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At the end of January, Unity announced the ‘Obstacle Tower Challenge’ to test AI game players. The Obstacle Tower Challenge examines how AI software performs in computer vision, locomotion skills, and high-level planning. The challenge began on 11th February and will run through 24th May. Round 1 ran from 11th Feb till 31st March and the results are just in. For the first round of the challenge, Unity received 2000+ entries from 350+ teams. Now, Unity has announced the launch of the second round of the challenge.

Teams who trained an agent in round one and received an average score of five on unseen versions of the tower will advance for round 2. Agents will need to account for a variety of new challenges in Obstacle Tower Environment 2.0 including enemies to dodge, distractions to avoid, and more complicated floor layouts with circling paths.

What’s new in the Obstacle Tower Environment 2.0?

Unity has expanded the floors in the tower from 25 to 100 with three new visual styles – Industrial, Modern, and Future. The higher floors also contain new challenges apart from the ones already present such as enemies to dodge, distracting TVs to avoid, more complex floor layouts with circling paths, and larger rooms on each floor with additional platforming challenges.

Obstacle Tower Environment 2.0 has expanded on the number of available parameters which can be customized when resetting the environment. These include the ability to change things like the lighting, visual theme, floor layouts, and room contents on the floors in the tower.

They have also worked on the placement of the reset button in puzzle rooms which, based on feedback from round 1, was unintuitive. So Unity has now separated out the block, goal, and reset button positions in these rooms, to make it less likely that the agent will press the reset button by accident.

The Obstacle Tower Environment natively supports the Unity ML-Agents Toolkit. To learn more about the environment, you can go through their research paper. Unity has also released the final list of contestants selected for Round 2.

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