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An event in Paris about 0ad to find contributors


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Hi I am lexa from split-bot in case some of you rember :)

I am an active member of Silex Labs, a non profit organization which aims at helping people contribute to free and open source projects. We organize events in Paris, mostly work shops and sometimes a big conference for Haxe (next one is in may, with all the core contributors and community)

Next week we have decided to start a series of workshop on programming 0ad bots. 2 workshops of 2 hours are planed to start and see how it goes (this link is in French)

Has anyone already organized events for 0ad community? If you have any idea, recommandation, please tell me :)

Please let the world know about this initiative and the other activities of Silex Labs (see April news letter or the blog)

And let's hope that this will unveil new french contributors to 0ad!

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We don't have a lot of experience with organising events. Our team and community is spread out over the world. We even have difficulties to find good hours to hold online meetings.

I'd certainly recommend to clearly communicate to your audience about which version of 0 A.D. to use, and let it install before the workshop (as 0 A.D. is big, and installing it will take time). We always advise to develop against the SVN version, however, it's always possible we break something in the latest commit, so you should assure to yourself that there's a recent and working SVN revision in that case, and revert to that revision when needed. For the purpose of teaching things, you might also prefer a more stable version from the start.

If you want to chat with us during the event, you (and your audience) are always welcome at #0ad-dev on quakenet. However, if there are a lot of connections from the same ip to quakenet, quakenet might block your ip. So it might be good to check the limits with quakenet if you want to make use of the chat.

I must certainly thank you for organising this, and I hope we'll get some new contributors indeed.

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AI development (inside the team) is mostly done by one person at a time, and he also controls the AI-to-game API. Many of the AIs are forks from older AIs though. Like qBot was made by quantumstate, then AegisBot was based on qBot, and maintained by wraitii, and now we have Petra, which is based on Aegis, and maintained by mimo.

There's a bit of documentation about the structure of the bots and the API available on the wiki: http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/TDD_AI . However, parts may be outdated or missing.

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lexa: JuKu96 has created a tutorial on bot development some time ago. Additionally, you may check the forum topics tagged "AI", but afaik not all relevant threads have been tagged.

Seconding sanderd17, the AIs of 0AD evolved gradually from the ancient "testbot". It was implemented as a demo by the one who implemented the original AI interface into the engine. To quote sanderd17 from #0ad:

21:52 < sanderd17_> The first AI was only meant as a test IIRC, but sadly, it kept growing bigger, until it became a monster.

Friendly spoken, the AI is not designed but grown. So, there seem only few high-level designs/planning documents available. I doubt the AI<->engine concept will be changed at a whole in the forseeable future, but i recommend you to practice some hours on your own before giving the event.

Regarding your planning, two times two hours might prove a bit short in time. You might want to chat to mimo about a good "place to enter". Another option is to fetch a copy of testbot/jubot from an earlier SVN version and adapt it to the new API, to use as a "drosophila".

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