First Year College

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

ACM Programming Contest

I have compited in the UCC ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in first year (2010) and again in second year (2011), with my fellow teammates Carl Lange and Keith Cully. The ACM is a problem solving programming contest in which you are given 8 problems to solve in 4 hours with one computer and a team of three people. The type of problems range from complex search & sorting algothirms, prime numbers, fibonacci sequence etc.

Leanring out comes

I wrote up a piece about our experience at the ACM Irish Collegiate Programming Contest 2011 @UCC over at the Flax Project. You can also see a live JavaScript demo of a solution to one of the ACM problem I solved when we were practising for the event.

Live Demo

You can also see a live JavaScript demo of a solution to the “High Score ACM Problem” which I solved when we were practising for the event.

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Java AI – Robocode 2010

While in first year of college (2009) myself and another game development student Carl Lange entered into the Tipperary Games Fleadh RoboCode competition, which is where entrys use the RoboCode API to build robots in Java and then have them battle it out. With our robot which we developed in less then ten days before the competition, called Solomon. The source code is avaible on Google Code and its code design document is available at  Solomon design document

Artificial intelligence

Solomon was a simple state machine AI, which would learn over time by writing its learning outcomes to a file. It would select various different tactics from its tactic database. We tried to give it a good selectuion of aggressive tatatics, passtive avodiance tatics and all round general tatics. It would then learn which one was the best, based on its loss of health, enemy’s health, wins vs loses etc. It would then save the name of the robot to know that if it saw that robot again in battle to use tatic B straight away.  Unfortantly a day before the competition we where told that we couldn’t save info to a file between match’s, even though we previously been told we could. So our learning mechanise was limited to the knowledge it got while in battle, then its memory was rest after each match. Though we still managed to come joint 5th out of something like 17 colleges so we were happy enough.

Learning out comes

Well it was our first time using Java as in first year we used C#. Thought they are extremely similar so it was relatibitly easy. Our first expereicne working with AI and how to create a program that could learn from its expereicnes even if its a very basic type of learning. We had a great experiences at the event and we got a great seance of pride that we had finished something and it worked. One of our greatest learning out comes was working together in a team. This project was the first project myself and Carl worked on togtheier,  we worked well as a team and since we have gone on to work on various projects together most notebale the Flax Project and the Flax HTML5 Game Engine

Technologies & Skills used

  • Java
  • RobotCode API
  • OOP
  • AI ( Finaite state machine)
  • Source Code Management (SVN)


Friday, November 12th, 2010

Guitar Hero Clone – C# .NET

In first year of my Game Development degree at IT Carlow. We were given a project to create a game with music in it and it was meant to teach the user musical notes. Though I thought that was pretty lame so I said I would make a guitar hero clone. There were also other requirements such as XML highscore database, reading the notes for the song from a file and stuff like that. Its was written in C# with .NET. Below is a video of the game in action that I did for an article on

Video of Game

Technologies & Skills used

  • C#
  • .NET
  • XML
  • Sorting and Searching algorithms


All content © Copyright 2017 by Ciarán McCann.