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AI War II - Modding / Re: Dune-based Campaign: The Butlerian Jihad
« Last post by zeusalmighty on August 16, 2018, 12:18:35 PM »
If you haven't read the Dune prequels, I definitely recommend them. When I first discovered AI wars classic I immediately associated it with this series and that only has increased as I learned the game.

Been imagining a Dune-mod for some time now and the beta has only reinforced my desire to see this come to fruition.

AI War II - Modding / Re: Dune-based Campaign: The Butlerian Jihad
« Last post by x4000 on August 15, 2018, 08:29:46 PM »
This sounds super exciting. :D
AI War II - Modding / Re: Dune-based Campaign: The Butlerian Jihad
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on August 15, 2018, 07:13:17 PM »
Yeah, Instigators still need to come in. They won't show up as a separate faction, so it'd still appear as if Omnius is their owner.

 Agreed on much of what is needed is already there, just some changes needed.

Balance...that is a good question. If the map doesn't change for different playthroughs...difficulty can always affect the planet count that you start with, as an example. AI War tends to give the AI more budget, more tech, etc. I imagine restricting tech behind difficulty isn't something you'd want though, given the theme of this, and having to include it meaningfully even though it only appears some of the time. I'd guess at first difficulty'd be purely...a numbers thing. Their events go quicker, they get more stuff, etc. I don't think the base game or Classic had anything like that, going faster the higher the setting.

Maybe balance should just not be thought about for now. It's a complex thing, and any thoughts or plans on it probably won't survive the mods production, until it's mostly done anyway. I don't think at first you'd have any problems with balance, unless you find something that you constantly think/worry about from the start of the game, dreading it almost, i.e if I was to start a game of this, and I think a *lot* about Erasmus, about how to deal with him, that might mean he's too strong, affecting too much. Or a specific Cymek character, while I consider all others insignificant compared to him.

Might be speaking junk there, I'm not a balance designer or anything. Just some data for you.
AI War II - Modding / Re: Dune-based Campaign: The Butlerian Jihad
« Last post by zeusalmighty on August 15, 2018, 06:21:13 PM »
For things like the Instigator like character, would he use the Instigator code mostly as is, out of curiosity?

Without having seen this mechanic in action nor seeing the code, I still suspect that this would be how to implement Erasmus. By lore, he doesn't control the machines (Omnius does) but he is more interested in learning about humans, often through vivisection. So gameplay-wise his contributions aren't as direct--which is why the Instigators seemed like a good model.

As extensive as this campaign would take to mod, so much of the infrastructure in place will make much of these ideas relatively simple to execute (e.g. minor tweaking of the minor factions)

Balancing this would be very difficult, however. But that's the nature of asymmetrical games. Not clear how to meaningfully control difficulty for this type of campaign.

Human Resistance I think could use the Marauders faction, but set to friendly, as they create bases on your own planets.
This seems like an easy one just to adopt as is, maybe tweak the name to be more thematic.

I suspect that I'll have quite a few more ideas before I ever decide to pursue this seriously. But its the kind of idea that I'm pretty excited about, enough to figure out how to do it myself
AI War II - Modding / Re: Dune-based Campaign: The Butlerian Jihad
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on August 15, 2018, 05:58:41 PM »
This is certainly ambitious, but I do like the sound of it. This...makes me want, yet again, to do something with those Viron fellas from Ground Control...

For things like the Instigator like character, would he use the Instigator code mostly as is, out of curiosity? I've been told that code is a good beginner thing, and I don't imagine it'd change too much overall in future versions (or much of the AI, I don't think it's been touched much).

The enemy ships being weaker but more numerous should be very doable with the next update I think.

Human Resistance I think could use the Marauders faction, but set to friendly, as they create bases on your own planets. I imagine you could simply remove the logic of them upgrading and building turrets, just so they have a spawner. I imagine you could use variants of these for any other factions on your side. I think you could use the Dyson Sphere code from you taking its planet, to allow a faction to transfer to your control like some RTS games do.

The dual Arks should be simple enough - again with next update, I imagine you can put these in simply enough.
Manufacturing Capacity...should be doable if from things similar to the Risk Analyzers working on timers. Unlock things when it reaches certain levels like AIP.
Your Cymeks can use the Zenith Traders respawn code, probably.
The Astrotrain like part should also be simple, just a simple AIP/MC/whatever boost on being fired.

I have barely any modding experience either, but these are just thoughts on what I do know and have done. Things like the travel mechanic I have no idea how. I think with some simple logic in mind you can get pretty far though, just things like:

A = 13, A = 15

would produce an error, as you're trying to define one thing as two values. It doesn't know what to do, it's being told contradictory things. This is a common problem I've had when trying to duplicate the C# of factions. As annoying as it sounds, that'll probably not even be a consistent thing. There can be situations that cause an override, so:

A = 13, ELSE IF "Human Dead" A = 15

Just a very very rough idea. That's not what you'd ever find I think. Macrophages have it I believe, in Harvesters being enraged. You can find that in the long term planning section of their C# code. Just use a Find function and put Enrage in and it should take you there.

 As Badger told me, it'd be best to keep to the simple things, like poking Instigators and doing what you can with them first. You *can* nick parts from the more complicated things, but they can require some...tweaking to get happy, things like the above, bits being defined in multiple places, like class names.

Don't think there's much else I can do to help, sadly. The very simple parts probably, for anything else you'd have to ask others.

My own disclaimer: I could be horribly wrong in any of the programming bits up there, in logic. That's just what I use when thinking it through.
AI War II - Modding / Dune-based Campaign: The Butlerian Jihad
« Last post by zeusalmighty on August 15, 2018, 04:58:54 PM »
TLDR: Long post. My long-term aspiration is to make a full single player campaign based on the Dune prequels. This goes into the premise and some of the features and factions of the campaign. Maybe this will inspire other cool ideas for modders.

Plot Premise:
In the Dune prequels, humanity has managed to spread itself to distance planets. Stability is undermined by the rise of the cymeks. Cymeks are former humans whose brains have been implanted in preservation canisters, which in turn can be installed into a variety of fearsome mechanical bodies, to extend their lives indefinitely and make them nearly unstoppable. The original twenty cymeks (calling themselves the Titans) had conquered the complacent universe by exploiting humanity's reliance and dependency on machines, yet the Titans were later overthrown themselves by Omnius, a “Thinking Machine” of their own creation. Seeking to replace human chaos with machine order, Omnius ignited the war between machine and humanity. The death of Serena Butler’s child at the hands of the AI known as Erasmus incited the humans to rise against the machines, thus sparking the Butlerian Jihad.

Humans’ victory depends on wiping out ALL of Omnius’ planetary centers—he has redundant backups so all must be purged. This feat can only be accomplished through the use of ATOMICS—nuclear devastation of Omnius’ command worlds. All remaining “thinking machines” shut down and are harmless.

Humans lose for standard reasons—certain events that transpire will make victory all but impossible (e.g. the loss of Dune)


?   A custom-made map that does not change for different playthroughs.
?   Planets offer specific benefits/penalties on the basis of “planet-type”
o   “Dune” (Arrakis) is a desert planet. The only resource it produces is the spice “melange” and this makes instantaneous planetary travel possible. Dune is the ONLY planet that produces melange. This planet is controlled by humans.
o   Other planet types will impact things like science, hacking, metal, energy, etc.
o   Special planets that offer bonuses or must be owned for certain units/technologies
?   Travel between planets is no longer instantaneous—the longer the distance between planets (i.e. longer line segment) the longer the duration of travel
o   So, for AI sending units to a planet, they units will get there after X seconds (to simulate FTL travel)
o   Humans have access to Dune and can create “Heighliners”—special carriers that can instantaneously travel to ANY planet (skipping links). However, there is a small % chance that the heighliner and all inside do not make it (simulating pilot error as in the novels)
?   Humans start out on roughly equal footing with Omnius in terms of control of the galaxy

?   Control Dune. Thus, they alone can produce Heighliners—special carriers capable of instantaneous interplanetary travel. In effect, this allows humans to fast-travel by skipping intermediate worm holes.
o   The use of spice and thus heighliners is not available at start; need to own planet for X minutes to use science for this breakthrough
?   Personal Shields/Bubble shields. Only humans have shields (following Lore). These shields are EXTREMELY tanky but are destroyed utterly by lasers (a very rare weapon type).
o   This technology is acquired if Poritrin is held for X minutes (humans start with this planet)
?   Human ships will typically be much stronger than AI, but less numerous
?   Hero units: Vorian Atreides and Xavier Harkonnen (irreplaceable but very powerful commanders—two unique Arks)
?   Hacking: Special hacks available to exploit Omnius (e.g. Swordmaster of Ginaz)
?   Special Units:
o   Sorceress of Rossak: Matriarchal psychic warriors trained to kill Cymeks.
?   Elite ship designed to get close to Cymeks and engage special assault. If attack is successful, both Cymek and Sorceress are destroyed
?   Must own planet “Rossak” to produce
o   Swordmasters of Ginaz: Elite super-soldiers trained to fight AI.
?   Swordsman, not pilots. These will be implemented by simulating (i.e. hacking) launching swordsman on the planet. If they succeed, the planet and all remaining defenses are converted to human control
?   Must own planet “Ginaz” to produce
o   ATOMICS: The only weapons capable of destroying Omnius. Will annihilate everything on the planet it is triggered.

Omnius (“Thinking Machines”):
?   Multiple “backups” on key worlds—must kill all to destroy Omnius. Can only kill Omnius copies by use of ATOMICS (as with lore)—nuke the planet.
o   Enable multiple A.I.’s (this should have at least 3, maybe more)
?   Produces massive quantities of weaker ships and prefers drone-deployers.
o   AI ships will typically be weaker than the humans, but far more numerous
?   AIP works differently since the AI produces all ships in the same galaxy. Will be tied to “manufacturing capacity (MC).”
o   MC increases over time based on planets owned, objectives completed,
?   Biological warfare: Omnius, once sufficiently empowered, will unleash a plague on human planets—the AI version of hacking.

Special Factions:
(AI) Cymeks:
?   20 Ark-like enemy hero units. These work somewhat independently, working for Ominus while scheming to get their dominance back. Cymeks will aid Ominus by participating in waves, joining Threat-fleet, launching hit-and-run tactics, and just generally being a nuisance. (This behavior may be anticipating the “Nemesis” faction)
?   Since cymeks use interchangeable bodies, cymeks can “upgrade” to stronger marks or different ship types altogether. If a cymek isn’t killed outright, it will transfer into a new body type after reaching critical damage.
o   Some cymeks are naturally stronger than others (e.g. the main Titans)
?   Limited amount of cymeks can be on the same planet at once (they don’t like to “share”)
?   Destroying all Cymeks dramatically lowers AIP (or some other awesome benefit)
o   Possible mechanic of “converting” certain Cymeks to help the player (not all Cymeks, Agamemnon in particular is always a bad guy)
?   Can recruit the “Cogitors”—a special faction based on the “Risk Analyzers” below.

(AI) Erasmus:
?   An AI with an independent personality working with Ominus. He has a morbid fascination with humans.
?   Modeled after the “AI Instigators” faction. Erasmus will create mini-quests throughout the campaign (e.g. free humans from science experiments for reward or be punished accordingly)
o   If Erasmus goes unchecked entirely, Omnius discovers how to weaponize a plague to unleash on human planets. Plagued planets will have devastating penalties until they are “cured.”

(AI) Synchronized Couriers:
?   Omnius keeps its backup copies up to date through an interstellar courier system (i.e. astro trains)
o   Killing couriers (i.e. trains)/backup centers (i.e. depot) will cripple Omnius’ capacity to synchronize waves (will make waves far less effective).
o   Failing to kill these will greatly contribute to increasing AIP over the course of the game

(Neutral) Cogitors:
?   Ancient humans that have underwent the procedures that make cymeks but do not have a mechanical body—they are purely thinkers. They are scattered on isolated planets (they are hermits lore-wise).
?   Modeled after the Risk Analyzers. They do not inherently help Omnius. Only Cymeks can convert Cogitors to help Omninus (by raising AIP over time). Humans can free them to receive the AIP reducer.

(Friendly) Human Militia:

?   This is basically the “Human Resistance Fighters.” These only trigger on planets that are hospitable to humans—they originate from the planet in question.

I have no experience modding but I'm prepared to learn how to make this a reality. Regardless, this is something presupposes the complete base game is completed. My ideas are certainly subject to change and improvement but at its core I want this to campaign to reflect the spirit of the Dune prequels.

Nobody has suggested it yet... I don't think.  But it's something we theoretically could do at some point.
Has anyone suggested having ship type mutations as capturables?  EG a capturable which makes all your fighters bulletproof, or grants them all tachyon and mine-immunity. 
It is cliche but "show, don't tell" can also be interpreted as "implicit, not explicit" which is what you are proposing. Rather then make it black and white, if/or/and logic you are presenting broad concepts and letting the inferences explain things. It makes things much neater, you can explain much more advanced concepts at glance if a player can understand the data. Great games explain it, but it is still a better concept if a player has to be explained it out of game, since the alternative method is not any better at best.

I still, in a way, express what I said about if you still want ships to have random attributes. Have a good, better, best models of ships and have each level of ship greater adjectives which provide further flavors of the superior ship. These still keeps data simple, so a player has a baseline knowledge of what might be a boring ship being a one of a kind model, or that a better then average ship has a really cool benefit. Rather then have 6 ships have a 0 - 100% range of power with an average of 55.33 and 1.83 attributes , make it so that there is one ship with 100% and four attributes, two ships with 66% and two attributes, and three ships with 33% and one attribute.
AI War Classic / Re: Do wave multipliers for structures still exist?
« Last post by Ovalcircle1 on August 13, 2018, 10:21:27 PM »
"The previous concept of AI Wave Bonuses (the crazy multipliers that could lead to waves of 700,000 ships, for example) have been removed entirely. This buffs a number of structures for human use, including captive human settlements, zenith power generators, gravity drill stations, zenith spacetime manipulators, and ion cannons."

From Version 4.041. Just scroll down a little or use the "search for keyword" function for Ion Cannon and you'll see it. I'll look through the other patch notes, but I don't see why it would not be gone.
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