CIG 2013

CIG 2013 StarCraft RTS AI Competition

Over the last years, the AIIDE and CIG StarCraft competitions have seen quite some progress in the development and evolution of new StarCraft bots. Still, these would not be fit for beating expert human players, but the gap is seemingly getting smaller. StarCraft (by Blizzard) is one of the most popular RTS games of all time, is known to be extremely well balanced, and thus is an ideal candidate to test different AI approaches.

This competition is part of the Computational Intelligence in Games conference 2013. As in the previous years, the rules are identical to the ones for the AIIDE StarCraft AI competition.

Important Dates

Submission deadline: July 19, 2013
Conference: August 11 - 13, 2013

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know via mail

Submitted Bots

Bot Name Main Contributor Institution Bot Race Web Link
AdjutantNicholas BowenUniversity of Central FloridaTerran
AIURFlorian RichouxUniversity of NantesProtoss
BTHAIJohan HagelbäckBlekinge Institute of TechnologyTerran
ICEStarcraftBot2013Nguyen Quang KienRitsumeikan UniversityTerran
NovaAlberto UriarteDrexel UniversityTerran
SkynetAndrew SmithfreelancerProtoss
UAlbertaBotDavid ChurchillUniversity of AlbertaProtoss
XelnagaHo-Chul ChoSejong UniversityProtoss


Due to software problems, we were only able to play around 1000 games and also had to disable the read/write feature. We apologize for this. The results have been presented at the CIG 2013 conference, with a first analysis. Here is the ranking (you will find some similarities to last year. Seemingly, people prefer the Protoss and Terran races, with the Protoss bots clearly in front at the moment:

Rank Bot Name Main Contributor Race Win Rate
1SkynetAndrew SmithProtoss91.1%
2UAlbertaBotDavid ChurchillProtoss67.4%
3AIURFlorian RichouxProtoss54.9%
4XelnagaHo-Chul ChoProtoss53.6%
5AdjutantNicholas BowenTerran42.4%
6ICEStarcraftBot2013Nguyen Quang KienTerran37.1%
7NovaAlberto UriarteTerran32.1%
8BTHAIJohan HagelbäckTerran12.5%

The winner (Andrew Smith with Skynet) gets the honor, and a certificate. The best ranked participant who was present during the competition session at CIG 2013 earned the $200 price money, and this was David Churchill (runner-up). Congratulations!

The replays are here, sorted in 4 zips according to the 3 server machines we used (files are huge):
server 1, zip1
server 1, zip2
server 2, zip3
server 3, zip4

Getting Started

The competition will use StarCraft Brood War 1.16.1. You must possess a legal copy of the game.

Bots for StarCraft shall use the Broodwar API, which provides hooks into StarCraft and enables the development of custom AI for StarCraft. Interfaces in many languages are available to query the current state of the game and issue orders to units. bwapi3.jpg

The following material is a bit outdated, as it was prepared by Ben Weber for the AIIDE StarCraft competition in 2010 (and not everything has been updated since then). However, it still provides a valuable starting point if you want to start designing and implementing a bot from scratch. Please note, that the referenced BWAPI versions are not used any more for our competition (we go with BWAPI 3.7.4 which has been issued in early July, 2012 and fixes some tournament-related issues with 3.7.3):

  • Instructions for setting up the environment are available here.
  • An introduction to the Broodwar API is available here.
  • Instructions for building a bot that communicates with a remote process are available here.
  • A JNI (Java) bridge to the BWapi by Ben Weber is available here.

Digging deeper

David Churchill, one of the AIIDE competition organizers, has recently released an open source project that helps you simulating StarCraft combat (with visualization). It may well be used as module within a bot, or also offline to do combat experiments.

Dave Churchill's combat simulator

Additional Information

Tournament Manager Software

This year we have utilized a completely new Java-based version of our tournament manager software as provided by Tobias. Please note: the software employs a client/server architecture with at least one server and several (most suitable is an even number of) clients. As the server does not produce a high load, server and one client can run on the same machine. All machines need Java and StarCraft installed. Besides tournaments, the software may also be useful in research for the automated play of large numbers of games.

Organizing Committee

Mike Preuss, Technische Universität Dortmund
Antonio M. Mora García, Universidad de Granada
Tobias Mahlmann, IT University Copenhagen

For any comments or inquiries, please write to

StarCraft®: Brood War®
Used with permission granted to CIG. Blizzard has consented to run the competition via the Broodwar API interface, which uses a back door of the game and is not in any form related to Blizzard. Thanks!

©1998 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. StarCraft, Brood War and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Last modified: 2015-09-08 15:53 (external edit)