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Author Topic: Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984  (Read 4151 times)

mouser

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Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984
« on: January 25, 2014, 06:22:50 AM »
This is a great long read about a game I'd never heard about from 1984, called Robot Odyssey.

Robot Odyssey was apparently an impossibly difficult, programming (well really circuit wiring) game, that had a big impact on those that played it.

Quote
It was called Robot Odyssey, it took me 13 years to finish it, and it sealed my fate as a programmer.


See also: http://www.droidquest.com/

When i was just starting to code as a teenager, one of the games that really captured my interests was a robot programming called RobotWar, which I wrote a complete clone for on the original ibm pc.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 07:35:24 AM by mouser »

ewemoa

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Re: Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 07:01:22 PM »
Fun game...didn't finish it though :)

Edvard

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Re: Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 11:21:56 PM »
Yup, I remember playing it many times (and I still fire up DroidQuest every now and again).  Me and 2 other guys sitting around the Apple ][e... "Dude, put a wire from the camera to the left thruster"  "But what about when it gets to the electric grid?"  "Wrong chip dude, you need NAND for those two bumpers, else you end up going back and forth instead of up".  The day I figured out you could carry other robots inside your robot, I was blown away (yeah, it was in the tutorial, but who has time for that?).  :Thmbsup:

Also, to add to the Wikipedia articles list of similar games, check out Colobot:

Quote
Colobot (Colonize with Bots) is an educational game aiming to teach
 programming through entertainment. You are playing as an astronaut on a
 journey with robot helpers to find a planet for colonization. It features 3D
 real-time graphics and a C++ and Java-like, object-oriented language, CBOT,
 which can be used to program the robots available in the game.
http://colobot.info
colobot2.png

ewemoa

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Re: Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 12:49:42 AM »
The day I figured out you could carry other robots inside your robot, I was blown away

Ohhhhhhhh!  Hadn't figured that out :)

I don't suppose a robot could carry itself inside...

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 06:20:25 AM »

That's ... just ... epic!

It reminds me of how precise childhood ages can affect computing experiences. Even today I wouldn't be able to do that game! My switchover point came between the Commodore 64 being just too hard for me at about 9 to do anything natively, but the Commodore 128 had both advanced enough and I had a couple years myself under my belt, so by 12 I made what I would now jokingly call "A New York City Rush Hour Train Crowd Simulator"!
(Heh "Avoid the never ending masses of faceless people rushing at you"!)
:D

But after that point, my overall interest in low-level computing waned, and I even formally retired from video games about 1995, except a few casual hobby-game dabbling. (I can precisely date it to just after beating Killer Instinct).






40hz

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Re: Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 07:52:37 AM »
I remember playing that on my RadioShack "Trash-80" CoCo-2! :-*

Interesting game made considerably harder by the fact they didn't (by design) include adequate technical documentation for all of the robots' capabilities, thereby forcing you to figure things out on your own and trade discoveries with fellow sufferers players.

In the end it was excellent training and experience. Something which turned out to be quite valuable years later when dealing with the vagaries and hidden 'features' of many Microsoft products - the fixing of which strongly resembles RO at times.

Yup! "Closed & Proprietary" Gotta love it... :-\

Can't say I got all that far in the game. IIRC I managed to get out of the basement level, but not much farther.