Fighter missions

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Tortanick
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Re: Fighter missions

#16 Post by Tortanick » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:45 am

Well we could categorise a few different kinds of major threats and go for those: Attack_Trope_Transports, Attack_Planet_Bombers and Attack_Planet_Busters. Or ships that give fleet wide bonuses if we have any.
tzlaine wrote:Avoiding enemy PD is something the fighters should just do automatically. It's not a mission per se.
Its something that should be under the players control, its a good default but if the player wants them to ignore PD ships in a high risk high gain attack on a key target, why stop them?

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pd
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Re: Fighter missions

#17 Post by pd » Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:46 am

tzlaine wrote:The Windows Fighter Demo is up.
I hate to say this, but it doesn't work for me.

Code: Select all

The application has failed to start, because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling might fix the problem.
Do I need to do anything else? I'm running xp64, btw.

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tzlaine
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Re: Fighter missions

#18 Post by tzlaine » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:06 pm

pd wrote:
tzlaine wrote:The Windows Fighter Demo is up.
I hate to say this, but it doesn't work for me.

Code: Select all

The application has failed to start, because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling might fix the problem.
Do I need to do anything else? I'm running xp64, btw.
I have no idea right now, but I'll try to fix this and repost it tonight.

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tzlaine
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Re: Fighter missions

#19 Post by tzlaine » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:17 pm

Tortanick wrote:Well we could categorise a few different kinds of major threats and go for those: Attack_Trope_Transports, Attack_Planet_Bombers and Attack_Planet_Busters. Or ships that give fleet wide bonuses if we have any.
I feel that this is too much. IMO we should have a few general orders that work in a broad array of situations, and specific orders to fill in the gaps. In other words, if you want to target troop transports, just hit ATTACK_THIS once on each transport, and let the fighters run through them in their queues. If we start adding missions like those above, it opens the door to dozens of others. The list of possible actions should be relatively short. We don't want a drop-down box or right-click menu that has 25 options in it. We want more like 10 max.

Out of curiosity, how do planet bombers and planet busters differ?
tzlaine wrote:Avoiding enemy PD is something the fighters should just do automatically. It's not a mission per se.
Its something that should be under the players control, its a good default but if the player wants them to ignore PD ships in a high risk high gain attack on a key target, why stop them?
To be clear, the PD-evasion part of fighter behavior will be subservient to the mission. In other words, multiple goals will be in play, two of which will be (1) "complete the current mission", and (2) "don't let that PD hurt me". (2) will be done as long as it doesn't keep the fighter from doing (1).

If the player wants more fine-grained control, she can manually move the fighters into a better position, then attack specific targets one at a time.

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Tortanick
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Re: Fighter missions

#20 Post by Tortanick » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:46 pm

tzlaine wrote:
Tortanick wrote:Well we could categorise a few different kinds of major threats and go for those: Attack_Trope_Transports, Attack_Planet_Bombers and Attack_Planet_Busters. Or ships that give fleet wide bonuses if we have any.
In other words, if you want to target troop transports, just hit ATTACK_THIS once on each transport, and let the fighters run through them in their queues.
Will it follow the route exactly, what happens if you order an attack on a formation, then it splits, will the fighters do a travelling salesman optimisation on who to attack first, or will they dart back and forth after every kill. Can the player choose? I don't want to have to continually optimise the order they attack ships in.
tzlaine wrote:Out of curiosity, how do planet bombers and planet busters differ?
basically its the diffrence between a normal bomb and a nuke.
tzlaine wrote:To be clear, the PD-evasion part of fighter behavior will be subservient to the mission. In other words, multiple goals will be in play, two of which will be (1) "complete the current mission", and (2) "don't let that PD hurt me". (2) will be done as long as it doesn't keep the fighter from doing (1).
The player should be able to switch (1) and (2) around at will.
tzlaine wrote:If the player wants more fine-grained control, she can manually move the fighters into a better position, then attack specific targets one at a time.
[/quote] That would require continuous adjustments based on how they move. IMO its too much micromanagement.

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tzlaine
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Re: Fighter missions

#21 Post by tzlaine » Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:15 pm

Tortanick wrote:
tzlaine wrote:In other words, if you want to target troop transports, just hit ATTACK_THIS once on each transport, and let the fighters run through them in their queues.
Will it follow the route exactly, what happens if you order an attack on a formation, then it splits, will the fighters do a travelling salesman optimisation on who to attack first, or will they dart back and forth after every kill. Can the player choose? I don't want to have to continually optimise the order they attack ships in.
There is a queue, as stated previously. So if you want to attack three ships A, B, and C, you select the fighters to do the attacking, then click the ships in some order, say B, C, A. Then the fighters will attack B until it dies, then C until it dies, then A until it dies.
tzlaine wrote:Out of curiosity, how do planet bombers and planet busters differ?
basically its the diffrence between a normal bomb and a nuke.
That's a pretty fine distinction, and reinforces what I said before about opening the door to a profusion of mission types.
tzlaine wrote:To be clear, the PD-evasion part of fighter behavior will be subservient to the mission. In other words, multiple goals will be in play, two of which will be (1) "complete the current mission", and (2) "don't let that PD hurt me". (2) will be done as long as it doesn't keep the fighter from doing (1).
The player should be able to switch (1) and (2) around at will.
That's why I said what I said below about more fine-grained control. If you want to do (1) first, (2) second, you have to have a mission that does that for you, or you have to constantly make small adjustments to the fighters' positions. If you want to do (2) first, (1) second, you essentially just need to stay outside of PD range, then move in to attack if that is possible. That means boxing around the PD before attacking.

Note that I'm assuming a scenario in which we have PD between us and the target, not PD defending the target directly. When PD are blanketting the target directly, it doesn't really matter what order you put the priorities if you're taking PD damage the whole time you're attacking anyway.
tzlaine wrote:If the player wants more fine-grained control, she can manually move the fighters into a better position, then attack specific targets one at a time.
That would require continuous adjustments based on how they move. IMO its too much micromanagement.
I hope that the queue reduces this. You should be able to click in a box around some PD, then click on the target(s) you want to hit, all at once. The relative speed of fighters vs. PD ships will probably be such that the movement of the PD ships will not be as important as the movement of the fighters. In other words, the box you make around the PD will not have to be constantly adjusted.

None of this is set in stone, and if it turns out that PD are zipping around taking out fighters, then obviously we'll need to reconsider a defense-first ordering of priorities. For now, my conception of the system is that fighters quite a bit move faster than anything but LR (missles).

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eleazar
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Re: Fighter missions

#22 Post by eleazar » Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:46 pm

tzlaine wrote:
eleazar wrote:The other mission that occurs to me is "Return to carrier" assuming we have carriers for fighters.
I thought of this, but can't think of what it's good for. MOVE_TO works for actually getting you to the carrier. As for landing on the carrier (and being removed from the fight), that might or might not be a good thing to have in the system. For the first pass, I'd like to leave all combatants, including fighters, in play all the time.
Of course it's fine to leave this off for the first pass.

But for sake of argument here's why it could be useful:

Perhaps you have all interceptors, and have destroyed all the enemies fighters, or for whatever reasons of RPS your fighters are unlikely to do anything else in this combat than be destroyed.... Or you realize that you can't win this fight and want to retreat.
These would be good reasons to return fighters to carriers.

But if you have multiple carriers, each which holds a limited portion of your fighters, you don't want to have to count them out and direct the right number to each carrier with a MOVE-TO

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Josh
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Re: Fighter missions

#23 Post by Josh » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:01 pm

You already have a protect mission? Damn, I thought for sure I had read the whole paragraph this time...

I think tzlaine did a good job picking out missions, I seriously can't think of anything good to add, Except for the return command eleazar is suggesting. Nope, you pretty much covered all the bases as far as I can tell. Sweet.

I do have one last question: you (tzlaine) mentioned there were 3 types of fightercraft. I assume they are interceptors, bombers and some kind of assault shuttle for boarding ships. Is this correct?

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tzlaine
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Re: Fighter missions

#24 Post by tzlaine » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:10 pm

Josh wrote:I do have one last question: you (tzlaine) mentioned there were 3 types of fightercraft. I assume they are interceptors, bombers and some kind of assault shuttle for boarding ships. Is this correct?
No, there are 2, bombers and interceptors. Look at the "enum FighterType" part if the code in the OP.

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tzlaine
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Re: Fighter missions

#25 Post by tzlaine » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:16 pm

eleazar wrote:Of course it's fine to leave this off for the first pass.

But for sake of argument here's why it could be useful:
[snip]
That's a good enough use case to add it right now. OP updated.

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Captain Rage
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Re: Fighter missions

#26 Post by Captain Rage » Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:09 am

pd wrote:
tzlaine wrote:The Windows Fighter Demo is up.
I hate to say this, but it doesn't work for me.

Code: Select all

The application has failed to start, because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling might fix the problem.
Do I need to do anything else? I'm running xp64, btw.
Same error here. I tested to move the glut32.dll to C:\WINDOWS\system32, but it was no good.
Running Windows 2003 32-bit.
Trying to translate FreeOrion into Swedish.

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Re: Fighter missions

#27 Post by Sandlapper » Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:37 am

tzlaine wrote:

Easier said than done. How do you determine the greatest threat?
The same way you are planning to determine the weakest threat. You have already made the decision to "weight" the opponents ships.

Reverse your "attack weakest to strongest" to "attack strongest to weakest"

Then I am only adding two steps to the AI.

Is there more the one group of enemy ships? Yes or no.

If yes, which has greater cumulative "weight" (already determined per ship) toward damaging my assignment? Attack it.

That's it. Keep it simple.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Fighter missions

#28 Post by Krikkitone » Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:14 am

actually in terms of Target priorities it is very simple

How much damage can this do to me (or my mission)

DIVIDED BY

How hard is it for me to kill it



So something that does 10 damage to me/my mission but only has 5 hp should be targeted before something that does
50 damage to me but has 100 hp.

Every hp I do against the first type saves me 2 points on average. (10/5)
Every hp I do against the second one saves me 0.5 points on average (50/100)


Basically that factor is what converts offense (me shooting at something) into defense (damage I avoid because that thing is dead)

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tzlaine
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Re: Fighter missions

#29 Post by tzlaine » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:24 pm

Sandlapper wrote:tzlaine wrote:
Easier said than done. How do you determine the greatest threat?
The same way you are planning to determine the weakest threat. You have already made the decision to "weight" the opponents ships.

Reverse your "attack weakest to strongest" to "attack strongest to weakest"
The notion of the strongest/weakest vessel and the vessel that poses the greatest threat are very different.

My current plan for evaluating strongest/weakest is to provide a value for fighter-killing ability, FK, and damagability by fighters, DF, and use (FK - DF), X, to represent the strength of the vessel from a fighter's perspective. These numbers will be determined from the vessel's ship design, computed long before combat starts. This may not work exactly like this in the end, but it will be comparably simple.

By contrast, determining the greatest threat requires an analysis of the current state of combat. If I see a really strong target, but it is so slow that it can never catch the much faster forces I have in system, is it a threat at all? It might be, if I have friendly planets to protect in system, but otherwise no. I can wait until I clean up everything else in the system before taking it on. This is just one example, and it shows just a small number of the actual factors one must take into account when determining threat levels. The point is, only the player is good at knowing what the greatest threat really is. And she's so much better than an AI would be, that trying to guess for her is certain to frustrate her. Remember the Moo3 viceroys?
Then I am only adding two steps to the AI.
Yes, but you're adding all the complexity in those two steps.
Is there more the one group of enemy ships? Yes or no.

If yes, which has greater cumulative "weight" (already determined per ship) toward damaging my assignment? Attack it.
Clustering ships together into groups for analysis is actually a very hard problem. When I say "very hard" I mean "not solved in a universally acceptable way by anyone in the computer science field", not "more that I want to bother with". It may be possible to come up with a good clustering algorithm in our particular case, but that would at best involve a large amount of playing about with different strategies, and may at worst only work in some combat situations and not others.

Deal with individual ships. KISS.
That's it. Keep it simple.
Here we agree.

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tzlaine
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Re: Fighter missions

#30 Post by tzlaine » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:27 pm

Krikkitone wrote:actually in terms of Target priorities it is very simple

How much damage can this do to me (or my mission)

DIVIDED BY

How hard is it for me to kill it
[snip]
This is basically what I outlined in my response to Sandlapper (except that I'm subtracting instead of dividing), with one difference. You're intruding the overall player objectives into the AI's consideration, and I'm not. This is important to avoid. See my constant references to Moo3 viceroys.

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