Preparing for Code Wars

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The below information is for the 2016 Code Wars. 


  • Saturday, February 6th, 2016 10AM- 6 (7PM for finalists)
  • Windward will be available starting at 9:00 AM to answer any questions during setup.
  • The competition will run from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM local time. Figure out your strategy, write your code, play, and re-vamp your code until 6PM.
  • Local playoffs (for institutions with 2 or more teams) start directly after, at 6:00 PM local time.*
  • The finalists from each college have until (around)7:00 PM to upload their code to Windward for the final.
  • The final is run at Windward on Saturday night after receiving all finalists, and published on Sunday at 11:00 AM Mountain Time (Colorado).

*If 10 teams or less, 2 teams will go on to the finals. For every additional unit of 5 teams (we round up)  1 additional finalist is allowed. Ex: 11 teams at your school? 3 finalists.  15 Teams? 3 finalists. 16 teams? 4 finalists.

Very Important:

The contest is not using the Windwardopolis program. Windwardopolis uses the same framework so you can get your system configured in advance.

You do need a system or virtual machine running Windows to run the game server to test your client. You do not need Visual Studio for the server unless you want to trace through the server code.

The Game Server – The term “server” is used below both for each team testing their code and for the school finals. The server is the server component of the game software which is composed of a client and server piece. The server however does not require a hardware server type box. You probably want to run it on a laptop. So the software is the server half but the hardware is just a laptop.

Pre-game Prep

What To Do:

      1. NOTE THAT IS IS JUST FOR TESTING. YOU WILL BE SENT A LINK TO THIS YEARS COMPETITION IN AN EMAIL. Install Windwardopolis for your environment (details in link). This is not the contest game. But the contest game will use the identical framework for the game server and client so you can insure that you have everything in place for the game.
      2. If you are programming in Java, we strongly recomend IntelliJ as your IDE. If you are programming in C#, we strongly recomend ReSharper as an Add-In to Visual Studio. (We find both absolutely essential here at Windward.)
      3. Get a 32×32 pixel avatar (or we will use a Care Bear picture). For the final please use an avatar that includes your school logo.
      4. Have a plan for fueling participants. The day goes incredibly fast and thus going out to lunch is not an option. We can provide free lunch to participants at participating schools in the U.S. & Canada, but unfortunately we’re not set up to provide free food elsewhere.
      5. Game proctor – Have a projector connected to your laptop where you will run the school final (game server). This allows everyone to watch the final as it plays. (If your laptop supports dual external monitors, get 2 projectors – the game makes good use of dual monitors.)
      6. School Press Office – Have someone film the contest, primarily the start, lunch, and final when it plays. The video and pictures are an excellent recruiting tool.
      7. For any posts, tweets, etc. about the competition, please use the hashtags #codewar and #windward.
      8. Please go to and click both the Facebook Like and Google + buttons.
      9. If you’re ready to go and it’s not 10:00 yet, watch Cubicle War.

What Not To Do:

    • Post, tweet, etc. anything about the specifics of the programming challenge until after 10:00 AM Pacific time. (If you do, you give the Pacific TimeZone schools a head start.)
    • Do not post the link to the game description page before 10:00 AM Pacific time.

What To Do After the Game:

    • If you are looking for an internship or job with a start-up software company in the Boulder, CO area, email your resume to Tell me what type of company you are looking for and I will forward your info on to the local start-ups and list you as a code war participant (that’s a big plus).
    • Blog about your team effort and send us the url to your blog. We will link to it from our code war page.
    • Give us your feedback on how we can make the contest better, we would like to receive suggestions for next year.
    • If you need reporting, docgen, or B.I. for a school project, download the free copy of Windward.
    • If you enjoy real-time strategy games, download the free copy of Enemy Nations.
  • The Programming Environment: The game server communicates with the A. I. (clients) over TCP. Therefore the A. I. entries can be written in any language on any operating system.
  • We provide sample A.I. client in:
    • C# – VisualStudio 2012 or 2013 & .NET 4.0 (or 4.5).
    • Java – Java 1.6 or 1.7 (JRE).
    • Python – Python 2.7 (this previously said 3.3.3, sorry!).
    • C++ – Microsoft C++ only & VisualStudio 2012 or 2013.
  • You install the server and one client. You only need to use that one client, ignore the other clients.

Note: The details of the competition are not be released until 10:00 AM the day of the code war. We do this to keep the total time to just 8 hours. If we released information early, students would start programming earlier and then this would take a lot more of their time. Don’t worry, you will have everything installed & running in about 5 minutes.

  • -Past Participants-

    Boston University
    Brown University
    Carnegie Mellon University
    College of William and Mary
    Colorado College
    Colorado School of Mines
    Colorado State University
    Columbia University
    Computer Science Center – Saint Petersburg
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Harvey Mudd College
    Hendrix College
    Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Michigan Tech
    Penn State
    Princeton University
    Purdue University
    Saint Petersburg State University
    Stanford University
    UC San Diego
    United States Military Academy
    University of Alberta
    University of Central Florida
    University of Chicago
    University of Colorado
    University of Illinois
    University of Maryland
    University of Massachusetts
    University of Pennsylvania
    University of Toronto
    University of Victoria
    University of Wisconsin