Random ponderings on management and AI

A place to ask and talk about Astrobase Command.
User avatar
Chief
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:08 pm

Random ponderings on management and AI

Postby aunshi » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:32 am

What ho Jellyfish.

Couple of thoughts here;

After getting back into Dwarf Fortress the other day, i started thinking about the difficulty of finding specific individuals who have certain stats or characteristics. As the basic DF doesn't have filters or a way to sort through the dwarfs you have based on Agility (something highly valued for military skills) and it got me wondering if you guys had any plans for implementing such sorting tools in ABC? When looking for replacements for certain positions, it would be useful to have filters for individuals with certain skills or even personality traits.

My other thought comes over to the A.I. of your people. As I understand it, different weapons have different types (i.e. plasma and kinetic) and it is possible for amour or shield types to be particular resilient to certain types of weapon. My question is; if you were to provide the security personnel on a mission with a plasma rifle as a primary weapon, and a kinetic pistol as a side arm, and they encounter a hostile with a plasma resilient shield, would they have the ability to make the decision to switch to their kinetic sidearm once the plasma rifle proved ineffective?

User avatar
Contributor
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:36 pm

Re: Random ponderings on management and AI

Postby Ethan » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:35 pm

aunshi wrote:What ho Jellyfish.

After getting back into Dwarf Fortress the other day, i started thinking about the difficulty of finding specific individuals who have certain stats or characteristics. As the basic DF doesn't have filters or a way to sort through the dwarfs you have based on Agility (something highly valued for military skills) and it got me wondering if you guys had any plans for implementing such sorting tools in ABC?


That's why the community put together Dwarf Therapist - it's the only way I'm able to play DF now. I agree that making information easily available is huge for games like this, at least from my experience.

User avatar
Dev Team
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:41 pm

Re: Random ponderings on management and AI

Postby Adam » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:23 pm

aunshi wrote:After getting back into Dwarf Fortress the other day, i started thinking about the difficulty of finding specific individuals who have certain stats or characteristics. As the basic DF doesn't have filters or a way to sort through the dwarfs you have based on Agility (something highly valued for military skills) and it got me wondering if you guys had any plans for implementing such sorting tools in ABC? When looking for replacements for certain positions, it would be useful to have filters for individuals with certain skills or even personality traits.


That's an interesting idea! While we generally expect people to recruit for a certain skill-set, it probably would be a good idea to be able to have these kinds of filters. I'm thinking specifically for missions here. It would make it a lot easier to say "who are my best scientists" when trying to find the right team to put together. I'll add it to the project backlog!

aunshi wrote:My other thought comes over to the A.I. of your people. As I understand it, different weapons have different types (i.e. plasma and kinetic) and it is possible for amour or shield types to be particular resilient to certain types of weapon. My question is; if you were to provide the security personnel on a mission with a plasma rifle as a primary weapon, and a kinetic pistol as a side arm, and they encounter a hostile with a plasma resilient shield, would they have the ability to make the decision to switch to their kinetic sidearm once the plasma rifle proved ineffective?


Dave's in the middle of missions work and combat is a decent-sized piece of that puzzle. I'll make sure he considers this behavior when having people choose their combat actions. Could be pretty darn cool, especially if you've taken the time to equip people with complementary equipment!

User avatar
Chief
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:08 pm

Re: Random ponderings on management and AI

Postby aunshi » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:00 pm

Cheers Adam,

This all comes from when I was kinda pondering when there would be a reason to take side arms, with a lot of games taking as much time to reload a primary weapon as to draw a side arm, there seems little point there (Astrobase might be different), and it usually just makes more sense to carry extra ammo than to take a sidearm.

Of course, there can be a number of possible reasons to take fire arms.... cheaper ammo (or rather, easier to produce/more common resources used in manufacturing process) so a primary would give a few powerful shots before moving over to weaker but cheaper side weapons...

.... theres the "necromunda clinch weapon" reason for taking a side arm; the unreliable primary could jam/ammo roll and a cheap side arm (clinch weapon) can be drawn to replace faulty primary...

...also from necromunda (or at least mine) theres the long range but weak primary (lasgun) backed up by a shot ranged but powerful side arm (bolt pistol)....

...alternative effects; a secondary weapon intended to stun instead of kill, useful for capturing enemies, hostage rescue, civilian pacification, politically volatile situations....

.... and of course, as an alternate the the primary weapon proving ineffective against certain defenses.

just some thoughts, hope there useful.

User avatar
Dev Team
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:32 pm

Re: Random ponderings on management and AI

Postby Dave » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:22 pm

aunshi wrote:My other thought comes over to the A.I. of your people. As I understand it, different weapons have different types (i.e. plasma and kinetic) and it is possible for amour or shield types to be particular resilient to certain types of weapon. My question is; if you were to provide the security personnel on a mission with a plasma rifle as a primary weapon, and a kinetic pistol as a side arm, and they encounter a hostile with a plasma resilient shield, would they have the ability to make the decision to switch to their kinetic sidearm once the plasma rifle proved ineffective?


A couple things to consider here.


  1. Due to how the combat system works, it's trivial for the AI to know whether his pistol or rifle in your scenario will do more Damage/time vs any given target. And to have the AI simply start with the higher damage/time weapon.
  2. It's also easy-ish to calculate this for different time periods, so for example the plasma rifle might do more damage over 5 turns but the pistol might to more damage over 10-infinity turns (because the rifle has a reload cycle that kicks in, whatever). This is perhaps more interesting because if character personality matters, then surely one way to express personality is in exactly this sort of preference.
  3. What if the unit really really likes the plasma rifle? Maybe he's more skilled with it, maybe he just likes it. Would it take this character longer to switch? This is what's hard to get right, when a character's personality leads them to a non-optimal decision because then you start frustrating the player. So typically we want problem-sets where there's really no "right" or "wrong" answer -- the player can disagree with the AI's strategy, but the AI won't be mathematically wrong.
  4. In the Early Access feature set we're sidestepping these questions because characters can only have one weapon equipped.

Hope that helps!

User avatar
Chief
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:05 am

Re: Random ponderings on management and AI

Postby MilitantLobster » Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:23 am

Adam wrote:Dave's in the middle of missions work and combat is a decent-sized piece of that puzzle. I'll make sure he considers this behavior when having people choose their combat actions. Could be pretty darn cool, especially if you've taken the time to equip people with complementary equipment!


Another scenario, in which weapon choice applies not just to weapon choice of a single team member, but to the overall strategy during the fight: You have a two man team, and there are two objectives: 1) kill the ravenous space bear and 2) push THE BUTTON on the other side of the room as soon as possible to cancel the self destruct countdown. One guy is equipped with kinetic weaponry, and the other is equipped with plasma (space bears are, of course, resistant to plasma weapons). Hopefully the AI will send plasma guy after the button and let kinetic guy keep the space bear busy.

That second objective could be anything non-combat oriented, such as providing healing or constructing a turret or fixing an engine. In these cases you would also have to weigh the skills of those involved, and hope that the only person with an effective weapon isn't also the only person who can get the ship back in the air.

Which leads to another question: In such a situation, would characters be able to swap weapons?

Return to Astrobase Command Game Discussion