The Applied Games Group Blog

New stuff directly from Microsoft Research.

The Applied Games Group Blog

  • TrueSkill in F#

    Following the publication of the F# source code for the TrueSkill Through Time paper, we have used the same inference library code to demonstrate how the original TrueSkill algorithm can be coded. In the attached source code, only the program.fs file...
  • TrueSkill Through Time

    In December 2007, we published a paper about the application of TrueSkill to all recorded data of professional and semi-professional Chess play from 1850 to 2006. The dataset can be obtained from ChessBase . We are very happy to be able to release the...
  • LEGO Halo 3 Foundry Forge Kit

    We have recently come accross Jeff Keegan's solution to being obsessed with Halo 3's Forge mode, but stuck at work without an Xbox: The LEGO Halo 3 Foundry Forge Kit! ( LH3FFK ) We loved the idea, and asked Jeff to tell us the...
  • Composing a video game in F#

    This week it was my opportunity to present a topic for 15 minutes at the MLP group's ritual Tuesday afternoon tea and cakes session (yes - we are based in the UK). I thought it might be fun to knock up a little game with the Microsoft functional programming...
  • F# Custom Exceptions

    This post tries to explore exception handling in F# with custom exception types. Some background on .Net exceptions Exceptions happen: "Programs must be able to uniformly handle errors that occur during execution. The common language runtime...
  • Lunar Lander Retro Vector XNA 2.0 Game sample written in F#

    While travelling to Microsoft HQ in Redmond earlier in the year for the annual TechFest event - for some fun I decided to have a go at writing a small retro game in F# using XNA 2.0 , and attached are the results. When moving over to Pacific time I usually...
  • Dealing with Terabytes of Data in F#

    In one of our current projects our algorithms we have to process close to 1 TB ( Terabyte ) of raw (ASCII) logs. Fortunately, the only analysis we need to do is to go once through all the data and collect a small number of statistics per log line (think...
  • All the Hot News Directly from Microsoft Research Cambridge

    Welcome to our blog! We are the Applied Games group at Microsoft Research Ltd , Cambridge, UK, and this place will be used by all our team members to post about our day-to-day work. Posts will range from machine learning, video gaming to software development...
  • Work Experience Student - Max Steele

    Last week we enjoyed having Max Steele here for a week of work experience. Max is a 6th form student, currently studying for his A-levels and hoping to pursue a career in Computer science. Before his time here Max had never done any coding so we thought...
  • Create a Game with Popfly

    Popfly has a great Alpha that lets you create a game in your browser, no programming required, and then easily embed it on your own site. The following is one of the sample games - Space Boy: You can read more on Somasegar's WebLog: PopFly Game...
  • Erik van der Werf on AI Techniques for the Game of Go

    Erik van der Werf came and visited the Applied Games group on November 27th/28th 2006. Erik gave a very interesting presentation with an overview of his work on computer Go. The focus of his work was on search techniques (solving 5x5 Go) and on machine...
  • Silicon Minds Challenge (+ submission sample)

    On the 8th December 2007 the Silicon Minds challenge was launched at the Machine Learning and Games workshop of the NIPS conference in the picturesque Canadian ski resort of Whistler. The challenge is to push the limits of Artificial Intelligence...
  • First Halo 3 Multiplayer Details Emerge!

    I am a big fan of Halo and Halo 2 so I was very pleased to see several gaming pages starting to report details of the Halo 3 multiplayer (originally printed in a Swedish gaming magazine). The "man-cannon" and the "Moongoose" sound like amazing fun! And...
  • ArmoredBlitz: Rise and Demise

    ArmoredBlitz, a first person tank shooter and a real-time strategy game all in one, was selected as one of the five winners of the Silicon Minds contest. Its creator, Jacob Liechty is a freshman at Purdue University studying Computer Science. Jacob also...
  • 3 Days in Vancouver

    The Neural Information Processing Systems conference has just finished. There were a lot of interesting talks and posters (we spare you the entire list of talks and posters, they can be found here ). The most hands-on research could be seen in the demonstration...
  • Commercial Users of Functional Programming (CUFP) 2007

    At the beginning of this month (October) I attended and presented at the CUFP event in Freiburg, Germany. The talk was on some of the work our group has been doing over the last year using F# including the XBox 360 title Halo 3 and on predicting ad clicks...
  • Reward Driven Racing in Cambridge

    I just completed my 12 week internship in the Applied Games Group. I was working with Ralf, Thore and Phil on applying model-based reinforcement learning to race car driving. This is one of the most interesting projects I've worked on. Next to my workstation...
  • Statically link with ILMerge

    Today Ralf & I were looking at ways to bundle up a bunch of .Net assemblies into a single assembly for use within our group; the goal to expose only the functionality we want and only need to reference one assembly in our projects. Enter command line...
  • Schedule Tasks in Windows XP

    We have an F# console app which processes some gigabytes of data over a couple of hours. We wanted to run this on a specific machine daily in the early hours of the morning. The easy answer Windows XP's Scheduled Tasks . Just click Start > All...
  • BabyJack Inline Video Card Game

    Its been yet another wet and windy bank holiday weekend here in the UK, so I decided to involve the family and create a video Blackjack called BabyJack, despite the baby's name being Sean not Jack :). Just press the Play button below to pit your wits...
  • Meeting the Press: Gaming with Katie Ledger and Steve Clayton

    Yesterday, we had some prominent visitors: Katie Ledger and Steve Clayton of PTS-TV . PTS-TV is a UK project to connect with the tens of thousands of Microsoft Partners in a new way (inspired by Channel 9 ). Katie and Steve interviewed both Thore and...
  • Learning F# and games programming at the Applied Games Group during A-levels

    Last week we had James Budnik over for a “work experience week”: a nice opportunity for British high school students to get a feel for what it is like to sit in an office all day and a way to gather some extra data to make an informed study career decision...
  • Arkwright Scholar Erroll Wood Visits MSRC

    Erroll Wood visited Microsoft Research Cambridge as an Arkwright scholar, and chatted to the Applied Games Group on Monday 11 of February 2008. Before handing in the mike to Erroll, let us link to some of the games he has written: Tank Patrol: http...