Is there a strategy game with a ret-conned API to it?
March 27, 2013 8:02 AM   Subscribe

For basically my whole teen-to-adult life I have wanted to write AI for video games as a hobby. Mostly games of the overhead strategy type, think Red Alert, Warcraft (not World Of), Starcraft and so forth.

I know that people have written things for these, usually using pretty complicated methods - screen scraping, video-card-memory-trawling, network data capture, etc.

What I'm curious about, though, is if there is a game of this type, of pretty much any vintage that will run on a modern machine, that someone has built an API for, for this purpose. Something that you can query to get info about the units and buildings, or that you can get streamed updates from, and you can send commands back as if a person were clicking a mouse around.

I think it would be really awesome, and you could have robot leagues that play against each other and so forth. Just curious if anyone has done the work to make this possible.

And although I'm sure I would have heard of it if it were possible... are there any games written for this purpose?
posted by RustyBrooks to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Starcraft Brood War has an API - I remember a classmate using it as part of a Machine Learning final project years ago, adn I think it's gotten better since then.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:04 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm not totally familiar with the video game genres, but SpringRTS started out as a rebuild of Total Annihilation and has become something else. It's Open Source, and I think I remember that it had pluggable AIs.
posted by straw at 8:10 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Civilization has a very active modding community. I don't know about Civ V, but there were several AI mods for Civ IV.
posted by mkultra at 8:14 AM on March 27, 2013

Best answer: "are there any games written for this purpose?" -- Google's AI challenge from 2011 was to write a strategy bot for a "ants" game where you have to control a colony of ants which fight against other colonies for domination. There are plenty of resources online with tips on getting started and bots you can play against etc.

Try searching for "ai challenges" for more games like this, but I think this Google ants one is a nice example which fits your criteria.
posted by richb at 9:53 AM on March 27, 2013

Response by poster: All this stuff is really great - I guess I'm marking as "best answer" ones that I think I'm most likely to actually do. I never got into Civilzation as a game. The SpringRTS thing looks interesting but maybe more DIY that I am looking to get into atm. Thanks for all the suggestions.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:13 AM on March 27, 2013

I know OP is not a Civ fan, but for the sake of completeness, C-Evo is a Civ-style game with hooks for coding your own (non-cheating) AI. (
posted by Skwirl at 1:05 PM on March 27, 2013

« Older Change of career: Going into the health care...   |   Cat Hospice: Help our kitty enjoy her last time... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.