RockPaperAzure Coding Challenge

I’m pleased to announce that we’re finally launching our Rock, Paper, Azure Challenge!

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For the past couple of months, I’ve been working with Jim O’Neil and Peter Laudati on a new Azure event/game called Rock, Paper, Azure.  The concept is this:  you (hopefully) code a “bot” that plays rock, paper, scissors against the other players in the game.  Simple, right?

Here’s where it gets interesting.  Rock, paper, scissors by itself isn’t all that interesting (after all, you can’t really beat random in a computer game – assuming you can figure out a good random generator!), so there are two additional moves in the game.  The first is dynamite, which beats rock, paper, and scissors.   Sounds very powerful – and it is – however, you only have a few per match so you need to decide when to use them.   The other move is a water balloon.  The water balloon beats dynamite, but it loses to everything else.   You have unlimited water balloons.

Now, with the additional rules, it becomes a challenge to craft an effective strategy.   We do what we call “continuous integration” on the leaderboard – as soon as your bot enters, it’s an all out slugfest and you see where you are in near real time.   In fact, just a few minutes ago, a few of us playing a test round were constantly tweaking our bots to defeat each other – it was a lot of fun trying to outthink each other.

Starting next week, we’ve got some great prizes on the line – including Xbox systems, Kinect, and gift cards – so be sure to check it out!   The project homepage is here:

http://www.rockpaperazure.com

See you in the game!

Comments (1) -

Justin James
Justin James
3/31/2011 12:19:59 AM #

After a good amount of experimentation tonight, I've concluded that it is nearly impossible to write something substantially better than a random strategy. Any predictive strategy is going to be defeated by a random one, and it takes too many turns to detect a pattern even if one exists.

J.Ja

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