Member Since 22 Jun 2009
Offline Last Active Nov 06 2019 04:04 PM

#140613 Why can't we ever have decent AI?

Posted NikiAlex on 01 March 2015 - 05:57 PM

My humble experience in RTS and TBS tells me this:
There are a quite a big number of conditions for AI to look for in order to be “good” (like comparison of battle stats, defense bonuses, current strength, detection and engagement ranges, weapon type, allies & enemies nearby, etc)
It is more of a challenge from design perspective to properly list all important conditions, behaviors’ and well balanced reaction thresholds. Once this is set up as schemas and functions then programming tackles begin to kick-in.
There more conditions and situation you push to implement the higher the change some condition will go wrong, will be missed at all and this of course will lead to annoying in-game situation. For sake of the discussion let’s assume conditions and responses were set up top notch and you have AI character/unit that appears “intelligent„ and deliver to you nice amount of challenge. Congratulations you have excellent AI for you Character class/Unit. But wait a minute… I have so many different character/unit classes, special traits and so many weapon types. Yeah, I will need to customize AI for most of them.
Now we have some awesome AI let’s do some combat in RTS. Ops AI need to calculate most of his condition every frame in order this to be really efficient. We have a CPU performance issues. OK then let’s reduce condition checking to every second, but not every frame. Well it appears this is not frequent enough. AI is not as good as we wanted.
At some point you are asking, how much time do I need to invest to got my good AI opponents
Just my two cents.
Will be happy to read more hands-on on this topic

#139791 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted Zombie on 27 January 2015 - 04:44 AM

Hi folks! Posted Image

I spent the better part of 2 days feverishly scanning the TFTD Draft Publishing Plan (it's actually 37 pages long, the Table of Contents isn't considered a page) and getting it ready to see the light of day for the first time in 20 years. Initially I resized the scans to a maximum dimension of 1600 pixels, but that made the file balloon to gigantic proportions so I rescaled them to a maximum of 1200 pixels which helped a lot. The images were "printed" via PDF995 into an Adobe Acrobat pdf file (file size 2.7MB) and then zipped up (final size 658KB). Sorry about the condition of the screenshot images as they are hard to convert. You can find the file here in our files section.

Please "like" this post if you found it interesting as I put a lot of effort into this to get it ready for it's grand anniversary re-release! Posted Image

- Zombie

#139102 Let's Play X-Com: Terror from the Deep

Posted Zombie on 21 December 2014 - 06:01 AM

View Postneptunesnookgames, on 19 December 2014 - 10:28 AM, said:

Do you think it would be a good idea to farm those two rather than take them out as soon as I have armor?  I was thinking the one above Europe might need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Why are you still thinking of farming the base supply ships? I'm positive you visited a supply ship for the first base a few videos back and then aborted as it was Lobstermen. Can't say what aliens the other supply ships carry, but knowing your luck it'll be Lobstermen too. Posted Image

View Postsilencer_pl, on 20 December 2014 - 09:29 AM, said:

I don't think DPLs come in supply ships. Not with lobsters I think.

DPL's do indeed drop from supply ships, at least the later stage supply ships have them. The rank that gets them is the medic. If an alien race doesn't have a certain rank, it'll substitute another rank in it's place. That substituted rank will still get the original rank's intended loadout though. In our case, the Lobstermen substitute Technicians for Medics and those Technicians will carry the DPL's. Posted Image


Why do you give the worst sonic weapons to the "tanks" wearing Ion Armor, Neptune? If those are the front line troops, they need to strike first and strike hard. Backup troops can carry the smaller stuff and be more mobile, getting into the areas they are needed the most. You send Broken in to open the door to the ship (which was fine), but then shoot the full health Lobsterman with a... sonic pistol? Should have let Zombie shoot away with his sonic rifle first to hopefully draw Rx fire on him. Then Broken could have used his pistol on the alien with impunity.

I should mention that the aliens in TFTD can see the same distance in daylight as nighttime which makes them that much more terrifying. Your troops, however, cannot see very far at night. In order to circumvent the sight issues, the flares are used, but you have to remember not to scout ahead of them. Slow and steady, keep tossing those flares ahead of the previous one so that you will not encounter any nasty alien Rx fire. The best though, is to do what NKF mentioned and set up a semi-circular line around the door and fire away.

You are doing better Neptune, but are way more aggressive than myself, running ahead, not sweeping the battlescape before heading to the ship etc. I would have set up a short "line" with troops between the corner of the map and the alien sub with some flares ahead of them. Lock them in place and don't move them at all, let your sweeper team position themselves on the opposite side of the craft, then slowly start to tighten the noose by moving soldiers forward until they have uncovered all the dark areas. Once the map is explored and the outdoor alien threats neutralized, then you can focus on the ship. Fighting a 2, 3 or even 4 line "front" in a war is useless as your troops are spread too thin to be effective. Posted Image

- Zombie

#138218 Let's Play X-Com: Terror from the Deep

Posted Nookrium on 18 November 2014 - 03:11 AM

View PostNoX, on 17 November 2014 - 06:08 AM, said:

I think the title of this Topic be should renamed.
"Let's pretend we know what we're doing and make a Let's Play youtube effort out of how shitty we are"

Yeesh, tough crowd...

It appears you are not familiar with the point of my channel.  I'm obviously not here to show how amazing I am at playing any of these, nor do I ever claim (or pretend) to know what I'm doing.  It's a channel about me revisiting some of my favorite games from over a decade ago.  If you're looking for a tutorial on how to play any of these you would be sorely disappointed, there's plenty of those to find on YouTube anyways.   I was a huge fan of UFO defense when it came out but I never really played a lot of TftD, having just finished a UFO LP I figured it was finally time I visited and put some real effort into Terror.

#138088 The M-Team

Posted NKF on 13 November 2014 - 07:00 AM

Easy - Thread locked. Not so easy are the guest accounts. They don't exactly have profiles to mark down as spammers. Will need someone with higher level clearance to sort them out.

Sorry Fullauto, temporary fix, the robospammers seem to gravitate to this thread. Just give the mods a yell later if you want to continue the AAR.

View PostNoX, on 13 November 2014 - 06:40 AM, said:

I'm not quite sure who is running the show at SC, but someone needs to get their head out of their ass and fix things, asap.

Hey, it's not that easy to be glued to the forums. All this silly life stuff and other commitments get in the way. Plus international time zones. Oh, and that blasted contrivance of man known as daylight savings. Posted Image


#136795 My Wasteland, is your Wasteland.

Posted Thorondor on 26 September 2014 - 08:21 AM

So another star was born. Congrats, NoX! Posted Image

#136794 My Wasteland, is your Wasteland.

Posted Space Voyager on 26 September 2014 - 07:57 AM

CONGRATULATIONS!!! And you post this like BTW! Especially when we have a dedicated thread for daddies!

And yes, exciting. If this is your first child, welcome to a completely different world.

#130905 Other gaming news

Posted Thorondor on 05 February 2014 - 11:28 AM


#128840 Revival Of An Age

Posted SGCSG1 on 14 November 2013 - 09:37 PM

This is great stuff, bought it on steam and love it.

Now all we need is an 'Age of Mythology' HD!

#128353 Are video games still exciting?

Posted Space Voyager on 27 October 2013 - 09:28 AM

Well, you guys already summed this up much better than I could.

As of late my time is very limited and I continue to face exactly what Thor posted. I want to try new games, but it would demand an effort to get to know them. Joined with little time, it would mean a lot of dwindling gaming intervals before I'd be able to actually play the game. However I'd love to be stronger than that, I rarely gather the will. VERY rarely. This, sadly, extends to many new things, not just games.

So I'm left with playing games I already know. But those, however great, have been played to no end and it is a pain to kick myself to start a new game.

There are some rare exceptions. Frozen Synapse is a game that is simple in principle, yet complex if you want to be good at it against other people. It really is easy to get into, but hard to master. Most of the complexity comes from the fact that there is a human being on the other end and the tools at his disposal are simple enough for both to use them to full potential.

Funnily enough, I think of movies as non-interactive games. And of games as interactive movies. They are converging faster and faster, but I did realize there will always be place for both. When you don't have the time or the will to use the interactivity, the non-interactive games that just unfold for you to follow the story are great.

The conclusion would be that video games still are exiting to me, but their pull has been significantly reduced.

#128343 Are video games still exciting?

Posted silencer_pl on 26 October 2013 - 09:23 PM

Don't play the same genre games one after another or you will be fed up with it and lost interest for the very long time.

#128342 Are video games still exciting?

Posted FullAuto on 26 October 2013 - 09:01 PM

Now I'm beginning my thirties, the same old isn't doing it for me any more. I'm drawn to more and more niche things. Frozen Synapse, The Stanley Parable, Analogue, Crusader Kings II, Gone Home, Cinders, Occult Chronicles, Starseed Pilgrim, Lone Survivor, things a lot of normal gamers will never hear of, or dismiss out of hand, or contemplate playing with a feeling of terror and bewilderment. The things that are a little different. Playing just another third-person shooter not only doesn't cut it, it makes me give up almost immediately. There are fresh experiences out there.

Lately, I have actually geeked up and started board gaming. Group of friends, most of the game is in the interaction. It's been amazing, like my old school days with a SNES/PS2 and a multitap, except with even more arguing.

#128339 Are video games still exciting?

Posted Thorondor on 26 October 2013 - 07:16 PM

Well, NoX, I get what you're saying.

What you're describing is common - you've become rather jaded and the new trinkets being outed just don't grab you the way they once might have.

This doesn't merely mean you're old and gnarly Posted Image, it means another thing entirely, and it's quite literally a natural thing.

After decades of gaming we've seen and played pretty much every shade of game imaginable. Our brains are like always-on hungry machines. What our brain consumes are novelties, challenges, learning, that it tackles and processes until it fully or partially assimilates. The outcome is classification, cross-referencing, patterning and storage, which ultimately constitutes added knowledge, experience.

Whenever our brain discerns it is facing a new pattern, or a new challenge it is engaged. It wants more yummy material to process, more to store and reference, more to integrate and interlink, which happens with things it never dealt with before or that it hadn't dealt with in quite the same way.

"Feed me, feeeeed meeee!" it would say if it ever needed to speak.

Another aspect that comes into play too is that nobody likes to feel stupid. And that's why we are also rewarded by our brains when we recognize a pattern we've come across before. Yep, it would say, "I've got that stored right here - pattern located, referenced and activated. Problem computes. I can deal with that all day right fine!"

That is familiarity and it is rewarding because the brain fondly remembers when it first met that pattern, was challenged and finally, very pleasingly, managed to achieve a success state with the problem or task repeatedly, feeling especially happy and validated.

It is very adaptable, very fast and can store trillions of patterns of all kinds throughout our meagre existence.

But when you have over two decades of feeding it, in this case with games, the trouble is it recognizes what you're telling it is "new" (because you've just got it) as the same old thing. It's the same pattern all over again, and your brain is bored. Boredom is something abominable for your brain. It will turn you off. The colours are pretty, your fingers respond, but deep inside your brain is fully aware you're trying to trick it, to trick yourself, and it doesn't work.

The pattern is clear, it is there and you can't fool it. The result? No engagement. It does not entertain. It accomplishes no meaningful purpose as your compute box sees it, eliciting your "What's the point?".

I certainly don't game nowhere nearly as much as I used to myself. The reasons vary - from real-life commitments, work, and other things, among which, no doubt, my most personal computer in the skull box has a definite say too, telling me "X, Y, Z already stored, no longer challenge - seek alternate, provide refresher, evolve, deliver new meaning, succeed with the feed!".

We've had our feed of almost anything games have to offer in their current form. They have images and sound that we respond to, but the experience doesn't vary all that much. It is also something external, limited and simulated - it is in a way 'fake' and we know it.

It can't quite compare to the degree of reward we get when we engage other parts of our animal brain either - which generally richly rewards us for things like finding a mate and generating offspring as a way of perpetuating your strand. The biological imperative is built-in and part of the package.

So people are, for the most part, far more interesting to our cognitive engagement - because unlike a game that you can 'solve' and never look back to, they're an ever-changing puzzle. A constant challenge that we can directly relate to and that we compare against for refraction and validation.

A win against a machine can be pleasant, a few times. But it becomes - and you can feel it - a non-achievement, an empty, non-rewarding thing once we've beaten it. We understand it in all the ways that eventually mattered and our brain then wants to move on to grander things and greener pastures.

So, that's essentially the message you're getting. Your brain is tapping away at that internal telegraph and when that happens you should listen, because you're not really going to fool yourself.

It's like with sugar. Your body effectively knows when it is or isn't being given real sugar. Saccharose won't do.

Don't ignore it. Move on, to something sweeter.


As gaming goes we'll have to wait a while for the next big thing to hit that reset switch. The Oculus Rift is on the right track and bound to engage our brain at yet another new level, so if you've still got some coinage about you don't blow it all - we'll eventually get to The Matrix. Posted Image

#123681 Firaxis remaking XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Posted silencer_pl on 16 April 2013 - 01:11 PM

Don't remember anyone putting it here, so:


#123469 Random junk found online

Posted Zombie on 07 April 2013 - 04:46 AM

There's a big difference between being illiterate and unable to read a completely different language. ;)

- Zombie