Author Topic: Day & Night (level)  (Read 40964 times)

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annikk.exe

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Day & Night (level)
« on: February 18, 2010, 08:36:11 AM »



Map Type: Open (non-linear), script-assisted
Difficulty: Hard

Features:
  • Unique procedurally-generated Spiral galaxy design
  • Time-based day and night cycles, sunrise, sunset
  • Highly aggressive supplemental AI for handling large scale swarming behaviour


Enjoy :>
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 07:37:24 AM by annikk.exe »

ross

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 05:35:41 PM »
IT"S IMPOSSIBLE to win this level!

annikk.exe

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 05:40:10 PM »
heh.  :>  Well as I said it is VERY hard...but I promise you it is beatable.  I wouldn't release it if it was impossible to win.  I have beaten it.  Not easy, but definitely possible.

ross

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 06:48:01 PM »
NO NO NO!!!
850 enemy seeds on 8 minute????????!!!!!!
As creator, only you know  one algorithm to win.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 06:50:17 PM by ross »

annikk.exe

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 08:20:14 PM »
Part of the challenge of the level is to figure out what the AI is doing, and work out a tactic to counter it.  8 minutes, 850 seeds....yeah, if you don't keep their numbers down and they succeed in taking an asteroid from you on their first major attack, that would be about right.


Maybe I've made this too difficult, but I just think a lot of you are probably bored of winning after only the 2nd or 3rd attempt.

cinemabaroque

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 09:47:03 AM »
Well, it is certainly hard.  Haven't beaten it yet though I think I've come close a couple of times.  You really have to get a little lucky in the beginning and use your 37 seedlings wisely.  I'd say that you could start the player off with a few more and still have a very hard level.  I've been looking at your custom AI code as it is similar to some things I've got on the drawing board.  I've noticed that it is pretty specific to the level but I like the basics of it.  I think that something simple and procedural like that would be better than the current in game AI.  Still, very good stuff.

I'm not sure about your results but I haven't noticed the in game AI variables changing the behavior much, maybe a little here and there but not a lot.

Thanks for the level.


annikk.exe

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 07:12:09 PM »
During testing my friends and I noticed that it is easy to come maddeningly close to the "point of no return", where your swarm starts to grow faster than the enemy can destroy them.  But to actually get there, the only way I found is with a specific expansion strategy and - crucially - careful use of the mine you can make with the starting flower to thin out the numbers of enemy seedlings before the first major attack.  If you don't do this, the enemy will gather up to 200 seedlings and you will lose an asteroid and fail to destroy their swarm, which basically means the game is over.  It's up to the player to figure out the best way of reducing their numbers in order to survive the initial attack.


Regarding the various AI parameters you can specify in the game, I also found they don't have a particularly dramatic effect.  I think if you set extreme values, you do start to see some interesting things.  For example if you set minimum number of seeds in the empire, and minimum number per asteroid, battlesavvy and cowardice to zero... you end up with an AI that is less defensive and more likely to throw everything at colonising the galaxy and attacking the player.

At some point I will do some very careful tests to try to observe exact change in behaviour from each parameter.  For now I just sort of guess.  :>


The supplemental AI in Day & Night has nothing to do with those commands though.  The default AI is only really used for colonising at the start, and for generating minor skirmishes to keep the player busy in between sunsets.  You're right that it's unique to the level - the calculation of the gather point would not work properly on any other level, for example.  However, I think if you can work out a good gather-point algorithim for the map you are making, you could probably transport the AI code over and use it.

Good AI is hard to program, by the way.  Especially when you can't check whether a given asteroid or empire owns any laser mines.  It's difficult to figure out a good way for the AI to decide whether or not to attack, and where to attack, when there are such unknown factors you have to account for.  In Day & Night the AI will attack only if it has more seeds than the player.  If the player has slightly more seeds, but not by much, the AI picks a random player asteroid and attacks that instead of the frontline.  In those situations, it looks like the AI was bluffing :>


Thanks for the feedback dude.  I think the next map I make will not be quite so hard...  but since I've committed to this one now I guess I will wait and see if anyone completes it :>

annikk.exe

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 12:00:01 PM »
In response to the feedback I did some more testing and concluded that it is indeed too hard.  I have reposted the map with the difficulty settings adjusted now.  Please download the new version and overwrite the old one.

njursten

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 09:54:52 PM »
Managed to beat the easier version on the first try. Didn't try the harder version though.

I didn't really have any trouble as he never attacked the middle planet. But maybe the augmented AI never will select it as a target, it has to selected by the regular AI?

I just shuffled around my troops, let him take any asteroid he attacked to retake it as soon as he moved away. Had some luck with his movement paths, he quite often moved his troops through asteroids where I had my army placed, causing him quite a lot of losses.

annikk.exe

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 11:00:59 PM »
Managed to beat the easier version on the first try. Didn't try the harder version though.

Bah. :P


Quote
I didn't really have any trouble as he never attacked the middle planet. But maybe the augmented AI never will select it as a target, it has to selected by the regular AI?

Nope, the supplemental AI will target the centre planet.


« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 01:31:52 AM by annikk.exe »

Koss

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 05:51:28 PM »
Nice level, thanks.
I haven't beaten first version, try it 4 or 5 times. But quite quick done second version, try it just 3 time.

annikk.exe

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 09:17:15 PM »
Thanks Koss!
That makes me feel a bit better.  :>  I think ideally it should take people about 3 attempts before they win..

smeece85

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 12:58:49 PM »
Maybe I'm not getting it, but it's hard - haven't beaten it yet.... after about 10 tries.....

annikk.exe

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 06:07:37 PM »
Glad it's proving a challenge... it should definitely be doable.. :>  Assuming you didn't get the older version of the map where you only start with 30-something seedlings..

smeece85

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Re: Day & Night (level)
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 03:40:04 PM »
FINALLY beat it!  I got a little lucky with a relatively strong planet right next to my starting location.  Great job on making it tough!  The play dynamic of the timed swarms always had me on my toes, even after reclaiming two planets from the enemy.  Because of their freakish movements, I didn't feel truly safe until having conquered 1/3 to 1/2 of the sector. 

Seemed like the most crucial parts where timing your mine movements with the sunsets, and doing plenty of scout work to see what they were doing.  Thanks for the map!