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.



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…