BattleSnake 2017: Slithering into First Place

BattleSnake 2017: Slithering into First Place

Another spring has come to the island and that means another BattleSnake in the books. On March 4th, 2017 over 400 participants took over the lower level of the Victoria Conference Centre for an amazing day of programming, camaraderie and serpentine silliness. The event turned out great and the feedback we are still receiving has been amazing! After the tournament finals wrapped up we ran over to the Guild for an amazing after party hosted by Barkerville Brewing.

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The Clash of the Snakes

BattleSnake 2016 was last week, and there is still excitement throughout Victoria about what an amazing event it was! With one hundred more people than expected showing up, BattleSnake turned to be a 350 person event. That’s three times the amount of participants as last year! We completely took over the entire Engineering and Computer Science Building from all day, only to fill up Felicita’s campus pub afterwards. Click to watch the Advanced Division Finals!

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Snaking 2: Electric Boogaloo

It’s been about 48 hours and we’re still de-hyping from Battlesnake 2015, so there’s a lot to cover here.

First off – I want to take another opportunity to give a huuuuge thanks to all of our sponsors. The Battlesnake game server was powered by Heroku (a platform we use and love in production) along with all of the team clients – more on this a bit later. Dropbox was also hugely important in bringing everything together (especially when we broke their Heroku integration the night before). Food and drinks were made possible by our friends in the Victoria tech community: OneNet Marketing and VIATeC. And of course, the University of Victoria Department of Computer Science.

slytherowned

Slytherowned

Wait, What is Battlesnake?

Battlesnake is our annual AI competition held at UVic. It’s a multiplayer version of the classic arcade game “Snake.” Participants create webservers that receive and respond to requests from the game server. The requests contain the current game state: the contents of every tile on the board, the locations of other snakes, the list of food locations, the current turn number, etc. The response contains two strings: the move (‘up’, ‘down’, ‘left’, or ‘right’); and, much more importantly, a taunt. The taunt is optional in the sense that excluding it won’t throw an error but really, what’s the point of a move without a taunt? Continue…