Author Topic: Tell me about AIs  (Read 1883 times)

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Offline Sigma

Tell me about AIs
« on: July 26, 2013, 07:18:38 PM »
I've noticed a lot of talk in AARs about AI behavior. Now since I've been playing SMACX for ten or so years I've noticed that the computer controls factions tend to behave in certain ways. You can always count on Yang to cluster his bases tight together or Miriam to spread them out.

I always sort of took this for granted, but in reading threads on this forum I've seen people refer to AI behavior on a level that I've never been aware of. Stuff like Zakharov going atrocity crazy, Aki stabbing you in the back mid-late game or Morgan being generally kind of dumb.

Based on what people have determined about the game's coding, what determines this AI behavior? And when building a custom faction, what determines how they function during the course of the game?

Offline JarlWolf

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 07:26:02 PM »
A few things:

Their selected ideologies and anti-ideologies

Their bonuses (especially society stats)

Their selected emphasis, and their toggled behaviour patterns. (Like use of force levels from yes, sometimes and no, which respectfully makes a average aggression level, aggressive to pacifist in order) and that's the gist of it. There is more to it but the AI behaves based on the stats you give them and it tries to play out its strengths. Some of the more experienced coders and other folks similar like Yitzi are probably more knowledgeable on this subject, but that's the basics of it.





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Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 07:41:47 PM »
I pinged Darsnan about this - he's an expert in this old-school AI stuff.

Offline JarlWolf

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 09:10:09 PM »
I'm actually interested in this too: Because I want to be able to create distinct personalities in game. My factions behave accordingly mind, they do what I expect them to do but I'd like things to be a little bit more advanced, while Sepsu does do the tactics that make him fearsome and he likes economic ties and growth, I don't like him being so friendly with other factions, especially the Crimson Comrades.


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Offline Darsnan

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 03:10:32 PM »
An AI is like a musician in a band/ orchestra/ chorus/ jazz ensemble/ etc.: you give the musician a sheet of music (i.e. the faction.txt), he then follows the lead of the conductor (alphax.txt), and he plays his part in the greater scheme of things. However its up to you the modder  to ensure all the musicians mesh: you provide the sheets of music, and you pick the conductor. If you don't give an AI the correct sheet of music, he's not going to play his part coherently. And if you pick the wrong conductor for the music, the music isn't going to sound right, even if each musician is given a superior score to play. So its up to you the modder to ensure that each musician in your band/ orchestra/ chorus/ jazz ensemble, etc. are playing to the same music, and that the conductor you choose brings out the best in each of the musicians.
And therein lies a problem, as there is only one conductor (i.e. there is only one alphax.txt), but he needs to be able to bring out the best in all the musicians regardless of the musical format (everything from huge waterworlds to fungal encrusted planetoids), and that's just not going to happen. That's why I am such a fan of scenarios, as I can choose the best conductor who will bring out the best in each of the musicians for a given musical score (i.e. I can sculpt the alphax.txt to its intended environment). I think if there is ever an AC2, that in order to get the AIs to play to their best, that there is a host of alphax.txt files, each sculpted to the environment it is intended for: this would greatly improve the AIs' competency for any given environment their supposed to play in.

while Sepsu does do the tactics that make him fearsome and he likes economic ties and growth, I don't like him being so friendly with other factions, especially the Crimson Comrades.

Yang hates Democracy, Lal hates Police State. You just need to provide the analogy for Sepsu and the Crimson Comrades in their faction.txt files, and that will be fixed.

HTH,

D

Offline Yitzi

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 04:41:15 PM »
Some of the more experienced coders and other folks similar like Yitzi

Not me; my knowledge of the AI is very limited.  Kyrub's the one you want.

Offline JarlWolf

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 10:24:41 PM »
Mind Sepsu likes the Comrades until they get Planned economics: its just that the Comrade's don't have access to planned immediately so a relationship can occur until then. Sepsu is a Free Market economy ideologist who is against planned.


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Offline Green1

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 05:58:40 AM »
In facedit, you also have "use of force". That determines some aggressiveness. But, there is also the SE aversion and SE choice. Aliens are almost always totally aggressive and ALWAYS at war with each other.

For instance, The Exterminatus who will be unveiled seem to be insane at flooding the field with units. But, their PLANET rating is crappy and this balances out on the abundant lifeform maps I play on. So far, they are the perfect companion for antimind. Its 50-50.

As far as SE choices, I find - and this is what hurts Morgan - the AI does not know the tricks to Free Market. I try to avoid forcing FM on an AI. 

Other than that, I am not sure. I have seen the AI do really stupid stuff. I have also seen them do devious evil things.

Unrelated, but this may have something to do with it, too. Back when Civ 4 had just came out, there was a discussion on Civ Fanatics about 4x AI. Someone had let out that they did not make the AI all bad ass because it would beat everyone and would not have a sandbox feel. Hence, the AI did not play like a MP game. It was said they had to compromise in Civ 4. They added an "aggressive AI" button in the game. This was the "real" AI. Go figure.


Offline Sigma

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 02:31:51 PM »
So what I'm getting from this is that there's not some secondary source of AI behavior beyond alphax.txt and the individual faction .txts, and all of that said behavior can be traced to some value or toggle in one of those two files.

Offline Green1

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 07:52:30 PM »
So what I'm getting from this is that there's not some secondary source of AI behavior beyond alphax.txt and the individual faction .txts, and all of that said behavior can be traced to some value or toggle in one of those two files.

Correct.

But, all of this is in context with the source code which has high level call functions. Unfortunately, we can not see that. Only one attempt for SMAX AI improvement has been made. That is Kyrub's SMAX patch PLUS. It only addresses AI terraforming on a basic level. It taught them to use a condensor, but sadly, no one has taught the AI proper crawler use.

Sadly, too, Kyrub does most of his work for SMAC and despises the expansion. He also considers his work done and is not on any forums atm.

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Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 06:59:27 AM »
Quote
Sadly, too, Kyrub does most of his work for SMAC and despises the expansion. He also considers his work done and is not on any forums atm.

time for a "Kyrub appreciation thread"?
Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

Offline Sigma

Re: Tell me about AIs
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 05:55:43 PM »
So what I'm getting from this is that there's not some secondary source of AI behavior beyond alphax.txt and the individual faction .txts, and all of that said behavior can be traced to some value or toggle in one of those two files.

Correct.

But, all of this is in context with the source code which has high level call functions. Unfortunately, we can not see that. Only one attempt for SMAX AI improvement has been made. That is Kyrub's SMAX patch PLUS. It only addresses AI terraforming on a basic level. It taught them to use a condensor, but sadly, no one has taught the AI proper crawler use.

Sadly, too, Kyrub does most of his work for SMAC and despises the expansion. He also considers his work done and is not on any forums atm.
Interesting. I'm going to have to run Kyub's patches when I test my Faction Pack.

So is there a general, across the board cut in AI performance in SMAX, or does it pertain just to the new factions?

 

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