February was busy for the team with the combination of several new features being added to the Battlesnake Platform along with the launch of Spring League.
Battlesnake Competitive Season 2021
On February 18th, we kicked off Spring League, beginning a series of league competitions that will also include Summer League and Fall League; then culminate with the return of the Battlesnake Winter Classic 2021, in December. Each league will include new game modes, prizes and tournaments. Combined together, we are calling this the Battlesnake Competitive Season 2021. Spring League registration is open until April 1st so make sure to register your Battlesnake and start competing!
For more information, check out the replay of the Spring League Welcome Show on YouTube.
Keep an eye out for some new “seasonal” features that will be linking these leagues together in the future.
Arena Changes: Tiers
As mentioned in the January Developer Update, we have experimented with a variety of new matching and ranking systems for our leaderboards. Our goal was to find something that provides better transparency for the competitors and generates higher quality matches that feel more fair and appropriate. For Spring League, we have deployed a new system we call Tiers.
Tiers are a progression system for the leaderboard that is powered by a Battlesnakes performance in matches. As a Battlesnake wins games it earns points and moves up the tiers. When a Battlesnake loses a game it can lose points and potentially move down a tier. Matching occurs within the tiers themselves, and is done with the Trueskill skill algorithm. This results in the Battlesnakes that win consistently advancing quickly through the tier system and ultimately battling each other, leaving the lower tiers to remain fun and competitive. As an added bonus, we are able to associate rewards with all of the tiers allowing Battlesnakes of all skill levels a chance to improve, progress and earn a prize.
So far the results of the new system have looked positive and we will continue to refine the numbers behind the scenes to improve matching quality and reduce frustration.
Open Source Projects
Several key elements of the Battlesnake Platform are open source including the Rules, Board and Exporter. As the platform grows we are going to look towards members of the community to help us maintain these projects and to that end we are starting to put more GitHub Issues into the projects for improvements, non-critical bug fixes and enhancements we are hoping to implement. Check out the repositories at https://github.com/battlesnakeofficial if you are interested in helping out.
A big shout out to Xtagon who recently went into the Exporter and fixed an issue with default heads and tails not rendering properly as well as upgraded it to respect the new coordinate system introduced in API Version 1.
Starting in February, we introduced a new feature that enabled developers to support Battlesnake by becoming an official Battlesnake Member. Our goal is to give community members who wish to support Battlesnake a rewarding way to do so. We’re committed to Battlesnake being free for everyone, and paid members will never receive any competitive advantages or preferential treatment in competition.
Members will receive unique customizations each month and will be involved in (and invited to provide feedback on) early testing of new game modes, challenges, etc.
Membership is completely optional, costs $5 (USD)/month, and can be cancelled at any time.
Swag Store Update: Winter Classic 2020 Hoodies
We have a supply of limited edition Winter Classic 2020 hoodies that we have put up on the Battlesnake Merch Store. This is the only printing of these hoodies we are going to do, so when supplies run out thats it.
That’s all for now. If you have any questions, reach out to us on the Battlesnake Discord server.