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Team Droid: Level Tiles and Thinking Ahead

Moving the cursor to
Moving the cursor to "dry run" the actions

Wednesday, 17th January 2024

When instructing your robot, you'll naturally be thinking ahead, since the robot doesn't move until you've given it all the actions for the next turn and selected Go! from the menu. When sending it in a straight line across a clear floor, it's easy to predict where the robot will end up.

Once you introduce turns and other actions into your programming, things become slightly more difficult. Then you'll need to "dry run" your program (because the list of actions you drop into your robot's RAM is basically a simple program). Follow your robot's path around the screen with each move to make sure the robot should end up where you expect. I sometimes find myself pointing at the screen with my finger as I do this. But you can instead move the cursor around the level map as you do your dry run, which might attract fewer puzzled glances if playing the game on a portable device in public.

Click here to try out Team Droid in your browser.

Tiles like turntables and conveyor belts complicate this further. The important thing to remember is that such tiles take effect immediately after the robot lands on them. If a robot has a "blank" action in its RAM, the tile will take effect once that action is skipped. Use this knowledge when you "dry run" your robot's moves.

Robots with fewer than 8 RAM slots will have less than 8 moves in a turn, and this also affects tiles' effects. If a robot like Strider, with 5 RAM slots, ends its fifth move on a turntable, it will only turn once, on that fifth move. It has no sixth, seventh or eighth move, so even if there are other robots with more moves on the level (such as the guards), then Strider won't keep turning after its last move. But if Strider ends its fourth move on the turntable, and doesn't get off it in its fifth move, then it will turn twice: once after the fourth move, and again after the fifth.

One final thing to note when thinking ahead is that items have no moves. So if you drop or push an item onto a long conveyor belt, then it will only move one cell in this turn and then stop.

If you have been struggling to understand how to play Team Droid, then hopefully this series of articles will have given you some tips on how to get started. The game can be satisfying if you instruct your robots correctly, and entertaining if you get it wrong!

Team Droid: Jam Edition

Size 68kb, downloads 296.

This download requires DOSBox to run. The zip file has all the game files tidily stored in the tdroid folder. Extract the contents of the ZIP to wherever you put your DOS games and have fun! A read of the manual would be beneficial for this game if you want to know what you're doing. (read more...)


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