ICFP Programming Contest Frequently Asked Questions List
$Revision: 1.34 $, $Date: 2002/09/03 05:01:18 $
As we receive questions we will post the questions and the answers here.
You might also want to check a log of some individual answers that we have posted to people.
Q20: Can the player save files during a game?
A: You might write and read files in your current directory, but you
cannot assume that a file created in one game will be available in
Q19: It seems like packages reappear in the server during the
game. What is going on?
A: The server, when run in continuous mode, happens to insert new
packages whenever a new player enters or when there are
no more packages, so as to not run out of packages.
In the final scoring, packages will not appear during a game.
Q18: Can two robots occupy the same square at the same time? How is
A: Yes. It can happen that a new robot joins the game at a square
which is already occupied by another robot.
Q17: Can a team submit both to the lightning division and the
A: (Changed) There will be a special scoring in which all lightning division
Teams that submitted in the lightning division can resubmit an
improved version, that will participate in the normal division
scoring. Players from the lightning division teams that don't choose
to resubmit also automatically participate in the normal division
(i.e., no need to resubmit your entries).
Q16: There seems to be a contradiction in one of the individual
> - What happens if you move to your package destination, then get pushed
> (the same turn) so that the package is dropped there. Is it delivered
> then? By me or the pushing opponent? Or must someone pick it up and the
> immedeately drop it again?
It is not delivered, it is dropped on the new square, and can be
This seems to contradict the Pushing and
Bidding section, which says that ``When a robot is pushed it drops
a random package if it has at least one and then is moved to its new
location (if possible). ''
A: There are two different ways in which packages get dropped:
If a robot drops a package (for whatever reason) and it ends up on its
destination location, the pacakge is considered to be delivered and the robot
which dropped it gets the points. So the task description is correct,
and the answer to the question should have been "The package is delivered by you".
- If a robot got pushed, it will drop a package
- If it issued the correct drop command
Q15: Can we assume that the actual tournament will not have players entering
in the middle of the game, or should we be prepared for that to happen?
A: You should be prepared for players entering in the middle of the game.
Q14: What happens when two robots on top of each other get pushed? Do
they move together?
Q13: When a robot dies due to an overbid, when exactly is it
removed from the game?
A: It is removed before any other robot's commands are executed.
Q12: Why can't I calculate the destination/location of all packages?
A: A player's knowledge of packages is intentionally incomplete.
It is left to you to deal with partial information.
Q11: Is there any limit to the number of robots in a single game?
Q10: What is inside the packages?
A: We do not know for sure, but we believe they contain dead robots.
Q9: Can a team submit more than one entry?
A: No, any team can only participate with one player in the
competition. However, if you participated in the lightning division,
see the answer to Q17.
Q8: How hard is the limit on CPU usage?
A: It's a soft deadline. If after a game, it turns out that a player
that made N turns used more than N cpu seconds, the judges may
disqualify the player in that game.
Q7: A single instance of a client is not supposed to be able to run
multiple games. Right?
A: Yes. The program will start, connect to the server,
control one robot during one game, disconnect from the
server and terminate.
Q6: Should we use a TCP/IP socket protocoll?
Q5: Can players join while the game is running
Q4: Is the map transmitted upside down?
A: Yes, in a sense. It is transmitted from south to north, squares,
(1,1), (2,1), ..., (width,1), (1,2), (2,2), ..., (width,2),
(1,height), (2,height), ... (width,height).
Q3: Does a robot keep its score if it dies
A: Yes, the score a robot gets in a game is the score it has when it
dies (or the game ends).
Q2: What happens to dropped packages?
A: If they are dropped on their destination, the disappear from the game,
otherwise, they stay on the square where they were dropped until a robot
picks it up. See the section The Packages
in the task description.
Q1: Will a test server be available?
A: Yes, see the page on game servers.
ICFP Programming Contest 2002