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Programming Real Time Strategy (Games) Entertainment Games

StarCraft AI Competition Announced 200

bgweber writes "The 2010 conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE 2010) will be hosting a StarCraft AI competition as part of the conference program. This competition enables academic researchers to evaluate their AI systems in a robust, commercial RTS environment. The competition will be held in the weeks leading up to the conference. The final matches will be held live at the conference with commentary. Exhibition matches will also be held between skilled human players and the top-performing bots."
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StarCraft AI Competition Announced

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  • by DreadPiratePizz ( 803402 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:49PM (#30076640)
    You have no idea what you're talking about do you? Go watch the professionals play and see how often they rush. Not that often anymore. Modern Starcraft is dominated by Fast Expanding, which is quite the opposite of a rush.
  • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:50PM (#30076664) Homepage Journal
    Rushing is an elementary strategy. You should learn to defend against it rather than complaining that it isn't far (in a war simulation game no less).
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:51PM (#30076678)

    StarCraft is only dominated by rush tactics when the players don't have the skills to defend against a rush. In StarCraft attempting a rush dooms you to failure if the rush doesn't fatally wound your opponent ('cause you stunted your economy to build your rushers). Correctly defending against a rush is mostly micromanagement (using your workers correctly to defend, which means constantly issuing them the attack orders they need since they won't attack on their own, while keeping some working on your economy). AIs should excel at micromanagement. I don't think rushing would be a problem in a StarCraft AI match.

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:52PM (#30076688) Journal

    It's been a couple of years, but whenever I watched Boxer in the Korean SC tournaments a while back - the match is usually over within 15 or 20 minutes because they'd never need to progress past Dragoons, Hydra's, or Medics.

    An expansive SC player would be destroyed by 8 zerglings before he could get that second Command center off.

  • AIIDE web site (Score:3, Informative)

    by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:08PM (#30076948) Homepage

    The aiide conference web site [aiide.org] has been Slashdotted... even though Slashdot didn't link to it. :-)

  • by Sprotch ( 832431 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:14PM (#30077084)
    A good player can defend against a rush in Starcraft. It's all about micro-managing peons until your first combat unit arrives. Then you go head straight for their economically challenged base.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:17PM (#30077120)

    What about Total Annihilation? There is quite a bit that can be done to block a number of rush gambits. Of course, there is still always the LOL Gambit of building a swarm of transport aircraft to pick up the enemy commander (destroy their main unit and a large portion of their base since the base defenses are stupid enough to shoot it down.)

  • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:37PM (#30077474)

    Depends where you look. Last month's KESPA ratings [teamliquid.net] (the latest, at least on TLPD) put Jaedong at #1 and flash down at #6. In fact, the last time he wasn't #1 in that ranking was March.

  • by Caspin ( 964414 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:50PM (#30077676) Homepage
    The competition starts NEXT October (ie 2010). It's still 2009 check a calendar.
  • Re:Breakdown (Score:3, Informative)

    by thepotoo ( 829391 ) <thepotoospam@nOSPam.yahoo.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:54PM (#30077768)
    RTFA. There are four competitions, and on the only "complete" game, all AIs have the completeMapInformation flag in the Broodwar API disabled. Therefore, fog of war is on.
  • Re:blacksheepwall (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tawnos ( 1030370 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:56PM (#30077798)

    It must be very difficult if you cannot click the link under "rules"
    Programs that attempt to cheat will be disqualified

                Bots must disable the perfect information flag in tournaments 1,2 and 4

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @04:07PM (#30077992)

    Expanding on the parent...

    Every matchup except for Zerg vs. Zerg starts with EXTREMELY fast expanding these days. Usually before they even have a single non-peon unit out. Hell, zergs expand TWICE right off the bat against Protoss. The players have figured out how to stop these early rushes with building placement, micro and build orders.

    If I were to guess, less than 2% of pro games in recent times are very early rushes aimed at killing a fast expanding players. Early rushes do happen more often than that but they are always with the intent of doing economic damage to get an advantage in the late game.

  • by Cornflake917 ( 515940 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @04:33PM (#30078386) Homepage


    The competition is being held by Expressive Intelligence Studio at an AI conference. Blizzard has nothing to do with this, AFAIK.

  • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @04:40PM (#30078494)

    Every matchup except for Zerg vs. Zerg starts with EXTREMELY fast expanding these days. Usually before they even have a single non-peon unit out

    That's not really true, at least the latter part. Protoss will often forge fast-expand, especially against Zerg, but other openings like one gate tech aren't uncommon. For terran, you almost never see expand-before-marine, and often there's no expand until the factory is building.

    So you *see* FEs like that in each matchup, I wouldn't call them *the* standard build except for Zerg in ZvT and both sides in ZvP.

  • Re:Breakdown (Score:4, Informative)

    by RedFlames ( 1618315 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @05:17PM (#30079082)
    (I apologize in advance for the lack of paragraph spacing. Slashdot appears not to recognize the carriage return/line feed from this browser/computer?) Most games(I dare say almost all AAA titles) don't have anything resembling actual AI. Including AI is very very expensive computationally, it simply isn't feasible for most of the lower-end consumer users. To get around this, most games include a large variety of playbooks that define how the computer opponent should build, what to build, when to attack, etc... Sometimes there are minimal elements of AI, such as "if (terran) skip zergling rush". But, by and large, the AI is simply following a set of rules of when/what to build. If you switch the mode to "hard", most games simply ratchet up the minerals/second income for the computer, or remove fog of war (all Blizzard games do this). If you wish to experiment for yourself the 'ORTS' engine is a near replica of StarCraft but fully open-sourced. (http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~mburo/orts/) I believe there are multiple AI examples included (there used to be) so you can foray into the challenges presented by real AIs; computers that actually adapt their playing style to your own. As a warning, the engine does not abstract away details to make it easier (eg: there are unit collisions, writing a script to mine a patch of minerals effectively suddenly became much much harder). Disclosure: I am not affiliated with the ORTS engine directly, but I did take a class in my undergrad doing game AI on it.
  • Re:Breakdown (Score:4, Informative)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @06:10PM (#30080062) Journal

    (I apologize in advance for the lack of paragraph spacing. Slashdot appears not to recognize the carriage return/line feed from this browser/computer?)

    Allowed html is displayed below the comment form when you write a comment. Only the the following are allowed on slashdot:

    <b> <i> <p> <br> <a> <ol> <ul> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <em> <strong> <tt> <blockquote> <div> <ecode> <quote>

  • Re:bah (Score:3, Informative)

    by aXis100 ( 690904 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @12:11AM (#30083416)

    If you like TA, check out Spring at http://springrts.com/ [springrts.com]

    This is an open source fully 3d replica of TA. They've now built it to the point where it is a base engine that can host one of several mods - mostly based on TA style models and concepts, although a few are completely unique. AI's are plugins that can work over several mods if the author chooses so.

    My favourite is the Complete Annihillation Mod - http://springrts.com/wiki/Complete_Annihilation [springrts.com]
    The "chicken" mode has a weak AI, but enough brute force (attack waves) to keep you on your toes.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.