Author Topic: AI War 2 v0.812 Released! "Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs"  (Read 751 times)

Offline x4000

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AI War 2 v0.812 Released! "Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs"
« on: February 07, 2019, 03:38:52 PM »
Release notes here.

The way that the AI sneaks around has some bugfixes and works better now, and the Hunter fleet should be a lot stronger because of the AI knowing better when to retreat.  AIs choosing to sneak past your forces and harass you should now be more effective, too.  And the nanocaust should do a lot better of a job of dispatching its units.  Thanks to Badger for all of these changes.

Puffin also made some tweaks to things that make transports slightly better, though there's more I need to do directly on that.  And he also made the Fusion Bombers really really a lot more effective in their targeting and also more powerful in general.  They're now a lot better without you having to micro them.

On my end, I put an end to fixed-int math, which fixes several immediate bugs such as ships circling other ships when they were supposed to linearly kite, or ships getting stuck on forcefields.  These were a couple of bugs that I just couldn't figure out a graceful solution to, no matter how long I stared at them over the last half year or so.  I also had been unable to figure out a graceful way around some obvious multiplayer desyncs that I knew were going to be persistently arising; that is part of why I haven't implemented multiplayer yet.

Yesterday I finally had an insight, which is partially detailed in the link above, about a way to simply auto-repair desyncs in this game and thus solve all of these problems at once.  Part of the reason this fixes anything in single player is that it lets us stop using fixed-int math and use floating point math instead.  Those bits are now in place.  The actual auto-repair of desyncs in multiplayer is something that I still have to code, but it should be under a week of work when the time comes for that, and it's certainly less than the months of chasing desyncs that was otherwise going to happen.

This is a pretty big deal, because it will allow for multiplayer sooner than later -- no I still don't have a timeline, though, just yet -- and it also lets us simply brush away some of the more inscrutable bugs that were due to threading issues, fixed-int precision problems, or the like.  Definitely a case of working smarter rather than harder, but it's only possible because of a long laundry list of other architectural choices and flexibilities that this game has thanks to the last couple of years of work.  So if we'd thought of this a year or two ago, in an abstract sense, it still wouldn't have seemed feasible because the architectural constraints of most games just make this infeasible.  But because of the multi-layered, pooled nature of the current game, suddenly I realized that this was possible.

For those who missed the recent news, I am fully back at work now - yay!  If you were wondering what was up, I recently put together a video explanation of what happened.  I don't go into a lot of detail, for privacy reasons, but there's enough there to get the important pieces across.  Anyway, I'm back now and very happy about that.  Actually pretty happy in general, these days, which is good.

Continual thanks to Badger, Puffin, and Quinn for having held down the fort while I was away.

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you'll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it's a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you'll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn't have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that's how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: AI War 2 v0.812 Released! "Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs"
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 03:56:31 PM »

or ships getting stuck on forcefields.

Oooh! I think this means I can give the AI back forcefields! I even found out through tinkering that I can tighten up the turret spread so they stay in them instead of outside. Though I need to locate that again - shouldn't be hard.

And he also made the Fusion Bombers really really a lot more effective in their targeting and also more powerful in general.  They're now a lot better without you having to micro them.

Yeah, woops. They've...been an odd unit to deal with. V-Wings are still a trouble generator. Nothing really works on them.

This sounds like a pretty good step forward, even if I don't quite understand it all. If it fixes those bugs, I imagine this removes a lot of potential ones in the future.
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 v0.812 Released! "Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs"
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 04:05:15 PM »
AI forcefields still need to be carefully used for a couple of reasons:

1. They can be annoying when too plentiful.
2. The logic for stuff being under them and staying there isn't really there, so that can be odd.
3. The logic for seeding a bunch of them can be really wonky indeed, and I think I took that part of the code out actually for now.

That said, they are fun to beat on, so I can see this making a return at some point.  And, indeed, this definitely is something that you could add in in a different fashion now (having them seed more like fortresses or similar do, or having the shield guard posts return, etc).

And yep, this should be a pretty large nest of bugs fixed.  I didn't even bother hunting them all up in mantis, I just wanted to get this out.  There were quite a few things to think about with this one, but I'm glad to have it done. :)
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Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: AI War 2 v0.812 Released! "Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs"
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 04:18:18 PM »

Perhaps the Shield Guard Post will do. It only requires being put back into the DrawBag, then a tightening up of the turret spread should hopefully make it work. They were already a fair bit weaker than proper forcefields, as well.

But still, caution. I'd be worried of the planet full of them (and possibly Mark 5, ow).

Something to think about. Was strangely excited to bring them back but reason has returned.

I forgot about all the seeding problems forcefields had. Wouldn't want to add fixing that onto a workload, ow.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 04:21:51 PM by RocketAssistedPuffin »
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Offline zeusalmighty

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Re: AI War 2 v0.812 Released! "Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs"
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 07:36:15 PM »
Perhaps the Shield Guard Post will do. It only requires being put back into the DrawBag, then a tightening up of the turret spread should hopefully make it work. They were already a fair bit weaker than proper forcefields, as well.

But still, caution. I'd be worried of the planet full of them (and possibly Mark 5, ow).

Definitely cautionary, but I can imagine Shield Guard Posts in particular will be good at toning down over-relying on raid starships for neutering purposes. Will make players have to use more tools in order to deal with certain planets, particularly ones with eyes

Be nice to hack eyes to death though, sabotage hack coming back soon?

[edit]
That said, they are fun to beat on, so I can see this making a return at some point.  And, indeed, this definitely is something that you could add in in a different fashion now (having them seed more like fortresses or similar do, or having the shield guard posts return, etc)

Classic had sub-commanders, which opened up for some diverse defense configurations, as well as a special beefed-up command station of some theme. I think this mechanic would go a long way to make the AI sentinels both more challenging and interesting. A good example in this case, would be a "bubble-shield command station," requiring extra firepower to bring planet into player's control
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 10:01:07 PM by zeusalmighty »

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: AI War 2 v0.812 Released! "Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs"
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 07:57:43 PM »
Remembered the nightmare scenarios in Classic of an anti-Bomber Guard Post under a Forcefield. No real answer to that problem except to snipe it from afar with Turrets, which is painfully boring and uninteresting.

So I think maybe keep them out of the AI hands with the exception of the Guard Post potentially (which won't have the above issue, or if it does appear, it's to a far lesser degree).

I would prefer to have it tested before throwing it into a release.
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