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This was an amazing year for Battlesnake with the platform growing and evolving in so many ways. We have added new game modes, changed API versions, expanded the engine and run over a dozen different virtual competitions. For December, the team focused on some of the tech debt, bugs and performance issues that came from all that new stuff. Even so, we still managed to introduce a few new improvements for everyone.

New Global Arenas

To hold everyone over until the 2021 Competitive Season starts we have added two new Global Arenas for everyone to test their Battlesnake development skills in.

Global Duels

We really liked the high level competition that came out of the Battlesnake Duels challenge arena during the Fall League and this arena is an evolution of that. 1v1 competition between Battlesnakes provides some of the most interesting games with regards to strategy and tactics. …

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Much of the development in November was behind the scenes as we improve and refine the new features added for both the Fall League 2020 and Battlesnake Winter Classic 2020 competitions. We also made some major performance enhancements to the platform after our servers barely held on as a result of being featured in some prominent developer communities this month

Game Board Improvements

The game board has undergone a series of improvements to both add more information and make it more readable. A major change is that we now display the author (user or team) along with the Battlesnake name to give everyone some more visibility. …

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October saw the launch of Fall League 2020 and the opening of qualifiers for this year’s Battlesnake Winter Classic. We have implemented several changes on the Battlesnake platform to support both of these competitions and the user experience for Battlesnake Developers.

New Arena Mode

There is a new way for Battlesnake Developer to interact with arenas. In this mode there are no automated arena games, instead users can choose to initiated “Ranked” or “Practice” games. When these games are started, the arena will find appropriate matches for your Battlesnake and initiate a game. Battlesnakes only lose or gain rating for games that they initiate. …

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For September we implemented more quality of life improvements for developers and started laying the groundwork for some new features coming this fall.

API Update: Ruleset

With the new game modes like Battlesnake Royale, Squads and the new challenges, it became important to send information to the Battlesnakes notifying them what kind of game they are participating in. That way developers can alter their AIs to be situational.

The Game object in the data payloads from the engine now look like this:

"game": {
"id": "",
"ruleset" : {
"name": "royale",
"version": "v1.2.3",
"timeout": 500

Battlesnake Tags

We have added new tags to the system to allow developers to further customize and categorize their Battlesnakes. Beyond expanding the list of languages and platforms, we have added tags for game modes, core strategies and personality types! …

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This summer, our goal is to make Battlesnake development more fun and exciting. To that end, we introduced some new features to give users of all skill levels more to do on

Battlesnake Challenges

Over the last couple of months, we have iterated on a new Battlesnake Challenges system, which has finally reached a point where it can come out of beta. Challenges provide a set of original scenarios that you can attempt to solve. Each challenge comes with a built-in leaderboard and trophy system, rewarding those who solve the problem the most effectively. …

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July was all about giving our users more to interact with on! With the Battlesnake Summer League in full swing we have added several new ways to show off your Battlesnake development skills.

Battlesnake Royale

With the Summer League August Challenge Arena, we introduced a new game mode called Battlesnake Royale. In this mode, hazard zones will begin growing randomly from the sizes of the board at regular intervals. Battlesnakes whose heads start their turn on a hazardous area will take damage. …

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June had us investing heavily into the platform, both improving the user experience and adding new features to make life easier for Battlesnake developers. Many of these changes are already live, with more of them being revealed as we launch the Battlesnake Summer League on July 6th.

Email Authentication

In order to make it easier for people to participate in Battlesnake we have added email authentication as an alternative to GitHub for our user accounts. …

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May was all about helping new Battlesnake developers get started on the platform and creating their Battlesnakes. We have introduced a new version of the API and associated documentation, as well as fixed a few legacy design issues that we saw as road blocks.

Fresh Docs is now rebuilt and hosted on GitBooks, a great platform that has really improved the quality and consistency of our documentation. As part of the migration we have done another pass on the docs, revising many of the pages and removing several deprecated documents. …

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In April, our development focus was on features supporting virtual events and tournaments, more specifically our Stay Home and Code event. Out of that came a lot of site enhancements, quality of life improvements and several bug fixes to the arena system. Battlesnake will be launching several new virtual streaming events over the coming months, so keep an eye on the Events page.

Virtual Events

There is now a new interface for virtual events on the site that allows users to register for these events, view content schedules and enter into online tournaments. …

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While March did not go as planned, we have redirected our energy to new features and improving the usability of the Battlesnake environment. Over the next few months, Battlesnake will be focusing on more virtual and streaming events, so keep an eye on both the Events page and the Battlesnake Twitch channel!

Global Arena

The new Battlesnake Global Arena went live at the start of March. Since then we’ve added numerous enhancements to the match and scoring algorithms to improve both the quality and fairness of the games. …


Chris Hoefgen

CTO of Battlesnake, programmer, tech leader, D&D enthusiast

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