ChessJam and Robots – A.I. saves the day

A few days ago, I blogged about the roll-out of ChessJam, an online chess app built on Flex/AIR, ColdFusion and LiveCycle Data Services.  The roll-out has gone well but we have quickly learned that our real challenge is creating a new chess playing community!   From analyzing our logs, here is the typical experience over the past few days:

  • User installs the app, creates a profile
  • User clicks around looking for someone to play with but finds nobody so they don’t even get the gaming experience
  • User leaves the app after spending an average of 90 seconds 😦
  • Five minutes later, another user logs in and repeats the cycle!

We discussed a few options:

  1. Hiring middle-school kids to staff the room for $1/hr
  2. Me take a sabbatical now and play chess 24/7
  3. Employ some robots!

We went with option #3.   If you were one of the users that went through the 90 second experience described above, come back and play a bot.  Hopefully you’ll also see a few humans hanging out to play.

If your trial has run out, email us at chessjam -at- gmail -dot- com and we’ll get you going again.

To learn more about ChessJam, read my previous post.

~ by Greg on October 19, 2009.

7 Responses to “ChessJam and Robots – A.I. saves the day”

  1. Try posting at You’d get a ton of publicity.

  2. One more way is to provide an option for non-real time game, where users can log-in, submit their move and so short correspondence. Although real time in very cool..correspondence chess will go long way to build a devoted community 🙂

  3. I am also a novice flash game developer and like your game alot. You used 3rd party engine for bots. Is it possible to tell about the library?

    2 questions.

    Why used multiplayer server to make multiplayer game which could save time instead of using ColdFusion?

    Why chose Flex. Isn’t flash better option?


    • anyone there to reply?

    • Hey Ali – sorry for the delay – I was in London last week and catching up this week.

      #1 – What type of multiplayer server? ColdFusion fit the bill perfectly for what we needed. We built our own multiplayer engine
      #2 – The game could have been done in Flash but it would have taken a LOT longer. Flex offers a much more developer-friendly environment so we can take advantage of MVCS framework, containers, effects and various other features. You can learn more about Flex by checking out Tour de Flex (has over 300 samples) –



  4. Thanks for the reply.
    Already downloaded Tour de Flex.
    The multiplayer server like
    1 – I will explore coldfusion. Would you tell me what should I explore in Coldfusion in relation to multiplayer game development like yours?
    2 – Any specific application which I can see and learn for MVCS framework?
    3 – Important question. How have you developed Chess AI?
    4 – Is there any chance to share more of the game coding techniques using coldfusion and flex?

    Thanks for your time.

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