Once upon a time, there lived a handsome programmer who worked in a large box. His work was uninspiring, and he sought enlightenment in other pursuits, such as participating in AI contests. One such contest involved creating a program that could coordinate circular players in an effort towards directing a circular ball towards a goal, whilst an enemy program tried to do likewise against it.
The replays that were generated by this contest caught the eye of one of the programmer’s young colleagues. The colleague joined the contest and showed great enthusiasm, but alas, the contest ended and the code was not released.
“Fear not,” said the brave programmer (the programmer was also brave), “I shall create a similar game for us to compete AI programs with. It shall be a clone of the popular flash game HaxBall and my AI program shall crush yours, as it did in this recent contest.”
“We shall see about that,” replied the young colleague.
The intrepid programmer (the programmer was also intrepid) set about building the clone, and when it was complete, the programmer and the young colleague engaged in glorious AI battles. Many goals were scored on both sides, and the programmer and the colleague enjoyed a period of enlightenment. After some time, it became evident that the programmer’s bots could simply not be beaten by the colleague, and enthusiasm for the project dwindled. Eventually, the project died.
Or did it?
The programmer retired to his lab, where he folded the code of his bots into the very fabric of the game, and unleashed the resulting creation upon the world. Lo, the creation was downloaded dozens of times across the lands, before it was discovered that the game had a fatal networking flaw that would not allow the game to be played by multiple people unless they were on the same LAN. The programmer shelved his work indefinitely.
Then, one day while idly playing HaxBall, the programmer saw a sign: HaxArena — new HaxBall! And the rest, as they say, is history — in the making!
You see, the programmer had all this bot code lying around, and was anxious to dust it off and unleash it upon the world. HaxArena looked as though it would be the vehicle. But the programmer faced a dilemma: how best to use it to enhance the experience of HaxArena players?
So he wrote a blog post.