Battlesnake Developer Update — January 2021

January was a very busy month for us behind the scenes with a focus on building support for the 2021 competitive season. A new developer, Aurora, has joined the team to help us with our roadmap, so expect a lot of new features, content and improvements over the next few months!

Spring League 2021

On January 22nd, we launched our first pre-registration for the Spring League 2021 competition, which officially starts on February 18th. We would like to welcome AWS, GitHub and Repl.it as our official partners for this season’s Spring League!

The team iterated a lot over the course of the Summer League, Fall League and Battlesnake Winter Classic competitions in 2020 and are working to refine those experiences into Spring League.

Join us on Twitch.tv for the Spring League Welcome Show on February 18th at 6 pm PDT (9 pm EDT)

Battlesnake Merch Store

After a lot of work from our Community and Prize teams we have relaunched the Battlesnake Swag Shop for everyone to enjoy. Right now it has some gear from 2020 but we are planning to get new items up over the next couple of months, especially some of the slick new items that are arriving as part of the Battlesnake 2021 Season!

Notebooks, t-shirts, stickers and more!

Constrictor Game Mode

We got a lot of positive feedback about the game play introduced in the Snack-a-Tron Challenge Arena that was part of last years’s Fall League; so much so that we decided to formalize it into a proper ruleset and game mode called Constrictor. In constrictor mode there is no food and Battlesnakes will never starve. Instead they will continually grow from their starting position, creating a unique puzzle to solve as the AIs must outmaneuver the opponents to claim enough space to grow in.

The new ruleset is published to the BattlesnakeOfficial/rules repository on GitHub and you can now create these games yourself via the new Create Constrictor Game page.

Arena Changes

While the matching and ranking system for our arenas have consistently used Trueskill, we have refined our usage of the algorithm a few times over the course of the month, trying to find a good combination of accurate matching and relevant scoring. Along the way there are been some bumps in the road and those who have been watching the global arenas have noticed a few anomalies.

Going forwarded we will be separating the concepts of matchmaking and ranking to give us more flexibility in creating a solid experience. In addition, expect the role of “global arenas” on the Battlesnake platform to morph in the coming months, as new features start coming online.

Community Starter Projects

Our community members were quite prolific over December and January, with new community starter projects arriving for everyone to try out:

Julia Starter Snake by Nettogrof

PHP Starter Snake by Nettogrof

TypeScript Starter Snake by Kian Gorgichuk

C++ Starter Snake by DAChenScratch

In addition, a bit thanks to Nettogrof for taking some time to tidy up the Ruby and Java official starter projects, bringing them up to date with the others.


That’s all for now. If you have any questions, reach out to us on the Battlesnake Discord server.