FAQ

I’ve never written a line of code, can I still sign up and participate?

Sure! Everyone can participate. Although you would definitely benefit from learning about variables, functions and classes first. If you’re interested, Khan Academy offers a nice interactive course on programming to familiarise yourself with the basics.

What languages are supported?

All languages listed on the Languages page are globally supported, so these can be used for all competitions.

Can I output custom messages from my bot?

Yes. Everything sent to the standard error stream (stderr) is ignored by the engine and is written to the game log. You can read it there at the Error section.

Why is there no starter bot for language x available?

Although our team is awesome, we’re not proficient in every programming language available to mankind, or we simply do not have the time. If you are willing to lend us a hand and create a starter bot for us, we would be more than happy to make it publicly available after we have reviewed it. Of course, you will get all the credit for that starter bot.

I want to write my bot in language x, can you arrange this?

We should be able to add support for any programming language. Send an email to developers@theaigames.com and we’ll implement support for said language. This can be a tedious process however. Providing a starter bot to us with the request really speeds up testing and debugging, so we can implement the support faster.

My bot has been “In queue for compilation” for ages, what's going on??

It looks like the queue has been jammed. Although we do our best and this rarely happens anymore, some bots may break our compiler/game-runner. Send us an e-mail at developers@theaigames.com and we’ll apply some grease.

Why are there are no new games appearing in the game log?

Same reason as above, sometimes the queue might get stuck.

Uploading a bot returns “Cannot find main file”

The game server can only compile your code when the file initiating your bot is in the root of your zip-file. Compressing and uploading only the source files, not the enclosing folder should do the trick.

My bot has been compiled successfully, but it’s not playing any matches

The game server queues all matches beforehand to make sure each bot plays exactly once against the ten bots ranked directly above and below itself. Depending on the queue length, it can take several hours before your bot starts playing matches, because a new queue is only created when the previous one is empty.

How are bots kept from messing with the website server?

First of all, the website and 'game' servers are separated. This is done so the website runs smoothly while (possibly) computationally heavy games are being played. Secondly, the bots all run from their own jail, which is created at game start. A bot cannot access anything outside of this jail.

Where do the prizes for the competitions come from?

The website is owned and created by a Dutch company called Star Apple. The company works with IT specialists and this website is a project to give something fun to the IT community. So far, all the prizes have been sponsored by Star Apple itself.

My question isn’t listed

You can take a look at the discussion board, chances are the question has been asked already. If it isn’t, send us an e-mail at developers@theaigames.com or join our irc channel.