Show HN: Yare 2 – Programmable RTS game

129 points by levmiseri 2 months ago

Hi HN! About a year ago I showed my side project Yare here ( and was overblown by the feedback and support. Since then a lot has changed and I'm excited to share the beta of 'Yare 2' (

The simple programming game has evolved into something a little more complex with the ability to not only control the units with code, but now practically anything is programmable. E.g. the players can build their own UI elements to play the game with (when you choose 'play with mouse and keyboard' on the homescreen, it showcases what is possible to create).

This is a passion project that I don't plan to anyhow excessively monetize and will be always free to play, but I'm worried that it's perhaps growing into a too chaotic/confusing game and losing its initial simplicity.

beck5 2 months ago

Thanks for creating this. I have found it pretty impenetrable though, i've spent a good few minutes trying to get some of the bots to harvest, but they never seem to move.

It feels like it could do with a bit of over the shoulder user testing.

After a while the game does get canceled which may be the root cause of the issue?

  • nemacol 2 months ago

    Same. I can't get my units to move the same way the "dumb-bot" is able to move their units. Mine seem to make a distance based link to chain energy back to my base?

    I love RTS's and will come back after some days?weeks and try again. :D

    • balaji1 2 months ago

      almost want to down-vote the post just so the game server is relieved from the HN kiss of death and I can play haha

  • levmiseri 2 months ago

    Thanks! The first run experience is something I'm definitely struggling with and will improve. Your issues might have been caused by the sudden traffic increase - I made some changes on the servers - it should be working a bit better now.

drekipus 2 months ago

Looks pretty cool in idea, but the game has crashed every time I've tried to play it. I've also noticed that a lot of my energy keeps getting into negative values ( which look like a overflow to me).

I'm a big fan of 1v1 strategy games like this. but it needs more than 1 unit and 1 structure (I think). - otherwise it's just a matter of who attacks first and who has further to travel.

What's meant to be the balance of the races? triangles seemed to have more units than squares, for instance.. do they travel faster?

  • levmiseri 2 months ago

    Thanks! Found the bug causing most of the crashes, so it should work better now.

    I think that if you give it a chance, you will find that there is a lot of strategic complexity even with only 1 unit type. Here is an example of a game between 2 humans:

noasaservice 2 months ago

I have no clue what im doing.

Like.. none. I made some energy triangles move, and then the game was "cancelled".

Oh well.

fuzzythinker 2 months ago

One of the best intro videos I've seen. Great pacing and music. Will try to steal some essence of it when I attempt mine.

  • Kiro 2 months ago

    Where is the intro video?

    Edit: Realised you could actually scroll down. I thought I was in the game (which I was, but it's combined with the rest of the landing page).

  • levmiseri 2 months ago

    Thanks! I'm working on a small album that I hope to put as some background music + sound effects into the game.

ikiris 2 months ago

so like... screeps?

is there a comparison somewhere?

  • remram a month ago

    There are many programming games, e.g. Robocode and Corewar come to mind. At some point, pick a game you like.

    There are differences between Screeps and the others though: Screeps is a single persistent world (MMO) whereas in this one you will engage in individual 1-on-1 battles.

deweller 2 months ago

I keep getting the "Game Canceled" error.

doomiiii 2 months ago

Any reason as to why this is not open source? (I'm not saying, everyone should make everything OS, just interested to understand your reasoning behind the decision?)

  • levmiseri 2 months ago

    I'm somewhat embarrassed by the code quality (dev is only a hobby, my day-job is interaction design), but as soon as I clean it up a bit, I'll open source it.

leemcd56 2 months ago


5- 2 months ago

a very different take on programmable rts is (perhaps is a better introduction)

this is a very old game that has seen an open source release (including free assets) somewhat recently.

the original game is fully playable on modern platforms; lately some multiplayer features were added that look quite a bit of fun.

this is an early-noughties 3d rts, with the twist that all units (including the enemy, though this is obscured during normal gameplay) run user-editable code that can be changed in-game.

the rts campaign is supplemented by exercises designed to introduce complete beginners to programming (e.g. write a maze solver or a waypoint-driver flight controller).

the genius is, in my opinion, in that the affordances and fidelity of the simulation is such that controlling e.g. a flying flighter is fun and accessible.

do give it a go -- perhaps with your kids.

rendaw 2 months ago

I hate making a not entirely on-topic posts, but most game submissions take you to a link that starts the game. I guess that helps get players by minimizing steps needed to be taken to start.

I'm curious what the game's like, but I'm reading while eating or doing waiting for something at work and I'm not in a good position to play the game. As it is I'll probably skip it and forget to come back later.

Having a website with some screenshots and explanation would be awesome.

  • levmiseri 2 months ago

    I tried to combine both of these approaches. The link takes you to a page that explains the game with screenshots and a trailer - no need to play it right away.

    • rendaw 2 months ago

      You're right! Of all the game posts to post this, this was the worst. I didn't realize there was info if you scroll down, I just saw the buttons and instructions to play.


      Edit: Ah, I don't have a scrollbar. I also can't scroll right on the screenshots. That might have been part of it.

pdntspa 2 months ago

I could not get anything to work with M+K, none of the RTS controls I am used to worked. Left-click select, right-click move did not work. Left-click select, left-click move did not work. Select with control (no click+drag?) selected stuff but I could not get the units to do anything.

I gave up.

Would strongly advise the author not to break from convention here.

  • levmiseri 2 months ago

    To shed some light on the somewhat unusual controls – there are some additional considerations I had to make that don't necessarily exist in other similar RTS.

    1. The fact that it's all in the browser doesn't allow for panning the map with mouse-over-edge.

    2. People often play the game with mouse and keyboard AND typing code at the same time, so the controls had to be tailored to minimize conflicts

    3. The whole idea behind the current manual controls UI is to highlight what is possible to program for the players themselves. It's not 'technically' part of the game, it's just an injected html/css/js so the players can edit the controls to whatever would feel more natural (and add new buttons or completely change the mechanics).

    But you are not the only one highlighting these issues, so I'll think about how to make it more intuitive and abide to conventions as much as I can.

  • mminer237 2 months ago

    You select with Ctrl+drag instead of click-drag. I agree it's a very weird change, but it told me right at the beginning.

    • pdntspa 2 months ago

      There's no 'click' to the drag, what do you even call that? A mouseover?

      I edited my original post to better describe what happened

      • levmiseri 2 months ago

        There is a bug for some users where the manual controls aren't properly activated, sorry about that!

        If you have an account, click on the name in the top-right corner and activate the 'manual controls interface' module.