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(3/26/2003) Can't stand waiting for V Planet's next mini-game competition? Well, this year's biggest QB mini-game making contest starts now, with a whole new theme!
This year, a new theme and format has been chosen for the Mini-Game Competition, with an entirely different aspect of videogames in mind. Sometimes, the true depth of a game has to be seen by the gamer before it can be believed. While gameplay and technology in QB games have evolved over the years, one important aspect of gaming has been slowly fading away from both QB games and commercial games: the subject of artificial intelligence!
So with the 2003 Gaming Gold Awards scheduled for this December, V Planet is proud to announce that this year's mini-game competition will not be a normal programming contest, but a virtual chess tournament in which participants will program and then battle their own QB chess programs against each other. The goal is to compete to create the best pure-QB chess AI in the world!
The following are the rules of this year's Mini-Game compo:
(1) Time Limit: Coding for the 2003 Mini-Game Compo starts at March 26, 2003, and ends at November 2, 2003. There is no limit to the number of hours that can be used to program the mini-game as long as it is within the timeframe.
(2) Number of Programmers: Up to four programmers can participate to make a single entry. Each participant can only join to make one chess program.
(3) Program Limitations: All code to make the chess project must be made by the participants in their respective team only, in 100% pure QB. Use of any libraries is strictly forbidden. Also, use of commands to call or execute other programs for AI or other purposes is strictly forbidden. Note that there is no file size limit, and multiple modules are acceptable.
(4) Required Features: Graphics and music are not required. All entries must come with a player vs. CPU mode where the player can choose to be either white or black. Also, game moves must be viewable through either a chessboard display or chess notation, so that each game can be recorded.
(1) Free Tests: During the 15th of each month in the contest, each team may send a beta or finished copy of their chess AI for "testing". During testing, the AI can be tested against all other entries received for testing so far, as well as some commercial chess products.
After the games are played, information will be returned to the particpants, including detailed results from games against the commercial chess products, and nothing but the direct result (win, loss, or draw) and reason for the result as shown in the Chess Rules below. The data from these testing periods can be used to improve AI, but not to see how the other teams are utilizing their Chess AI.
(1) Tournament Rules: On November 3, 2003, all submitted entries will participate in a round robin tournament (all plays all). No more alterations can be made to entries after this time. There will be a 20 minute time control on each side to complete all moves, and a one-minute limit for each move. Each team's program will play two games, one white, one black, and games will be executed offline by V Planet's group of unbiased, non-participating panel.
(2) Scoring: For each win, the winning team receives 2 points. Each draw results in 1 point, while the losing team receives 0 points. The player with the most points at the end of the tournament is considered the winner of the tournament.
(3) Winning: A win in chess occurs when (a) a player checkmates the opposing king, (b) a CPU player crashes or does not complete a move within one minute per move or twenty minute time control, (c) the opposing player does an irreversible, illegal move or (d) the opposing CPU program is not able to simulate a legal move (make sure your Chess AI accepts castling on both sides and en passant!)
(4) Drawing and Resigning: Because all games are played off-line and privately, offering draws and resigning is not allowed. However, a draw may occur if there is a stalemate.
(5) Tie-break: Additional sets of two games (one black, one white) will be played as necessary to settle tie-breakers.
(6) Documentation: Each chess game in the tournament will be documented and then distributed to both participants. In addition, all matches will be shown online on the 2003 Gaming Golds website and V Planet when the tournament is finished.
That's the rules! Seven short months stretch between now and November. This mini-game competition is open to all QB programmers. Good luck to all participants! =)
Article Written by Vance Velez, Editor
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