Evolving Evil: Optimizing Flocking Strategies through Genetic Algorithms for the Ghost Team in the Game of Ms. Pac-Man

by Federico Liberatore, Antonio Mora, Pedro Castillo, Juan Julián Merelo in EvoGAMES
Flocking strategies are sets of behavior rules for the interaction of agents that allow to devise controllers with reduced complexity that generate emerging behavior. In this paper, we present an application of genetic algorithms and flocking strategies to control the Ghost Team in the game Ms. Pac-Man. In particular, we define flocking strategies for the Ghost Team and optimize them for robustness with respect to the stochastic elements of the game and effectivity against different possible opponents by means of genetic algorithm. 
The performance of the methodology proposed is tested and compared with that of other standard controllers belonging to the framework of the Ms. Pac-Man versus Ghosts Competition. The results show that flocking strategies are capable of modelling complex behaviors and produce effective and challenging agents. 

The presentation is:

 

You can also see a brief demo here (we are the ghosts :D):

Enjoy it!

(And cite us, of course :D)

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Hackathon in Videogames at EVO* 2014

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Hi to all,

Finally, the EVOHackathon will be held in the Oficina de Software Libre on Tuesday 22 April (one day before EVOGames conference).

There are 5 projects confirmed right now,namely:

  • Creating autonomous agents for Super Mario Bros. game
  • Creating an AI engine for the game Wetland (Greyman Studios)
  • Creating bots for 1 vs 1 combats in the RTS Planet Wars
  • Procedural generation of stages for a new game (Greyman Studios)
  • Progamer: Code visualization tool based in Super Mario Bros. levels

As you can see, two of them are proposed and will be directed by a videogames company.

We invite you to join us. It is free! :D

EVOGames CFP 11/Nov

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EVOGames es una sesión dedicada a la investigación dentro del campo de los videojuegos, que se incluye dentro del congreso EVO* 2014, que se celebrará en Granada del 23 al 25 de Abril del próximo año.

El Call for Papers ha sido retrasado hasta el 11 de Noviembre, fecha definitiva para el envío de artículos.

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EVOGames is a Special Session devoted to research works in videgames scope. It is included inside EVO* 2014, to be held in Granada (Spain) next month of April.

The CFP has been delayed to the 11th of November.

CEDI 2013. Programar no es un juego de niños… ¿o sí?

Dentro del Primer Simposio Español de Entretenimiento Digital (SEED) del CEDI 2013, presentamos una herramienta para visualizar código Java en forma de videojuego tipo Super Mario.  El artículo se llama “Code Reimagined: Gamificación a través de la visualización de código”.

La idea consiste en una representación tipo mapa (parecido a un treemap) del árbol sintáctico. Los bloques de código se representan mediante plataformas, las expresiones como cajas, los bucles con tuberías y el retorno como una puerta… la verdad es que esta representación da mucho juego.

Al ejecutar paso a paso el programa se visualiza a Secret Maryo (la versión libre de Super Mario) recorriendo el escenario del programa.

Aquí está el código y esta es la presentación:

Modelando el conocimiento de un experto en Unreal Tournament (CEDI 2013)

En concreto, hemos presentado el artículo “Modelling Human Expert Behaviour in an Unreal Tournament 2004 Bot” dentro del Primer Simposio Español en Entretenimiento Digital, incluido dentro del CEDI 2013.

Y vosotros diréis, ¿por qué un artículo en inglés en un congreso español?. Pues porque los artículos en inglés que sean seleccionados podrán enviarse a un número especial de la revista Entertainment Computing (Elsevier). A ver si hay suerte. :D

El trabajo presenta el diseño de un bot (jugador autónomo) para jugar a Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2K4). Dicho bot ha sido creado por Francisco Aisa y Ricardo Caballero, modelando el conocimiento y comportamiento de un jugador experto en dicho juego (el primero de ellos ;D).

La presentación podéis verla en:

Que la disfrutéis (y nos citéis, claro). :D

Saludos.

Unreal Expert Bots at IWANN 2013

Last week there was held IWANN 2013 at Tenerife, an international conference mainly devoted to researches inside the neural networks scope. In it, Antonio Fernández Leiva, Raúl Lara and Me organized the Special Session on Artificial Intelligence and Games.

There were five works in the session, one of them “Designing and Evolving an Unreal Tournament— 2004 Expert Bot“.

It describes the designing and improvement, through off-line (not during the game) evolution, of an autonomous agent (or bot) for playing the game Unreal Tournament 2004. This was created by means of a finite state machine which models the expert behaviour of a human player in 1 vs 1 deathmatch mode, following the rules of the international competition.

Then, the bot was improved by means of a Genetic Algorithm, yielding an agent that is, in turn a very hard opponent for the medium-level human player and which can (easily) beat the default bots in the game, even in the maximum difficulty level.

The presentation can be seen at:

Moreover, you can watch one example of the evolution in the following video:

Finally, the Unreal Expert and Genetic bot’s source code are available at https://github.com/franaisa/ExpertAgent

Enjoy them. ;)

Super Mario autonomous agents at LION 2013

Recently, inside the last LION 7 (2013) conference (Special Session on Games and Computational Intelligence) there was presented the paper entitled “FSM-Based Agents for Playing Super Mario Game”.

It describes the implementation and test of an autonomous agent which can play Super Mario game better than an expert user can do (in some trained levels).
It is build starting from a Finite State Machine and applying an Evolutionary Algorithm.

The presentation is:

You can watch one example of the obtained agent playing a game here:

Enjoy it. ;)