This is probably not the best time to put up a suggestion for next (November or December) project but I will probably forget it if I wait.
So far we have either been doing our own personal project or a collaboration. Despite being called a competition, there aint much competition between the participants. A topic I find very interesting is AIs, I have made a few myself as part of my studies and it is something I may later decide to specialize in, hence I suggest an AI programming competition.
So here is my suggestion:
The objective is to program an AI for a 1v1 game we design ourself. The AIs are then to compete with each other and see who wins. (Winner will earn much glory on behalf of its creator)
My suggestion of a game:
Each player/AI have a castle, the objective is to destroy the other players castle. Connecting the castle are two lanes. The players can build units, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Once built, the unit can not be controlled and will start walking down a lane of the players chose, fighting any hostile unit that it meet on the way. Each unit has a build cost, currency is earned at regular intervals.
Possible actions by the player/AI:
-Do nothing -> Wait for the game to progress.
-Build One or more unit and send them down a lane
-invest -> Spend currency to increase the the currency received at each tick.
The communication between the game and AIs is done via an interface that prevents them from cheating. The interface will also provide the AI by means of inspecting the game field. Inside the AI class itself the programmers are free to do whatever magic they want in order to win the game.
Functions possible by the interface:
-View All My Units
-View All Opponents Units
-View My Currency
-Invest My Currency