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Author Topic: My comments on the design/gameplay  (Read 12258 times)

odie

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Re: My comments on the design/gameplay
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2009, 06:03:14 pm »
Revision 24322. I got that from the older "windows installers" thread.

But I found R25186 shortly after, and I've been testing the campaign of that since (all Tamans so far, lol, but plenty of UFOs to sell). Things are like geever says now.

Oooo my, as expected, that was EONS ago! Haha. Its like 2-3months back? I haven seen Destructavator or Muton releasing any builds so far, since i sorta volunteered to upload my every other day's binaries lol. (Well, i need to build em to bring home to test aniwae....., might as well help the community here. :P)

I hope u get to see more folks soon, Taman is definately the tip of the iceberg. I ma not going to give spoilers here. lol. Have fun!

I hope u become another active member of the forums here too!

Once again, welcome to UFOAI and have fun! :D
I am sure with these new versions / almost daily builts, u can help give more up-to-date and insightful sharings! :D

Toodles!
*pawprint*

PS: In case u r lost in getting the binaries, i have a sticky with my builds here: Binaries for Windows

This link is mainly updated by Muton, Destructavator or me. :D Check it out often, we get new builts up there very very VERY often. :D
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 06:05:10 pm by odie »

Offline Vio

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Re: My comments on the design/gameplay
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2009, 02:35:31 pm »
Quote
I hope u get to see more folks soon, Taman is definately the tip of the iceberg.

Yeh I've played 2.21 and seen the others, and I expect them to show up sooner or later. The thing is that I've done quite a lot of missions by now, including base attacks, and so far every single one was 4-6 unarmored Tamans with Kerrblades and plasma weapons. (July 84, on normal diff)

After killing about a hundred of them, they simply fail to strike fear into my well armored, laser-sniping squads... So unless this occurence has something to do with AI testing or such, I would prefer to meet some other / better equipped enemies earlier.

Maybe I should just ignore some of the UFOs, of which there are plenty. And for some reason I can sell/recover them all, even the wrecked bits. Unfortunately the UFO yard I built doesn't work yet.

Apart from that (and the occasional bugs and crashes) I'm having a good time. Reaction-firing aliens at the start of a battle are nasty.


Quote
I hope u become another active member of the forums here too!
Looks like it. :) At least until next week, when I will be too busy touring the world. That's why I'm eager to get some ideas written down, even though I don't have the big picture yet.
I'm looking forward to getting back here by the end of August, though.

And thanks for the warm welcome. You're a friendly bunch.

odie

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Re: My comments on the design/gameplay
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2009, 11:14:32 am »
Looks like it. :) At least until next week, when I will be too busy touring the world. That's why I'm eager to get some ideas written down, even though I don't have the big picture yet.
I'm looking forward to getting back here by the end of August, though.

And thanks for the warm welcome. You're a friendly bunch.

Wooooo, have a good trip! :D
Post in offtopic ur pics and fun trips experience ok?

And on the welcome, haha, u r welcomed. :D

Offline Vio

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Re: My comments on the design/gameplay
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2009, 02:11:03 pm »
Hey

Before I'm off to, as it turns out, visit Odie in Singapore, I wanted to drop a few more lines about my experience with the dev version. It's still R25186 from Jul 16, and some of the things I will say or have said may have been resolved already (I hear the intro sequence is now better, for example... haha).
But I assume that not too many people play the latest dev versions from start, through the entire campaign, and as a first time player, so I'll share a few impressions from that point of view.


All in all, it's a great game - which is most important, before pointing out only what needs improvement. It succeeds well at stealing time which was intended for other important things, like sleeping. ;)

The only real (and known, but big) problems are within the battlescape. One is the pathfinding, aliens shooting walls, and the "action camera" not showing things (as in: knowing someone has been injured / reaction fired only from the sounds while watching the edge of the map). The other, most grave one, are crashes back to geoscape during the AI's turn, which were rather frequent especially in farm maps - and made me ignore some missions which kept doing this.

As for the rest of the game, the campaign scripts could be improved. For one, there are lots and lots of weaker ufos as opposed to, say, some stronger/grouped ones that one has to leave alone at times. This gets a little tedious, especially if the missions are all the same. I now finally started seeing some Ortnoks (in August 84)... a point where I have, in the rest of the game, researched everything (except particle rifles, which haven't shown up yet) and covered the globe with bases. Too late, I think.

Alternatively, even if the aliens were all the same - what makes it repetitive is that they all act the same. I.e., shoot direct fire-weapons and hide in predictable places. They never use grenades (unless they carry one when you spawn next to them), or any other variety of weapons. I know that improving that is somewhere at the bottom of the AI todo list. But I wanted to stress how important this is. There are more than enough weapons for the Phalanx - give some to the aliens, and make them use them in less predictable ways!
I would love it if they had, say, a grenade launcher. Or some kind of flamer, and someone who charges your flank with it. Where is the scary Chryssalid? That alone, some more variety there, would keep those missions interesting ENDLESSLY.
At least, again, let those aliens who use differnet combat styles (Bloodspiders) see some action earlier.

The repetitive missions made me use the "auto mission" feature a lot. In combination with save-cheat, of course, since for now it's an all-or-nothing blackjack gamble that invites this kind of tactic. Obviously, a better design soultion here would be an intermediate result based on numbers, equipment and maybe the players' average performance, plus laziness penalty.

Finally, there were some minor difficulties like finding out how to destroy base installations (that one took me a while... and it's possible to cut off your entrance), aircraft particle beams having no ammo, abovesaid ufo recovery/yard issues and, naturally, a few gaps regarding the airplanes in development (Starchaser has Stiletto stats and flies backwards, and creates incomplete log messages, the others don't start at all yet, even with antimatter in store).

Apart from that, or even with that, I had much fun. And I'm looking forward to getting back to it at the end of the month.


See you around
Vio


Offline PhilRoi

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Re: My comments on the design/gameplay
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2009, 12:05:09 pm »
Alternatively, even if the aliens were all the same - what makes it repetitive is that they all act the same. I.e., shoot direct fire-weapons and hide in predictable places. They never use grenades (unless they carry one when you spawn next to them), or any other variety of weapons. I know that improving that is somewhere at the bottom of the AI todo list. But I wanted to stress how important this is. There are more than enough weapons for the Phalanx - give some to the aliens, and make them use them in less predictable ways!
I would love it if they had, say, a grenade launcher. Or some kind of flamer, and someone who charges your flank with it. Where is the scary Chryssalid? That alone, some more variety there, would keep those missions interesting ENDLESSLY.
At least, again, let those aliens who use differnet combat styles (Bloodspiders) see some action earlier.

I've started planning/flowcharting a revamped tactical AI.   I'm also in the Military and currently deployed so it has been slow to work on. (Bullets trump things priority wise.) ;) I should be moving home soon.   it will take a month or two and then I can get out of the initial planning/General UFO Code/AI familiarization stage and start scripting. (Lord willing and I make it home!) :)

If i can get a chance to get my current form down on paper I'll upload it.  in short, I am going to fuzzy the logic.    The results of several tactics will be weighted by several factors.  Then a random element will determine what precise course of action the alien takes with weighted choices being more likely.  Alien "morale/health" may play a factor (call it strength of connection to the hive mind.) in determining how erratic the course of action becomes.  Not purely random mind you, but weighted,  healthy aliens will choose the most tactical/teamwork oriented choices.  As "morale/health" decreases,  the choices will become more erratic.

The "neutral" civilians, soldiers, cops, etc.  will work in a similar way,   but be increasingly erratic or desperate/heroic as they recieve losses.
(Yes, hide, herd, hysteria, hero will all play a part in working it out.  I haven't abandoned that simplicity.)

of course once i get this worked out I have to figure out if it is worth the effort...  It may be overly fancy, (albeit cool!) and a simpler system may work well. I just feel that overly scripted, hard defined, AI gets predictable.  I am hoping to allow enough room for some "emergent AI" to show through.   Where the aliens sometimes do things that are unexpected and Eriely sentient...

I've had some chats with Chris Park over at www.arcengames.com, developer of "A.I. Wars",  a space based RTS on AI, and i am implementing many of his concepts for AI.   (The AI he has designed for his game "AI Wars" is WICKED! Space RTS fans will enjoy it!)  but emergent AI in a game with 20 units vs. 20000 units is a little bit harder to evoke.

Truth will be in the playtesting!

Offline Vio

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Re: My comments on the design/gameplay
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2009, 06:14:15 pm »
This sounds great.

I have some interest in neuroscience / game theory / psychology, as well as game design, and creating AI would be something new. Plus I think this is what really makes or breaks the tactical battles. So once you start doing this I'd be glad to help.

Good luck out there.