Klofkac

Reviewing Map and Mission editor

34 posts in this topic

I have come here with another thing you may add on your editor: A generic AI file (or 2).

Let me explain.
Let's assume I have no clue about dune editors. I write in google "Dune 2000 editor" and found your's. I download and give it a try.
The editor is simple. "new map" and, like the brush in paint, I can start clicking and dragging creating some rock areas.

After a while I have a very simple map. Probably all will look too squared but that's ok, I'm just messing with the editor.

Now I place some buildings and units for Atreides and Harkonnen. OK. I check some of the options and I can see that empy "event's and conditions". At this point probably I don't understand anything, but that's ok. "That's it's for profesionals" I will think. Let's move on into the mission settings windown.

I don't understand some parts, but I know about the "tech level", "starting money" and the alliances parts. I have no idea about the AI part, so for now I just pass and use the "test" button.

Yay! I'm playing with the Atreides in my own map! The mission doesn't contain events or way to win or loose, but in a short time I am already playing something I did myself.

But... here is the biggest problem. The AI does nothing at all. Their units may move when you are near but although I give to it plenty of money the AI doesn't care at all.

This newcomer, using your editor, probably will check that "AI tabs", the line "AI enable" is the core, but "how I can activated?" if was "no-yes" would be easy to figure out, but "0"... I need to place 1, 10, 5000? I have no idea.

Now, I write a random number. Ok, it works. The AI build things at all, so I start playing and... the biggest problem at all. The Ai, with the default values, is building 1 of everything. This means the AI will build carryalls, harversters and MCV like the rest of the units (a proportion of 1:1).

At this point, there is a easy solution. opening one of the original maps, exporting an AI, and then importing on the map this guy is creating.
But I think, if the editor already had included his own generic AI, this guy don't need to open any original map (which he may delete or add something by accident, chaging his original game) but just importing this generic AI which makes the AI have a regular behaviour, like not building VCM at all.


Myself, I have a generic AI I usually use. At least with it the carryall, VCM and engineer are not going to be part of those proportions, that save me time to searching and changing it myself. Of course afther that I will change "area guard, unit build rate...", but for a newcomer having the default values is more than enough (6000 as first attack and 5000 as intervals means the AI attacks every 3:30 minutes, so without any events at all the AI fells alive).

As another point, I have another generic AI with the "enable practicle" activated. Maybe I want to make a map like skirmish/practice, so the AI is a bit different there. Mostly the priority of the buildings and how many X buildings he will build.
Like before, a newcomer can enable that, but by default the AI only will build 1 of each building, which is a huge problem.
I remember extracting my generic practice AI from another place, don't remember which, I think one of the earlies patchs from dune 2000 to make practice maps being able to be played in a 2 vs 2 (since you can't do that in the vanilla game), so the proportions are ok, and the AI will build lots of windtraps and several refs, and etc...

So, if you want, I can create a new generic AI (because the one I have maybe I already touch other values just because my own style), setting the AI as enable, reducing the proportion of Harversters, MCV, engineers... to zero, and other small things; so you can add this extra file on your editor.

Edited by Cm_blast
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Hi Cm_blast and thank you for this idea! I think I pretty understand what you mean.

Right now, when you create a new map, the editor uses the game's default AI, which is exactly same as the unmodified AI segments in original missions for the sides which are not present in a mission. This AI is also same as AI generated by the special modified Dune2000.exe (which FunkyFr3sh published here some time ago) when you do not explicitly specify any value.

The .misai file with this AI is shipped with the editor and is located in config/default_ai.misai file. That means, you can simply replace this file with your own, and then whenever you create a new mission, the editor uses your modified AI segment. That's the actual philosophy of the config folder - you can customize many things in the editor, for example translate the names of buildings and units, without need to recompile the program.

I still want to use this game's default AI as a default AI for newly created missions, BUT here I have an idea for improvement:
Some "AI templates" can be shipped along with the editor. These templates will be modified and improved AI segments which can be directly imported into a new mission, without need to always modify the values from scratch. They will be easy to use for newcomers, because they simply choose one template they like and half work is just done. There can be more different templates, for example standard AI, practice AI, very tough AI, just anything you can think of. There will be a small text file describing each of them. If you want, you could create these templates for me, because I'm not willing to play around with them myself.

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I usually import one generic AI I have. Since from there there are like 4 main lines to change: when the enemy attacks, every how many minutes attacks again, how fast/slow builds and how many units defend the base.

From now I'll upload this two. IF this is what you mean.
Campaign generic type of AI: All the default numbers. But won't build non-letal units (engineers, harversters, MCV, thumpers).
Will upgrade, will buy from the starport, will repair units/buildings... more or less, all the stuff the AI does normally.
The priority to attack is the default to, since that's not necesary to make the AI attack the player (and the AI usually target first the closes enemy/building).
Campaign Generic AI.misai

Practice/skirmish/online type of AI. I don't remember where I took this, back in time with the old Dune, or maybe this is the one used in the online version, I don't know. But anyway. Has set the order of building, 4 turrets, 3 refs, 15 windtraps... so is based in a tech of 7. fast unit build rate, engineer as the original game, etc...
Practice Generic AI.misai


Maybe @FedaYkin can bring here one of the AI he usually used, which have a different proportion of units to make the AI building different. He knows better (I usually use the 1:1 proportion = 1 of each unit is builded before a new one can be done).

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Thank you, it's good to start with. Let's see if FedaYkin or somebody can come up with some special interesting types of AI.

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Posted (edited)

Hey Klof! ^^

I've really taken a liking to your editor! It's simplified the mapmaking process immensely and I've been toying with the AI in every mission I've made with it so far. And I've been able to pump missions out with this thing so quickly and easily, it's really a miracle-working program. Usually I stick with specific values I use for the generic AI, and build my AIs off of the standard practice AI, but occasionally I'll mess with unit composition to create variety. I'll give you some examples from my smuggler campaign:
 - S2V2, Imperials arrive and tech straight up to tanks and Sardaukar.
 - S3V2, Atreides have several AIs that build and attack with specific unit compositions, such as Trikes and Troopers, or Light Infantry, Grenadiers, and Quads.
 - S6V1, the mercenaries will prioritize your structures over the Atreides or Harkonnen bases when they turn on you.
 - S7V1, an AI that pumps out mostly Stealth Raiders, with the occasional Quad or Raider.

Here's a download link, if you want to take a look, yourself:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/588o3m09odw1699/Smugglers+Campaign+2.0.zip

There's a mod included, and you'll need to drop ARMOUR.BIN, BUILEXP.BIN, SPEED.BIN, Templates.bin, and TILEDATA.BIN to "data\bin\" in your Dune 2000 directory to make it work... if, y'know, you want to see the AI in action or play through the campaign, rather than just check the editor out. :P

What sort of "special interesting type of AI" are you looking for, in particular? I'd love some ideas and I'd love to put some ideas forward. :)

Edited by Fey
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23 hours ago, Fey said:

What sort of "special interesting type of AI" are you looking for, in particular? I'd love some ideas and I'd love to put some ideas forward.

He wants something like "Hard_AI = this AI attacks early, have a very fast unit build rate and attacks always at full streng" or "Passive_AI = average unit build rate, averate time between attacks, even although the AI have lots of units, he only send to attack half of them", something like that, so newcomers can import those AIs into their map very easily.

I will check the original AIs, because taking one of the early mission and one from the 9 mission when can have "easy_AI" and "Hard_AI". Also I will look in my campaigns. I remember having one when the Ordos will build 3 troopers per infantry, 3 quads per raider and 3 combat tanks per siege tanks (or even a "onlytanks_AI = this AI will only build combat tanks, siege tanks, missile tanks and special tanks").

Meanwhile Klofkac, I was wondering. There is a way to include the "_" character in a .ini file?
For example, to include a mail "something_mymaily@coldmail.meh", but since "_" is a line break I can't do it.

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Ok, I did a few AI to use it as templates. This AI of mine change only a couple of things, but enough to make different types of AI and at the same time being similar to the originals.

First, they are almost the same. All of them have 2 harverster per refinery, 1 carryall per ref, protecting the harverster is active, buy from starport, repair, rebuild, upgrade... and the priority to attack buildings is the same as the original game (in this case doesn't matter if the human is Atr, Hark or Ordos, the AI have the same for the three of them). The proportion of units is 1:1, so in general all behave like the original campaign type of AI.

Agressive Generic AIAgressive Generic AI.misai
This AI has short-time first attack, and then even shorter next attacks. The quantity/quality of units defending the base is low, so this AI will have strong attacks but not to many units around the base. The unit build rate is as fast as the fastests unit build rate from the original campaign (one of the missions 9).

Defensive Generic AIDefensive Generic AI.misai
This AI needs a very long time before the first attack and not so long (But still long) from every next attack. The quantity/quality of units defending the base is High, so this AI is to use in case you want one enemy being much more defensive, or in case you have a map with an ally that you want it to survive, since is not going to attack too much often. The unit build rate is also low (to avoid grouping too many units or rebuilding losses too quickly).

Balanced Generic AIBalanced Generic AI.misai
This is an balanced type of AI, something in the middle of the agresive an defensive. The first attack and the time bewteen attacks are more or less in the middle of the Agr/def cases. The units guarding the base and the unit build rate are also in the middle of those 2 AIs.

Anti Infantry AIAnti Infantry AI.misai
This is another average type of AI, in fact, has the same values as the balanced version. I change this AI to build only anti infantry type of units: light infantry, Trike/raider and siege tanks.

Raw Power AIRaw Power AI.misai
Same as above, but this one builds the opposite, the units with Raw power. This includes: Trooper, Sardaukar, Quad, Combat tank, Missile tank, Sonic/Dev/Deva.

Practice Tech 4-5 AIPractice Tech 4-5 AI.misai
This is a practice/skirmish type of AI. If the Tech used to the map is 4 or 5, this AI will be a bit better than the generic: Will build at maximun of 10 windtraps (so don't need as many room as the 15 that needs the generic) and will have 8 gun-turrets, that's 4 extra more turrets around the base.
Even if the tech is lower than 4-5, this AI still can help the CPU to control the maximum windtraps that will build.
If tech is higher, isn't going to build rocket turrets; also the energy will be more near to the limit; so is not recommended.

Practive High Production AIPractice High Production AI.misai
This type of AI has in general the same values as the generic one, but this one will make the AI to deploy more buildings: 3 barracks, 3 light fac, 3 heavy fac, 1 more ref (4), 2 more gun/rocket turrets (6 and 6) and 3 extra windtraps (18).
Other values remains the same as the generic version.

The Agresivve/defensive/Balanced trio should be the ones recommended to use. The anty-infantry/raw could be treated as advance type of AI just to show that is possible to make the AI building what you want.

Ps: I didn't test personally this AIs. But since I only change like 5-6 lines in the AI (sometimes even less), the behaviour of those AIs are under control, and is easy to see at first sight that the agressive is going to be that way and the defensive the opposite (except if you attack the harverster, but that's another story :P).

Edited by Cm_blast
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Oh, that's interesting. I got a chance to look at some of these AIs, Cm, and I think I know more about designing AI from examining some of the values. Thank you ^^

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On 12/1/2017 at 0:45 AM, Fey said:

Oh, that's interesting. I got a chance to look at some of these AIs, Cm, and I think I know more about designing AI from examining some of the values. Thank you ^^

I think that there are like 4 basic lines which controls how hard/easy an AI will be. I changed others that I am not sure if really works like the "attackbuildingstreng", but just in case I place a number there.


I have another idea that has come to my mind. What about some kind of "prototype" map to include with the editor? So people who download the editor can open this map and learn for it (and mess with it too, that's better than opening an original campaign/map and overwriting with a change).
I'm thinking in doing the most basic stuff possible, adding notes in the events/conditions since you editor allows that so newcomers can understand quickly the basics.
My idea of a prototype map goes this way:
- A default size map (64x64)
- 2 Rock areas, one for the player, another for the AI.
- Tech of 3, so tanks and more harversters, but not making the map to last longer with a higher tech.
- Basic events: reinforcement, messages , mission win, mission loose, unit spawn, harverster remplacement, bersek. You know, the ones which appears in all the original campaigns.
- The player, as Atreides, starts with the construction yard, some units and tons of money.
- The AI (harkonnen) use the balanced type of AI included in the editor.
\--> *¿importing the same AI to others?* <-- not sure about this one. If I place the AI for all the players, anyone can add Ordos or whatever and play with more enemies instatly, but I fell that one of the first things a newcomer will do is playing with someone that the original game couldn't (emperor, mercs, smuggler), so is better if the AI is inactive for anyone but Harkonnen.
- 1 message for "side annihilated", but also 1 custom message not present in the original game.

And that's it. just the simples mission possible. Maybe adding Ordos with a repeat type of reinforcement to show how to loop reinforcements and at the same time showing the alliances thing... something like this.

 

Edited by Cm_blast
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