As I wrote about Project Euler and CodingGame before, someone recommended me CodeWars. CodeWars offers free online learning exercises to develop your programming skills through fun daily challenges.
In line with Project Euler, you are tasked with solving increasingly complex programming challenges. At CodeWars, these little problems you need to solve with code are called kata.
Kata take a test-driven development approach: the programs you write need to pass the tests of the developer who made the kata in the first place. Only then are you awarded with honour and can you earn your ranks and progress to the more complex kata.
Sounds fun right? I’m definitely going to check this out, as they support a wide range of programming languages, each with many kata to solve!
A friend of mine pointed me to this great website where you can interactively practice and learn new programming skills by working through small coding challenges, like making a game.
A while back I discovered this free game called Screeps: an RTS colony-simulation game specifically directed AI programmers. I was immediately intrigued by the concept, but it took me a while to find the time and courage to play. When I finally got to playing though, I lost myself in the game for several days on end.
Screeps means “scripting creeps.”
Basically, screeps is very little game. You start with in a randomly generated canyon of some 400 by 400 pixels, with nothing more than some basic resources and your base. Nothing fun will happen. Even better, nothing at all will happen. Unless you program it yourself.
As a player, it is your job to “script” your own creeps’ AI. And your buildings AI for that matter. You will need to write a program that makes your base spawn workers. And next those workers will need to be programmed to actually work. You need to direct them to go to the resources, explain them how to mine the resources, when to stop mining, and how to return the mined resources to your base. You will probably also want some soldiers and some other defenses, so those need to be spawned with their own special instructions as well.
Everything needs to be scripted well, as the game (and thus your screeps) runs on special servers, 24/7, so also when you are not playing yourself. Truly your personal, virtual, mini-AI colony.
Heck, it was fun while it lasted : )
PS. I read here that, using WebAssembly, one could also compile code written in different languages and run it in Screeps: C/C++ or Rust code, as well as other supported languages.