Invitation for the Robocode contest

Do you know Robocode? “Robocode is a programming game, where the goal is to develop a robot battle tank to battle against other tanks”, says the homepage. It’s very easy to program a robot – although you can put any effort in making it as clever as possible.

To program the robot they have a nice API. But it could be done better! Let’s use MPS and create a language for robot control! To make it more fun, I invite you to contribute your language and a solution with this language. All solutions – or to be more concrete: the robots created by this solution – will be put into a playground and battle against all others. Let’s define some rules we hopefully all agree:

  • Your submission should consist of a new language and a solution with this language
  • The solution should eventually compile down to a Java class representing the robot
  • All robots (.class files) will be put into the same playground without other robots
  • There will be 1000 rounds, the winner is who wins most of them (because of statistical reasons everybody should be able to do the same and should get the same result)
  • Only one robot per language/solution submission will be used, if you have several solutions please make a note which one to use
  • But you could submit more than one language if you want, then you have more than one robots on the field, so essentially one robot per MPS project is allowed
  • The Robocode version for the contest will be the current stable version: (Sat, 22 Jun 2013)
  • The MPS version which I use to create the robots will be MPS-3.0-EAP-129.189 – which is the current 3.0 EAP
  • Put your language under an Open Source Licence, because:
  • There is no price to win, only fame, experience and the know-how you can get by reading the code of the others
  • I will announce the winner in this blog
  • I collect all submissions on a GitHub account:
  • If you are not on GitHub and/or familiar with git – no problem, simply drop your submission by any channel (e.g. e-mail to mpsrobocodecontest – which I created for this contest – at gmail), and I will put it for you into the repository for you
  • I (Jens) myself am not allowed to participate. 😦
  • Last, but most important one: this is all about fun and learning – I don’t want to see any grumpy faces 😉

Even if your robot is not the best – you can impress the others by a cool language or solution. There is also no price for this to win 😉

I think, two month should be fine for the first round. So I’ll gather all robots at September, 14th 2013. Maybe due to some unpredictable reasons I’m not able to do the contest execution directly at that day, but I’ll do what I can. In the worst case I have to hand over to some friendly delegate – who of course also will not be allowed to put her robot into the playground.

Yes, you read ‘the first round’. I hope there will be some interest and we can repeat this. You can improve your languages and solutions based on the your own experience and what you learn from the other robots. That’s why all submissions should be Open Source.  I can imagine that further rounds will be with some limitations – if you participated at a Code Retreat or saw the film The Five Obstructions you know what I mean. That improves the skills even further. Any suggestions are welcome!

Let the games begin!

Update: today the MPS 3.0 rc1 was published, so if you want to use this version – that’s fine!


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