What happened to RoboWar?

Posted in RoboWar on May 25th, 2011 by michael

Well, it didn’t work out.  I was hoping to port one of my favorite old Mac games – RoboWar – to iOS.  There was nothing technical keeping it from happening.  But there were licensing problems.  The original developers of the game released it under the Gnu General License.  I strongly support open-source software, and this was a great thing to do.

However, I promised myself that my next iOS project will be offered for a small fee, which is something I don’t think I could do with an app based on GNU Public License-released code.  It’s just not a good time for me to do another no-charge project.  If they had used the MIT license, maybe I would feel like I could put the time in.  An iOS port would essentially be a completely new project, but I wouldn’t be able to control any of my work or keep anybody else from simply copying my code and submitting it to the App Store.

So maybe some other time.

The next big thing

Posted in RoboWar on May 18th, 2011 by michael

I used to love to play an old Mac game called RoboWar, where you write code for simple battle robots and then put them in the arena together and let them fight to the death.  Sounds gruesome, but it’s not.  What it is is a great way for kids to learn how to program and an extremely enjoyable pastime for adults.  Better than just a videogame, because it requires you to actually think, plan, and design your robot.  Maybe even innovate!

Anyway, with OS X, the game disappeared, although there was an attempt to port it to the PC platform back in 2005.  You can still find that version online.  It runs, mostly.  I recently decided that iOS is the perfect platform to bring back RoboWar.  So that’s what I’m doing.  Just started coding this afternoon on my homeward train.  Got the basic structure set up – windows and tabs and such – but haven’t gotten anywhere close to starting to actually write the program.

The game will run on iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads.  Graphics and sounds will be retro, and I intend for it to be identical in form (mostly) and function to the original.  A later version may even add head-to-head competition on multiple devices!

There’s a web-based version of the game right here.  Nice job.

Watch this space for the exciting return of RoboWar!