We just officially launched the Google AI Challenge at the University of Waterloo. Around 50 people attended the kickoff event today in MC 3003. Many of them have already submitted simple entries, as you can see on the leaderboard!
This sudden onslaught on “real” users has helped focus our attention on a few issues. First, there is a serious deficit of content on the website to help users get off the ground with their entries. This should be mostly fixed within a few days. Also, the Tron simulator that is currently part of the starter packages doesn’t work on Windows. This seriously sucks, and I have to fix it ASAP.
Otherwise, everything seems to be running smoothly. The contest backend is chugging along without complaint. A few contestant expressed an interest in implementing advanced algorithms like A* pathfinding and Alpha-Beta search, which hopefully will keep UW from getting mauled when the competition opens at other schools.