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The Mercury Team has issued a "Mercury Coding Challenge" to celebrate the release of Mercury 0.8, a functional programming language. Competitors must implementing a server and players for the game Battleships. Download battleships.tar.gz from for full info. . [Peter Ross , comp.lang.functional, 18Jan99.]

Machine Learning in Games is an article about AI for game programmers, including heuristic search, neural networks, and temporal difference methods. . [Amnon Till , net-hap, 29Jan99.]

Chris Crawford's book "The Art of Computer Game Design" can be read free at . "Timeless and precious." See also Crawford's free Erasmatron interactive electronic story worlds authoring tool and Erasmaganza player, at . [Game Developer's Newsletter , 06Dec98.]

For design issues in creating MUDs, see . [Game Developer's Newsletter, 06Dec98.]

The Dark Reign game has a customizable AI engine (based on finite state machines) that can be used separately from the game. It even comes with documentation. . [Mattias Fagerlund ,, 14Jan99.]

Markus "Max" Ha'jek has started a computer chess and AI mailing list and website, for those interested in developing human-like game play. See or send a "subscribe aichess" message to . [,, 29Jan99.]

Code for a checkers game is available at . It's about 3500 lines of simple, relatively portable C++. [John Wiseman ,, 18Jan99.]

Pui Hua is looking for people to test his [slightly simplified] two-person stud poker game with opponent modeling. . [,, 27Jan99.] (Likely of interest on

Game Developer's Newsletter is available free from or . [Adam Karrera , GDN, 06Dec98.]