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Brit

Version 1.01.15821

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Rich, Joel Billings is one of the 2by3 Games developers, so if he says something then it's worth paying attention. Being one of the more successful wargame development teams in this niche market, it is instructive to see what they're doing that actually works versus idealistic expectations for something more. If AI performance is optimized with FOW disabled, then fine. That's not exactly a huge design flaw or game breaking bug, and not worth ranting about. What matters is whether the computer opponent(s) provide competent and challenging gameplay. IMHO, EOS provides decent gameplay. It's a fun little game. Again, thanks to Brit for doing what he's done so far with his limited resources to bring back an updated Empires game.

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I'm getting a bit sick and tired of you playing fanboy. And your condescension. Watch my lips here.

Brit had already said he was going to take out the all seeing AI. He knows it needs to be changed. That's not in question. He already knows it.

Then he said he was discontinuing working on the game.

So I asked a simple question. Was he still going to make that change or not. That's not a rant. That's asking a question. What is your friggin problem?

If in your humble opinion you want to play against a broken AI that's your privilege. If IMHO I don't, that's mine.

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Rich,

I'm getting sick and tired of your attitude!

Brit says that unfortunately it's not financially viable for him to continue to develop the game as he has been. And what do you do, you jump in and say give me what I want.

Sorry but it's a good game as it is now!

Stephen

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Real frankly slaver I don't give a **** about your opinion.

I paid for the game and I'd like an answer as to whether or not a huge bug will be fixed. The AI is broken. If you like playing a game with a broken AI then fine. But I don't.

What we need is for Brit to come on the forum and let us know if this will be fixed or not. I'm getting sick and tired of all the kool aid drinkers coming on the forum giving me a hard time for asking a simple question.

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I'm not looking for Brit to reply to the nonsense. Just to answer the question. If he's not going to fix it, I'll simply put the game away and forget it. No problem. There are just too many games out there with decent AIs that don't cheat like this one. But if he's going to fix it in a reasonable period of time I'll hold on and start playing when it's ready.

I didn't start these flame wars. Just responded to bs posts. EoS is basically a good game and Brit is a fine person. It's unfortunate the game didn't sell better and we're left with a bad situation.

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Hi guys. Thanks for the support. Just thought I'd drop in and answer a few questions. The question about the omniscient AI: I don't think it's feasible for me to get together an AI that's using real fog of war. It's something that's a real challenge to do, and getting it working properly would be quite a bit of work. And, by "working properly" I mean that the AI can compensate for this lack of knowledge with a much increased skill in playing the game. Sorry.

It's not terribly uncommon to have all-knowing AIs, though I'm not offering that as an excuse so much as to say that it's an indication of the difficulty of creating a capable AI that deals with a fog of war. For example, I've caught the Civ 3 AI using information that I know he didn't have. (By the way, here's a video of the Civilization AI programmer giving a talk about the Civ 3 and Civ 4 AI, and answers some questions about information cheats.

Jump to 29:00 to hear about an invasion cheat and also 49:30 when someone asks a question about information cheats.) As a game-player, I know it sucks when you see the AI doing something it shouldn't know.

(As a side note, I was surprised that the Civilization AI programmer said that their AI only has 25,000 lines of code, as I'm pretty sure EOS uses more than that.)

I should be posting some more reflections on things in the near future.

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The question about the omniscient AI: I don't think it's feasible for me to get together an AI that's using real fog of war.

So you arent going to fix something you said you were going to fix..............something you intentionally broke as a workaround,.....and are going to leave us stuck with the workaround,.................. not a good call..........

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So you arent going to fix something you said you were going to fix..............something you intentionally broke as a workaround,.....and are going to leave us stuck with the workaround,.................. not a good call..........

+1

Couldn't have said it better myself.

What's tragic is I've been pushing for work on the AI over the last year. This could have been done. Instead there was too much time devoted to non-essentials like the map of North Africa. It's a real shame. This game could have been an all-time classic.

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AI code is really a ton of work for a game like this (no prior knowledge of the game setup or map). I can understand why that would be out of the scope one person working in his spare time (now anyway) could handle.

Of course, since pretty much every game written uses AI opponents I wonder how much the code bases have in common with each other. Is there some open source database out there or a research forum on these? Sounds like a good topic for someones Phd :)

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AI code is really a ton of work for a game like this

Maybe. But other indy devs do it. It's really something that is MANDATORY if you're going to publish a game. If you can't handle it then don't try to sell the game. The fact that this game was sold for months without anyone knowing about this problem isn't good. Regardless of the work involved, providing a decent AI without all-seeing is a moral obligation. But it looks like it's not gonna happen.

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The fact that this game was sold for months without anyone knowing about this problem isn't good.

The fact that this game sold for months without people knowing about the problem obviously means it isnt nearly as detrimental to the game as a couple of people here suggest.

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This is a thread with a poll asking what should be worked on next. The tactical AI wins with 44% of the vote with diplomatic AI is 2nd with 19%. A clear indication of what the game owners wanted fixed.

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=93418

This a post about the all seeing AI, why its horrible in a game like this and Brit saying he would like to fix it.

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=93724

These are the patch notes from the last 2 months. Notice all the things added and fixed that have nothing to do with the AI? The item which most people wanted fixed.........

Now you should be able to figure out why those of us who have owned the game since the very beginning, and who have waited patiently for these things to be fixed might be a little upset that it isnt fixed yet, and according to Brit isnt worth the time he would have to put in to fix,...... We love hearing that fixing what we paid for isnt worth it............

Version 1.01.15821

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Notable Fixes and Improvements:

- Fixed bug: nukes would sometimes explode in the wrong location

- The Foreign Relations window can be resized, and the game restores the window's last size and position

- Changed the AdHoc order system so units don't automatically leave forts to attack enemies

- Fixed an interface bug: sometimes players couldn't target any enemies in a group when there were multiple enemies in one location

- Fixed bug in the highlighting in the city-build window

Version 1.01.15702 Available

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just a small update.

- Fixed crash: there was a bug in the 'destroy improvement' save-game code.

- Fixed bug: the pause production flag was not being saved in the save-game file.

- Fixed some issues and made improvements to the EOS Messenger Application

- Fixed a bug in the updater

Version 1.01.15608 Available

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notable Fixes and Improvements:

- Made aircraft better about flying home automatically (when they do ad-hoc orders to attack something)

- Fixed a bug in the movement rate of ballistic missiles

- Added text descriptions to the range-lines of aircraft

- Rules Editor: Added the ability to remove upgrades

- Fixed a bug in the view-range of airfield improvements

- City Improvements can now be destroyed by their owner (but only at a rate of one per turn)

- Fixed Regression: Aircraft in groups wouldn't take off

- Adjusted the Official Rules:

. - Slowed down how quickly ballistic missiles move in the Official Rules (allowing players to see incoming missiles)

. - Increased the movement range of Missile (V2)

. - Renamed "Missile (V2)" to "Short Range Missile"

. - Reduced the price of "Short Range Missile" and "Medium Range Missile"

. - Increased the submarine-detection range of destroyers and cruisers

. - Increased the radar range of the City/Airfield Radar

. - The Nuclear SRBM no longer upgrades to the Nuclear ICBM

. - Reduced Missiles to 1 HP

Version 1.01.15411 Available

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notable Changes/Improvements:

- Added artillery-fire animations for artillery, cruisers, and battleships

- Changed the display of missile-smoke trails to make fuller smoke

- Fixed Bug: The scenario-editor discovered tool wasn't working correctly

- Fixed Bug: Aircraft inside a group inside a carrier can sometimes fly-back to the wrong location on the map

- Fixed Bug: There was a glitch in the animation system that would slow down the game over time

- Fixed Bug with the research and resource warnings popup

- The tech-research bar will appear even when the application-window width is short

- Fixed a few bugs in the rules editor

- Added debug and verification data to the PBEM system

__________________

Version 1.01.15126 Available

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notable Fixes/Improvements:

- Fixed a crash

- Changed the unit-description display shown inside the city-build window

- Fixed bug: 'radar visible' aircraft and missiles were appearing on the map even though they were landed.

- Fixed bug: 'radar visible' missiles inside submarines were visible on the map, even though though the submarine itself was not visible

- Units inside other units no longer appear on the map (this means aircraft/missiles in carriers, troops in transports)

- Fixed bug: missiles would sometimes appear incorrectly after they were launched

- Fixed bug: nukes would sometimes not explode

Version 1.01.14937 Available

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notable Changed/Improvements:

- Added a new map: the NorthAfrica (Beta) map. This is not a World War 2 scenario, just a two-player map in North Africa.

- PBEM: Added a "Load Last Game" button to the main-menu interface, under "PBEM" and "Single Player" menus

- Added smoke pumes to cities based on the number of refugees

- Fixed Bug: the meetup times in the internet-chat would sometimes be wrong

- Fixed Bug: Units would sometimes get caught on terrain and couldn't move

- Fixed Bug: Aircraft were not returning home when they should (this bug was introduced in the last update, thanks to changes in the AdHoc order system)

- Fixed a bug with nuclear bombers: they'd sometimes destroy units they fly over

- Fixed Bug: combat sound effects were playing even when sound effects were turned off

Version 1.01.14765 Available

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notable Fixes/Improvements:

- Units will automatically capture resources and cities (with no defenders) if resources or cities are discovered

- Added the "Capitol" city-improvement. Only one capitol per nation. It gives a variety of advantages.

- Added a Large Factory city-improvement. The regular factory can be upgraded into a large factory.

- Changed the position of the city-window: it always appears on the left side of the application (instead of appearing in the center)

- Fixed Bug: VoiceChat data was sometimes taking a long time to reach the target

- PBEM, Fixed Bug: If a player creates a PBEM game while offline, the game warns the player.

- PBEM: Added a tab to the "PBEM Settings" window so players can see all the games on the server and their last update

- Rules Editor: city-improvements can be set to "one per nation" (like the capitol building)

- Rules Editor: Added a feature so that city-improvements can be upgraded (e.g. Factory can be upgraded to "Large Factory")

- Rules Editor: Added a feature so city-improvements can be automatically destroyed when captured (e.g. Capitols get destroyed)

Version 1.01.14506 Available

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This update was mostly about a bunch of smaller bugs with the game.

Notable Fixes and Improvements:

- Fixed Bug: Units can now attack stacks of (non-grouped) units

- Fixed Bug: There was a problem that would cause units to rotate incorrectly during game replay

- Forts are created by the random map generator

- Players can now pause production using the City-Build window's "pause production" button

- Added a warning if the player is about to submit a turn, and they need more research orders

- Fixed Bug: Units could see units they couldn't normally see if they were within 4 pixels of the other unit

- Fixed Bug: Sometimes random AI players would use the same flag as another player

- Fixed Bug: the note's meetup times were not displaying correctly

- Fixed a variety of bugs with the aircraft, including:

- - Fixed some display issues with aircraft

- - Fixed a bug in the aircraft paths - if it's setup to move to multiple airbases, the path could get messed up and crash the aircraft

- - Fixed Bug: groups of aircraft wouldn't immediately crash when they ran out of orders

- - Changed the interface to prevent the player from giving movement orders to locations it can't reach

- PBEM:

- - Fixed Bug: After a player submitted his turn, other players wouldn't get immediately notified of the turn submission.

- - The event files now contain the name of the game (for easy identification)

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I like the game as it is. The AI is not brilliant, but good enough to keep me on my toes.

It is unfortunate for some individuals to have unsatisfied desires in the game's

programming, but that is overall a good thing. Without their harping, the rest of us

would not realize just how much effort it takes to satisfy everyone. Considering the

ratio between the whining posts and the total volume of email in the forum, I think Brit

has a lot of support and has done a good job. He has my vote.

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I've talked some about Empire Enhanced made by Mark Kinkead at Killer Bee Software. Single dev. Similar game. Here's news for you folks. The AI doesn't cheat. It doesn't know any more than a human player. So, is the AI brilliant? No. Is it good enough? Yes. The basic AI is set up to search, expand, attack, etc. Just what you need in an Empire type game. And it doesn't cheat. EoS should do the same. The units need to all work the way they should, not make too many dumb mistakes and should have fog of war. When that is done and there aren't any glaring bugs the game will be finished. Right now it isn't.

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I like the game as it is. The AI is not brilliant, but good enough to keep me on my toes.

It is unfortunate for some individuals to have unsatisfied desires in the game's

programming, but that is overall a good thing. Without their harping, the rest of us

would not realize just how much effort it takes to satisfy everyone. Considering the

ratio between the whining posts and the total volume of email in the forum, I think Brit

has a lot of support and has done a good job. He has my vote.

To be completely fair,.....and as evidenced by the updates I listed above (there were 8 updates in two months time,....that is OUTSTANDING by any standard), Brit has done an excellent job. I completely understand that at some point you have to stop development on a project and move on to something that will actually make money.

BUT, the AI not being affected by fog of war is far too important a part of a game like this to leave unfinished. One of the BASIC features of the game is exploration/expansion. Not to mention units like paratroopers, subs, etc,...which are relatively useless in EoS with the all seeing AI.

Yes Brit has done an outstanding job with this game,...thats why it woud be a shame to leave a fundamental part of the game broken.

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The fact that this game sold for months without people knowing about the problem obviously means it isnt nearly as detrimental to the game as a couple of people here suggest.

This makes no sense whatsoever. I mean, none.

How are people supposed to know? Let's say your sub goes for the AI battleship and will hit it in three turns. The AI sees it coming and sends a destroyer to intercept. So the AI sunk your sub by cheating. How would you know? People have been getting screwed by the AI all along and didn't have a clue.

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Sadly, if AI is made without the concept of fog of war in mind, it is often extremely difficult to fix.

In doing so, the AI must now calculate possible strategies instead of simple reactionary measures. The difference between the two is staggering.

One is artificial intelligence and must make real strategical decisions with the future in mind, the other is merely calculation of battle outcomes to form a superior result.

If you apply a band-aid fix to an AI that doesn't understand fog of war, it will completely annihilate its ability to fight properly. You will roll in with countless things the AI could not "see" or "predict" and it will lose every single time. If you give the CPU player knowledge of the players forces but not locations, it will match you but not strategically; it will constantly lose conflicts because it could not predict what your forces could be. Should it assume that your force is always the strongest where ever it goes, it will simply be vulnerable to surgical strikes and flanks before it can compensate. In any case, it will horribly exploitable unless done properly or is given cheats.

Unless the developer wants to invest a serious amount of time into this, which I'm pretty sure he doesn't, no amount of complaints into the issue will help.

It's too bad, because EOS is the only real war game I've ever managed to get my friends to play. Other than a few AI quirks, it is very exceptional in many ways, among hundreds of war games.

I hope that for the next game, if there is a next game, it will keep fog of war for the AI in mind; it is what sets apart a good AI from a calculator.

However, you'll find that it is rarely done properly, and even more rarely appreciated for it.

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Unless the developer wants to invest a serious amount of time into this, which I'm pretty sure he doesn't, no amount of complaints into the issue will help.

Well said. I'm sure Brit was well-intentioned when he commented about resolving the AI FOW issue. But that was then and this is now, sales have been sluggish, Brit is moving on, and that's real life. What's disturbing here are a couple of folks unwilling to accept this, insisting that Brit "owes" them hundreds or thousands of dollars at personal loss in additional development work for a $45 (now $20!) game. C'mon.

In fairness, I also appreciate an AI that uses FOW. The Strategic Command series does this and it works well, but as stated this is really something that should be coded from the start and not backfitted later. Perhaps a fix could be implemented to restrict specific unit spottings, such as for subs and paratroops, etc, in response to some of the harsher criticisms. But this would have to be something Brit works on as a hobby development effort from now on. Far better to help encourage him to continue doing what he can when he can, rather than kicking him when he's down and making a fuss.

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Brit has said he won't fix the AI and so nobody expects him to. Imo, playing against the computer opponent is worthless and a waste of time. So I'm going to chalk up the loss, move on, and continue playing Empire Enhanced.

But when the subject of EoS comes up on other game forums, instead of pushing the game like I've been doing, I'll be warning people against it.

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