Are you a human? Are you SURE?

By on December 3, 2008 1:17:15 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Medallions_Advanced_Foot_SoldersOne of the first things we're going to be beta testing for Elemental is a new way of doing computer AI. As some of you know, the main reason I got into development in the first place was to write computer AI for games.

Elemental is an opportunity to try some new things.  For example, the initial betas of Elemental are going to require the user to be on the Internet to play.  The reason is that the computer AI won't be inside the game itself but instead be implemented as AI players on the Impulse game cloud that we're building.

So you would, in effect, start up Elemental like you would a multiplayer game except that the people joining your game wouldn't be people. They would be AI people. And the AI work won't just be in how they play the game but how they behave -- in the lobby and elsewhere with the goal to make them feel like real people (except not jerks).

These AI players will have their own Impulse accounts with their own standings in the rankings, their own achievements, etc.  The code won't execute on your machine, it'll be all server-based.

The final version of the game, of course, will not require the user to be on the Internet. We will bundle a number of the AI players in with the game to play single player, off-line games.

But what I hope to do is to build a cloud of multiplayer AI players that I can constantly be updating and enhancing in near-real time based on the data I get back from them on how they were beat, what exploits were used against them, what chat messages were sent to it that it needs to respond to (I'll probably have it respond "no speako English" for the most part).

In the final version of the game, these AI bots will be out there ready to join on-line games.  We will give players the ability to discriminate against the robots if they have some sort of anti-robot issue and don't want them joining their multiplayer games. But the match-making system otherwise won't know which players are controlled by humans and which are controlled by the robots.

The nice thing is that for people who are used to playing with strangers on-line, the robots will help fill out the on-line community with people to play against who are explicitly designed to play like people (well like decent people not the people who drop immediately). 

I expect the first version of this to be included with Beta 1 of Elemental (i.e. this isn't some "future" thing) which we expect will be out this Spring.

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December 26, 2008 8:19:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NorsemanViking,
One more thing, Frogboy, I hope you will implement take over AIs for those human cowards who leave in the middle of games?

Considering the success of AI hot-swapping in Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead, it's pretty much got to become a basic feature for all multiplayer games from now on.  You should be able to both drop out and join late, if they really want to be thorough about it.

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December 26, 2008 10:29:35 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Keithustus,



Quoting NorsemanViking,
reply 20
One more thing, Frogboy, I hope you will implement take over AIs for those human cowards who leave in the middle of games?


Considering the success of AI hot-swapping in Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead, it's pretty much got to become a basic feature for all multiplayer games from now on.  You should be able to both drop out and join late, if they really want to be thorough about it.

I totaly agree. Left 4 Dead's AI hotswapping was a truly great feature. One of your friends not ready yet? Start the game anyway and he can join later.

Problem for RTS and especially 4x games: unless you are playing a casual game, the late player might not like the choices the AI made in the game up until that point. L4D AI doesn't pick up bombs/molotovs and sometimes wastes a first aid kit, but that's no biggie, you can make do until the next Saferoom. Little bit more difficult for long 4x games, you're stuck with the choices you've made unless you want to lose money + time to destroy/rebuild.

 

Anyway back to the Elemental AI: Firstly the bots are a great idea. I fondly remember Bots in Unreal Tournament killing you and then rubbing it in with a well timed vocal insult. Over time, re-occuring bot names made you go: oh noes, it's Bolt Vanderhuge again! All of a sudden you think of it as a persistant entity that has it in for you. RTS games get boring when you create a game and select: AI - Normal or AI - Hard. What you want to do is go: Hmmm who should I play against today? Lets go for the one AI I can't seem to beat: Bolt Vanderhuge!

*Player gets defeated*

Player: I'll get you next time Bolt Vanderhuuuugeeeeee! *Angry fist shake*

 

Last point: Allowing the community to edit or create AI routines would be pretty good. Modders can create some truly awesome stuff and having one really well crafted Robot with pages and pages of responses to player queries would be highly entertaining. You Stardock guys can only spend so much time on each bot (Which will also result in a lot of "No speake English" replies as Brad put it).

 

Food for thought: Surely SD wont spend the time to create individual tactics and strategies for each of the 200-300 bots other than individual responses to player queries. It's more likely that bots will be seperated into difficulty categories (Easy AI, Normal AI, Hard AI + maybe more) and each grade of bot will have identical strats but individualized chat responses.

Perhaps making a few flagship bots with more depth?  Sort of like rare Boss AIs. There's a lot of ways that can go.

 

Awesome stuff though, kudos to SD!

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January 1, 2009 9:09:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Vandenburg,

So I'll reword what I'd said: You argued that StarDock won't make a good AI because it's easier and cheaper to just give the AI bonuses (like the CivIV AI got) to make it competent and thus StarDock should make its AI routine open source so that the community can fix it.

I then said that StarDock won't be cheapskates and will ship the game with a good and competent AI. I.e. I argued that your basic premises were wrong (Elemental having a bad AI) and thus the point you were trying to argue obsolete

Well, not exactly. I agree that Stardock GC2 AI is better than AI in most other TBS (but it isn't the best IMHO), but still it's far from "competent" and it does stupid mistakes (i saw them with my eyes so i'll not bother arguing about it, i believe my eyes more than you). So, Elemental AI will probably be good too, but it may become even better if it will be open source, as it was with other games with open source AI. And i argued that there is no point to hide an AI code.

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January 1, 2009 3:21:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

AIs that make stupid mistakes on occaision are more realistic than AIs who never make mistakes at all.

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January 3, 2009 6:42:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I remember that one of the definitions of a good AI by one of the game AI developers is that "AI shouldn't do stupid mistakes and it should lose to a player in a beautiful way". Or something like that.

In other words, AI shouldn't do something that makes players believe only AI is stupid enough to do it. When a player sees such mistakes, he understands that he's playing against AI, not against the alien mastermind or the wise king of the magic kingdom so such AI mistakes break the player immersion. Humans may be stupid enough to do such mistakes as well but it's an impression what counts.

And players should have fun beating the AI. For that, AI should provide a feeling of challenge - it shouldn't be too easy or too difficult and it should make an impression like AI is trying their best to win (AI shouldn't play at give-away).

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January 15, 2009 1:46:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd be curious to know what turn-based game AI is better than GalCiv II's where the scope is even remotely the same.

We take AI very seriously on our games. And I take the AI very personal since it's the part of the game I personally code.

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January 15, 2009 2:07:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Draginol,
I'd be curious to know what turn-based game AI is better than GalCiv II's where the scope is even remotely the same.

We take AI very seriously on our games. And I take the AI very personal since it's the part of the game I personally code.

 

I personally thinnk the AI in GalCiv2 is awesome. What I think the next step is, to make the AI a little less predictable. Although I will say GalCiV2 has surprised me a few times (which I like).

Maybe incorporate "mood swings", and maybe have some races that mood swings don't really affect (like Vulcans) but others that it may just be what phase the moon is in, they may be overall a peaceful race, but maybe the leader woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and so diplomacy isn't going as well as you would expect. Or maybe the Drengin have a once every ten year celebration where they ingest all kind of "feel good" substances and they might make an unexpected concession.

I just don't want the AI to be too predictable (and I think GalCiv2 does as good a job at this as anyone) you just don't want to KNOW exactly at what point you cross the line with someone, but  it can't be completely random either, or it is nonsense. The more you can make it unclear that you are dealing with an AI, the better, which is obviously what you are shooting for.

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January 15, 2009 3:54:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I want an AI that simulates a drunk adversary. Like a multiplayer game a friday evening, where the other player is drinking while playing.

As the game goes on, the other player gets more and more drunk.

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January 15, 2009 3:58:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

And uses Beer Cavalry...

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January 15, 2009 7:35:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

OMG Winty has become a hot Furry! EEK!

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January 16, 2009 3:05:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That would be awesome.  He should send random links to the elemental forums from time to time, like "Duuuuudddee....  did you see this post that guy made *insert link here*.  I swear these guys are craazy! : D ",  or tell bad jokes like "I sent my cavalry to take out red.   Apparently he's finding it un-bear-able!   LAWLS!!! "    Only then would they really seem like a good drunk player AI    

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January 16, 2009 3:31:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jonny5446,
OMG Winty has become a hot Furry! EEK!
D'oh!

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January 16, 2009 4:25:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow, I just discovered this thread.  Sorry to be late to the party, but soooo cool. 

 

Please, take my money!

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January 16, 2009 4:58:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jonny5446,
OMG Winty has become a hot Furry! EEK!

 

I was going to give her karma and give the reason as "because your avatar has boobs"

Would that be wrong?

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January 16, 2009 5:07:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

well, I'm sure you could find less....   demoralizing? words.    Well, I'm sure you know what I mean.   But I think it is personally reasonable to give people karma for their avatar.    Heck, I almost gave wintersong karma for the fire emblem pegesus knight

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January 16, 2009 5:25:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Denryu,
I was going to give her karma and give the reason as "because your avatar has boobs"

Would that be wrong?
The disturbing part is that those furry boobs aren't on her, but him.
Quoting landisaurus,
well, I'm sure you could find less....   demoralizing? words.    Well, I'm sure you know what I mean.   But I think it is personally reasonable to give people karma for their avatar.    Heck, I almost gave wintersong karma for the fire emblem pegesus knight
That's Vandenburg, not Wintersong!
And I give people karma for good avatars all the time.

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January 16, 2009 5:56:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,

The disturbing part is that those furry boobs aren't on her, but him.

Quite wrong as it's the avatar, quite female even if furry, who has the boobs and not me.

http://www.starfieldcreations.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10002/maryannblue.jpg

And yep, Vandenburg has that fire emblem avatar. In any case, i must say that i don't know why i have the karma i got as i never check it, so i wouldn't notice karma for something that i don't deserve.  

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January 16, 2009 10:14:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Maybe incorporate "mood swings", and maybe have some races that mood swings don't really affect (like Vulcans) but others that it may just be what phase the moon is in, they may be overall a peaceful race, but maybe the leader woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and so diplomacy isn't going as well as you would expect. Or maybe the Drengin have a once every ten year celebration where they ingest all kind of "feel good" substances and they might make an unexpected concession.

 

Maybe have those as 'triggered' events?  E. G. when an event procs, if it pulls out a certain event, rather than telling you immediately, it waits until a trigger condition occurs then tells you.  E. G. on turn 157, the RNG (Random Number Generator) spits out the number that says 'yes, a random event!' and then the RNG selects a diplomatic event.  Ten turns down the line, when I go to talk to Asperdinnus the ruler of Vegitbus, he is unexpectly generaous; when I finish the 'deal' an advisor pops up and says, "Sire, we just discovered that Asperdinnus's mairrage proposal to Butterus has been accepted -- he's in an unusually good mood as a result!" or something similar.

 

You get the idea.

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January 16, 2009 11:37:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ron Lugge,

Maybe incorporate "mood swings", and maybe have some races that mood swings don't really affect (like Vulcans) but others that it may just be what phase the moon is in, they may be overall a peaceful race, but maybe the leader woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and so diplomacy isn't going as well as you would expect. Or maybe the Drengin have a once every ten year celebration where they ingest all kind of "feel good" substances and they might make an unexpected concession.


 

Maybe have those as 'triggered' events?  E. G. when an event procs, if it pulls out a certain event, rather than telling you immediately, it waits until a trigger condition occurs then tells you.  E. G. on turn 157, the RNG (Random Number Generator) spits out the number that says 'yes, a random event!' and then the RNG selects a diplomatic event.  Ten turns down the line, when I go to talk to Asperdinnus the ruler of Vegitbus, he is unexpectly generaous; when I finish the 'deal' an advisor pops up and says, "Sire, we just discovered that Asperdinnus's mairrage proposal to Butterus has been accepted -- he's in an unusually good mood as a result!" or something similar.

 

You get the idea.

I like it. a lot!

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January 17, 2009 9:47:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ron Lugge,

"Sire, we just discovered that Asperdinnus's mairrage proposal to Butterus has been accepted -- he's in an unusually good mood as a result!"

Awwwwwwwwww, Congratulations Asperdinnus! She's a keeper!

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January 22, 2009 2:35:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I know what I would do if I wanted to give the A.I a personality.

"The Elite n000b pwner". It would constantly say "lol", "lulz", "gonna pwnzor yoouuuu" and tell you that you're such a noob. It would also do everything possible to win.

 

As I frequent GameReplays.org quite a bit and like competing against humans and fight to win, I prefer A.Is that do everything in their power to win. I would like the A.I to know everything about a competetive map so it got the same info as a human (where every city, node and such things are) so it can play as effectively as possible. In randomly generated maps both human and A.I should have to deal with the fog of war.

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February 14, 2009 8:06:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was wondering how Stadock will manage cloud AIs skill level against the average human player.

I mean, the server-side AI that allows to lighten the burden on the player's machine and let Stardock analyze data to improve the AI decision-making is pretty awesome all right.
But you know, some players just plain suck despite their unmeasured love for strategy games. I sure do.
So what will happen to poor Seboss if AIs eventually become near-unstoppable killing machines only Elemental elites will be able to stand against?

Will there be some capping on AI skill? Will they choose their games according to the average ranking of the human players involved?

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February 23, 2009 5:23:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am pretty sure I am human, because an AI would not be this impatient for the NEXT UPDATE FROM FROGBOY!

tap, tap.

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February 23, 2009 7:57:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, the question was supposed to be putting words in your mouth, asking the other player, so I'm not sure if the joke flies.

Right now Frogboy is working a lot on Demigod so that it will release on time.   Maybe you should show how much you want an update by creating some fan work or something and spread it around the net and here.    If you want updates, maybe you should give a good update for frogboy so that he comes back to THIS forum?   Draw a picture, write a poem, or something to show him how much you care.   (it should keep you occupied for a little too)

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May 12, 2009 11:29:57 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Luckmann,

Quoting Lost_WLd, reply 17So how long until this cloud of AI's become self aware, take over the internet and then try to eliminate the human race? It's inevitable. I think it's someone's law of robits or artificial intelligence or something.

Its actually called technological determinism and applies to everything from the microwave to the atomic bomb

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