Patch 1.12 is live

Finally, I think the AI will look the same on your machine as it does on mine. The bug that was causing the AI to repeatedly build things from factories was just a stupid little thing that was hard to track down, mainly because it would only happen in retail.

For those of you who do not know, there are 3 possible builds of the game. If we want to be able to break into the code as it is running and see things like variable values and such, we make a Debug build. For most everything else we make a Release build. Release builds still have some debug info and also allow us to insert assertions for really strange behavior to let someone know that something that should never happen in the game just happened. Retail builds are what actually ships. These builds take a lot longer to make, which is the main reason devs use Release builds.

So, when I went to test the reported issue of AIs building massive amounts of transports, I, of course, tested on a Release build. That is why I couldn't reproduce the bug. It wasn't until I played a game with my brother-in-law that I saw the bug for the first time. This is what led me to believe it was a Retail only issue. Now, thanks to patch 1.12, it should finally be fixed. It even gave me an opportunity to fix some other issues as well.

Is the AI done? The AI is never done! I still have a list of things I would like to work on, if given the opportunity. We'll see what happens.

Patch notes for 1.12:

New Features:

  • Added a warning dialog when a player accesses multiplayer with modified data
  • Adjusted exploit handling for research during game initialization
  • Adjusted exploit handling for hotkey-triggered commands
  • Land AI will default to Air factories faster on non land maps
  • AI will build units from factories that are outside its primary base radius
  • AI platoons will loiter less and instead attempt to move to the best possible place to do damage
  • The starting base locations will now generate less econ threat to the AI causing the AI to more aggressively target buildings outside the starting base locations
  • The AI will more quickly respond to attrition, and retreat appropriately

Fixes:

  • Fixed a potential crash encountered when entering the game summary screen with an AI present
  • Fixed an issue where the AI could repeatedly queue the same unit (especially transports)
  • Cybran AI will now properly research naval walking

9 comments:

æsir said... / April 21, 2010 at 8:33 PM  

(originally posted in the Video blog #9 entry in error - feel free to delete it from there)

re: 1.12 - the annoyance re: transport clouds didn't appear in the AI Seton's game I just finished. Thank you - the last time I tried Seton's with AI I had to zoom to ground level to get to my structures and units. :)

I did see another (not new, but seemed to be more prevalent) issue - it is with team AI building structures within and near the human spawn position. In the back center position on Seton's, I was fending off 3 team AI engineers constantly building structures on some prime real estate where I wanted to place gantries, NUC, and disrupters. Even close enough to mass deposits that I had to reclaim these structures and AI engineers just to place defenses, like long-range artillery.

Rather than ask to re-write AI further, it occured to me that the human might want to set up no-build zones, and could do so with a UI feature similar to how waypoints and patrols work. I would love to be able to draw regions of a map where AI cannot build.

Thanks again for you and the rest of the GPG team's efforts with these fixes/updates.

EaglePryde said... / April 22, 2010 at 1:50 AM  

That's epic. Sorian you should try it out with Machaters AI mod and the current Balance mod...just for fun along the lines..feels like the old days. Got my butt kicked a couple of times with this combination against a hard AI *hehe*

That's a close as it could be to SC/FA with the smarter AI this time :)

Thx for your hard work and bug fixing :)

Dunbar said... / April 22, 2010 at 6:15 AM  

What are people still working on for supcom 2?

replay ui? map editor? new maps? new units?

can you give us any info?

EaglePryde said... / April 22, 2010 at 6:44 AM  

Yeah..actually the guys are doing very much for SC2 :) Try these to mods out...and you'll have a challange like no one bevor..if you wanna have a challange then try these 2 mods..can be used together..that makes the AI kick ass and give the game the balance of SC/FA...hard experimentals ^^

Esch1lus Balance Mod
http://forums.gaspowered.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=44560

Machaters AI Mod
http://forums.gaspowered.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=44299

Fingolfin said... / April 26, 2010 at 7:28 AM  

Sorian, I spent the last weekend and most weeknights playing with the new AI in Skirmish, and I have to say, you've done an absolutely superb job of it! It now poses a real threat for new-average players, and with the cheating AI even the pros have a serious challenge. Top job, thanks so much for your hard work.

Two ACU-related bugs I want to mention separate from the AI (you guys might already know of these issues anyway):
* The ACU (especially for UEF) sometimes walks off a long way before building a factory/structure, even when there's space/clear room to get to it. Sometimes I just have to force him to stop, then try it again and he builds it fine without moving miles away.
* The ACU will fire off into the distance at 'nothing' if you tell him to move between attacking enemies and guarding a structure or reclaiming etc. He wants to attack, but misses the enemy completely once he's focused on his new job!

æsir said... / April 27, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

I wanted to expand on Fingolfin's comment re: ACU walking off a long way to build. Until yesterday, I'd only see it move away a bit to get to it's max build range before starting a build. Pretty sure that was true in SC/SC:FA as well and didn't pay it much mind.

But I did finally see a real issue - where on Coalition shipyard, the south spawn position (human) has 4 mass deposits (as usual). Referring to the bottom-right position, I had structures going up, including MEX, PG, and Research Stations. I watched the UEF ACU build some structures, then walk out down the south water ramp, turn to the right into the water, walk in the water along the edge of the ramp, then (obviously) fail to build its target - so it walked back through the water along the ramp edge and back up the ramp to get back to a position very close to where it started from.

Also on that map, unrelated to the ACU build issue, I see opposition land unit AI get caught along the edge of the non-passable terran just north of the south spawn point. It looks as if they are getting confused between wanting to run away in the face of UEF short range artillery and trying to maintain LOS and/or target lock on whatever they were attacking. They end up trying to walk over the unpassable terrain (and failing) and just slowly slide roughly north and south along the edge of the blocking terrain. They get chewed up by arty pretty badly there. It is fairly consistent, too. I usually play UEF vs AI Cybran on that map.

Sorian said... / April 27, 2010 at 10:52 AM  

@aesir: Those both sound like pathing issues. Hopefully, we will have a fix soon.

@dunbar: Nope, I can't give out any specific info atm, but there is a lot of work going on.

æsir said... / April 27, 2010 at 1:18 PM  

Sorian, been meaning to ask:

Have you read this book?
Programming Game AI By Example
http://www.ai-junkie.com/books/toc_pgaibe.html

If so, is it a fun/interesting read? I want one (just one...) book on game AI development, to satisfy a hobbyist's interest and curiosity. The O'Reilly I saw on the topic of game AI programming was too academic to be interesting enough to work through cover to cover.

Sorian said... / April 27, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

I have not read that book, but it is on my to-read list.

Another one that was recommended to me is: Artificial Intelligence for Games - http://amzn.to/9HDzaG

I also want to read: AI Techniques for Game Programming - http://amzn.to/baW0UY

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