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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » An Idea For Future AOE Games
Topic Subject:An Idea For Future AOE Games
posted 02-12-08 09:38 PM EDT (US)         
I was playing Tekken DR earlier today, and realised that why can't ES do the same as Namco did with AI - let the computer learn from the human player, and create a "Ghost Player", who plays the same way as the subject human player, and used as computer opponent AI.

Wouldnt it great if you can play against top player's Ghost AI? or play against your own Ghost AI? what an amazing experience and learning opportunity that would be!

I am not an AI programmer, but I dont think it would be too difficult, to get some ideas going, these are my thoughts on what the computer should learn.

For the given distinguish the given map, given civ and given opponent civ:

1, explorer priorities - looting or exploring, which type of treasure to get, etc.
2, deck choice and card play order
3, unit choice based on explored information
4, strategy choice between rush, defensive FF, naked FF, and semi-ff, based on explored information
5, number of vils age up (really have to stop doing the retarded 5 houses + 3 outpost age1)
6, unit micro habits, AI is capable of infinitely accurate and efficient micro, of course we dont need the ghost to be that good, just whatever that reflects the given player's actual skill.

yes I realise it may take many games to create a good ghost AI, but look how Sioux games has Amasis played!

Some of you will think this could be very time consuming to program, well i think it would really evolve very quickly if ES allows everyone to help in programming this game engine ability, just like what people can do with quake engines and war craft 3 engines.
posted 02-12-08 10:05 PM EDT (US)     1 / 10       
I really think that would be cool, and I know what you're talking about. However, it is very difficult. I played Soul Calibur II's Conquest Mode at an arcade for a long time, and it worked in the same way you are describing. It worked fairly well I suppose, but it revealed that it is impossible to create anything near a great copy. In all honesty, I was no slouch at Soul Calibur II, in fact I was the best at the arcade, but noobs could still beat the carbon copy of my AI fairly easily.

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posted 02-12-08 10:09 PM EDT (US)     2 / 10       
the programming of ghost AI itself is indeed a length research. the reason namco's AI arent that great is also that they only have a limited team working on it. This is why i suggest ES make this part an open research.
posted 02-13-08 01:42 AM EDT (US)     3 / 10       
It would be nice to have a decent AI to play against The graphics in RTS games keep going up, but the AI is falling farther and farther behind (the top levels always have to use handicaps).

posted 02-13-08 06:17 PM EDT (US)     4 / 10       
no offence to ES, but that is because AI has always been designed by people who are not great players themselves.

that is why instead of getting ood players to learn programming and write AI, it is better just get programmers to write AI that can learn
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posted 02-14-08 11:53 AM EDT (US)     5 / 10       
I like this idea, imagine a "Grunt AI"-that would be cool.

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posted 02-14-08 05:35 PM EDT (US)     6 / 10       
yeah, imagine you want see how does nature pheonix really use british so well - just load his british AI and get owned!

or if you want to see how did iamgrunt win WCG, pick dutch and Great Plains, then load his AI.
posted 02-14-08 05:42 PM EDT (US)     7 / 10       
ES would be too lazy to implement this, although it is a very good idea. Dunno, maybe blizzard will pick it up.

Imagine if you start with a comp that was really bad, but soon learned to find the best ways to beat you!

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posted 02-15-08 01:40 AM EDT (US)     8 / 10       
The AI in the Age of Empires series has always, frankly, been worthless. Computers are supposed to be smarter than humans. Why not in Age of Empires?

At least in AoK the AI was modable. But it still had flaws and weaknesses. We need an AI that can stand up to the best players without cheating. It's not impossible. But it needs to be able to be modified to add new strategies as more are discovered.

Because, frankly, not everyone plays online all the time. And yet we still want to play. Or maybe we want practice offline.
posted 02-15-08 02:39 AM EDT (US)     9 / 10       
Now, the problem with making an AI that learns off the opponent is the amount of programming needed. I'm no programming expert, however I know quite a bit of Java and I'm learning C++. Just to simply achieve this, this is some of the things the AI will need to do:

It needs to play a few games to orientate it's self. From there, it will have x possible strategies, where x is the amount of games you played. I'm not sure how complex you want this AI to be, but to keep it as efficient and as simple as we can, it can only do that type of strategy without interacting with the other strategies(aka, no xbow spamming in age 3) , but it can add minor variations. Over time, it will learn how to to add variants to the strategy while still playing efficiently(still no xbows while in age 3), but it will still stick to the trainers way of playing. Over time, and enough games played(talking 75, 100+) so it knows the basics ins and outs, what to do when player attacks with x, or y, and how to defend. This would be better to observe than participate, but for now lets say it's participating using the standard AI and collecting data for the ghost AI. After 125-150 games, it will be able to play with a reasonable level, master sergeant maybe. This may not seem ideal(the time it takes), but lets look general problems that may occur while programming such a tool:

As I said before, it would be better to observe than participate, but while it plays it needs to act and log, meaning every time something happens, it needs to log it to say a file. Now the problem with this is, it can update it to a certain extent but if it wants originality, it will take up several files for several strategies, it will use files for general stuff and strategy specific stuff(ie, how to counter what with what, and not to pull out xbows for a few musketeers in a pikeman rush), and after enough games played, your talking about a lot of files just so it knows what to do at certain times. This it's self would take up a huge amount of hard drive space. One of Murphy's laws, "If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.", this is very much the case. If it doesn't know how to deal with a situation then it could simply do nothing. Now, to look at the programming problems that may, yet again occur:

Taking into account the Murphy's law I stated last paragraph, there is a lot of programming to do. The programmer is going to need to do a lot of ifs and buts, (ifs and elses' in programming), for everything that happens, it needs to decide what to do next. I've spent about 20 mins typing this up(not a slow typist just thinking it over and correcting myself :P), so I'll put it in broad terms, you need to program every event that may happen in game, and you need to tell it what to do. That may seem simple, but it needs to do different things depending on what it's previously done(again, you don't want to waste coin that your using to age up to fend off some rushes), and that is what will separate this AI from the standard AI, the ability to do something based on what has happened and go from there. I'm fairly sure the standard AI follows a script, if you like, it can do some thinking for it's self, but generally it will be "if I'm finished attacking and something is idle, lets make some units to defend or attack", and the AI I'm talking about will think like the following, "well I was attacked 2 times with musketeers so instead of making musketeers myself I shall make some skirmishers as well, and I should scout to see if he has a stable to make some halberders". To put that in terms, it isn't simply "if x do y", it's more along the lines of "if x and y, while z is true, do this". I may misunderstood the idea of an AI that can "learn" and instead started typing about the dream AI, however, for an AI to learn and not follow a script, it shall need to make decisions and think about what has happened and decide what to do next, then it will remember what happened on that decision so it can correct it's self at a later date.

But in the case that an AI that can "learn" that simply follows what a player does and adapts it to an enemy, that would be relatively simple depending on if you want it to think a bit(no, not like the last paragraph :P), to understand that longbowmen are no match for say, halberders.

Anyway, as a summary, it is 7:39am and I have been up all night, so sorry again if I have misunderstood the idea of an AI that can learn and replaced it with an AI that can learn and adapt, even think for it's self. After quickly reviewing what I wrote, I do hope that this will address some of the issues that may occur with AIs in general. I just hope I haven't made a pilluk of myself, as they say.

A little late, but to finish this post off, "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works."

[This message has been edited by Elite_Niall (edited 02-15-2008 @ 02:43 AM).]

posted 02-15-08 02:40 AM EDT (US)     10 / 10       
I would love this to be implemented.

aoe3 ai borders on stupid. aom ai IS far superior and I don't understand that at all as aoe3 is the more current game.
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