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Programming Games

545-Person Programming War Declares a Winner 57

Posted by Soulskill
from the bring-me-the-severed-subroutine-of-your-fallen-foe dept.
An anonymous reader writes: A while back we discussed Code Combat, a multiplayer game that lets players program their way to victory. They recently launched a tournament called Greed, where coders had to write algorithms for competitively collecting coins. 545 programmers participated, submitting over 126,000 lines of code, which resulted in 390 billion statements being executed on a 673-core supercomputer. The winner, going by the name of "Wizard Dude," won 363 matches, tied 14, and lost none! He explains his strategy: "My coin-collecting algorithm uses a novel forces-based mechanism to control movement. Each coin on the map applies an attractive force on collectors (peasants/peons) proportional to its value over distance squared. Allied collectors and the arena edges apply a repulsive force, pushing other collectors away. The sum of these forces produces a vector indicating the direction in which the collector should move this turn. The result is that: 1) collectors naturally move towards clusters of coins that give the greatest overall payoff, 2) collectors spread out evenly to cover territory. Additionally, the value of each coin is scaled depending on its distance from the nearest enemy collector, weighting in favor of coins with an almost even distance. This encourages collectors not to chase lost coins, but to deprive the enemy of contested coins first and leave safer coins for later."
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545-Person Programming War Declares a Winner

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  • by schmatz (1846876) on Friday June 13, 2014 @02:45PM (#47232367)
    They sure have! We just spun up 20 c3.8xlarge spot instances on Amazon, AWS is pretty magical.
  • by macklin01 (760841) on Friday June 13, 2014 @03:25PM (#47232641) Homepage

    We also use very similar force algorithms in our cancer models. :-) e.g., http://www.sciencedirect.com/s... [sciencedirect.com]

    The description of the agents and forces in this summary was actually very well done.

  • Freakin' coders. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Friday June 13, 2014 @05:14PM (#47233367)
    You can tell these guys are all lamer coders, they can't document worth squat. In the forum some guy asks for clear docs and they repond in essense with "just run our simulator, it's too complicated to explain." What a bunch of hosers. A competition like this ought to have clearly deliniated parameters. From reading their page I can't tell a darn thing about what the "Greed" environment is, what the problem to be solved is, and the summary of the winning solution on the Slashdot article here presumes you already know exactly what the conditions and goal with which the warring program must run. I see references on the linked contest site to coins that "randomly appear" and not much more. There's no way he could submit his solution to a journal except the "Journal for Irreproducible Results." Lazy bastards. There may be an interesting solution to something here, but there's seems no way to tell exactly what without reverse engineering their simulator.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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