Some best coding practices from software development also apply to AIs in Gladiabots. The following rules can help improve the quality of AIs, enhancing both the initial development and subsequent maintenance of the AI.
Divide and conquer
Break down a problem into two or more sub-problems and solve each of them separately. Complex sub-problems can again be divided. In Gladiabots this could be done by creating sub-AIs for each sub-problem. The complexity is reduced leading to a better maintainability.
AIs are written once, but read many times. Overlapping nodes, links crossing each other and great distances between linked nodes are difficult to read and should be avoided. AIs should have meaningful names revealing their purpose. One should consider to align nodes to the grid.
Don't repeat yourself
Avoid using the exact same set of nodes in several places. Sometimes duplicate nodes can be prevented by using bot specific filters or additional conditions. If its not possible to prevent duplicate nodes in the first place one can try to move them to sub AIs.
Keep it simple
The size of an AI has a significant effect on the error rate. A simple solution should be preferred over a complex one leading to the same or very similar results. One should ask the question: "Has this AI been implemented with the least amount of nodes necessary?". The more complex the AI is the more likely it is to be buggy.
Test, test, test
"If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in." (Edsger Wybe Dijkstra) As no developer is perfect, new nodes should be tested and debugged right after they were added.