"i liked it and the rest is quite obvious :)"

Meanstryk sits down with the creator of the killer Quake bot.......

MS: (Meanstryk of the Ramshackle) Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by Ramshackle, Mr. Elusive.

MR. E: (Mr. Elusive) np,

MS: Before we get into discussing the Omicron, would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself? For instance, where do you live and how did you come to be a programmer?

MR. E: I'm from the Netherlands. I'm currently studying computer science at the Technological University in Delft. One of my friends had a computer at home and did a little programming in basic. I wanted to try programming as well, so I did on my parent's computer. I liked it and the rest is quite obvious :)

MS: Everyone's talking about your new creation, the omicron, the bot said by many to be the "reaper killer". Would you mind enlightening us as to how your bot differs from the infamous reaper?

MR. E: The Omicron bot can probably navigate better through the Quake environment. Besides I think the Omicron bot has a more sophisticated AI structure. Besides the reaper behaves like a rock and the Omicron bot more like a player.

MS: What prompted you to begin work on the Omicron? What inspired you to begin the work and to continue the work?

MR. E: The other clan members and I wanted to practice before being killed on the Internet. H2SO4 and I tried the Reaper bot but thought the balance between firing precision and intelligence wasn't too good. With some new ideas I started the Omicron bot. I worked on it once in a while for some time but when it started to look like something I worked on it more often. When I got some beta testers they probably helped me develop faster as well.

MS: Did you set out to beat the reaper from the beginning, or did the Omicron just happen to evolve into something that was comparable?

MR. E: The goal was to train clan members for the Internet. Beating the reaper was an added bonus.

MS: You've said to me in the past that you were interested in making the bot as human as possible. What approach did you take to this end? How did you decide what traits were "human" and how did you get the omicron to demonstrate these features?

MR. E: In the first place I tried to describe the behavior of players in Quake in simple programmable terms. I've been discussing with H2SO4 what we think when playing Quake and it helped a lot. Then it was just a matter of creating systems and structures to efficiently use and store all the knowledge.

MS: Your bot, like the reaper, implements fuzzy logic within its code. Would you mind telling us in what manner the omicron utilizes these routines?

MR. E: The fuzzy logic is used like a decision library. Besides it fits nicely into the AI spruce.

MS: QuakeC is a language that is filled with limitations. In what ways did the language limit your ability to create the bot you'd hoped to create?

MR. E: Environment sampling can sometimes be pretty hard to implement in QuakeC. Besides there were some problems with the maximum number of statements executed per frame.

MS: Would you ever consider releasing the source code?

MR. E: I won't release the source code.

MS: Some time ago, you mentioned that you might consider porting the Omicron over to quake2? Is this something that you're still considering?

MR. E: Did I say that :) ? I won't consider porting. When I create a bot for Quake2 it will be a new one from scratch with new systems.

MS: Will you be writing a new bot for Quake2? One that perhaps takes advantage of a more powerful and flexible language?

MR. E: I would love to, but at the moment I haven't got the time. (Or should I say I've got other priorities.)

MS: Do you plan on possibly taking Polge's route by finding a job within the game industry?

MR. E: Probably not at this stage. Maybe later on.

MS: What advice do you have to other would-be programmers out there that might want to create a bot of their own?

MR. E: Don't stick to the old stuff. Create something new and revolutionary. Don't take a known path but explore other routes to a solution and leave a trail.

MS: Thank you Mr. Elusive, for both creating the Omicron, and for this interview.

MR. E: Thank you for beta testing.

Please Visit These Related Sites:
Official Omicron Bot Page
CoolGuy's Omicron Ents
Skorpion's Omicron Bot Site
Copyright (1997,1998,1999, 2000) by Brian Bland. May not be used without permission.