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The competition will now take place on 17th March 2010 with the workshop the week before (10th March).


What is Toroid Wars?

Toroid Wars is a programming competition which aims to introduce participants to programming, games development and artificial intelligence outside of the workshop/lecture theatre environment. Students are invited to create "players" to take part in a game called Toroid Wars. The "players" will have to make decisions and try to use the best strategy to win the game using any technique you may want to program - such as AI. Once the "player" has been programmed it will be put into a competition with other "players", although students are allowed to adjust their player during the 3 hours of the competition. This year's competition is based on the classic 2D game of tanks.

Who's organising it?

The competition is organised by two Computer Science PhD students, Kent McClymont and Maximillian Dupenois, from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS) at The University of Exeter. The competition is supported by CEMPS and a top UK games company, Creative Assembly, who develop the Total War computer games series - most recently Napoleon: Total War.

Who can participate?

Any first or second year undergraduate student from the University of Exeter is welcome to enter the main competition. Third year undergraduates, postgraduates and staff members are all invited to enter the "friendly" Elite League competition. The winner and runners up for the main competition will receive various prizes ranging from a site visit at Creative Assembly and cash prizes. They will also be invited to enter their submissions to the Elite League. No prize, other than honour, is awarded to the winner of the Elite League.

Is experience of programming required?

No. But it would help. The program organisers have developed a network client in Java to simplify the process of joining the game. However, a player may be programmed in any language with TCP/IP network capabilities. It is suggested that entrants learn Java as this will greatly cut down the amount of code required to create a player. Please feel free to contact Kent and/or Max for more information.

Extra support

There are 2 general surgeries every week in the green room on Tuesday and Thursday at 13:00. If you'd like extra help and/or are new to programming then please drop in to these sessions and the workshop assistant will be more than happy to help.

What language(s) can be used?

Any! A player may be programmed in any language with TCP/IP network capabilities.

When is it?

The competition will take place over 3 dates. An opening lecture will be given on Monday 18th January 2010 followed by an open workshop on Wednesday 20th January. The competition will take place on Wednesday 27th January from 13:00 to 17:00.

Are there prizes?

Yes! Great prizes! The winner and runners up for the main competition will receive various prizes ranging from a site visit at Creative Assembly and cash prizes. A "consolation" prize will be awarded to the lowest scoring entrant.

Last Year's Competition

The competition in 2009 was a great success with the competition winner receiving a £100 cash prize and coming second in the Elite League. There are some rather bruised egos in the postgraduate community. Unlike the 2D tank game for 2010, the 2009 competition was based on a simplified 1D turn based strategy game. For more information please visit:

The Competition

The competition is organised into three parts. An opening lecture will be held on Monday 18th January 2010 to introduce all interested students to the game itself and the concept behind the competition. This will be given by the program organisers Kent and Max. A workshop will then be taken in the blue room on Wednesday 20th January. In this workshop all entrants will register and be taught how to interface with the game server and how to implement some basic strategies. At the end of this first workshop all entrants should have programmed a working player and have an idea of their strategy. All entrants then have a week to program their entry and research their chosen strategy. The competition will take place in the following week on Wednesday 27th January from 13:00 to 17:00. Entrants will be given 30 minutes to log on, test their player and fix any last minute bugs. At 13:30 the competition will start and all scores recorded. At 16:30 the competition will end. All scores will be added up and the final results announced. From 17:00 the Elite League will be held before a celebratory drink at a local establishment.


There are no rules. Except two. First, entrants cannot make the decisions - it must be an automated process. Second, entrants may not log onto the game server with any other user ID other than their own.


Download the example Java client here:

Download the test server here:

Download the network communication specification here:


Contact Details

Please contact Kent (km314{at}exeter) or Max (mpd209{at}exeter). Alternative, drop by the office (Harrison, 252) and we will be happy to talk (assuming we are there and not too busy).


The program organisers would like to thank Ingimar Gudmundsson at Creative Assembly and Creative Assembly themselves for the help and support provided to this project. For more information about Creative Assembly please visit their website: