When you are first starting out in Autonauts, you will most definitely get injected with the venom of efficiency. Everything you do needs to be programmed perfectly and be as efficient as possible. Idle robots are wasted robots. This is where the idea of multi-tasking comes into play.
Rather than have a bot whose sole purpose is to chop down trees, you might think it better to make him chop then tree and then bring the log to the nearest storage area. When the storage area is full so often, why not just use one robot for 2 jobs and avoid all the clutter of multiple bots. This thinking is very logical but also flawed.
Multi-tasking bots is a problem for one single reason. Bots are so cheap and easy to produce!
Sure, one bot can do the job that 2 or even 3 bots can do, but it can’t do it as quickly and if you find yourself with a sudden surge that completely drains all of your storage, you will hit a major bottleneck where your multi-tasking bot is just not able to keep on top of alone.
Multitasking Brings Gremlins
Just like any piece of software or script, the more complexity you add and the more you make it so, the higher likelihood there are of bugs sneaking into the mix.
To pick up a log, you must put away your axe, but what happens if your backpack was full or for some reason the bot was unable to stash the axe, suddenly it is stuck, unable to pick up the log.
This is a simple example but having spent quite a lot of time building overly complex bots, I can say with a lot of confidence that multi-tasking is not a good idea in Autonauts.
Like many things in life, the KISS principal will save you when scripting bots. Keep It Simple, Stupid. The more dumb your bot is, the better it will serve you in the long run.
Scalability Is Essential
I know this sounds very business-like but it’s absolutely vital. One bot chopping wood and one bot picking up planks might seem like a waste but it allows you to ramp things up. Eventually, you will need more and more logs. With simple bots, you can add a second, third, fourth, etc. Wood chipper and log gatherer if needed. It’s so easy to add more to increase supply. Simple bots work better together.