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DEFCON: Everybody Dies (Really)

Introversion has created a real WOPR, and so can you!

Nuclear holocaust for everyone! Yay!
Nuclear holocaust for everyone! Yay!
Introversion is an indie developer I can get behind. Most indie games require you to make apologies for some technical shortcoming or limit of scope, but with clean, high-concept stuff like Darwinia, Uplink, and DEFCON, Introversion seems to have figured out how to make some really compelling games that fit neatly in a small footprint. DEFCON resonates with me particularly, largely because I grew up a Cold War baby, and because my long-standing affection for the movie WarGames, which serves as a pretty direct source of inspiration for the game.

Taking that inspiration to its logical conclusion, Introversion has teamed up with the AI research team at Imperial College London to cook up its own version of Joshua, an unbeatable DEFCON AI program that has consistently bested Introversion's own training AI programs. As if creating its own perfect killing machine weren't enough, Introversion has released an API allowing anyone to create their own DEFCON AI. Introversion claims that its underlying motivation is to “enable DEFCON to become a driving force for the development of AI techniques in gaming, much as chess and backgammon have become in previous years,” though didn't Cyberdyne Systems start off the same way? If you think you've got a future as an armageddonist, check out Introversion's site for more details about its API program. If you need me, I'll be hiding under my house!