The Fantastic Bits problem looks great but the simulation part is quite complicated.
There is nothing wrong with having a complicated simulation model, the problem is that without knowing how it is implemented it requires a huge amount of retro engineering.
This is supposed to be an AI contest, not a simulation retro engineering contest.
There was an effort to explain how the simulation works in the problem statement, which is nice, but this will never fully explain how simulation exactly works.
So here is the current situation :
- There are still a lot of unanswered questions about rounding, collisions, etc, just look at the forum and the chat.
- Those who will be unable to implement the simulation because of lack of time, or skill, will never be able to try cool approaches like Beam Search, Genetic Algorithm, Min Max / Alpha Beta, MCTS, etc, because all of them requires a simulation.
- Those who will be unable to implement the simulation won’t be able to test locally, and will need to submit every time they won’t to try something new, which means longer feedback for them, and more resource usage for Coding Game servers.
- Those who did the tedious retro engineering work for the Coder Strike Back contest already have an implementation ready and have a head start.
- If there is a difference between the server code and the problem statement, people will waste a huge amount of time investigating on this.
Could Coding Game just give us the code of the simulation ? That would solve all these issues.
Other algorithm contest websites do that, and it works well.
They just keep the problem statement simple and add something like “For more details about the simulation see link_to_the_simulation_code” and that’s it.
As a bonus if there is a bug in the code, then people report it.