The Prismata AI: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bots 1

Hey Everyone! I’m Dave Churchill, lead AI programmer on Prismata. While working for Lunarch I’m also finishing up my PhD in video game AI at the University of Alberta. In 2013 my StarCraft AI bot UAlbertaBot won the AIIDE StarCraft AI Competition, which we have been hosting at UofA since 2010. There are a lot of similarities between the AI for StarCraft and for Prismata, and we’ve been able to use some state-of-the-art RTS AI research techniques with new twists. For those not familiar with it, Prismata is a hybrid strategy game that combines ideas from RTS games, card games, and tabletop strategy games. A “how to play” video is available here. Some people describe Prismata as a “real-time strategy game without the real-time”. However, Prismata presents many new and unique challenges that make it different from a traditional RTS in terms of AI design. Let’s dive into an overview of the AI in Prismata: from initial motivations all the way to implementation details. (more…)