alas, I haven't even checked out the latest Doombot or ZCajun.
And since I am feeling particularly cheeky tonight, I will respond to Prower's little DM mapping rant with my own rather uncharacteristic, unmellow rant:
Prower, & any of you other denizens of the SP ghettos, we DM'ers are blessed by the DM offerings of Afterglow & Dagger. They add yet more to the wonderful DM experience. While you bemoan the creation of DM maps, I experience a similar hand-wringing whenever the only maps to come out are the SP maps. Yet, I realize that there are different people out there who like different styles of play, & so I hold my tongue--until now.
Nothing personal, but Helios bored me to tears--just as any other SP map would. I played through some of it, but the stifling linearity of SP made me scream & "F10 Y" so I could load up another free-flowing botmatch.
While you SP'ers wonder what appeal there is to DM, I likewise wonder what can be the allure of experiencing a Doom version of "Groundhog Day", only instead of Bill Murray smashing the alarm clock as it blares out the same song every morning, it is the marine capping the same old imp around the same old corner. "Gee, I wonder what's on the other side of that door." In single play, you are always starting over when you die, like hitting rewind. You feel as though you have failed. Yuck.
Prower, here is what we DM'ers like about DM: the chaos, the free-flowing spontaneity. It's like a sporting event. In DM, when you are fragged, it's just another score, another play. You keep on going. You talk smack & return the favor as you respawn, grab the SSG, & rush to where you saw the guy heading after he fragged you, perhaps even ambushing him. The tide of the battle can change back & forth as one player puts together a run of frags, only to be beaten back as the other player makes a comeback. Figuring out your opponent's strategy, & implementing your own, that is something that no SP experience can deliver. So to each his own, buddy. Let the mappers make the maps they want, & you make the maps you want.
One exception to the SP experience would have to be co-op, which I experienced for the first time in Unreal, & was it ever a blast. I was with two others, & it was like being on an adventure. Very fun.
Doombot 3.0 Released
The new node system!
I've included node tables for tntgrvnc.wad MAP18, gothic2.wad MAP11,
yardz.wad and MAP16 of the doom2.wad.
You can still play using the old node system of course...
Bots can open Doors and activate switches.
DoomBot 3.0 supports three deathmatch modes: deathmatch 1,2 and 3 :)
You can add bots in regular deathmatch by starting the DoomBot with
"addbot x" parameter, where x is a number of bots.
CTF doesn't work... I'll fix it in the next version and I'll add new ctf
Cajun v0.97 Released
Yes, Yoghurt has released his latest cajun bot and some bug fixes and
improvements in this version:
Fixed the crash error completion fixed
Other improvements (minor bugs fixed..)
Yoghurt has also given Randy his latest source of Cajun v.97 bot, so Randy
can upgrade his latest ZCajun.
Fly is finally back in action. He was out of the picture for the summer, due to computer problems. He has a new board & plans to release the latest Doombot "soon". The teamplay is supposed to be very good, & the nodes work well. The CTF support is broken, though, & he said he is "too lazy" to fix it. Let's hope that he gets motivated soon, eh? But the new Doombot will be absolutely brutal. It is by far the best-moving bot yet. It dodges like a pro, & it is very fast. But there will be skill settings, so you can tone it down if you want.
I've been rather hooked on Unreal lately--that game is a bot lover's paradise. I've heard Unreal get a bad rap for the multiplayer, but I have found it to be easier to pick up a multiplayer Unreal game than I have with Quake2, & the gameplay has been as smooth as I could ever want. The weapons do require a lot more accuracy, with the exception of the flack cannon (my favorite weapon), & so that does make for some more drawn-out battles sometimes. The turbo setting is quite fast, though, & so you can crank things up if you want. & the graphics are absolutely stunning, & on my machine it runs as smoothly as Doom. Life is good.
Wildman released a rather new map called King of the Hill, & I must say that it looks like it would be a blast on Doomserv. Everyone spawns in a big room with obscene amounts of weapons & other stuff, & it is a race to get across the courtyard & into a control room that overlooks it. This room has 5 types of switches: One will cause one half of the courtyard to be blanketed in plasma. Another will cover the other half of the courtyard with caco fireballs. Another will blast the stairs leading to the control room with tons of imp fireballs. Another will launch a ring of 255 rockets that come out of the center of the courtyard & radiate outwards. The last type of switch will open & close the shutter on the control room window. Unfortunately, you don't get any frags for using those switch-activated weapons.
ParadoX has confirmed that Yoghurt has indeed sent the 0.95 Cajun source to Randy, so we should see an updated ZCajun as well. Good news, eh?
I've been trying out the new versions of the Cajun, both in Vicious.wad. I must say, that map07 really grows on me.
The Cajun 0.95 is much more human-like. Its vision is much like a human's, allowing you to blindside it or sneak up on it like you would a human. Also, the new use of the instinct of self-preservation is readily apparent, as the bots will grab some health in the middle of a battle, or run away if you happen to beat up on it too much. And the bot will not run up close to you like it used to, saying "I would like an SSG blast administered pointblank, please." Very, very nice. The nodes are no longer needed, but I have noticed that it gets stuck in some strange places now, like in gothicdm.wad map01, where it will hug a certain pillar every time. Also, the way the bot fights is very life-life as it will jump around a corner, fire off a shot, & duck back. I was reminded of Mr. Elusive's Omicron bot for Quake, & that is high praise indeed. However, one serious bummer is that the latest Cajun has lost one of the features that had endeared it to me so much--it no longer can go from map to map without crashing. Now, you have to stop & restart if you want to go to the next map, just like you have to do with Fly's Doombot.
The new ZCajun, which is found in the new ZDoom test 9, still suffers from the run-up-close syndrome, though perhaps Yoghurt will be passing his new 0.95 code along to Randy. The spinning has been fixed, & a good thing, as that was very annoying. The ZCajun has inhuman speed, & will cap you instantly when you get within sight. If you play against the ZCajun after you have been playing against the Cajun 0.95, you will be trounced upon. And what is perhaps the best thing about this version is that it can play all the maps of FFi_Z without crashing. Now I'm a happy non-camper.
Heh, that last remark in the previous paragraph has inspired me to do a little ranting. I really dislike camping. Or sniping. My style of DM is a roaming around type of play, always moving, looking for powerups & weapons, & of course targets. I like the tactic that Romero mentioned about timing your route through a map so that you are grabbing certain items each time they respawn. Sniping strikes me as very timid & boring. Get in there & mix it up! & what I hate the most is the "Goldilocks" player. You know the type. "This map doesn't have enough health!" & they hit the exit switch, without even considering that everybody else might want to play that map. "This map is too small!" & they hit the exit switch. "This map is too big!" & they hit the exit switch. There was a Goldilocks type in Doomserv who I will never play in another game again (Carnevil may remember that guy). By the time he finally got to a map that was "just right", I was so ticked off that I was ready to leave the game. Oh, well . . .
Cajun 0.95 Released
Yoghurt asked me to host Cajun 0.95 here until he can fix a problem with his ftp setup, so here it is.
New movement code without nodes.
Somewhat improved brains.
Lava, nukage etc., avoidance.
Demo recording, when bots are added with the 'b' key.
Real view for bots.
Bots don't run up close.
Isp is used more.
Spinning ZCajun Fixed
This is rather old news, but the latest ZDoom has fixed the spinning bot problem.
More ZCajun Nodes, Goldeneye
Enindo had sent me these a few days ago, but Telefragged's ftp site was being most uncooperative for the past few days, so I haven't been able to post them until today. Anyway, here are ZCajun nodes for Gothic2 & Vicious.
This was released early last month--a dehacked based 007 Goldeneye DM mod for ZDoom that I found at the Ghostbusters page. I tried it out with the ZCajun (of course), & it was great. There are two modes of play--normal & license to kill. The latter mode starts you off with 1 health point, so one shot frags are the order of the day. It definitely makes the DM experience more intense, similar to the fast-fragging action of Breed DM or BatBot DM. The graphics & sounds are great, as is the new player sprite. The map wasn't very bot-friendly, & didn't flow too well, but you don't get this mod for the map, so that's okay.
Now, Enindo has sent in ZCajun nodes for Gothic DM 1. Enjoy.
BTW, props to Dagger on the new map. Great layout, & excellent gameplay with 2 bots. The complaints he's received about the monotexture scheme ring true to me as well. Things would be easier to discern with more variety in the textures. The layout & flow are excellent, though, & those are the most important features for a DM map.
One map I failed to mention a while ago is Wildman's SlipnSlide, which you will need the ZCajun to play. It is very cool, very novel. Wildman is quite the experimenter. Sadly, he plans to move on to Unreal & Unreal Tournament editing now. Now, before you begin wringing your hands about the community dying, remember that Wildman has left before to try out new vistas, & brought back what he learned to make some great Doom maps. Remember the Unreal-inspired MPain? Well, I think it would be real classy if we all sent him a thank you note for all his Doom work & then let him move on without getting all clingy. & that would be a good way to handle any other departures from the community as well. & it would be good for us to show the newcomers some appreciation, too. We have some great new maps by newcomers, which brings a new infusion of talent to the scene.
Father Nodes best
Our insomniac nodesbuilder Enindo has sent in more nodes: Surge, Bloodlands, Grievance, Pursuit, & Eternal DM.
Vicious Cajun Bots
Trying out those nodes with the Cajun Bot in Vicious.wad yielded some nice results, though the bots didn't do well on all the maps.
Map01 Abbate This arena style map had the central room as the hub of activity, though some of the large wings became the sites of various side skirmishes. There are a lot of tricks & secrets to this map which must be accessed to get the better firepower. Some of the areas left you trapped in a dead end with poor firepower when you respawned, which wasn't good when the bot was roaming the center with a big gun, so this map isn't best suited for 1-on-1. The action was best with at least 4 bots, & you actually stand a better chance against more than one bot, as they will fight amongst each other & let you come in to mop up.
Map02 Stadia As the name implies, this is a stadium, obviously another arena style map, & it was an absolute blast. It reminded me of gladiators or a demolition derby. The platform in the middle reminded me of Tempest. Lots of action in this map, & the bots loved it too.
Map03 Ring This is a much more difficult map to navigate, & the bots do poorly. One thing that will always get the Cajun stuck is an impassible linedef like a grating or window. The bot will try to move toward what it can see through the linedef & not be able to move.
Map04 Sector 4 This map was fairly open, & the teleports made for some quick changes. The bots moved around well.
Map05 Second Coming This location-based map looks good, & has a variety of distinctive areas. However, the impassible bars made for more bot-traps. Now this isn't always bad, if you want to make the bots concentrate on sniping & camping, but for the more free-roaming style of play I enjoy, it was a bit of a drag.
Map06 Another Bad Place This is of course based on the Quake map with the similar name, & it does feature the same claustrophobic fragfest. The teleports make for some good ambushes. However, the Cajun really needs a lava avoidance routine, as they fell into the lava far too often. the Doombot of course would do much better, as Fly has made his bot much smarter in this area.
That is all I have time for at the moment.
Vine, Vide, Node
Enindo graciously sent in some Cajun Bot (not ZCajun, though) nodes for no less than 75 maps: Gothic DM 1 & 2, & the recent wad Vicious. Says Enindo, It's my way of contributing to the Doom bot community. Thank you, Enindo!
It's always a good thing to see some new DM maps, & there are a few out there that you may have heard of already. One just came out, & the other was recommended by Vicious Killer, & so it was a recent discovery for me:
Vicious is a new set of maps by some previously unknown mappers. Their debut is a good one. These maps look very good. Actually, I would have looked at these maps back on July 18th, when Schronzki told me that "I
guarantee it's no junk", but the recently released Q3test had clogged up the ftp sites & I couldn't bear the sluggish download. I will have to test them out with some bots. One thing I will mention is that the map "Depressed" is aptly named, because it looks wonderful, but the SSG & RL are merely bait for a death-trap, which is, well, depressing.
Another set of maps, Forever, is up at the Execution site, & features 4 fast fragging maps. One is very reminiscent of E1M2. The textures are nice, but the falsetto death-scream quickly gets annoying. Some may object to the pain sound as well. However, the weapon sounds are very nice.
I am anxiously awaiting some new bot versions--aren't you? The current Cajun still has a big problem with running towards you--this works very well when it is wielding the chainsaw, but is inappropriate in any other situation. But on the other hand, it chases you through the maps very well. It just needs to keep a proper distance.
And of course, I am anxious to see the newest Doombot. Having tried out the 2.5 beta, I can assure you that it annihilates the current Cajun--and any player who goes against it. That skill level feature will be good for people who want to have their pride intact after playing against this bot.
Hopefully, Randy will implement the teamplay in the ZCajun. He has a lot on his plate, but he may get around to addressing it. Yoghurt has expressed a desire to see the Cajun remain part of the ZDoom code, so we should see some continued collaboration on the ZCajun as Yoghurt makes improvements to the Cajun code.
BTW, I have to say that the best bot author alive still hasn't made a bot for Doom. Who is it? None other than Mr. Elusive, who has written the Omicron for Quake & the Gladiator for Quake2. These bots are so realistic, it is frightening. I asked him to make a Doom bot, let's see what he thinks . . .
Cajun Page With Another New Look, Clan Names Needed
Over at Yoghurt's homepage he re-designed the look and made his own selections easier to view. Go check it out!
Yoghurt, you know, has been working on his Clan World mod. He needs player names and clan names. Got any? Email Yoghurt, because he's really looking for good names. :-) And don't forget to check it out at his screenshot over at his page. Enjoy! :-)
Back in The Saddle
" . . . tonight I'm like a loaded (supershot)gun . . . ."
It's funny how the best connection I've had in weeks was through a free isp called Netzero. I will be dropping my current isp like a hot potatoe. Connect first time, & get a good ping (380--best I've ever had there) at Doomserv. What more could you ask from an isp, right? ;-)
Ah, yes, it felt good to get back on Doomserv & try out dmsrv1 with its creator, Carnevil. I must say that there is quite an assortment of map types there.
Map01 reminds me of map01 from the original Doom2.wad for some reason. It also reminded me of the map that Aurican's first bot used (does anyone remember that bot?). I got off to a bad start, & was out of synch for much of the match. "been a long time since I've rock & rolled" on Doomserv. I got in a few frags, but Carnevil had me down most of the time. To give you an idea of how badly I was doing, I charged out into the open area after getting the soulsphere, BFG, & the blur sphere, & I still got fragged without landing a single BFG blast effectively. Ugh. I think I had the mouse sensitivity up too high--you know how it is when you turn on the frameskipping. Why I didn't turn it down is beyond me.
Map02 is way too open, so we skipped that one.
Map03 was very, very fun. It may very well be my favorite. I loved the walkway through the lava, which was an extra challenge since we were playing on Doomserv, & occasionally had some lag. It was like iceskating, or walking a tightrope. That & the push ramps & wind tunnels. I found out that when you play the creator of the map, he knows exactly where you will be coming out of the wind tunnel, & will have a rocket waiting to greet you. :-)
Map04, the conveyor belt arena, was tremendous fun as well. It reminded me of a rollerskating rink, & the hilarious thing was that if you get fragged while standing on the belt, you will go for a little ride until you decide to respawn.
Map05, Sin, was too big for two players, & we didn't even bother. Heheheh I sound like Goldilocks. Well, maps 3 & 4 were just right. :-)
One thing that helped me out was the occasional lag. I don't know about you, but I seem to do better in a lagged game. Time slows down. I can anticipate things & strategize. Flood could tell you about how well I do in a lagged game. Heheheh.
I would really like to upload ROKS & Breed DM to Doomserv, but I have some simplified version I would want to use. Got to see if they are cool with Fanatic first, though.
One nice thing to have would be a list of pre-made nodes for maps. If you have made nodelists for the Cajun (Legacy or ZDoom flavored), why don't you send them over to me, & I'll start up a nodelist section.
Wildman has become inspired by the ZCajun, & there is a new bot-friendly map over at his place.
If you have Half-Life, & have been waiting forever for a bot, then you will be pleased to know that there is a very rough but functional Phineasbot test over at the Half-Life Bot Central.
I generally do not visit GameCenter often, as I feel that it is a commercial whore of a site that dangles banner-spawning mouseclicks for its readers like carrots--to click on a half-dozen links to view a single article is not uncommon there. Nevertheless, they have posted a very nice writeup of deathmatch commandments, if you are willing to jump through all their hoops to read its entirety.
The above rant reminds me--long ago I invited Killcreek & even Romero to check out the Doombot, & more recently I invited to Thresh to check out all the dm mods that have been out for Doom, but I've heard nothing from any of them. Now I know that they & others are trying to make a living, but they really need to relax sometimes & hang with us little people sometimes, too (Martinus, a level designer from 3dRealms, will kick back & play DosDoom sometimes--too bad more people in the biz don't). If they go whoring around too much, they are going to get bitten, I think. Example: the Daikatana deathmatch demo, which is Mplayer only (it reminds me of the deal Shaq made to only sign autographs for a certain card company--great PR move to snub fans in person like that, buddy). That was a bad decision, probably made by the allure of a tempting deal which I believe has hurt them big time in the long run. I mean, how many people are willing to download something that can only be played on Mplayer? Not me, & I have been interested in Daikatana, but not to the extent that I am willing to get bogged down in the Mplayer scene again.
While I'm on the subject, do you ever wonder if the reason Blue ignores most Doom news is because Doom is no longer profitable? He only mentions Doom news that pertains to 3d acceleration (which of course is still big business), so if you have done something Doom-related that doesn't fit that criteria, prepare to be ignored by him, even if you send him news.
Cajun Bot progress...?
At Cajun bot's homepage, Yoghurt has mentioned the new Cajun for Zdoom, & of
course that he sent his sources to Randy (which is now one of those great moments in Doom bot history).
Also, there were some failures in Yoghurt's latest beta Cajun:
The network play with bots FAILED.
And his new monster mod is almost complete. I can't wait to try it out for myself! :-)
In the other news, you guys know about the Zdoom is now featured by
Yoghurt's famous bot to play with. We all know that it's a good realistic
deathmatch opponent. Now with Zdoom, it's never been
better. If you don't have the latest Zdoom test7, go to Zdoom's homepage for
I noticed that Randy had disabled the bot thinking for single
player mode, and he has added some performance
counters. Use the stat console command to view them with these
commands of Zdoomtest:
stat fps : Time spent rendering the scene (not the same as vid_fps 1)
stat bots : Time spent doing bot-related activities
stat think : Time spent running all thinkers
The bot acts a lot like the Legacy version of the
Cajun bot...but you can see the bot's view in zdoom by hitting "F12". It gets a little
sloppy from its view...but it's close enough. I don't know if demo recording with
bots works or not . . .
More ZCajun Info
The latest word from Randy Heit re: ZCajun is the following:
I commented out that Cajun code for teamplay since I don't do teamplay the
same way as Legacy. Due to the way I read the bots.cfg, you should still be
able to use teamplay anyway. Anything in a bot's record that isn't
understood is treated as an userinfo string. So just add an entry "team
xxx" for the bots and substitute the appropriate team names. Then set
teamplay to 1, and it should work. To see all the available userinfos, open
the console and type cvarlist. All the cvars preceded with a "U" are
userinfo cvars and can be used in a bot's entry. (I think team and autoaim
are the only ones that I didn't use, and autoaim is set automatically for
you, because the bots require autoaim to be able to hit anything above or
Also unlike the Cajun, entries in a bot's record can appear in any order,
and the game won't hang if they're not in the order you see them in the
Re: ZCajun Bot
ZDoom author Randy Heit pointed out a concern he had for my suggested name for the batch file for launching the Cajun Bot in his implementation of the Cajun Bot, which in yesterday's post was referred to as zbot.bat, but is now called zcajun.bat:
. . . would you please change the suggested name of zbot.bat that (you) put on your bots site? I don't want this referred to as the ZBot, because 1) It's still basically the Cajun Bot, and (most importantly) 2) The ZBot is a very notorious cheating bot for Quake2 from the author of the StoogeBot. Call it the ZBot, and you're just begging for more letters accusing you of supporting cheating bots.
Heheheh true, true. I am new to Q2, having only had it for about 3 days now, & so I was unaware of the cheating ZBot for Q2. And might I add that you know that it's time to finally buy Q2 when Best Buy has it for $16. And let me tell you, it is quite nice. CRBot & PPM's rock. But I digress . . .
One Stoogebot-like behavior that I noticed was that the shooting frames aren't quite right, resulting in moments when the ZCajun will shoot out of its back--very disconcerting when you are trying to sneak up on it . . .
The ZCajun isn't entirely stable, as many of you already know. In FFI (one wad I have been dying to try bots out on), the only maps I have been able to run without crashing have been 02 & 11, which are my favorite maps anyway. 02 is a great Surge-type small map for fragfests, & 11 is my favorite for big games. I wonder what is in those other maps that crash the ZCajun? Hmmm . . .
Gothic2.wad ran great on all the maps I tried, as did the great new Doomserv1 by Carnevil (BTW, Carnevil, sorry I haven't been over at Doomserv in so long--ISP trouble has caused terrible connections lately) & the Skulltag team.
Teamplay seems to be un-implemented as for now. It was conspicuously absent from Randy's rundown of ZCajun commands, & when I tried it, I got 3 bots of the same color as me in a free-for-all, rather than one bot of my color/team & two of another color/team. All in time, I'm sure.
Zdoom 118test6 With Bots!
ZDoom 118test6 is now available at Zdoom's homepage. Look at their features
at the ZDoom homepage! :-)
Yes, we finally have bots for Zdoom, and you
guys can thank Yoghurt for sending his latest cajun bot source to
Randy, who integrated Zdoom with the bots code. It's just like the Legacy's
command stuff. Nothing's changed, other than now you can remove the bots.
(NOTE: I recommend making a zcajun.bat file, which would contain the following:
@zdoomtest.exe -deh railgun.bex -nomonsters -deathmatch -skill 5 %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7
Then you could use the following command line with it:
zbot -file ffi_z.wad -warp 2
Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Um . . .
I have been remiss in mentioning this, but Darkfang very kindly gave me a look at the beta of Thrust. In its current condition, it is nowhere near being as complete & polished as that public beta which we all got to see long ago, but it has made the transition over to the win32 platform, so that is progress. I was unable to keep it running for long--it would crash after a minute or so of play, leaving my desktop in 320x200 res & what looked like 16 colors. Also, I couldn't change the controls to my favorite WASD & mlook config, so I was stuck in the now-unacceptable-to-me default config. But this is a beta, & is bound to have some problems, so no worries, brothers. I am sure that the finished product will be very fine.
Despite all the drawbacks the beta had, I did get to see the bots in action, & I did get to see some of the new monsters. Let me say that the bots are very effective in capping monsters. The level with bots was the one shown in the screenies I have of Thrust in the bots info page. One of the many interesting things I got to see was an egg that would hatch when shot at. What came out was a very cool monster. Thrust will be extremely cool when it comes out.
In other beta news, Yoghurt surprised me with a taste of his technopriest mod. Shooting would spawn friendly monsters (well actually they used the resurrection frames) rather than fire a weapon. I could cycle through the available monsters using IDFA. It was quite fun to set up different monster vs. monster battles.
Silence is Madness
A fellow bot aficianado named Randar reported waaay back on June 25th that none of the current bots for Doom worked on his Sound Blaster Live, though the latest Legacy worked fine. I recommended he try the Cajun 0.71, which was of course based on the latest Legacy. He did, to no avail, & so back to Unreal & Q2 bots he went.
Now it seems that ParadoX has similar problems with his SB Live--well, no sound, just music.
If the public outcry of Doomers with SB Live boards becomes great, then let's hope that our esteemed bot authors will be able to solve this conundrum. Also, ParadoX is going to check around the Legacy forum to see if an answer may be found therein.
I know that my own AudioPCI 64 doesn't play music properly for any port but ZDoom--it's an emulation problem, apparently. These new generation sound cards seem to be having some problems with backwards compatibility, eh?
Hold onto your hats, folks. Yoghurt has agreed to send the source code to the Cajun Bot to Randy Heit. What will become of this? Well, I can imagine a bot that works in Doomserv games, Ground Zero, FFi, Skulltag, Reclamation, etc. Let's hope that Randy doesn't just sit on that bot source, but rather that his next version of ZDoom includes a bot. I have heard him express an interest in seeing a ZDoom bot, so now is our chance to see one!
Yoghurt does not want to personally do the porting himself, though his recent work on the Cajun has been to make his bot easy for others to port. If the Doom community gave out Nobel Peace Prizes, Yoghurt would get one for his generosity in sharing his source code, first with the DosDoom team, & now with the author of ZDoom.
We'll have to wait & see what becomes of this recent development. Will we get to first see a Cajun bot that works with those DDF mods that are out (Valkyrie, Demolition, Bloodfoot, Gokuma's beta weapons) & are in the works (QDoom), or one that we can play in those Boom / ZDoom only maps?
The Good, The Bad, & The Cheaters
Usually, my page has received good feedback, for which I am always thankful. However, today I got a most indignant email from a very anti-bot person.
His missive reads as follows:
You should realize (appearently you don't), that bots destroy the fun and purpose of mulitiplayer gaming. Dispensing such files and info makes you an enemy of the games
you supposedly love. You and others like you are doing a disservice to gamers evrywhere. When I encounter a bot in a game, I feel like he is a thief and it pisses me off.
He is a thief because I spent money on the game so I could enjoy the competition of multiplayer gaming (and ofcourse single player as well). So, a player using a bot is
stealing from me some of the money I spent on the game by deteriorating the purity of competition. You are then, a theif.
While the contention that someone using a bot has stolen money from him is quite a stretch, Wroughtiron does raise some good points, & my purpose is quoting his email is not to flame him. It does, & rightfully so, point out the reprehensible nature of the cheating bots, like the Stoogebot for Quake. Apparently, he thought that my page is dedicated to these cheating bots.
Cheating bots like the Stoogebot work as a buffer between the player & the server. It is the cheat bot which actually connects to the server, & the player plays through the cheat bot. The cheat bot takes over the targeting & aiming for the player, giving the player inhuman accuracy & speed in targeting & aiming. All the player does is move around, & the cheat bot handles the targeting & shooting. This gives that player a tremendously unfair advantage.
Using a cheat bot is, like any other cheating, incredibly lame, & I utterly condemn the use of such "bad" bots. The bots I showcase at this page are not cheating bots.
There are currently no cheat bots for Doom, & I hope it stays that way for a long time. The bots we have for Doom are "good", & are simply for simulating deathmatch by generating computer-controlled opponents, which allows a person who is not connected to a network to practice multiplayer.
If there are any other people who, like Wroughtiron, had the impression that all bots are cheating bots, then let me tell you all that you are mistaken. The bots in Unreal are not cheating bots. People aren't anxiously awaiting bots in Half-Life so they can storm into a server with a bot doing all their aiming. Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament, & Team Fortress 2 aren't all boasting about having bots that enable rampant cheating--they are all talking about bots that allow one to experience multiplayer while actually in single player mode.
On another note, you may have noticed the new graphic at the top. It is my first creation on my new Corel Dream 3d 8. It is one sweet package, especially after making do for so long with a collection of freeware apps to do my rendering. And no, this is not a warez version. I have too much respect for hard-working programmers to rip them off like that.
Check Your Fly
Fellow bot enthusiast ParadoX brought to my attention that Fly posted some new info re: the 2.5 Doombot, which I mentioned testing back in May. It's encouraging news of some good progress. I will comment on a few of the items here:
There's a new node system, which I don't think is based on the black candles of the 2.3 CTF bot. Rather, these nodes are placed by starting the bot in with a special parameter. Then you go around the map & place nodes via console command. This can be good or bad, as you will really need to make sure that you place the nodes within sight of each other. Perhaps they will be visible in the special node-placing mode. Also, to be able to place (& move) the nodes in a map can be very handy for tweaking. But this new node system might not rely on line-of-sight from one node to the next. I just don't know ATM.
The bots can open doors, which they could do back in May, but now they can operate switches as well. This can be a very bad thing if the level changing bug (where the bot crashes when you change levels during a game & spawn a bot--a problem which has plagued the Doombot ever since Fly switched to the Legacy codebase) hasn't yet been fixed. I don't mind the Cajun tripping the end level switch, because we can go to the next map with no problems, but if changing levels means crashing the bot, then you'd better keep the Doombot away from the end level switch!
doombot will not use end level switch! :-) A bot can use a switch if I put a special node near it... --Fly
The Doombot will allow you to add bots of varying skill, rather than a default skill. This is good, as the 2.5 version I tested in May was extremely tough, daunting even. Though having a very strong challenge is a good thing, too, there are still times when you want a gentler bot. :-)
Archived Bot News
Unofficial DosDoom Page
Deathmatch Doom Bots
Yoghurt's Cajun Bot
Co-op Doom Bots
Yoghurt's Cajun Bot
Marine's Best Friend
Thrust Lost Troopers
Hack Your Own Bots
Doom Bot Accessories
Wolf3d CTF Map/Skins
Quake Marine Skin