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One reason I haven't made scenarios for CM


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I used to make scenario for CM but I haven't in many years. Since CM2 came out.

Today I was browsing the repository and not finding a lot of scenarios, the idea popped into my head I'd make my own in the weekend and share it.

But the next thought that came into mind after was: 'oh no, I can't figure the AI stuff' and I remembered that was what stopped from making a scenario last time too, a few years back.

Just thought you'd like to know :-)

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I used to make scenario for CM but I haven't in many years. Since CM2 came out.

Today I was browsing the repository and not finding a lot of scenarios, the idea popped into my head I'd make my own in the weekend and share it.

But the next thought that came into mind after was: 'oh no, I can't figure the AI stuff' and I remembered that was what stopped from making a scenario last time too, a few years back.

Just thought you'd like to know :-)

Have you had a look at JonS's tutorial on scenario building? It's here: http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=110294

The AI bit isn't til later, but perhaps it would help you over this hurdle.

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Indeed. Adding decent AI is easy, but time that it takes to test and tweak scenarios is too much for me.

I have made maybe over dozen custom maps. Added forces and prepared couple of scenarios, but all half done. But I'm very happy to say that I have made four scenarios for Normandy. I liked French countryside with bocage and close fighting a lot.

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I looked over the chapter in the guide that concerns AI and sadly must report it is way beyond me. I'm not the programming type :-)

Hey maps are always welcome - period. For those folks who like to do quick battles HTH, it doesn't need any AI. They can just name them to be included in the QB set and off they go.

If you are not comfortable with the AI, but are into spending lots of time making nicely detailed maps I am sure they would be greatly appreciated.

To be honest (at least pre trigger) the AI isn't that hard to do. What is hard is understanding how long it may take the player to move and where they are likely to go. THAT is the difficult part. A phenomenal AI plan doesn't work so well if the player does something completely unexpected that makes the whole plan moot.

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To be honest (at least pre trigger) the AI isn't that hard to do. What is hard is understanding how long it may take the player to move and where they are likely to go. THAT is the difficult part. A phenomenal AI plan doesn't work so well if the player does something completely unexpected that makes the whole plan moot.

It makes player tempo possibly the most important thing for the player to get a good result. If you can get further, faster, than the designer anticipated, any designed "clever tricks" may well fall into the "bonehead maneuver" category. I wonder if that has had an effect on how people play the game. It also means that if the "clever trick" is a retrograde maneuvering defense, and the player is slower than the designer anticipated, the attackers just end up with a catastrophic end-of-map assault on an over-compressed defensive setup, having spent the first 3/4 of the alloted time wondering where the enemy is, and they miss out on all the designer's artistry with AI plans...

Triggers are going to make things much better [he said, confidently].

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I really hope that the triggers may have a time clock attached to each. For example, if a player is slow and hasn't reached a certain objective (possibly secret to the player) by a certain time, AI plan X goes into effect. If the player gets units there earlier, AI plan Y goes into effect. That sort of thing.

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I suspect a lot of scenario projects have died from the designer being over-ambitious. Scenarios and AIs are as easy or as difficult as the designer makes them. I've seen people give themselves fits intricately crafting this-and-that when something simple and straightforward would have worked just as well and would be just as fun to play.

A minor thing about the coming AI improvement. One advancement was simply in the wording! The current "Exit After 0:00/Exit Before 0:00" timing, which managed to confuse everybody was simply renamed "Exit between 0:00/...and 0:00". Which means an AI controlled unit will complete its move to the next waypoint (for example) between the 10th min and the 13th minute of gameplay. Exactly the same as before but much easier to comprehend. :)

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Yep. Start with something really small - a platoon(-) vs a section(+) on a 500x500 map, with maybe one vehicle in total - and you won't have to juggle too many moving parts. Once you've mastered the mechanics, released it, and gathered some feedback, then move on to something a little bigger (company(-) vs platoon(+) on a map that's around 800 x 800).

Once you've got those under your belt and working reasonably well you'll find the additional workload of a bn vs bn scenario on a map that's 2km x 2km is reasonable tractable. Believe me when I say that I understand the temptation to throw everything including the kitchen sink into your first scenario, but starting with a big one is the single best shortcut to frustration and disappointment.

The bonus is that people really seem to enjoy little scenarios, and will happily play a well made one over and over.

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I really hope that the triggers may have a time clock attached to each. For example, if a player is slow and hasn't reached a certain objective (possibly secret to the player) by a certain time, AI plan X goes into effect. If the player gets units there earlier, AI plan Y goes into effect. That sort of thing.

Erwin, I believe that's the case. A trigger is attached to a plan, and that plan can have an expiry time - so for example your platoon doesn't sit, waiting for ever for the enemy to appear at a given point. If the expiry time is reached then the AI moves on to the next plan.

As Collingwood says, there's a default timer that will move the plan on if the trigger isn't pulled, but AIUI, that will always be "plan X", not "plan Y" since plans are, at least for now, still linear and unbranched.

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A minor thing about the coming AI improvement. One advancement was simply in the wording! The current "Exit After 0:00/Exit Before 0:00" timing, which managed to confuse everybody was simply renamed "Exit between 0:00/...and 0:00".

Oh that is awesome - I always have to think about what the old wording means and it hurts my poor little head :D

Which means an AI controlled unit will complete its move to the next waypoint (for example) between the 10th min and the 13th minute of gameplay. Exactly the same as before but much easier to comprehend. :)

Oh, no wait. I thought the exit between times controlled how long the unit would stay in the painted location before heading off on the next order. Are you saying the exit between times for one order leg are for when they will finish the order to the next location and not when they start the next leg? Ack, I'm going to have to read the manual and JonS's thread again.

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There's a couple of new changes coming with Upgrade 3.0 that will take a bit more sting out of the AI making process. One is the UI change MikeyD mentioned. Small, but definitely helpful. Also, the two timers are linked so that when you lower/raise one beyond what the other can handle, the other timer adjusts automatically. Kinda hard to explain, but it does make things less error prone (actually, this might have been in for a while, I forget!).

The bit thing coming are simple AI Triggers. On the one hand these complicate the mechanics of making the AI Plans, but on the other hand it greatly diminishes the need for twitchy workarounds. Which hopefully results in less time/frustration to get an even better end result.

Believe me, if I could snap my fingers and improve one aspect of CM without sacrificing other aspects of the game, it would be the AI stuff. We all want it to be easier to use and more flexible. We're working towards that, but it's tough to do considering all the other stuff we have to sort through.

Steve

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