Clash of Clans is not popular because it has deep gameplay and thought-provoking story lines. It’s really pretty straightforward — you build a city, generate resources, and attack other cities. It’s so easy a robot could do it… and now there’s one that does. A Lego Mindstorms EV3 bot has been programmed to keep the game chugging along with no human involvement whatsoever.The system was developed by Mark Petzold, an electrical engineering professor at St. Cloud State University in central Minnesota. The robot doesn’t really play the entire game — it’s set up to make a pass across the screen every 20 minutes with its stylus and tap on the mines to collect gold. In between the collection runs, the robot taps on the screen to keep the game awake so the mines don’t get full and the player makes more money.This isn’t all about getting an unfair advantage, though. The robot is programmed to close the game every few hours to give other players an opportunity to attack the fortress. The stylus actually slides over to the home button on the iPad to exit, then double-taps to pull up the multitasking UI. It actually swipes Clash of Clans away to close it before relaunching.Petzold’s next step is to teach the robot to launch attacks and donate troops to allies. The entire thing is just a series of taps, but it’s more complicated than collecting gold. It’s not clear if this kind of automated play is against the developer’s rules, though. Being a free-to-play game, the dev is probably happy to have as many people as possible playing, even if some of them are not so much people as they are robots built by people.
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Travelers to Israel this summer can experience more than 80 musical, dance and theatrical performances by hundreds of international artists at the Israel Festival (May 24 – June 11).With performances in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva and Modi’in, the Israel Festival will showcase several world-renowned dance troupes, including the National Dance Company of Spain, the Canadian Grand Ballet of Montreal and America’s Lines Ballet.The Festival will present musical performances by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Gil Shohat, Cantus Colln, Italian pianist Maurizio Baglini, Portuguese singer Misia as well as musicians from Azerbaijan and India. Also, free jazz concerts will take place in the Jerusalem Theatre and in the downtown Mamilla Mall.“The Israel Festival is always an exhilarating time of entertainment for Israelis and travelers of all ages,” says Arie Sommer, Commissioner of Tourism, North and South America,”and adds extra excitement to the bustling streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”The Festival will also feature several international acting groups, including Israeli mime artist Hanoch Rozenthe alongside the Klipa Theatre Company, Spanish acting trio Tricycle, the State Drama Theatre of Tbilisi and the Yiddishspiel Theatre. In addition, the Israeli theatric dance group Mayumana will return to the Festival stage with a performance of their new show ‘Momentum’.www.israel-festival.org.il