The AIIDE 2010 StarCraft AI Competition has come to a close. The challenge given to competitors was to build the best performing bot for an immensely popular, commercial game. The competition consisted of four tournaments of varying complexity. This was the first year the competition was held and it turned out to be a success. Even though no prizes were offered, twenty-eight teams participated in the competition. My presentation on the competition provides an overview of the participants and results.
The showcase game of the competition was a bot versus human match. In the exhibition match, =DoGo=, a World Cyber Games 2001 competitor played against the top ranking bot of the competition. The result was an exciting man versus machine match highlighting the state of the art in real-time strategy game AI.
While the expert player was capable of defeating the top performing bots in the competition, the results are quite encouraging. Read on for complete results.
Tournament 1: Micromanagement
The first tournament evaluated bots in unit micromanagement scenarios.The winner of this tournament was FreSCBot, which uses multi-agent finite-state machines. The runner-up was Sherbrooke, which also uses state machines. Complete tournament details are available here and the full results are posted here. The video below shows the final match between FreSCBot (red) and Sherbrooke (blue).
Tournament 2: Small-Scale Combat
The second tournament evaluated bots in small-scale combat scenarios. The results of this competition mirrored the results of the first tournament: FreSCBot won and Sherbrooke was runner-up. Complete tournament details are available here and the full results are posted here. The video below shows the final match between FreSCBot (purple) and Sherbrooke (orange).
Tournament 3: Tech-Limited Game
The third tournament tested bots in a tech-limited StarCraft environment which requires reasoning at strategic and tactical levels, but omits much of the complexity of the full version of StarCraft. The winner of this tournament was Mimic Bot, which attempted to mirror the opponent’s strategy while also performing a gas steal and applying fallback strategies. The runner up was Botnik, which executes a Zealot rush strategy. Complete tournament details are available here and the full results are posted here. The video below shows the final match between MimicBot (red) and Botnik (teal).
Tournament 4: Full Gameplay
The final tournament was a best-of-five, double-elimination tournament simulating a professional gaming competition. The winner of this tournament was Overmind, a Zerg bot that effectively scouted its opponents, interrupted their economy, and performed Mutalisk harassment until victory was ensured. The runner-up was Krasi0, a Terran bot with excellent defense and pushing capabilities. Complete tournament details are available here and the full results are posted here. The video below shows an exert from one of the games between Overmind (yellow) and Krasi0 (brown).
Highlight #1: Krasi0 versus Skynet
During this minute of action between bots Krasi0 and Skynet, it was difficult to distinguish whether the game was being played by skilled human players or the StarCraft equivalent of Deep Blue.
Highlight #2: Berkeley’s Mutalisk Evolution
Contemporary StarCraft wisdom tells us that the best way to use mutalisks is to clump them. In human versus human battles, this makes it difficult to single out the weaker mutalisks, because the units are stacked on top of each other. However, UC Berkeley’s team identified a flaw in this tactic; it reduces the damage output of each individual mutalisk, because not all mutalisks will fire when using this tactic. Instead, they employed a model in which mutalisk are always moving, maximizing damage output while simultaneously maximizing movement.
The inaugural StarCraft AI Competition was a huge success! I would like to thank Blizzard, BWAPI, AAAI, and all of the participants in making this event a reality. The next competition will be hosted by the University of Alberta at AIIDE 2011.
Update: Competition Videos
I’ve recorded a few of the more interesting games from the StarCraft AI Competition. All replays from the competition are available on the competition website and I encourage people to post additional videos and commentaries.
Here’s one of the matches from the finals between Krasi0 and Overmind (Replay):
This video shows the initial match between =DoGo= and Krasi0, with DoGo playing as Protoss (Replay):
One of the highlights of the competition, Skynet versus Krasi0. This video shows the match-up on Heartbreak Ridge (Replay):
The semi-finals between Chronos and Overmind (Replay):
About the author: Ben Weber is a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz.