On the AI

For the sake of transparency this will be a very frank chapter.

The AI of AT Gold

In game development it is not always possible to do everything you want in the time frame alloted. The is also the case for the making of the gold version of AT. AI development is very time intensive. You might debate that last statement, but it is the case for VR Designs.

I couldnt put in an extra 6 months of development in the AI of AT Gold. That has to be reserved for a follow up.

Basicly same AI as in AT

However there is nothing truly wrong with the AI. Just give it more bonus (play the AI+ or AI++) to get more challenge. The AT AI aint genius, but it aint horrible either. It basicly your average wargame AI with some improvements added.

Improvements

I did add improvements. Mainly in the form of some production overruling scripting options, used in the generic.at2 file as well for you to check out. These have a good effect and also allow scenario designers more options. Also I put time into optimizing the AI code. The speeding up of the AI (up to 100x). This will be very useful in larger scenarios. Watching the results of the AI as they come in is also an extra improvement.

Production choices (especially those overruled by scripts) now take into account the AIrole score (higher is better chance of getting used)

AI Advantages in AT Gold rules scenarios

If you play in the new random games or any other AT Gold rules scenario the AI will have a number of advantages. These have been put in to augment existing AT AI weaknesses and provide more challenging gameplay and also to let the AI not be burdened by new rules introduced in AT Gold.

* AI gets a little base resource and fuel income and a little bonus on top of each location [scripted in generic.at2]

* AI gets option to produce supply in enemy towns at 200% of the normal cost [scripted in generic.at2]

* AI gets 10% combat and 25% movement bonus [scripted in generic.at2]

* AI gets free transfers [rulevar for this enabled in generic.at2]

* AI gets free construction of units and HQs [rulevar for this enabled in generic.at2]

* AI will get a very limited number of free factories / resource upgrades over time, but the number increases for AI+ and AI++ [scripted in generic.at2]

* AI gets less penalty for supply path entering land without port. [rulevar in generic.at2]

* AI gets less penalty for supply crossing river without bridge. [rulevar in generic.at2]

* AI gets 33% autorepair on its locations [rulevar in generic.at2]

As you can see it is possible for a modder or scenario designer to disable all these advantages. But this is not recommended since the AI needs a little help to be competitive.

Advantages for AI in Classic scenarios

These advantages were already in place in old AT.

* AI gets free transfers [rulevar for this enabled in classic.at2]

* AI gets less penalty for supply path entering land without port.

Play by Email (PBEM)

If you don't like playing against an AI that has some advantages there is always PBEM. A lot of players think this is where the engine really shines anyways, and there are quite a few scenario's that do not have AI capability and should be played PBEM anyway. If you never played PBEM you do not want to hear this. But… Give PBEM a try before you judge. Really.

What the AI does not do

The AI does not use a number of AT features. Mainly:

*AI does not use paratroopers

*AI does not use transport aircraft

*AI does not use aircarriers

*AI does not use strategic air missions

*AI does not construct fortifications, airfields and ports [unless a scenario would script this]

AI Block

In all the scenarios shipped with AT Gold I enabled the AIBlock option on a scenario if I felt the AI is not able to deal with it. I advise scenario designers to do the same so as to notify the player in advance and not dissapoint the player.

AI advice

The AI plays better on land heavy maps then sea heavy maps.

Future plans

AT is an ongoing project that started with Peoples Tactics and that with a lot of user feedback, finetuning and rule changes is becoming better and better.

However while certain features raced ahead i do feel now that the AI is something which should be addressed seriously next. It is becomming the part which is starting to show its age a bit.

In Decisive Campaigns (other game by VR Designs) there now is a new AI active that does not cheat at all. I am pretty happy with it. It does an amazing job without getting any advantages. I would like to give the AT games the same sort of AI in the future. But then one that also can deal with random maps, naval ops, production and OOB creation an maintenance.

This AI should also be more scriptable by scenario designers.

The plan is to work on this in the next AT installment (AT2? AT Platinum? Title not decided yet). Some gameplay and feature limitations however might be neccessary to make it possible to construct such an AI. This will take some time tough. 2012 maybe?

 
artificial_intelligence.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/26 18:24 (external edit)
 
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