Author Topic: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?  (Read 5354 times)

Offline Cinth

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2016, 09:40:11 PM »
There are a lot of things already mentioned here but I'll add this one. 

Sense of scale.

You can have superbly massive battles raging across any one of a hundred plus systems, or you can take it down and relentlessly raid with handfuls of ships, and it can happen at the same time, in the same game. 

Also, this.  these moments.  Those things that tell you you done messed up.  Stuff like this.

Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2016, 09:45:40 PM »
<sense of scale>

The fact that upon reading 800 motherships with 32 AIP and I think to myself NOT "This looks shopped" But "I would love to hear the settings that caused THAT [Champion + 10/10 shenanigans?]" tells me that.

The level of extremes are unreal.
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2016, 10:01:49 PM »
I think what Ai War the game it is, is that the player needs the ability to adapt. Chris stated himself in a very old explanation that AI War originated from him being bored at standard RTS games. Once you found out how the AI worked you had literally the same match over and over. This gave him the idea of an AI that adapts to your playstyle and that you have to adapt in order to beat it.
In AI War it is exactly that. Because there are so many possibilities what you have, what teh AI has, what structures are present on planets, you have to rethink for every single game again instead of having your typical strategy that you simply adjust to the given moment.
Having to adept to situations challenges the player.

That's why Mobas are so popular. While there are always viable builds for a specific hero, the player has to adapt to what heroes the enemy heroes palys and also, what builds they use. That's btw why I hate the Dota Casual scene on lower tiers (where I reside sadly). Players there are dumb as a piece of bread (that got toasted), they have already made up their mind before the match started what items they exactly want to have on their hero. This is most seen on current popular heroes, like for example Phantom Assassin. Every PA player nowadays rushes Battle Fury simply because they think it's a strong item on PA but it isn't, its situational and those people don't even undrstand what "situational" means. They just follow their build and that's why they loose, because the opponent has something that counters their build and they aren't even thinking about doing soemthign different, they walkt the whole road down to hell just because they think their build is awesome.
However, in higher brackets in Dota (and Mobas in general) players think about what to pick at the right time, if your opponent is spell strong, they bick a spell blocker, if your opponent has strong attacks, they get more armor. Having to adapt your build to the situation and to your enemies is part of the fun. It is a mind game with your opponent, who can think of a better build to beat them.

Ai War was always the same for me but instead of an opossing player you have an Ai that throws stuff at you and you have to rethink what to use. I first played AI War like any other RTS, I came up with a strategy, noticed it worked good on some planets and kept using it again. But then you get at the point where your unis are countered by structures or units of the opponent and that's when you learn that you cannot use the same units forever just ecause they are strong.


Another thing I love about Ai War is the attack multiplier system. The thing is briliant designed. Other games don't even bother that units have weaknesses, they just say "Okay, this unit is strong in colse range, so we put in a unit with a high range to counter it. And to coutner his unit we put fast units, that can cross the range real quickly."
AI War however uses this and goes a step further, it also adresses directly what ship is strong against another in terms of multipliers. Ships are more effective against specific types of units, using the right ships at the right moment rewards the player.
This has to be in the sequel, more than anything. Because this is somethign other RTS games don't do, weaknesses.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2016, 10:14:58 PM »
<sense of scale>

The fact that upon reading 800 motherships with 32 AIP and I think to myself NOT "This looks shopped" But "I would love to hear the settings that caused THAT [Champion + 10/10 shenanigans?]" tells me that.

The level of extremes are unreal.

It's real as in it happened in game.  I have several shots like this posted in the AIW forum over the years.  It's my brand of crazy.

I think everything you really need to know about that game is hinted at in the SS itself (the ss is over 2 years old).
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Misery

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2016, 10:15:38 PM »
That's why Mobas are so popular. While there are always viable builds for a specific hero, the player has to adapt to what heroes the enemy heroes palys and also, what builds they use. That's btw why I hate the Dota Casual scene on lower tiers (where I reside sadly). Players there are dumb as a piece of bread (that got toasted), they have already made up their mind before the match started what items they exactly want to have on their hero. This is most seen on current popular heroes, like for example Phantom Assassin. Every PA player nowadays rushes Battle Fury simply because they think it's a strong item on PA but it isn't, its situational and those people don't even undrstand what "situational" means. They just follow their build and that's why they loose, because the opponent has something that counters their build and they aren't even thinking about doing soemthign different, they walkt the whole road down to hell just because they think their build is awesome.
However, in higher brackets in Dota (and Mobas in general) players think about what to pick at the right time, if your opponent is spell strong, they bick a spell blocker, if your opponent has strong attacks, they get more armor. Having to adapt your build to the situation and to your enemies is part of the fun. It is a mind game with your opponent, who can think of a better build to beat them.

Ooh... you know what, you make a really good point here.

I certainly know that feeling from the mobas... worst is being pestered then, if you don't pick the "right" setup.  That it might not be the right setup FOR THE CURRENT SITUATION never occurs to people, they're too bloody busy reciting builds they saw on the internet.  Happens in fighting games too.  People just repeat combos they saw online, from some pro player.  Even if those ARENT WORKING they'll keep doing it, because it's all they know.  They just cant or just wont adapt. 

And I just haaaaaaaate when stuff like that happens.  In any game, it doesn't matter what it is. Singleplayer, multiplayer, whatever.  I always feel that if I've made my decisions BEFORE the game has started, and yet still think that those are almost definitely the RIGHT decisions, something is wrong (part of why I prefer procedural games, too).  Hell, the need to create a build AS I play each match is one of the big appeals of a moba for me.  It makes buying stuff interesting, and each purchase can then affect pretty much everything else.  Roguelikes do this a lot too, you have to make decisions on-the-fly, you cant just go into it with just preconceived tactics.

AI War really is like that.  Every other RTS has specific builds that you follow, because nothing ever really changes.   But with the procedural nature of AI War and the extremely variable nature of the AI itself, you really have to choose carefully what you "buy" with your resources, and you have to make these decisions each time... I never find myself following a pattern of any sort, other than the fact that there's certain units I just plain tend to use as part of the most basic bits of my strategy, but even that's more of a "I just like these units and they fit my playstyle" rather than JUST a strategic choice. 

So yeah, that's a really huge part of this game's appeal.  A very good point.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2016, 10:21:05 PM »
Well, I think it depends if you are trying to play serious AI war to accomplish some goal or just want to go crazy. Sometimes, I will buy the stuff that seems the most fun- whatever creates more chaos. I'm not trying to win, just trying to create some huge space battle.

So yeah, giant battles. Must have.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2016, 10:33:59 PM »
Well, I think it depends if you are trying to play serious AI war to accomplish some goal or just want to go crazy. Sometimes, I will buy the stuff that seems the most fun- whatever creates more chaos. I'm not trying to win, just trying to create some huge space battle.

So yeah, giant battles. Must have.

We will have that feel.  I will hound one developer to the ends of the earth to make sure it's there   >D
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2016, 10:46:11 PM »

We will have that feel.  I will hound one developer to the ends of the earth to make sure it's there   >D

Spire campaign:

"You mean the game not only knows, but intends for me to potentially kick the door down on an AI HW so I can blow them to bits before I finish it?"

"lol j/k if you go to far we sick a mothership at you. but we gave you the illusion it was a sneaky path, right? and if you are smart it actually IS a smart path..."

There were many stages in the spire campaign that asked the player: "Do you want to continue down this path, or just use the power you have?".

That is something I missed in the doomsday plot. I keep calling it doomsday plot, but maybe it was shadow plots? Sadly the system was far to binary for me to remember, yet alone pursue.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2016, 10:49:54 PM »
<sense of scale>

The fact that upon reading 800 motherships with 32 AIP and I think to myself NOT "This looks shopped" But "I would love to hear the settings that caused THAT

Did you read his sig, by the way? ;)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2016, 10:52:11 PM »

Did you read his sig, by the way? ;)

When I read that name, I assume anything is possible  :D
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2016, 10:54:18 PM »
When I read that name, I assume anything is possible  :D

Funny, I think the same thing when I see a particular super-cat avatar...

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2016, 11:02:31 PM »
Very fascinating topic, thanks guys.  The sense of dread is a really interesting aspect that I had not considered fully.  So basically my idea of going to anime cel-shaded designs is a no-go?


...(hopefully you know I was kidding)



You may be joking, or you think are joking now. But a Kickstarter with stretch goal that lists a famous anime artist doing the artwork for the story (there is gonna be story?) would get you more money and attention than you'd think.  :)

Never underestimate the value of WAIFU trading cards either. That alone can give you more sales on Steam later on.



OR


You go full realism grim dark WH40k style.....  :D

What you should forget though is using the TLF character artists, they really do not incite dread (well, for me) ;P

tis my 2cts

And squads, yeah squads... I still think there must be some kind of "abstraction" in terms of units. Having 1500 ships is fun and all, but it never really makes you feel like you command a real "fleet"

Ps.: I hope you do plan for stretch goals ;P
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2016, 11:04:01 PM »

And squads, yeah squads... I still think there must be some kind of "abstraction" in terms of units. Having 1500 ships is fun and all, but it never really makes you feel like you command a real "fleet"

Suddenly champions and command ships take a new meaning.

I like it!
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2016, 11:08:18 PM »

And squads, yeah squads... I still think there must be some kind of "abstraction" in terms of units. Having 1500 ships is fun and all, but it never really makes you feel like you command a real "fleet"

Suddenly champions and command ships take a new meaning.

I like it!

Funnily enough that is exactly what I thought about when I wrote this.... command ships, generally all capital ships, should come with a fleet we can define/build/shape (yes, as in FORMATION look)  and this fleet isn't single units in a group, it's a fleet, the command ship is what you give orders to, the other ships are part of that fleet.

And.. you could go full on with that idea, and put captains with special stat boosts (no active abilities!) that we can assign on those flagships, that level up and which makes losing them all the more sad. And same for your allies obviously, they come with their own captains, and you may wanna keep them alive or something ;P

Dunno.. is that still AI WAR? I dunno.... but it sounds like a fun game to play ^^
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Core design: What makes AI war, AI war?
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2016, 03:36:41 AM »

Did you read his sig, by the way? ;)

When I read that name, I assume anything is possible  :D

Awww, you guys..

When I read that name, I assume anything is possible  :D

Funny, I think the same thing when I see a particular super-cat avatar...

Heh.  Two players that couldn't be much further apart in their approaches to smashing the AI.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.