Author Topic: AI modding - Need volunteers  (Read 328 times)

Offline djinn

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AI modding - Need volunteers
« on: 12-04-2012, 13:04:42 »
To whoever it may concern. We need volunteers. Read and see if we may be talking about you.

First off, I should admit that I cannot code to save my life, but there is no single other you would find with as much appreciation and understanding of where FH2 Ai has been and where it needs to go. If you can appreciate that as an asset in itself, read on.

Some great things are happening with AI with FH2 lately.

Drawde has gotten artillery firing, and with some suggestion from me, the _AI version artillery can fire half-way across the map in direct fire.
From Bizness, through Winterfhilf, to Remick_04 and now Void, we have added AI to 97% of maps in FH2
and thanks to Bizness, Legion and Drawde, we have bots using weapons, for the most part as they should.

But our progress is grinding to a halt. Appreciated, its an old engine, but people still coded for Unreal Tournament and Half Life a decade after the games were released, so I think we still have some good years in front of us. What is more, the gameplay can be excellent.

But we need volunteers, this being one of the largest collection of BF2 modders assembled, I can think of no better place to start asking.

Here's what you need to appreciate about Fh2 AI.
1. We try to get the bots to use weapons exactly as their human counterparts do - We don't start with work-arounds.

2. We may limit bots use of a weapon, if bots can't figure out how to use it tactically. For instance, bots will use their prone-only mgs at range until the enemy is dead or not in sight, before moving up for a new target on their way to their objectives. But at close range, they will rather use pistols. As you can tell, this is pretty much how it SHOULD be in real life. Humans don't even know how to get THAT right. Our bots do.

3. SP in FH2 is about trying to give players the experience of real WWII with artillery constantly firing, well-manned defensive lines and infantry and armor using their tools as they should trying to punch a hole in the enemy defenses and ultimately overwhelm. And all our AI work is geared towards this end.

    a. Priority is therefore, on adding AI first to ALL maps - Bots should be able to pursue players upstairs and away from flags and choose both rough and easy terrain (We need a navmesher skilled in both auto-generated navs and manual-generated navmeshes)
    b. Spawn PCOs on as many positions as possible with bots deciding never to leave their positions would create the defensive wall - The Fh2 maps make such positioning perfect for WWII gameplay. Artillery should be able to give direct fire with as little obstruction as possible, and if possible give indirect support fire (Need a Python coder for this)
    c. Bots need to find it convenient to get into every single vehicle and use as many of its options as possible to deal naturally with the enemy in various situations the enemy presents itself (We need an AI coder willing to think outside the box like Drawde and Legion once did). AI work is never finished, and can always be improved.
   d. Commander AI needs to agree with the Push-system and be flexible to deal with enemy counter-attacks, bots defending the frontlines and ability to bring vehicles from rear bases to the front.
   e. At a lower level, squads need to be able to use the commo-rose by giving commands and instructions as well as responding to them as found in BF2 vanilla. this will allow squads to work around a squad leader and attack objectives in force.
  f. Bug-squashing - We have bugs. From double-cap flags, to inexplicable Crashes to desktop and inexplicable idling of certain bots. Our final form of ironing out the creases will be to deal with this. But beyond this, we want to try certain experimental solutions such as bots charging at enemy not in range, sniper-vehicle (A vehicle that is invisible to human players that allows bots to spawn on PCO with 360o rotation, appearing as a sniper, and which can be placed anywhere a sniper pickup kit can be found) and other such 'crazy ideas' to get SP/COOP game experience to not only be AS GOOD as online play, but unique and better in its own regard.

A few final notes.
 Alot of hands have been in this pot, and some things have been done to make SP work - Some are quick-and-dirty fixes, but some are work-arounds done for a solid reason. If it eint broken, don't fix it. We can clean up the AI, but this should not get in the way of getting content out and improving AI in general.
Unlike the multiplayer development, AI development follows the combined wishes of the community. We need a team that will subject itself to that. See the problem from the perspective of a player, NOT a developer. 

Please respond to me here or djinn on the Forgotten Hope Public forums.

Regards - hope to hear from you soon.

Yaw Djin.
« Last Edit: 12-04-2012, 13:04:11 by djinn »