IEEE Transactions on Games (ToG)

Special Issue on Game Competition Frameworks for Research and Education

Call for Papers

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: 8 January 2018, 8 February 2018 (Final Deadline)

Notification of Acceptance: 1 April 2018
Final copy due: 31 July 2018

Suggestions for Submissions

We invite the submission of papers about high quality work on game competition frameworks, entry submissions, their use as research testbeds to obtain novel experimental results, or as educational and teaching material. Regular, short and letter papers are invited to this special issue, with the following suggestion for these lengths:

  • Letter papers detailing use of competitions as educational or teaching material OR describing competition entries. Authors are allowed to briefly include the description of the competition framework and rules, but they are encouraged to mainly focus on the main contribution of their work.
  • Short papers with a technical description of the game competition framework (including link to the released code of the benchmark) OR a description of competition entries. For the later case, authors are allowed to briefly include the description of the competition framework and rules, but they are encouraged to mainly focus on the main contribution of their work.
  • Regular papers describing work using a competition benchmark as a research environment for novel experimental results, OR description of the game competition including analysis of the top entries and final results.

Competition organisers and participants are encouraged to communicate and collaborate with each other to avoid duplicating descriptions of framework, rules, entries, etc.

Instructions for Submissions

Authors should follow normal ToG guidelines for their submissions, but clearly identify their papers for this special issue during the submission process and in the cover letter. Extended versions of previously published conference or workshop papers are welcome, provided that the journal paper is a significant extension, and is accompanied by a cover letter explaining the additional contribution. See here for author information and page length limit.

Aim & Scope

Games are an ideal domain to study computational intelligence methods because they provide affordable, competitive, dynamic, reproducible environments suitable for testing new search algorithms, pattern-based evaluation methods, or machine learning concepts.Diverse game competitions have been designed for different research purposes and some of them have been successfully organised for 10 years, such as the game Go competition series and PacMan competition series. The past game competitions organised in conferences, industry or as private leagues have covered various games, from single-player board/video games to real-time strategy games. In different competitions, the participants are invited to submit an agent to play a specific game or a set of unknown games without intervention of human at least as good as professional human players, or to submit an agent to design a game or game rules. These have not only received submissions from academic institutions, but also attracted the attention of the games industry. Dozens of universities have used different game competition frameworks in modules of Game Design, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning.

The following is a list of suggested, not exclusive, competitions for this special issue:

Angry Birds Level Generation
Computer Game Olympiads (including Chess, Amazons, Backgammon, Bridge, Chinese Chess, Dots and Boxes, Draughts, Go, LOA, Shogi, …)
Dota2 Bot
Fighting Game AI
Game Data Mining
General Video Game AI
Geometry Friends Cooperative Game AI
microRTS AI
Ms. Pac-Man Vs Ghost Team
Showdown AI
StarCraft AI
Text-Based Adventure AI
Visual Doom AI

About the Guest Editors

Jialin Liu is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Queen Mary University of London (UK). She holds a B.Sc. from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (2010, China), an M.Sc. from the Université Paris-Sud and École Polytechnique (2013, France) and a Ph.D from the Université Paris-Saclay (2016, France). Her research interests include reinforcement learning, black-box noisy optimisation, portfolio algorithms and artificial intelligence in games. She has published more than 20 international conference papers and 4 journal papers in the aforementioned fields, and will be the Program Co-Chair of the IEEE’s 2018 Computational Intelligence on Games, one of the key conferences in the area of game artificial intelligence.

Diego Perez-Liebana is a Lecturer in Computer Games and Artificial Intelligence at Queen Mary University of London (UK), He achieved a PhD in Computer Science (2015) at the University of Essex (UK) and he holds an MSc and BSc degrees in Computer Science from University Carlos III (Madrid, Spain; 2007). He has published in the domain of Game AI, with interests on Reinforcement Learning and Evolutionary Computation. He organized several Game AI competitions, such as the Physical Traveling Salesman Problem and the General Video Game AI competitions, held in IEEE conferences. He has published more than 45 papers in the field of Game AI, including the main conferences and journals in the field of Computational Intelligence in Games. He has programming experience in the videogames industry with titles published for game consoles and PC.

Tristan Cazenave is a Professor of artificial intelligence at LAMSADE Universite Paris-Dauphine. Author of more than a hundred scientific papers about artificial intelligence in games. He started to publish commercial video games when he was aged 16 and co-founded a successful web agency in 1992. He was the Editor in chief of the ICGA Journal.

About the Associate Editor of ToG

Ruck Thawonmas is a Professor in College of Information Science and Engineering at Ritsumeikan University (Japan), where he is leading the Intelligent Computer Entertainment Laboratory with more than 65 Lab’s graduate-level alumni, around half of which are working in game industry. He has published more than 175 peer-reviewed papers in both Japanese and English; Two papers were cited more than 150 times each (Google Scholar); h-index = 21 (Google Scholar). In addition, his students won a number of prestigious game AI competitions such as the first AIBIRDS Level Generation Champion at the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (IEEE-CIG) 2016, the IEEE-CIG 2014 StarCraft AI Competition, and the AIIDE 2014 StarCraft AI Competition. He is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games (04/2014—present) as well as Games for Health Journal (07/2014—present).


Jialin Liu – jialin.liu(at)

Diego Perez-Liebana – diego.perez(at)

Tristan Cazenave – cazenave(at) 

Ruck Thawonmas – ruck(at)