April 6, 2013 6:59 PM | John Polson
Wiki-based RPG developer and electrical engineer Germanunkol (Micha Pfeiffer) has created a game that pits players' self-programmed trains against each other in a live online battle to transport the most passengers. The free trAInsported teaches how to program the trains' AI code in Lua tutorials.
In addition to online battles, trAInsported offers challenge maps that require certain AI written to complete different tasks. Crafty players can code their own challenge maps and share them through the website. trAInsported's executable is available for Windows. The developer also shared the source code, which he says can run across Mac and Linux with the Löve2D engine.
Those interested in Micha's inspiration can read further.
In an email reply, Micha wrote, "I was at a Programmers' Conference in my hometown (I'd give you the link, but it's all German...) and there was a group of people who had made a space game with a twist: After creating a spaceship, you could no longer communicate with it, so you had to program what it should do beforehand, then set it off to automatically explore the universe and battle other players. I loved the idea, and "stored" it in the back of my mind.
"Then one day I was on a train, going to a friend's birthday party. Because of some mistakes in the organization of the public transport, a ride that should have taken me 30 minutes took around 3 hours. I'm also an electrical engineer, so I know how far we are with automization of cars and that it would be much more efficient if we let computers steer them. So I thought - hey, I could make a game out of this! And so I did. I don't like cars very much, so I used trains instead... but the idea remained the same."
[Alternate download for trAInsported on IndieDB]