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AI Challenge Forums • View topic - Mini Challenge Ants II

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Mini Challenge Ants II

Ideas for the Future

Mini Challenge Ants II

Postby judeling » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:39 am

While I imagine the fun is in creating an entirely new challenge. It seems an incredible waste to shelve current challenge in its entirety. I'm sure that this is not a new suggestion, but requiring the ants to return food to the hill would significantly alter the game play without a huge investment organizational support.

If carried food was available after combat raiding supply lines etc becomes an alternative strategy. If Dead Ants are also food then food per map can be a finite and known. This would also allow for some more sophisticated strategic logic and make distance from hill a cost.

If in addition ants could carry two or more foods the play wouldn't slow down all that much.

Even having to cleanup during combat would have interesting effects.

Scoring could be total ants or you could keep the current system.

a 99 99 0 - no food carried
b 99 99 0 - one food carried
c 99 99 0 - two food carried

Food to hive Ant in attack or some other radius.

spring challenge while working on the next big game.
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Re: Mini Challenge Ants II

Postby zaphod » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:26 pm

Well, another addition of carry capacity to the above, might also not be a bad idea. Food can be of different weights which could make it even more challenging. The more the problem is modelled towards real ants and the real world, the more challenging the problem looks!
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Re: Mini Challenge Ants II

Postby judeling » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:04 pm

My goal with this suggestion was to allow the interest sparked by this challenge to carry over while the new challenge is in development.

To do this I wanted to alter the game play as much as possible with the most limited changes to the current support infrastructure. This would free our hard working administrators to concentrate on the next challenge and allow an easier entry for any new administrative staff.

The biggest change I could see would be extending the metaphor by requiring food to return to the hill. This will slow the initial exploration way down and create a slower developing game. Symmetry Detection could become more important with strategies to optimize it. Strategic combat goals could emerge (fake retreats to cut off forces etc).

Other tweaks are obviously possible (for example a penalty for carting food say a decrease in vision). But the basic premise is to keep this challenge alive until the next one.
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Re: Mini Challenge Ants II

Postby J.S.F. » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:32 pm

Maybe if they find alot of food in one location they can spend 300 of some other resource to put down another hill near the food so they don't have to travel as far, then you'd have a bunch of workers working in one area while your army is roaming around looking for enemy work camps to raid...... hmmmmm that sounds like it's be a fun kind of game, it would require your bot to make STRATEGIC decisions in REAL TIME!!!!
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Re: Mini Challenge Ants II

Postby MagnumPU » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:03 am

That's a pretty neat idea. I'm sure the next contest is going to be cool, and I wouldn't really want to distract the organizers, maybe we can set up a little unofficial contest on a tcp server.
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Re: Mini Challenge Ants II

Postby judeling » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:58 am

I used this challenge as a way to reintroduce myself to programming. In particular I was interested in python. So I have been playing around and have ants carting food back to the hill.

The game crawls.

Right now I have an ant carrying a food. Ants are picking up food just as in the game and dropping it off when they are in spawn radius of the hill. There is no way that this would work for a challenge.

I'm going to work on getting ants to carry more food. I think if they could carry three or four foods the play would speed up enough to make it interesting. At any rate food spawning will have to be slowed way down if not eliminated. I am really leaning towards a finite start food distribution with dead ants as food. Or maybe I should think of it as eggs instead of food. Robot ants that need to be activated at the hill, maybe a better metaphor. Ants aren't killed they are deactivated.
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Re: Mini Challenge Ants II

Postby MagnumPU » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:17 am

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