there are a lot of possibilities here,
in reply to A Monk's Quest, questions
The one thing i would suggest to keep it nice and simple
is to have the game developed in stages and prizes go to the
winner of each stage.
It sounds like you want to possibly
have a gui involved here, and it would be easier if a gui
was predefined so that you don't have a lot of different
implementations of just one feature going on. But to allow
for maximum creativity you could start with a contest on
building that gui (which would have to have standard interfaces
that the agent could call) and then move to the contest involving
the agents. You could have a different gui designed for each
contest, and the gui would be downloadable so that all
participants designing an agent (or whatever) could use and
test the gui (*no* changes!).
Recently i had to design an agent
and a gui for AI class and it is a hassle doing both at the
same time (in my
experience). Other than that it sounds fantastically fun
and amusing (perl instead of java!!), i'd definitely have to turn something in...