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Evoman: Game-playing Competition for WCCI 2020

Organized by:

  • Fabricio Olivetti de Franca (folivetti@ufabc.edu.br, Federal University of ABC, Santo André, Brazil)
  • Karine Miras (karine.smiras@gmail.com, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Denis Fantinato (Federal University of ABC, Santo André, Brazil)
  • Patricia Vargas (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
  • A.E. Eiben. (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Introduction

EvoMan [1] is a framework for testing competitive game-playing agents in a number of distinct challenges such as:

  • Learning how to win a match against a single enemy
  • Generalizing the agent to win the matches against the entire set of enemies
  • Coevolving both the agent and the enemies to create intelligent enemies with increasing difficulties.


This framework is inspired on the boss levels of the game MegaMan II [2] in which a robot with a simple arm cannon must beat more sophisticated robots (8 in total) with different powers.

Challenge

In this challenge, the contestants should train their agent on a set of four enemies (defined by the contestant) and evaluate how general is their learned strategy when fighting against the whole set of enemies.

Since each enemy behavior greatly differs from each other, the player should learn how to identify and react to general patterns like avoiding being shot or shoot at the direction of the enemy. Learning a general strategy capable of winning over the entire enemies set can be very challenging [1,3].


The agent will have a total of 20 sensors, with 16 of them corresponding for horizontal and vertical distance to 8 different bullets (maximum allowed), 2 to the horizontal and vertical distance to the enemy, and 2 describing the direction the player and the enemy is facing.



The framework is freely available at here and it’s compatible with Python 3.6 and 3.7 (Python 3.8 is not compatible at the moment). There is also an extensive documentation available here.

Evaluation Criteria

Both the agent and the enemies start the game with 100 energy points. Every time one player gets hit, it loses one point. Whoever reaches 0 points loses the match.

The final performance of the agent after the end of a match is calculated by the energy gain, as a maximization problem, calculated by the difference between the player and the enemy energy:


Gain = 100.01 + ep - ee

where ee, ep are the final amount of energy of the enemy and the player, respectively. The value of 100.01 is added so that the harmonic mean always produces valid results.

The main goal of this competition is that a given agent perform equally good for every boss. So, each contestant agent will be tested against all of the enemies, and they will be ranked by the harmonic mean of the performance over the different bosses.

Submission deadline

All submissions should be sent until March 31st, 23:59 (GMT).

Installing the framework

The initial code, manual and every other resources needed are available at this Github repository. The competitors should pay attention to the following directions:

  • follow the installation instructions in the file evoman1.0-doc.pdf
  • run the demo script controller_specialist_demo.py to test if the framework is working
  • play the game using your own keyboard to understand the difficulties of the problem. Use the script human_demo.py.

The agent should be trained using the Individual Evolution and Multi-objective modes with the goal of beating each one of the four adversaries chosen for training.

Submission instructions

As a competitor, you should submit your code via GitHub Classroom, following the instructions at the https://classroom.github.com/g/YEQprX27, additionally, you should also submit a paper following the same template as used on WCCI describing your solution to the problem.

The paper should report the chosen bosses for training, the values of the average player energy (ep) and enemy energy (ee) obtained by your best agent for each one of the eight bosses and the average duration of the match (this will be used in case of a drawn).

  • A competitor is NOT allowed to change the core of the framework (evoman folder).
  • A competitor is NOT allowed to change the default parameters level and contacthurt of Environment class.

A short paper describing a baseline for Individual mode can be found at https://arxiv.org/abs/1912.10445, this baseline can serve as an upper bound.


@misc{franca2019evoman,
    title={EvoMan: Game-playing Competition},
    author={Fabricio Olivetti de Franca and Denis Fantinato and Karine Miras 
            and A. E. Eiben and Patricia Vargas},
    year={2019},
    eprint={1912.10445},
    archivePrefix={arXiv},
    primaryClass={cs.AI}
}

References

[1] de Araújo, Karine da Silva Miras, and Fabrício Olivetti de França. “An electronic-game framework for evaluating coevolutionary algorithms.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1604.00644 (2016).

[2] M. MEGA, “Produced by capcom, distributed by capcom, 1987,” System: NES.

[3] de Araujo, Karine da Silva Miras, and Fabrício Olivetti de Franca. “Evolving a generalized strategy for an action-platformer video game framework.” 2016 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC). IEEE, 2016.

[4] de Franca, F. O., Fantinato, D., Miras, K., Eiben, A. E., & Vargas, P. (2019). EvoMan: Game-playing Competition. arXiv preprint arXiv:1912.10445.