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AI: Implementing Score4 (Connect four) in functional and imperative languages
F# Common Lisp C++ Python OCaml Java Other
branch: master

This is the code accompanying my blog post about implementing the game of Score4 (also known as Connect4). The goal of the game is to form horizontal, vertical or diagonal series of 4 of your chips (green). The computer tries to do the same, using red chips.

I coded implementations of the game engine in C, C++, OCaml, F#, C# and Lisp, using both functional and imperative styles of coding. Ports also came from all over the Web to many more languages (so far: Java, Python, Haskell, Go, D - see Hacker News discussion here and Reddit/programming discussion here). Update, March 2012: *pypy** did an amazing job optimizing the Python version, bringing it up to performance levels similar to the rest of them*.

I also prepared a standalone windows binary of the game - using py2exe for the PyGame Python GUI, and a MinGW-compiled binary of the C version of the game engine.

To fiddle with the sources:

  1. Checkout

  2. Play or benchmark:

    • "make play" to play a graphics game of score4 (via PyGame)
    • "make playSimple" to play a console game of score4
    • "make benchmark" to benchmark the languages
  3. The "make play" controls:

    • Click with mouse to drop a green chip on a column
    • ESCAPE to exit
    • SPACE to start a new game.
  4. To run the benchmark in only one of the languages, e.g. OCaml...

    cd OCaml ; make ; make test

  5. To benchmark in all available languages:

    make benchmark

These are the results I get on my Celeron E3400 under Arch Linux:

= Running benchmarks =
Benchmarking imperative memoized C++ ... 0.087 sec
Benchmarking imperative C++ ... 0.115 sec
Benchmarking imperative C ... 0.120 sec
Benchmarking imperative Lisp (SBCL) ... 0.272 sec
Benchmarking imperative LISP (CMUCL) ... 0.270 sec
Benchmarking imperative Java ... 0.385 sec
Benchmarking imperative OCaml ... 0.306 sec
Benchmarking imperative Python (Pypy) ... 0.638 sec
Benchmarking functional OCaml ... 0.693 sec
Benchmarking imperative C# ... 0.863 sec
Benchmarking imperative F# ... 0.792 sec
Benchmarking functional F# ... 1.958 sec
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