Author Topic: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!  (Read 1613 times)

Offline Magnus

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Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2018, 03:52:01 AM »
If I might suggest a solution which to me looks simple, on paper (I'm assuming after the initial release of the pivot we'll basically be at "AI WAR 1, except with the new engine and nearly nothing from the expansions").

Introduce another setting for command stations and all unit builders. This is the production rate speedup factor. Shouldn't be difficult even from an UI point of view, all you need is a new button.

Whenever you left click on the button the speed of that producer goes up by a factor of 100%. So you start at X1 and with every click you go to X2, X3 etc. Right click goes down by a factor, up to the minimum of X1 base speed.

Command stations, in addition to building what they can already build, also automatically rebuild remains on their planet. Essentially they merge the old command station and remain rebuilder functionality, by taking on one of the characteristics of the new planet controllers.

You have an overall galaxy cap on speedup factors which you can assign to the various stations/builders. Let's say you have e.g. a galaxy wide cap of +10; you can:

  • Push a single station/builder from X1 all the way to X11
  • Bring two stations/builders from X1 to X6
  • Bring 10 stations/builders from X1 to X2
  • Any other distribution you might like to employ

The galaxy cap can be increased by tech research. E.G. rank 1 = total cap +10, rank 2 is +20, rank 3 is + 30.

Advantages I can see:

  • Less micromanaging
  • No more "rebuilder cheese"
  • Current AI WAR 1 combat logic is for the fleet to beeline toward the command station. This will make it optimal in just about every case
  • Given the current UI, you can redistribute speedup factors at a glance, at least for the unit builders (but not for the command stations unless they also end up in the builder tab. Maybe another tab just for them? And/or two separate caps?)
  • You could choose to rebrand logistical command stations as having an intrinsic X2/X3/X4 factor out of the box (depending on rank)

Disadvantages I can see:

  • Less scope for micromanaging effficiency
  • Generally speaking the game is harder due to not really being able to reinforce static defenses once your command station is taken out. Note though that this can be reversed i.e. if you make the station really though (lots of force fields) it will be able to keep the turrets up until the last moment much more efficiently than what the remain rebuilders can do, since they need to move

There might also be potential troubling interactions between this and the usurpers, if they stay in the game? I guess it depends on how they end up working.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2018, 07:36:34 AM »
Just a little poke to ask if the next patch will take much longer time.

Offline x4000

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Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2018, 10:03:32 AM »
Just a little poke to ask if the next patch will take much longer time.

Thanks for asking!  So, here's basically where we are right now:

1. The first two waves (out of five) for the pivot are done.

2. That said, things don't "feel right" in the gameplay/balance department yet, mainly to do with seeding and some things like FRD and whatnot.

3. So with that in mind, and early feedback from Badger as well, Keith has been going in and playing some AIWC, then playing some AIW2, noting differences, and making changes.

4. Working on #3 above delays wave three of the pivot, necessarily, but we all agree that it's better to have "smaller and fun" than "all the stuff but not fun yet."

5. We don't have any overall schedule changes in terms of when we plan to go to Early Access (July) or when we plan to hit 1.0 (October), and all the pivots parts are still something we plan to have pre-1.0.  However, about half of the content from waves 3-5 of the pivot are things we plan to push to during EA so that we can focus on polish instead pre-EA.

6. How exactly much longer it will take Keith on #3 above is not exactly certain at this point, since it is basically an iterative "fix and then review" process and gets at "feel" rather than something concrete.  You might think "just do it exactly the same as before" and that's that, but things like the galaxy seeding rules and AI threading are different enough that it's like translating from English to Japanese. 

If you don't know much about Japanese, basically it has a lot of ways to express complex emotions and thoughts that are hard or impossible to describe in English.  AIWC is English in this analogy, so basically I'm saying that even though the translation is possible to do directly, a Japanese speaker would be pretty unenthused by a direct English "port" of some poem.  It wouldn't seem very poetic by Japanese standards, and would lose a lot of what makes Japanese awesome.  That's kind of what we run into porting AIWC to AIW2, mostly in the area of map seeding and AI. 

The split from single-threaded to multithreaded is one of those big areas, for instance.  In a single-threaded environment, everything happens in an order you can count on.  In a multithreaded environment, things happen in some sort of crazy unknowable and inconsistent order, but you still need to come up with the same results every time, deterministically, so that desyncs don't happen in multiplayer.  We have that working, and have for well over a year and a half now, but it makes the translation from AIWC to AIW2 slightly interpretive in terms of how it's done.

My understanding is that we're getting there, but I'm not sure how long it will be exactly before we're ready to show that off to you as the next version of the game.  It might be 1-2 more weeks, but after that we should start having multiple-a-week releases again.

7. One reason that the release notes have been so static is that I've been on vacation for the last week.  It was long-planned and already paid for, and time off was good.  I don't like to announce my vacations on the internet in advance, though, for privacy/security reasons.  Anyway, now I'm back to get working on art and UI and all that again, though, on my end.  Plenty needs to be done there before we hit EA, too.

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That long response probably tells you both more and less than what you wanted to know. ;)
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2018, 04:02:40 AM »
Okay, thanks for the very detailed answer.

Offline x4000

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Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2018, 08:31:13 PM »
No problem.  It's coming along, at least. :)
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