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AI Challenge Forums • View topic - A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

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A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

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A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby jeff.cameron » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:20 am

Everybody starts with one ant. There is food all over the place. When your ant comes close to food, the food becomes another ant of the same color. When two enemy ants come close enough together they both die.

I haven't implemented it yet, but food should randomly spawn in random locations. Your score at the end of the game is the overall percentage of all the food that you ate compared to the other players.

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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby amstan » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:41 am

You can now access the code for this sim at the main repo, in the .
You just type "make movie" if you have all the dependencies.

I always said "DO NOT FEED THE ANTS", but Jeff didn't listen:
Image
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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby mleise » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:31 am

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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby Vogons » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:31 am

This looks fine. I have one additional question : shouldn't the initial food squares be symetrical (ie is identical after a 1/4 turn) for all players ? It is easy to do and will ensure that no player gets disadvantaged from the start.
I am wondering if the ingame food spawning should not also be symetrical for all starting bases ?
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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby emgallar » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:28 pm

This looks fine. I've a suggestion. Why not include the total distance covered by each ant around the map to evaluate each player at the end of game. E. G totalFood/totalDistance or (totalFood)² / totalDistance
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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby McLeopold » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:13 pm

It would be good to have a scoring system that ranked all the bots in the game, not just determine the winner. The scoring system will be very important to strategy and ultimately in deciding the winner, so this should be discussed at length until we are exhausted.

With multiple bots in the same game, it will be possible to gang up on the leader. Also, if 2 bots are leading the others by a large margin, it will be possible for one of the others to be a king maker. Because of these possibilities, I think it would be good to have a scoring system that reflected the overall performance of a bot throughout the game, not just the status at the game end. I think the easiest scoring mechanism would be that each bot gets one point per ant per turn. The code would be to increment each player's score by the count of ants they have at each turn, which is easy and fast. This would allow a bot who did well at the start with lots of ants, but ended up being defeated, to possibly have a higher score than a bot who sat in the corner and did nothing but managed to survive longer because it wasn't a threat.

The even easier way to score is to ignore performance and just rank the bots by how long they survived, in which case hiding in the corner might be a viable strategy.

Either decision would affect strategy quite a bit.

This game also lend itself to a good flame war on how many turns should be the max. I would suggest starting with a very high number and then analyzing where the cutoff should be. The number can be lowered when more games per minute are needed.

BTW, with a small change to how the game works, this is very similar to PlanetWars. If the food appeared in the same place, you then have "spawn" points, or "planets" with a growth rate. A difference would be that ships would have the ability to be redirected. Otherwise, the same strategies will dominate. With food appearing randomly, you must control more land rather than specific points, but still very similar.
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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby Meatkat » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:00 am

Very cool, good work. A few suggestions:

Theme
When looking at the visualizer at the moment I can't help but think this is more of a zombie simulation game than an ant game. What if the particles of 'food' instead became humans, each of which would wander and each of which would run away from zombies (though not faster than the zombie!)? I think that would add to the coolness factor. As is well known on the internets, Zombies.coolness >> Ants.coolness. The humans' movement could be deterministic paths, as could be their flight pattern. Both could even be circular. I've seen enough Zombie movies to know that people don't always respond as they should when confronting a Zombie Apocalypse! The map could then take place in a symmetric urban environment, where no one can enter the houses (thinking of a city grid system here, maybe add some court yards and huge houses). Houses will randomly spawn humans for a certain period of time from random unseen 'doors'. Spawning would also be symmetric. Combat with the other zombies works as before.

Implications
Make the maps a little bigger and awesome strategies like 'herd the sheep... err I mean humans' become viable (given they have a decent flight response). Also because it's an urban environment that means lots of obstacles and more interesting game play. At the same time it's still not too hard as humans can't run faster than zombies so if you just use the 'chase them' method you'll still grow in numbers (though you might end up chasing them into the enemy faction!).

Implementation
Good: As I said the current implementation is wonderfully simple

Better: Add a fog of war, you can only see x distance from each of your ants/zombies

Best: Have fog of war for each ant/zombie, and put them each on a separate thread.
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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby Vetallio » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:52 am

Nice! :D
Is branching factor big enough here? I can't make it clear
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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby jcothran » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:07 pm

Doesn't seem different enough from planetwars , how about thermonuclear war? maybe the only winning move is not to play.
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Re: A Simplified Ant Wars (With Pics!)

Postby dabino » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:42 pm

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