About the challenge

This Hackathon is designed for participants to build the game-playing bot of their dreams! Contestants (either individuals or in teams) will design and develop a program capable of playing the board game Hex using any language or tools desired. Programs will then be pitted against each other in a round-robin style tournament, and who ever accumulates the most points will be crowned the winner! 

Hex has a long history with the University of Alberta. Many professors in the department of Computing Science have had a significant impact on the study of the game itself, and in building world-class Hex-playing programs. These professors include Dr. Ryan Hayward, Dr. Martin Muller, and many others! If you’re at all interested in getting into research in the field of board games, this is a great opportunity to break in!

Note that development is allowed from the moment you sign up! We want to emphasize that experimentation is desired, and that you should try as many different techniques as possible. Trying to treat this as a normal weekend hackathon will likely result in a worse player than if you had started working on it to start out with!

Get started 

  1. Go to the Undergraduate AI Society’s Hex repository to view an example bot in the random_bot directory.
  2. If you want, find a team of people to work on the project together!
  3. Register for the event!
  4. Sign up and ask questions on our discord!



What to Build

Participants are tasked with constructing a computer program capable of playing the board game Hex on boards of variable size. Programs will be started with either of the two colours used in the game, and will communicate their moves / receive instructions via stdin & stdout. A demonstration bot can be found in the UAIS repository here.

On each move, programs will be allocated 1 minute and 30 seconds to make their move, though need not use all of this time to make their move. Should a move not be received by the main program in this time limit, the bot will be considered to have resigned the game.

What to Submit

Participants will submit one of two things:

  1. A GitHub / GitLab repository containing the source code for your program.
  2. A complete program contained within a single `.zip` file.

Both will contain instructions on how to compile & run your program. Groups may only submit one project. Should multiple projects be submitted, the first submission in the list will be used.

Hackathon Sponsors


$CAD750 in prizes

Closed Section: 1st Place

Closed Section: 2nd Place

Closed Section: 3rd Place

Open Section: 1st Place

Open Section: 2nd Place

Open Section: 3rd Place

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Judging Criteria

  • Tournament Style
    Your bots ranking will be determined on how it plays against the other bots in a round-robin style.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

Gold Sponsors

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.