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Games => AI War II => Topic started by: x4000 on September 06, 2016, 10:36:51 AM

Title: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2016, 10:36:51 AM
New update to the design document that I figured I'd go ahead and note for feedback: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IdzU90psGas_3UFe23BLvsGQ8fclec49NmnbHfwkZ8w/edit#heading=h.m9mw58u2a4gu

Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: kasnavada on September 06, 2016, 10:44:13 AM
Ship bays: perfect.

AI reinforcement is basically "how to transform the old reinforcement mechanics into the ship bays".
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: chemical_art on September 06, 2016, 10:47:02 AM
All of it is perfect. I have the new tactical options that ship bays offer and love how reinforcements in practice function the same but are much cleaner in terms of performance.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Tridus on September 06, 2016, 10:50:50 AM
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The destruction of certain kinds of buildings on the AI side, like perhaps supply trains or whatever else, could cause immediate drops of X amount of currency.

Hello Astro Trains! :D (Even more interesting if successfully completing a run gives the destination system a bonus or uses some of the currency there, making it very advantageous to reroute and sabtoage cargo cars on trains, rather than just ignoring them.)

ATM, this sounds awesome to me. It replaces a fiddly thing (Barracks) with something cleaner, provides a performance boost by effectively not having to acknowledge all those idle ships exist outside of an Int32, and it'll probably look really cool when you wake the planet up and ships start pouring out of the bays, Hollywood alien mothership style.

Bonus points if the AI wakes up a whole whack of them at once to pool into a CPA.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2016, 10:51:45 AM
Awesome!  Glad to hear that one went down easier. :)

This was the intended design from a while back on these, but I was going to tuck this in with the space platforms (ship bays would have been a module on those, but work exactly the same).  Space platforms obviously didn't go over so well, heh, so this had to be modified slightly to add shipyards.  But beyond that it was all planned already, and I'm glad to see that I was in line with what you guys like already with that one, heh.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2016, 10:54:39 AM
Quote
The destruction of certain kinds of buildings on the AI side, like perhaps supply trains or whatever else, could cause immediate drops of X amount of currency.

Hello Astro Trains! :D (Even more interesting if successfully completing a run gives the destination system a bonus or uses some of the currency there, making it very advantageous to reroute and sabtoage cargo cars on trains, rather than just ignoring them.)

That would be an awesome suggestion to note down in the astro trains section, actually!  The astro trains discussion last week was one of the things that helped spark the idea about reinforcement currency being more granular like this, too.  There were several discussions that people had about that, more ways to damage the AI in specific fashions, etc, that really led into this.

ATM, this sounds awesome to me. It replaces a fiddly thing (Barracks) with something cleaner, provides a performance boost by effectively not having to acknowledge all those idle ships exist outside of an Int32, and it'll probably look really cool when you wake the planet up and ships start pouring out of the bays, Hollywood alien mothership style.

Bonus points if the AI wakes up a whole whack of them at once to pool into a CPA.

I imagine that for CPAs we will do something along the lines of these, or have some sort of motherships or something that are used with ship bays on them so that they show up and it's attacking your planets rather than your framerate quite so much. ;)  I think we can make these visually look really cool, too, even just when they're parked there.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: chemical_art on September 06, 2016, 10:54:50 AM

Bonus points if the AI wakes up a whole whack of them at once to pool into a CPA.

That is another cool tactical consideration. CPA's could summon ships from several worlds, and one could attempt to blunt a CPA by spawn camping one or more of the planets to get down on the forces before they rally together. It was already sort of possible in the past but this way provides a much cleaner and more visually pleasing manner.

This would also make the special reinforcements that core AI worlds get make a lot more sense visually. They don't just appear from the ether but rather come from the bays.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: kasnavada on September 06, 2016, 10:56:14 AM
it'll probably look really cool when you wake the planet up and ships start pouring out of the bays, Hollywood alien mothership style.
This is definitely adding to cool factor of the idea, and yes it's very feeling very close to the AI war solution. It's a clear upgrade to barracks / spawn mechanics. It could also replace / help with the "neinzul regen chamber" issues.

Actually, I'd add that some "grapes" could even become the old carriers. I feel like calling those grapes for some reason. There is possibly a ton of mechanics that could be spawned from it in the future.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: chemical_art on September 06, 2016, 11:00:05 AM

Actually, I'd add that some "grapes" could even become the old carriers. I feel like calling those grapes for some reason. There is possibly a ton of mechanics that could be spawned from it in the future.

I can imagine it being a grape in that when it is ripe (full) it falls off the vine and into the player's lap.
So with that idea, if a player pops the grape before it is ripe then all the ships get destroyed.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2016, 11:16:57 AM
Please note, regarding the reinforcements section I have made a number of changes there to be more accurate as to what is new versus what was in AI War Classic.  Turns out that some of what I was proposing (a lot of it actually) was already in AI War Classic thanks to a lot of work by Keith after I stepped away from the game, so that was easier. ;)
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: kasnavada on September 06, 2016, 11:20:01 AM

Actually, I'd add that some "grapes" could even become the old carriers. I feel like calling those grapes for some reason. There is possibly a ton of mechanics that could be spawned from it in the future.

I can imagine it being a grape in that when it is ripe (full) it falls off the vine and into the player's lap.
So with that idea, if a player pops the grape before it is ripe then all the ships get destroyed.

I could imagine wave-like mechanics spawning like this. Or golems. Or the raid engine popping waves after waves every 4 minutes exactly with this mechanic. Which would leave the player with the choice of "do I go beat that (and the entire planet with it) before it spawns ?", or "do I let it hit fall on my defenses ?"

Not sure it belongs in the base design though.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2016, 11:22:56 AM

Actually, I'd add that some "grapes" could even become the old carriers. I feel like calling those grapes for some reason. There is possibly a ton of mechanics that could be spawned from it in the future.

I can imagine it being a grape in that when it is ripe (full) it falls off the vine and into the player's lap.
So with that idea, if a player pops the grape before it is ripe then all the ships get destroyed.

I could imagine wave-like mechanics spawning like this. Or golems. Or the raid engine popping waves after waves every 4 minutes exactly with this mechanic. Which would leave the player with the choice of "do I go beat that (and the entire planet with it) before it spawns ?", or "do I let it hit fall on my defenses ?"

Not sure it belongs in the base design though.

I think that this is worth a separate topic for discussion in the ideas forum, because it's both a very good idea and a simple one.  Seems like a good one for potential inclusion to me, unless there's some major problem with it that people think up.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: kasnavada on September 06, 2016, 11:43:30 AM
Thanks =)
And, done here:

https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19047.0.html

@chemical_art.
Thanks for trying to open the topic too. Yes, I saw you. ;D
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Draco18s on September 06, 2016, 12:00:36 PM
Awesome stuff.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Elestan on September 06, 2016, 12:24:16 PM
I like it, but I'm awaiting word on how surprise attacks work.  In AIW1, the AI could basically see everything everywhere, and the only limitation was that it wouldn't go on alert until you went over 50 units/2 starships.  I'd love for the AI's knowledge to be more realistically limited in AIW2.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: chemical_art on September 06, 2016, 12:45:35 PM
I like it, but I'm awaiting word on how surprise attacks work.  In AIW1, the AI could basically see everything everywhere, and the only limitation was that it wouldn't go on alert until you went over 50 units/2 starships.  I'd love for the AI's knowledge to be more realistically limited in AIW2.

That is a good point, AI "sight aka alerted planets" need to be examined. Maybe it cannot be improved but it is worth a brainstorm.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: chemical_art on September 06, 2016, 12:50:57 PM
That is a good point, AI "sight aka alerted planets" need to be examined. Maybe it cannot be improved but it is worth a brainstorm.

http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19048.0.html

I have zero ideas about how to improve on this so please help out!
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2016, 01:04:19 PM
That is a good point, AI "sight aka alerted planets" need to be examined. Maybe it cannot be improved but it is worth a brainstorm.

http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19048.0.html

I have zero ideas about how to improve on this so please help out!

Awesome, thanks.  I agree that's a completely other discussion, but in terms of the part here I'm glad folks are happy so far.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Pumpkin on September 07, 2016, 06:37:15 AM
I have some questions. It seems everybody understand that proposed mechanism, but I'm not sure I do.

Will it replace reinforcement spawning and ships sleeping/guarding a guard post? Will an AI planet contain only a station, some guard posts and a barrack shipyard/bay? (And the occasional Threat / Special Forces passing by)? And then reinforcements would only increase the barrack shipyard/bay's count? I have to admit, if so I love that. The Guard Post family will need to be renamed (because they would be no more posts for guards), but I think that's a good thing.

And so the Strategic Reserve would be a special, indestructible MkV shipyard/bay? Speaking of mark, I believe that would be tied to the planet's mark. If so, the shipyard just need to have one bay per type, and each bay just need to have a counter. The ships inside would always be of the shipyard's mark, which is the same as the planet's mark. I so, I think that would be a huge benefit. IIRC, the reinforcement was dependent of the AI tech level. If that tech level would be reserved for waves and the reinforcement would depend only on the planet's mark, that would be a neat improvement of the game's readability.

Last question: what would happen to the conversion guards->threat? Attacking a Guard Post wouldn't awake its guards because... it would have no guards. Would it be "every ships slowly released from the shipyard become threat"? (And the shipyard would continuously release ships while Humans are on its planet?) But there is mention to ships being healed when returning in a bay. I'm confused.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: kasnavada on September 07, 2016, 07:30:36 AM
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Last question: what would happen to the conversion guards->threat?

They could convert them to carriers once "full".
That said, was the guard => threat a good mechanic ?
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: PokerChen on September 07, 2016, 09:45:02 AM
I have some questions. It seems everybody understand that proposed mechanism, but I'm not sure I do

Yes it will replace sleeping ships. ( CPU saving) Each mark planet will have its own mark level ship bay.
Most other questions in your first paragraph are open, and won't be decided just yet. Moving fleets like threat fleets and  special forces might become more carrier-centric, with most of the members stored to save more CPU ( other fly around for decoration?).
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Steelpoint on September 07, 2016, 10:20:29 AM
I think this is a strong idea, it can help to reduce some of the in system clutter and it offers some additional strategic choices in system.

So long as the UI both in the system view and galactic view lets you easily discern the garrison of the ship bays though.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2016, 03:56:10 PM
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Will it replace reinforcement spawning and ships sleeping/guarding a guard post?

Yes.

Quote
Will an AI planet contain only a station, some guard posts and a barrack shipyard/bay? (And the occasional Threat / Special Forces passing by)?

Close, but not quite.  Each guard post would also be a shipyard with bays on it.  But otherwise, yes.

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And so the Strategic Reserve would be a special, indestructible MkV shipyard/bay?

Please don't laugh, but I don't remember what that is at the moment.

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If that tech level would be reserved for waves and the reinforcement would depend only on the planet's mark, that would be a neat improvement of the game's readability.

I was not planning on this, but based on notes from Keith yesterday this is the current plan in the document, yes.  So great minds and all that. ;)

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Last question: what would happen to the conversion guards->threat? Attacking a Guard Post wouldn't awake its guards because... it would have no guards.

The guard post would still have just as many guards (if not more), but they would be in ship bays on that guard post.  So it would mechanically work the same.  Actually Keith already has this working I think, though not with visuals.

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Would it be "every ships slowly released from the shipyard become threat"?

Probably not... not fully, anyway.  Some of them would come out, fight off a threat, then go home.  Others would become threat, as now.

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(And the shipyard would continuously release ships while Humans are on its planet?)

Maybe, but probably not.  It probably has more to do with proximity to the shipyard, but I can't decide on that.  That's something that would have to be experimented with.  The shipyard itself might provide a stream of FRD-style AI units that go back to the shipyard after defeating intruders, if they do.  Whereas guard post guards that are released from their guard post because it was destroyed become threat instead.

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But there is mention to ships being healed when returning in a bay. I'm confused.

Aggro wouldn't be irrevocable in all cases, basically.

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So long as the UI both in the system view and galactic view lets you easily discern the garrison of the ship bays though.

For sure!
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Mad Rubicant on September 07, 2016, 04:29:02 PM
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And so the Strategic Reserve would be a special, indestructible MkV shipyard/bay?

Please don't laugh, but I don't remember what that is at the moment.
[muffled laughter]
The strategic reserve is the collection of mark V ships that the AI deploys to protect super-high priority targets. I believe it'll drop 30% for a Core world, 50% for a CPA, and 5 or 10 on the superterminal (Not sure on that one). And naturally, 100% on an AI homeworld
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Captain Jack on September 07, 2016, 05:17:47 PM
Quote
And so the Strategic Reserve would be a special, indestructible MkV shipyard/bay?

Please don't laugh, but I don't remember what that is at the moment.
[muffled laughter]
The strategic reserve is the collection of mark V ships that the AI deploys to protect super-high priority targets. I believe it'll drop 30% for a Core world, 50% for a CPA, and 5 or 10 on the superterminal (Not sure on that one). And naturally, 100% on an AI homeworld
IE it's that reinforcement currency you were talking about, Chris.
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: tadrinth on September 07, 2016, 05:58:30 PM
On ship bays: So it's basically a modern-day carrier, but you can see exactly what's inside of it.  Except also a guard post.  The current carrier design is quite good, and ship bays would solve the biggest problems with it (always the same hull type, can't see what's inside). 

On reinforcements:  in Classic, each planet picks three fleet ship types and strongly prefers them when reinforcing, to give planets more personality.  If you occasionally cause all shipyards to attack at once, then each shipyard could instead get its own ship preference.  Or maybe a planet picks three and its shipyards each pick one favorite from within the three, or something.  I think there's opportunity to create some interesting little tactical puzzles here, even more so than Classic. 

it's that reinforcement currency you were talking about, Chris

In classic, the strategic reserve is a separate pool from the reinforcement budget, and is hoarded rather than spent immediately. It's in the AI War Units/Mechanics doc toward the bottom: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E78-KtgIKyAExd9VpIKe2aXEKFO14A8b9zRLwRENkRk/edit#heading=h.v7gcycxl3z4c

The tricky thing about converting it over to ship bays is that the SR can be immediately deployed to anywhere the humans attack (though not all of it).  You'd really want the SR to come in via a warp-gate.  But, you could STORE the SR in a special ship bay on the AI homeworld, and give it the ability to deploy ships at other important planets via a warp gate.  Or you could just not have an SR and have extra reinforcement allocations to the core worlds/homeworlds if their ship bays are low. 

Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Pumpkin on September 08, 2016, 01:16:13 AM
Thanks a lot for your detailed answers, Chris.

I'm not fan of each guard post being a shipyard. I would rather like a centralized version releasing a stream of FRD ships while hostile presence is at its planet. But I really love the rest.

Anyway, if cloaked ships don't trigger the shipyards, they would gain a very interesting sneak role.

On reinforcements:  in Classic, each planet picks three fleet ship types and strongly prefers them when reinforcing, to give planets more personality.  If you occasionally cause all shipyards to attack at once, then each shipyard could instead get its own ship preference.  Or maybe a planet picks three and its shipyards each pick one favorite from within the three, or something.  I think there's opportunity to create some interesting little tactical puzzles here, even more so than Classic.
Instead of preferences, I would like to see hard rule. The game would be much more readable if, instead of a shipyard having many bays and some more furnished than others, it would be limited to three bays. Or maybe not limited, because new AI designs would change that, but it would never (instead of rarely) pick a ship it has no preference for. And guard post shipyard, even if I don't like that idea, would be limited to one bay, maybe.

I love this idea, Tadrinth! Interesting tactical puzzles are really what I crave in this game.

About the Strategic Reserve, I would like it be less "used everywhere" (everything connected to everything makes the game blurry). I think it would be interesting to just "remove" the Strategic Reserve and make it the Home's MkV shipyard which depends on reinforcement budget instead of a special, separated budget. However that's not an idea I would strongly support. I think the current implementation of the SR is fine, even if a bit artificial and not clearly explained. (I was going to flesh this out but I'll do that in a separated thread.)
Title: Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates Round 3: Ship Bays and AI Reinforcements
Post by: Draco18s on September 08, 2016, 11:53:24 AM
I'm not fan of each guard post being a shipyard. I would rather like a centralized version releasing a stream of FRD ships while hostile presence is at its planet. But I really love the rest.

It's no different than having every guard post get 1/Xth of the system's reinforcements.
However, it could be an interesting strategical landscape if there were certain types of guard posts that could not be ship yards. E.g. Super Forts.  Something generally terrifying enough on its own for the AI to be like "you don't need 6 fighters, gtfo."