The weekly online challenge where holders of Azure accounts can win up to $5,000 is running again from now till mid December.
The Rock, Paper, Azure Challenge is open to Azure developers in the USA, and as with earlier versions of the game, you code a player ‘bot’, host it on Windows Azure, and take part in battles with other competitors to try for weekly prizes.
To enter the competition, you need an Azure account (though a free trial account qualifies). The official entry form and instructions on how to create and upload your bots are here: www.rockpaperazure.com.
Essentially, your bot wins if it throws paper over rock, or scissors against paper etc. The first player to reach 1,000 points wins the match. If you win a match, you'll receive 3 points in the Leaderboard, which shows the current front runners.
It may be a simple two person game but finding a good strategy is difficult because it all depends on the statistics of your opponents play and vice versa. Hence good bot is hard to build. A good bot is also an exercise in AI or applied statistics depending on how you look at it. Is it possible that there is some algorithm yet to be invented that is so adaptive that it can adjust to the oponents strategy in a few plays.
As with previous years, the official prize-winning competition is restricted to US players only, but developers from other countries can join in for the glory of appearing on the leader board. Maybe if non-US players occupied all five leaderboard places throughout the competition, it might embarrass Microsoft into thinking more globally?
While the Grand Prize winner gets $5,000, other prizes include laptops, windows phones, and Xbox 360. The challenge runs until December 16, 2011.
Rock Paper Azure Site
F# and VB.NET now in Rock Paper Azure competition
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