Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Google AI challenge is back! (well, at least about to. Beta server is there and folks are already slugging it out!) Can feel the competition heat is already building up!
Last year competition (Planet Wars) was a tremendous success for this competition to catapult it into arguably the worlds best programming contest. My experience, misfortune and the way I compensated for it, is found in here.
This year competition is about building up and growing a colony of Ants. Ants have two major functions, spawning and fighting (killing enemy ants). In a 2D battlefield we get food randomly but fairly placed and continuously supplied in various locations. Players have to program their bots to compete for those food resources which will help them spawn more ants and then command your ant armies in battle to conquer the whole field! It's a multilayer game, meaning there are several players competing at the same time.
As in the last year, the API is very elegant and simply done. One could master it and deploy a sample bot in a matter of minutes! The game server is arranging a continuous tournament contesting bots all the time and one can see the games being played (like this one here!) and the ranking / leader boards in near real time! Can you imagine the thrill this can generate ? well, you can just find out!
After I entering the last year completion only in last few days and made to curse my fate, this year I have made a head start. You could see our bots fighting with worlds best!
This is lot of fun! Challenging and a dream challenge for a programmer who is up to it.
Why don't you give it a try! nothing to loose!!
Warning : This is very addictive and sometimes even more so than just playing a game. You would loose weeks of your time hacking away clever ways to beat the other programs. Only consolation is your programming/analytical skills are going to get a definite boost!
See you in battle!