Programing IA Questions

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Programing IA Questions

Postby cbelva » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:23 am

First a recommendation for Roger, why not make a single post sticky for people to ask questions about the AI so that we don't have to go looking all thru the forum for answers.

I like to build scenarios and I have been playing around with the AI on a scenario I have been building. It is close to being released (sans AI). In exploring the AI programing, I have quite a few questions. I will not ask them all at once, but I will ask three now.

1. The "Edit Operations" section comes with a "Default Operation". It does not appear to do anything. Can you explain the purpose?

2. In the "Edit Operation" section you can set three objectiives for "Enemy" and "Friendly". However, when I set up an operation for a unit and give an obj in the "Friendly Objective" screen my units tend to ignore the operation and just sit around. Can you explain the purpose of setting these objectives?

3. In "painting" the regions on the map can you define and explain the use of: Primary Hexes, Secondary Hexes, Tertiary Hexes, Main Line of Resistance, Bridge Action Hex, Pontoon Deployment, Key Defensive Hexes, and Vital Defensive Hex (the difference between last two)? Yes, I understand in a very basic way what they mean, however, I not sure I know the proper way to use them.

Thanks for your help.

PS--a glossary of the terms use in the AI programing would be helpful
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Postby Roger Keating » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:42 am

(1) Each formation has a default operation. This is the only operation which has no conditions for application. If there is no legal operation available this one will be chosen. As the first screen that comes up is the conditions screen, this will be blank, but hitting '7' to move between the three screens you will see that there is considerable data that can be applied to this card. Some formations may only need this one for the entire scenario.

(2) The conditions screen either accept a particular card or exclude it. Of the acceptable cards one is then chosen for the formation this turn. A card never refers to a unit, only a formation. If a formation is ignoring the card then it must not have regarded it as a legitimate card for this turn. I can explain more fully the values in this entry screen if needed.

(3) defining the terms here ..

MLRs: This is a card condition related feature. In the conditions you can set a card to be not acceptable if the number of enemy controlled hexes, in MLRs only, exceed the number specified. '0' means to ignore this. This feature is used to say that this card has been compromised by enemy advances and another card needs to be chosen.

Bridge Action: In the second screen of the warcard is one that says that this formation will be blowing, or repairing, bridges in its region this turn.
If Bridge Actions are there then only these hexes can be used to conduct these operations and if none are specified then all bridges in the region can be blown/repaired depending on the card order.

Pontoon Deployment: It has been a long and difficult problem to get the AI to use pontoons (I won't go into all the details). This is to help the computer decide where to put them but has not been implemented yet. It is another of the things that will be done when time allows.

Vital Defensive: Sort of self explanatory. The AI will treat this hex as needing to be defended above all others. IT will try to get the toughest unit into this hex in any defensive deployment.

Key Hex: Yes, you are right that this is confusing. The name refers to its initial purpose, not what it was turned in to. A key hex is the most important hex that the AI looks at for actions, then comes the primary hex, secondary and tertiary hexes. If attacking or defending this gives the AI a group of 4 different hex types to evaluate. The Vital basically overrides all other calculations but the rest just give a bonus to the AI, on a decreasing scale, in choosing an action.

I hope that this explains most of your queries.

A glossary of AI terms is a difficult one. I have never been a person to write things down, a feature Alex is trying to cure me of, and rightfully so. I just make things work then worry about them later. In the past it has been one of the testers who would go through with me to get an explanation of how things work. This should change and will, but do not expect to see a glossary of terms unless there is a lot of activity in creating AI around. I would rather work with a person who can write a good document as the questions that were asked, would be the general ones that need to be known. As the person who created the AI, and Ian designed the cards, we can give an overview but I doubt if we wrote a manual that anyone would be able to easily create it. It has become more complex since Italy. Not one tester has yet written an AI for a scenario (to my knowledge). I doubt it would be an easy, or short, task to complete this.

Await your replay ...
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Postby cbelva » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:08 pm

Roger, Thanks for your reply. A couple more questions and I will leave you alone for a while.

1. You had mentioned that you would explain the values in the entry screen "if it would be helpful. It would be. I am unsure what many of the values are.

2. It would also be helpful if you would provide a one paragraph overview of the warcard operations. Esp explain the use of the operation cards and the opportunity cards.

That is all for now. Like I said before, I have a lot of questions. I have gotten the IA to move and attack in my scenario. I am not sure everything, but I am getting a very basic idea of how things are working.
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Postby Roger Keating » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:43 pm

I have a bit of work to do at the moment but will get around to this as soon as possible ..
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Postby cbelva » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:36 am

I just wanted to bump this up so that it does not get lost. Thanks for you help Roger.
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Postby cbelva » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:16 am

I just want to keep this active hoping to get an answer and keep this discussion going on programing AI.
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