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This is sad and heart breaking to say the least, but Scott and Rich are right.

I think it's safe to say the game was a disaster, but I hope it doesn't deter Brit. He has indeed shown himself to be a great programmer dedicated to his work. But reality check he also has to make a living. Perhaps he can join a major publisher and create and clone game just like this one. The game is fantastic both in concept and practice, it just needs the right execution.

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Sometimes the AI wins and sometimes you win. If you can win against the AI sometimes then there is nothing substancially wrong with it.

Come on give Brit a break he did a fantastic job! Now he has to make a living.

If I had to choose between eating and satisfying wingers, I know what I would choose!

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Nobody is saying he shouldn't eat. Many indie devs work full time and work on their games afterwards.

Who cares if sometimes you win and sometimes the AI wins? The AI is broken. It should never have been released this way a year ago. It should have been fixed sometime during the last year. Stop making excuses for someone who published a broken game and refuses to fix it.

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Who cares if sometimes you win and sometimes the AI wins?

I do. If I won easily all the time against the AI then I wouldn't play the game. If I

lost consistently (after learning the game) then I wouldn't play further. Being in

suspense while playing is the optimum for me. Whether the AI sees all or doesn't, if

the game is a challenge and feels like I'm up against competent play, that is what

satisfies me.

The AI is broken. It should never have been released this way a year ago.

Sez you. As far as I'm concerned, the AI is fine. It could be better, but for the amount

of money I spent on the game, it is acceptable.

It should have been fixed sometime during the last year.

Well, during the year, I believe the AI did improve. Perhaps not enough

for your taste, though I am happy with the work done. Especially since

I didn't have to spend any bucks for the improvements.

Stop making excuses for someone who published a broken game and refuses to fix it.

Fortunately, most of us are in support of freedom of speech, even for those who do

not think others should have it. So please continue your constructive criticisms, and

allow those who disagree the courtesy of the same.

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Bugwar, I'm happy you're satisfied with an all-seeing AI. If playing a game against an AI that knows where all your units are and knows all your moves gives you satisfaction then good for you.

You said if you won easily all the time you wouldn't play. Playing against an AI that sees all is at least as bad. There are tactics you can't do because the AI will see what you're doing. So if you like frustration, continue playing against an all-seeing AI. Sooner or later you'll catch on and will give it up. There are plenty of good games out there that don't cheat like this. In fact I don't know of another one that does. Nobody would buy it. And nobody would have bought this one if the problem was widely known.

An all-seeing AI is a broken AI. It needs to be fixed. Even Brit agrees it needs to be fixed. It's only you and a few other kool aid drinkers who don't agree.

Every forum has kool aid drinkers. No matter how bad a game is, no matter what's wrong with it, the game is great and the dev is great.

It doesn't matter if you win or lose sometimes. The AI is still broken. It doesn't matter if Brit has improved the AI over the last year. It's still broken. It doesn't need to be improved more. It needs to be fixed.

If you think it's fine to play against a broken AI, good for you. I don't. And my freedom of speech is just as important as yours.

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Most of peoples criticisms of you Rich are not a total disagreement with your ideas, but the petulant and childlike way you castigate a decent developer who has put many hours and much effort into a solid creation.

If you tried to show a shred of respect for someones work, then people might look at what you have to say.

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You haven't read my posts much, have you? You haven't seen my efforts to promote this game on other forums including Matrix Games, have you?

I have consistently said this is a great game. It has a huge amount of potential. It could be an all time classic. If I didn't feel so positive about this game I wouldn't waste my time posting about it. That's why I feel so bad. It's so close. If Brit would fix the AI like he said he would (and add a terrain editor) along with fixing those last few bugs this game would stay on my hard drive for a very long time. So close yet so far.

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You haven't read my posts much, have you? You haven't seen my efforts to promote this game on other forums including Matrix Games, have you?

I have consistently said this is a great game. It has a huge amount of potential. It could be an all time classic. If I didn't feel so positive about this game I wouldn't waste my time posting about it. That's why I feel so bad. It's so close. If Brit would fix the AI like he said he would (and add a terrain editor) along with fixing those last few bugs this game would stay on my hard drive for a very long time. So close yet so far.

Now that's a good post. Praise mixed with subtle hints of other, and almost no

button pushing phrases. I wish I could write as well as this example when I am

displeased with an issue.

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As Rich said, please provide a link where you got the information that the AI is all seeing.

Game Options: (Notice FoW is set to BOTH sides)

WitEFOW.jpg

As far as Gary Grigsby's War in the East, I looked up some on google and discovered that the AI ignores those settings. Here's a link to the information:

3.3.3. GAME OPTIONS

...

Fog of War (FOW): On/Off for each player. If checked on, human players are limited by FOW rules (see section 13.2) The default setting is FOW off.

...

13.2. FOG OF WAR (FOW)

...

Note that computer players are not affected by FoW, however, the AI does have the same DL [Detection Level affects combat results] restrictions as human players.

...

The AI knows strategically where all enemy units are. However, it plays by the tactical rules of the detection level of units. So it must fly recon to increase detection levels of enemy units just as a human player should. Is knowing where the enemy a big handicap? Yes. Is it needed. Yes. We think the AI plays in it's own fog of war and doesn't need additional fog of war. It does not use the information nearly as well as a human would. In fact, other than trying to get a handle on where major German armor concentrations are located, it really doesn't use the information at all (and most of the time it's fairly obvious where the German armor is). If you want to play against a capable AI this cheat is imperative. It may prevent some ability for strategic surprise, but the computer is not thinking very strategically anyway, and it is very hard to pull off strategic surprise. Tactically, it really isn't taking advantage of the extra information. This isn't the first Grigsby game where the AI ignores FOW.

Source: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ArOB8LPvJZ4J:www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp%3Fgo%3Dnext%26m%3D2662396%26viewType%3Dtm+%22Gary+Grigsby%22+%22war+in+the+east%22+AI+knowledge+cheats&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

It's actually uncommon for game AI to use actual fog of war.

As far as continuing to work on the game full-time, I think you'd understand and sympathize with my situation better if I explained what happened financially - and how much of the development cost I ended up taking as a loss. So, I'll post that information tomorrow.

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Brit,...sadly enough no matter of symapthy for the financials of this game is going to make me get over buying a game that isnt going to be finished. I paid full price,...I want all of what I paid for. Including an AI that doesnt cheat. If I didnt pay FULL price for this game, then maybe I wouldnt feel this way.

You can make a list a mile long of games that cheat,.....and I will say the same thing,...I wont buy a single one of them if I know that the AI cheats,......and another game doing it the wrong way doesnt excuse any other game,including this one, doing it the wrong way.

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I have bought unfinished products in my time. This is not an unfinished product, it is a product which was being improved AFTER release. Which is more than I can say for the majority of any developers let alone indie developers.

I think some people here have mistaken Brits dedication to improving a finished product with pushing an unfinished one. Brit has stated his situation and no amount of whining is going to change it. Lets agree to disagree ;)

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It's actually uncommon for game AI to use actual fog of war.

I don't believe this for a minute. Now you're just making excuses.

I know for a fact that Empire Enhanced does use actual fog of war. That game is similar to EoS. It was written by a single person. Proof that it can be done.

At this point nobody expects you to work on the game full time. Right now it's 98% done. What we'd like is the other 2%. Finish the AI. Fix any leftover bugs. Work on it after hours. Take a few weeks. Don't take what is an unfinished product and call it a day. Honor what you said you would do. You owe it to your customers.

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I have bought unfinished products in my time. This is not an unfinished product, it is a product which was being improved AFTER release. Which is more than I can say for the majority of any developers let alone indie developers.

I think some people here have mistaken Brits dedication to improving a finished product with pushing an unfinished one. Brit has stated his situation and no amount of whining is going to change it. Lets agree to disagree ;)

If your post wasn't so outright asinine we could agree to disagree.

A majority of indie developers do NOT leave products that are as unfinished as EoS, with this AI. I challenge you to backup your ridiculous statement or retract it.

This is especially true when the game is published by a reputable company like Battlefront. Let's ask Moon or Steve, how many other wargames published by BFC have this all-seeing AI? How long would BFC get away with publishing Shock Force with the all-seeing AI?

I have not seen in years a game that was published and then not serviced afterwards so Brit has been the rule and not the exception. Some are serviced more than others. EoS, when released, still needed a lot.

The reason there were so many updates after release was because the game was so far from being finished at that time I felt we were still in beta months later. But I was patient because it looked like Brit would be honorable and get it right. And I was wrong.

If I had a dollar for every time I've read on a forum that that particular dev gave great service where so many didn't I'd be rich. Indie devs in particular give better service than large companies imo.

Actually I thought Brit had a full time job all along during the last year. The number of updates and the amount in them indicated that. Plus a lot of indie devs do work a full time job and publish in their spare time.

Calling this whining does nothing more than show your immaturity.

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Let me add that I dont care if it takes a few weeks or a few months. Work on it with some of your spare time,........just dont walk away with the AI able to see everything. A big part of the game is exploring whats under the fog of war,....an even bigger part is NOT seeing whats out of your sight. The AI being able to see and know everything is a HUGE cheat and yes it does ruin some key aspects of the game.

I also want to add that I may have seemed a bit harsh in my last post,....but the point I was trying to make is pretty simple.........every job I have had I was expected to finish,....no matter how I was coming out on it,...no matter what state my personal finances were in,....am I really wrong wanting the same?

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I can see that reason doesn't filter into your brain, so I'll be ignoring this thread from now on.

'I don't believe this for a minute. Now you're just making excuses.'

He provided a source, any educated individual knows to provide a source when claiming outrageous claims. If you provide one for this maybe someone will listen.

I believe however it is more likely you are ill informed in programming and are infact planely wrong.

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I can see that reason doesn't filter into your brain, so I'll be ignoring this thread from now on.

'I don't believe this for a minute. Now you're just making excuses.'

He provided a source, any educated individual knows to provide a source when claiming outrageous claims. If you provide one for this maybe someone will listen.

I believe however it is more likely you are ill informed in programming and are infact planely wrong.

This post shows you don't pay attention. You have no idea what you're talking about.

Brit finally posted in this thread. BUT he didn't address any of our concerns. He simply tried to justify his decision and obfuscate.

I had already addressed Brit's issue in post #25 using the same source. That source had already been posted by someone else. So Brit's entire post was meaningless. It was cover your @ss time, nothing more.

When I said I didn't believe it and he was just making excuses I was answering only this quote of his.

"It's actually uncommon for game AI to use actual fog of war."

I base this on 30 years of buying and playing computer games, mainly computer wargames. I don't believe it and he's just making excuses.

You need to pay attention before posting and making a fool of yourself.

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I know for a fact that Empire Enhanced does use actual fog of war. That game is similar to EoS. It was written by a single person. Proof that it can be done.

What ever ended up happening with that? I googled to find out if EDEE had any AI cheats, and saw some of your posts critical of the AI in EDEE. (Example: "As shadows says, Gal Civ has a good ai as do a lot of games. Too bad EDEE isn't one of them. I played two complete games and the flaws that I, and several others on the forum, discovered literally make the game unplayable solo.")

The forum posts seemed to indicate that the EDEE developer wasn't going to improve the AI, but he was talking about allowing players to develop their own AI and put it into a DLL:

"When I and others brought these AI problems to Kinkead's attention on the Killer Bee forum he informed us he would not fix them because it would take him a minimum of three full time months and even then he couldn't guarantee an improvement. But he suggested that since the AI is open ended, although there are no instructions, some of his customers who are programmers might like to take the time to do this."

Did he end up working on the AI or did someone else? By 2007, he seemed to suggest that he still wasn't happy with how well the non-cheating AI actually functioned. In 2007, the developer of EDEE wrote:

"I believe I have learned my lesson in that I shouldn't be a "purist" and forbid cheating AI's to appear. Some games have cheating AI's that do a good job of appearing more human like instead of just "knowing the answer". So I am probably going to add a way for an AI player to cheat by means of getting information that it would otherwise not have in the game."

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It's a long story.

When I bought EDEE I expected it to be playable out of the box like EDIE was. It wasn't. The AI out of the box was terrible and I didn't have a clue why. I posted on his forum that the AI was terrible and needed to be fixed. Some people said I should shut up. Others said I should fix it myself. There were discussions back and forth and a lack of communication between Mark and me. He didn't really understand what I was looking for. I made public comments about the situation. As you know through the last year the AI in a game is very important to me.

Through osmosis I began to understand a bit how the EDEE AI worked. It took me a while to understand it since I had zero knowledge of this stuff. I'm not a modder or a programmer. Never wanted to be one. But EDEE is like a starter game and people can do with it whatever they want. It took me a long time to understand that.

I just like playing games. And Empire is my all time favorite. Mark and I had some words back and forth for a while. I was banned from his forum for a while. Through a few months of looking at the game I slowly began to understand it.

There are two levels. The AI.dll is the basic AI. It works very well. The units are aggressive. They expand well, etc. It does not cheat. The more complex units didn't do well. For example, the engineer built roads but not intelligently. More like random. But I wasn't interested in the more complex facets of the game anyway.

The second level is the script. There was a default script and an explanation of what each line meant. There's all kinds of stuff in the script including ROE for each unit in the unit database (unitdb).

Through time, months, I began to understand how the thing worked. I reworked the default script and the game was better. I contacted Mark and we worked things out. I published my mod. SoloMod. Over the last five years I've reworked it several times trying to continue to make it better. Each time I called it the "final" version and then a while later I'd think of a way to make it better. The last version was published about a month ago. If you look on the Yahoo Empire Deluxe forum you'll find it there. I don't believe I'm bragging when I say that if you want to play EDEE against the computer you'd better use my mod or you'll be against a poor AI.

Anyway, that's what happened. That situation was completely different than this one. I really don't like conflicts and this has me somewhat frazzled. If this was something I could work on like the EDEE script I would. But there's no way. You could give me the source code and I wouldn't touch it. Like the EDEE AI.dll is open source. Mark always hoped modders would develop additional ones but it never happened.

I think EoS is a better game because it uses wego, has a great ruleset, more flexibility, etc etc. But the AI is very important. You and I have discussed this all year. The all-seeing AI is a game killer for me as it is for virtually every war gamer who has been around for a while. I really hope you change your mind and work on it in your spare time. I'm serious when I say this game, with just a couple improvements from its current state, could be an all time classic.

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When I said I didn't believe it and he was just making excuses I was answering only this quote of his.

"It's actually uncommon for game AI to use actual fog of war."

I base this on 30 years of buying and playing computer games, mainly computer wargames. I don't believe it and he's just making excuses.

It could be the case that the AIs of those games were merely good enough to fool you into thinking they don't cheat. In my 20 years of playing and occasional beta testing of computer games I believe the quotes Brit offered below that you could work for months on a purist non-cheating AI and have the game experience still be much worse than it is now.

The problem with EoS AI now is not that it knows where your units are, it is that it is allowed to act upon that information and route interceptors to your units in very unrealistic ways. IOW the quote Brit offered about War in the East only appearing to be bound by the same rules as a human is very relevant.

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In the quote Brit provided the strategic AI knew where the enemy was somewhat. But the tactical AI still needed to search just like a human. I don't find that too unrealistic for a ww2 game like WitE. The game is divisions and corps. In RL intel would generally have a basic idea where the enemy's large units like that were within a realistic distance.

EoS is different than WitE. A large part of the game is finding the enemy strategically. So if the AI knew that and was able to act on it then the game is ruined. Even worse is if the AI knew where enemy units are tactically and acted on it the game is ruined even more.

However, if the AI knew but was unable to act on the knowledge and needed to explore/search just like a human in order to act on the knowledge then I don't see a problem with that offhand.

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When I bought EDEE I expected it to be playable out of the box like EDIE was. It wasn't. The AI out of the box was terrible and I didn't have a clue why. I posted on his forum that the AI was terrible and needed to be fixed. Some people said I should shut up. Others said I should fix it myself. There were discussions back and forth and a lack of communication between Mark and me. He didn't really understand what I was looking for. I made public comments about the situation. As you know through the last year the AI in a game is very important to me...

Interesting. I tried his Empire game a number of years back. I played something like 100 turns when the demo ended, then I looked at the map and discovered that the AI player hadn't left his starting island. I kind of passed-off the game at that point. Maybe I happened to grab the game demo when the AI was still really bad.

Also, I ran a test last night with EDEE to check if it was cheating. I setup a scenario where there were only a few widely spaced islands. I wanted to see if his transports would magically know where the other islands were. The AI flew his planes out to their maximum range, couldn't see any other islands, and, while his ships didn't go out exploring to find some new islands*, they didn't make a straight-path to the other islands (which would've been evidence of cheating). So, I have to give him credit for that - it doesn't look like it's cheating.

* The situation where your aircraft can't find new landmasses probably doesn't happen very much in randomly generated maps, so it's probably not a terrible bug that his ships weren't going out to find new landmasses.

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HAHA. I'm not surprised the AI player hadn't left his starting island. That's a lot of what I complained about back then. The AI was simply terrible. Still is, the game default script hasn't changed. I don't know if it's possible to use mods in the demo, but if it is, I suggest you download my mod and try it. You'll find a 180 degree difference. The last game I played, by 70 turns or so the AI had me beat and I resigned. This was a case of watch out what you wish for. It took me five+ years to get the AI script along with the unitdb and config to this point.

Btw, there are sliders for the percentage of water/land and for islands/continents (among other things) so you can set it up in the config to never have that aircraft problem. And with my mod the AI will make destroyers that will go out and explore. That can all be setup in the script.

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In the quote Brit provided the strategic AI knew where the enemy was somewhat. But the tactical AI still needed to search just like a human. I don't find that too unrealistic for a ww2 game like WitE. The game is divisions and corps. In RL intel would generally have a basic idea where the enemy's large units like that were within a realistic distance.

Rich, this was Joel Billings' quote about WITE? The AI does know tactically and strategically where all enemy units are. How could it know strategically but not tactically? If you reread his comments, the AI still has to fly air recon to increase the detection levels of enemy units, which it already knows where they are, not to "find" them but to affect ground combat results. There's no "somewhat" about the AI knowing where all enemy units are in WITE. In case you're interested in knowing what you're talking about...

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Rich, this was Joel Billings' quote about WITE? The AI does know tactically and strategically where all enemy units are. How could it know strategically but not tactically? If you reread his comments, the AI still has to fly air recon to increase the detection levels of enemy units, which it already knows where they are, not to "find" them but to affect ground combat results. There's no "somewhat" about the AI knowing where all enemy units are in WITE. In case you're interested in knowing what you're talking about...

I see you're still snarky. Are you even capable of carrying on a normal conversation?

I really don't care about WitE. Not my kind of game so I wouldn't buy it regardless. The only reason it's in this thread is someone brought it up as an example of another game that has an all-seeing AI. But who cares, really?

WitP is an entirely different kind of game from EoS. Comparing the two is like apples and oranges anyway. So your whole point, whatever it was, is immaterial.

This entire discussion is really moot. Brit has already said he won't fix the AI. So this game goes on the trash heap. If any of you want to play H2H or against a crap AI, go for it.

If you reply, try doing it without being snarky, if you're capable.

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