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StarCraft AI Competition Announced

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the here-comes-the-reaperzerg dept.

Programming 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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Does AI have to be good? (1)

hitnrunrambler (1401521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076378)

Or just smarter than the random BNET player?

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076476)

I dunno the average Starcraft BNET player is Korean. The majority sets the skill average high too.

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

hitnrunrambler (1401521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076810)

eh... the good ones are Korean.
The average ones are average.

and... I'll be honest, I was just zerg rushing for first post

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

manyxcxi (1037382) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076882)

Question: Who is the Starcraft equivalent to Kasparov? (I actually really don't care)
Step 1: Playoff/deathmatch style showdown to find the the best of the AIs
Step 2: The winning AI plays the 'best' human player
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit.

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

Rocky (56404) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077028)

Isn't Jaedong the currently top-ranked player?

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077310)

No, Flash is currently the number 1 ranked player.

Re:Does AI have to be good? (4, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077996)

Step 1: Playoff/deathmatch style showdown to find the the best of the AIs

Fallacious

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077038)

does AI need to be good?

no, but Blizzard does want to be lazy and outsource AI development.

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077668)

It would actually be very difficult to make it better than the random BNET player. Starcraft players are getting very good. And it is pretty hard for a computer to beat a human for an RTS in general (without cheating of course).

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

Shillo (64681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077814)

Well, computers have infinite APM, and AI bots will have to (ab)use this to win against other bots. It should also help them against humans. Do you consider this cheating?

Re:Does AI have to be good? (1)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077904)

If you think about it, it's over 10 years since even Brood War came out. So I'd assume that the average person still playing (besides people that only do Use Map Settings) probably gets better each year as more and more people get bored of the game leaving mostly hardcore fans. I'd also assume that for the most part only hardcore fans are going to go to something like this for a chance to play against the AIs. So yeah, I'm guessing they'd have to be pretty good.

What could possibly go wrong? (3, Funny)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076380)

Let's teach our AI systems how to do battle... against humans. Skynet anyone?

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (4, Funny)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076598)

at one point the AI will realize that it's far easier to beat the human by hacking in to military computers and nuking the player.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (3, Funny)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076670)

at one point the AI will realize that it's far easier to beat the human by hacking in to military computers and nuking the player.

Then the human players will black out the sky.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (5, Funny)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076674)

*Nuclear launch detected*

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076904)

or the much more feared
N-N-N-N-N-N-N-N-N-N-N-Nuclear launch detected
especially if you are playing red.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077052)

Sad thing the nukes are so underpowered in pro starcraft that they are only used as a humiliation. I hope nukes and other superweapons are better balanced in SC2.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077216)

You mean, "worse" balanced...

The nukes in SC are "tactical" nukes, and they have to be laser guided by an actual person on the ground. Realistically, they shouldn't be too powerful.

Now, the real question is: The psi limit is explained in the manual (for the terrans), that the command center holds 200 people. But if they die on the battlefield, you can still reach 200 later on. Where do the new people come from?

Also, where do dragoons come from if you didn't build any zealots first?

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077342)

The dragoons (in fact, all Protoss units and buildings) are first created on Aiur and then warped to the battlefield. The construction of pylons creates a strong enough psi field to allow the units to warp in.

I may have played this game too much as a kid.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30078072)

Isn't Aiur conquered by the zerg early on in starcraft?

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

Rocky (56404) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077380)

The introduction of the Medics explains that :)

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078202)

I read that in the actual Starcraft computer voice in my head. I think I played that game too much, even though it's been a while.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

otravi (1289804) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077060)

I remember Skynet back when it was called Google!

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077096)

I'm not worried it'll probably just block the path with supply depots and think it is safe.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077826)

I'm hoping this is a joke. I couldn't bring myself to laugh at it, though, as I've heard way too many people who believe this sort of thing.

Brood War (1, Offtopic)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076472)

So they are using the old StarCraft and not the new upcoming StarCraft? I love the old StarCraft. I was really looking forward to the new one until they gutted it by removing LAN play. I would rather play the old version is all its 640x480 glory then play a LAN game over the WAN. Sure I have the bandwidth, but it's the principle. Won't someone think of the Zerglings?

Re:Brood War (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077308)

Instead of an AI that can win at Starcraft, maybe they ought to try to build an AI that can finish Starcraft 2.

Apparently, that's a much greater challenge.

Re:Brood War (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077330)

It needs an AI that can handle the following.

Island maps. Against a Protost with cannons bordering the island 3 rows deep. Most human players can get past that. For the computer it always kept me safe. Of course there was one time I played stricly defensive and have the entire island filled with cannons. It took a good player 45 minutes to get to me. (and killed a medium level player) who was helping.

An other blood bath was a map No Gas. Where there was a river and a small bridge to cross. All with a bunch of cannons around them. I have seen only one person to get past that and it was bloody very bloody.

Re:Brood War (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077620)

3 rows deep? You wasted money. Island maps in SC are a piece of piss, even up against several AI. Not only do you not need anywhere near as much cannon as you said, you don't have to build them until later in the game, giving you cash to get production ramped up quickly. Plus, it's all air battles, so you save even more cash not having to build any (or almost any) land units.

Re:Brood War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077888)

Command Syntax of the ultimate computer languge: DoWhatIWant() DoIFaster(Function), eg. DoItFaster(DoWhatIWant())

the First DoItFaster is missing the 't' in 'It'

Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Insightful)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076474)

Perhaps a game not so dominated by rushing tactics would be a better choice of base game? It definitely seems an interesting idea, but there must be games better suited to an AI contest like this...

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076570)

How would you rather it be setup? I have not found a single RTS that isn't dominated by Rushing Tactics. I still play Age of Empires 2 for the whole walling off thing but it still doesn't beat a well developed rush.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (4, Informative)

Sprotch (832431) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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.)

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (5, Interesting)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077214)

How would you rather it be setup? I have not found a single RTS that isn't dominated by Rushing Tactics.

Company of Heroes. http://www.companyofheroes.com/ [companyofheroes.com]

It's a modern RTS which utilizes things such as directional cover, suppression and per-squad reinforcements, as well as rewards proper flanking. Unless, of course, you try to prevent said flanking by placing some barbed wire and mines...

There is no such thing as rushing in CoH; the game doesn't reward rushing because it will end with a horribly tragic loss for the player who attempts it (!). You can't wall-off because you need some map control, resources need to be connected to your base in order to receive them, and your low popcap (based on the number of captured sectors) spells your ultimate doom. The nature of the game is that for the most part, each side has no more than ten units on the field. You can be a very good player even if you aren't a hyperactive teen capable of performing ten clicks per second.

Bottom line: if someone wants to rush you, you will win the game in five minutes. But if you want to wall-off, this game isn't for you, as it requires constant fighting on multiple parts of the map.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Interesting)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077300)

Star Trek Armada and Armada II had a decent approach to preventing early-game rushes; your "town hall" equivalent building (starbase) is armed to the teeth. =)

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077426)

Well it depends on what you call a rush. If you compare a game like starcraft to AoE2, a zergling rush would be like a drush and ignoring feudal. As far as I know this is easily countered. The more reasonable rush in AoE2 is feudal rush, and thats more like 10 min into the game, and will not kill of the player directly. He would rather die when rams come out in castle at 15-20 min. Compare this to a zergling rush where a player can be killed in the first few minutes.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077878)

How would you rather it be setup? I have not found a single RTS that isn't dominated by Rushing Tactics. I still play Age of Empires 2 for the whole walling off thing but it still doesn't beat a well developed rush.

This is why I prefer Real Time Tactics Games to Real Time Strategy games.

You know... Like Total War series...

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078304)

I still play Age of Empires 2 for the whole walling off thing but it still doesn't beat a well developed rush.

Say wha? AoE2 walls are fun, but you don't need them. Anti-rush tactics consist of ringing the frigging alarm bell and watching your holed up peasants shoot the hell out your moron opponent's attackers. You can *not* take a town center while in the Dark Age, and it's damn tough in the Feudal Age. You really can't develop a decent attack against an enemy base until the Castle Age, and you don't get the *really* cool siege toys until the Imperial Age. AoE2 is one of the most anti-rush RTSes I know of.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Informative)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076688)

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.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Interesting)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076780)

Not true at all, the 1 RAX Fast Expand build is designed to allow a Terran player to expand early and EASILY defend against 8 zerglings. For you information, a lot has changed in just a few years.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Possibility for emergent gameplay? (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076656)

What if, through the developers' virtual arms race, the AIs discover that rushing isn't actually the best way to win? Given enough room to experiment, could new, anti-rush gambits emerge that human players wouldn't have thought of?

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076662)

I don't know how you define rush.... I've had people complain that an attack after 10 minutes was a rush. Even the 6-pool was easily defeated by the proper build order and positioning. As a matter of fact, I liked SC more than others because every strategy had a proper counter. The only thing that was required was scouting - otherwise the other person could come in with the counter to your troops.

While I don't think it is a great medium for a test, it's a pretty good one. Especially if the AI has to deal with fog of war.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076664)

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).

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (3, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077924)

Actually, AIs are kind of bad at micro certain types of micro. More specifically, they're bad at dancing. You can get AIs to focus fire really well, you can get AIs to spell cast retardedly well, but within the constraints of SC, its very hard to get AIs to dance their units properly (which is crucial during early game). That's one reason why all the previous 'super AI' built for SC have some cheating element involved (basically, free resources), because on average, given two equal forces, a skilled human player could always beat the AI controlled army.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30076722)

lrn 2 ply n00b

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077324)

Parent should be modded insightful.

Although I'm not an experienced RTS player, I am an experienced FPS player. People who claim that SC is dominated by rushing tactics are just as ignorant as the people who claim that dueling FPS games are dominated by item control or map knowledge. The answer to that is - Well duh. May as well claim it's about how well you use the keyboard and mouse.

There's way more that goes into it when you break it down to the specifics. For SC - are you effectively scouting your opponent's base and resources to get a feel for where to attack him, what to attack him with, and how to counter his counter-attack? For FPS games - what resource do you decide to deny your opponent, and how are you going to go about doing that? Do you spam explosives at a chokepoint, or do you prepare for an ambush in which you can retreat so that you wear him down?

Competitive games are complicated. Trying to simplify them in your mind doesn't make them simple.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077462)

Starcraft isn't dominated by rushing tactics. You can win with a properly executed rush, just as you can win by using any other viable strategy, but a competent player is able to deal with rushes. Pro Starcraft players sometimes rush; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. "ZERG RUSH LOL" is a fun meme but doesn't actually reflect reality.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077938)

"ZERG RUSH LOL" is a fun meme but doesn't actually reflect reality.

Well that does it. I wish to unsubscribe from your newsletter.

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078060)

It's not "rushing". It's figuring out where the enemy is and seizing the initiative. I suspect even games that have mechanics that discourage swarming a base early, still have early game tricks that an aggressive player can use to mess up someone's start (say sniping targets of opportunity or blowing up some easy to kill structures).

Re:Is StarCraft the right game to use for this? (1)

krnpimpsta (906084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078330)

Perhaps a game not so dominated by rushing tactics would be a better choice of base game? It definitely seems an interesting idea, but there must be games better suited to an AI contest like this...

Perhaps the concept of shock tactics [wikipedia.org] , such as "rushing" have been evolving for centuries and may just be one of the more effective battle strategies in games and real conflicts. The US has their Shock and Awe [wikipedia.org] , the Germans have their Blitzkrieg, [wikipedia.org] and etc.

Wikipedia's "common interpretation of blitzkrieg": The word, meaning "lightning war", was associated with a deliberate strategy of quick and decisive short battles to deliver a knock out blow to an enemy state before it could fully mobilize.

Sounds like rushing to me. Maybe the fact that rushing is so effective in so many games is because it really is a valid strategy?

Breakdown (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076532)

Human Advantages:
Advanced Prediction
Flexible Stategies
Arguably Faster Learning

AI Advantages:
Able to command all units at once
Usually More efficient w/ resources
Instant Macro management

Another advantage to the AI could include knowing the map layout and what the player has at all times, which is something the original starcraft had so the AI would know whether to rush you or not.

Re:Breakdown (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076676)

which is something the original starcraft had so the AI would know whether to rush you or not.

It may have just been my limited experience with the AIs but most of the time it seemed that the AI was on a pretty fixed schedule in terms of attacks. If the AI had any comprehension of what the human player had built then I'd say that the AIs were very very poorly designed. They'd attack massive defense with a dozen zealots when a human player that knew the defense was there would have known it was futile to have done so. Their attacks were fairly predictable to the point where the game could effectively be repeated several times without much variety.

Re:Breakdown (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076972)

Randomness is an obvious counter to this. So even before the AI knows anything about its opponent, it should cast a dice and rush fast at some percent of games as not to be predictable.

Re:Breakdown (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076996)

actually a friend and i beat the AI back so far we decided to experiment with it. and the blizzard starcraft 1 AI will not do anything until it builds a building for harvesting gas. will not try to build unit buildings etc.

Re:Breakdown (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077164)

Most game AI's are not well designed, but not because they can't be. Most game AI's are built from the prespective that the player should be able to win, therefore Grandmaster level thinking is less desirable than preditable patterns that seem impossible to be till the player realizes they can be exploited.

Re:Breakdown (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078226)

Exactly. The levels can be treated more as puzzles that need to be solved. After a couple of times trying to beat a level, you get a feel for the types of attacks to expect, and figure out ways to counter them. This could lead you to doing things you could never get away with in a Battle.net game. For instance, I was never a big fan of Vultures, but there were a few Terran missions where the spider mines were very useful.

Re:Breakdown (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076768)

If it's an AI competition, I doubt the AI teams would be given any more information than the human teams had. Computers could be better at micro management, but probably not by enough to make up for humans' ability to adapt to changing circumstances and come up with new tactics on the fly.

Re:Breakdown (1)

Seth024 (1241160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077382)

The computer AI in Starcraft actually has knowledge of your position on the map (that's why it never has to scout you before he attacks). It's reasonable to assume that the AI competion would include these things as well.

Making up new tactics on the fly is not as important as it seems. What is important is recognising your opponent's strategy and responding to it (something that can easily be programmed). Of course this would only work against other AI; a good Korean player can certainly come up with a strategy that the AI cannot deal with.

Re:Breakdown (2, Informative)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Breakdown (5, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076788)

Human Advantages:
Imagined Prediction Advantage
Flexible Stategies
Arguably Faster Learning

AI Advantages:
Able to command all units at once
Usually More efficient w/ resources
Instant Macro management

Korean Advantages:
Superior Strategies
Advanced Prediction
Flexible Tactics
Arguably Faster Learning
Able to command all units at once
Usually More efficient w/ resources
Instant Macro management

Fixed that for you :D

Re:Breakdown (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077338)

kekekekeke!

Re:Breakdown (5, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078258)

Worst. Poem. Ever.

Re:Breakdown (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077306)

Another advantage to the AI could include knowing the map layout and what the player has at all times, which is something the original starcraft had so the AI would know whether to rush you or not.

That's not an advantage AI has, that's just cheating. Circumventing game rules to see full map is just plain cheating, if a player did it you wouldn't say he's any better than the guy who doesn't see the map, same rules apply to AI. It's equivalent to making things 50% cheaper for the AI or giving it free units... it's just plain cheating.

Re:Breakdown (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077886)

Potato Potahto, I would agree that it isn't fair, but neither is being able to command over 100 units individually in a miniscule fraction of a second. When this kind of information isn't readily available to AI, they tend not to be difficult. I've never seen a human opponent lose against an AI when the Human goes on the offensive first.

Re:Breakdown (1)

gedrin (1423917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077354)

The abiltiy to command multiple units at once is huge. Instead of moving groups, you move tactical squads. Micro manage a battle while doing a sneak attack. The level of sophistication allows for tactics otherwise unavailable.
Of course, there might be human players that are able to do this at a level near enough to the machine to negate the usefulness.

SkyNet.... (1)

mlauzon (818714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076544)

This is where SkyNet will emerge, :p

Re:SkyNet.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077086)

I am fine with that. Just need to teach the AI to cheat, so it keeps doing cheat codes to increase its resources, but doesnt realize it didnt get real-world resources.

AWESOM-O (1)

dotwhynot (938895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076568)

1.An AI may not injure a terran being or, through inaction, allow a terran being to come to harm. Only Zerg, Protoss and Xel'Naga..

Re:AWESOM-O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077218)

Are you a... pleasure model?

Re:AWESOM-O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30078156)

Trust Slashdot to get down to business mixing Southpark, StarCraft and Bladerunner metahores..

Offtopic, sorry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30076648)

Hey, this is only tangentially connected to this story. I've been looking for a recent RTS game to play. Nothing like Starcraft, Command & Conquer, World in Conflict or, say, Supreme Commander. I was thinking closer to Age of Empires, Empire Earth, or more specifically Rise of Nations. Base building, resource micromanagement, age advancement etc. Any smart Slashdot gamers have any suggestions?

TIA, and sorry about the off-topic. Any suggestions would be recommended.

Re:Offtopic, sorry (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076932)

Take a look at Sins of a Solar Empire, although it's in space...

Re:Offtopic, sorry (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077076)

Just be aware that a "medium" map game of Sins will take something like 20 hours to play, assuming you steamroll your opposition.

Re:Offtopic, sorry (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077930)

Sins of a Solar Empire is a very good game. Some people complain that it doesn't have a campaign to play through; it's strictly custom games, but that didn't bother me. I sunk days/weeks into it back when I got it and I still go back to play periodically. It doesn't have age advancement exactly, but research is a very important part of the game (to allow colonization of certain types of planets, give new abilities, improve your weapons, etc).

If/when you get sick of the regular game, there are also lots of mods to change things up, including some based on movies/TV series (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc). Definitely worth it, especially as it gets older and the price drops.

Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30076736)

I hope by AI they mean "smart" not "fast". Anyone who's played around with Warcraft, Starcraft, and the like knows you just can't out build the computer in the beginning. Compy builds in terms of micro or nano seconds; humans, at best, click in terms of half-seconds.

I sometimes don't feel like playing other people, yet the computer is typically a sad joke for strategy beyond the rush. To sum it up, if the new AI is the Zerg Rush master, but too stupid to fend me off should I survive, its fail.

Restrictions? (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076838)

I wonder if the bots will have any restrictions on apm and such. I could imagine the terror of trying to defend against 10 individually controlled mutalisks harrasing all my expansions at the same time, from all directions. And without any long-range trapping mechanism, or fast air-to-air unit, there is no way to catch them. And if I need cannons or turrets or units at all angles of attack, I will certainly lose the macro battle.

AIIDE web site (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076948)

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

I got it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30076994)

while (perform_zerg_rush()){ chat('kekekeke ^_^'); }

Breaking News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30076998)

The source code of the first contestant has been published.

while 1:
        t = Tank()
        t.attack() [wikipedia.org]

More brutal? (1)

Cur8or (1220818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077008)

I am sure the SC AI is hard enough to beat already. Do we really need more research in this direction? How about LAN support so I can hunt the forbidden prey: Human?

At least now... (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077230)

...we know when Starcraft II will be released. After October 1st 2010.

Not that I am the smartest man alive... (0, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077320)

I just wish everyone would stop calling what we actually have running in today's world with today's commodity computers "artificial intelligence."

With the exception of Fritz or Rybka, there hasn't been a single instance of AI that I personally have been unable to overcome in a matter of seconds, if not minutes. This has lead me to many a dissatisfaction in modern gaming as an adult. As a child, I believe my senses were overwhelmed by the ambiance and graphics, and I didn't think about AI, which I guess made AI work.

I vote for renaming it "Artificial Stupidity." Simply for the reason that it can't learn, and I can. Once I learn it, it is no longer a challenge. It never learns to capitalize on my mistakes, no matter what kind of statistical analysis trickery is happening behind the scenes.

Definitely, brutally... Artificial Stupidity.

Relevant? (1)

IndigoDarkwolf (752210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077336)

What does game AI have in common with traditional AI? Most traditional AI research is focused on reasoning and pattern matching. Adversarial game AI, particularly of the complexity needed for StarCraft, is usually just a greedy algorithm with preprogrammed responses to predetermined scenarios. Don't get me wrong, game AI tournaments are flashy and stuff, which I guess is why MechMania at the UIUC has been going for 15 years, but they have very little in common with traditional AI.

Disclaimer: I only took a couple of AI courses in college, but I am a game developer, as well as a repeat competitor at and attendee of MechMania at the UIUC (which seems like a reasonably close analog to this competition).

Easy to make.. (0, Troll)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077350)

AI can 'cheat'.

The fog of war that applies to you, doesn't apply to them. Also, their micromanagement of resources is impossible to coordinate on a human level.

You don't even have to make AI good, just make it cheat. That's how it is good.

What do I win now?

Re:Easy to make.. (3, Insightful)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077806)

A player could feel more satisfied if it plays against a computer with the same knowledge and resources as a human player, because then it would have to play more like a human. With such cheats, the player will feel annoyed that the computer always attack when he is the weakest, without real knowledge, or can attack with twise the units he know is the maximum at a given time.

competition announced? (1)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077376)

Well, I guess it was announced almost 2 months ago. The teams have been submitted and the contest is currently running as far as I can tell FTFA. Hmmm... timely news. I don't think so, this would have been cool back in Sept. so someone that might be interested could simply create a bot and enter it. Now it is way past time

Re:competition announced? (4, Informative)

Caspin (964414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077676)

The competition starts NEXT October (ie 2010). It's still 2009 check a calendar.

Re:competition announced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077744)

The competition is for fall 2010. People who can read properly have 10 months to build their bot before the entry deadline.

Re:competition announced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077942)

It's 2009, Champ.

bah (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077384)

The cheapest way for the computer to beat the human is to simply open up multiple fronts that cannot be simultaneously micro-managed. Even maintaining one significant skirmish at the front will prevent the human from micromanaging the base back home.

I've been a fan of RTS from the beginning but haven't seen anything really exciting since Total Anihillation. Maybe I've missed some great ideas but pretty much every one I've tried since has been met with the initial glee of pretty graphics and then the crushing disappointment of seeing AI mistakes that were getting old when Command and Conquer first came out.

Honestly, I found Starcraft 1 to be more compelling for the storyline than the gameplay. SCII seems to be the exact same game with prettier graphics.

Re:bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077708)

Check out some of the pro Starcraft videos. The amount of stuff they're managing at the same time is crazy. A computer player is still limited by resources and the map, so they can't actually do that much more than a human.

blacksheepwall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077472)

TFA doesn't seem to mention whether or not the submitted AI can cheat and see the entire map. The game's normal AI does this, but humans obviously aren't supposed to. Whether or not they allow this changes the game substantially.

Re:blacksheepwall (4, Informative)

Tawnos (1030370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077798)

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

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

naughty ai would win (5, Funny)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077782)

My AI would design its base to be a rough representation of a naughty picture on the minimap. Human players would always lose as they just let the AI build away to see the picture get a higher resolution.

Re:naughty ai would win (3, Funny)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078018)

Easily countered with a Goatse-base centered around a vespene-geyser.
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