Worms Challenge - My feedback & Lessons Learned

When I entered the Entelect Challenge 2019 I had 3 goals: 1) To learn something new about AI, 2) To have fun and 3) To be in the top 50%. I have reached all my goals and the competition exceeded my wildest expectations. Thank you all that made it happen.

What did I love about the challenge?

  • Starter Bot code that caters for multiple programming languages, and easy enough for people with only a little bit of programming experience to get going
  • Simple game rules, but lots and lots of strategy
  • Very little “luck-of-the-dice” where good decision making is rewarded
  • Very fast response from Team Entelect with queries (forum and email)
  • The way in which we submit raw code and the back-end compiles and run the reference bot game
  • The visualizers where we could replay matches with beautiful graphics
  • The real-time leader-board in the tournaments, including the suspense in the 3rd tournament where the top 6 details were hidden
  • The finals on the Main Stage @ Comic Con with the big screen and humorous commentary
  • The prize money

What did I not enjoy / what could improve?

  • More South Africans should enter the competition
  • The last round before the finals was very close to Comic Con. This does not give a lot of time to make travel & accommodation arrangements - especially where the Comic Con weekend is at the start of the school holidays and a long-weekend for many people

Lessons Learned:

  • Submit tournament code a few days in advance… Some people had trouble with uploading and compiling. Some of us realized too late we submitted code with a bug.
  • When a tournament runs on a business-day, take the day leave - because it is not a productive work day monitoring the leader-board…

+1 for more time before finals, would’ve made things a bit easier for those flying in.

and I know what you mean about monitoring the leader-board :joy:

Thanks again Entelect for organising a great competition!


It was fun, although I was a bit disappointed at my bot’s performance in the finals. I’ve got a good idea of where the biggest flaw in my strategy was though.

The changes to the tournament format over the years have been for the better. This time round, it felt like the tournaments ran much faster. I also liked the introduction of the leaderboards and downloadable match logs (probably my favourite addition) - historically, I think you had an advantage if your group of friends all entered and you had other bots to test against. By making the logs available, everyone has an opportunity to see how their bots performed out in the wild.

Despite some complaints on the forum, the rule changes after each tournament keep it interesting. I suspect a few people were blindsided by the lava - and it was great, because it really changed the game after the first two tournaments and forced strategies to change. Thanks to that, I felt like the last tournament wasn’t predictable anymore.

Thanks again Entelect!