User:Geekfeststarter

From omni-bot

About Me

For a long time, computers have been a part of my life. I first started programming computers back in sixth grade in (GASP!) 1970. In high school I was ahead of most of the computer courses being taught and I was allowed to do my own private projects for my grades. In college I obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering, minoring in Computer Science. When I graduated, my choice was, design hardware or design software. I chose to design software and I have never regretted it nor have I ever been pressed to find work. I work for the 2nd largest CAD/CAM company, Siemens PLM Software Solutions. As a senior engineer I research new tools, operating systems, compilers, etc. I also get to play with the latest hardware from Intel, AMD, Nvidia, etc.

In the late 1980's, early 1990's when computer video games hit, I was instantly hooked and wasted more hours than I can remember playing games like King's Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest etc. Then in 1992, Wolfenstein 3D was released and the FPS became my one true obsession. Doom and Doom2 followed in 1993 and 1994. After buying a 10 Mb coax network card and convincing friends and family to do the same, the first LAN parties were born for us, where each month we would hook up 4 PC's and spend hours late into the night, blowing each others brains out in DM and TDM or playing 4 vs the AI in coop mode. I remember in 1994, buying 16 Mb of DRAM for $500 to keep Doom and Doom2 running! At the time there was no such name as LAN party, so my wife, surveying her house full of computer geeks, called it a Geek Fest, and even today we still call it such. As the years went by we played our share of Descent, Duke Nukem 3D, Wing Commander Armada, Xwing vx Tie Fighter, Jedi Knight, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Quake 2, Quake 3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Enemy Territory, Counter Strike, Counter Strike Source and Enemy Territory Quake Wars.

With the release of Duke Nukem 3D, I first became interested in working on modifications. At the time I remember making the shotgun more powerful to the point of a 1 shot kill, to making pipe bombs so powerful you could take out a whole street. Once I was flying in a Duke city level with the jet pack, I dropped an "improved" pipe bomb on my friend and set it off before it got to the ground. I took out myself as well, and my friend and I decided to use the mod at our next fest and it was a hit with the rest of our crew. Duke was the first time we hooked up 8 players and although it crashed a lot, it was fun as hell.

When Quake was released, all my spare time went out the window. I immediately started porting all of our favorite Doom and Doom2 levels. I then made a super QuakeC mod of every mod I liked (Plasma gun, BFG, grappling hook, Airplane, Mech Warrior, demolition charges, Reaper bots). I also ported a few Duke 3D and Dark Forces levels to Quake, using the monthly fests to try out the maps and code. It was at this time that Quake was starting to bring people together in the Internet for FPS matches and I remember having a ton of fun playing online in those early days. At that time, few people had real connections, so more fun was to be had playing LAN then online. Between fests in order to play, Reaper bots would have to do. While porting maps to Quake, I used Reaper bots to help me balance older maps designed for 4 players, to Quake maps that could have 16. The guy who wrote the Reaper bots went on to do the bots for Unreal Tournament. The cool thing about the Reaper bots, was they were learning bots, that would write out paths and data for future runs once run on a map, and would use this data in subsequent runs.

As the years and games went by, I ported and coded to Half Life, Quake 2, Quake 3. Then Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Counter Strike came along, and these became the focus for me. For RTCW, I converted 3 SP maps to MP CP maps, mp_forest, mp_norway and mp_dark. These were great maps, made by the RTCW developers, that were too good not to be MP. The fueldump map in ET, started as a SP map called forest, which the SD guys took, redesigned and winterized for ET. For a year I rented a server from Artofwar and ran a ton of custom RTCW maps. I wasted tons of time, playing every night with a crew of really good people and players.

Enemy Territory was then released, and for me, it was RTCW with some missing pieces. Adding prone, mortar, grenade rifle, covert, swapping out the chaingun for a mobile mg42, as well as adding buildable objectives and a vehicle to escort, ET had almost everything I wanted in a game. Once FIOS was setup in my area, I ran an ET server. It was at that time that I needed some bots, to run on my server and help draw people to it. At the time I had d/l'ed Fritz Bot ET, but I was unimpressed with it. I then took a look at Omnibot, and I immediately liked it. After lurking in the forums for several months, I talked with DrEvil and inquired how I could help. For the last 2 years or so, I have been helping DrEvil get this puppy out!

Today, I help DrEvil with Omnibot development, occasionally dipping into the code, but mainly with waypointing and scripting. I created a testing system that automatically runs bots through maps, to help us debug code, scripts and waypoints. I ported Doom 3 with help from DrEvil to Omnibot, and sooner or later we will release it when we are happy with it. I have also started a port to Enemy Territory Quake Wars, and who knows maybe someday we can see if we can out do the bots that came with the game. I have also been working on the RTCW and Quake4 ports. Finally, I have been helping DrEvil with Fortress Forever, doing training scripts, waypointing and map scripts and anything else that I can do.