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Strategic AI
2016-11-11, 12:00 PM
Post: #1
Strategic AI
Once the steam engine stuff is in stable the next activity will be to implement new version of the strategic AI for campaign play.

The plan we have in mind for this is to adjust the campaign such that it basically plays out as a hard fought battle to expand territory- with a very clear front line between you and your current neighboring opponents.

Essentially those opponents will view the disposition of your forces (they will also measure you units' combat effectiveness against their forces ) and build up the front line appropriately. They will stage assaults though the front line and they will divert forces to repel your assaults through the front line.

In addition to doing this they will build forces to do some of the following:
1) Harvest in resource zones
2) Resupply / repair units at the front line
3) Guard strategic locations

90% of the AI's code will be based on a system of generating "jobs" and assigning "workers" to those jobs. Then identifying shortfalls in the "workers" and building new workers such that all jobs can be accomplished. These jobs will be things like "reinforce this zone with airborne anti air units and repair units" and "deliver fuel to this zone" or "stage an attack on this zone". The system will be extensible with new jobs and new categories of work. Each worker is assessed against the job and the "optimal" assignment of workers to jobs is determined so that each job has an equal share of workers assigned to it and all workers are assigned to jobs they are in theory good at performing.

In order to keep this "meta game" working factions will only be able to move within their own territories and the "border" between them and their enemies. It will take a period of uncontested occupation of a sector (map square) to capture it. Once captured you can obviously break through into the next sector if you wish. Obviously this would leave you in a vulnerable position if you tunnel into the enemy areas and the AI algorithms would, given this situation, attack you from 7 sides at once (which may be exactly what you want).

Rather than the AI having "garrisons" the units will always actually exist in their "force/fleet" form.

The player units will be initially assessed to have a combat prowess equal to their material cost. As battles are fought the AI will learn that suchandsuch a vehicle has a combat prowess that is actually (for example) 5 times higher than it's material cost against (for example) Deep Water Guard Airships. It may then send in some Deep Water Guard Submarines and find that actually suchandsuch a vehicle performs badly against that category of unit. It will then prioritise the deployment of Deep Water Guard Submarines to defend the front line against Such and Such and attack SuchAndSuch.

The AI will gather material and spend material to build units. As it determines the situation to be getting harder and harder (losing land, fewer reserves) it will start to build more combat effective vehicles (nominally smaller, less flashy, better performing). This has the goal of allowing the faction to but together forces that it thinks could actually win a fight, without making enormous battles that lag like hell.

One other consideration of this style of gameplay is that it should allow the player to have much more fun playing as a "turtle". By capturing an island in the front line and building long range turrets and engaging distant enemy fleets the player should be able to dictate some pretty epic defensive battles.

Also territory ownership may provide a fixed material income so that there is increased incentive to capture and hold territory.

I hope this sounds like fun and welcome your feedback.

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2016-11-11, 12:06 PM
Post: #2
RE: Strategic AI
You say the AI will gather material. Will they drain the finite resource zones? Or will those always be full when the player first takes them?

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2016-11-11, 12:15 PM
Post: #3
RE: Strategic AI
Are there going to be changes to blockade mechanics?
Right now blockades are inescapable and as such situations where a damaged enemy vehicle veers off to space or the far side of the map mean losing your entire fleet.
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2016-11-11, 12:24 PM
Post: #4
RE: Strategic AI
In theory, all the proposed ideas sound solid. I think all of the features mentioned will add a heap of depth to the game. How would the AI figuring out what vehicles are resource efficient and what aren't? Would it just be based on the current FP and difficulty ratings? I like what you've proposed that the enemy AI will take battle results and attempt to counter the player. Will there be any aspect of Faction on faction combat, and will being allies/friends (I.e maintaining relations) benefit you at all?

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2016-11-11, 12:26 PM
Post: #5
RE: Strategic AI
Will there be options in the planet editor to set up how each faction acts? For example setting one to prioritise defensive maneouvres, another to focus on hit-and-run attacks or another to constantly go on the offensive

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2016-11-11, 12:28 PM
Post: #6
RE: Strategic AI
There are a lot of very good ideas and concepts here!
I'll give it some thoughts.

But I'd like to point one little thing that is disturbing me: 'working factions will only be able to move within their own territories and the "border" between them and their enemies'.
- It forbid the computer to make deep attacks (going through several of our tiles without engaging and attacking a rear base)
- It may cause a problem if a territory is cut in half and the 2 parts of the territory are separated by 3 tiles, then there may be some problems with the algorithm, so just think about it when coding and it will be OK
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2016-11-11, 12:39 PM
Post: #7
RE: Strategic AI
im not saying thats a bad idea.

The problem is, the player can make his own ships, and change them.
The KI can learn to outsmart the player ship. But then he put a new ship in the fight.

And somethimes, there are only realy small changes, to change the class of a whole ship.

Like the rockets of a rocket cruiser:

2 clicks and a long-range-rocket-cruiser (weak against submarines) , is a Torpedo-cruiser, capable to take out entire fleets of submarines...

2 clicks and this cruiser is a AA-cruiser, capable to take out whole fleets of aircrafts.

KI: This thing is a torpedo-cruiser, let fight against them with aircrafts -> change to AA/LR

KI: This thing is a AA-cruiser, lets put some submarine in the fight -> change to Torpedos.

and so on..


and yes, the blockade-mechanic are ... waste.
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2016-11-11, 12:44 PM
Post: #8
RE: Strategic AI
(2016-11-11 12:15 PM)Lemokaani Wrote:  Are there going to be changes to blockade mechanics?
Right now blockades are inescapable and as such situations where a damaged enemy vehicle veers off to space or the far side of the map mean losing your entire fleet.

Yeah something needs to be done about that.

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2016-11-11, 12:45 PM
Post: #9
RE: Strategic AI
(2016-11-11 12:24 PM)Spitfiredzwww Wrote:  In theory, all the proposed ideas sound solid. I think all of the features mentioned will add a heap of depth to the game. How would the AI figuring out what vehicles are resource efficient and what aren't? Would it just be based on the current FP and difficulty ratings? I like what you've proposed that the enemy AI will take battle results and attempt to counter the player. Will there be any aspect of Faction on faction combat, and will being allies/friends (I.e maintaining relations) benefit you at all?


Making the AI fight each other isn't in the scope of this initial v2 work, but might come later. The code will be written such that it allows for future work to facilitate this, potentially.

It's not something I'm keen to do, to be honest.

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2016-11-11, 12:45 PM (This post was last modified: 2016-11-11 12:47 PM by moonruner.)
Post: #10
RE: Strategic AI
Would factions consume each other?
If DWG make light of player they would attack LH first.
It would be an automatic difficulty setting.

edit:oops
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