ChipWits is both a serious and a light-hearted game. Serious about teaching computer science. Light-hearted because our ChipWits wear roller skates and drink COFFEE and perform robot music.
We included Carusoid (a musical robot) in the original Commodore 64 version of ChipWits in 1984.
A ChipWit is not a mech firing mega-lasers at enemy mechs. A ChipWit can sing.
Carusoid is a ChipWit coded to sing. A lot.
It also bumps into things. A lot. Missions run with Carusoid always end with full damage.
The name Carusoid comes from the legendary opera singer Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), who probably never played ChipWits. We don’t know whether he frequently bumped into things. Enrico Caruso’s is best known for his rendition of the Italian folk songs “Santa Lucia” and “O sole mio“. We added “oid” to “Caruso” — as in humanoid, android — because it sounds techy and funny.
Why include a ChipWit that does nothing but SING and bump into things?
Because ChipWits is about having fun coding.
It’s fun to code a ChipWit to shoot for a high score in a mission. It’s also fun to fiddle around with IBOL. A ChipWit doesn’t have to focus on point scoring. What if instead of ZAPping ELECTROCRABS your ChipWits danced with them instead?
Including Carusoid was a way of encouraging ChipWits coders to fiddle around with IBOL.
Here’s a Commodore 64 screenshot of Carusoid’s code:
Carusoid’s IBOL snakes down the panel without branching. The first row is all about SINGing. It then SKATEs FORWARD without checking to feel if a THING is in its way. SKATEing into THINGs adds damage. Then it SKATEs RIGHT45 and SINGS Mary Had a Little Lamb (not a song in Enrico Caruso’s repertoire, as far as we know). It continues to SING and move blindly.
Here’s what Carusoid looks like, in Greedville on the Commodore 64:
Carusoid is fun to watch. It merrily SINGs as it SKATEs into THINGs until its health bar is zero. It doesn’t care about BOMBs, ELECTROCRABs, or PIE. Carusoid just wants to SING and slam dance.
Do you remember Carusoid? Did you create any similar, silly ChipWits back in the day? Do you have any other good examples of robot music? Post your comments below!