Project idea: Learn Python via AI Programming
A long time ago, together with a friend, I wanted to learn Python, the programming language. At the time, the best thing to do was to pick some toy project and implement it. We put that on sourceforge and eventually forgot about it. After its re-discovery, we had a short period of refactoring and many improvements to the data structures, algorithms and implementations were made (it is so much incredibly faster now). Now it's at the point where we aren't sure what to do next. More speed-tweaking? More content? More complexity?
And you don't even know what I'm talking about!
Take a look at Wesen, now hosted at Github, which is a primitive simulation of life. Your goal, as a player, is to program an AI for a species that is left alone on a world, competing with other species, fighting about scarce (or abundant) resources. In the early days, the most successful species just multiplied whenever it had enough energy and time left. Now there are more "intelligent" species which drop food to do "gardening" (which is possible due to the rules of the world where they live). Other species don't do gardening but are more predatory - both get along for a long time until the gardener finally wins (and sometimes everyone dies).
Can you write a better AI? So far the codebase for AI is really small, and very readable.
See an example here.
The main code (the simulator) could also see some improvement. But before we change something bigger, it would be nice to engineer the rules of the world a bit.
See also my other project ideas.