View Full Version : Ideas for LBPC "Sackbot Challenge" competitions!

05-12-2010, 02:10 AM
Hi folks! It's been forever since I was here, but after hearing about LBP2 I just had to pop by and see what was going on.

So, I've been reading through GamePro's preview of LBP2 and it's looking really interesting! One of the things that I liked was the idea of being able to use Circuitboards to program advanced AI for your Sackbots (Things like pathfinding and maze navigation, for instance). It got me thinking... maybe we could hold contests for people who want to program advanced AI for sackbots, to see who can program their AI most effectively or efficiently. A couple of ideas come to mind:

Maze Navigation Challenge: A contest organiser designs various mazes for a Sackbot (Probably of a predetermined size to keep things fair) to navigate. Contestants are tasked with programming the Sackbot to navigate the maze, with certain conditions affecting scoring, such as the time the Sackbot took to navigate the maze and the complexity of AI used (If different players have varying complexities of circuitboards, the one that uses the least switches and whatnot could get an "Efficiency Bonus"). Of course, players can dress up their Sackbots too, either to identify them from their opponent's Sackbots, or just to make them look pretty. :D

Sackbot Wars: This is inspired by a game called "Robocode", where you had to use Javascript to program a robot and pit it against other robots programmed by other players. (You could also say Robot Wars comes into it, with teams designing their own robots to take out other teams' robots.) This could take shape in a variety of ways: Sumo-fighting (The first to push the opponent onto the electrified floor wins), Shootout (If the Paintinator is carried over, this could be like a paintball fight, or perhaps a Target-Shooting contest), others might have ideas of their own, I'm just giving examples.

SackBot Buddy Contest: A contest organiser designs a course (or possibly just an obstacle or two) that has to be tackled by two players; but only one human player can take part at a time. The contestant has to program a Sackbot to act co-operatively with them to deal with the obstacle. (This could possibly tie-in with a Maze Navigation Contest, where the player and their Sackbot have to navigate a course separately from each other, pressing buttons and pulling switches to open doors and clear deathtraps for each other.)

Lights, Camera, Sacktion!: Assuming the Voiceover feature is going to be in LBP2, this could be a little bit of an improv contest. The organiser gives a basic scenario idea (And if they're feeling generous, a stage for acting on) that the player must build upon and act out using just Sackbots (They can record actions for the Sackbots to carry out, of course, but they can't directly interact with the sackbots when the scene's being played out for the judge(s)). They can use the Voiceover feature to record dialogue for the scene, or they can use speech bubbles if they don't want to voice act for any reason. In the end, each scene is judged on factors such as how well the scenario kept to the initial idea given by the organiser, or how much the dialogue entertained the judge(s), and so on.

Now, these are all theoretical ideas, and they might fall flat if SackBots don't work like I think they will, but if it does work out, these would be awesome. I think Sackbots are the part of LBP2 that interests me most, so when I do make levels and machinima, I'll definitely be using these guys. :D

05-12-2010, 11:22 AM
Sounds like a great idea :p

05-12-2010, 12:20 PM
Thanks! :3

I'm not quite sure how we could judge certain challenges yet (Well, the Lights Camera Sacktion challenge is easy enough, the organiser/judge submits the "Stage" with permission for players to copy, edit and republish the level, contestants set up the actors, save and publish the stage with a tag in the name for the judge to look for (Probably be a good idea to get contestants to give the name of their published level in a forum thread, too), then the Judge can check each contestant's stage and judge it that way.

For other things like Maze Navigation, Sackbuddy and Sackbot Wars, I'm not sure yet. Possibly if Online Create mode is still around in LBP2 (Which it hopefully should be), after the allotted time for building the Sackbot's AI, have the contestants and judge join each other in an Online Create Mode session, the Judge loads the stage in edit mode, the contestants load their saved sackbots and let battle/navigation/co-operation commence. :D

05-13-2010, 03:46 AM
Hmm... o.O I get the feeling my wall of text scared people away. Sorry! D:

05-13-2010, 03:51 AM
Please people, read the wall of text. It's got some great ideas.

What catches my eye the most are the Sackbot Buddy and the Cinematics one. If the site were to host either one, I'd definitely join in on it. :3

05-13-2010, 04:34 AM
Thanks for letting me know what ideas you liked. :D

I'm pretty sure a Cinematics challenge would work, because you can record actions for Sackbots to carry out, so you can have a bunch of actors peform exactly the actions you want, exactly when you want them to.

As for the buddy challenge, I'll have to see. It'd be really cool to program a Sackbot to co-operate with you, though.

05-13-2010, 11:51 AM
lol, Sounds great. I thought you just meant by the title; runway models as Sackbots so we could have fashion models and send them to our friends.

05-13-2010, 06:17 PM
I guess the title is a bit confusing. ^^; I'll try and change it about a bit to make it more easily understood.

(I guess a Sackbot dressing contest wouldn't be so bad, though. Maybe the judge sets a theme for Sackpeople to dress sackbots to, and the player who designs the best costume gets their Sackbot featured in the judge's next creation as an NPC or something? :o )

05-13-2010, 10:24 PM
I just thought it would be cool to send your friend a Sackbot with a microchip on it so it parades around like if you were actually there. A contest would be cool, you could even film it like a tv contest.

05-14-2010, 12:10 AM
those sound pretty interesting. i find the Sackbot Wars the most awesome though.

05-14-2010, 09:18 PM
What about making 2 programm'd Sackbots face each other? Theres a track with special things to do to hider the other one's progress... thats for the advanced ones... i can see the Wall of Pistons and Magnetic Keys in my mind... all compressed into one Chip... well, it would be interesting to see who can prepare for the most :D
Or there could be creator vs. the other creator's Sackbot, and vice versa! A.I. vs. the enemy creator! :D
AND filming the face-offs with the in-game video recording tool (there MUST be one, they promised it for the first one half a year ago!!!)