Pommerman was a project I stumbled upon in a newsletter from Jack Clark. In the newsletter, there was a call for help, so I took a look. I needed a new project to grind my teeth into and this seemed like a good candidate. Over the coming two years the core team's work was apart of 8 conferences, we hosted 3 tournaments, live stream our first. Today the project owner is a good friend of mine.
I planned to create graphics for the game but ended up writing a whole render engine for the game. This was very challenging. Thanks to the guidence and help of the team I was able to knock this out in 2 months in my spare time.
I knew I wanted the website to have a good feel to it, but be super simple so others could update it. The project is based on Bomberman which was created in the late 80s, so I wanted it to have a little retro feel to it as well.
Going into our first tournament I knew we would need a way for people to watch the matches after they were played. This leads me to write a playback engine for previously played games. Later this tool was also used for 2 groups' research.
In a project like this community is everything. It is the way you get things done. It's the way you grow. It's the way you have an impact.
To be honest with you, I just feel into the role of community lead. I started by being friendly and answering people's questions where I could. Over the coming months, I was the main resource for anything and everything Pommerman. Shortly after I took on the role of a community lead.
I helped put together 3 conference submissions, but only attended 1 of the 8 total conferences Pommerman's work got us into.
The conference I attended is the famed NeruIPS. A conference dedicated to the latest research in AI.
This is also the conference we hosted our first tournament at. We lived streamed our presentation to twitch. We stream so the community could watch the results and a select few games live.