The Planet Wars competition has been running for a month now and the deadline for submissions is Saturday the 27th of November 2010.
Don't let the fact that it has already been running for a month dissuade you from participating. If you're an experienced programmer a weekend of solid work will get your bot in the top 500 (out of a little more than 3000 participants currently) and maybe even in the top 100. If you're less experienced perhaps a week or two of work will get you the same (and if not, you will still learn a lot!).
Some perspective: my bot briefly entered the top 25 this weekend (but it's on its way out of the top 50 currently) and I've been working on it in my spare time the last two or three weeks. I'm not experienced in AI programming and I've got a full time job, a wife and two young kids to distract me.
So, grab a Common Lisp starter pack and get hacking!
One tip: The map format is very simple (check the
maps directory in
any starter pack). Make simple maps to test your attack and defense
Some helpful links: