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AI Script Progress?


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#1 Guest_Wolfman_*

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 04:55 PM

Any word yet, lads, on when the new ThudAI script will be done, and did you manage to crack the Bomb Truck code?

#2 Mithril

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 08:20 PM

Thudo has been pretty quiet for a while.. I suppose he's busy with stuff..

Anyway as far as I know it's close to beta release, the bomb truck issue is partially solved (it should work about 60 or 70% of the time).
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#3 thudo

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 05:38 AM

Thudo has been pretty quiet for a while.. I suppose he's busy with stuff..
Anyway as far as I know it's close to beta release, the bomb truck issue is partially solved (it should work about 60 or 70% of the time).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Nope I've been around its just that after the mid-May wedding (My wedding!) things have been hectic but since this reply things have simmered and I keep thinking: Generals/ZH is on my drive.. I play AoM: Titans v1.02 with the boys 2 nights a week and why? Kuzz AoM: Titans v1.02 Skirmish AI is incredible kuzz it surprises us how it reacts on even RANDOMLY GENERATED MAPS! Generals/ZH doesn't support such maps but I still prefer ZH over AoM: Titans.

Generals/ZH is far more fun and bases more fragile then the whole AoM emphasis of mass spam. Plus, what I've always like about RA2/YURI/GENERALS is that ONE unit can make all the difference (ie. one well placed disguised bombtruck can destroy up to 4 buildings at once that are critical to base defense). AoM and games like it have none of that! Generals/ZH is about super-tactics AT THE UNIT LEVEL and thats what keeps "haunting" me about the game.

I just wished Generals/ZH had:

a) robust netcode so it would be easily to use Firewall/Nats with it

b) run smoothly with players with different computer specs (ie. both AoM and Warcraft3 will run on an online directIP game even if some of the players have slow machines.. Amazing!!!)

c) Good pre-game MP options (and I MEAN LOTS like option to share money..)

There are others but you get the point.

Generals/ZH is broken and the community has come to the rescue to fix it! I for one WANT TO HELP and have but my laziness has prevented me from releasing all the work sofar. This has become apparent especially since I love the work LION is doing with his AI. He's going to release v.65 of his Skirmish AI and sofar I am impressed (although the AI is brutally impossible at times!!) - He's scripting more advanced AI Behaviour + tactics while I'm more towards advanced team scripts, code cleaning, and game aesthetics (ie. cleaned up all the unit/building cameos so they are far more logical).

I don't want to give it up and I know I won't kuzz my friends ask when its going to release?! I think my prob is I want it too perfect so I get minimal complaints on the initial first beta-release to the Pro Players! This is impractical. Nothing is solid the first go hence the beta..

I guess I need a little >umph< to get me going. I suppose before the wedding I was frustrated with the scripts as one time they would work and the next they'd be broken. Nothing seemed consistent. That's what started to make it a "royal chore"..

I was also hoping Madskillz would release his updated ToolKit for WB but he's been very silent even though I occasionally see him logged into MSN. He never chats with me.. strange. I supremely value his code work he did and could definately use his talents now!!

ANyway.. I'm back and hopefully BETTER THAN EVER! :unsure: :p

I really never left.. just re-org'ing my life, watching the ZH community, playing AoM: Titans with the dudes and observing its AI behaviour, constantly thinking to myself: when I am getting back to ZH scripting?!? I want it finished well in advance of the expected mid-Nov release of EA's next massive RTS project: LotR: BfmE.. a project I DON'T HAVE FAITH WILL BE POST-RELEASE SUPPORTED WELL! :umad:

Anyway.. I'll be returning messages now. SO sorry for the layover.. I want my code out for everyone to sample and then collaborate with LION to make an even better Skirmish AI experience. Together, we are MUCH stronger and with such talent from multiple angles we can accomplish far more than solo'ed! ;)
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#4 Mithril

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 03:19 PM

Ah.. lion.. that guy is just as crazy as you are ( :unsure: ) so his AI will better be good, hehe !


Yes together we can accomplish much much more. Maybe when BfME is released we can do a centralized projects with all the talented scripters and work on a one-module-per-person progress basis.


^Maybe I should make a relatively reliable bomb truck .scb and send it ye, that way you'll won't rely on my rough ideas all the time.
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#5 Guest_Wolfman_*

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 04:47 PM

Cheers for the reply, guys. I've been playing Lion's AI for a while now and think it is outstanding. (I can't wait for the new version, where he's done some work on my favourite Zero Hour General, the Chinese Nuker................ hopefully the computer will now use the very underrated Nuclear Carpet Bomb option....................) The idea of all you Super Scripters getting together to make one Ultimate AI is exciting indeed!!!

Anyway, with everything going on in the Community, it is obvious that the fans will continue keeping the games alive. I am someone who knows very little about coding, skinning or modding, but the fact that so many C & C fans do is the reason I still play the game. Fan made maps, mods (especially those by Deezire, Malc, the Blitzkrieg 2 guys and the Blackhawk 2000 modders) and, of course, the scripts which make the computer do wierd and wonderful things that it normally would never do, keep me coming back for more. And more. And more.

For a long time when anyone has asked me, what makes Generals and Zero Hour so good, by far the best games in their class, I have had one answer: The fans. They are tireless in their pursuit of a harder, more challenging, more polished and balanced game. Some are absolutely brilliant. The sum total of all the work guys like yourselves do puts EA to shame.

So keep it up. I think I speak for all the fans, like myself, who don't know how to code or script or skin or mod, but who await with baited breath the next version of ProGen or Blitzkrieg, who log on every day to CNC Den to download the latest maps and who are itching to try out Lion's new AI update or your own work in progress, when I say thanks and good luck for the future.

See you all on the Forward Edge of the Battle Area.

#6 thudo

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 04:04 AM

Thanks all for the support! My major regret is that I started late (late Jan) when I reindex the bloody .scb file and for the first time got it working so it could be edited AND used in the game! I would have so liked to have started the project back in Nov'03 a full month after ZH was out although at the time I thought the ZH Skrimish AI was great! Little did I know it, like the game, still needed massive improvements. But I suppose better late than ever.

Can't believe how much the ThudAI ZH has come along and how much toil went into it and yet noone has tried it. Arghhh! Lion's policy has been a good one: work on each of the 12 factions and release them to the public after the testers had a go. I do hope he can make all 12 factions by LotR: BfmE release in mid-Nov as by that time noone will be thinking about ZH but all on EA's new beast!

Mithril.. I'd like you to continue looking into the BombTruck script. U don't even need to send me a .scb just post the scripts here and then I'll put them together and test test TEST! A Disguisng Bombtruck has always been so illusive to me. Bloody no idea why EA didn't fix that: oh WAIT.. kuzz they're lazy, money-hungry faceless passionless suits who only see dollar signs. <sigh!!>

Also please contact Madskillz and see what he's up to. I email and message him in Yahoo but never a peep. Is he alright? Nothing family-related I hope. I would DIE to see him release some new ProjectTools for WB! OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!

Btw.. not too sure ya all know about the Community ZH Project to get a v1.03 Balance/Tweak Mod released by EA Germany but on EA's offical C&C board:

http://boards.ea.com...et=0&decode=999

There is a large thread about the v1.03 Community Patch and its been in the works since May. Some amazing Pro Players who love the game are working in conjunction with EA Germany (kuzz EA US are a bunch of dicks :D ) to release a real cool mod to fix many of the issues I and the community have had with ZH. Sad that the fans have to code what the devs should have done but thats modern PC gaming for ya: let the peacemeal community fix what the paying devs would not.

Anyway, quite exciting.

Okay.. I'm around now so lets get this going again and have two competiting ZH Skirmish AIs.. I want to work with Lion and get my ideas around him as well (he's on holidays now and thats a good thing for him!). I will code my AI independantly but if it comes to it merging the two should be a cinch. I have tremendous work behind mine at present as stated on my web site. If we merge together our work then imagine the AI we could create!?!?? :p
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#7 Guest_Wolfman_*

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 09:15 PM

I was just reading some of the other postings; Pete's scripts sound pretty good, especially as he appears to have cracked the Helix garrisoning code. What, really, are the chances of all you uber-scripters doing one mega-script encompassing all the work thus far? If you, Thudo, Mithril, Lion, RVMECH, Pete and all the other elite scripters could work something out between you I bet it would beat ANYTHING EA could come up with, and by some distance.

It just struck me; with all the work some of you have done on this game, I think it just possible that you have a better feel for what can and can't be done than the programmers themselves. Those guys are paid, and paid well, for sitting in front of their computers coming up with this stuff, but they have nothing like the tenacity or will to get it right that the fans do. That's why the fan made scripts are so damned good. I think it is vital, for the community, that guys like yourselves keep up the good work. You might never get rich doing it (although you probably deserve to), but at the very least you might get a small city named after you. (A ZH city, anyway, and one which will probably end up being nuclear carpet bombed - oh well - but it's better than nothing.)

At the very, very least, you'll have the eternal gratitude of everybody who loves the games.

By the way, does anyone have a comprehensive list of the work that has been done and that which is still to do? If we can't yet use the scripts, can we have a sneak peak at what they contain?

#8 Mithril

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 12:46 PM

Hmm.. what'dya say thudo..ready for another scripting adventure in SAGE Mk. 2 ? Talking about BfME here of course.

If we put up something consistent we'll possibly get more attention & support from players. The BfME AI is supposed to be very good.. though I am very certain that the EA-No-Support-Phase will come in a matter of time after the game has been released. It is in that time that people would like to see someone revive the game's aspects, one of which is the AI. If we can gather, organize and centralize all volunteering scripters we'll have a fairly decent team I'm sure.

Got months to think about this yet though..
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#9 thudo

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:40 PM

Thanx WolfMan! We do it out of a labour of love - devs do it to get a paycheck every second week but do they have the passion anymore? Not likely.. its the EA-syndrome: just make certain timelines and get the consumer to be inticed by the Gfxs in the previews, make the sale in the first couple of weeks of the release, then move on. Yep... sad as hell as when business supersedes art then civilization drops a notch and we spiral downward into a realm George Orwell warned us all about. Anyway, this is old news with EA - they're just a game company for the sake now of being one! Passion for Gaming and supporting the community is so much down the totem pole for them that I have little hope for LotR: BfmE being as well looked after as compared to Ensemble's AoM or Blizzard's games.

Now, as for bringing together all the best scripter currently working on their own independant projects: logistically, hard to coordinate but possible. The only way it would work is if specific tasks were set aside and we had a central database/site for the persons involved would come together to exchange code changes. Myself, I love designing base layouts, GUI changes, and specific team behaviours (ie. working to create BattleBus/Helix packs, Overlord Bunkering with troops, BombTruck disguise scripting). I like an AI that can make base defenses a priority while keeping enough room to expand + its ability to quickly repair building damages. Unfortunately, the GLA repair scripting is weak compared to USA/CHINA.. GLA workers don't repair damaged buildings nearly as fast as USA/CHINA Dozers. This needs to be determined and badly.

If you want a list of what has been done, at least on my side, look at my sig below and simply click that link! I've done so much but I feel Lion has done more due to the fact his scripts intrigue me at the Global AI behaviour level. He's more into AI tactics which, admittedly, are far more important to a Pro Player (someone who is a genius at playing ZH) then how an AI builds its base. Pro Players play offensive as thats what wins games: turtling never wins in RTS! Get out into the battlefield early, spawn around choke/resource points, hold and exploit them and you will win.

Mithril, myself, and the community will move on LotR: BfmE much faster now that we know how sloppy EA is. ZH AI work should have started a month after the expansion was released back in late Sept'03 but thats an afterthought now. The SAGE engine isn't exactly easy to code due to inherit BS with the engine (Ensemble's AoM AI system is VB-based so its much harder to code for BUT at least the devs coded near perfect AI for it! Its quite brilliant but still not human-like quite yet)

We plug on.. when Lion gets back from holidays it'll be fun coordinating with him - I just hope he gets all 12 factions released before Novemeber when LotR: BfmE is "supposed" to go gold. Then again *ahem*.. this is EA. :)
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