Customizable AI

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Customizable AI

Post by bladevalant546 on Tue May 14, 2013 5:48 am

Complex AI

Definitions-
1. Customizable- In this context the ability to adjust settings and to tailor to specific desire and need of the user.
2. Artificial Intelligence- (A.I.) Used to describe program behavior of computer entities within interactive entertainment.
3. Behavior-Description on how an A.I. acts or behaves.
4. Graphical User Interface (GUI)- A visual menu typically optimized for editing options for the average user.
5. Vessel-A term to describe in this case a space vessel used in the game Homeworld.

Desired Functionality-
The desired functionality of a “complex” AI system is to allow customization of AI behavior for desired tactics and behaviors of specific vessels in the game Homeworld. This will be achieved if possible through the GUI within the game mixed with drop down menus listing specific AI behaviors. A good visual representation is the AI customization in Dragon Age: Origins ™. I will provide examples if it is needed.

GUI-The GUI will consist with the art design of Homeworld drop down menus or buttons to select specific actions for the desired vessel or group to perform. For example: If a group of interceptors are selected a menu either in the side user interface or lower or collapsible interface appears. In this field you will several fields that either are buttons or drop down menus with options. These options can include options such as; “Dock after health reaches below 25%, “Target other strike craft (maybe make it specific)”, “Retreat when faced with X ship type,” “Protect X ship when attacked by X.” These are just minor examples and can be elaborated upon.
The commands can allow for good customization of tactics with capital ships as well. With commands like, “attack with weapon X when Target X is present, Target X ship. Again those are small examples given for a larger scope. What this will accomplish it will create a system of unparalleled strategy and allow a fleet if ordered right to work nearly autonomously (like in real battle) and freeing up the player for more advanced strategy and tactics.

I understand engine limits and since I have not read the code to Homeworld 2 this could be impossible. However, the avenue of exploration here is definitely warranted.


[b][i]


Last edited by bladevalant546 on Wed May 15, 2013 1:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Tue May 14, 2013 7:38 pm

I like the idea, and good preliminary design document format. One I know I would almost always use is that Dock at 25% health one for my strike craft, lol. As it is now, I have to micro that one mid-combat (not necessarily a bad thing), wouldn't mind having the option for customizing the AI a bit.

I like it.

P.S. - GUI stands for Graphical User Interface, Razz

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by bladevalant546 on Wed May 15, 2013 2:04 am

Noted* My aim here is to eliminate the mundane tasks that a normal fleet would actually do on its own. This would greatly increase tactics concerning the greater picture.


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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Nakamura on Wed May 15, 2013 2:34 am

I'm sorry but eliminating micromanagement from a players' required skill set is never a good thing.
If we do this, the skill gap between a good and bad player will purely be defined by their tactics, not their speed of doing things, nor the efficiency of that.

Imagine if you could spot all your dying strike craft and dock them manually before they die - virtually impossible, but a decent RTS player can get quite close.

Wouldn't you be annoyed if your years of practice in the genre allowed you to do that, while your opponent, who just plays his first multiplayer game can do it through an automated system?

I think the current "dock" command of capital ships with launch bays does more than enough work for the player. That you have to manually click the button shouldn't be a problem.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Farcrada on Wed May 15, 2013 5:07 am

Besides pressing a button on the interface, you can also press the "Dock"-shortcut key on the keyboard or a macro button on the mouse (Standard that's: "D" on the keyboard.). Idk.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Nakamura on Wed May 15, 2013 5:09 am

Yes that is the efficient way of doing it. The Dock command (on capitals) will dock stuff you wouldn't want docked as well.

Anyhow, automation in favor of reducing player actions is bad.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 5:11 am

I think this AI system would work well perhaps as a separate mod that would ultimately be compatible with this and other mods. It's probably outside the scope of this particular mod's goals.

However, I think that it's a little hard to say that it impacts the skill required when we're talking about maximizing complexity in terms of Macro, we shouldn't hinder the player with undue Micro. It still requires micro at the time of creation of the units, but less focused attention when the heat of the battle is on, allowing the player to shift their attention more to the macro side which, by nature of this mod, requires a lot of attention.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Farcrada on Wed May 15, 2013 5:11 am

Why would you bring such a thing up actually? That'd ruin the whole RTS aspect of the game. It would be a building simulator that way. Because it attacks, docks, repairs etc. all on it's own!

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 5:20 am

That's not at all what he was saying with this. It would give the player the ability to have certain ships focus on actions that go beyond "go here, attack this"

If you've ever played a game like Rainbow Six, Army of Two, or Mass Effect you will have seen what he's talking about. In games like those, where you have squad based AI, you command the AI to move to certain locations and attack certain targets or lay down suppressive fire or use special abilities once they reach a location.

All it is is basically granular control over the actions of the AI in the hands of the player, rather than forcing the player to manually make these commands in the heat of battle. It allows the player to make the decision from a tactical perspective ahead of time instead of from a reactionary perspective in the moment of it. Think of it as Civilization vs War Craft, this ultimately allowing for the marriage of Turn-based and RTS, where you're able to plan your actions but also respond on the fly if needed.

This wouldn't eliminate micro, because it's likely that these commands would need to be changed on the fly as battle conditions change, but for the most part the player could allow his tactical decisions to be carried out until new information warrants changing them.

Do not overgeneralize this, again this is a brainstorming section, he brought this up in an attempt to brainstorm something that he thought would be cool. Lay down the flame throwers please.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Nakamura on Wed May 15, 2013 5:21 am

I'm not a particularly excellent RTS player, only platinum level in Starcraft 2.
However I can deal with all the micro and macro elements of homeworld (and complex) just fine. You don't need any magical skills for that, not even control groups are a must!
Someone who uses 4-5 control groups and can perform at 100 apm (actions per minute) will be able to do everything and everything.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 5:28 am

I'm afraid that's irrelevant. This isn't about "I can't keep up with everything so I need magical AI to help my micro" at all.

This is "I'm a tactical, strategic player, and I would like to plan my actions ahead of time, but that capability does not exist with the current AI."

Star Craft 2 is so far removed from the gameplay of Homeworld that it almost doesn't apply. As a high plat SC2 player myself, I can tell you that Homeworld has a much larger possibility for micro actually paying off than the cheesy mechanics that SC2 has that force micro on the player. Being able to put together a fleet that has pre-applied tactical commands gives a micro burden on the player at the time of fleet creation and less micro required during battle. It basically just shifts the time that the player action is required from "in the battle" to "at creation" - giving the player the ability to be proactive rather than reactive.

Again, I think this would be excellent as a separate mod, but I also want to make sure you guys understand why he suggested this in the first place, as it is clear that there is some misunderstanding here.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Farcrada on Wed May 15, 2013 5:46 am

General Anubis wrote:It allows the player to make the decision from a tactical perspective ahead of time instead of from a reactionary perspective in the moment of it.
Something like that is called scouting... Or I'm not getting the point you're trying to make here.

Also: What is it with this multi AI games you come up with? They make absolutely no sense for me. Homeworld isn't made to control multiple AIs. Or if you mean that the ship has to do something after it reached her destination, you use the "Waypoint"-feature. It allows you to make it move to a certain position and if you make her agressive, it'll attack anything in range/visibility.

I have a feeling I'm totally missing your point, but this is my perspective of the current comment state.

Also:
General Anubis wrote:It basically just shifts the time that the player action is required from "in the battle" to "at creation" - giving the player the ability to be proactive rather than reactive.
Is called a rally point. It can be set in Homeworld as well. It applies after creation, like you said, or it will apply after launch (After docking.).

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 5:52 am

Yes, I'm afraid you're missing the point.

With all of those things you've listed, waypoints, rally points, etc. - When battle starts, regardless of all the scouting in the world, the ships are going to respond based on their AI.

This gives you more control over how that AI responds during battle. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Does that make it clearer?

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by bladevalant546 on Wed May 15, 2013 5:57 am

I will post a more elaborate talk out of what my point is referring to. I will have to take screen shots of the GUI from Dragon Age, and show the in-depth point.

I used to run with the LS clan back in the day in the days of Homeworld on WON. I am very zealous in maintaining skill with in a game. However we must get past what is subjective in terms of what "skill" is, and stick with what is Objective when it comes to skill. I like your feedback, I will take criticism.



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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Farcrada on Wed May 15, 2013 6:14 am

So basically, you want the game to put one big phussing message on the screen saying: "1 Interceptor squad is heavily damaged."?

How I take this:
General Anubis wrote:This gives you more control over how that AI responds during battle. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.
Makes me think you're provoking the idea of auto docking once a squad/ship reaches 25% HP or lower.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 6:25 am

Are you actually trying to contribute to the discussion or are you flaming? I'm having a hard time determining here, honestly.

Yes, I'm provoking the idea of auto docking at 25%, that is part of having granular control over the AI. That is a very small part of what he's getting at with this suggestion, and getting hung up on that is completely blinding you, apparently, to what the purpose of this suggestion is even getting at.

Also, at no part of this entire thread did anyone suggest there be a popup notification for any reason... not sure where that came from.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Farcrada on Wed May 15, 2013 6:39 am

General Anubis wrote:Are you actually trying to contribute to the discussion or are you flaming? I'm having a hard time determining here, honestly.
Well, I'm trying to figure out what you mean with the improved AI etc.

General Anubis wrote:Yes, I'm provoking the idea of auto docking at 25%, that is part of having granular control over the AI.
It being what I call: Ruining an RTS. What is the point in having that when you're playing an RTS? Do you see any RTS have this? I know I haven't. I have seen the games like Rainbow Six, yes. But those games are not comparable with the way Homeworld works. Homeworld is an 3D RTS. Not a building simulator where you only have to move the units and the rest they will do for you. I think that's the biggest bs.

Then again, I'm only stating my opinion. If you think that that is flaming, you haven't seen the rest of the internet. It's as if you don't like or can't handle criticism...

General Anubis wrote:Also, at no part of this entire thread did anyone suggest there be a popup notification for any reason... not sure where that came from.
That I used for general reference. To give some kind of direction in what I thought you meant. But now I know that you wanted the auto-dock all along. With which I highly disagree.

Again, this is all my opinion. Not flaming.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Nakamura on Wed May 15, 2013 7:55 am

This is pretty much what I call too much for for too little gain. We right now have priorities, which is cleaning up the design of the game.
We could make the AI players do this - hereby I mean that the opponent controlled by the computer should dock their strike craft or w/e at 25% health.
I would fully support that, it would be a large enhancement to the AI behavior.

However implementing this into the behavior of the units itself would be plain wrong.
The promise of this project is to retain the feel of Homeworld... in Complex.

I wonder why you would want to get THAT far away from what the game really is like. Homeworld's mechanics did work, this would probably upset many many fans who get a sense of satisfaction from being able to control the units properly on their own.

SC2 and this isn't very comparable because HW is slow. You will never need 300APM to perform well in a game like this, not even if you fight on 3 fronts.
I absolutely do not see the need to further decrease the amount of attention the player needs to give their forces.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 8:46 am

Farcrada wrote:But now I know that you wanted the auto-dock all along. With which I highly disagree.

Not flaming.
Disregarding the entire discussion except for one point, and continuing to harp on that one point for no apparent reason other than to indirectly insult my ego as a skilled player sounds like flaming to me.

This has very, very little to do with the autodock capability. Apparently no amount of explaining this is getting it through to you, so I will not discuss the issue further - it is obvious you do not wish to understand what is being presented here, for whatever reason I'm not sure.

As far as what you're saying Nakamura - I agree, this is probably way too much scope for this project (hence, I said it would work great as a separate mod, perhaps one compatible with this and other mods).

The entire point of this suggestion is to give more control to the player. That's all. Nothing more.

I'll present an example:

I have two Assault Frigates and one squadron of Lance fighters - I send these to attack a force of exactly the same units (2 Assault Frigs + 1 Lance fighter). Based on the AI already built into the game, the Assault frigates prefer targeting the Lance Fighters, and the Lance Fighters prefer targeting the Frigates automatically. No micro required.

This option would allow the player control over these preferences and yes, why not, control over other parts of the ships' AI.

Places where I've seen something like this would be beneficial - Guardians suck at maintaining proper targets and following certain ships in a fleet formation. They almost always fall waaaay back and end up targeting fighters when I'd much rather them target missiles (like they are designed to do). If I could tell them "Only target missiles" and also give an order to follow a ship at the same time, that would solve the issue.

As it is now, there is really no solution to making them target missiles, but a little bit of micro from the player can make them follow. I'm fine with this, but it wouldn't be the destruction of all that is sacred to allow the player some control over these behaviors.

No part of this suggestion is asking for something that makes the game play itself. I severely doubt that any gamer hardcore enough to 1. Like Homeworld, 2. Attempt to be involved in Modding Homeworld and 3. Enjoy playing Complex mod (for Christ's sake) is going to want the game to be ez-mode mainstream and play itself. Seriously man.

Anyway, I think the decision is clear that regardless, this is beyond the scope of the mod at hand, and as such we can put it to rest for the sake of this mod.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Farcrada on Wed May 15, 2013 9:56 am

You make it seem like I'm trying to insult you. Which I'm not. YOU came up with the flaming concept, I didn't. I didn't (And I'm still not, for that matter.) trying to insult you nor anyone else.
I'm trying to figure out what you mean by reading your comments/replies. And giving the player the option to auto-dock once it reaches 25% hp or lower, is with what I highly disagree.
Afijn, let's drop this subject and it's negativity here and let this be.

General Anubis wrote:This option would allow the player control over these preferences and yes, why not, control over other parts of the ships' AI.
So you want the player to control his/her opponent? Eh? Whut?

General Anubis wrote:Guardians suck at maintaining proper targets and following certain ships in a fleet formation. They almost always fall waaaay back and end up targeting fighters when I'd much rather them target missiles
Missile targeting weapons should only focus on those missiles... At least, that's what happened last time I used my shuttle (Yes, it's faster than most ships in Complex, but that's why you have formations. If you use a formation they move at the same pace.). Besides that, Guardian ships should only be focusing on missiles (After all, that's why they're called guardian ships.). It's either a bug they focus wrong or you're not using a guardian.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Nakamura on Wed May 15, 2013 10:01 am

I still don't see how you're giving the player more control by making their stuff dock.
If I want to perform an anti subsystem suicide rush to halt my opponent's development completely, the proposed mechanic would go : "LOL no, can't do that, buddy! "

Guardian and shuttle guard ranges and targeting will be investigated.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 3:11 pm

Why in the heck are you guys so hung up on the auto dock thing? This is boggling my mind.

That was an example that he threw in there as something that could plausibly be added to the AI controls. As I have said (repeatedly) it is a very small part of what is being suggested and it isn't as if it's some requirement. You would think that the title of the thread was "Autodock at 25%" with the way you guys are responding.

Let's just ignore that this phrase ever even existed in this thread, and eliminate it as an option if it creates that much of a barrier to you guys understanding what he's talking about here. Does that help at all? If we just forget that was ever said?

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 3:16 pm

Also, forgive me for feeling offended, but it seemed absurd to me that the only line of thought that was receiving any response was "autodock at 25%" as if that was some crutch that was required by, presumably, myself and/or blade here.

Anyway, sorry for accusing you of flaming, it really just seemed weird and completely tangential to the discussion.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by Farcrada on Thu May 16, 2013 2:40 am

General Anubis wrote:That was an example that he threw in there as something that could plausibly be added to the AI controls.
I love that idea for the CPU. Right now the AI just mass produces the ships without retreats etc.

General Anubis wrote:You would think that the title of the thread was "Autodock at 25%" with the way you guys are responding.
I've seen too much of topic changes within the topic themselves (Example: The title says: "battlecruiser ion weapon damage", whislt the topic continues about balincing out the fighters. It's... It's weird.). Comes natural once you get used to it. xP

General Anubis wrote:Let's just ignore that this phrase ever even existed in this thread, and eliminate it as an option if it creates that much of a barrier to you guys understanding what he's talking about here. Does that help at all? If we just forget that was ever said?
Agreed, it became the headline, let's leave it for what it is.

General Anubis wrote:Anyway, sorry for accusing you of flaming, it really just seemed weird and completely tangential to the discussion.
No problem, it's text. You never know how the person that wrote it pronounces it. It's not your fault.


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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Thu May 16, 2013 2:46 am

Ok, so does it change this discussion at all now that you realize we really don't care, at all, about Autodock (which, I agree would be pretty cool for Enemy AI to do)?

Further, I'm going to go ahead and encourage you guys, for any future suggestions, that if you want this mod to have a flourishing community where constructive suggestions are openly and freely submitted, then discussed and ultimately brought to a finer point where they might actually improve the mod as a whole, you're going to have to avoid getting snagged on singular issues that are ultimately irrelevant to the suggestion as a whole and the discussion at hand.

In less words, See the big picture!

Anyway, we've all pretty much agreed that this is beyond the scope for this mod, so we can call this one closed for here.

-Thanks

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