JUST WHAT IS P-ROBOTS?
P-ROBOTS ("pee-robots") is a game based on computer programming
in PASCAL. The object of the game is to design and program a
"robot" that can triumph over similar robots designed and
programmed by others in a real-time battle of wits and flying
missiles. You control your robot by writing a procedure in
PASCAL to specify your robot's behavior and strategy in its
efforts to vanquish up to three other robots in a battle to the
death. A variety of pre-defined P-ROBOTS PASCAL functions and
procedures allow your robot to track its position on the
battlefield, monitor its health or damage condition, and
calculate the distance and angle to opponents from its current
battlefield position. Each robot is equipped with a cannon to
fire missiles, and a motorized drive mechanism to either close in
for the kill of a hapless opponent or flee from a fierce foe.
Optionally, robots may be equipped with bombs, a repair kit,
different types of armor and warheads, a deflection shield,
and/or a cloaking device.
P-ROBOTS is an excellent way for the novice programmer to sharpen
his/her PASCAL skills and have fun at the same time. However,
P-ROBOTS does assumes that the robot designer/programmer already
knows the fundamentals of programming in PASCAL. For the
experienced programmer, P-ROBOTS offers a chance to see just how
well you program in a programming environment where "bad" code
can lead to graphic and ignoble defeat and "brilliant" code can
bring triumph and glory.
In addition to being enjoyed in thousands of homes, P-ROBOTS has
been successfully used in a number of classroom settings -- from
high school PASCAL programming classes to graduate level courses
in Artificial Intelligence. "The competitive environment that
P-ROBOTS creates has really sparked my students' desire to learn.
Our weekly robot contests are great fun and enjoyed by all --
including me," said one high school PASCAL teacher. Another
teacher has challenged his PASCAL students by offering a unique
reward: any student who can design and program a robot that can
beat the teacher's robot consistently, does not have to take the
Version 4.0 of P-ROBOTS has a number of significant improvements
over prior versions including an optional "Integrated Development
Environment" or IDE, that can be used to create, edit and test
(i.e., compile) your robots. When you test/compile a robot using
the IDE, the compiler will identify any errors you have in your
robot source code by positioning the cursor within the editor
where the error occurred within your source code -- so you can
very easily make the appropriate correction(s). The IDE can also
be used to set up "tournaments" of robots, select various match
options (such as animation speed, number of obstacles, unlimited
fuel, etc.), and conduct the tournament according to the robots
and options you have selected.
P-ROBOTS can be run with as little as 384K of memory and a
monochrome or CGA monitor. However, if your system has more
memory and a better monitor (EGA or VGA), P-ROBOTS has been
designed to take advantage of your hardware's greater capability.
WHAT THIS DISK/FILE CONTAINS
This disk contains version 4.0 of P-ROBOTS which is being
distributed by SOFTWORKS as "Freeware." You can make copies of
these files and distributed them freely -- as long as the
documentation and other files are not changed.
**** Good News **** Good News **** Good News **** Good News ****
P-ROBOTS IS NOW "FREEWARE"
P-ROBOTS is now "Freeware." This means that the author, David
Malmberg, still retains the copyright to P-ROBOTS and all of its
related files, such as the documentation and the IDE. However,
you or any other user may use P-ROBOTS without paying any royalty
or Shareware fees.
Now, the PASCAL source code to P-ROBOTS is also provided as part
of the "Freeware" package. You should feel free to experiment
with the source code and to build your own expanded/enhanced
versions of P-ROBOTS or to build other PASCAL compiler
applications using the P-ROBOTS "compiler engine." All I ask is
that if you develop an interesting extension/enhancement to
P-ROBOTS, please send me a copy at the following address:
829 Fifteenth Street
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Files on the disk:
PR-DEMO.BAT -- execute this batch file
to get a demo of P-ROBOTS
P-ROBOTS.DOC -- the documentation file for P-ROBOTS
P-ROBOTS.EXE -- the P-ROBOTS program
MARVIN.PR A collection of sample robots
PR-SRC.ZIP -- the PASCAL source code for P-ROBOTS
RRR.ZIP -- "ROUND-ROBIN RUNNER" -- allows you to run
"round-robin" tournaments among as many robots as
you wish -- great for using in a classroom
If you are using P-ROBOTS' "Integrated Development Environment"
or IDE, you need the following additional files on your hard disk
(on the same directory where the above files are kept):
IDE.BAT The batch file used to invoke the
P-ROBOTS' "Integrated Development
PR-SHELL.EXE The "shell" program with a built-in
full-screen editor and a test compiler
that can be used to develop and test
your robots. This program is called by
POPDOS.EXE A really "nifty" utility program that
can be called by hitting the <Alt><F10>
key combination to invoke DOS from
within another program. See POPDOS.DOC
for details. POPDOS is loaded by
IDE.BAT and is used to run P-ROBOTS from
within the "Integrated Development
P-ROBOTS.PCX A graphic title screen for the IDE which
will be displayed if you have an EGA or
*.HLP Various help files accessed by hitting
<F1> from within the IDE.
If you not are using P-ROBOTS' IDE, you may delete these files to
save disk space.