Im doing a Masters in Computer Games Technology. My MAsters dissertation is to create a Support Vector Machine AI to control the enemy AI in a RTS. There are plenty of RTS's on here and im sure at least one will work for me.
What i need is one that isnt too complex. I saw a few mention that there are hundreds of units. That is far too much for my purposes. One with a much more limited number would be better for me.
Also I see there are many ways to implement AI, Lua scripts and various languages. I would prefer to do mine in C++. So a game where that is possible is preffered.
Also if people would let me know of their experiences developing AI for the Spring games thatd be great.
One more thing actually, could someone point me to some technical info about the AI in the games they rocommend. If there is non then could you leave a few lines describing it - if its a FSM, theres loads of states, how the strategy is handled, something along those lines.
AI support is supplied by the engine, not the games, so you can use all languages for all games. the only problem you might have there, is when the game uses custom commands, not supported by the engine directly (like morphing). to use such commands, you would have to do some tricky workarounds, or write your AI in Lua.
Kernel Panic has relatively few units per faction. You could also limit your AI to a single faction, to reduce complexity.
We currently have two different C++ interfaces to write AIs, a legacy one and a newer one. i recommend the newer one. AAI, KAIK, RAI and E323AI all still use the legacy interface, though.
The simplest mod would be KDR_11k's loliTA: no resource, no cons, all it had was: Each team start with a flag. Flag can build different kind of Lolis, which are all attack units. You must destroy the enemy flags.
But it has three problems: - So old I'm not sure it even works anymore. - Never was widely promoted, so very hard to find a download link. - The theme could feel ankward to present to teachers.
Anyway have a look toward all the minimods from KDR_11k. Here's the magic search string to find most KDR_11's mods: search.php?keywords=... He's the most prolific Spring modder, at least if you only consider the raw count of different mod released. But most of his mod stay simple and are only showcase to explore each a novel gameplay idea. Sadly that also mean many of his mod are based on gameplay mechanic deviating heavily from the rest of Spring RTS games.
However, I suggest you have a look toward The Cuberor's Finest, which still plays like a fairly conventionnal RTS. And unlike loliTA, this one is recent, maintained, and the modelling style couldn't be more neutral.
I am currently making a very simple mod, with only four units: Three attack units, each having a weakness against another and a strength against the other other one. One factory. No resource gathering. Factory don't need to get build by a cons, instead they automatically appear when you have a unit next to a datavent. There'll be a Lua AI able to play it. I aim for a release soonish. The only issue would be that the gameplay is rather uninteresting, since there's so little to play with.
I believe Kernel Panic was already mentionned. No resources, but otherwise standard development with factory that build cons that build more factories that build attack units. Very few unit, if you limit yourself to the System faction, there's only 6 units to handle. Or 9 if you insist on using walls, mines, mineblaster, terminal. Ok, about 25 to handle all three factions. Maybe more with hidden factions. Fine, there's 44 files in units. Plus four run time generated heroes. :s But even fifty units would be a low count compared to BA, CA, XTA, Spring 1944, EvoRTS, GundamRTS, ... So, while Kernel Panic has some weird mod options and more units than it claims, you can just ignore them and still code a competitive AI. Kernel Panic has both a Lua AI and a C++ AI able to play it, so you won't find yourself short of source code to draw inspiration from.
If you still want to have an AI that handle resource gathering and spending, could you consider Expand & Exterminate? Granted, it's way more complex than the previously mentionned mods, and play more like an *A mods, but EE development stopped before Lua use in Spring mod got widespread, so you won't find yourself having to cope with wild Lua gadget doing tricks AI cannot cope with. EE use only the standard hard-coded mechanics, that AI should have no problem interfacing with.
EE does have some quirks, if that doesn't seem quite ready, try evolution RTS. It should be easier to support, and its only stumbling block, power, has been modified so AIs are exempt. Its very AI friendly.
Three attack unit, one factory. Factories automagically appear when you have units near geovents. That should make it the easiest mod around that still has land grab. An AI could play this merely by: - Looking up where geovents are, using them to subdivide the map into sectors, if your AI strategic planner needs such a division. - For "hand" units, giving them order to BUILD "rock", "paper" or "scissors" - For "rock", "paper", "scissors" units, giving them MOVE orders. And that's it.
It's currently based on KP, the archive contains all of KP files, but you should ignore them. If having a bunch of irrelevant units and gadgets into the archive confuse you, I could make a cleaner archive.
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