Author Topic: Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download  (Read 7804 times)

Offline elwood_s

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Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2010, 06:14:28 AM »
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i really hope this is still in production...
a friend of mine... i have never been good at cold war
has found that if you try to take tigers into the enemies base the game freezes?
is this documented? or totally new? it happened in the old one to...
Hi Moley,

The game/map (cersbsA.dll) available for download from the link in the first post of this thread, is a modified version of the BlackBox's original "Plymouth Cold War" colony game.  The differences between my current version and the original are listed in that thread as well.  As of this moment you can still download my June 9th release.  If you're willing to wait a day or two, I'll be replacing that with a newer version. This one will give you a second RailGun-Lynx on all levels, plus another Convec with a Standard Lab kit and a few more colonists on Hard level.  The second Rail makes it much easier to fend off the AI's Micro-Lynx attacks, while you build up your base to the point that you can build Guard Posts and more Lynx.

I've only heard second hand about the PCW game freezes.  I've never experienced this myself, but then again I've never  tried to build Tigers in this game, so your friend may well be right.  If attacking with Tigers causes the original PCW to freeze, it'll probably do the same thing to my Modded version.  I don't think the type of changes I've made will affect that. The good news is that it's not too hard to destroy the A-lab with just Lynxes.

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i attacked with panthers/lynx but it always crashes if they drive through the AI base.
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I've never experienced this myself, but then again I've never  tried to build Tigers in this game....
Hey Flashy,

Actually, what I probably should have said is that I've never built anything but Lynxes in this game.  

There are some lines in the AI code that appear to add Panthers and Tigers to the AI's attack waves when certain conditions are met,  but I've never seen this actually happen when playing the game.  I'm not enough of a programmer to figure out by looking at the code what the trigger for that escalation is, but I'll speculate that tripping it could be the cause of the crashes.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 06:53:17 AM by elwood_s »

Offline Flashy

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Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2010, 06:18:13 AM »
These crashes occur when im driving through the AI base, but if i don't attack, never... Maybe that was added intentionally?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 06:18:47 AM by Flashy »
Praise the mighty light towers!!!

Offline elwood_s

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Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2010, 06:38:37 AM »
Quote
These crashes occur when im driving through the AI base, but if i don't attack, never... Maybe that was added intentionally?
I'd kind of doubt that.  But maybe "driving through the AI base" triggers an AI response that involves an otherwise unused section of code containing a bug that causes the crash.  I've never assembled a big enough force to drive straight through to the A-lab.  What I've usually done is take down all the AI's Tokamaks with Starflares early (easy targets), which shuts down all his factories. After that I can whittle down his defenses at my leisure.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 06:55:52 AM by elwood_s »

Offline elwood_s

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Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2010, 06:20:15 AM »
I uploaded my latest update (Mod A 1.1) yesterday afternoon. You can download it through the link in the first post of this thread. The changes from my last update are as follows:
  • You now start with two Lynx-Railguns and two Lynx-Lasers, insteasd of one Rail and three Lasers.  This minor change makes it much easier to fend off the AI's Lynx-Micro attacks long enough to get some Guard Posts up, especially on "Normal".
  • Hard level now gets the Earthworker and the second Convec with S-lab kit.
  • Hard level now starts with 25 Colonists; 16 Workers and 9 Scientists.  I've tested it, and this is definitely enough bodies to carry you through the population squeeze.  You just have to build a Common Storage so you can Idle the Smelter when necessary, and manage your workforce carefully. I think it's doable with 23 or 24 Colonists and a little luck, so if after trying it you think "Hard" level is no longer hard enough, please let me know.
  • "Easy" and "Normal" levels get a Robodozer.
  • "Easy" levels gets a third Lynx-Railgun.
I'll update the strategy guide on the second page of this thread to reflect the changes, as soon as I have time.

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The way to make Hard difficult can be done in several ways:

- Lack of colonists
- low ore
- Lots of AI attacks
- High rate of disasters
(Or of course a mixture)

Plymouth Coldwar utilizes a lack of colonists + frequent AI attacks (Currently ore problem can be bypassed).

So how to tweak this from impossible to hard ?
First off we need enough colonists to keep a minimum base running (Residence + agridome + nursury + university). From current situation we either need more colonists to begin with or a faster way to set up the basic base.

Solution A) Do a matemathical modell of newborns vs colonist deaths and keep starting colonists to a bare minimum. (Could prove annoying since 1 random dead colonist too much means scenario failure)

Solution B ) Introduce more Convecs loaded with buildings in the start.
- Could be solved by "Main base sending a larger shipment of resources - which get ambushed by Plymouth" - and you'll have to fight off/sacrifice some vecs/buildings to save the crucial ones you want. (Could prove interesting to see which buildings people go for - could also be a bit hard to implement)

Thanks for your insights. In this try at fixing the Hard level, I had to settle for something closer to your Solution A, but rather than modeling I did testing with different numbers of Colonists.  Twenty-five Colonists is definitely enough that you won't end up in a downward spiral due to an extra random death.  I suspect that more skilled players can likely get by with even less. When you get a chance please try it and let me know if I've made Hard too easy.

Unfortunately,  programming something like your Solution B is far beyond my current abilities.  I'm still planning to produce a somewhat less ambitious "Mod B". Mod B will give the player less starting resources, balanced by an AI that ramps up its attacks more slowly so that the player still has (barely) enough time to get up his defenses. But that's going to have to wait until I've gained a better understanding of BlackBox's AI, and can manipulate it predictably.

As always, everyone's comments and suggestions will be highly appreciated.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 11:55:28 AM by elwood_s »

Offline BlackBox

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Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2010, 11:08:09 AM »
I figure I can try to shed a little bit of light on this:

Quote
There are some lines in the AI code that appear to add Panthers and Tigers to the AI's attack waves when certain conditions are met, but I've never seen this actually happen when playing the game. I'm not enough of a programmer to figure out by looking at the code what the trigger for that escalation is, but I'll speculate that tripping it could be the cause of the crashes.

This is triggered by the following code:
Code: [Select]
    // Adjust what types of units to make based on the player's military strength
    if (Player[0].GetTotalPlayerStrength() >= 20 * saveData.diffMultiplier)
    {
     saveData.useTigers = true;
     saveData.aiCount = 0;
    }
I don't remember exactly the algorithm for GetTotalPlayerStrength, but it's supposed to be a very rough heuristic for determining the "military strength" of a player (its value increases dependent upon how many combat units, etc are built.. I believe heavier chassis like panther and tiger are weighted heavier). Basically, if the human player starts building lots of units (outpacing the AI in other words) these are supposed to try to help it keep up.

As far as the sending new convecs goes, if you look at the code in the "InitialReinforce" callback (it's a resource trigger that fires as soon as the player has at least 1 ore in storage) you can see how these are set up (they are created off map, since there is padding area at the sides to create "reinforcement" units like this and then given a move command to bring them to the player's base). As far as ambushing would be concerned, it would probably be easiest to do something like creating another fight group for plymouth and setting their rectangle to be somewhere near where the reinforcement vehicles will pass through (if an enemy object enters the rectangle set to a fightgroup they will engage it). There should be tutorials elsewhere on the forum that explain the use of FightGroups and other OP2 AI constructs in better detail (I think Sirbomber wrote a bunch of them).

Honestly, I think the AI would be a lot better if it was a bit more "reactive," for example building specific countermeasures to units that players are building (this is completely doable as it's possible to scan for player units being created). This AI was really quick and dirty and kind of meant as an "example" mission for those people creating AIs.

Offline elwood_s

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Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download
« Reply #55 on: June 28, 2010, 01:57:04 PM »
Quote
I figure I can try to shed a little bit of light on this:

Quote
There are some lines in the AI code that appear to add Panthers and Tigers to the AI's attack waves when certain conditions are met, but I've never seen this actually happen when playing the game. I'm not enough of a programmer to figure out by looking at the code what the trigger for that escalation is, but I'll speculate that tripping it could be the cause of the crashes.

This is triggered by the following code:
Code: [Select]
    // Adjust what types of units to make based on the player's military strength
    if (Player[0].GetTotalPlayerStrength() >= 20 * saveData.diffMultiplier)
    {
     saveData.useTigers = true;
     saveData.aiCount = 0;
    }
I don't remember exactly the algorithm for GetTotalPlayerStrength, but it's supposed to be a very rough heuristic for determining the "military strength" of a player (its value increases dependent upon how many combat units, etc are built.. I believe heavier chassis like panther and tiger are weighted heavier). Basically, if the human player starts building lots of units (outpacing the AI in other words) these are supposed to try to help it keep up.

As far as the sending new convecs goes, if you look at the code in the "InitialReinforce" callback (it's a resource trigger that fires as soon as the player has at least 1 ore in storage) you can see how these are set up (they are created off map, since there is padding area at the sides to create "reinforcement" units like this and then given a move command to bring them to the player's base). As far as ambushing would be concerned, it would probably be easiest to do something like creating another fight group for plymouth and setting their rectangle to be somewhere near where the reinforcement vehicles will pass through (if an enemy object enters the rectangle set to a fightgroup they will engage it). There should be tutorials elsewhere on the forum that explain the use of FightGroups and other OP2 AI constructs in better detail (I think Sirbomber wrote a bunch of them).

Honestly, I think the AI would be a lot better if it was a bit more "reactive," for example building specific countermeasures to units that players are building (this is completely doable as it's possible to scan for player units being created). This AI was really quick and dirty and kind of meant as an "example" mission for those people creating AIs.
Hi BlackBox,

Thanks for looking at this.


The "InitialReinforce" callback is one section of the code that I think I have a reasonable grasp of, and have already already added more Convecs with Structure kits in my last two releases.


There's another problem with the AI which I've stumbled across that's been deviling me for weeks.  Just this morning, I think I finally pinned down the cause. But I'm still not sure what's  the best way to fix it.  

I've posted a plea for help with this problem in the programming forum.  Please have a look if you can spare the time.

 

Offline Ambition13

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Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2012, 02:43:03 AM »
By comaring Colony of War with many other games I knew, I found some similarities among them. Whcih social game do you think best? For me it is "New in Town" on facebook. Why? Because it is the only game  which gives the nod on gay marriage. I think it is the most realistic life simulation game.
 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 02:47:49 AM by Ambition13 »