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Tank Eaters Configuration File

Soar2D is a general framework that includes both Eaters and TankSoar. This document describes how to modify these environments using the configuration settings files.

Configuration Files

Soar2D configuration files are stored in the Soar2D folder. When running the soar2d jar, you may specify the configuration file to use on the command line, or run without specifying any and a dialog window will pop-up.

java -jar soar2d.jar configs/tanksoar.cnf
java -jar soar2d.jar configs/eaters.cnf
java -jar soar2d.jar configs/room.cnf
java -jar soar2d.jar

Configuration entries are of the format:

''key'' = ''value''; # Note the trailing semicolon.

Use the pound sign for comments. Start them anywhere on a line.

# Comments go here
Configuration keys are simple identifiers. Stick to alphanumeric characters and underscores.
exampleKey = ''value'';
example_key = ''value'';

Configuration keys have an optional hierarchy separated by dots or braces. These are equivalent: = ''value''; = ''value'';

      key = ''value'';
      another = ''value'';

      key = ''value'';
} = ''value'';

Configuration values are strings or an array of strings using the following notation:

single = data;
single_element_array = [ data ];
trailing_comma_ok = [ data, ];
two_element_array = [ data, banks ];
two_element_array_with_trailer = [ data, banks, ];

Most whitespace is stripped out of the configuration file. These lines are all equivalent: = databanks;        # Value is "databanks" = data banks;       # Value is "databanks"
path . to.key = databanks;      # Value is "databanks"
path.t o.key = d a t a banks;   # Value is "databanks"
pa th. to. k ey = "databanks";  # Value is "databanks"
pa th. to. k ey
= "databanks";                  # Value is "databanks"

Preserve spaces using quotes: = "data banks";     # Value is "data banks" with a space.
arrays_too = [ "data banks", "another value" ]; # Values are "data banks" and "another value"

Don't split keys or values across lines:

crazy.                 # Syntax error
spacing = "databanks"; #
crazy.spacing = "data  # Value truncated
banks";                # Syntax error
OK to split other things along lines (or not). These are all legal entires:
key1 = value1;
key2 =
key3 = [ value3.1, value3.2, value3.3 ];
[ value4.1, value4.2 ];
key5 = [
key6 { subkey6.1 = value6.1; subkey6.2 = value6.2; }

Backslash doesn't escape anything (this is a change from the original behavior).

Code exists to easily pull out types boolean, string, int, double, or arrays of these types:

parameter = 5.434; # config.requireDouble("parameter");
switch = false;    # config.requireBoolean("switch");
count = 4;         # config.requireInt("count");
players = [7, 8]   # config.requireInts("players"); // returns int [] length 2

Defaults can be enforced in code:

config.getInt("", 4); // returns 4


Clients are encoded in a clients block using their names for their sub block. Additionally, their names must be enumerated in an active_clients array. For example:

   active_clients = [ "watchdog", "timer" ];
      command = "run-watchdog.bat";
      command = "run-timer.bat";
   disabled # not enumerated, so it is ignored.
      command = "run-something-someothertime.bat";

Note that there is a default, hidden client named "java-debugger". Don't use this name or put it in the active_clients list.

Path Type Values Default Comment
clients.active_clients string array Each active client. Clients not listed in this array but defined in this block are ignored.
clients.''name''.command string Command to run from cwd
clients.''name''.timeout int 0 Seconds to wait for client to report in
clients.''name''.after boolean true true: spawn after all agents are created, false: spawn before all agents are created


Path Type Values Default Comment int number of cells 2 How far can the eater see?
eaters.wall_penalty int points (negative) -5 Penalty for running in to walls
eaters.jump_penalty int points (negative) -5 Penalty for executing a jump
eaters.low_probability double probability 0.25 Used during random map generation
eaters.high_probability double probability 0.75 Used during random map generation


Path Type Values Default Comment
general.cycle_time_slice double 50 How much simulation time passes per tick (ms)
general.default_points int 0 Starting points string tanksoar, eaters, room, kitchen, taxi What game string path Path to map file
general.headless boolean false Run headless
general.preferences_file string "preferences" Path to preferences file (used for common settings to preserve across runs such as last productions, window location).
general.runs int 1 How many back-to-back runs to execute
general.seed int null (random default) Seed Java and SML
general.force_human boolean false Force human input, overrides agent input. Great for debugging input link.


Path Type Values Default Comment
soar.max_memory_usage int bytes kernel default Call command max-memory-usage
soar.port int valid TCP ports 12121 Connect/listen on this port
soar.remote string IP address null Connect to a remote kernel at this IP
soar.spawn_debuggers boolean true Spawn debuggers on agent creation
soar.soar_print boolean false Log print events to file


Players are encoded in a players block using arbitrary identifiers for their sub blocks. Active player IDs must be enumerated in an active_players array. For example, the following configuration file defines 3 players but only uses two of them for the run:

   active_players = [ "obscure", "simple" ];
      productions = "agents/tanksoar/obscure-bot.soar";
      productions = "agents/tanksoar/tutorial/simple-bot.soar";
      productions = "agents/tanksoar/tutorial/mapping-bot.soar";
      shutdown_commands = [ "echo shutting down", "print" ];

Do not id players with the prefix "gui" or "clone", the players created at runtime use those.

Path Type Values Default Comment
players.''id''.name string color Agent name
players.''id''.productions string null (human) Productions
players.''id''.script string null (human) Do not use (yet), for testing
players.''id''.color string red, blue, yellow, purple, orange, green, black random desired color
players.''id''.pos int array random Starting x,y coordinate (int array, length 2)
players.''id''.facing string north, south, east, west random Starting facing direction, cardinal
players.''id''.points int 0 Starting points
players.''id''.energy int game default Starting energy (tanksoar)
players.''id''.health int game default Starting health (tanksoar)
players.''id''.missiles int game default Starting missiles (tanksoar)
players.''id''.shutdown_commands string array valid Soar commands null Commands to run before destroying agent


There are currently no configuration options for the Room environment.


Path Type Values Default Comment
taxi.disable_fuel boolean false If disabled, ignore effects of fuel
taxi.fuel_starting_minimum int 5 Fuel starts between this and maximum
taxi.fuel_starting_maximum int 12 Fuel starts between this and minimum
taxi.fuel_maximum int 14 Fuel goes to here when refueled


Path Type Values Default Comment
tanksoar.max_missiles 15 Maximum missile count
tanksoar.max_energy 1000 Maximum energy count
tanksoar.max_health 1000 Maximum health count
tanksoar.collision_penalty -100 Penalty for colliding with another tank or wall
tanksoar.max_missile_packs 3 Maximum number of missile packs to spawn at a time
tanksoar.missile_pack_respawn_chance 5 Chance per turn that a missile pack spawns when below max
tanksoar.shield_energy_usage -20 Energy usage per turn that shields are on
tanksoar.missile_hit_award 2 Points awarded when your missile connects with a tank
tanksoar.missile_hit_penalty -1 Points lost when hit by a missile
tanksoar.frag_award 3 Points awarded when your missile frags a tank
tanksoar.frag_penalty -2 Points lost when fragged by a missile
tanksoar.max_sound_distance 7 Maximum distance for the sound sensor
tanksoar.missile_reset_threshold 100 Max amount of updates that can pass without a missile firing before resetting the map


Path Type Values Default Comment
terminals.max_updates int 0 World cycle count limit
terminals.agent_command boolean false Agent issues stop command (input-link, not stop-soar)
terminals.points_remaining boolean false No more points available on map
terminals.winning_score int 0 At least one agent has at least this many points
terminals.food_remaining boolean false There is no more food on the map (eaters)
terminals.unopened_boxes boolean false There are no unopened boxes on the map (eaters)
terminals.fuel_remaining boolean false Run out of fuel (taxi)
terminals.passenger_delivered boolean false Passenger successfully delivered (taxi)
terminals.passenger_pick_up boolean false Passenger removed from map (taxi)


Map Files

Maps are now stored in the config/maps/game folder where game is the game type, such as eaters.

Map file

  • objects_file (string)
    • This file defines objects in the world, see Object File below. The path is relative to the map file.
  • objects (string array)
    • This is an array of objects ids that are available for use on the map. Often time these ids are one character so the map is easily human-readable.
  • cells (block)
    • This sub-block defines the cells in the map, or properties about the cells that will be randomly generated.
  • cells.size (int)
    • Width and height of map.
  • cells.random_walls (boolean)
    • Randomly generate the walls on this map.
  • cells.random_food (boolean)
    • Randomly place food on the map.
  • cells.rows (block)
    • Cell instances
  • cells.rows.INTEGER (string array)
    • The rows the map, from 0 to size - 1, represented as an array of strings. The strings maps to object ids. Separate multiple objects with dashes. Use a single dash for an empty cell.

Objects File

Objects are under an objects sub-block, and then an id block where the name of the block is their id used in the human-readable map file. Objects need a name property, which is how they are referred to in the code and logs. The rest of the properties are mostly domain specific.

# <ignored> means that the value is ignored, key presence is used for "true"
# objects {
#    +<id> {
#       name = <name>;
#       *<p1> = <value>;                     # user property
#       *<p1> = [<value1>, <value2>];        # user property
#       ?apply.points = <int>;               # number of points to apply
#       ? = <int>;               # amount of energy to apply
#       ? = <boolean>;   # condition for energy apply
#       ? = <int>;               # amount of health to apply
#       ? = <boolean>; # condition for health apply
#       ?apply.missiles = <int>;             # number of missiles to apply
#       ?apply.remove = <boolean>;           # remove on apply
#       ?box-id = <int>;                     # this box's id number (set after load)
#       ?apply.reward-info = <boolean>;      # contains reward information
#       ?apply.reward-info.positive-id = <int>; # correct box id (set after load)
#       ?apply.reward = <boolean>;           # is reward box
#       ?apply.reward.correct = <boolean>;   # is the correct box (set randomly after load)
#       ?apply.reward.positive = <int>;      # reward if correct
#       ?apply.reward.negative = <int>;      # "reward" if incorrect, different from wrong box
#       ?apply.reset = <boolean>;            # reset sim on apply
#       ? {                  # these get moved to top level on applyProperties call
#          ?<p1> = <value>;                  # user apply property
#          ?<p1> = [<value1>, <value2>];     # user apply property
#       }
#       ?update.decay = <int>;               # decay apply.points by this amount on update
#       ? = <int>;         # increment phase on update
#       ?update.linger = <int>;              # decrement update.linger on update, remove at 0
#    }