TankScript Arena Concept

One of the oldest visions of computing is being able to control a robot tank, from console based simulators to Battle Bots.

Of course, for me the idea isn’t that I’d be able to remote control a robot tank. But rather, that I could write software that allows the tank to control itself. This could be from the simplest of heuristics to a complete weak artificial intelligence system. Around the same time, it also struck me that most of the programming language teaching systems are aimed at the very young with the simplest of constructs. It’s like the entire industry wants kids to go from Scratch to Eclipse. (See how I built that straw man to position my product!)

The goal of the system is to be able to control robot tanks that fight in an arena, where the only advantage one has over the other is the quality of the code. This arena would allow players to compete against each other through tournaments, training and challenges. Of course, that’s the end-game and there’s a lot to get from here to there.

To be successful, it also strikes me that the system needs to help bring tank programmers up to speed. Assuming a teenage brain and the likely finish with Scratch or a similar language, the game will run you through a series of tutorials with an extremely friendly drill sergeant:


Of course, by ‘friendly’ I mean friendlier than the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket. But, he’s a good trainer and will walk you through the steps required to write a JavaScript program with globals that can control the tank:


The current work in progress walks through the basic and intermediate lessons and has a couple of challenges built to get players started.

Adrian Akison Written by:

Adrian is a serial CTO, hobbyist game developer, 3D printing enthusiast and all around maker.