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Wijitmaker

Suggestions for 0 A.D.

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Bolo? Haven't heard of that before.  Is that an independant game?

I'll check that AI vs. AI tournaments page out. Looks interesting. Bolo is an old shareware/freeware game (late 80's early 90's), origionally for the Macintosh, it's been ported to the PC lately. Written by Stuart Chesire.

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If you are speaking about AI. I have a question.

Will it be possible to make AI of steppe nomad horse archers? I don't mean something like "build x horse archers and attack infantry or heavy cavalry, keep distance if possible", but I mean AI attempting to encircle enemy and try to force him to spread an then attack his scattered units by higher number of cavalry units.

That was an example, but I'd like an AI opponent who is able to use at least basics of tactics like prebattle scouting of enemy, flanking attacks and ambushes.

I know that AI will never be as human, but I'm tired of AI's who send units to the enemy until he is deffeated or run out of resources.

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AI vs. AI is something that will be availible to do also. We have some guys from the Age of Kings community that really enjoy doing this in AoK. They have AI tournaments and stuff - if your interested check them out here: http://www.aiscripters.com/

WOW... never thought of that before... designing AIs to fight against each other is a GREAT idea... so good I think it's something we can officially support when the game is released.

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I'm hoping to push what's expected from AI in an RTS game with 0ad so you can expect a bunch of cool things from it. I read somewhere in this thread where someone suggested to turn micromanagement on and off where the AI takes over some things if you don't care about handling it which is exactly one of those cool things I hope to present.

I'm also making it possible for the AI to communicate with another AI and play like a team such as helping a teammate when it's being attacked, building in an area under constant pressure, allying with others if it's beneficial to the AI, etc. I'm hoping to even make it possible for AI to human and vice-versa type communication although it'd be much more subtle.

AI to AI battles are definately interesting and I'm expecting it to be even more important in 0ad since scripters would be allowed to do much more. We haven't really delved deep into details yet, but you can see we are pushing the limits in everything we put our hands on :banana:.

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but you can see we are pushing the limits in everything we put our hands on

we're not afraid to experiment where other developers are afraid to :banana:

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we're not afraid to experiment where other developers are afraid to :banana:

I have an idea about AI.

My friend once spoke about evolugtion algorithms.

For example someone can make filter from about 15 flip-flop circuits and can orientate in it quite good. But evolution algorithm can in 10 000 generations evolve filter from 7 flip-flop circuits which looks chaotically, but works even better than that filter from 15 circuits.

Would it be possible to make some evolution algorihms for AI?

I mean, AI would try something randomely and note whether it was successfull. If yes than it would repeat it as often as it is successfull, if not, AI will try again rarely.

This would start in test of which unit is under which circumstances good against other unit and it could develop into AI able of ambushes, flanking attacks ... It would took quite a lot of generations to evolve such tactics, but it would be definite breakthrough in games. Don't you think.

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That's already in plans :banana:. We're giving the AI the ability to remember past events and use it's success rate as a deciding factor for whether to repeat it. It won't be used throughout, but it's a good optional addition for scripters.

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That's already in plans :banana:. We're giving the AI the ability to remember past events and use it's success rate as a deciding factor for whether to repeat it. It won't be used throughout, but it's a good optional addition for scripters.

Really cool.

May I know if I will be able to make AI able of cunning tactics? I have i mind flanking attacks and other manouvers rather than that simple move to point x and kill anything there.

Will AI be able to invent own tactics?

Combination of evolution algorithms and AI wars woul be really great. Just to observe how AI improves and evolves own style.

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no evolution algorithms and no unsupervised learning. It won't invent tactics :banana:. About the ability to create tactics, it's possible, but I won't make promises on that.

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I have a question. Will it be possible to make each faction with different pop limit?

Will it be possible to change 0AD to Total War style (I mean strategical map, in tactical I'm comfortable with 100-300 units, but I really like that Total War style)? I think, that it shouldn't be that problematic.

Edited by Belisarivs

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So I was just looking at the most recent screenshot between the Hellenes and the Celts, and I noticed that the only thing that really distinguishes the Spartiates from the ordinary Hoplites is the lambda. Do you think you'll add cloaks or transverse crests to make them look a bit more unique, or will that stray away from the historical side of things too much?

Unless of course, the Spartans work as a very similar unit and can be comprised in the same phalanx as the other hoplites, I think it might make the two a little confusing to work with, and I know I'll be using them a lot for sure. Cheers. :)

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It will be the shield blazon, since the Lambda was the signature Spartan symbol. Transverse crests are reserved for the hero Spartans, in particular Leonidas :)

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Awesome... although I didn't think Leonidas had a transverse crest, judging by the statues at Sparta and Thermopylae, but they could have been wrong too. So, no cloaks?

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Physics, will this be in? I think not, but I do hope it gets in, because after playing AoE3 for a while now I must say that's the best thing in the game. Shooting with your cannon all that rubble of those buildings, love it.

Also I just saw a little trailer for Rise of Legends and there was a bridge in it, being blown apart. The bridge was located above a ravine and the units dropped in it. Now this doesn't have to happen (because you'll need physics for that) but are ravines included in the game? They are very similar to rivers, so I don't think it should be a very big problem. (note that just lowering the ground isn't enough, I want real ravines, so no bottom. Adds a little RPG effect to it. :P)

Now that I'm on the right way, I can aswell just continue. :P

Could thinks like this be done too? So you get an almost vertical map? Would be especially awesome for in a campaign. The problem would be lag though, when you're on the top you can look pretty far down... hmm. Maybe that can be obscured by fog or something...

I know I'm asking quite a lot, but well, I could at least try. :D

Edited by Argalius

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Physics

There are no plans for that. My opinion is that it's fairly gimmicky - in AoE3 it doesn't actually affect the gameplay (probably since that's very difficult to make work in multiplayer games (because the simulation needs to be precisely the same for every player, and physics often gets into chaotic situations) - though I suppose they could have enabled it in single-player without many problems), and it's not something you even see very often. It also seems like a huge pain for the artists - someone at ES had to go through every single building in the game, chopping them into dozens of pieces and setting all the physics properties. And it takes time to write all the code, and we can't use commercial physics libraries (since we have no money :P), so it doesn't seem like a productive use of our time.

that's the best thing in the game

If you just want to play with physics, there are simple free games which let you do just that, without requiring the developers to make a whole RTS when all you want is to blow things up :P.

(The Reactor preview in 3ds max is also great for wasting time - catapulting ragdolls through brick walls is always good...)

The bridge was located above a ravine and the units dropped in it. Now this doesn't have to happen (because you'll need physics for that)

I've not seen the trailer, but that sounds like a much simpler form of physics, which would be more feasible - just accelerate the units downwards and activate a 'falling' animation (tumbling, flailing arms, lip-syncing the words to 'I believe I can fly', etc). That could be a nice idea when we get around to implementing bridges :D

but are ravines included in the game?

It's possible to make quite steep terrain. It's strictly tiled-based, and so the slope has to be the width of a tile, but you can hide it behind rocks and chocolate bars like in that screenshot, so the sharp edges aren't visible. There's also quite a lot of space between the maximum and minimum height limits - I don't know the exact dimensions, and the scale of the game world isn't entirely realistic anyway; but there are already some small mountains, and you could add flattened paths and move the camera closer and hope the perspective works out alright. (And the current scale is fairly arbitrary - we could expand it to allow higher/lower terrain, at the expense of some vertical resolution.)

note that just lowering the ground isn't enough, I want real ravines, so no bottom.
You can have fake ravines, which are close enough - just push them down to the lower height limit so they're in shadow, and paint the bottom with a black texture, and nobody will notice the difference :P
The problem would be lag

That shouldn't be a problem in the normal RTS top-down view, since you're never looking over the horizon, so it's a fairly limited amount of the map that is visible. When creating cinematics, you just have to be careful not to aim the camera so that the entire map with ten thousand trees and bits of grass and rocks is visible at once :P

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If it comes to physics, I'd prefer height advantage and other such things. Archers standing on the hill should have longer range, los and greater damage while those under hill would be weaker. Also units attacking down the hill should have great advantage.

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This deals more with the skirmish games than scenario ones.

Basically to create an AI that incorporates random strategies, rather than always following a predefined strategy (I'm unsure of any RTS incorporating this type of randomness).

I know this is well implemented on the modified Warcraft 3 AI called AMAI (or Advanced Melee Artificial Intelligence). Basically the creators of this project defined numerous strategies for each of the races (along with the actual improving of the core AI), thus always keeping the player guessing. And also allowing for easy editing of these strategies (very little programming experience required).

The idea is to create a core AI that can handle situations well etc. and then to create multiple strategies for added replayability.

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Physics

I already thought it wouldn't be include. And I know it doesn't affect gameplay, but it does increase the "fun" factor a lot. :P But that probably doesn't outweigh all the time that has to be put in it.

there are simple free games which let you do just that

Thanks for the tip, they are awesome. :D

That could be a nice idea when we get around to implementing bridges

That would be really awesome. It does give an extra feel of realism to the game, I sure hope it gets in. It can also add a little bit of tactics. Blasting a bridge when an army crosses it. That brings me to the point, how will bridges work? Just undamagable objects or things that can be build and destroyed on fixed positions?

It's possible to make quite steep terrain.

In AoE3 you can really make vertical cliffs, which I think it pretty cool because units can walk on it. Will this be added too, or just the AoM idea of a cliff, the tile based one?

BTW, thanks for your detailed explanation, Ykkrosh. :P

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I think AoE3's cliffs are still based on tiles, just with some added tricks - the tiles are split into some number (4x4?) of smaller tiles to get a higher resolution, a displacement map is added to adjust those tiles' vertices up/down, the texture mapping is changed so the cliff textures don't get stretched so much, and extra meshes can be stuck on the sides. Or something roughly like that - there are more accurate details elsewhere (maybe the GDC talk?), which I've forgotten now :P

I don't have any memories of cliffs from the demo, and can't play around with the scenario editor, so I'm not quite sure what the end result looks like, or what are the most effective tricks that we should implement. I do remember some discussions we've had about cliffs, but unfortunately can't remember any conclusions (or if we reached any firm ones). And I don't know anything about bridges either. So, er, either somebody else knows, or we'll work it out once we get there :D

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Well, lets see if somebody knows...

But I have another question. We all know that the game will be highly moddable. But how are animations used in the game? Is there a library of all animation which are then shared by comparable units, like in AoE3? Because this would make modding much easier because animations are most of the time the hardest part. And I think with a system like this you'll really boost good quality mods. And it might also save you a lot of time.

I'm not sure if this is mentioned somewhere, because I vaguely remember it but I ask it nontheless. Will small expansions be available after the game's release? Like new maps, maybe even a new civ (highly doubt the new civ, but you get the idea)?

Thanks. :D (just one year to go, right? Right?!)

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Animations are indeed currently shared between all units, and I don't see any reason for changing that so they'll probably remain that way. So when you add a new unit you can refer to our animations and it should work :D.

About expansions: There is always 0AD part 2 of course. I don't know about small ones, but if I sit down and write a new random map, that probably sort of counts as an official map, and hopefully I'll have the time to do that.

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Not to reveal *too* much, but Jason and I (and Jason and Philip, I believe) kicked around ideas for post-release 0 A.D. and although nothing is concrete we came up with a few possible tidbits:

a.) Mini-expansions: Add some new game features, maybe a few new units. Maybe add more branches to existing civs, etc.

b.) 0 AD 1.5, 1.6, 1.7: Add new graphics features every year or so as our expertise grows to be able to do such things. This is in addition to patches. It's kind of like a huge patch. :D

But of course, how we will do these things and if we will be capable at all of doing these things is up in the air right now. I just think it's really cool that we have the ability to possibly break the mold in the way a computer title is supported by its developer. Jason had some really good ideas.

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