Author Topic: AI personalities  (Read 720 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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AI personalities
« on: September 05, 2016, 02:24:20 AM »
Quote from the AI War II Design Document, 1.e.iii "Specific Areas Of Moddability":
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In AI War Classic, we called these “AI Types,” but that was really a misnomer in many ways.  What AI types (from Classic) and AI Personalities (from this game) actually control is what ships and assets and so on the AI has access to, and how much they prefer pursuing various precoded tactics and strategies.

I would like to open that to debate.

I personally dislike the AI Types in AI War Classic; not their content but the way they are designed and assembled. I already discussed that at length, times ago (here) and I will just bring a brief list of how I would like to arrange the different "AI Type" parts.

In AI War Classic, many types just make one kind of AI device much more common. I think it would make much more sense to make a list of all devices "rare" by default and allow players to change each of them to "none" or "everywhere". If Plots are going to be merged with Minor Factions, maybe the devices need a dedicated list in the advanced lobby options.

AIWC's AI Types also define some parameters to make the AI more aggressive or defensive. I think these parameters also deserve to be accessible in the lobby. I already talked about the details of these parameters (aggression/preparation/preemption) and I wont do that again here for brevity sake.

Some AI Types also grant "special powers" to all AI's units. For example, the camouflager and speed racer. These can be Plots, but not Minor Factions, so if these things are merged, there is a need for something new. AI Personalities, why not, but I would like to refine these a bit. Then we have what I named the "unlock packs" in my old post: free ship designs for the AI (all younglings, all cloaked, all something, etc). I would like to see them in a dedicated list, but as there is no real need to be able to combine them, one per AI sounds fine. So an AI personality would grant either a special power or an unlock pack. Special powers will certainly be hardcoded but unlock packs can be easily defined by XML mods. The aggression/preparation/preemption parameters can be both defined per personality in XML and be accessible for tweak in the "advanced" lobby settings.

So a player would be able to make its own "Dire Threat" AI personality with low aggression, high preemption and DGLair everywhere from the lobby only (without using XML). But then there is no need for actual "personalities" because everything can be built "by hand" in the lobby. What I would rather see would be "lobby scripts": a list of premade settings. When selected, they change the values but don't last. The "Dire Threat" personality wouldn't exist once the game is started: there is just two AIs with aggr/prep/preemp, device rarity, unlocked designs and eventual special power(s).

For the newcomer, there is a list of AI personalities. For the advanced player, they are only a bunch parameters that can be combined in uncountable ways. AI Personalities would be just predefined parameters.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline ewokonfire

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Re: AI personalities
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 03:12:52 AM »
I am strongly in favor of this.  If 'AI Personalities' are going to exist, they should only be used for things that are in some sense mutually exclusive, and I can't think of what these would be.  As Keith once said on these forums in a reply to my post about why Chivalric was made an AI type rather than a modifier:
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There's ultimately no longer a strong fundamental distinction between AI types and modifiers. It's probably possible to have an AI with every single type, though this would murder the interface (and the player).

Offline kasnavada

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Re: AI personalities
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 03:27:44 AM »
What I really hope is that you'll be able to mod the building types, the ship available to an AI... and as many other options as reasonably possible.

PS : basically, I want AI war to be moddable enough to replace an AI by klingons, the other ones by romulans, and the player by the federation.
Not that I'm interested in making the mod myself (I'm not that much of a fan, and don't have that much freetime). But still. It'd be awesome if possible.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 03:51:48 AM by kasnavada »

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI personalities
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 04:17:38 AM »
PS : basically, I want AI war to be moddable enough to replace an AI by klingons, the other ones by romulans, and the player by the federation.
Not that I'm interested in making the mod myself (I'm not that much of a fan, and don't have that much freetime). But still. It'd be awesome if possible.
That would require to limit ship designs to a specific AI/Human player. Right now, every fleetship design is available (eligible) to everyone.

However, there already are "families" of units that are reserved to AIs or Humans: Turrets & Warheads for Humans; Guard Posts and Guardians for AIs. And AIs have unlocks for guardians very similar to unlocks for fleetships. I think that could be moddable (like mods would be able to create entire new families of units, like variants of Hunter/Killer), but it's a whole other topic.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline zharmad

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Re: AI personalities
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2016, 04:41:23 AM »
Star Trek mod should be okay. All we need is an XML entry that tells the game who can unlock the unit. The behaviour of the AI controlled factions however, might not be so convincing.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: AI personalities
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2016, 04:45:56 AM »
I think it's entirely on topic.

What is a personality type but a list of allowed and starting units / buildings / mechanics, and their spawn behaviour ?

Offline zharmad

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Re: AI personalities
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2016, 04:56:17 AM »
I think fit most of us, personalities provide a decent short hand method to refer to a set of advanced tweaks that might be explicitly accessed through a "very-advanced" interface. That is, most players don't want to see a Boeing 747 cockpit as a lobby.

If the modular ship discussion is anything to go by, I imagine that Chris would rather write a simple lobby front-end, with the expectation that people will make and share interesting designs such as the "Dire Threat" above.

Offline wyvern83

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Re: AI personalities
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 01:39:15 PM »
AI Personalities as outlined in this thread sounds like a good direction to go. I'm glad to hear that AI Types, Plots, and Modifiers are being streamlined.

One thing I did like about the old AI types though is that they had names and the dual AI type option as an extension of that. I don't want to be fighting a spreadsheet of options, that they had names was a nice touch of flavor. A Recipe with a name sounds more appealing and engages the imagination more than a simple list of ingredients and instructions.

In the end it doesn't make any difference gameplay wise, with or without a name the AI will act the same according to what you select. It's a relatively minor concern overall as I'm sure, or at least hope, there will be plenty of named AI Personality presets on launch, and/or thereafter with community mods/contributions. I just thought I'd mention it as it is an aspect that adds to my enjoyment of AI War Classic that I look forward to in AI Wars II.