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Development environment for creating AIs for StarCraft: Brood War


This is the development environment used for developing Stardust, stripped down to its bare components so it is suitable for use by other bots.

It uses the following main components:

  • BWAPI as the interface between the bot and the game.
  • OpenBW as the underlying game engine for local development.
  • Steamhammer and Locutus as test opponents.
  • CMake
  • Googletest


The following platforms have been tested by the author:

  • CLion on MacOS Mojave for OpenBW-based local development
  • Visual Studio 2019 for building Windows binaries

The CMake configuration reflects this, as on the MSVC platform it is configured to build a binary against standard BWAPILIB instead of OpenBW. It should however be possible to build the OpenBW-based configuration on Windows by modifying the CMake configuration.

For Linux, you will probably need to change some paths to LLVM, but otherwise I expect no major changes are needed.


The environment comes with the following components:

  • A demo AI module (based on BWAPI's ExampleAIModule)
  • Instrumentation code from Stardust for logging and outputting data understandable by CherryVis
  • A simple test framework for running scenarios and games
  • Maps from the SSCAIT, AIIDE and COG tournaments
  • Steamhammer and Locutus as test opponents

In order to run the tests, you need to put the three Brood War MPQ files (STARDAT.MPQ, BROODAT.MPQ and patch_rt.mpq) into the same directory as the test binary.

Some example tests are provided: Steamhammer.cpp and Locutus.cpp contain some tests for running full games against those opponents, and RushDefense.cpp has an example test that sets up a specific scenario.


The instrumentation is based around using CherryVis to view replays.

The demo AI module has examples of using a heatmap to mark buildable tiles and outputting unit-specific logs. For more ideas of what can be done, check out CherryVis.cpp or the CherryVis project itself.

To run CherryVis, check out cherryvis-docker.

Changes to OpenBW

The OpenBW code has had a couple of notable modifications applied to help integrate it into the development environment:

  • The BWAPI 4.4 latcom changes have been applied to OpenBW's BWAPI fork
  • The CherryVis OpenBW patch has been applied to support unit creation by triggers


Development environment for creating AIs for StarCraft: Brood War







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