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#1 thudo

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 01:28 PM

Since we're all developing our AIs, here are a few things to aim for. You may/may not have already implemented these. Still.. through my travels I've had requests for these and thus been implemented.

**NOTE: THIS IS MEANT AS A TEMPLATE AND PERHAPS A "TO DO LIST" for us all. Priorities and opinions on the following will obviously differ but thats healthy. **

General Enhancements
================

o All 12 Factions will rebuild their Command Center when destroyed and place it either in the original location or elsewhere in their base!

o All 12 Factions have had their Skillsets enhanced so they will use their General Points a little better (ie. CHINA Nuke General uses Artillery Training for his Nuke Launcher/Inferno Cannons or GLA Demo General will *on occasion* research a !!Level 3!! Rebel Attack..). Further, there are 3 or more SkillSets to choose from rather than 2.

o All 12 Factions will randomly garrison local civilian buildings (some more aggressively then others) during certain times of the game so beware when approaching towns/villages! This was normally a China Infantry General script but having the other 11 factions preforming this activity but in their own way gives the surrounding buildings more of a importance. Usually I garrison 4-5 Rocket Soldiers and 2-3 regular Infantry men into one civilian building or buildings around immediate area. For USA, Infantry men can be set to use FlashBangs.

o All 12 Factions should have their Team scripts "cleaned-up" (ie. USA Superweapon General should not be allowed to build both Paladin and Crusader tanks EVEN THOUGH she cannot). Game should run faster with all teams data optimized.

o All 12 Factions should consider all 3 types of GLA Technical Chassis and 2 types of GLA Rocket Bikes as selectable enemies to attack.

o All 12 Factions will build base defenses ALL AROUND THEIR BASE so no holes exist for Spies to invade! All base buildings SHOULD stay inside base defense ring.

o All 12 Factions should have their Unit/Building Cameos cleaned up and tweaked so they are more useful (ie. USA SupW General now shows units without Composite Armour upgrade since she does not get that upgrade. Further, USAF General now shows the Stealth Upgrade on Commanches!). THIS IS SOMETHING I CAN OFFER TO EVERYONE AS MY UNIT/BUILDING CAMEOS ARE FINISHED!

o All 12 factions should be disallowed from firing off their CC-based Superweapons when CC is destroyed!

o Have any of the 12 factions build a minimum of 3 Superweapons! Myself, I have the USA SupW, China Nuke, and GLA Toxic Generals build a total of 5 Superweapons!

o All 12 factions should rapidly repair all damaged buildings (GLA is another issue as seen below in the GLA section).

o Base Expanders - in old Generals the Skirmish AI would move units to new Supply Dock expansions to protect them. In Zero Hour, the Skirmish AI only builds the Supply Center AND base defenses at expansion points. Consider re-allotting a team of infantry/units to guard base expansions just as a measure to protect them until they are secure. As it stands, the AI can easily lose early expansions because there is nothing there first to defend the area. Seems strategically stupid to not defend the area first before building.

o Allow AI units too attack units that are directly threatening them rather than passive ones. This maybe very hard to script as a unit must know how to dynamically change its focus from attacking a supply truck vs attacking an enemy which directly threatens it. (ie. Comanche attacks a supply truck, enemy AA unit comes into range and starts firing on Comanche, Comanche continues to fire at supply truck WITHOUT dynamically understanding that the new target should be the enemy AA unit).

USA Enhancements
==============

* All 4 USA factions will garrison troops more reliably in Firebases adding that extra level of base defense! This is debatable as unlike CHINA Bunkers, USA Firebases are vulnerable to chemical and general conventional attacks killing the troops inside the Firebase. Still.. it looks cool to have the troops in there. Usually, I garrison 3 Rocket and 1 Ranger!

* All 4 USA factions will upgrade their tank/vehicle teams with a balanced assortment of Battle/Hellfire/Scout Drones although Generic USA will do this more often. Again, debatable as it costs quite o bit to outfit each unit with a random selection of these drones. Perhaps NOT feasible due to cost (AI would likely have to cheat to get all units designated to attack to have drones).

* Have USA Airforce General garrison an Assault Chinook (similar to garrisoning China Helix Chopper) and either place it on defense or go on the attack. I usually have 2-3 Assault Chinook teams scouting the map and damn they are cool!

* Have any USA General garrison Humvees with various troop assignments and send them out on various assignments.

* USA Colonel Burton should use attacks other than just firing his Machine Gun. Maybe script an event to "strap timebomb to building" when close to an enemy building avoiding base defense detection. (Might be too tricky to pull this off!)

* Remove the bug (for all USA factions) where USA Missile Defenders will occasionally hunt with LaserLock On except when doing so they have a gross amount of range, firepower, and rate-of-fire! I have noticed this occurs because Missile Defenders (MDs) are part of a specific team namely the USA - CT teams. In general, its probably not a good idea to make MD teams as they are fodder when attacking enemy bases. Probably best to keep them as base defense! Anyway, watch your MDs in the teams. Its a bug but can be squashed/minimized!


China Enhancements
===============

* All 4 CHINA factions will could more reliably upgrade all their buildings with not only CHINA MINES around each building BUT sometimes EMP Mines! This would make any AI-controlled China base very dangerous to approach! Debatable, as again the cost involved would force the AI to cheat (alot of money would be needed to get this done!).

* All 4 CHINA factions should garrison troops more reliably in Bunkers adding that extra level of base defense!

* All 4 CHINA factions should build base defenses around Internet Center to protect such an important income-gathering building!

* CHINA Generic or Nuke General should garrison at least 1-2 Bunkered Overlords with 5 Rocket Troopers just as a perk! It would look cool on the battlefield but tactically, its kinda a waste of money! I personally like it but only sent out as part of a team to "complement it"! Alone, it is highly vulnerable to Jarmon Kell snipes.

* CHINA Tank General should have all his Emperor Tanks upgrade to Gattling Cannons so now they're brutually fierce fighting machines!

* CHINA Tank General should build at least ONE Airfield with MIGs and even Helix Choppers (just 1-2.. leave the good stuff for the China Infantry General!)

* China Infantry General should garrison rocket/minigunner combos into Helix Assault Choppers and be used accordingly! They are brutal!

* CHINA Nuke General should have Nuke Launchers that will switch between Nuke Shells AND Neutron Shells!

* CHINA (Generic, Tank Generals) should use their Helixes to hunt dropping Napalm Bombs and upgraded with Gattling or Propaganda Towers! For the Nuke General, hunt dropping Nuclear Bombs! These could just be random teams - Myself, I prefer having Helixes w/ Propaganda Tower upgrades moving around with Helixes w/Gattling Upgrades roaming the battlefield. They complement each other and simply look cool.

* CHINA Black Lotus should use attacks other than just Capture Building. Maybe script an event to "steal cash" when close to an enemy supply center avoiding base defense detection.

* CHINA AI should use the Frenzy Power (if researched) on his own ATTACKING units rather than on units sitting idle in his base. This is a common AI problem where the Frenzy Power is activated on units sitting idle in his base rather than on his own units about to attack an enemy! This is similar to the IRON CURTAIN being used on attacking units in RA2: YURI! This was highly effective back then.

* CHINA Nuke General should NOT be told to upgrade to uranium shells and nuclear tanks since he cannot!

* All 3 China Generals should have their base expansion scripts cleaned up, they are often told to build the wrong dozer team

GLA Enhancements
==============

* All 4 GLA factions should more reliably garrison their Palaces with 5 Rocket Soldiers.

* GLA Generic, Toxic, or Demo Generals should research Marauder Tanks *on occasion* so now they will be a factor on the battlefield. It would be nice to see them being used as why they were originally removed is very bizarre!

* GLA Generic or Demo General should occasionally send out a Technical crowded with Terrorists used for suicide missions. Always thought it cool in the original Generals scripts that a "Terror Technical" was sent out but it was removed in the ZH scripts. This is mostly useful early game OR as a surprise assault avoiding all enemy base defenses!

* GLA Generic but especially the Demo General should build many more Demotraps inside his base! This would make his base very dangerous.

* All GLA factions should have a more dangerous SNEAK ATTACK Tunnel which will replenish any destroyed units that come out more often so the first attack won't be the last. The current ZH AI has the problem where it will only deploy one Sneak Attack Tunnel, assign units to it and send them through BUT if they are all destroyed any subsequent Tunnel will have no units being sent through. In other words, all Sneak Attack Tunnels need units to be assigned even when the team is destroyed.

* GLA Worker AIs should repair buildings faster! As it stands now, only USA/CHINA Dozer seem effected. With this, repair priority should be given to the CommandCenter, Palace, ScudStorm, BlackMarket, WarFactory, and Barracks (in that order)!

* If remotely feasible, all GLA factions should try and collect scraps left over from destroyed enemy vehicles. This maybe impossible as the scripts needed for each team to be made "scrap-aware" would be hideous! Is there even a "scrap object"? Logistically, this scripting initiative might not be doable.

* All 3 GLA Generals should have their base expansion scripts cleaned up, they are often told to build the wrong dozer team

===========

Well there ya have it! THE ULTIMATE LIST.. Most have been implemented and some are still work-in-progress! I have purposefully excluded BombTruck Disguising as I believe it is largely fixed.

I want to include all my unit/building cameos into everyone's INIs as they are perfect. It makes everything about unit/building upgrading look clean and understandable. EA really dropped the ball on that but now its fixed! I still have yet to add the custom PATRIOTISM cameo to the China Infantry General but I believe I have figured it out using a useful Cameo Mapping v2.0 tool!

Thanks all for your work in exceling the ZH Skirmish AI project! Its amazing how far we've come and there is about 2+ months of work to go but we're getting close! :grin:

Edited by Mithril, 05 September 2004 - 09:02 AM.

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#2 Mithril

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 03:22 PM

This is a good list!

Stickied this so that people can link other people towards this..

BTW I've been thinking about an enhancement template for people to start developing AI's. For example, if someone wants to enhance an AI but doesn't know about other enhancements - if he uses the enhancement template he'll have a much higher standard to expand upon.

Anyone willing to "submit" their AI towards this? It would help Non-TC's greatly I'd wager..
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#3 Lion

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 03:24 PM

wow thats a big list...
I think the MD bug can be fixed by adding a real attack script other than the "hunt with laserlock" thing EA put on that makes them mad...
other than that i pretty much have most of that in plans (what wont require huge amounts of cheating to do so and what i didnt used to do as an active player)

I think its going to be really sad having everyone migrate to BFME right when AI development is at its peak. Not to mention most cnc generals are CNC fans, and not SAGE fans (thus id like to think they wont simply all leave) and that CNC3 might be coming out with the SAGE engine as well! Since we will all be scripting pretty much from day one, well have the experience as well and a great (semi unified in my utopic vision) AI in a couple of months, for wither BFME (which is unlikely to be good) or CNC3 (which could be)


Theres a lot of other bugs (0% building bug, leaving transport bugs as fai, etc) that need looking at as well, as well as agressivity changes, tactics and so on!

Nice compilation

Edited by Lion, 02 September 2004 - 03:44 PM.


#4 thudo

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 03:43 PM

We can pretty much get most of that list fixed before BfmE but remember:

Just because BfmE is to be released *maybe* in Nov does not negate the fact that Generals/ZH will be ignored. The ZH AI Scripting is still key to understanding BfmE and provide an excellent jump-off point to the next SAGE editions. Even if people start making ZH total conversions for BfmE, the work done here will be indispensible for the new upcoming script writers! Everything we do is invaluable so continued vigilance is a good thing. :grin:

Btw.. wish to add another to the AI Initative template:

GLA Enhancements
==============
* Use of garrisoned BattleBuses should be exploited (they are just too cool not to be used + they can be decisive to the outcome of battle) BUT ease up on using them for pure solo rushes. I'd like to see them used as a supporting-role to a larger attack. They should be garrisoned with up to 6 Rocket and 2-3 Rebel Soldiers.
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#5 Mithril

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 03:46 PM

Yes indeed - it would be a shame if all our work is to futile. However, I am very confident that it will not be. Many people may not want to buy EA products anymore - for reasons that everyone really knows :)

I think I can be precise enough if I say that EA has developed a template for other games by making Generals\ZH, BFME for example is certainly based on generals.

Because most (or all) of the attacking units in BFME will be organic, EA is forced to add new script conditions\actions\features to the WB template - they openly declared that in one of the videos.


If we can gather a good amount of willing scripters for BFME, we shall organize a centralized and open ended (for future games maybe, CNC3 for example) AI scripting project. A good think to look forward to .. :grin:
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#6 thudo

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 09:56 PM

Actually, I'd like to see some tuts on the Definitive methods of:

1) how to make BombTrucks disguise (based on the enemy unit they are mimicing) with both BioBomb and High Explosives upgrades done just before they disguise.

2) how to get an infantry/rocket team to garrison into a Bunkered Overlord and send it out to attack. This would also apply to a Bunkered Helix and Infantry. This does not apply to the China Infantry General as his Helix are true Assault Choppers pre-built as garrisonable vehicles.

3) dynamic paths to create a battlefield-aware AI.

And some others although I'll have to dig those up.

Very exciting the work being done now.
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#7 Mithril

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 08:26 AM

There is a tut on how to disguise the bombtruck here but of course it is without the high explosive and biobomb upgrade, what do you mean by "based on the enemy unit they are mimicing" ?


As for 3), I'm finally getting to work to dig up Akkrand's info about this and I'll make a tut! :sad:


Don't know about 2). Pete\OldMan got this working but I don't know how..if I remember correctly Akkrand did this too... may be just propaganda invented by me though.

Any other tutorial ideas? I want to get the advanced dynamic attack paths done and then do at least another advanced one, THEN make the tuts for vanilla gen and ZH for brutal AI implementing.

After that, there will probably only be advanced topics left for tutorial writing.
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#8 Akkrand

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 10:25 AM

Sadly no, I never got (or tried to get) infantry to load into a bunkered helix or overlord. The helix I can see the use for, and might have a look at it one day (when I finish with Vanilla USA). The overlord bunkers, imho, are useless. I recall using them a few times against friends, and found them to be a $1500 sink of cash. I don't think the 5 rocket guys in each got a single kill amongst them. Just my 2c.

Thanks for the propaganda though Mithril! It good to have someone blowing my horn :sad:

Cheers,
Lord Akkrand

#9 Mithril

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 09:00 AM

I've updated the list with the new insights from DZ..
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#10 Guest_InvisibleĀ§niper_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 08:36 PM

Hi,

That's a really nice list, I'm actually looking for some instructions to implement some of these ideas (in other words, I'm looking for a way to make a very brutal and aggressive AI).

Can someone pls point me towards some good tutorials on this subject, thanks.




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