Customizable AI

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Customizable AI

Post by bladevalant546 on Wed May 15, 2013 1:48 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.


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Last edited by bladevalant546 on Wed May 15, 2013 9:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Wed May 15, 2013 3:38 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 10:04 pm

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 10:34 pm

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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:07 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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:09 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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:11 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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:11 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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:20 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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:21 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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:28 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 Thu May 16, 2013 1:46 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.).

_________________________________________
Try imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can't. You know the month, the year and the day of the week. There's a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check his watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour.
And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.

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Re: Customizable AI

Post by General Anubis on Thu May 16, 2013 1:52 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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- Excerpt from Ozymandias
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Re: Customizable AI

Post by bladevalant546 on Thu May 16, 2013 1:57 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 Thu May 16, 2013 2:14 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.

_________________________________________
Try imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can't. You know the month, the year and the day of the week. There's a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check his watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour.
And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.

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