Bot: the Gravitron of VVVVVV (DQN vs search-based) Link

The source code of the PC game VVVVVV got officialy released in 2020. It was announced by my friend mohoc7, during his speedrun of this game at the AGDQ 2020.

It motivated me to dig in the source code and see what I could do... and I finally decided to make a bot for the Super-Gravitron (a mode of the game where we have to avoid projectiles)!

I first made a Python bot using an implementation of a DQN in order to learn to play this game, as it was done by Google for some Atari games (link). For that, I customized the game a little in order to be able to feed it inputs from the console, and to output the current game state in the console too (Github).

Then, a little deceived by the result (though it was performing way better than the average human, it did not break the ~10min record of my friend!), I decided to make another bot, this time without using machine learning. I replicated the physics of the game in Julia (for better performances than Python), and made a search-based bot. This time, the record was beaten... 💪

You can look the performance of both bots on this video, and the source code is available on Github.