Persistent File I/O
File I/O will work the same way as last year's tournament. You will have read access to folder 'bwapi-data/read/' and write access to folder 'bwapi-data/write/', both of which will be in the standard location under the StarCraft root directory.
IMPORTANT: File I/O works as follows:
Again, due to the nature of overwriting the read folder with the contents of the write folder, your file names should be unique at least to the current opponent. Two popular choices for file naming schemes are:
- Before each game, the contents of the server-side read directory for your bot are copied to the client machine under 'bwapi-data/read/'. For the first round of the tournament this directory will be blank since a full round has not yet been played.
- During a game, you have write access to the 'bwapi-data/write/' folder and read access to the 'bwapi-data/read/' folder on the client you are currently playing on
- After the game ends, the contents of the 'bwapi-data/read/' folder are deleted, and the contents of the 'bwapi-data/write/' folder are sent to the server and stored in your bot's server-side write folder.
- WARNING: Step 3 may overwrite previous results if you are not careful in specifying unique filenames for each opponent that you play against.
- After each bot has played each other bot on the current map (one round robin on that map) the contents of each bot's server-side write folder are copied into the respective server-side read folder and the write folder is cleared.
- WARNING: Step 5 will over-write previous round data inside the server-side read folder. Your file output must either be cumulative, or have a filename scheme such that no overwrites will happen in order for your data to be preserved.
- The bot's server-side read folder is NEVER deleted throughout the tournament
- The next round starts, and from step 1 you will have access to your server-side read data from the previous rounds inside the client's 'bwapi-data/read/' folder
- Results_EnemyName.txt - Inside this file you store all data about your matches against bot EnemyName. This file will be overwritten every round on the server, so make sure to read its contents each game, and write out the cumulative results into the write folder so you do not lose data after a round
For example, you can store one line per map played inside this file so you have something like "EnemyName MapName Wins Losses ExtraData", then if you win a game on that map against that enemy, you read in the contents and then output "EnemyName MapName Wins+1 Losses ExtraData+NewData"
- Results_EnemyName_MapName_TimeStamp.txt - If you don't want to have a single file per enemy storing cumulative results, you can instead have a single file per game to store results with a unique time stamp or random number suffix. Please not that this is much slower, as your bot will play thousands of games and then have to process each file in the directory each time. Any time-out due to file processing is still a timeout and you will get a game loss. I strongly recommend the first option.
Any reading or writing of other directories is forbidden. You have a 1gb limit for all files in the read directory. If you go over this, it will be deleted.
The following BWAPI release versions will be supported this year:
Versions 3.7.4, 4.0.1 Beta, 4.1.2
The only game type for the competition will be 1 vs. 1 full game StarCraft: BroodWar 1.16.1 with fog of war enabled.
Games will have a 'frame limit' of 86400 frames, to simulate one hour of gameplay. If a game goes this long, it will be stopped and the in-game score
will be used to determine the winner.
The tournament will be round-robin, with as many rounds as possible.
All source code and data files needed to compile
and run the competition entries will be made available to the public
as free software with a license that
with the GNU public license.
We received a variety of opinions on this matter and decided, in the
end, that to foster research it is best to have the next generation of
programmers stand on the shoulders of giants, rather than re-invent
the wheel. Please note, that program authors retain the copyright of
their code. Also, releasing code as free software will allow new
authors to take code from the previous competition and improve
it. This has worked well in the past in the International Planning and
All games will be played at setLocalSpeed(0) (fastest setting). Please make sure that your bot
functions correctly on this setting. To avoid problems, base your 'timings' on unit counts or currentFrame() and not
Make sure that each onframe call does not run longer than 42ms. Entries
that slow down games by repeatedly exceeding this time limit will lose games on time. In particular:
In a match a bot LOSES (immediately) on time iff
>= 2 frames exceed 10 seconds, or
>= 10 frames exceed 1 second, or
>= 200 frames exceed 55ms
We reserve the right to reject entries if we feel the authors attempt
to obfuscate their code (like using silly or deceiving variable names
or encoding their algorithm in a 10MB FSM transition matrix stored on
disk). Authors who are concerned about the source code leaking
information that has not been published yet, are encouraged to submit
a technical report to their institutions that describes their entries
prior to submitting the code.
To simplify this process we ask authors to only use standard
development tools, that can be invoked via shell commands (such as
Visual C++). In case remote access is not feasible, we will need
detailed instructions for building each DLL.
Conflict of Interest
Organizing AND participating in events like this can be tricky, in particular if some choices,
like which maps we use, are made "randomly", and we get access to competitors source code prior to running the tournament.
We address these problems as follows:
- For choosing maps we will use the standard Java pseudo random number generator that will
be seeded by the XOR combination of "random numbers" all program authors provide when they submit
their entry. Our random number is (TBA).
- Before accepting zip files, we will distribute the MD5 check sums of our zip files to all participants.
This way, participants can be confident that we don't change our entry after seeing their source code.
No entry fee
Maybe some prizes
All replay files and source code will be made publicly available after the contest
StarCraft Brood War version 1.16.1 will be used for all games
StarCraft is a trademark of Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard will not held liable for any damage caused
We will not be held liable for damage caused.
This includes getting your CD key banned on Battle.net due to running a 3rd party StarCraft launcher
Entries must use the version of the Brood War API provided on this site
Bots that perform malicious behavior will be disqualified and banned from all future contests. This includes but is not limited to:
Intentionally crashing StarCraft
Installing worms/viruses/malware on the host machine
Malicious utilization of resources such as sockets, files, zombie processes (Using 100% RAM and 100% CPU is permitted)
Spamming the in-game console
Programs that attempt to cheat will be disqualified.
Bots must disable the perfect information flag in the full-game tournament
Games in which an agent crashes StarCraft will be counted as a loss
Bots will be run in a native Windows XP SP3 environment.
Entries must be tested on native Windows XP SP3 before submission
We will not be held responsible for entries that crash StarCraft due to our configuration of the system
Games will be run in a semi-automated fashion.
Internet access is forbidden, bots will be run on a LAN
Only 1 entry is permitted per affiliation. Different bots can be submitted for each of the tournaments.
Bots must not slow down the game speed
Games will be run on the FASTEST setting, which is 24 fps
See the details on writing a remote process for your AI here
Games in which a bot slows down the game speed significantly will be counted as a loss
Participants are required to disclose all source code and to provide a short description of implementation details.
Entries are only allowed to make use of free software components - includign BWTA and BWSAL
Entries are allowed to utilize a single socket to communicate with a remote process
The remote process must be a 1-click to run
application (e.g. we are not going to install a LISP compiler on the
host machine to run a bot)
Additional details on writing a remote process are available here
Bots are not allowed to pause the game, games in which a bot pauses the game will be counted as a loss
The following StarCraft bugs/tricks are permitted:
Plague on interceptor
Units pressed through
Drops to defuse mines
Lurker hold position
Observer over turret
Stacking air units
All other bugs/exploits are forbidden. Bots caught attempted these exploits will be disqualified. This includes but is not limit to:
Flying drones and templars
Terran sliding buildings
Stacking ground units
Gas walk, to get through blocked entrances or ramps
Bad mannered in game behavior is discouraged, but not forbidden