Pokawatch: AI Game for 2016 POSTECH-KAIST Science War
Pokawatch: AI Game for 2016 POSTECH-KAIST Science War
  • Reporter Jeong Yoon-han
  • 승인 2016.09.28 22:26
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Ever since artificial intelligence (AI) was included as an event of POSTECH-KAIST Science War, the event was played with a game developed by KAIST. However, for the 2017 POSTECH-KAIST Science War, the event will be played by a game made by POSTECH developers, Pokawatch. Pokawatch got its idea from the “Control Mode” of the game Overwatch, and basis is very similar.
Two teams, POSTECH and KAIST, start from far left and right of the field. The field size is 21 units in width and 15 units in height, with a five by seven size objective area. Each team uses three units, each unit having to choose from five different classes. The five classes are CSE, PHYS, LIFE, ME and CHEM. No two classes are same, with different number of stamina, different types of skills, characteristics, etc.
The goal of the game is not to allow enemy’s units to be on the objective area and take control of it. Both teams have to step on the objective area, without enemy units stepping on it at the same time, for a certain period of time to claim and possess it.
Hwang Il-hwan (CSE 14) and Choi Yu-jeong (CSE 14) are the two main developers of Pokawatch. Hwang took charge of the graphics and game rules while Choi was responsible for developing the network and the basic AI needed for the game. They felt the previous AI games, developed by KAIST, are somewhat boring and hard for the audience to enjoy. Therefore, the two developers decided to make the 2016 AI game as fancy and good-looking as possible, by using skills learned from computer graphics and computer network, and turned out to be a great success.
The development process, however, was not so smooth. The development of the game actually began before Overwatch was released to the public. The original design was putting up a flag, but it received comments saying that it is too hard for the losing team to come back, which changed the design to taking control of the objective area. Also, the developers had trouble balancing the five classes. The developers kept on updating the features of the classes by discussing with and receiving comments from both AI teams of POSTECH and KAIST.
Comparing with the previous AI games used for the POSTECH-KAIST Science War, Pokawatch is a state-of-the-art, highly developed game. As mentioned above, the most important feature the developers wanted was to make it fancy and fun to watch. They recall working day and night designing and drawing characters, field, etc. Not only that, they tried their best not to miss any details, such as turning on background music made by a student of POSTECH, just for Pokawatch.
Not only has the design changed, the level of difficulty of the game itself is much higher. The previous AI games required both teams to give orders to one object they are in control of. However, Pokawatch requires each team to control three units, with each having to choose from five different classes. This leaves the AI teams with a lot of work to be done, by having to work with countless number of possibilities. In all aspects, Pokawatch is a highly advanced AI game so far, much more developed compared to the previous games developed by KAIST.