A new Trilobot body part, the "wasp" head, can create hexagonal asteroids as barriers. These barriers are shrunk by laser shots and blown to pieces by missiles. The player can gain a barrier powerup that allows them to create their own barriers. Trilobots get credit as defenders whenever their barrier blocks a projectile.
Press "b" after getting the barrier powerup to create your own barriers. If you are touching the last barrier you created, pressing "b" will increase the size of that barrier. Increasing a barrier uses less "heat" then creating a new barrier. Barriers block your shots as well the shots fired by Trilobots.
I was interviewed by Tom Barbalet of http://www.biota.org about Trilobots, ALife development, and integrating ALife and games. You can find the interview at this URL.
A pretty important bug that was causing trilobot meta-programs longer than 2 nodes deep to return undefined values was fixed.
New meta-program operations were added to the Trilobots' minds, allowing them to store and load internal variables, send and retrieve global variables to use as messages to other trilobots, and operations similar to assembly-style languages' "increment/decrement and branch if equal" operations.... read more
I changed the way formations work again a few versions ago, but I forgot to mention it in the news. Now Trilobots instantly move to the spot they use for their formation, even teleoporting along when guarding a teleporter! The catch is that once they choose a trilobot to guard, they can't change their mind until that trilobot dies. You may see some bugs jumping around when a level starts, that's just the trilobots sorting out their formations.
I've separated out the powerups that increase missile power versus laser power. I've added a new powerup to increase missile power, and three new Trilobot body parts to go with it. There is now a Fly head, a Roach body, and a Bombadier Beetle tail. I've also added an animation to the scorpion claws for when they fire missiles.
Some more bug fixes. This should mean no more NaN values getting sent by the Trilobots' xUseHead, xUseBody and xUseTail methods. I've also added a bit of a limit to rapid fire. Firing weapons too quickly can cause your ship to overheat. Getting more cooldown powerups means your heat dissipates faster. This means that recharging shields and other things that generate lots of heat can cause your weapons to not work right away. You can see how hot the ship is by looking at how red the cockpit is.
I've hopefully fixed all of the bugs in the breeding and mutation code. There were many issues to pour through that resulted in programs that did not conform to the binary tree format. I've also moved the official Trilobots website to scarybug.org/trilbots so I can have more control over content and also view the site's access logs more easily. Perhaps I'll be able to set up a highscore database! Please update your links and bookmarks accordingly. trilobots.sourceforge.net now redirects to www.scarybug.org/trilobots .
I've updated the Trilbots website, complete with reader for this newsfeed. I've also updated the Trilobots biology inspector to be more usable and more accurate. Also, as per user suggestion, new ships now start out in "jump" mode, allowing you to avoid appearing right on top of an enemy. I've also swapped the functionality of the fly and dragonfly bodies.
I re-added the flight formation code to the new version of the Trilobot's minds. I'd like to tweak it a bit so that they try to form up with nearby trilobots based on caste instead of doing it based on arbitrary number in the array, though they are grouped by caste in the array.
I also added some sound effects scoured from the web. Only a few actions have effects so far.
Version 0.2.3 of Trilobots has a couple of obvious changes. Missiles now explode and do splash damage to nearby Trilobots. In the next release, I'll try to remember to make the area of effect widen for more powerful missiles. Splash damage is always as weak as a red laser, and shields do protect against it. You are immune to splash damage from your own missiles, and the trilobots are immune to their splash damage as well (at least for now)... read more
I've added the final powerups to the game for now. You can get cloaking, which makes lasers go through you, and you can get a cooldown powerup which makes your regenerating and other abilities work faster. I'll probably add some modifications to how that all works later.
I also made another change to the missile vs laser dynamics. Lasers still destroy missiles without being destroyed, but lasers have gone back to passing through each other.... read more
Along with many many balance and bug fixes thanks to feedback I've been getting, I've added animations to the trilobot's "jump" and "cloak" abilities. The mechanics of jump are barely changed, but you do get a bit more of a visual warning. Cloak now works the way it was supposed to. Instead of the moth-winged trilobots just turning invisible, they now fade into the background color. This means you can still see them by watching for stars that blink out of existence, and by seeing them overlap with other trilobots.... read more
The current version on SF as of this posting is v13, which you should probably think of as 0.13.
It's playable, most of the powerups are there and working, the enemies are pretty good at evolving, with only a few abilities left that need to be added. The biggest area left for development is 1. Tweaking the fitness functions. 2. Adding more data and actions to the Trilobots' programming vocabulary, and 3. Tweak the breeding code to encourage complexity over replacement of old code.... read more