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So, I've seen this question, but I feel like mine is different enough to warrant a new post because I have a specific victory objective that I can use to satisfy the winning criterion requirement. Feel free to disagree with this in the comments or votes.

So here's what I was thinking. Players can customize a build and then submit a bot which will work together with all of the other bots in the game to fight an enemy AI in some sort of KoTH challenge (which will probably resemble a classical KoTH; I will consider this later as it is not important). The general objective is for the community-programmed team to win the game; however, because of the requirement for a winning criterion, I was thinking I could implement some sort of contribution score accounting for damage dealt (DPS), healing done (Support), and damage blocked (Tank), or something like that.

Would a challenge with a well-defined contribution score associated with victory be considered on-topic?

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    \$\begingroup\$ IMO if individual bots receive a score, and a higher ranking is better, it's still competing (and would be on topic) \$\endgroup\$ – Destructible Lemon Sep 5 '18 at 1:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DestructibleLemon That is an answer and should be posted as such. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Sep 5 '18 at 1:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a thought: a fully cooperative KotH as described could be one half of an assymetric KotH like catch the cat, with the enemy thread having submissions that are each pitted against a large number of bots from the cooperative thread (rather than having a fixed enemy AI). Or there could even be cooperative bots on both threads, but with very different abilities / terrain advantages / initial numbers. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Sep 16 '18 at 18:02
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Each bot has its individual goal: improve its score. The means the KotH challenge you describe is not fully cooperative.

What exactly this means for your challenge depends on rules and details I do not know, but I'm imagining something like this.

  • You can only heal wounded bots, so you compete with other bots that would like to heal it themselves to score the points.

  • Likewise, dealing and blocking damage requires you to participate in fights. All damage not dealt/blocked by you, may be dealt/blocked by someone else.

  • Assuming you can die, it might make sense to fall back at first. Let the other bots get killed, join the battle when the enemy is already weakened.

While the collective goal is to beat the enemy AI, successful bots will probably consider individual goals more important, to the point where winning the challenge may require losing to the AI. So while the bots technically all on the same side, I'd very much consider this a competition.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm. I did not consider that, but now that I think about it, you're right. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – HyperNeutrino Sep 5 '18 at 13:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ These points suggest that thinking carefully about the scoring mechanism you choose could make this more cooperative, but even if such a scoring method is achieved I'd still agree that the existence of a score makes this competitive (and on topic). I'd love to see a competition where the incentives are set up such that winning truly does mean being the most effective altruist. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Sep 7 '18 at 17:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had another thought about this: Not closing all loopholes but maybe changing the balance of incentives: The score could be zero for all bots unless the AI is defeated, to counter the problem of "winning the challenge may require losing to the AI". \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Sep 16 '18 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Basically what you end up with is a KOTH looking for the bot that was the Most Valuable Player under one (or more) metrics. You could even (!) create two teams of bots and have them fight each other. \$\endgroup\$ – Draco18s Sep 19 '18 at 1:44
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Bots can be fully cooperative within games, while competing between games. If a team of bots gets a score for each game, that score can be added to each players individual score. This way, players that contribute to the total chance of doing well will end up with more high-scoring games.

One issue I foresee in such a challenge is a lot of randomness based on what bots you are on a team with. This just means you will need more rounds to make everything balance out.

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