Rubicon's Ramblings

Random thoughts from an overworked dev

Epic Little War Game – Dev Diary 8

Two major AI things got finished today, both of which I’ve been crafting for quite a while, plus a whole ton of other stuff. Needless to say I’m pretty chuffed with myself right now, so it’s time to share.

A small plateau map – “brexit”

Transports

Builder units can now reach areas previously unreachable by calling in a sky hook transport chopper. This means that the enemies can use ALL of the terrain, especially if they get started on a plateau or other such devilish place.

Note the refineries and stuff at the bottom of the canyon in the pic. Until yesterday that would have been empty fields.

Managing the logic for this was a bit of a beast. One problem for example is what happens when a builder is being airlifted to a place that someone else just build a barracks on?

Well whatever, its all done. You guys don’t have to think about issue like that at all – concentrate on figuring out how to beat it.

 

Island Wars

The AI now finally knows when it can’t drive ground attacks to it’s enemies. On island maps or plateaus where airlifting isn’t feasible, the AI now switches into island wars mode and plays more aggressively with choppers and naval units.

There’s just nowhere to hide anymore.

 

Balancing

All units finally feel right with each one having an obvious purpose. Less is often more for things like this, so many units are only accessible to one or two factions.

A lot of games fill up their feature list with an endless array of very similar things just so they can say they offer more choice. I’ve taken the brave (perhaps foolhardy) decision that people don’t actually want that myriad of choices – they want just a few choices that all make sense. For example there are two different artillery pieces in the game, but each faction only has the one variant. You want to throw a lot of damage a long way? Click the artillery button, that’s it.

 

Repairs

Another AI enhancement is a two-pronged attack on repairing its damaged units. Damaged units that are close to a build pad will now retreat back to it and heal overnight, rather than just do charging into battle for a one hit point attack followed by glorious martyrdom.

Also, some factions have medic or mechanic units. These guys spread themselves around the battlefield and automatically cure damaged units before they go off to fight.

There won’t be any easy pickings now, you’ll need to plan for every single shot.

Fin

That’s me done again for another fun packed rollercoaster ride of blog posting. Thanks as ever for tuning in! :)

9 Responses to “Epic Little War Game – Dev Diary 8”

  • Wolf says:

    You longer predict when the game will (perhaps) be released?
    I know that the date of release of the game is not certain. All the time I keep my fingers crossed for you, the whole series I played and this part will summarize all the previous parts ^^
    I love this game!

  • Larry says:

    Can’t wait been playing the previous versions for 4-5 years now

  • Jim Denton says:

    Can’t wait! Soon you won’t need to write detailed computer opponent algorithms: AI Machine Learning is starting to learn how to play games on their own, such as AlphaGo and Deepmind’s work on Atari games and starting on Starcraft II.

    Abacist on GBWG online.

  • Jim Denton says:

    Do you plan to publish the unit stats? I started playing GBWG online last week, but i only found 2 partial stat lists from fans posted in 2012.

  • Jim Denton says:

    I am fairly certain I will miss the fog of war, but will soon find out. I have been playing a chess variant called Lao Tzu invented on schemingmind.com (mention me if you join) that adds both Fog of war and dropping back on captured pieces, but only on a visible square (see http://schemingmind.com/game.aspx?game_id=402743 for an example game).
    Perhaps show the entire map and fog for everything else. This would allow us hardcore players to do our detailed planning. Probably have a toggle for fog. I agree with others to remove the sound / text hints of the opponent’s moves.

    Can’t wait for the beta!

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