Member Since 10 Aug 2003
Offline Last Active Jun 28 2016 11:56 AM

#149296 Other gaming news

Posted Space Voyager on 17 January 2016 - 06:36 AM

I have noticed that I need to remove the s from https. I have no idea why, but it works. I had to study Thor's posts to find that solution... :D

#149133 Interesting articles

Posted Thorondor on 09 January 2016 - 09:06 PM

Posted Image


Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson writes in praise of a dying format.

#149148 Interesting articles

Posted Thorondor on 11 January 2016 - 02:59 PM

Posted Image


RPS' Richard Cobbett spoke with Inkle Studios' founders Jon Ingold and Joseph Humfrey about bringing Sorcery! to the modern age and more as reported here.

#149107 Bargain!

Posted Thorondor on 08 January 2016 - 06:14 PM

Posted Image


Papers, Please is now 60% off in Steam Daily Deal.

#149058 The Glass Teat

Posted Space Voyager on 07 January 2016 - 11:03 AM

Watched first two episodes. Even my missus likes it, even though I long ago figured out that her statements about liking sci-fi before we got serious were mostly fake.

#149028 Other gaming news

Posted Thorondor on 05 January 2016 - 05:56 PM


(...) Dying Light has been expanded even further with all-new content in the form of 'Harran: The Ride'. The creation is courtesy Steam user Cabozzl who designed and created the unique custom map all on his own.Cabozzl who is an active member of the Dying Light community used Dying Light Dev Tools (available for free on Steam) to realize his grand vision and reached out to Techland to showcase his work.


Now available for free on Steam.

#149013 Interesting articles

Posted Thorondor on 04 January 2016 - 04:18 PM

Posted Image


Gamasutra's Lexi Pandell interviews Jonathan Blow about The Witness and the state of indie games.

#148980 Migrant crisis

Posted Space Voyager on 03 January 2016 - 12:21 PM

View PostFullAuto, on 03 January 2016 - 04:00 AM, said:

Then perhaps one of you apart from silencer can tell me what it is I don't understand?

FA, I very much share your point of view. As far as the refugees are concerned. It seems to me that the story has, by now, gotten quite a few facets to be polished.

If I was to try to describe as I see the story (a lot of it guesswork), it would go something like this...

People fled Syria and a lot of them ended in Turkey. Millions of refugees are a huge load on the country so I'm guessing Turkey tried to reason with EU to take its share, which didn't happen. So Turks are fed up and let the refugees go, probably inciting their flight and arming them with data.
The refugees flee and their very real humanitarian crisis is noticed by many others. As EU tries to deal with the problem at hand and welcomes the refugees as much as possible, a lot of economic migrants join with the refugees as they, too, want a better life. EU migration capacity is overloaded and fences start to rise (Hungary). Some describe the fences as bad, yet all (except the ones on the other side) welcome new fences (Slovenia etc.).

EU finally starts talking with Turkey to stop the flight of the refugees. Turkey smells profit and the deal is made. For now, the refugee flow is down.

Turkey is revealed to be buying oil from IS. Also, as latest news tell, it also gave all the necessary ingredients for Sarin gas to IS. Basically, Turkey is a major problem right now. If they acted alone, naturally, it may also have deeper roots into "The West", as IS was doing the hard work of destroying countries over the Middle East. For Turkey, the major incentive was seeing Kurds destroyed and buying oil cheap. Others might have been waiting for Syria to fall before taking action.

Russia enters the picture and all crap happens. Not that it is Russia's fault, but plans are thwarted. Suddenly IS starts to lose grounds. Russia can't be given the credit for destroying IS, so US finally starts doing anything against IS, while demanding that Assad is thrown into trash. Paris happens and others join in. UK and France actually start talking to Russia, much to the US dismay.

Then the Turks, enraged by the Russian interference into the oil dealing and Kurd destruction, shoot down a Russian plane. It was a deliberate and thought-through act. It may yet turn out to be a HUGE mistake.
Everybody gasps. What will happen? What if Russia does what US probably would and destroys some military targets in Turkey - a NATO member?! I'm absolutely convinced that A LOT of phones rang behind the scenes. If Russia decided to act, nobody would do a thing (risk the end of the world for someone who is supporting terrorism?!), which could lead to the end of NATO. Also, Turkey holding the keys to migrant crisis, EU must have had an additional heart attack. My opinion on that is that Turkey should be thrown out of NATO ASAP. Erdogan is losing his mind anyway, now also describing how Hitler had a good governmental system and all. Even if that was true, one has to be hugely MENTAL to say it out loud. Erdogan is just the man.

Now, the situation is being calmed down, but the damage is done. I can only wonder what else will happen. And I definitely will buy a wood furnace as this is the only thing that works when you're out of gas and electricity. This much of a preper I can afford to be.

Anyway, if I'm at least partially correct, the refugees are but a drop in the sea, yet their problems are just as real and we as a society need to help them. Preferably in a safe way.

NoX, thank you for describing what happens when a solution did not think everything through. Surely mixing people of both warring sides is bad. Keeping a lot of refugees in the same spot is wrong to begin with as they tend to form their own communities, which won't encourage them to learn the language and they may not "fit in" (take the culture of the population as their own) for generations. Meanwhile feeling cast out, isolated - afraid. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and so forth.

#148919 Other gaming news

Posted Thorondor on 30 December 2015 - 04:09 PM

Posted Image


Game Over Online's Stephen Riach reviews Hard West.

#148894 Migrant crisis

Posted Hobbes on 29 December 2015 - 02:33 PM

View Postsilencer_pl, on 29 December 2015 - 06:32 AM, said:

It's funny how simply you make Nationalism and Nazism as equal. Also, where does Poland has problem with neo-Nazism? Last I've heard neo-Nazism is doing fine in Germany.

I don't know about how it is in Poland right now, but in August 1996 I was travelling through Europe by rail with a couple of friends and we got attacked by 10 skinheads in the main street of Gdansk because one of my friends was half-Indian and he ended up in the hospital, and none of the bystanders on the street cared about it, plus another incident in a bar in Warsaw where we were advised to leave the place because some clients didn't like how we looked and were throwing pieces of broken glasses at us.

Despite the experience I don't consider all Poles to be racist bigots, the same way I don't consider all migrants to be rapists or thieves. There are bad apples everywhere, and most folks in the world are decent folks. The problem is when the bad ones get too much media attention because: a) horror stories sell more; and b) amplifying and distorting those stories fills the extreme right's agenda.

#148728 Adventure games...

Posted Thorondor on 21 December 2015 - 04:24 PM

Posted Image


Just Adventure's Bailey James reviews Life is Strange Episode 5: Polarized.

#148900 Adventure games...

Posted Thorondor on 29 December 2015 - 04:12 PM

Posted Image


True PC Gaming's Sophie Jones reviews 80 Days.


Posted Hobbes on 28 December 2015 - 11:39 PM

Operation Crystal Night in Germany.

For those who don't know the historical reference: https://en.wikipedia...i/Kristallnacht

#140257 Why can't we ever have decent AI?

Posted Thorondor on 13 February 2015 - 09:25 PM

*pops in again some two years later...*

Posted Image

RPS' Michael Cook writes about The Lost Future Of AI - part 1.

#142975 Why can't we ever have decent AI?

Posted Fraktal on 01 June 2015 - 09:51 PM

While I'm no AI programmer, I am studying software engineering and want to make a turn-based game sometime in the future, just for fun. Of course, that means I'll eventually have to develop an AI for it as well (right now, even the core engine is less than 10% complete). I also almost never play multiplayer myself, so I have experience with the AI of lots of games (mostly strategic ones).

There were some AIs that show promise, despite not actually being all that good. One such example I've seen is the AI of Dawn of War:
  • It adapts its army composition to counter the player's. If its anti-infantry soldiers are getting decimated by my tanks, it starts to roll out anti-vehicle infantry and melee walkers.
  • It doesn't waste troops on minor probing attacks but keeps building up its army, attacking only once it outguns me or once I aggro it. If either of those conditions are met, its entire army attacks all at once in a huge wave, so no luring individual units away for piecemeal annihilation.
  • In team games versus a single human player (like most campaign missions), attacking one AI instantly aggroes its teammates as well. So if you build up your army and attack one AI, the other will counterattack your base while you're away. AI teammates also tend to gang up on the same player to ensure a kill overwhelming numerical superiority; I've played several human-vs-AI 3v3 matches before and saw multiple instances of all three AI players attacking the same human player simultaneously.
  • It concentrates fire on low-health targets but splits firepower to take advantage of hard counters. If a mixed army of anti-infantry and anti-tank guys are fighting an infantry blob who suddenly get armored support, the anti-tank guys immediately switch targets.
  • If it gets into a fight that has it outnumbered, the AI actively tries to kite the attackers back to its nearest armed structure to add that structure's firepower into the equation.
And the AI already pulls these behaviors off at the second difficulty level out of four (on Easy, it is practically brain-dead; Standard difficulty is where it gets unshackled and the fun starts). Now this is what I would call a pretty damn good AI... would. Unfortunately, in-depth observation of the AI's behavior reveals that it is actually rather rigidly scripted. To use the kiting one as example, the AI somehow instantly knows if you give an attack order onto one of its units and withdraws that unit. The withdrawing unit immediately stops fighting and runs to the structure above all else before turning around and coming back, so you can abuse this by giving an attack order onto an enemy unit then cancelling it; the unit will still disengage and make the round trip, putting it out of the fight for several seconds.

Another bad example of scripting in Dawn of War is units capable of jumping or teleportation. Unarmed units and units with a ranged attack more powerful than their melee attack AND set to ranged stance are designated by the AI as priority targets. If the AI has a jump- or teleport-capable unit and a priority target comes into range, the AI instantly jumps/teleports next to that unit. Considering that most jump/teleport units are melee and attacking infantry in melee forces them to stop shooting and melee back, this would be an excellent way to tie up shooter-type units, neutralizing their firepower. Unfortunately, the AI is hardcoded to use jump/teleport whenever the above condition is met, resulting in nonsensical behavior. Behavior like fleeing units unexpectedly teleporting right into the middle of the army they're trying to flee from, then resuming fleeing (and getting gunned down from behind). Or units with two jump charges using one charge to jump next to the priority target, then promptly using their second charge to take off and land ONE METER AWAY. It is painfully evident that whoever programmed the AI didn't take a lot of variables into account, like how far away the target is or what the jump/teleport unit itself is doing right now.

So then, I had an idea. I think that the best way to force the development of a good AI is to write one that isn't embedded into the game engine. I always felt that basing the AI's behavior around data the human player has no access to is lazy and cheap. But if the AI only has access to the same information the player is also legitimately able to obtain, it becomes much more challenging for the programmer to write its behavior, plus it would curb occurrences of superhuman AIs. Ideally, the AI programmer team should hire a tournament-level online player of the game's genre as consultant on how the AI should utilize the information it does have access to for maximum effect: when to build resource gatherers and how many of them, what build order it should use, etc..

Related to this, another one I was thinking of is to dispense with the "if X happens, do Y" kind of AI programming. Instead of events directly triggering scripted responses, the responses all get weighted probabilities, with certain events increasing the priority of some of them. When the AI needs to act, it uses this probability table to decide what's more important to do now and bases its actions around that; in other words, base the AI around emergent behavior instead of pre-programmed responses (Black and White already used this in 2001, I think; I read one example of the AI being taught not to do something it liked doing resulting in the AI only doing it when the player wasn't watching). This would make the AI's actions seem more fluid and natural, instead of being predictable. For example, if an AI is programmed to prioritize damaged enemies but somehow doesn't have access to the HP level of enemy units, it could actively note how much damage it saw the target take and use that to "guess" the target's current health (and if it didn't see the target being healed, the AI would obviously guess wrong - exactly like a human player).