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Game Lab

Games provide competitive dynamic environments and are therefore an ideal domain for the study and application of computational intelligence.

CIS promotes student research through games competition and organizing research results (algorithms, codes, and manuals, etc.) into a central repository.


Starcraft AI Competition

Fighting Game AI Competition

General Video Game AI Competition (GVGAI) Competition

Human vs. Computer Go Competition

Geometry Friends Game AI Competition

Car Racing

Ms. PacMan

The aim of this competition is to provide the best software controller for the game of Ms Pac-Man. This is a great challenge for computational intelligence, machine learning, and AI in general.
Unlike Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man is a non-deterministic game, and rather difficult for most human players.  As far as we know, nobody really knows how hard it is to develop an AI player for the game. The world record for a human player (on the original arcade version) currently stands at 921,360. Can anyone develop a software agent to beat that?
The Ms. Pac-Man competition will test the ability of computer-based players at the conference.  We are especially interested in players that use computational intelligence methods to address the problem, but the contest is open to any type of algorithm: you can hand-program it as much as you like.
The mode of interaction is as follows: about 15 times per second your program will be sent a pixel map of the Ms. Pac-Man window, and it then responds with an integer indicating the direction of the joystick.

Super Mario

The 2011 Mario AI Championship, the successor to the very successful 2010 Mario AI Competition, will run in association with several major international conferences focusing on computational intelligence and games. The competition will consist of three tracks: Gameplay, Learning, Level Generation and we are happy to announce the new Turing Test track, with partly overlapping organizers.

Unreal Tournament

Computers are superbly fast and accurate at playing games, but can they be programmed to be more fun to play - to play like you and me? People like to play against opponents who are like themselves - opponents with personality, who can surprise, who sometimes make mistakes, yet don't blindly make the same mistakes over and over. The BotPrize competition challenges programmers/researchers/hobbyists to create a bot for UT2004 (a first-person shooter) that can fool opponents into thinking it is another human player. The competition has been sponsored by 2K games since 2008, and the $5000 major prize is yet to be claimed.


The Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz hosted a StarCraft competition at AIIDE 2010 as part of the conference program. The competition enabled academic researchers to evaluate their AI systems in a robust commercial RTS environment.  The competition was held in the weeks leading up to the conference. The final matches were shown live at the conference with commentary. Exhibition matches were also held between skilled human players and the top performing bots.