Been a while

Wow, it has been a while since I have posted anything. My apologies for that, but, honestly, there has not been a whole lot to write about until recently. Let me get you up to speed.

Shortly after my last blog entry I entered the Google AI contest. I didn't get to put a ton of time into it, but winning the contest really wasn't my goal. I had two goals going into the contest. One goal was to beat the bot created by Alex Champandard. The other goal was simply to create a bot that functioned and did relatively well. I did and up beating the bot (he placed 633, I placed 431), so goal number one complete.

As far as the second goal, my bot functioned well and placed in the top 10% of the contest, so I consider that a good showing for the relatively small amount of work I put into it. But, it was more than that. This was the first time I coded something like this from scratch. Most of the work I have done up until that point felt more like modding to me. Sure, I created the AI Overlord, but that wasn't really all that big and really not that hard at all. No, I really wanted to challenge myself to make something from, essentially, nothing. No existing code to look at. Nothing to cut and paste from. Just pure, out of my head, code. I even had a co-worker look at it for me when the contest was over to get a code review. I know, it sounds a little paranoid (for lack of a better term), but I really needed to see if I could do it.

The rest of October was spent porting code from SupCom 2 over to Kings and Castles and getting it to the point that it didn't cause the game to crash. Then came the new project. Most of November and December were spent doing lots and lots of documentation and investigation. That is why I said there really wasn't much to write about. Who wants to hear about me having to investigate code and write documentation? Heck, who wants to be the person writing all the documentation? I learned I don't like to be that guy. That was also a part of why I entered the contest. I needed a project to work on and it came at a good time.

More recently, I have started getting to code things again. For now, I have mostly been working on UI stuff, which has been interesting. At least I am getting to work on code again. I think my upcoming project assignments will put me back onto the game play side of things again, and I truly look forward to that. I can't wait to be able to share more detailed info.


Zach said... / February 13, 2011 at 7:44 PM  

Ah, they joys of the 'off season'. So there's K&K and another project? Very interesting. Hope you stay sane till you can dive in earnest back into what you love.

Is SupCom2 pretty much done for now? Not complaining/asking for anything, just curious if you're still working on any bits for it.

Be of good cheer!


Philip said... / February 14, 2011 at 1:40 PM  

Hey Sorian,

I read about you training neural nets with "artificial" games (AI vs AI). Would it be possible to train the nets fomr real online games? Like, take all games of the top 5 players and feed that into the neural net.

olivier said... / February 16, 2011 at 12:41 PM  

Hey Sorian, really cool to know you're alive ! I'm not intending to know what's currently occruing at GPG, but maybe you could simply clarify what kind of constraint could prevent GPG from communicating about this new project, about K&K being on hold. I understand that at some point a company prefers not to talk about the current project state, but considering all noise that has been done with video blog, and suddenly having everything suspended is quite frustrating. I guess it's probably the same for most of people working at GPG, but i just would like to have an idea about what can lead a company to be absolutly stuck when it's about communicating about the game development advancement. Can't wait to read more about your AI stuff ;)

Philip said... / February 19, 2011 at 6:06 AM  

I have to agree with Oliver. This is all very confusing.

Olivier said... / April 14, 2011 at 12:06 PM  

been a long long long while ;)

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