Hardcore Programming Compo

Photo: Steinar H. Gunderson

Create an artificial intelligence in one of the allowed programming languages. The program must play a given game, and will be measured on criteria given in a compo case.

The problem will be a believed-to-be unsolvable problem in polynomial time (NP-complete), which means that your best bet will be to apply some form of heuristic that hopefully performs better than your opponents.

Go to Compo Case

The compo case and simulator was released March 20th 2011.


  1. Hand-in

    Entries in the hardcore programming competition must be delivered through the web-based compo system.

    Hand in a ZIP or RAR file containing the entry itself, and a short text file (file_id.diz/.nfo/.txt) with information about the entry as well as contact info.

  2. What to deliver?

    Binary and source code of your solution to the compo assignment.

  3. Deciding a winner

    The winner will be the entry that performs best with regard to the criteria stated in the task assignment.

  4. Programming Languages

    All languages are allowed as long as they don't need any other VM than those provided below.

    • Native windows binaries
    • .NET 3.5/4.0
    • Java (JRE version 6 Update 23)
    • Python 2.6/3.1

  5. Use of external libraries

    You are not allowed to depend on any third party library except the standard libraries of your language.

  6. Accessing system resources

    Your program is not allowed to access disk, the network, external devices or the likes. This is not a competition in cheating the compo system or wreaking havoc.

    Your program must run completely by itself; no form of user interaction is allowed

  7. Time limit for execution

    There will be a time limit given in the assignment. Your program must not exceed this time limit.

    The time limit will be the same for entries in all languages. This means that you might get an advantage from using faster programming languages. There will be no handicap system to compensate for this.

  8. Other criteria for disqualification

    If your program crashes or fails to solve the task, your entry will be disqualified.

  9. No-go limit

    The compo will be held if we receive 3 or more entries. If not, this compo may be cancelled.

  10. General rules

    The general rules for the Gathering 2011 creative competitions apply to this compo.

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