Posted on June 16, 2009,

Code Your Own WOPR for Fame & Cash

WarGames' WOPR

Got coding skills? Like the movie WarGames? Like the idea of your “binary baby” killing virtual billions? More importantly, do you like cash?

If you said “You bet.”, then heads up.

Introversion Software has teamed up with the organizers of CIG 2009 to establish a competition aimed to create “the world’s deadliest bot.” The contest, slated for September, is part of an ongoing yearly event that draws in programming talent from abroad in an attempt to create bots from videogames that are “realistic enough into fooling an expert panel of judges that they are actually human players.”

Not surprisingly, the game chosen as the playground for this year’s contest is none other than Introversion’s own nuclear holocaust simulator DEFCON (thumbs up here). And thanks to the concerted efforts of Computer Science geeks over at Imperial College, London, potential contestants now have a practical DEFCON API to prepare with.

Basically, the rules (here) are that programmers will pit their individual DEFCON A.I. against one another in a series (30 actually) of one-on-one matches among each of the possible starting territory configurations. The player with the highest cumulative score wins. Additionally, the grand prize winner’s human creator takes home $500, courtesy of IEEE. At this point, I’m still trying to figure out if you actually have to be physically present to participate.

Anyway, if you are interested in putting your coding skills to the test, you can start by reading here. An important thing to note is that the DEFCON API will also work with the DEFCON demo, which can be freely downloaded here. Again, deadlines and rules for the contest can be found via the IEEE’s CIG website. The press release found after the break contains all sorts of info, links, and contact information.

For those of you chortling “the only winning move is not to play,” I say what’s the worse that could happen? Well, I suppose Barry Corbin could break the bad news to you in person by knocking on your door then announcing his “conclusion that your new defense system sucks.”

Ok, I’ll stop…

PRESS RELEASE

Create the world’s deadliest DEFCON AI bot

London: 16th June 2009

Introversion Software is joining forces with the event organisers of CIG 2009, to host the first ever DEFCON AI competition aimed at creating the world’s deadliest bot.

The contest, scheduled for this September, is a part of an ongoing yearly event that attempts to create bots from videogames that are realistic enough into fooling an expert panel of judges that they are actually human players.

In what has been described as the “Turing Test for Bots”, the competition has chosen DEFCON this year as the game for which bots will be created.

This competition follows on from work that the best brains of Imperial College, London, have developed with a DEFCON API (Application Programmers Interface), which enables anyone to create their own DEFCON bot, in true Wargames fashion.

A group of talented programmers will pitch their DEFCON bot against enemy bots in a series of one-on-one thermonuclear chess games. The winner is the programmer whose bot successfully annihilates its opponents and racks up the highest death count. IEEE is offering a $500 prize to the deadliest DEFCON AI bot competition winner.

Let’s just hope the technology developed at this year’s CIG doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Contact Details:

For technical enquiries about the API, please contact Robin Baumgarten: robin.baumgarten06@doc.ic.ac.uk

For enquiries about DEFCON and Introversion Software, please contact Mark Morris: mark@introversion.co.uk

For enquiries about using the API for student projects, please contact Simon Colton: sgc@doc.ic.ac.uk

About DEFCON

DEFCON is an online, competitive, multiplayer strategy game simulating global thermonuclear war. The game, inspired by the 1983 cult-classic film, WarGames, superbly evokes the tension, paranoia and suspicion surrounding the Cold War era. DEFCON was an instantaneous success, receiving an average of 85%+ in game reviews and scores of praise. PC Gamer UK described it as ‘pure, deep, utterly unconscionable fun’, whilst IGN awarded DEFCON an Editors Choice Award and praised it as ‘highly impressive’. DEFCON is available to buy online via Steam and Introversion’s online store.

About CIG 2009

CIG is hosted by the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games. The conference will be hosted at the Politecnico di Milano, from 7-10 September 2009. For more information on the competition format and CIG 2009, please visit: http://www.ieee-cig.org.

About Introversion

Heralded as ‘the last of the bedroom programmers’, Introversion Software is one of the UK’s most-respected and successful independent game developers and publishers. Founded in 2001 by three university students, and starting out with an initial personal investment of just £600, Introversion went on to produce three critically acclaimed titles; Uplink, Darwinia and DEFCON. Their second title, Darwinia, was awarded three prizes at the 2006 Independent Games Festival Awards, including the Seumas McNally grand prize, and Introversion was voted one of the top 50 Best Games Companies in the world. In September 2008, Introversion released its fourth title Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest. Multiwinia has enjoyed some fantastic reviews and is currently rated at 77 on Metacritic. For more information please visit http://www.introversion.co.uk and our developer’s blog http://www.introversion.co.uk/blog

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1 Comment on Code Your Own WOPR for Fame & Cash

Kingdutch

On June 17, 2009 at 8:35 am

I’ll definitely be taking a shot at this :O Bots programming!