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AI War II / Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Last post by Draco18s on Today at 06:02:39 PM »
I don't know of a super good way of positioning even an orthographic camera so that it fits exactly around a specific area of space given an arbitrary viewport aspect ratio, but I can probably figure it out.  Orthographic projection is at least rectangular, versus having a different size based on distance, so I can probably just use basic algebra and some logic.

Oh, its not that hard. You just need to calculate the min/max x/y values of the points (in this case, the planet locations), treat that as a rectangle, and then fit that within the viewport. As we aren't allowed to rotate the galaxy map, these two rectangles will differ only by a scalar factor in both axis. Scaling by one of them will either fit the other in view or it wont (if not, use the other value).


Also, ;)
Okay, sorry that this is a pain in the format to read, but I'm just trying to do a driveby to get you caught up with another conversation:

Basically that doc has the other conversation, which is good reading, and then the discussion can move on from there.

AI War II / Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Last post by x4000 on Today at 04:17:31 PM »
I'm all over the place and don't really know what I want.  I like the zooming and panning for a few reasons, but it does need to become more symbolic of a map and default to being able to see everything.  I'm going to take a bit more baby steps toward a better design, instead, of rushing into something that is more of a pain to come back from.  Please feel free to discuss with folks here, since my head is a bit... everywhere.  You guys having a meeting of the minds over this can only be a good thing. :)
The premise I’ve been intrigued by is the possibility of luring the Hunters/Wardens to a decoy threat, thus allowing the player to attack a prime target

Two avenues (mutually inclusive) to do this: Real threat (e.g. Mercs) and fake threat (e.g. Ghost Fleet)

1)Real Threat (Mercenaries): Classic’s method of doing mercs will be present (perhaps with a new name), but Chris brought up a new version of this concept. In essence, this method consists of signaling a mercenary outfit lead by a capital ship to some planet via the operations tab in the sidebar. In effect, this generates real threat that the AI must contend with, allowing the player strategical choices (e.g. helping the mercs or attacking a different planet)

The relevant issue is resource management. I’m personally not a fan of using hacking or science for this, hacking because of my proposed “ghost fleet” and science because knowledge doesn’t seem to be appropriate as a resource that motivates mercenaries helping the player out. Money does. However, there is a good argument that a basic tech upgrade (e.g. a “transceiver”) would be necessary to be able to call the mercs to a given planet.

So we have the issue that metal by itself is already designated for the classic version of mercs. What I propose is to repurpose planetary controllers as the Merc HQ. To fund them, the player would need to partition metal harvesters/energy collectors to the HQ, thus reducing the player’s income at the planet(s) where HQ’s are setup. The player can allocate how much of these to give to the HQ and can reappropriate them at any time. Once certain thresholds are met, the player can call in a fleet at a planet (given certain scouting and/or tech requisites are met)

2) Fake threat (Ghost Fleet): Primarily accomplished by hacking. This mechanic would in effect alert the AI on the planet of the hack that a sizeable cloaked “ghost fleet” is preparing a massive assault. While the hack is ongoing (and potentially for a time afterwards) the AI will treat this as real threat and respond in kind—luring the Warden/Hunters.

I’m thrilled about this idea because it is both thematically and mechanically addresses the main premise of AI Wars—humanity must be cunning and exploit the fact that their antagonist is an AI opponent.

Naturally, this would be accomplished by spending hacking points, probably scaling with how severe the ghost fleet purports to be and the frequency of using this tactic (The AI would catch on to this over time)
AI War II / Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Last post by x4000 on Today at 02:36:58 PM »
It's very natural to not feel well at a time like this Chris. This is a stressful shift and not at all something you were hoping for when this all started. Please don't take anything negative here personally, it is from love and a desire for this to succeed that I put this game through the paces.

Thanks, I appreciate it.  I keep forgetting this, but I'm also just stressed out because my grandfather is in the hospital right now.  Last grandparent on my side, and he's been having continual medical emergencies for 4ish days now, is stuck in intensive care, and so on.  It keeps drifting out of my head, because I naturally push those thoughts away and then forget why I have this underlying ill feeling.  That wasn't there last week, since he was fine then (relatively speaking).

Anyway, when it rains it pours. My wife has one grandparent left, and I have one left, and that's it for us.
AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.722 Released! "Down the Wormhole"
« Last post by BadgerBadger on Today at 02:31:11 PM »
I do expect some bugs in the Risk Analyzers and Marauders, so if you see anything weird with them, please let me know.
AI War II / AI War 2 v0.722 Released! "Down the Wormhole"
« Last post by x4000 on Today at 02:29:00 PM »
Release notes here and here.

Goodness, lots of changes right in advance of the big pivot.  Fitting, I suppose.

Let's see... in no particular order...

  • Various performance improvements, some of them minor, some of them pretty darn major.

  • The "hey we're in combat" voice warning is now considerably less common and more appropriate (thanks Badger!).

  • Another backer Ark, the Thanatos, has been added.

  • Several very annoying bugs, some on the sidebar and some on the main gameplay area, are cleaned up.

  • Wormholes look really different, and can be more easily clicked from very far zoom.

  • Hey, there's a new Realistic map type, which gets back to the spirit of the default (and for many, favorite) map type from AI War Classic (thanks, yet again, Badger!)

  • First pass of Spire Civilian Leaders faction, now branded as Risk Analyzers (for flavour/story reasons) is in.

  • Oh, and Human Marauders.  Good grief, Badger!

Lots more to come in the next few weeks.  You won't have to wait months to start seeing results from the pivot, although the game might become hilariously tiny for a little while.  There's a new beta branch for this last pre-pivot release so that you can always get this one if you need/want it for some reason during that period.


AI War II / Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Last post by etheric42 on Today at 02:26:22 PM »
I worried this might need to happen when you last spoke about changes to the UI (which were definitely needed) and the time needed to do it right.

I had hoped to help out at some point UI wise, but my own schedule meant that it was nigh on impossible. Even with the little time I had spare to help every time I opened the alpha/beta I could see the game was drifting from what I actually loved about the original. So my thinking up (until this post) was "oh well, I'll just keep playing the original as the new one is not for me.".

As of now you've sparked my interest again.  :D

Just curious what was the thing(s) you loved about the original that were being drifted away from?  Not that I disagree, but I've been trying to pin my finger down on what it is.  A lot of people have said "depth", but I wasn't sure what depth was lost besides a lot of different ships and minor factions and AI types, but that's not really right at the mechanical level, that's mostly just content.  Right?
AI War II / Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Last post by etheric42 on Today at 02:12:46 PM »
Well, it sounds like plans are changing, but I'll lay out what the previous plan was.  If you're familiar with the galaxy map from Stellaris, this should be familiar to you.  First, this is what it looks when you have a zoom level such that there won't be any overlapping.  (Of course, note that it's highly unlikely all these icons would show up at the same time

From this level on the north quadrant of the planet you'll see icons indicating presence of king units (not as important now since they are no longer mobile Arks) as well as icons indicating the presence of mobile military (imagine pretty icons instead of little circles).  Those icons are clickable to select that mobile military, allowing you to perform troop movements from the galaxy map in a gross way (click on a rebuilt fleet at home and right click on a planet near the front to move it up for example).  Enemy mobile military is shown, but it would likely be more useful to see "freed" enemy mobile military so you can more easily track down threat.  It also shows you the planet's aggregated strength value for your side and the any hostiles.  This means at a glance you'll be able to look across the map and assess relative defensive strength levels, engagements, ally positions (for multiplayer), and be able to round up all your straggling ships.  Since mobile kings were going away, that was likely to be replaced with engineer and scout icons on the left there.

In the west quadrant, you would find a variety of icons for why you would bother capturing this planet (or why this planet is valuable if it is already yours).  Capturable structures, bounties of science, etc.  These icons would also be clickable and would add the appropriate mission to your missions tab on your sidebar.  Click again on the icon and the mission would be removed.  If you already have the planet, then your structures would be there so you know you have to defend this one.

In the east quadrant, you would find a variety of icons for particularly nasty AI defenses.  Anything that would make you change your attack approach or reconsider what the AI strength actually means would be there.  Like the west quadrant, you could click on these to issue missions to your mission ledger.

In the west and east quadrants, the icons would likely be stacked three rows high and then start expanding outward, so they don't jut too far from the planet.

The south quadrant gives you the name of the planet and its Mk level (if AI controlled, owner's icon if player controlled, the planet itself wears the color of its controller is the current plan, but that's was subject to change).  There are also two important icons.  An ignore icon that de-emphasizes the planet and hides some things like the west and east quadrants, this would be great for a planet you've decided you aren't interested in taking.  The foot icon is the pathing command.  Click that to toggle on/off if your ships will path through that system without you explicitly telling them to.  Useful for making sure your ships take the route through neutered planets instead of through the Mk4 planet that is technically a shorter (but deadlier) route.

The wormhole lines coming into and out of the planet would be color coded (not red and green as pictured here to deal with color blindness) to show if the route led to an enemy or friendly planet.  There were some graphical plans to make sure those lines and the quadrants popped (such as background boxes or thicker borders for the wormhole lines.

Then, as you zoom out, this folds away to ensure that you don't have a jumble of overlaps.  At minimal zoom you likely will just see the planet, the wormhole lines and maybe the mobile military icons (depending on what it would have looked like when we tested it with a stupidly high number of planets).  (Oh, and don't think you'll have to be super-zoomed in to see all this information, just enough that it's clear what data goes where)

While you have this map open, you'll still have access to your sidebar, allowing you to click on a planet of yours and then being able to access the build menu (and all the other sidebar tabs) without having to switch to planet view

But!  It looks like the concerns with zooming in and out from this thread have added to concerns over the difficulty programming it so Chris will likely be moving to a more static map like AIWC.  I'm currently trying to figure out how much space we would even have to display info since the maximum number of planets cap has been taken off.  It would help me if people here could tell me what aspects of the plan I've outlined they would most like to see preserved in a static-map version.  I am personally not a fan of moving back to not having the ability to select/control ships and build queues from the galaxy map, or only having a tiny bit of information floating over each planet based on a couple of dropdown boxes (or having to mouse over each planet to find critical facts about it), so I will try to find a compromise between the AIWC vision and the Stellaris-like vision I've presented here.
AI War II / Re: Pivoting AI War 2: Bring The Fun!
« Last post by chemical_art on Today at 01:55:57 PM »
It's very natural to not feel well at a time like this Chris. This is a stressful shift and not at all something you were hoping for when this all started. Please don't take anything negative here personally, it is from love and a desire for this to succeed that I put this game through the paces.
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