My next interviewee is Rubydragon, who joins the long list of players who have plenty of experience with programming yet are new to javascript. As you’ll read below, this is the 2nd room Rubydragon has claimed, the first one ending in glorius destruction. It looks like Rubydragon is determined not to let that happen a second time, and has found a highly defensible position within the room. Good luck!

Q. How did you hear about Screeps?

A. I found Screeps in the Steam Shop because I played similar games before, so it was suggested.

Q. Screeps seems to attract a wide variety of players, from complete beginners to hobbyists to professionals. What level of programming experience are you starting out with?

A. I’m currently studying Computer Science in the first year and I would say that I have quite a lot of programming experience already. Not with javascript though.

Q. I know some people are here to learn, some for the coding challenges, some for world domination, and some for all of the above. What would you say are your biggest motivations for playing the game?

A. I like the game, because it’s all about automation and programming. I like the concept of programming little creatures to do stuff and then watch the result develop. Screeps is also the first game I found of this kind that seems to be thought through and it’s MMO which makes it even better.

Q. I know you’ve only been playing for a short time, but what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve run into so far?

A. Javascript! xD I have the most experience with C++ so far and javascript is a whole different world. Also finding the right keywords for what I want to do is not as easy as it could be I think. What I don’t know how to do yet is for example to dynamically tell creeps to go to energy sources that are not already overly worked on or automatically build roads where creeps are walking a lot.

Q. When I’m playing, sometimes I’ll be working on a problem and I’ll have a breakthrough. Either my code suddenly starts working as intended or I have a really good idea that I want to try out. Have you had any “eureka” moments so far?

A. I think about this game a lot when lying in bed or something and I had some good ideas of what I could do, I’m just not sure about how yet, due to my limited knowledge of the things I can ask the game in my code for and this kind of stuff. But no particular “eureka” moments.

Q. We are learning here. Do you have any particularly funny moments to share about your learning process? Code gaffes, silly bugs, sudden realization that Screeps already has pathfinding… too late.

A. I just got overrun pretty much instantly after my safe mode expired, because I didn’t expect that I would have to defend so early on xD

Q. How about the resources available for new players — from the official documentation to the articles/guides that other players have created — Do you find them to be sufficient? Were there any that seem to be particularly helpful? Any gaps or resources you’d like to see?

A. I played the tutorial and that was pretty helpful for getting the basics of how things work here. Other than that I only have read a little bit on the official documentation, no player guides yet. I think the suggestions could be a little bit more explanatory. But I guess I have to read more before I can complain.

Q. In about a month I’ll be doing a follow-up article and it will cover some of your progress over that time. What things do you plan to work on? Any goals in mind?

A. I think my goals are to have my creeps more or less automatically build a structure that is capable of defending itself. I like the automatic building a lot so I want to explore that. But for now I need to defend my room!

One annotation: I come from germany and I use a special keyboard layout called ‘neo2’. It’s really useful for programming because it has many shortcuts in it. The problem is that the game somehow doesn’t work with them… But I can write my code in Visual Studio so that’s ok.

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