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Botprize and Unreal Tournament 2004 Research

From 2008 to 2012 the Botprize competition has posed a challenge to bot designers: Can you make a bot that will fool a human into thinking it is human? The competition was essentially a Turing Test for bots: Given matches containing both human players and judges, will the judges think the bots are humans?

Unreal Tournament 2004 is a popular commercial first-person shooter video game played online by humans. However, the game also features computer controlled bots for humans to fight. Players participate in deathmatches, in which they collect weapons and attempt to kill each other to maximize their scores. The game involves exploration of complex 3D levels to find items and enemies, chaotic combat against multiple opponents, and reasoning about the best strategy at any given point in the game. It is hard enough for bots to perform well in this environment, but even more difficult for them to look like they are controlled by humans. The most recent version of the competition is actually a judging game in which all players, including bots, can use an in-game gun to judge opponents as bots or humans.

In the 2012 competition, our bot UT^2 passed the 50% humanness threshold to win the grand prize! Earlier that same year, we also won the Human-like Bot Competition, which is essentially the same competition, but under a different name.

Since BotPrize, I and my students have conducted further research in the game Unreal Tournament 2004.

Associated Software

Associated Movies

Associated Publications

Peer-Reviewed Conference Publications

Invited Book Chapters/Articles

Extended Abstracts

Undergraduate Poster Presentations Supervised

Miscellaneous Content

  • Summer 2020: Former SCOPE student Adina Friedman and I are both quoted in this article about AI companions: An Ode to AI Sidekicks
  • Spring 2019: Desirable Behaviors for Companion Bots in First-Person Shooters, presentation by Adina Friedman at the Southwestern University Undergraduate Research & Creative Works Symposium
  • Summer 2018: Neuroevolution in Video Games: "Mad Science Monday" presentation made by my SCOPE Summer research students to present to other SCOPE students
  • Spring 2015: BotPrize 2012 Champion: A Human-like Bot for Unreal Tournament: A poster included as part of a demo presented at the AI Open House of the Twenty-Ninth Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Fall 2012: New Scientist Article About Our Victory in Botprize 2012.
  • Fall 2012: BBC Article About Our Victory in Botprize 2012.
  • Fall 2012: Slashdot Article About Our Victory in Botprize 2012.
  • Summer 2012: The UT^2 Game Bot Judged More Human Than Humans. A UTCS news post about our victory in the WCCI 2012 Humanlike Bots Competition.
  • Summer 2012: UT^2: Human-like Behavior via Neuroevolution of Combat Behavior and Replay of Human Traces slides from the WCCI 2012 Humanlike Bots Competition.
  • Fall 2011: BEACON Researchers at Work Blog Post about my research.
  • Spring 2011: Botprize 2010 Competition: Revised/Improved Slides About Our 2nd Place UT^2 Bot presented to Student ACM Chapter at Southwestern University
  • Fall 2010: Botprize 2010 Competition: Slides About Our 2nd Place UT^2 Bot presented at DeVry University in Austin, TX

  • Last Updated: 5/28/2019