- Created Monday, October 3rd 2016 @ 16:49:44
It's been awfully quiet from our side for a while now. There haven't been much improvements to the website, nor have we announced a new competition for a while. As such I want to take the time to let you all know what we've been up to and what's in store for The AI Games.
Those of you who've been playing our competitions from the start might remember that The AI Games started out as a fun side project of the development team at a certain Dutch IT recruitment company. We had a poker competition and the first Warlight AI Challenge running, in both of which several dozens of players were participating. Over time we have been adding more competitions and each competition brought more players to the website.
About a year ago we felt that we were reaching the limits of what the current back end architecture was able to support; it took (and still takes) far too long for the game queue to empty and it can sometimes take hours before your own bot plays a game. At this point we had to make a choice: we could either keep working on The AI Games as the side project it was or give the platform the time and attention it deserves. The result: we set up our own company called Riddles.io and the recruitment company lost its dev team.
We decided we'd rebuild The AI Games from scratch in a way that is performant, scalable, and would allow anyone to set up their own programming competition in the future. This is what we've been doing since Januari. We've been experimenting a lot and we've slowly but steadily been building towards the platform that will replace the current implementation The AI Games. During this process we've also kept a close look on the issues you all raised, fixed most of the problems and added several requested features to The AI Games 2.0.
Some of the notable improvements include:
- A bot revision immediately starts playing matches once it's activated, no more waiting for the queue to be emptied;
- Every bot plays a match at least once every 15 minutes;
- We've overhauled the way game engines are written and consumed by the platform, also making it easier to compile them for local usage;
- You can download the source code for all your uploaded bot revisions;
- We've added changes in rank to the match log.
Some of the stuff we're currently working on:
- Replacing ELO by TrueSkill;
- Implementing a fully featured GraphQL backed API;
- Supporting all the languages currently supported by The AI Games;
- Reaching feature parity with The AI Games
Although we're not there yet, development has reached a point where we're confident enough to run a competition on the new platform. As such I'd like to pose the following question to all of you:
We'll be unveiling a new competition after Go goes out of beta (which is soon), would you like it if we run the next competition as a public beta on the new platform or would you prefer it if we host the next competition on the current back end?
We'd like to hear your thoughts.
- Updated Monday, October 3rd 2016 @ 19:17:51
Congrats! I'm sure striking it out on your own to support this website was a tough decision. We're all rooting for you!
On to your question: How is this even a question? :)
It sounds like you've put a lot of hard work into it. I think we would all be excited by those new features. If you think you're ready to run a competition on the new platform, I think we'd all love to try it out. Worst-case it's more "beta" than usual.
Minor suggestions/questions for the new site:
1) Would it be possible to use a better website forum package? If not, out-source it to (for example) a reddit group? I really hate this forum...
2) Why TrueSkill vs. ELO? The former is a MS copyright, and I don't quite understand the advantage it would offer you. Agreed ELO is sub-optimal even for it's designed purpose in chess...
3) Document, document, document. It's really hard to find "special" things like that you can change to /plaintextdump in the match. More than the website growing pains you described, I feel like this is off-putting to new-comers.
4) Provide approximate timetables for your events. For example, I got started at theaigames a few years ago after the Google ants challenge ended. I tend to join this in "spurts" as I have time, but I'm never sure when your competition will leave beta and/or how long the non-beta stage will last before finals start. This has been something that I know prevents some of my co-workers from joining.
- Created Monday, October 3rd 2016 @ 19:48:39
Regarding your questions:
- A new forum is pretty high on our wish list as well. We won't be able to ship it for the initial version, but it'll surely come.
- Regarding TrueSkill: it's proved to be a quite reliable measure of skill on xbox live (in 1 vs 1 as well as team- and free-for-all matches). As we would like to offer games with more than two bots per match in the future, we thought it was worthwhile to replace the scoring algorithm.
- You're definitely right on this point. It'll probably be until the public release of the API, but at that point you should have all the documentation necessary to retrieve any data that is accessible to through the website.
- Good point. We'll take care to provide an approximate timetable up front from our next competition onwards.
- Created Monday, October 3rd 2016 @ 20:37:48
@nikooO_o Thanks, and very awesome. Definitely looking forward to the TrueSkill / multi-bot games. :) Thanks for all you guys do.
- Created Friday, October 14th 2016 @ 15:59:13
The riddles.io site is looking great! I'm looking at the new game now, very happy to see the new platform operational.
- Created Friday, October 14th 2016 @ 21:11:36
Thanks! We'll be making lots of tweaks and improvements during the beta, so please let us know what you think. All constructive criticism is welcome ^_^
- Created Friday, October 14th 2016 @ 23:49:12
good luck with your new site and your business! I was wondering in the past what this was for a business model with offering free competitions while apparently not making any advertisement about anything.
As for myself I only care about if I like a certain competition and as a bonus some frequented forum and chat is also nice. If you feel like switching the domain, I have no problems playing on another domain.
- Created Saturday, October 15th 2016 @ 09:19:55