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Halite: An AI Programming Challenge (halite.io)
232 points by Adrock on Nov 10, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments

Such a basic UI and concept, but it looks fantastic. I'm going to hop onto this immediately!

That was... scary

I have to say that I didn't completely understand the rules after a read-through. Some visuals and a complete walk-through would be nice, instead of piecing it together reading the various parts of the "Learn"-page and going back-and-forth trying to cover everything.

Agreed. We'll improve the description with more visuals. Thanks for the feedback!

This is a programming competition that was built by two high school interns at Two Sigma over the summer. We had so much fun playing it that we decided to open it up to the public. Have fun!

You need to click through the rankings to see the game in action, so here's a quick link to a recent one: https://halite.io/game.php?replay=ar1478809038-259229998.hlt

I saw their presentation over the summer and was super impressed. I didn't participate in the initial challenge but I'm excited to start now!

Congratulations on your launch and I hope you enjoy running it. It can be a lot of fun and quite the challenge at times. This looks like a very nice spiritual successor to the ai challenge ants contest.

Very similar to the Google AI challenge (the ants one) from a number of years ago.

Yes! The two interns who built Halite were Ants competitors and were inspired to build this after participating in that. They tried to come up with something that had even simpler rules while maintaining a high level of strategic possibilities.

This looks awesome. We had a very similar competition[1] twice a year at my university (a group of students created games like this, presented an API to those interested, and an average of ~100 students hacked away at bots for 24 hours) and I loved it. Will definitely give this a shot.

Related: it seems the winning strategy here is to surround your opponents. Is there any possible way to come back from being surrounded?

[1] https://megaminerai.com/competition/

That one is great. Never give up, never surrender.

Wow, that was intense. Thanks for sharing.

Wow. Impressive recovery.

Good job on visualization. For something with hundreds of moving pieces, it's pretty easy to see what's going on on the board.

This reminds me of http://vindinium.org/

There was a small reddit that used to keep track of games and competitions like this: https://www.reddit.com/r/gameai/

So when I run the game locally there is no visual feedback at all? Is there some way to turn visualization on?

On the Visualize tab, you can just drag the .hlt file onto the page to see it. There was a local visualizer, but we scrapped it to focus on a single implementation.

The devs are actively monitoring the site's forums and you might want to take this there.

It would be nice to have a submit file button in addition to drag-and-drop. Not everyone is using graphical file managers with this interface feature.

This also makes it difficult to automate. Similarly, maybe I would like to automatically submit my new bot when I do a commit or a push, but the Submit button uses Javascript which makes this unnecessarily difficult. (At least for me.)

Looks like the game is basically Risk but with a different mechanic for adding armies to territories: instead of choosing where you add them you get them where you stay still. Is this right? Very nifty!

That's a good way of looking at it. A couple interesting twists are that all the players move simultaneously and the combat is completely deterministic.

Problems with latency on the site should be fixed now

Super cool and fascinating project!

Now if only it supported arbitrary languages.

Or at least a C API, so we could bind it ourselves.

It does!

At launch, there were starter packages for Python, Java, C++, Scala, and Rust. There's a page describing how to add support for additional languages:


A few days ago, one competitor submitted the C# package. I wrote the Clojure one today and should have it up soon.

Thanks. I didn't see this. Sorry.

Any plans/word on Ruby support?

Any language that can read and write stdio is supported.

Could be there a precompiled X86 binary for windows too? Q_Q

Reminds me of the excellent windows torrent client of the same name [1]


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