AI Gaming : My First Experience
Jul 01, 2020 • 7:58 PM • Subin Gyawali
3 min read
'AI Gaming', What came in your mind when you first saw this word? You must have thought it is a gaming competition for AI professionals. If you have thought so, you are right but the word itself is misleading and I was one of you few months back. When I first heard this word, I thought it is completely out of my knowledge. Thinking that I missed so many AI Gaming Tournaments which I regret now. Here I will be sharing my first ever experience with AI Gaming Platform and my journey from not knowing anything to the Tournament Finals.
So, What is AI Gaming?
Mining the real meaning of this word, It is a gaming platform which uses AI. Simply, the game is played by the programs or bots that we create and the bots are created implementing AI in them.
How was my experience?
I first heard about the AI Gaming platform recently after joining the Microsoft Student Partner Community. I was very uncomfortable to take part in the tournaments being organized due to my fear of not having knowledge of AI and Python. For the first time, when a group of Student Partners from India were organizing an AI Gaming Competition, I saw their promotional banner saying 'You don't need any knowledge of AI to take part in this tournament'. I was very much excited by this. I quickly registered for the event. The tournament was going to be held after few days.
On the event day, I started building my bot following the instructions of the organizers as well as with the help of resources available on AI Gaming website and AI Gaming YouTube channel. The type of game we were going to play was a Match Game, where we had to create bots to flip the tiles with same images on them, as accurately as possible. I figured out that the bot uses Microsoft's pre-trained AI service known as Microsoft Cognitive Service which helps us recognize the images on the tiles. The Microsoft Cognitive service was very easy to implement in the bot.
The another problem I had while creating the bot was not having knowledge of Python. My primary language is not python and I had no knowledge of proper Python syntax. It was bit difficult to learn core Python concepts needed for the game within the provided time of two hours for coding. But I managed to learn the basic concepts of Python Lists, Dictionaries and JSON within two hours, which were sufficient to create a competitive bot for the tournament. Here, understanding the working mechanism of the code was more important than learning the code syntax. I believe that anyone coding in any other programming language than Python can also grab those concepts easily. Finally, I registered my bot for the tournament.
When the tournament started, I was very excited to see that how my bot performs and competes with others. The game play was really interesting. It was an awesome experience to see the computer programs competing with each other automatically. Unfortunately, I couldn't win the tournament that time, but, I grabbed the second position which was also not less than winning the tournament for me.
During those four hours of the event I was able to learn so many things. I am very thankful to the organizers for helping me step out. Since then, I have taken part in two more AI Gaming Tournaments, but again, I was not able to win any of them. But it is also not rare that there is only one person ahead of me and I am still learning to be at the top.
Thank you for reading !