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Community Interview: Tyrence from Budabot

This week we've managed to interview Tyrence. He's the Project leader of Budabot (http://budabot.com). Budabot is a popular Chatbot with dozens of useful commands, available for free to the entire Anarchy Online Community.

Hello Tyrence, could you give us some background info about your AO life?

I've been playing AO since 2005 off and on. After my first few years of playing I went paid and made a level 76 NT (Whiznt1 (RK2)) that I enjoyed a lot. I first started writing Budabot modules to help me twink that toon (!impql, !impreq). And later when I started doing towers with it I wrote more modules (!scout, !opentimes) and that's how I was introduced to Budabot development.

Budabot has been around a few years, when did the project actually start, and were you in the original Dev Team?

The original dev team to my knowledge was Derroylo, Sebuda, and Lucier. I think they started the Budabot project in 2006. It really took off in 2007, but by 2009 most of the developers had left and Budabot was no longer being actively developed. It was kept alive by various Budabot users who would submit small patches to keep it compatible with AO changes. I had written several modules for Budabot at the time and was in the process of writing several more. I realized that there were some things that I could not do without modifying the Budabot core so eventually I decided to take over the project (around January 2010).

How has Budabot evolved in the past year?

A year ago (Sept 2010) we released Budabot 1.0 which was the first official Budabot release in several years and the first full release since the original developers left the project. At this point, Budabot was on par or maybe even slightly behind the other bots in terms of functionality. Since then, we have added a slew of features. We have also tried to integrate with other AO tools and services. The newest version of Budabot (2.3 RC1) fully or partially integrates with AOSpeak, AO Items Assistant, Neutnet, Dnet, AOUniverse.com, and xyphos.com. We have also gained a lot of support from players. All of this has helped us move towards our goal of providing the best chatbot AO has ever seen.

How easy is Budabot to run for those who are completely useless at this sort of thing. Does Budabot go right out of the packaging?

Yes, we have tried to make installing and configuring Budabot as painless as possible. Once you have downloaded Budabot, you can have it running and fully functional in under 3 minutes.
1) Download the latest version from: http://code.google.com/p/budabot2/downloads/list
2) Unzip it somewhere on your computer
3) Run chatbot.bat. Since this will be the first time running it, it will start the setup wizard which will ask you some questions. If you don't know the answer to a question use the recommended setting. Once the wizard is done, the bot will restart and you will be able to use and customize your bot.

Without getting into too much details, we know you left AO sometime in April and passed the project lead to Ocene, an AO Veteran from Rimor to take over Budabot. Four months later, you return with a vengeance posting a list of changes as long as AO's EULA (End User License Agreement). What made you return to the project?

I had already mostly left AO back in November 2010. Budabot was the only thing keeping me from leaving completely. When Budabot 2.2 was released I felt that I had done everything I could do to it and that there was nothing more I could add, so I left. I didn't intend to come back to Budabot, but I honestly missed working on the project. One day I was at home and didn't have anything to do, and I already had a few ideas for some new commands, so I went to work.

Are there any plans to update or upgrade the budabot.com website?

We know that there are some parts of the Budabot website that are out of date, namely the home page. I am not very involved with this aspect of Budabot; Captainzero hosts and maintains the Budabot website (which has been great for me so that I can focus on coding) but I have talked to him a little bit about updating the site. At this time I am not sure if the changes will be minor text changes or a complete upgrade.

Earlier this year, some Russian spammers hit the Budabot forums pretty hard, did all the unexpected garbage disrupt the project in any way?

I could barely figured out the CAPTCHA on Budabot's website so I was very impressed that the spambots could, and I was also impressed with how far spambot technology has come in general. But it was annoying for me and I'm sure it was annoying for Budabot users. After a few weeks we did get it under control, and overall I think the impact it had on the project was small.

You are working on AO Universe and AOSpeak plugins for Budabot. How will they work and will they be included in the next version of the bot or will they be separate from the project?

The AOSpeak plugin will show you who is in your org's AOSpeak channel (if one is setup) and can be used by simply doing !aospeak on your bot. The AO Universe plugin lets you view guides from in game and can be used by doing !aou 'search term'. Both of these plugins will be included in Budabot 2.3.

How many AO players are in the Budabot Dev Team?

The 2.3 release will include code from Mdkdoc420 (RK2), Raging (RK1), and myself, but the dev team fluctuates and developers come and go as time permits.

Where do you see the project a year from now?

If AO is still around in a year, I see Budabot going strong. I don't see myself still involved in the project a year from now, at least not as an active coder, but I think someone or multiple someones will step in and take over the project. I also see org bots being much more integrated with faction pvp bots. This has been happening in the past year or two (at least on RK2), and something I have pushed for, and I think the integration will continue to get better and better.

What do you like best about developing Budabot?

One of my favorite things about Budabot is that I get to meet a lot of new people in AO, both Budabot users and other people who have contributed to the AO community. I also love talking with org leaders and showing them what Budabot can do and how it can help their org.

Thank you for your time Tyrence, is there anything else you wish to add in closing?

I would like to thank AO Universe for the service they have provided these many years, and I am excited that we will be able to extend some of this service to players in-game. I'd also like to thank all the people who have contributed in any way to the Budabot project. Lastly, if anyone has any suggestions for new commands or features for Budabot, please post your ideas on the forums (http://www.budabot.com/forum) or contact me directly.

Last updated on 12.07.2011 by Khuri
Article written by Windguaerd
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