Omega casts the player into the role of a cyber-tank designer and programmer. The goal is to design a powerful tank capable of defeating opponents within the frames of a limited budget. A successful completion of this task grants the player character a higher security clearance and a large budget. Combat plays little to no role in the game; the gameplay is dedicated to designing the tanks themselves.
The player programs tanks by using a built-in text editor. It is possible to assign different artificial intelligence script commands that control various aspects of the tank, as well as enable communication between several tanks in a group. The player must take into account the equipment of a tank and its attributes in order to design a vehicle that would prove successful in combat.
This is neither the first nor the last robot tank design and programming game for a consumer platform.
Muse software made one for the Apple ][ back in the very early days, at least 3 years before Origin did Omega. I *think* the title was Robot Wars but I could be mistaken.
There was a team-oriented game with little hardware design for the Macintosh in the early 90s, but I don't even remember the title.
More recently, one of the first titles to demonstrate Sony's commitment to unusual games on the then-new Playstation was a game called Carnage Heart, which was precisely this sort of game.
Finally, there is a current PC product called Mindrover which takes this concept to great heights. It sells equally well as an educational toy and a pure game. If you remember any of these titles fondly, be sure to check out Mindrover.