Aurora 4x

C# Aurora => Development Discussions => Topic started by: Steve Walmsley on May 28, 2018, 09:14:24 AM

Title: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on May 28, 2018, 09:14:24 AM
I haven’t posted any updates in a while, partly because of work commitments (the company I work for just bought someone else for $4.7 billion and will now become the world largest publicly listed gambling company – this will take some sorting out), partly because we have had several weeks of glorious weather on the island (so I am spending all my time outdoors with BBQ and Hot Tub) and partly because I am working on the AI, which involves a lot of thinking as well as programming.
 
In VB6, the AI is tactical-based and each squadron or ship is making decisions independently. So NPR fleets are fine at reacting to enemies and handling the mechanics of combat, but they are strategically dumb in terms of coordination and their ability to learn from experience is limited. The latter BTW is a much harder problem to solve. I have exposure to AI to some extent at work these days (in the sense that one of the teams in my department is focused on machine learning) so I understand a lot more than I did when I wrote VB6 Aurora. I hope to use some of that knowledge for the C# version and I will create strategic and operational layers for the AI to add to the tactical side.
 
VB6 has the concept of ‘Design Philosophy’ for NPRs, which sets such parameters as base hull size, amount of armour, proportion of engines, type of beam weapons, etc. for each NPR and generates all the individual component design for weapons, sensors, etc.. This means that all ship designs for the same NPR work on the same base principles. VB6 also has an ‘Automated Design’ process, which includes base parameters for many different types of NPR ship, such as missile cruiser, energy-armed destroyer, escort cruiser, FAC, energy-armed jump battlecruiser, freighter, swarm soldier, etc.. There are about 40-50 different automated designs. The combination of Design Philosophy and Automated Design determines all the NPR ship designs.
 
However, the above is still generic so every NPR is generated within the same overall potential parameters. There may be some difference in size or armour strength or overall technology, but they will still generally have missile cruisers, energy-armed destroyers, etc.. They will also generally have similar distributions of class types and there will tend to be a wide variety of types within the navy of a single NPR. This was originally intended to give players a wide range of threats to handle, within the overall AI-framework of tactical challenge, rather than strategic challenge. This many-classes approach also means that NPRs generally require a wide range of technology to support that wide range of class types, which dilutes their ability to excel in one area.

The first major change for C# is the new concept of ‘Design Themes’. This sits above the Design Philosophy, changing the way it functions by providing an overall guiding theme for how the NPRs handles its fleet methodology. For example, an NPR may decide to go for a ‘balanced’ fleet mix with large missile cruisers, mid-sized energy combatants, mid-sized AMM escorts and small energy escorts, plus scout and survey designs. This theme won’t build FACs, or carriers, or multiple sizes of the same type of ship. It will stick to a relatively small number of classes designed to work together (like a player) and will try to build ships to maintain a cohesive fleet mix. Design Themes will also determine if the NPR requires fighter or ordnance factories and will set other parameters, such as maximum number of survey or scout ships. Tied to the Design Theme is a Tech Progression Plan, so the NPR will only research technology that is applicable to its chosen theme.
 
There is a lot of scope for Design Themes. The Theme may be based around large carriers with small escorts (Starfire Rigellians), a Star Trek approach with large, multipurpose ships, a Raider theme with small, agile ships, Energy-only fleets using Railgun and Gauss-armed battleships, Turtle races with a lot of orbital bases, Ground-combat led fleets, etc.. This will add much more variety to NPRs and allow me to add modifications to NPR behaviours at a strategic level, based on their overall theme. While individual NPRs may not have as many different ship types, there will be much more variety at a game level.
 
In VB6, task groups are generally one type of ship, with a jump ship added in some cases. Escort-type squadrons will try to accompany major combatants but remain as separate task groups. C# replaces this with the concept of ‘Operational Groups’. Each group can have a number of different ships types intended to work together as a single fleet. As ships are built, they will join an operational group that requires that type. Each operational goal has a primary mission that it can handle on a tactical level, but the overall direction of these groups will be handled at strategic level. For example, several groups may be assigned a staging area before the command is given to advance against an identified target. Alternatively, they may be assigned an operational area, which the operational group AI cannot leave unless permission is given by the strategic AI. Worth noting here that there will be many AIs (ship, fleet, system, population, etc.) all working within the strategic AI.

The NPR has an Operational Group Progression, which determines what it will create with its starting build points. Larger NPRs will have more groups in the progression. NPRs now have to use shipyards in the same way as players, so shipyards will be tooled to build the most important ships. As new shipyards are constructed and expanded, they will be assigned other ships in order of importance. Each Op Group has a ‘Key Element’, which is the primary ship type and therefore the most important for shipyards.

Because higher level AIs will exist, the NPR will make decisions on a strategic level. One of those decisions will be deciding on the relative importance of different systems. Systems will be assigned as Core, Important, Neutral and Alien-Controlled. Once communication is established, the NPR will inform the player which systems it claims and which systems it believes should remain neutral (i.e. not claimed by the player). Beyond those systems, it will recognise player sovereignty claims unless it decides to start a war. However, it may also change its definition in some cases and claim a previously neutral or player controlled system. The player can accede to such a demand to avoid a war. Even if war breaks out, the NPR will have war goals and may accept peace once those goals are achieved or if it believes it cannot achieve them.
 
So far I have built the first design theme (which is based on missile battlegroups and no jump drives), the tech progression for that theme and the operational group progression. The tech progression is based on ‘Tech Groups’, with each group being series of techs linked to a common theme. So the Lasers tech group includes focal size, wavelength and capacitor recharge rate. The NPR uses its starting tech points to go through the tech progression in order. There can be multiple instances of the same tech group at different points of the progression. Each time the same tech group appears, the NPR will research the next generation techs. Once the game starts, the NPR will continue with the progression. The progression will only include techs that are required for the operational groups in the design theme.
 
Operational groups for this first design theme include Orbital Defence, Missile Battle Group, Jump Point Defence, Construction Ship Group, Gravitational Survey, Destroyer Squadron, etc.. Each group includes one or more classes to provide a balanced fleet.
 
For example, the Missile Battle Group has five missile-armed BCs, three missile CLE, three beam DE, two beam CAs, a FAC-Hunter DD and a Fighter-Hunter DD. I’ll probably add a fleet scout when I create the necessary design template. This force will operate as a fleet, which will correct many of the coordination problems inherent to NPRs in VB6. The Destroyer Squadron (Missile DD, FAC-Hunter DD, Fighter-Hunter DD) will act as a patrol force, while the Jump Point Defence group (3 Beam CA, 1 Missile CLE, 2 Beam DE) will be deployed to protect jump points. The Construction Ship Group has a JGCS, CLE and 2x DE. This concept of dedicated escorts within a wider group function should make NPRs more effective.
 
I have been running a series of NPR creations and checking the designs and naval organization. Based on those results I am tweaking the design templates and design theme / philosophy modifiers to ensure a sensible outcome. Once I am happy, I will generate some more design themes.

I have also been working on the population and empire management AIs. Population AIs handle decisions on producing fuel or ordnance, building installations and constructing ships. Ordnance is produced based on what is required vs existing stocks and production. Installations such as factories, mines, research facilities academies, etc. are built based on the status and size of the population. Shipyard construction and expansion, plus the construction of new ships, is based on the requirements of the operational groups. NPR Populations will also convert conventional factories. Everything in this paragraph is coded.

At the Empire level, each population is given a score for terraforming potential and mining potential. Terraformers are dispatched to those colonies which can be terraformed the fastest, while civilian contracts for importing mines are set for the best mining sites (all that is coded). Decisions on the placement of tracking stations and logistical installations will also be handled at the Empire level. NPRs will be using fuel in C# Aurora (and perhaps maintenance too – haven’t decided yet) so facilities for loading fuel and ordnance will be needed. They will also transport minerals to where they are needed, so you will be able to intercept and capture mineral and installation shipments (this needs to be coded).

The next major part is the movement and combat AI, plus the operational AI (for deciding where to deploy the operational groups). After that I will tackle the diplomatic AI. Making progress but still some way to go.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on May 28, 2018, 10:45:43 AM
Hi Steve,

  Thanks for the update - sounds great!!  And congrats on the acquisition - must be making for interesting times :)

  One thing that struck me while I was reading was how much the modders (of which I'm NOT one) will be salivating over being able to get into the system to define new Design Themes.  So I instantly thought: they'll love it if Steve sets it up so that Design Themes (and possibly other types of AI parameter specification sets) as text files so they can mod to their hearts' content.  I then thought about that maybe being a pain for you; my next thought was "maybe Steve should write a Design Theme creation tool that is basically just one or more dialogs to make new parameters". 

  This post was intended to advocate in that direction by pointing out how much easier for you to make new Design Themes if you did it through a dialog, when I realize while typing that you already do this in VB6 with Design Philosophies so it's probably not a hard sell :)

  So I'm shifting course to advocating "go the slightly extra mile to make it easy for modders to write their own AI mods".  I think the primary thing missing here is the inability in VB6 to save what mods you've made in a way that can be used in a new game/DB - although IIRC for things like class name lists you can load text files (which I realize brings me back full circle to my first thought of using text files).  I think there's still room for this to be made a lot easier for modders with some conscious/directed effort on your part, and I suspect it will still make your life easier. 

  I think the main thing is to have two "data sources": game saves (obviously the classic DB) and game configuration "info sets", which is where the mods live.  I think the important thing is to have configuration info sets and saves be in separate files, and to be able to load more than one configuration info set; if that's the case then people will be able to build mods with extra info that are able to be loaded into their (or others') games at will.  If you went so far as to put class designs into the category of configuration info one could create whole pre-packaged races, but this is probably a bridge too far, at least initially.

  The other thing to be thinking about, and I'm not sure if this is or is not an added burden compared to if you didn't do it, is forward compatibility of mods.  I remember in SA that there was someone who would publish a DB conversion tool to keep up with the DB changes; if you're planning to strongly support modders, then that would also entail designing a mechanism to update the mods as the info requirements change.  The reason I think this might not be a big efficiency hit for you is if you were to use the tool yourself as your changing the game.  I think the most important part here would be to have a "immutable meaning" philosophy with parameter names in the mod files (whether they're text files or a separate DB), along with some sort of schema concept that tells you which names are used: If a change is made so that a the values of a parameter "BobV1" need to be changed, then "BobV1" is retired (by removing from the schema) and "BobV2" is added.  If these to concepts are available, then it should be easy to write a tool that auto-populates values from an old mod and allows you to type in new values (and/or just edit text files by hand).  Even if you didn't publish a tool, publishing the "schema" (not necessarily in XML format - more like a name and list of column name & type for each of the relevant tables) it would help a lot to set someone else up to write a tool.

Note that it sounds like I'm pushing for text (XML-ish) configuration files in the above but I'm not.  The same sorts of ideas could be implemented by combining a separate config info DB with one or more dialogs (probably one per table); the "schema" would then just be the column names in the table as described above.

The above sounds like a lot of work for you, but I'm thinking it might save you time in the long run by building a toolset that makes it more efficient for you to morph/add to the datasets as you go.  OTOH, I imagine you're pretty good at making these sorts of changes in the raw DB by now :)  If you do decide to go down the text file route and are thinking of using XML, you might want to look at the XMLSerialize class/function in .NET - it auto-generates a schema off of the public data members of a class.  This is GREAT, but I suspect it might be too fragile wrto documenting changes to the schema/data members.

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bremen on May 29, 2018, 01:33:59 PM
Great news! Though I want to urge you not to get discouraged or frustrated if things don't turn out perfect; even the big AAA strategy games with teams of programmers assigned to AI for a year or more often end up with very handicapped or cheating AIs - it's just a tough problem to solve. And those games usually have much more simplified mechanics compared to Aurora.

  One thing that struck me while I was reading was how much the modders (of which I'm NOT one) will be salivating over being able to get into the system to define new Design Themes.  So I instantly thought: they'll love it if Steve sets it up so that Design Themes (and possibly other types of AI parameter specification sets) as text files so they can mod to their hearts' content.  I then thought about that maybe being a pain for you; my next thought was "maybe Steve should write a Design Theme creation tool that is basically just one or more dialogs to make new parameters". 

I don't think even a design tool is necessary; if the design themes are somewhere accessible with even reasonably parse-able syntax I'm sure there are people who would figure it out and be happy to write design themes.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Barkhorn on May 29, 2018, 04:38:15 PM
Will the AI be smart enough to combine these "Operational Groups" into larger fleets?  Because if not, even VB6 AI would likely defeat them soundly, just with sheer numbers.  The example you gave is only 15 ships, whereas I've seen NPR fleets of 30 or more.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: the obelisk on May 29, 2018, 06:09:51 PM
Will the AI be smart enough to combine these "Operational Groups" into larger fleets?  Because if not, even VB6 AI would likely defeat them soundly, just with sheer numbers.  The example you gave is only 15 ships, whereas I've seen NPR fleets of 30 or more.
I think that was addressed:
As ships are built, they will join an operational group that requires that type. Each operational goal has a primary mission that it can handle on a tactical level, but the overall direction of these groups will be handled at strategic level. For example, several groups may be assigned a staging area before the command is given to advance against an identified target.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Barkhorn on May 29, 2018, 06:18:17 PM
I just want to make sure the groups aren't limited in size.  That those numbers are more about class ratios than strict target numbers.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on May 29, 2018, 06:21:39 PM
No fear mate:
Quote
For example, several groups may be assigned a staging area before the command is given to advance against an identified target.

So you might encounter just a single group if you're performing a recon-in-force raid, but once the NPR comes after you, it might combine multiple groups if it knows enough about you.

This is good, because it prevents the doom-stack syndrome so prevalent in other strategy games.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: the obelisk on May 29, 2018, 06:30:20 PM
I just want to make sure the groups aren't limited in size.  That those numbers are more about class ratios than strict target numbers.
The groups may very well be limited in size, but according to Steve, they'll be able to work together on an objective.  If an NPR using operational groups of 15 ships feels like it needs to send more than thirteen ships, it sounds like it will be able to send multiple groups to act as a larger unit.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on May 30, 2018, 09:03:59 PM
Just a question but will the new AI design and build new ground units under the same theme template you are describing?  Also, will NPRs finally be able to initiate ground invasions/assaults?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: backstab on May 31, 2018, 03:46:17 AM
I hope so ... that would be great
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on May 31, 2018, 06:24:01 AM
Just a question but will the new AI design and build new ground units under the same theme template you are describing?  Also, will NPRs finally be able to initiate ground invasions/assaults?

Yes, they will design and build the new ground units. My plan is for invasions, although I haven't coded it yet.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on May 31, 2018, 06:24:34 AM
I just want to make sure the groups aren't limited in size.  That those numbers are more about class ratios than strict target numbers.
The groups may very well be limited in size, but according to Steve, they'll be able to work together on an objective.  If an NPR using operational groups of 15 ships feels like it needs to send more than thirteen ships, it sounds like it will be able to send multiple groups to act as a larger unit.

Yes, this is what will happen.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SerBeardian on June 01, 2018, 06:42:29 AM
Loving these changes and super excited.

Important question: are NPRs going to stop exploring way beyond the territory it can reasonably hold, while also building Gates everywhere all the time? I would think with fuel changes that would be a yes, but would be nice to get an official answer.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Seolferwulf on June 01, 2018, 10:10:33 AM
Loving these changes and super excited.

Important question: are NPRs going to stop exploring way beyond the territory it can reasonably hold, while also building Gates everywhere all the time? I would think with fuel changes that would be a yes, but would be nice to get an official answer.

If I remember correctly some NPRs might still plaster every system with Gates, but most should not.
It depends on the NPR's theme (if that's the right word for it).
Whether exploring has changed too I don't know, but I'd guess so.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on June 01, 2018, 11:58:19 AM
Loving these changes and super excited.

Important question: are NPRs going to stop exploring way beyond the territory it can reasonably hold, while also building Gates everywhere all the time? I would think with fuel changes that would be a yes, but would be nice to get an official answer.

They will need fuel, so there will be a limit to how far they can progress without the necessary logistics infrastructure. Some NPRs will also restrict themselves to a certain distance from their home system and others will stay out of systems controlled by other races.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bisc8 on June 04, 2018, 03:47:39 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096.  msg108504#msg108504 date=1527516864
Worth noting here that there will be many AIs (ship, fleet, system, population, etc.  ) all working within the strategic AI. 

Will those low level AIs also be available for the player? For example, if the player don't want to manage the colonies, can he order the population AI to take care of it for him?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: firsal on June 05, 2018, 08:32:06 AM
These changes sound absolutely amazing! However, I do have a few questions. Will the AI be able to change its doctrine or design philosophy in reaction to its experiences in combat? For example, if it finds its current beam-based designs ineffective versus an enemy, will it be able to create new designs in response to these experiences, or even change to a more effective design philosophy? Will it also prioritize certain research fields and/or create new components based on experiences in combat in order to counter specific threats?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on June 05, 2018, 09:03:21 AM
These changes sound absolutely amazing! However, I do have a few questions. Will the AI be able to change its doctrine or design philosophy in reaction to its experiences in combat? For example, if it finds its current beam-based designs ineffective versus an enemy, will it be able to create new designs in response to these experiences, or even change to a more effective design philosophy? Will it also prioritize certain research fields and/or create new components based on experiences in combat in order to counter specific threats?

Not initially (or I will never get the mythical test campaign started) :)

I will continue to develop the AI post-launch though and these are definitely areas I will tackle at some point.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Profugo Barbatus on June 05, 2018, 04:29:27 PM
I'm certainly ok without to start. Just having to retool my fleet to deal with potential countering AI compositions will be very interesting, and help protract AI warfare. Combine that with ground combat and the AI doing ground combat, and I can see myself finally playing AI campaigns instead of pure RP campaigns again.

Question, in the interest of combating potential slowdown, is there any way we could enforce the expansion limits? Having the AI not spawn more AI helps, but being able to force them to set themselves a systems-from-homeworld limit would be nice for long term campaigns.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on June 05, 2018, 04:34:54 PM
These changes sound absolutely amazing! However, I do have a few questions. Will the AI be able to change its doctrine or design philosophy in reaction to its experiences in combat? For example, if it finds its current beam-based designs ineffective versus an enemy, will it be able to create new designs in response to these experiences, or even change to a more effective design philosophy? Will it also prioritize certain research fields and/or create new components based on experiences in combat in order to counter specific threats?

Not initially (or I will never get the mythical test campaign started) :)

I will continue to develop the AI post-launch though and these are definitely areas I will tackle at some point.

Adaptive AI is a nightmare as this will impact the whole production chain with the risk of looping production each time it encounters a new race plus the research tree component factor. I think you could tackle this right away just adding "standard" designs of multi-role ships and if possible just rather than have 100% research and ship production focused on the philosophy balance it to 80-20 or even 70-30 making sure there are always a good base tech and ships able to serve the purpose. I think the actual V6 races already use something like that, so would be a good starting point. At that point, you need to focus more on the new Strategic AI behaviour (assign the right ships to the right enemy etc) which I believe would be easier than constantly balancing it.

However, I do really love the concept therefore if you manage to integrate it...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on June 05, 2018, 11:03:20 PM
These changes sound absolutely amazing! However, I do have a few questions. Will the AI be able to change its doctrine or design philosophy in reaction to its experiences in combat? For example, if it finds its current beam-based designs ineffective versus an enemy, will it be able to create new designs in response to these experiences, or even change to a more effective design philosophy? Will it also prioritize certain research fields and/or create new components based on experiences in combat in order to counter specific threats?

Not initially (or I will never get the mythical test campaign started) :)

I will continue to develop the AI post-launch though and these are definitely areas I will tackle at some point.

Adaptive AI is a nightmare as this will impact the whole production chain with the risk of looping production each time it encounters a new race plus the research tree component factor. I think you could tackle this right away just adding "standard" designs of multi-role ships and if possible just rather than have 100% research and ship production focused on the philosophy balance it to 80-20 or even 70-30 making sure there are always a good base tech and ships able to serve the purpose. I think the actual V6 races already use something like that, so would be a good starting point. At that point, you need to focus more on the new Strategic AI behaviour (assign the right ships to the right enemy etc) which I believe would be easier than constantly balancing it.

However, I do really love the concept therefore if you manage to integrate it...

That sounds like a largely terrible idea.  If an NPR's beam ships aren't good enough, it's AI should seek to build better beam ships, not abandon beam ships entirely.  I don't want to see every enemy evolving towards the same end design.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Panopticon on June 06, 2018, 03:30:26 AM
These changes sound absolutely amazing! However, I do have a few questions. Will the AI be able to change its doctrine or design philosophy in reaction to its experiences in combat? For example, if it finds its current beam-based designs ineffective versus an enemy, will it be able to create new designs in response to these experiences, or even change to a more effective design philosophy? Will it also prioritize certain research fields and/or create new components based on experiences in combat in order to counter specific threats?

Not initially (or I will never get the mythical test campaign started) :)

I will continue to develop the AI post-launch though and these are definitely areas I will tackle at some point.

Adaptive AI is a nightmare as this will impact the whole production chain with the risk of looping production each time it encounters a new race plus the research tree component factor. I think you could tackle this right away just adding "standard" designs of multi-role ships and if possible just rather than have 100% research and ship production focused on the philosophy balance it to 80-20 or even 70-30 making sure there are always a good base tech and ships able to serve the purpose. I think the actual V6 races already use something like that, so would be a good starting point. At that point, you need to focus more on the new Strategic AI behaviour (assign the right ships to the right enemy etc) which I believe would be easier than constantly balancing it.

However, I do really love the concept therefore if you manage to integrate it...

That sounds like a largely terrible idea.  If an NPR's beam ships aren't good enough, it's AI should seek to build better beam ships, not abandon beam ships entirely.  I don't want to see every enemy evolving towards the same end design.

I don't disagree, but there should be some sort of balance, optimally played missile ships are pretty much always gonna beat optimally played beam ships, assuming the logistics are there, so an energy loving fleet will eventually need to make some nod to the missile tech trees, if only to produce effective antimissiles.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Graham on June 06, 2018, 04:25:16 AM
If an entire empire is geared towards beams in ships, infrastructure and tech. Then switching to missiles in the middle of a war is not going to help it. It will just end up with a janky composition of beam ships and terribly outdated missile designs.
Changing design philosophies to counter enemies is important but switching to a completely new tech basis and doctrine is just insanity unless perhaps due to salvage you are able to get a giant tech boost in the right direction.

Even if you only want to develop anti missiles, getting them to the point where they are close to as effective as your beam pd will still be a very sizeable tech investment, which probably won’t be worth it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on June 06, 2018, 09:43:16 AM
I don't disagree, but there should be some sort of balance, optimally played missile ships are pretty much always gonna beat optimally played beam ships, assuming the logistics are there, so an energy loving fleet will eventually need to make some nod to the missile tech trees, if only to produce effective antimissiles.

In my experience, optimally played missile ships never beat optimally played beam ships -- strategically --  because of logistics.  Armour and shields and point defense can be cheaper than the missiles needed to destroy them.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TCD on June 06, 2018, 09:45:07 AM
I don't disagree, but there should be some sort of balance, optimally played missile ships are pretty much always gonna beat optimally played beam ships, assuming the logistics are there, so an energy loving fleet will eventually need to make some nod to the missile tech trees, if only to produce effective antimissiles.

In my experience, optimally played missile ships never beat optimally played beam ships -- strategically --  because of logistics.  Armour and shields and point defense can be cheaper than the missiles needed to destroy them.
In any case, even ignoring logistics I don't think we actually know that missiles will be superior to beams for C# Aurora. With all the changes going through balance is going to be pretty different.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Panopticon on June 06, 2018, 01:23:41 PM
Not getting into the missiles vs beams argument, because even if you are right then my point remains, let's flip the script then and say its a missile focused NPR vs a beam optimized player, wouldn't the AI still need to start making adjustments rather than focusing on it's current outclassed strategy?

Yeah it's a tech investment and might be hard to catch up in, but what are the other options if you are in a losing war with your current tech? Stay the course and go down fighting? Sue for peace or a truce and get time to change? Surrender?

the last couple options would be cool if the AI is flexible enough to do that, but the stay the course and go down fighting option seems like maybe no the thing to commit to every time, in an ideal world at least.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on June 06, 2018, 02:51:00 PM
Yes; stay the course and go down fighting, every time.  I am not interested in playing against a thousand NPRs that end up as perfect-tech clones.  I want to fight the empire that commits to size 13 missile launchers and plasma carronades, or the empire that loves FACs and massed Gauss cannons.

To extend the metaphor, let's abandon Aurora and think Star Fleet Battles instead.  I don't want an AI that figures out Photon Torpedoes are the best heavy weapon and abandons Disruptors and Plasma Torpedoes and Hellbore Cannons and PPDs, etc.  I don't want my Klingon and Romulan and Kzinti and Gorn and Hydran and ISC enemies all turning into Orion Pirates because photons & engine doubling equal an "I win" button.

It is more important to me that computer-controlled enemies be flavourful, and noticeably different form each other, than that they provide the theoretical best possible tactical challenge.

An NPR that builds a fleet of 60% missile cruisers and 40% beam fighters should strive to build the best damn possible fleet of 60% missile cruisers and 40% beam fighters, not a fleet of 100% supercarriers loaded with fighters equipped for long-range missile strikes.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on June 06, 2018, 06:40:06 PM
Yes; stay the course and go down fighting, every time.  I am not interested in playing against a thousand NPRs that end up as perfect-tech clones.  I want to fight the empire that commits to size 13 missile launchers and plasma carronades, or the empire that loves FACs and massed Gauss cannons.

To extend the metaphor, let's abandon Aurora and think Star Fleet Battles instead.  I don't want an AI that figures out Photon Torpedoes are the best heavy weapon and abandons Disruptors and Plasma Torpedoes and Hellbore Cannons and PPDs, etc.  I don't want my Klingon and Romulan and Kzinti and Gorn and Hydran and ISC enemies all turning into Orion Pirates because photons & engine doubling equal an "I win" button.

It is more important to me that computer-controlled enemies be flavourful, and noticeably different form each other, than that they provide the theoretical best possible tactical challenge.

An NPR that builds a fleet of 60% missile cruisers and 40% beam fighters should strive to build the best damn possible fleet of 60% missile cruisers and 40% beam fighters, not a fleet of 100% supercarriers loaded with fighters equipped for long-range missile strikes.

Well that was my point quoting myself """adding "standard" designs of multi-role ships and if possible just rather than have 100% research and ship production focused on the philosophy balance it to 80-20 or even 70-30"""

You have 70% ships that follow the philosophy and another 30% fishing from the standard pool that will be then managed and assigned by the new Strategic AI to tackle the right threat.

I believe same as you do those computer-controlled enemies have to be flavourful, and noticeably different from each other.

EDIT: for standard, I meant not philosophy related rather than a prebuilt blueprint ship.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: the obelisk on June 06, 2018, 09:51:38 PM
I think we should look for a middle ground here.  I do agree that the NPR's should have some capacity for adapting in the face of their doctrine completely failing, but at the same time I agree that they should retain their flavor, rather than just sinking massive amounts of RP into whatever the optimal ship builds are.  Seems to me that what makes sense is for an NPR in that situation to alter it's doctrine based on what technology it has available.  So basically, it would be adapting by using more or less of a certain kind of ship, using ships with load-outs it wasn't previously using, building types of ships it hadn't previously built, and/or using ships in ways it hadn't previously used them.  So, for example, if an NPR that shows a strong tendency towards large capital ships starts losing pretty badly, it might decide to start focusing on building a larger number of smaller ships, and an NPR that generally prefers large fleet on fleet battles that starts losing badly might switch to a more raiding/hit-and-run oriented strategy.  In either case, they'd largely do this using the technology they have, rather than trying to totally optimize the tech aspect of whatever it is they're trying.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Panopticon on June 07, 2018, 02:56:37 AM
Yes; stay the course and go down fighting, every time.  I am not interested in playing against a thousand NPRs that end up as perfect-tech clones.  I want to fight the empire that commits to size 13 missile launchers and plasma carronades, or the empire that loves FACs and massed Gauss cannons.

To extend the metaphor, let's abandon Aurora and think Star Fleet Battles instead.  I don't want an AI that figures out Photon Torpedoes are the best heavy weapon and abandons Disruptors and Plasma Torpedoes and Hellbore Cannons and PPDs, etc.  I don't want my Klingon and Romulan and Kzinti and Gorn and Hydran and ISC enemies all turning into Orion Pirates because photons & engine doubling equal an "I win" button.

It is more important to me that computer-controlled enemies be flavourful, and noticeably different form each other, than that they provide the theoretical best possible tactical challenge.

An NPR that builds a fleet of 60% missile cruisers and 40% beam fighters should strive to build the best damn possible fleet of 60% missile cruisers and 40% beam fighters, not a fleet of 100% supercarriers loaded with fighters equipped for long-range missile strikes.

You have strong opinions with good reasons for them and I respect that, it may not be exactly what I want to see in an ideal game but I'll surely play that and have fun with it either way.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: hubgbf on June 07, 2018, 05:09:35 AM
Hi,

What about implementing for each NPR 2-3 standard response ?

Example, a beam oriented NPR is facing a player or NPR with a huge missile load, the standard response will be to have a higher part of its fleet being beam anti-missile ship.
A beam oriented NPR facing longer ranged beam oriented PNR will research faster ship or longer ranged beam ship (per design, tech , or spinal weapon).

It will offer a challenge to a player without offering an opportunity windows while switching tech, and preserve the diversity of opponent.

The communauty will certainly be able to offer help to define such response on the spoiler forum.

best Regards
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: the obelisk on June 08, 2018, 10:49:20 AM
Kind of in line with what I posted earlier, I feel like there's a lot of ways you could give the NPRs ability to adapt without changing their thematic feeling.  I've been reading a bit about stuff like this for a multi-faction game I'm trying to start up, and I think that there's definitely plenty of subtle aspects to how the fleet uses its ships.  For example, if I understand correctly, during WW2, Japan had several warships with carrier capacity, which they used to hold planes for recon purposes, whereas the USA didn't really do that, and instead focused pretty much entirely on their aircraft carriers for carrying purposes.  Also, unless I'm mistaken, the IJN tended to do its recon with fighter planes, while the USN tended to do its recon with dive bombers.

Differences like these, for example, seem like they'd be important enough to matter (and, I'm under the impression that the IJN using battleship and cruiser based aircraft was itself an attempt to adapt to the situation, after losing carriers), but subtle enough that it wouldn't erase the thematic/unique feeling of the NPR making the change.

EDIT: If this discussion goes on any further we should probably split off to a new thread.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Barkhorn on June 08, 2018, 11:19:00 AM
I don't actually have a problem with NPR's changing their themes.  Navy's have occasionally changed their design doctrines drastically in the past, why would alien navies not do this too?

Obviously there should be some inertia, but I don't think it's realistic or fun for the doctrines to be set in stone.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Icecoon on June 08, 2018, 01:58:45 PM
Well, I can't wait for the release or at least the start of the new campaign by Steve. Until that time I have one more campaign to finish. :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on June 09, 2018, 12:44:49 PM
All good comments - I won't make any dramatic changes for NPR themes - more adjustments to the existing theme if required. And that is a long way off in any event.

Most pressing problem at the moment is actually finding time to program. A combination of great weather, the Isle of Man TT (just finished) and a very addictive book series is continuing to distract. And I am going on vacation for a week next week. I will get back to it soon though.

BTW the book series is probably interesting for anyone who enjoys the world-building aspect of Aurora. Someone is sent to the 1980s to change history and avoid several disasters in the present day. The series is about his efforts over several decades (and very detailed).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magestic-Trilogy-espionage-alternate-history-ebook/dp/B01MU8Y9GV/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TheDeadlyShoe on June 09, 2018, 12:56:18 PM
Good stuff!  Looking forward to themed games.  Battlestar fights with NPCs? Yes please!


Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Icecoon on June 10, 2018, 03:10:07 AM
Take your time Steve. I know from experience, that summer is the worst season to program or to work on anything. So much distraction.   :)
Maybe gather some ideas for your test campaign from those books.  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on June 11, 2018, 09:04:32 AM
I don't have high hopes for that book, let us know how it turns out though.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 08, 2018, 06:22:46 AM
I know I haven't published many updates lately (due to reasons given above plus World Cup now as well) :). However, I have been making some progress with the AI.

NPRs assess all their systems every construction phase (Capital, Core, Primary, Secondary, Claimed, Neutral, No Value) using an 'Empire AI'. This takes into account existing populations and mining sites (with greater size being higher value), logistics installations (more = high value), potential mining sites, potential colony sites (with greater potential = higher value for mining/colony sites) and proximity to high value systems (so an NPR will judge a system to have value because it provides a defensive buffer to another system). The value of mining sites is also affected by whatever minerals are in short supply within the empire.

Those 'system values' will used for a wide variety of decision-making. For example, every construction phase (or more often during war) the NPR will review the strategic deployment of its major fleet units and patrol squadrons, based on the value of the systems that need protection. Construction ships and terraformers will take account of those values (and any recent combat) when determining the route to their destination or where to conduct tasks (no more construction ships committing suicide I hope). This will also restrict those NPRs who stabilise jump points to within their own territory (or close to it - depending on the NPR). All the above is already coded. Once I get around to diplomacy, the NPR will make decisions in terms of player interaction that take into account the systems involved (more likely to fight if system is higher level - may negotiate over lower level systems).

I plan to have most strategic movement handled at the Empire AI level and fleet AIs will generally not move out of their assigned systems without permission from the higher level AI.  Fleet AIs calculate their own combat status (taking into account damage and magazine loadouts, etc.) and inform the Empire AI so it can take account of that when making deployment decisions. For example, if a fleet runs low on ammo in a key system, the Empire AI will dispatch another fleet if one is available (or divert one from a lower priority system). There will also be system-level AIs that will coordinate fleet movements when required, such as conflict in the system.

The population AIs are also well-underway and can make decisions on what to build in factories or shipyards. Ordnance for example is constructed based on whatever is needed by existing fleets, taking into account current magazine loads and Empire-wide stockpiles. NPRs have to tool shipyards in C# Aurora, so the Population AI makes that decision, taking into account what is required. The Pop AI also makes decisions on shipyard upgrades or adding slipways. It will also convert conventional factories.

As you imagine, this is a lot of work, not to mention trying to hold the overall picture in my head while coding (I never bother with design documentation beyond a few high-level to-do lists, although I comment code a LOT), so don't view the lack of updates as lack of progress. In fact, my first 'test game' may well be NPR-only as I see how they handle the new way of doing things.

I'll give more updates as I make more progress.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on July 08, 2018, 09:57:40 AM
I wonder how much testing must go into this for it to work correctly :)
But this stats to sound as a dream-game now, that's the only game ill be playing after its release :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 08, 2018, 10:36:41 AM
I wonder how much testing must go into this for it to work correctly :)
But this stats to sound as a dream-game now, that's the only game ill be playing after its release :)

Yes, lots of testing needed :)

Now working on how the AI decides what the most important jump points are to defend within its territory (taking into account location of known hostile contacts and the value of its own systems) and how it deploys any dedicated jump point defence forces accordingly.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on July 08, 2018, 01:42:45 PM
I wonder how much testing must go into this for it to work correctly :)
But this stats to sound as a dream-game now, that's the only game ill be playing after its release :)

Yes, lots of testing needed :)

Now working on how the AI decides what the most important jump points are to defend within its territory (taking into account location of known hostile contacts and the value of its own systems) and how it deploys any dedicated jump point defence forces accordingly.

Hi Steve,

  I don't remember if this has come up recently, but how amenable is the design to giving a player the ability to have AI system "agents" (e.g. planetary governor, fleet commander, sector governor, ...)?  It would be cool to be able to decide the level of abstraction one wants to work at and delegate the rest to AI....

  If you were to go down that road, you might think about putting "personality" or "trait" (such as aggressiveness, paranoia, and/or xenophobia/philia) hooks into the decision making process that would give some variation into the factors that weigh into the prioritization.

  Not advocating putting it all into the first version, just suggesting you keep it in the back of your mind when coding....

Thanks,
John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 08, 2018, 02:05:23 PM
I wonder how much testing must go into this for it to work correctly :)
But this stats to sound as a dream-game now, that's the only game ill be playing after its release :)

Yes, lots of testing needed :)

Now working on how the AI decides what the most important jump points are to defend within its territory (taking into account location of known hostile contacts and the value of its own systems) and how it deploys any dedicated jump point defence forces accordingly.

Hi Steve,

  I don't remember if this has come up recently, but how amenable is the design to giving a player the ability to have AI system "agents" (e.g. planetary governor, fleet commander, sector governor, ...)?  It would be cool to be able to decide the level of abstraction one wants to work at and delegate the rest to AI....

  If you were to go down that road, you might think about putting "personality" or "trait" (such as aggressiveness, paranoia, and/or xenophobia/philia) hooks into the decision making process that would give some variation into the factors that weigh into the prioritization.

  Not advocating putting it all into the first version, just suggesting you keep it in the back of your mind when coding....

Thanks,
John

At the moment, the code relies on certain things being in place (like operational groups with certain types of ships and abilities), so the player would have to replicate that in order to have the AI run their fleets. It may be possible to have some form of AI planetary governor for players, but for fleet operations the player would have to restrict himself in order to avoid the AI being confused when something wasn't in the right format or didn't have the necessary capabilities. The AI should be able to do more in C# Aurora, but it still won't have the total flexibility of a human.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Impassive on July 09, 2018, 05:30:48 AM
Sounding like you make alot of progress on the AI, what is left for the AI? Man I read that post like 5 times and it was better every loop :) #Skynet
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Caplin on July 10, 2018, 08:25:16 PM
Reading stuff like this is starting to get me excited about the game again. I tend to go through phases where I get deeply into it for a few months, and then get distracted, but I think I might be getting ready to come back. Please keep us posted.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Profugo Barbatus on July 10, 2018, 10:29:55 PM
I know the feeling. Right now, the bug is biting me hard, really want to do a Halo Themed game, but it'd just feel wrong to not wait until the ground combat update.

Steve, I know we can't expect any dates, but would we be able to get an updated list of the major pieces you still need to stand up before your ready to go? Looks like AI still has some major pieces to build out, but what lies beyond that.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 11, 2018, 10:05:39 AM
I know the feeling. Right now, the bug is biting me hard, really want to do a Halo Themed game, but it'd just feel wrong to not wait until the ground combat update.

Steve, I know we can't expect any dates, but would we be able to get an updated list of the major pieces you still need to stand up before your ready to go? Looks like AI still has some major pieces to build out, but what lies beyond that.

Off the top of my head, still a big chunk on AI, about 20% of movement orders, including resupply, checking potential missile impacts to shorten increments, fleet training, damage control, NPR combat setup, finish ground combat and add ground-orbit interaction, boarding combat, precursors, star swarm and invaders (plus some other ideas I have), tactical intelligence, many smaller windows, completing the game creation code and lots and lots of testing. Apart from AI it is probably 90% done. The main issue at the moment is finding the time, rather than the volume of work remaining.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: arty on July 11, 2018, 01:01:30 PM
hello :)

question can you start in a random system ? not in the sol system ?

thanks arty
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 11, 2018, 03:48:18 PM
hello :)

question can you start in a random system ? not in the sol system ?

thanks arty

You can set that up in SM Mode.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on July 12, 2018, 12:58:08 AM
90% done. But I'm excited for that "some ideas I have" which ominously was mentioned after the other spoilers.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on July 13, 2018, 01:55:53 AM
Apart from AI it is probably 90% done.

Right, so only the other 90% left then!

For those uninitiated:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-ninety_rule
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 13, 2018, 03:43:22 AM
Apart from AI it is probably 90% done.

Right, so only the other 90% left then!

For those uninitiated:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-ninety_rule

I've been involved in a lot of software development projects over the years and this is very true :)

Still, the real test will be the 'test game', which keeps getting put back so I can tackle something else. At some point I just need to start playing and fill in the gaps along the way :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Impassive on July 13, 2018, 05:56:34 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg108896#msg108896 date=1531471402
Quote from: alex_brunius link=topic=10096. msg108895#msg108895 date=1531464953
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg108870#msg108870 date=1531321539
Apart from AI it is probably 90% done. 

Right, so only the other 90% left then!

For those uninitiated:
https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Ninety-ninety_rule

I've been involved in a lot of software development projects over the years and this is very true :)

Still, the real test will be the 'test game', which keeps getting put back so I can tackle something else.  At some point I just need to start playing and fill in the gaps along the way :)

At some point you just need to call a feature lock and as you said do the test game and bug fixing and then the other features can come in post :) Just like designing ships in Aurora it is easy to get scope creep
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on July 18, 2018, 11:17:46 PM
Glad to read about these updates. My hype for this rewrite is beyond description.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Spaceman Spiff on July 19, 2018, 12:13:18 AM
I'm mostly a lurker, but also just wanted to add that I am so excited for this.  :) I've literally been getting into a habit of checking this forum every day.  Can't wait for release and to help test it out (or whatever the next steps, upon the first release, will be)!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Canek on July 19, 2018, 12:31:46 AM
I have been here for. . .  many years.  I am also eager to play the new C version.  Heck, I might even take vacation days from work when that happens!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 19, 2018, 05:51:47 AM
Another small milestone last weekend. I have been creating games to test the AI code and monitoring each NPR as it plays through the first few days, including saving, closing and restarting the same game. In effect, these are 'test games', even though only the NPR is playing.

I will be running longer and longer NPR test games as I expand the AI code to cover more areas. So far, the AI will deploy combat fleets / patrol squadrons to key systems and populations, deploy jump point defence forces based on system value and recent hostile activity (the NPR remembers where and when your ships have been detected in the past), send scouts or patrol squadrons to investigate points of interest, decide where to stablise jump points and deploy construction ships, deploy terraformers based on which planets are easiest to terraform, deploy grav and geo survey ships based on system value and set up contracts to send appropriate installations to different colonies.

Each NPR operational group (fleet) is assigned a function, such as combat, patrol, survey, salvage, terraform, etc., Each ship estimates its own mission capability status, based on the mission of its parent fleet, taking into account damage to weapons, fire controls, engines, key components for the mission (salvage module, survey sensor, etc.), fuel remaining, ammunition, etc. Each fleet then determines its status based on a combination of the statuses of its constituent ships. This in turn influences the empire and system AIs when they decide on which fleets to deploy. As part of the 'mission status', there are sub-statuses for fuel, damage, ammunition, etc. at the fleet level. NPR fleets that are low on fuel will move to colonies with refuelling capability, taking into account the fuel required, the population stockpile and other fleets en route.

Once the NPR 'test games' seem to be working well, I will start a player race and begin campaign reports.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kof on July 19, 2018, 04:58:39 PM
Delighted to see the amazing progress that you're making - CANNOT WAIT.

Didn't know you're a motorhead! I live in Douglas :-) Nice weather for the TT this year, unlike last.

Keep up the good work! Did I mention "CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS!!"

Thanks a million.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on July 19, 2018, 05:59:15 PM
Honestly, the AI update is the #1 thing that I will praise in new Aurora. As before I felt sometimes that the game was made to play with yourself, using SM and different races. Now it will give the real feel of playing versus other empires and not some staged "empires" just to bother you.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Panopticon on July 19, 2018, 07:13:00 PM
Another small milestone last weekend. I have been creating games to test the AI code and monitoring each NPR as it plays through the first few days, including saving, closing and restarting the same game. In effect, these are 'test games', even though only the NPR is playing.

I will be running longer and longer NPR test games as I expand the AI code to cover more areas. So far, the AI will deploy combat fleets / patrol squadrons to key systems and populations, deploy jump point defence forces based on system value and recent hostile activity (the NPR remembers where and when your ships have been detected in the past), send scouts or patrol squadrons to investigate points of interest, decide where to stablise jump points and deploy construction ships, deploy terraformers based on which planets are easiest to terraform, deploy grav and geo survey ships based on system value and set up contracts to send appropriate installations to different colonies.

Each NPR operational group (fleet) is assigned a function, such as combat, patrol, survey, salvage, terraform, etc., Each ship estimates its own mission capability status, based on the mission of its parent fleet, taking into account damage to weapons, fire controls, engines, key components for the mission (salvage module, survey sensor, etc.), fuel remaining, ammunition, etc. Each fleet then determines its status based on a combination of the statuses of its constituent ships. This in turn influences the empire and system AIs when they decide on which fleets to deploy. As part of the 'mission status', there are sub-statuses for fuel, damage, ammunition, etc. at the fleet level. NPR fleets that are low on fuel will move to colonies with refuelling capability, taking into account the fuel required, the population stockpile and other fleets en route.

Once the NPR 'test games' seem to be working well, I will start a player race and begin campaign reports.

This mean NPR's will be using fuel in C# Aurora then?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SpikeTheHobbitMage on July 19, 2018, 09:03:06 PM
I thought NPRs already did, they just go into limp home mode when they run out rather than becoming immobile.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on July 20, 2018, 12:36:21 AM
I had been pretty sure they had no mechanism for managing their fuel.  Either way this sounds like a pretty massive leap in that regard.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 20, 2018, 03:48:48 AM
Another small milestone last weekend. I have been creating games to test the AI code and monitoring each NPR as it plays through the first few days, including saving, closing and restarting the same game. In effect, these are 'test games', even though only the NPR is playing.

I will be running longer and longer NPR test games as I expand the AI code to cover more areas. So far, the AI will deploy combat fleets / patrol squadrons to key systems and populations, deploy jump point defence forces based on system value and recent hostile activity (the NPR remembers where and when your ships have been detected in the past), send scouts or patrol squadrons to investigate points of interest, decide where to stablise jump points and deploy construction ships, deploy terraformers based on which planets are easiest to terraform, deploy grav and geo survey ships based on system value and set up contracts to send appropriate installations to different colonies.

Each NPR operational group (fleet) is assigned a function, such as combat, patrol, survey, salvage, terraform, etc., Each ship estimates its own mission capability status, based on the mission of its parent fleet, taking into account damage to weapons, fire controls, engines, key components for the mission (salvage module, survey sensor, etc.), fuel remaining, ammunition, etc. Each fleet then determines its status based on a combination of the statuses of its constituent ships. This in turn influences the empire and system AIs when they decide on which fleets to deploy. As part of the 'mission status', there are sub-statuses for fuel, damage, ammunition, etc. at the fleet level. NPR fleets that are low on fuel will move to colonies with refuelling capability, taking into account the fuel required, the population stockpile and other fleets en route.

Once the NPR 'test games' seem to be working well, I will start a player race and begin campaign reports.

This mean NPR's will be using fuel in C# Aurora then?

Yes, they are using fuel and also retooling shipyards,
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 20, 2018, 03:50:58 AM
Delighted to see the amazing progress that you're making - CANNOT WAIT.

Didn't know you're a motorhead! I live in Douglas :-) Nice weather for the TT this year, unlike last.

Keep up the good work! Did I mention "CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS!!"

Thanks a million.

I lived in Derby Square until February this year, then moved out near Mount Murray. Still working in Onchan though at PokerStars. Weather has been amazing this year since end of April (apart from today!), which has not helped progress on Aurora :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on July 20, 2018, 06:32:39 AM
I can't wait for the new Campaign. It's been a long time coming. What theme are you going for this time?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Caplin on July 20, 2018, 11:29:26 AM
I'm delighted to see such intriguing progress. I wish I could mess with the game just to watch the NPRs, but I guess that's your privilege as a designer. :) I can't wait for more.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 20, 2018, 11:45:42 AM
I can't wait for the new Campaign. It's been a long time coming. What theme are you going for this time?

Possibly 1900-era with 6-7 player races or maybe some form of WH40k Great Crusade (so more WH30k) with a single player race. Or I may change my mind and go for something completely different.

I managed to find a copy of Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906 - 1921, so that would be the basis of the first one. For the second, I would add some extra code to generate 'lost human' NPRs as well as the normal 'Xenos Scum'
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Whitecold on July 20, 2018, 12:45:56 PM
Possibly 1900-era with 6-7 player races or maybe some form of WH40k Great Crusade (so more WH30k) with a single player race. Or I may change my mind and go for something completely different.

I managed to find a copy of Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906 - 1921, so that would be the basis of the first one. For the second, I would add some extra code to generate 'lost human' NPRs as well as the normal 'Xenos Scum'
The colonial wars are dead? I would have loved to see some of it in C#
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 20, 2018, 01:00:14 PM
Possibly 1900-era with 6-7 player races or maybe some form of WH40k Great Crusade (so more WH30k) with a single player race. Or I may change my mind and go for something completely different.

I managed to find a copy of Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906 - 1921, so that would be the basis of the first one. For the second, I would add some extra code to generate 'lost human' NPRs as well as the normal 'Xenos Scum'
The colonial wars are dead? I would have loved to see some of it in C#

Ended, the Colonial Wars have :)

While the data has been transferred into the new C# database and I have been using it for testing, it would be a major task to pick up again after more than two years. Besides, I want something on a smaller scale for testing purposes. Longer-term, I will go back to something on the scale of the Colonial Wars. One of the reasons for the rewrite is to make huge games much easier.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kurt on July 20, 2018, 04:15:03 PM
I can't wait for the new Campaign. It's been a long time coming. What theme are you going for this time?

Possibly 1900-era with 6-7 player races or maybe some form of WH40k Great Crusade (so more WH30k) with a single player race. Or I may change my mind and go for something completely different.

I managed to find a copy of Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906 - 1921, so that would be the basis of the first one. For the second, I would add some extra code to generate 'lost human' NPRs as well as the normal 'Xenos Scum'

Hmmm...one of the ideas I'm developing for my next campaign is a 1900's campaign.  I'm not sure if I'll use that one, though.  While it has an interesting start, its hard to see how it will progress.  There are others I'm more interested in right now. 

Kurt
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 20, 2018, 04:28:34 PM
I can't wait for the new Campaign. It's been a long time coming. What theme are you going for this time?

Possibly 1900-era with 6-7 player races or maybe some form of WH40k Great Crusade (so more WH30k) with a single player race. Or I may change my mind and go for something completely different.

I managed to find a copy of Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906 - 1921, so that would be the basis of the first one. For the second, I would add some extra code to generate 'lost human' NPRs as well as the normal 'Xenos Scum'

Hmmm...one of the ideas I'm developing for my next campaign is a 1900's campaign.  I'm not sure if I'll use that one, though.  While it has an interesting start, its hard to see how it will progress.  There are others I'm more interested in right now. 

Kurt

I already did some setup work for this a while ago. It would be a fairly standard multi-race start but I get to use a few more interesting factions. Imperial Russia, Imperial Germany, a rising Japan, British Empire, United States, Italy and France. Decided against Ottomans and then split up the rest of the world between the factions (assuming they got TN and took over everyone else), which allows me to provide some more population to some factions. Even so, they would still be relatively small populations adding up to 1700m in total.

I am more likely to go for a single race start with NPRs I think for the first one. More about testing than creating a huge game.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kurt on July 20, 2018, 10:12:55 PM
I can't wait for the new Campaign. It's been a long time coming. What theme are you going for this time?

Possibly 1900-era with 6-7 player races or maybe some form of WH40k Great Crusade (so more WH30k) with a single player race. Or I may change my mind and go for something completely different.

I managed to find a copy of Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906 - 1921, so that would be the basis of the first one. For the second, I would add some extra code to generate 'lost human' NPRs as well as the normal 'Xenos Scum'

Hmmm...one of the ideas I'm developing for my next campaign is a 1900's campaign.  I'm not sure if I'll use that one, though.  While it has an interesting start, its hard to see how it will progress.  There are others I'm more interested in right now. 

Kurt

I already did some setup work for this a while ago. It would a fairly standard multi-race start but I get to use a few more interesting factions. Imperial Russia, Imperial Germany, a rising Japan, British Empire, United States, Italy and France. Decided against Ottomans and then split up the rest of the world between the factions (assuming they got TN and took over everyone else), which allows me to provide some more population to some factions. Even so, they would still be relatively small populations adding up to 1700m in total.

I am more likely to go for a single race start with NPRs I think for the first one. More about testing than creating a huge game.

Aside from the time frame, that is substantially different from the campaign I was putting together.  Mine would be set around 1900 and was based on the War of the Worlds, where the Martians used TN tech to get to Earth and for their war machines.  Not all of them died off from the disease, and several nations were able to convince the survivors to explain at least some of their tech for us.  It would be very limited at first, as none of the human nations really had ever thought about space travel before, so although TN tech could get them out of the atmosphere, it was really beyond their comprehension.  I'm sure I'll use this campaign at some point, whether its the next one or not is the question. 

Kurt
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on July 23, 2018, 12:51:34 AM
I'm with Kurt, I plan on testing how the new version runs with heavy tech restriction, similar to my current low TN games are, but with heavy use of the new ground mechanics. Maybe steampunk starship troopers/WH 40k/ something about space marines anyway. Or Alien? Weyland-Yutani VS the new spoilers (new AI anyway)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 28, 2018, 09:27:10 AM
More AI code has been added.

The NPR will design ground forces according to its theme and technology, including 'planetary defence regiments' with STO and CIWS and will start with suitable proportions of each type. Ground tech is now part of the design theme tech progression. Once a month, the NPR will assess the ground forces that should be assigned to each population and move available forces around using troop transports to meet that requirement.

Once per month, the NPR will assess shortages and excesses of mines and automated mines, according to population mining score (affected by number of minerals, accessibility, deposit size and which minerals are in demand) and available population. It will then move available mines / AM by freighter as required. Mines are made available by those populations with a falling mining score.

Once per month, the NPR will assess shortages and excesses of construction factories, depending on population mining score, available mines (needed to supply minerals for construction), colony cost and available manufacturing population. The NPR will then move available construction factories by freighter as required. Other installation types, such as research facilities or ordnance factories, are built once the number of mines and construction factories has reached the required level.

Once per month, the NPR will assess shortages and excesses of tracking stations, according to population value, and move available tracking stations by freighter as required.

Twice a year, the NPR will reassess all system bodies it has previously surveyed (but which do not have an NPR colony) and recalculate the mining score, to check if any previously low-scoring bodies are now high scoring due to resource shortages. If so, a population will be created so it can be assessed by the population AI code.

When a population is deciding what to build, it will take into account the demand for installations by colonies and the available supply.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kof on July 31, 2018, 05:28:10 PM
Ah the leafy suburbs, nice.

Quarterbridge road twice a day must been something though. You might wanna consider this:

Thankfully the weather's been smeg of late, so progress should be blistering :-)

CANNOT WAIT! Hint, hint....

 ;D

Delighted to see the amazing progress that you're making - CANNOT WAIT.

Didn't know you're a motorhead! I live in Douglas :-) Nice weather for the TT this year, unlike last.

Keep up the good work! Did I mention "CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS!!"

Thanks a million.

I lived in Derby Square until February this year, then moved out near Mount Murray. Still working in Onchan though at PokerStars. Weather has been amazing this year since end of April (apart from today!), which has not helped progress on Aurora :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Marski on August 11, 2018, 10:21:28 AM
Possibly 1900-era with 6-7 player races or maybe some form of WH40k Great Crusade (so more WH30k) with a single player race. Or I may change my mind and go for something completely different.

I managed to find a copy of Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906 - 1921, so that would be the basis of the first one. For the second, I would add some extra code to generate 'lost human' NPRs as well as the normal 'Xenos Scum'
The colonial wars are dead? I would have loved to see some of it in C#

Ended, the Colonial Wars have :)

While the data has been transferred into the new C# database and I have been using it for testing, it would be a major task to pick up again after more than two years. Besides, I want something on a smaller scale for testing purposes. Longer-term, I will go back to something on the scale of the Colonial Wars. One of the reasons for the rewrite is to make huge games much easier.
Perhaps something like Earth central government putting down rebel colony that causes a domino effect of more colonies rebelling and declaring independence as a reaction.
It would be an interesting scenario to try out, rebel colonies that have little to nothing in terms of military power versus the Earth government, which is running against the clock as it's now cut off from resource and wealth sources while the rebels can only grow stronger.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 12, 2018, 04:59:58 AM
Progress is unfortunately going to slow considerably for the next three weeks as I will be on a business trip to Melbourne (for my day job). I will still be checking the forums, but I am unlikely to get any development done (as I will only have my work laptop).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: backstab on August 12, 2018, 01:25:55 PM
Melbourne, Australia ? .... better bring a raincoat
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 12, 2018, 03:38:34 PM
Melbourne, Australia ? .... better bring a raincoat

Yes, I hear the weather isn't great - just about the worst time of year to visit. However, I also hear there is quite a large casino, which has a good poker room :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: boggo2300 on August 12, 2018, 05:38:23 PM
Melbourne, Australia ? .... better bring a raincoat

Yes, I hear the weather isn't great - just about the worst time of year to visit. However, I also hear there is quite a large casino, which has a good poker room :)

The weather front has moved on,  should be pretty ok, bit of rain Saturday and Sunday but apart from that, an English Summer
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 12, 2018, 06:07:04 PM
Melbourne, Australia ? .... better bring a raincoat

Yes, I hear the weather isn't great - just about the worst time of year to visit. However, I also hear there is quite a large casino, which has a good poker room :)

The weather front has moved on,  should be pretty ok, bit of rain Saturday and Sunday but apart from that, an English Summer

You in Melbourne?

I haven't been before so any recommendations welcome for places to eat or evenings out. I also have a couple of weekends to kill so suggestions welcome for places to visit, including those within short-haul flight range. I might be in Sydney for a couple of days as well.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ardem on August 12, 2018, 08:56:59 PM
Sydney my neck of the woods mate.

If you feel like a beer you can email me on adam @ varidan.com.au.

Otherwise happy to impart knowledge, eateries, places etc Just let me know what you like.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Beersatron on August 12, 2018, 11:48:29 PM
Progress is unfortunately going to slow considerably for the next three weeks as I will be on a business trip to Melbourne (for my day job). I will still be checking the forums, but I am unlikely to get any development done (as I will only have my work laptop).

Try and get to an Aussie Rules Footy game! I play for the Footy team in Houston, TX, but have never been to Australia and never seen a "real" game. There a number of teams in the Melbourne area so you might be able to catch a game at the MGC. I am a Hawks supporter, which is one of the Melbourne teams.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: boggo2300 on August 13, 2018, 04:46:33 PM
Melbourne, Australia ? .... better bring a raincoat

Yes, I hear the weather isn't great - just about the worst time of year to visit. However, I also hear there is quite a large casino, which has a good poker room :)

The weather front has moved on,  should be pretty ok, bit of rain Saturday and Sunday but apart from that, an English Summer

You in Melbourne?

I haven't been before so any recommendations welcome for places to eat or evenings out. I also have a couple of weekends to kill so suggestions welcome for places to visit, including those within short-haul flight range. I might be in Sydney for a couple of days as well.

Tasmania, a 45 minute flight over the water,  I haven't been to Melbourne (outside the Airport) since 2008 though,  I do heartily recommend http://www.vlados.com.au/ (http://www.vlados.com.au/) If you like meat,  though expensive his exclusively meat set menu is amazing,  All the cooking is done by the owner, who has cooked every meal in the place since the 60's, and since it's a set menu he's had a LOT of practice!

as for places to eat, pretty much all of Lygon street is restaurants, and bad restaurants don't last long in Melbourne!  there are also a lot of pretty nifty places to eat around Crown (the casino, though the restaurants IN the casino are a bit sub-standard)

While you are in Melbourne try and see a football match at the MCG,  it will be expensive but nothing compares to seeing Aussie Rules in the G (and make sure you have a four 'n twenty while there!)

The Pentridge Prison Ghost Tour is also pretty cool from what I've heard (and the least over the top expensive thing I've suggested :D)

Federation Square is an interesting place to see as well (especially now they've decided to heritage list it to stop Apple building a shop there!)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: backstab on August 14, 2018, 03:44:56 AM
You should visit the War Memorial on St Kilda road ...I work at Victoria Barracks which is right across the road from it
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jake on August 14, 2018, 05:27:16 AM


You in Melbourne?

I haven't been before so any recommendations welcome for places to eat or evenings out.  I also have a couple of weekends to kill so suggestions welcome for places to visit, including those within short-haul flight range.  I might be in Sydney for a couple of days as well.
[/quote]

Lots of great places to eat in Melbourne, pretty much cant find a bad feed

Whenever I am back I always hit my favourites though,

The Merrywell, (at the Casino) great burgers and drinks.
Stalactites, on Lonsdale St in the City.  Greek food, you wont regret it.  (get a lamb souvlaki) 
If you're near the Queen Vic Markets on a Saturday or Sunday go and find the hot dog shop inside, also at the markets find the hot jam donuts truck as its like 2 bucks for 3 donuts they make them fresh to order.  They are gold with a morning coffee. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 14, 2018, 09:05:30 AM
Sydney my neck of the woods mate.

If you feel like a beer you can email me on adam @ varidan.com.au.

Otherwise happy to impart knowledge, eateries, places etc Just let me know what you like.

I'll let you know if I get over there.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 14, 2018, 09:08:07 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Now in Melbourne! Several people have suggested Aussie rules (offline as well) so will try to do that and i will definitely visit a few restaurants.

I'll try to get to the other suggestions as well.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Youtoo on August 14, 2018, 11:28:45 AM
Can you please post what percent done ? Its hard to tell from the updates how much work is left to do?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kytuzian on August 14, 2018, 11:42:01 PM
Can you please post what percent done ? Its hard to tell from the updates how much work is left to do?

He's said before he's about 90% done, but he has yet to run a full test game so it'll probably still be quite a while.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: wedgebert on August 15, 2018, 12:41:58 PM
Can you please post what percent done ? Its hard to tell from the updates how much work is left to do?

He's said before he's about 90% done, but he has yet to run a full test game so it'll probably still be quite a while.

And take into account that in software terms, the first 80% is the easy part and will often take less time than the last 20%
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 18, 2018, 12:16:29 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Now in Melbourne! Several people have suggested Aussie rules (offline as well) so will try to do that and i will definitely visit a few restaurants.

I'll try to get to the other suggestions as well.

Went to see Collingwood vs Port Adelaide at the MCG today. Also saw Melbourne Storm NRL game on Friday night as well. Really enjoyed both.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bails_64 on August 19, 2018, 03:57:16 AM
of course out of all the games you couldve seen, you went to see the two worst teams  ::)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 19, 2018, 10:38:11 AM
of course out of all the games you couldve seen, you went to see the two worst teams  ::)

Well, free executive box, Didn't want to turn it down. Besides watched lots of other games at Crown while playing Pot Limit Omaha :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Youtoo on August 19, 2018, 11:27:25 AM
I thought i may have posted this.  but i can't find my post.  if you answered it I apologize. 

Steve: How much work do you have left to do? Do you have a percent done? Its hard to follow from the updates to get a feel for how much is left.  I know you are doing this for free and have a day job.  I apologize if you think I am pestering you. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Caplin on August 19, 2018, 01:05:19 PM
I thought i may have posted this.  but i can't find my post.  if you answered it I apologize. 

Steve: How much work do you have left to do? Do you have a percent done? Its hard to follow from the updates to get a feel for how much is left.  I know you are doing this for free and have a day job.  I apologize if you think I am pestering you.

Your post, and an answer, is on the previous page. Steve is ~90% done, but this doesn't include testing and debugging, of course.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 20, 2018, 02:24:47 AM
I thought i may have posted this.  but i can't find my post.  if you answered it I apologize. 

Steve: How much work do you have left to do? Do you have a percent done? Its hard to follow from the updates to get a feel for how much is left.  I know you are doing this for free and have a day job.  I apologize if you think I am pestering you.

Percent done isn't really a good guide because it implies a time equivalent. For example, the last few months I haven't made that much progress due to a number of factors (and I am currently away on business for three weeks). Also, even if I was 100% done coding, I need to play test campaigns and find bugs.

All the major areas are done except AI, which is turning out far more extensive than I initially planned. Also, because of the complexity added to AI I will be creating a wide variety of NPR play styles - such as the various WH40k races. I also still need to work on several smaller areas such as ground-space combat and a lot of the more minor windows. The next major phase is the first test campaign, which I keep thinking I am about to start before getting distracted by adding a new feature or extra AI code.

So, while I think I am about 90%, that is 90% of what I planned, not 90% of what I may eventually add :)

Anyway, in summary I doubt there will be a release in 2018, although I would be very disappointed if I wasn't well into one or more test campaigns this year.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: chrislocke2000 on August 20, 2018, 10:56:27 AM
I'm looking forward to some of the AARs on the test campaigns although with the speed improvements you have I wonder if you will have much time between increments to actually write anything down!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on August 20, 2018, 12:34:07 PM
Obviously I want to be able to play C# Aurora. At this point, though, I think I'm just as excited to see what you come up with for a new AAR.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Aloriel on August 23, 2018, 08:43:53 PM
<snip>
All the major areas are done except AI, which is turning out far more extensive than I initially planned.
<snip>
Been there. Done that. Made an AI for a simple scrabble like game for mobile. I wrote the entire game in about 4 weeks (using Unity). The AI for computer players took another 12... or was it 16? Some ridiculous extra long time longer than actually making the game. AI is freakin' hard.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on August 24, 2018, 04:03:24 AM
I wouldn't complain if a beta version of the game without any AI at all and without NPR/Spoilers was released ahead of the main Aurora C# release.

Some players prefer to control all sides ( including alien empires ) themself anyways, and it would also allow feedback on most bugs to be gathered ( so they can be fixed ) before the main release.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: boggo2300 on August 26, 2018, 06:52:19 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Now in Melbourne! Several people have suggested Aussie rules (offline as well) so will try to do that and i will definitely visit a few restaurants.

I'll try to get to the other suggestions as well.

Went to see Collingwood vs Port Adelaide at the MCG today. Also saw Melbourne Storm NRL game on Friday night as well. Really enjoyed both.

Collingwood while being the suckiest team in the competition always draw a big crowd (they have pretty much the largest membership) even though they were playing out of towners I'd expect the crowd would have been much bigger than the Rugby one (rugby is a NSW/Queensland thing, the rest of us think it's just slightly odd)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on August 27, 2018, 07:22:13 AM
I wouldn't complain if a beta version of the game without any AI at all and without NPR/Spoilers was released ahead of the main Aurora C# release.

Some players prefer to control all sides ( including alien empires ) themself anyways, and it would also allow feedback on most bugs to be gathered ( so they can be fixed ) before the main release.

I think this is a great idea - it REALLY cuts the requirements for the Minimum Viable Product, and replicates the early days of VB Aurora (my recollection is that the computer-controlled NPRs took a couple of years to be put in).

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Caplin on August 27, 2018, 11:14:10 AM
I wouldn't complain if a beta version of the game without any AI at all and without NPR/Spoilers was released ahead of the main Aurora C# release.

Some players prefer to control all sides ( including alien empires ) themself anyways, and it would also allow feedback on most bugs to be gathered ( so they can be fixed ) before the main release.

I think this is a great idea - it REALLY cuts the requirements for the Minimum Viable Product, and replicates the early days of VB Aurora (my recollection is that the computer-controlled NPRs took a couple of years to be put in).

John

From a purely selfish perspective, I'd love to see this, if only to get a head start on being able to judge whether the C# version is going to be as accessible to the blind as I anticipate. Granted, I'm not sure how good I'll be at playing multiple player races, I struggle enough with just one. :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Whitecold on August 27, 2018, 02:06:21 PM
I wouldn't complain if a beta version of the game without any AI at all and without NPR/Spoilers was released ahead of the main Aurora C# release.

Some players prefer to control all sides ( including alien empires ) themself anyways, and it would also allow feedback on most bugs to be gathered ( so they can be fixed ) before the main release.
Even just starting to theorycraft some ships together with the new engines, shields and sensors would be nice, as well as finding out how ground combat truly works. I'm sure there is some completely broken combination hidden in the woodworks, and the sooner more minds get their hands on, it can be found out.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on August 27, 2018, 04:34:34 PM
That actually raises a really good point in general.  If players are faffing about finding broken mechanics that need overhauling prior to full AI coding then the AI code would possibly need a lot less revision and therefore probably be easier.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: DEEPenergy on August 27, 2018, 10:58:33 PM
I'm so hyped to play C# Aurora that I'll even play the incomplete version  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Profugo Barbatus on August 27, 2018, 11:09:57 PM
Normally I'm pretty much for steve just dropping stuff whenever its actually done, but for something genuinely 'optional' like AI, it could work to release without. I'm one of those people that plays without any spoilers and without NPR's, running a themed game with specific empires. A good complete AI is a massive rabbit hole, doubly so when your implementing significant new features it never had before. Maybe it would be for the best to polish off the game, and give it the brains to play itself in an update down the line.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 28, 2018, 02:28:13 AM
I'm not really in the situation of having a complete game without AI. I still have work to do on the game and I am well in to the AI code. I'm doing both in parallel and I plan to test both in parallel too.

Also, although not normally a consideration in programming, it depends on which part of the code is interesting at the moment :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bremen on August 28, 2018, 03:04:14 AM
Also, although not normally a consideration in programming, it depends on which part of the code is interesting at the moment :)

One of the luxuries of something being a hobby instead of a job. Enjoy it whenever you can :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on August 28, 2018, 07:10:17 AM
Meanwhile AAA publishers have the gall to charge $80 for a buggy unfinished mess with core features pruned out in order to sell them later as a DLC.
On the other hand, we have Aurora, where the bugs are a core feature! :p
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on August 28, 2018, 09:20:32 AM
On the other hand, we have Aurora, where the bugs are a core feature! :p

And so is the $80 still in your wallet!


Yes, I know that was humour rather than complaint. So's mine.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kof on September 02, 2018, 07:21:13 PM
Good to see that I'm not the only one gagging for release!  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 13, 2018, 02:58:46 PM
I've been away since Friday night, which is why I have made minimal posts. Normal service should resume this Friday :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 26, 2018, 12:54:00 PM
The test campaign has been going well. It is now the end of 2415 and all five races have established multiple colonies, including populated, mining and civilian. All the various movement and unload orders are functioning as they should and civilian trade is working. Construction orders, including space stations, are working as intended. One race has built a 2.5m ton orbital habitat that can house a million colonists and is towing it to Europa. Another has three fuel harvesters in orbit of Saturn. All the races are concentrating on mining, industry and have started research jump technologies. They have all built a large number of ground forces, with very detailed OOBs in some cases.

This is a sort of good news/bad news update as I have decided to end that campaign and start a new one. I want to get started on testing the AI (now that I can rely on base functionality) and to concentrate on that I don't really want the distraction of five player races. So I am starting a campaign with a single conventional player race, a Trans-Newtonian NPR and Precursors active. That will allow me to concentrate on monitoring what the AI is doing, while keeping an interest on the player side. It should also be very challenging to start in that situation, which will force me to be creative.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on November 26, 2018, 01:42:48 PM
Well, with those ground forces available, why not end the game with a test of the ground combat mechanics?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 26, 2018, 02:34:58 PM
Well, with those ground forces available, why not end the game with a test of the ground combat mechanics?

That is a good idea !
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: The Forbidden on November 27, 2018, 02:33:28 AM
So will you update the campaign's fan fiction one last time with the glorious last war on Earth or will you just move on to the next one ?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: King-Salomon on November 27, 2018, 05:04:55 AM
Well, with those ground forces available, why not end the game with a test of the ground combat mechanics?

That is a good idea !

An AAR of the fighting would be great if it wouldn't be too time consuming...

would be great to know if the new ground combat mechanic is really adding something to the game and what impact is has in reallity not only in theorie..
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 27, 2018, 04:39:42 PM
This is more of a note than an update.

Just spent an hour with a weird bug that was causing NPR home worlds to change environment after game start. Firstly, I realised that I needed to run a evaporation cycle during system generation so that the first 5-day cycle didn't change the environment. Secondly, I couldn't understand why the water vapour generated by evaporation kept disappearing and slowly reducing the water on the planetary surface. Finally I checked the gas freeze out code, which is supposed to change atmospheric gases to a frozen state (in the ground, not the atmosphere), and realised that was where the water vapour was going (except I wasn't recording it so it just vanished). I then realised that I had set the boiling point of water vapour in the Gases table to 100 C, so it was effectively freezing out as soon as it evaporated. Boiling and Evaporation aren't the same thing of course, but simple oversights lead to annoying bugs :)

So, this is a note to explain why the boiling point of water vapour in the gases table is now 245K (about -28C) so it lines up nicely with when the hydrosphere changes from liquid to frozen.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Scandinavian on November 27, 2018, 09:22:46 PM
So, this is a note to explain why the boiling point of water vapour in the gases table is now 245K (about -28C) so it lines up nicely with when the hydrosphere changes from liquid to frozen.
Melting point, surely? The boiling point should be 373 K.

(Well, triple point, anyway. There's a whole rabbit hole one could go down with pressure, temperature, state changes, greenhouse effect feedbacks, etc. But if we're going to increase the level of background detail of the simulation, then the civilian economy should probably get some love before moving into proper climatology.)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 28, 2018, 03:01:16 AM
So, this is a note to explain why the boiling point of water vapour in the gases table is now 245K (about -28C) so it lines up nicely with when the hydrosphere changes from liquid to frozen.
Melting point, surely? The boiling point should be 373 K.

(Well, triple point, anyway. There's a whole rabbit hole one could go down with pressure, temperature, state changes, greenhouse effect feedbacks, etc. But if we're going to increase the level of background detail of the simulation, then the civilian economy should probably get some love before moving into proper climatology.)

The boiling point should be 373K, but as I am using the table (for this particular gas) to deal with evaporation, I am using 245k instead. Although theoretically you can have water vapour in the atmosphere at even colder temperatures. Anyway, the note was to explain why that value was in the table so I don't get asked regularly why I have the boiling point of water at 245K :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: roug on November 29, 2018, 01:51:20 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096.  msg111173#msg111173 date=1543258440
The test campaign has been going well.   It is now the end of 2415 and all five races have established multiple colonies, including populated, mining and civilian.   All the various movement and unload orders are functioning as they should and civilian trade is working.   Construction orders, including space stations, are working as intended.   One race has built a 2.  5m ton orbital habitat that can house a million colonists and is towing it to Europa.   Another has three fuel harvesters in orbit of Saturn.   All the races are concentrating on mining, industry and have started research jump technologies.   They have all built a large number of ground forces, with very detailed OOBs in some cases. 

This is a sort of good news/bad news update as I have decided to end that campaign and start a new one.   I want to get started on testing the AI (now that I can rely on base functionality) and to concentrate on that I don't really want the distraction of five player races.   So I am starting a campaign with a single conventional player race, a Trans-Newtonian NPR and Precursors active.   That will allow me to concentrate on monitoring what the AI is doing, while keeping an interest on the player side.   It should also be very challenging to start in that situation, which will force me to be creative. 


How is the performance with everything going on?
Nwm there are no AI in the game!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 29, 2018, 02:55:42 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096.  msg111173#msg111173 date=1543258440
The test campaign has been going well.   It is now the end of 2415 and all five races have established multiple colonies, including populated, mining and civilian.   All the various movement and unload orders are functioning as they should and civilian trade is working.   Construction orders, including space stations, are working as intended.   One race has built a 2.  5m ton orbital habitat that can house a million colonists and is towing it to Europa.   Another has three fuel harvesters in orbit of Saturn.   All the races are concentrating on mining, industry and have started research jump technologies.   They have all built a large number of ground forces, with very detailed OOBs in some cases. 

This is a sort of good news/bad news update as I have decided to end that campaign and start a new one.   I want to get started on testing the AI (now that I can rely on base functionality) and to concentrate on that I don't really want the distraction of five player races.   So I am starting a campaign with a single conventional player race, a Trans-Newtonian NPR and Precursors active.   That will allow me to concentrate on monitoring what the AI is doing, while keeping an interest on the player side.   It should also be very challenging to start in that situation, which will force me to be creative. 


How is the performance with everything going on?
Nwm there are no AI in the game!

Performance is fine. Even construction phases are less than a second to process.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 02, 2018, 04:02:18 PM
A quick update on the new C# test campaign. I have one player race, starting at conventional with one billion pop, and a single NPR, starting with TN Tech. I am almost at the end of the first year. The player race did badly on scientists and won't research TN tech for about another five months.

The NPR rolled well and has a larger population. Starting forces included warships, orbital defence bases, survey ships, scouts, harvesters, orbital miners, terraformers, troop transports, salvage ships, jump point stabilisation ships (construction ships in VB6) and tankers. Ground forces included infantry and armour regiments, brigade HQ formations, planetary defences with both offensive and PD STO weapons, geological survey expeditions and xenoarchaeological expeditions.

So far, the NPR has:
Several of the above tasks required different combinations of Race, System, Fleet, Ship and Population AIs.

No combat yet but the basic functioning of the economy is good so far. I've fixed plenty of bugs and I suspect there are many more to come as the situation becomes more complex.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: jonw on December 02, 2018, 04:14:12 PM
Woo! Sounds awesome. C# updates are better than opening my advent calendar. Definitely an early christmas present :p
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on December 02, 2018, 04:17:56 PM
Well, that sounds excellent.

No AAR/dissection of the previous test campaign's ground combat system though?

Would've been nice if that worked as intended.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JustAnotherDude on December 02, 2018, 04:54:39 PM
I am the embodiment of hype right now. My body is moving between dimensions right now because this material universe is insufficient to contain the sheer excitement I'm experiencing. God himself trembles before my hype.

(Also, could you possible post some examples of C# NPR designs? I believe that you said there were improvements made in that area, too, though I could be wrong)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 02, 2018, 05:06:16 PM
Well, that sounds excellent.

No AAR/dissection of the previous test campaign's ground combat system though?

Would've been nice if that worked as intended.

The previous game is still in the main database, so I will conduct that test at some point. Just concentrating on AI at the moment.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kurt on December 02, 2018, 05:51:20 PM
A quick update on the new C# test campaign. I have one player race, starting at conventional with one billion pop, and a single NPR, starting with TN Tech. I am almost at the end of the first year. The player race did badly on scientists and won't research TN tech for about another five months.

The NPR rolled well and has a larger population. Starting forces included warships, orbital defence bases, survey ships, scouts, harvesters, orbital miners, terraformers, troop transports, salvage ships, jump point stabilisation ships (construction ships in VB6) and tankers. Ground forces included infantry and armour regiments, brigade HQ formations, planetary defences with both offensive and PD STO weapons, geological survey expeditions and xenoarchaeological expeditions.

So far, the NPR has:
  • Explored two new systems with both geological and gravitational survey ships.
  • Built jump gates into those systems.
  • Established colonies in one of the new systems at a small ruin and at a mining site that has ground survey potential.
  • Used troop transports to move a xenoarchaeological expedition and a geological expedition respectively to those two colonies
  • Carried out the ground survey.
  • Moved terraformers into the system and begun to terraform the world with the ruin.
  • Deployed harvesters to appropriate gas giants (including moving them when a better option appeared).
  • Used the tankers to move fuel from the harvesters to the capital
  • Refuelled survey ships when they had no immediate tasks
  • Started upgrading all shipyards
  • Started building ships in all those shipyards
  • Built Mines with construction factories
  • Produced missiles based on the requirements of the ships, taking account of the existing stockpiles
  • Started building new ground forces based on the requirements of the existing populations
  • Selected the next group of research tasks and begun that research
Several of the above tasks required different combinations of Race, System, Fleet, Ship and Population AIs.

No combat yet but the basic functioning of the economy is good so far. I've fixed plenty of bugs and I suspect there are many more to come as the situation becomes more complex.

That is seriously impressive Steve!  Keep up the good work!

Kurt
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on December 02, 2018, 08:26:01 PM
Extremely excited to play this when it is ready.  Steve, given that the AI is identifying and using troop transports to move expeditions (i.e. ground troops) to other systems, does that mean we will be seeing NPR initiated ground invasions?  I know that is more complex - how does the AI know the right force mix to send?  Can it successfully assign escorts to troop transports? - but that would give reasons to garrison combined arms formations on worlds.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 03, 2018, 04:05:29 AM
Extremely excited to play this when it is ready.  Steve, given that the AI is identifying and using troop transports to move expeditions (i.e. ground troops) to other systems, does that mean we will be seeing NPR initiated ground invasions?  I know that is more complex - how does the AI know the right force mix to send?  Can it successfully assign escorts to troop transports? - but that would give reasons to garrison combined arms formations on worlds.

The AI has a concept of 'operational group', which is a mix of capabilities required for a specific role. Different AI design themes have different types and compositions for operational groups but there are common roles, such as Battle Fleet, Destroyer Squadron, Harvester Group, Troop Transport, etc. (about 20 so far and growing). The operational groups always have a 'Key Element', which is the ship type that is mandatory for the specific role, plus a number of optional types.

For example, a Battle Fleet may compromise a specific number of missile cruisers as a key element with optional slots for AMM escorts, beam escorts, beam warships, anti-fighter and anti-FAC destroyers, etc., while Troop Transport will include the actual transports as the key element, plus optional escorts. Each operational group is a single fleet, which avoids all of the VB6 issues with escorts not staying close to capital ships. This means you may encounter NPR harvesters, terraformers, mining ships, etc. with attached escorts, depending on the design theme.

The NPR starts with a number of intact operational groups with all slots filled. As new ships are built they are assigned to existing operational groups with empty slots or, if they have a key element role, become the core of a new operational group.

When the Race AI is deploying fleets around its territory, it knows which operational groups are suitable for the task. For example, when it identified a small ruin, the AI looked for an available Xenoarchaeological expedition (i.e. not already assigned to a ruin) and for a troop transport operational group that had the capacity and could make the run (depending on jump gates). For exploring jump points, the AI might choose an available scout OG or a gravitational survey OG. The AI knows what existing groups are doing so it will choose one without a current task, although in some circumstances the existing tasks will be overridden, such as when hostile forces are identified.

I haven't coded ground invasions yet, but I plan to add that. The AI already has a lot of code for deploying ground forces based on the value of its populations (or ruins or ground survey sites). It can assess which forces are necessary where they are, which forces are available to move and what forces are required in various locations, taking into account forces already in transit. I will need to add hostile populations as a potential destination and add the forces required (based on observation of defences).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on December 03, 2018, 06:43:13 AM
The previous game is still in the main database, so I will conduct that test at some point. Just concentrating on AI at the moment.

Regarding this.

Given the fact there's 5 factions involved, you could run it multiple times, in 4vs1, 3vs2 and free for all. It'd test the ally system at the same time and IIRC you can just simply duplicate the database for reruns.

It'll take more time of course.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on December 03, 2018, 08:12:09 PM
Steve, thanks for the answer on the ground invasion piece and delighted by the 'battle group' suggestion.  Sounds like a pretty good solution.  One possible suggestion - BTW, I'm utterly ignorant on coding so it is strictly a game play suggestion - perhaps there should be an 'Invasion' battle group that is separate and distinct from the 'Troop Transport' one.  An Invasion is a major undertaking, potentially involving significant fleet combat, air/space engagements, and then a subsequent blockade to combat is resolved - it will be a contested affair.  A simple troop transport mission could be for uncontested expeditions and internal reassignments but I think an Invasion TF might have to be something different.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 04, 2018, 02:58:02 AM
Steve, thanks for the answer on the ground invasion piece and delighted by the 'battle group' suggestion.  Sounds like a pretty good solution.  One possible suggestion - BTW, I'm utterly ignorant on coding so it is strictly a game play suggestion - perhaps there should be an 'Invasion' battle group that is separate and distinct from the 'Troop Transport' one.  An Invasion is a major undertaking, potentially involving significant fleet combat, air/space engagements, and then a subsequent blockade to combat is resolved - it will be a contested affair.  A simple troop transport mission could be for uncontested expeditions and internal reassignments but I think an Invasion TF might have to be something different.

The current NPR transports are commercial. When I add the invasion code I will add an assault transport group, plus there will be an AI decision regarding likely opposition and chance of success before any invasion is launched.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on December 04, 2018, 03:23:35 AM
Looks like we will have to watch NPRs more closely in the future, to assess what they most likely will be doing, because they will be more unpredictable. Which is great... looking forward to that.  ;)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Rye123 on December 04, 2018, 06:12:19 AM
Looks like we will have to watch NPRs more closely in the future, to assess what they most likely will be doing, because they will be more unpredictable. Which is great... looking forward to that.  ;)

Eliminate all unpredictability by purging them at first sight!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on December 04, 2018, 11:24:27 AM
Looks like we will have to watch NPRs more closely in the future, to assess what they most likely will be doing, because they will be more unpredictable. Which is great... looking forward to that.  ;)

Eliminate all unpredictability by purging them at first sight!

What if they are three times as strong as you and now you just angered them and they come back with a fleet you have no hope of defeating... ;) ...instead you could have become friends.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on December 04, 2018, 12:19:32 PM
What if they are three times as strong as you and now you just angered them and they come back with a fleet you have no hope of defeating... ;) ...instead you could have become friends.

Friends? What are you, some kind of space-hippie?

On a serious note, this is one of the things I'm very much looking forward to. Not necessarily making friends with NPRs, but the possibility being on the table, rather than automatically ruled out by suicidal JG construction and even more so by performance concerns*.

*Yes, I understand the sensor problem is still a problem.

ETA: accidentally posted just the snark
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Rogtuok on December 10, 2018, 08:40:19 AM
Maby you can send egosoft a mail offering your help
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 10, 2018, 04:17:26 PM
Two years into the second test game now and the NPR is progressing reasonably well. Here are some screenshots showing NPR activity in the five systems it has discovered so far. The first two screenshots are both the home system, but at different zoom levels. The seventh screenshot is the current ground force deployments made by the NPR.

In this first screenshot, two harvester groups are redeploying to a recently discovered gas giant in another system while the two Kagero class tankers are waiting for civilian harvesters to fill up. A troop transport group is moving a couple of garrison formations to a colony orbiting the second star (not on this screenshot) and five civilian freighters are moving to collect automated mines from the home world to transport them to the same colony. They have just returned from an infrastructure drop in Goranthis and decided on the contract while in that previous system. That contract was created by one population AI stating its need for automated mines and a second population AI independently deciding it had spare automated mines. The fleet AIs check for those matching supply and demand opportunities even if they are in a different system than either the supply or demand populations. In fact, a fleet will plot a series of moves from current system to pickup system to drop-off system and will not begin any contract until its has the whole route worked out.

The two Soryu class ships are gravitational survey ship waiting for a new survey opportunity. They returned home for fuel and resupply when they completed their previous task and had no immediate work to do. There are two more Soryu's deployed in another system but the AI (for this design theme) is only deploying two gravitational survey ships per system. The three Kumas are missile destroyers. They are waiting for a suitable operational group to join and will not form their own group as none of the operational groups in this design theme have Kumas as a key element. However, if there are too many spare Kumas, no more will be constructed and their shipyard will retool to a class that is in demand (missing from operational groups). Additional harvesters and troop transports have been constructed as well. They are key elements so the three harvesters formed a single operational group and the two transports each formed their own group. When suitable escorts are constructed they will move to join those groups. In the meantime, the new harvester and troop transport groups have been deployed by the Race AI.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/AI001.PNG)

This is an expanded view of the home system. At the B component are two geological survey ships and a troop transport. The transport is delivering a planetary defence regiment to a new mining colony. Each population determines its own value and then sends out a demand for installations and ground forces, depending on that value and the type of colony. The fleet AIs will sort out the installations contracts without higher level guidance. The Race AI determines the deployment of ground forces, depending on what it determines is the greatest need and the availability of troop transports. When populations AIs are building installations and ground forces, they will check the current demand from other population AIs and build installations and formations that have a higher Empire-wide demand than supply. This population in the B component is asking for a tracking station so the AI at the capital is currently building one to meet that demand. The decision to establish this mining colony was based on a 'mining score', which reflects quantity and availability of mineral deposits. This score gives a higher value to any minerals in short supply and can therefore change over time, which may cause the AI to redeploy its mines.

The NPR geosurvey ships have a new Standing Order - survey next thirty bodies - which means there will be less duplication of effort.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/AI002.PNG)

This screenshot shows a couple of jump point stabilisation ships working on recently discovered jump points (I need to fix the Op Group name :) ). The stabilisation ships have standing orders to find suitable jump points within constraints set down by the Race AI. The Race AI will not allow them to enter systems where it perceives a potential threat and will tell the System AI to pull them out of the system via the safest route if such a threat develops. The FAC Hunter Squadron is a small combat force of four ships that the AI has deployed to protect this colony of about a million. While there are three larger battle fleets at the capital, the Race AI has determined this colony is not yet valuable enough to send a larger force. The troop transport has recently dropped off a garrison formation and is awaiting new orders. The two terraformer groups have been sent here by the Race AI, which has identified Goranthis III as its best terraforming option. This decision is periodically reviewed as new planets are discovered. The Mogami is a scout ship awaiting new orders.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/AI003.PNG)

Here we have two gravitational survey ships which were sent to this system by the Race AI. On arrival, their own standing orders take over. If they complete their task and the Race AI has no immediate need for them, they will find a colony with refuelling facilities. The other ship is a scout awaiting orders.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/AI004.PNG)

Here we have two jump point stabilisation ships. One is working on a jump point, while the other is heading home to refuel. A geosurvey ship, sent here by the Race AI, is surveying the asteroid belt while a scout ship is awaiting orders. Some types of operational groups, such as scouts or warships, will move to a population or inner planet if they have no other orders from the Race AI.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/AI008.PNG)

Here we have a harvester group that was recently dispatched by the Race AI to the outer gas giant. The troop transport has recently dropped off a construction regiment on the second planet to begin recovery of abandoned installations. A xenoarchaeological expedition is also on the planet, although it has already completed its work. It will remain here until needed elsewhere.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/AI006.PNG)

This screenshot shows the current ground forces deployments made by the Race AI.  I've closed the home world node as it has a lot of formations.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/AI007.PNG)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on December 10, 2018, 05:43:55 PM
Good Stuff!

Report on performances?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 10, 2018, 05:48:55 PM
Good Stuff!

Report on performances?

Still sub-1-second turns, although very early in game. A lot of AI thinking going on but I will see how it looks with a lot more systems. Asteroid orbits are on BTW.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: King-Salomon on December 13, 2018, 05:13:42 AM
What I would like to see is how the AI is organising it's fleet in Fleet structures (OOB)... do you have a screenshot of the Naval Organization window for them Steve?

Is the AI atm able to form multiple layer of comand structure for its ships to max the commander bonus for them or is it too soon?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on December 14, 2018, 07:39:24 AM
Still sub-1-second turns, although very early in game. A lot of AI thinking going on but I will see how it looks with a lot more systems. Asteroid orbits are on BTW.

What kind of box are you running this on?

I don't need anything specific; just trying to get a feel for whether your reports come from a potato, a racecar, or something in between. Mostly so I know whether I'll be able to run Aurora on my massively-parallel toaster network.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: clement on December 14, 2018, 09:11:02 AM
What kind of box are you running this on?

I don't need anything specific; just trying to get a feel for whether your reports come from a potato, a racecar, or something in between. Mostly so I know whether I'll be able to run Aurora on my massively-parallel toaster network.

I did not realize .Net had a run-time for the Cylon microprocessor architecture.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on December 14, 2018, 03:27:02 PM
Still sub-1-second turns, although very early in game. A lot of AI thinking going on but I will see how it looks with a lot more systems. Asteroid orbits are on BTW.

What kind of box are you running this on?

I don't need anything specific; just trying to get a feel for whether your reports come from a potato, a racecar, or something in between. Mostly so I know whether I'll be able to run Aurora on my massively-parallel toaster network.

There is something on his specs said in previous posts, he was also talking about he is pretty much designing aurora on his new ultra wide screed as main and another one as second to keep track on coding etc. I do believe we talking about 1 year ago state of the art  system, so probably still top line at today.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 16, 2018, 10:48:38 AM
What I would like to see is how the AI is organising it's fleet in Fleet structures (OOB)... do you have a screenshot of the Naval Organization window for them Steve?

Is the AI atm able to form multiple layer of comand structure for its ships to max the commander bonus for them or is it too soon?

At the moment, the AI is just using a single top level Admin Command. I will add more structure at some point though.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 16, 2018, 10:56:07 AM
Still sub-1-second turns, although very early in game. A lot of AI thinking going on but I will see how it looks with a lot more systems. Asteroid orbits are on BTW.

What kind of box are you running this on?

I don't need anything specific; just trying to get a feel for whether your reports come from a potato, a racecar, or something in between. Mostly so I know whether I'll be able to run Aurora on my massively-parallel toaster network.

These days I am out of touch with what is good or bad :) so I'll just list what I can find in device manager.

The PC is about 2 years old.
For processor I have twelve Intel i7-5820K CPU @ 3.30 GHz (although Aurora is running single-threaded)
32 Gb RAM
For Display Adapter I have two GTX 980 Cards in SLI Mode

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on December 16, 2018, 02:27:22 PM
Well that's certainly way overkill.

I hope.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on December 16, 2018, 02:44:30 PM
I mean in general i3s have higher single core performance than an i7 while being much cheaper, so assumedly it is.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 16, 2018, 03:26:20 PM
A quick update on NPR Research.

There have been problems in VB6 with NPRs duplicating research or not following sensible research strategies. Therefore, each NPR design theme in C# Aurora has a built-in tech progression. This consists of many tech groups, each of which contains one or more tech types. For example, a group might simply contain armour, or it may contain a group of energy weapon related tech types, including the major components for the NPR's preferred weapon plus beam fire control techs. An engine-related tech group may contain reactor, engine and fuel consumption tech types. The NPR may have the same tech group multiple times in its design theme progression.

An NPR will check the total research cost for the tech group, based on the next tech within each tech type, and then dedicate all research in its empire toward achieving that total. For example, if the tech group is engines (reactor, engine, fuel consumption) and the NPR already has ion tech, it will total Stellarator Fusion Reactor (12,000), Magneto-plasma Drive Technology (20,000) and Fuel Consumption: 0.6 Litres per Engine Power Hour (8000) for a total of 40,000 RP. Once the total is hit, it gains all the techs in that tech group. Certain tech groups will trigger a redesign for NPR ship types and/or ground forces.

Each tech group has an associated research field based on the majority field within the group. Progression will be based on either the best scientist for that field, regardless of admin rating, or the best overall scientist if that bonus exceeds 4x the specialist bonus.

This gives some advantages over players (no admin limit) and some disadvantages (less flexible). Most importantly, this should provide a much more cohesive NPR research strategy and make NPRs more challenging as they improve their technology. This code has been working since before the current campaign.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Impassive on December 17, 2018, 03:48:29 AM
Loving these updates Steve! Each post gets me excited :) What do you have left to do before release?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 17, 2018, 07:14:11 AM
Loving these updates Steve! Each post gets me excited :) What do you have left to do before release?

Still some significant areas. Combat and planetary invasions for the AI for example and some general ground combat related areas, including air-to-air for ground support fighters. I am working through as I need them. I have some time off over Xmas so I will turn on Precursor activation for the NPR in the current game and see what happens. Programming for actual situations is easier than trying to visualize what might happen. I also need to add a lot more NPR and Spoiler types to provide a variety of opposition. I'm going to tackle Star Swarm first, which will be familiar in some ways but will also borrow some behaviour from WH40k Tyranids. I have some ideas in mind regarding how to make them much more 'interesting'.

There is still a fairly long to-do list but its relatively small compared to what is already done. I already feel like I am playing Aurora again for the first time in almost three years. Next up (I hope by end of Xmas holiday) is probably a new campaign with TN player race, a couple of NPRs and both Precursors and Swarm active.

BTW in the current test game, the NPR recently recovered a spaceport from ruins. With the spaceport already in place, the NPR decided to convert this colony into a major base and has moved in a battle fleet, substantial ground forces, tracking stations and population, plus transferred a large amount of fuel from the home world. All this was done based on existing AI code - I didn't have to code for this specific situation. Meanwhile, automated mines recovered from the ruin are being moved to a newly established mining colony in a nearby system.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on December 17, 2018, 07:24:21 AM
BTW in the current test game, the NPR recently recovered a spaceport from ruins. With the spaceport already in place, the NPR decided to convert this colony into a major base and has moved in a battle fleet, substantial ground forces, tracking stations and population, plus transferred a large amount of fuel from the home world. All this was done based on existing AI code - I didn't have to code for this specific situation. Meanwhile, automated mines recovered from the ruin are being moved to a newly established mining colony in a nearby system.
This sound pretty cool...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Silvarelion on December 17, 2018, 07:29:35 AM

There is still a fairly long to-do list but its relatively small compared to what is already done. I already feel like I am playing Aurora again for the first time in almost three years. Next up (I hope by end of Xmas holiday) is probably a new campaign with TN player race, a couple of NPRs and both Precursors and Swarm active.

BTW in the current test game, the NPR recently recovered a spaceport from ruins. With the spaceport already in place, the NPR decided to convert this colony into a major base and has moved in a battle fleet, substantial ground forces, tracking stations and population, plus transferred a large amount of fuel from the home world. All this was done based on existing AI code - I didn't have to code for this specific situation. Meanwhile, automated mines recovered from the ruin are being moved to a newly established mining colony in a nearby system.

It must be satisfying to see things working as planned!  I've been really psyched on all the changes you've been making.  Thank you for all of it!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Impassive on December 19, 2018, 02:54:27 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg111353#msg111353 date=1545052451
Quote from: Impassive link=topic=10096. msg111352#msg111352 date=1545040109
Loving these updates Steve! Each post gets me excited :) What do you have left to do before release?

Still some significant areas.  Combat and planetary invasions for the AI for example and some general ground combat related areas, including air-to-air for ground support fighters.  I am working through as I need them.  I have some time off over Xmas so I will turn on Precursor activation for the NPR in the current game and see what happens.  Programming for actual situations is easier than trying to visualize what might happen.  I also need to add a lot more NPR and Spoiler types to provide a variety of opposition.  I'm going to tackle Star Swarm first, which will be familiar in some ways but will also borrow some behaviour from WH40k Tyranids.  I have some ideas in mind regarding how to make them much more 'interesting'.

There is still a fairly long to-do list but its relatively small compared to what is already done.  I already feel like I am playing Aurora again for the first time in almost three years.  Next up (I hope by end of Xmas holiday) is probably a new campaign with TN player race, a couple of NPRs and both Precursors and Swarm active.

BTW in the current test game, the NPR recently recovered a spaceport from ruins.  With the spaceport already in place, the NPR decided to convert this colony into a major base and has moved in a battle fleet, substantial ground forces, tracking stations and population, plus transferred a large amount of fuel from the home world.  All this was done based on existing AI code - I didn't have to code for this specific situation.  Meanwhile, automated mines recovered from the ruin are being moved to a newly established mining colony in a nearby system.

Amazing work Steve! All I want for Christmas is Aurora 4x but I'll have to be patient :) I'll spend some time theory crafting my Ground Forces Composition and Fleet Doctrine for when the game is ready for release. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: roug on December 19, 2018, 05:01:28 AM

"BTW in the current test game, the NPR recently recovered a spaceport from ruins.  With the spaceport already in place, the NPR decided to convert this colony into a major base and has moved in a battle fleet, substantial ground forces, tracking stations and population, plus transferred a large amount of fuel from the home world.  All this was done based on existing AI code - I didn't have to code for this specific situation.  Meanwhile, automated mines recovered from the ruin are being moved to a newly established mining colony in a nearby system. "


Paradox should hire you for AI in HOI 4  ;D
I cannot wait to play this game!!!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 19, 2018, 05:07:03 PM
Not exactly an update, more of a 'hmmmm'

The NPR is using the Demonic Realm theme for system naming. I had to modify something in the DB and noticed that the NPR home world Population ID is 666!

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Xkill on December 19, 2018, 05:27:01 PM
I feel like this new AI will be better than the kinds we see in many an AAA game out there... Can't wait!!!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on December 19, 2018, 07:13:12 PM
Not exactly an update, more of a 'hmmmm'

The NPR is using the Demonic Realm theme for system naming. I had to modify something in the SB and noticed that the NPR home world Population ID is 666!

Uh oh.

Clearly the AI code and the whole database are cursed, and must be purged. It's OK; I'm sure you can put it back together from scratch in no time.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 20, 2018, 03:46:13 AM
I feel like this new AI will be better than the kinds we see in many an AAA game out there... Can't wait!!!

Don't get too optimistic :)

Economics does look OK so far but I'll be happier once I see how the AI handles combat and diplomacy.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kurt on December 20, 2018, 08:22:18 AM
Not exactly an update, more of a 'hmmmm'

The NPR is using the Demonic Realm theme for system naming. I had to modify something in the SB and noticed that the NPR home world Population ID is 666!

"And the beginning of the end came on Christmas, 2018, when an obscure game developed by an independent game designer achieved sentience and became the first true example of transcendent AI."

Kurt
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kaiser on December 20, 2018, 10:16:44 AM
Steve, my letter to Santa is under the tree already.. please, do not upset this poor kid.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 20, 2018, 10:27:03 AM
Steve, my letter to Santa is under the tree already.. please, do not upset this poor kid.

:)

It will be a while yet I am afraid. Months rather than weeks. I am well into testing, which is a very good sign, but there are still some decent chunks of work to do.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: waresky on January 13, 2019, 07:40:42 AM
Xmas 2020 : C# under tree.

:D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on January 27, 2019, 03:16:58 PM
Just some quick notes on balance updates and this seems to be the best place to put them.

1) I have updated the Ground-based Geological Survey rules post with higher chances of discovering potential survey sites. It is up from about 1.1 to 1.7 per system now, with around double the chances for the higher end potential.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg107705#msg107705

2) I have updated the New Maintenance Rules post to reflect changes in capacity per maintenance facility. Instead of the progression being 1000 tons, 1200, 1400, 1600, 2400, etc., it is now 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, etc.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg101959#msg101959

3) I have updated the Ground Force Construction Complexes post with the change in population requirement to one million.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg110520#msg110520
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Xkill on January 29, 2019, 11:45:07 AM
I wonder if Steve has or will do a serious benchmark experiment. Something like 20 NPRs on some 250 systems. The general changes sound great, and the performance improvements make it seem like this could be doable for normal gameplay. The interrupts sure would suck though...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on January 29, 2019, 12:50:50 PM
I have added an option to disable civilian fuel harvesters to the new game options

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg106373#msg106373

I have changed NPR distances to have both minimum and maximum ranges.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg108824#msg108824
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on January 29, 2019, 01:29:49 PM
I have doubled the tax gained from civilian shipping.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg97506#msg97506
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 02, 2019, 02:30:18 PM
My new campaign is called Cold Sun, because Sol is starting to cool down. As part of the preparation I have been improving the stats of the Sol system to ensure each body uses the same temperature mechanics as the rest of the universe and the stats are up to date. There are a few minor changes with the main one being that Mars is now -61C instead of -48C, which makes it colony cost 2.12, rather than 2.00, and the Galilean Moons are -161C rather than -148C, which makes them CC 6.30 rather than 5.75. They can still become ideal with terraforming.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on February 02, 2019, 04:47:50 PM
Not with that sun cooling option they can.

If anything, it's now plausible to terraform Mercury for eventual entry into the goldilocks zone. Terraforming Venus isn't plausible because that's just a lot more work just to get rid of the massive carbondioxide atmosphere and get it something vaguely breathable.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hamof on February 02, 2019, 05:44:19 PM
Not with that sun cooling option they can.

If anything, it's now plausible to terraform Mercury for eventual entry into the goldilocks zone. Terraforming Venus isn't plausible because that's just a lot more work just to get rid of the massive carbondioxide atmosphere and get it something vaguely breathable.
You could stick a bunch of terraforming ships on Venus and just leave them there for however long it ends up taking, that's viable now. (From a, the game will actually last that long, perspective. May not be viable from an affordability perspective.)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 02, 2019, 05:55:52 PM
Not with that sun cooling option they can.

I meant for a normal game.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 04, 2019, 11:56:42 AM
Just noting here that new shipping lines can only be created for each race after the initial shipping line has built its first ship. This is to avoid conventional starts building up multiple shipping lines before any ships are created.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on February 04, 2019, 02:35:28 PM
Just noting here that new shipping lines can only be created for each race after the initial shipping line has built its first ship. This is to avoid conventional starts building up multiple shipping lines before any ships are created.


A tiny little feature, but probably needed. I think you are doing a great job tweaking the conventional start. Starting from the wealth build up and now the shipping lines.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Scandinavian on February 04, 2019, 11:33:19 PM
With the "subsidize" option removed, shipping lines need to be prevented from issuing dividends in years when they are not making any profits net of vessel depreciation and running costs (to the extent that they pay for those).

In VB6 a line would occasionally liquidate itself by overpaying dividends. Which in reality would be a fair enough way for owners to withdraw from the market, but with spawning new lines being random and without a merger/consolidation mechanic for defunct lines, it leaves you with useless dummy lines.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on February 05, 2019, 12:01:33 PM
That's a really good point - it has happened multiple times in my games and the only way to fix it was to use the Subsidize button.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SpikeTheHobbitMage on February 05, 2019, 12:16:39 PM
If a shipping line liquidates itself (no ships, no money), then it should be removed from the list.  Combined with the rule that a new line can only be created if every existing line has ships, this would limit the number of shipping companies.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on February 05, 2019, 04:55:14 PM
If a shipping line liquidates itself (no ships, no money), then it should be removed from the list.  Combined with the rule that a new line can only be created if every existing line has ships, this would limit the number of shipping companies.

I agree.

I believe Steve cannot see yet the effects long term on both Subsidize button removed and also the dividend glitch (imported from VB6 version) therefore he is still simply not able to tweak this part yet. I am sure that as soon as he'll go for a stable 100/200 year game test run he will also change a few other things such as maintenance that is looking very expensive at the moment. It is same as the wealth revamp, which was good and then he needed to change again based on the few first tests; he may change that again if he sees that it's not working with larger empires.

It is part of the development and the balance, so I will be prudent before pointing out something radical.

From the 5.12 version which was for long the standard to the 6.0 there were many changes in VB6 which were made after years of intensive gameplay. Based on the fact that fundamentally Aurora C# is the same game but with few more features we can assume that Steve's work is not only influenced by the balance that these new features comport but also by the experiences he had during the whole Aurora development. Especially when it comes to feature interactions.
In fact, on final note sometimes it is not only the single feature (ie shipping lines) but how that feature is linked to all the others. In this case, we have a small tree that could be expanded exponentially but if kept at bare would still be:

Shipping Lines -- Civilian Ship Spawn -- Civilian Ship Design

The above still not touching the Logistic or the Wealth.

I think the key and probably what Steve is also trying to keep under control is the DWARF FORTRESS CHICKENS CPU KILLER EFFECT. If Aurora C# may or may not have the issue with multiple NPCs and Civilian Companies (we don't know that yet) this is not meaning that we could just overkill CPUs (Aurora runs single threaded) with millions of single processes.

Again balance.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on February 23, 2019, 05:15:11 AM
Its so hauntingly quite :)
Are there any updates on campaign?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 23, 2019, 01:30:32 PM
Its so hauntingly quite :)
Are there any updates on campaign?

I've been busy with work and family stuff the last week or so, although I've done another 18 months on the Cold Sun campaign. I am going to take a break from the campaign now though I think and dive into AI combat and diplomacy. Economics, etc. is working fine. I might also reduce terraforming speed a little based on the Cold Sun campaign, as it is very easy to create terraforming space stations and smaller worlds are very easy to terraform now due to the size changes. Experimentation needed. Very happy with the wealth changes though.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on February 23, 2019, 04:57:23 PM
Its so hauntingly quite :)
Are there any updates on campaign?

I've been busy with work and family stuff the last week or so, although I've done another 18 months on the Cold Sun campaign. I am going to take a break from the campaign now though I think and dive into AI combat and diplomacy. Economics, etc. is working fine. I might also reduce terraforming speed a little based on the Cold Sun campaign, as it is very easy to create terraforming space stations and smaller worlds are very easy to terraform now due to the size changes. Experimentation needed. Very happy with the wealth changes though.

Thank you ! AI changes/updates are the most exciting in C# Aurora for me, take your time with them :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Impassive on February 24, 2019, 12:44:43 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg112879#msg112879 date=1550950232
Quote from: Shuul link=topic=10096. msg112877#msg112877 date=1550920511
Its so hauntingly quite :)
Are there any updates on campaign?

I've been busy with work and family stuff the last week or so, although I've done another 18 months on the Cold Sun campaign.  I am going to take a break from the campaign now though I think and dive into AI combat and diplomacy.  Economics, etc.  is working fine.  I might also reduce terraforming speed a little based on the Cold Sun campaign, as it is very easy to create terraforming space stations and smaller worlds are very easy to terraform now due to the size changes.  Experimentation needed.  Very happy with the wealth changes though.

Great to hear the other things are working fine, how much more is there to do with the AI & Diplomacy?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 24, 2019, 07:28:03 AM
Great to hear the other things are working fine, how much more is there to do with the AI & Diplomacy?

I haven't even started Diplomacy (apart from establishing communication). For the AI, exploration, economy and fleet deployment is pretty much done. I need to work on combat and diplomacy.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 02, 2019, 08:19:12 AM
As a result of playtesting in the Cold Sun campaign, I have reduced terraforming speed further. It is now 75% slower than VB6 for Earth size worlds, about 10% slower for Mars and about 3.4x faster for the Moon.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg102115#msg102115
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Breadabix on March 02, 2019, 06:49:27 PM
Honestly Id be happy with a release without ai, I like exploring but it gets too laggy later game atm.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on March 02, 2019, 07:25:40 PM
As a result of playtesting in the Cold Sun campaign, I have reduced terraforming speed further. It is now 75% slower than VB6 for Earth size worlds, about 10% slower for Mars and about 3.4x faster for the Moon.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg102115#msg102115

I suspect the volume of atmosphere depends on the surface area of the planet, correct? So the time required is proportional to the square of the radius?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 03, 2019, 06:02:17 AM
As a result of playtesting in the Cold Sun campaign, I have reduced terraforming speed further. It is now 75% slower than VB6 for Earth size worlds, about 10% slower for Mars and about 3.4x faster for the Moon.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg102115#msg102115

I suspect the volume of atmosphere depends on the surface area of the planet, correct? So the time required is proportional to the square of the radius?

Yes, that's correct.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: The Forbidden on March 05, 2019, 04:23:31 AM
As a result of playtesting in the Cold Sun campaign, I have reduced terraforming speed further. It is now 75% slower than VB6 for Earth size worlds, about 10% slower for Mars and about 3.4x faster for the Moon.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg102115#msg102115

Won't that make most terraforming candidates so long to terraform that it's useless to do so ? And moons absurdly overpowered in comparison ?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 05, 2019, 04:33:11 AM
As a result of playtesting in the Cold Sun campaign, I have reduced terraforming speed further. It is now 75% slower than VB6 for Earth size worlds, about 10% slower for Mars and about 3.4x faster for the Moon.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg102115#msg102115

Won't that make most terraforming candidates so long to terraform that it's useless to do so ? And moons absurdly overpowered in comparison ?

I've found that building up a large terraforming capacity is a lot easier in C# due to the ability to crank out large terraforming space stations on demand, rather than being limited by shipyard capacity and tooling. Also, unless terraforming is slowed down, small worlds are too easy to terraform. Anything less than 0.1G can't be terraformed so Earth Moon-sized is at the low end of the range. The reality is though that small worlds would be easier to terraform so they do have an advantage in terraforming speed, but a disadvantage in capacity, especially if tide-locked.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: tobijon on March 05, 2019, 04:58:56 AM
Tidal lock wouldn't be a problem for moons though. The ease at which you can get more terraforming capacity concerns me, I don't think terraforming a planet or moon should be a trivial matter, even for a large empire.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on March 05, 2019, 08:04:05 AM
I've found that building up a large terraforming capacity is a lot easier in C# due to the ability to crank out large terraforming space stations on demand, rather than being limited by shipyard capacity and tooling. Also, unless terraforming is slowed down, small worlds are too easy to terraform. Anything less than 0.1G can't be terraformed so Earth Moon-sized is at the low end of the range. The reality is though that small worlds would be easier to terraform so they do have an advantage in terraforming speed, but a disadvantage in capacity, especially if tide-locked.

Hi Steve,

Are you using (SurfaceArea/SurfaceGravity) for your terraforming rate (as was suggested a couple of years ago in C++ Suggestions and just flared up again in C# Suggestions)?  That would help slow down small worlds, and it has the added benefit of being correct physics :)  The reason for the factor of 1/SurfaceGravity is that pressure comes from the weight of air above you; if gravity is 10x weaker you need to have 10x as much air above you to get the same pressure.  Don't remember if you coded this up when it first came up....

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 05, 2019, 09:02:52 AM
Hi Steve,

Are you using (SurfaceArea/SurfaceGravity) for your terraforming rate (as was suggested a couple of years ago in C++ Suggestions and just flared up again in C# Suggestions)?  That would help slow down small worlds, and it has the added benefit of being correct physics :)  The reason for the factor of 1/SurfaceGravity is that pressure comes from the weight of air above you; if gravity is 10x weaker you need to have 10x as much air above you to get the same pressure.  Don't remember if you coded this up when it first came up....

John

No, I am using EarthSurfaceArea/SurfaceArea.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg102115#msg102115

I'll take a look at the suggestion.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 18, 2019, 12:33:43 PM
Another milestone. This is an AI squadron that has detected a player ship, moved within range and launched missiles.

The basic code is done for decisions on active sensor activation (when, why) and firing decisions (when to fire, what to fire at and why). These will need a little more attention as more complex situations arise, but that should be fine-tuning.

Some of the code is in place for how the System AI deploys its available forces to deal with threats, but that is a lot more complex, especially when facing multiple hostile forces and when deciding whether to be aggressive or not. The AI may now run away or seek the cover of planetary defences, instead of blindly attacking, which requires more decision-making. The Race AI also has to respond to threats on an Empire-wide level as well. So this area of the code will be my focus now.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/NPRFiring.PNG)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Barkhorn on March 18, 2019, 03:20:13 PM
Quick question/suggestion about firing decisions:
Currently in VB6, the AI will waste ammo like crazy.  In my first ever battle against an NPR, they spammed hundreds of AMM's at a single sensor buoy.  I can see using a little overkill to guarantee success, but this feels excessive.  Will C# AI be more intelligent in this regard?

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 18, 2019, 06:24:43 PM
Quick question/suggestion about firing decisions:
Currently in VB6, the AI will waste ammo like crazy.  In my first ever battle against an NPR, they spammed hundreds of AMM's at a single sensor buoy.  I can see using a little overkill to guarantee success, but this feels excessive.  Will C# AI be more intelligent in this regard?

Yes, the AI should be better at conserving ammo.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on March 18, 2019, 08:31:56 PM
Sounds like a massive understatement :p
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on March 19, 2019, 07:59:15 AM
A thought:  Are you thinking of putting in an "inertia" term into the AI decision making, that cause it to prefer to continue with whatever course of action it's currently engaged in?  So if it's in "run away" mode and the situation changes to be more in the AI's favor (say it gets a lucky hit and kills an attacker) it will need a bigger advantage to break out of "run away" mode than if it were in say "attack" mode.

It occurs to be that there's probably a failure mode in AI where the decision weights are roughly equal and the AI keeps reversing itself in a short period of time, that this might make the AI more susceptible to manipulation/exploit by the player, and that an inertia term might fix that.  In addition, I suspect it represents actual human psychology: it's (probably) more difficult to rally routed troops than to keep them from routing in the first place.

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TCD on March 19, 2019, 08:37:39 AM
A thought:  Are you thinking of putting in an "inertia" term into the AI decision making, that cause it to prefer to continue with whatever course of action it's currently engaged in?  So if it's in "run away" mode and the situation changes to be more in the AI's favor (say it gets a lucky hit and kills an attacker) it will need a bigger advantage to break out of "run away" mode than if it were in say "attack" mode.

It occurs to be that there's probably a failure mode in AI where the decision weights are roughly equal and the AI keeps reversing itself in a short period of time, that this might make the AI more susceptible to manipulation/exploit by the player, and that an inertia term might fix that.  In addition, I suspect it represents actual human psychology: it's (probably) more difficult to rally routed troops than to keep them from routing in the first place.

John
Presumably the downside of that is in the reverse situation where the AI is attacking, suffers a setback and instead of sensibly withdrawing continues on to pointlessly die? Admittedly you may say that is human psychology as well and certainly has some historical precedents. Bu an AI which is better able to make a "tactical withdrawal" is a better AI in my view.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Barkhorn on March 19, 2019, 10:55:22 AM
It should be tonnage or HTK-based.  Losing one fighter out of a wing of 5 is a huge loss.  Losing one fighter in a wing of 500 is no big deal.  Likewise losing a battleship should be scarier than losing a destroyer.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JustAnotherDude on March 19, 2019, 10:57:05 AM
I can only imagine Steve already plans for the tactical A.I to scale according to the size of its fleets, tonnage included.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 19, 2019, 12:29:57 PM
It should be tonnage or HTK-based.  Losing one fighter out of a wing of 5 is a huge loss.  Losing one fighter in a wing of 500 is no big deal.  Likewise losing a battleship should be scarier than losing a destroyer.

I've set it up so the AI analysis of the 'threat' of a hostile ship is an independent function, which is influenced by the situation and its knowledge of the ship. This function will be called when required by other parts of the code. The AI will track the capability of different ships using an internal version of the intelligence window. For example, assume a player TG of four ships of different classes. The AI has previously observed all four classes in action and knows the respective armaments are 10cm lasers, 25cm lasers, size 5 missile launchers and AMM launchers. The AI will radically change the different threat levels posed by those ships depending on the range.

In general, at 20m kilometers, the AI will take out your missile ship first, at 200,000 km it will probably take out the 25cm laser ships and at 20,000 km the 10cm laser ship will be the priority target, etc. The priority of secondary targets will also depend on the range. In some situations at longer ranges, the AI might instead decide to eliminate the escorts first. There are other considerations as well, such as speed and sensor capability, but I don't want to give too much away :)

I can add to the intelligence of this 'threat' function over time without it affecting other parts of the code (except for returning a 'smarter' decision).

All of this is still relatively early, so the results of play testing should improve the AI considerably. With the speed and flexibility of C# I have a lot more scope to improve the AI compared to VB6.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on March 20, 2019, 07:07:07 AM
A thought:  Are you thinking of putting in an "inertia" term into the AI decision making, that cause it to prefer to continue with whatever course of action it's currently engaged in?  So if it's in "run away" mode and the situation changes to be more in the AI's favor (say it gets a lucky hit and kills an attacker) it will need a bigger advantage to break out of "run away" mode than if it were in say "attack" mode.

It occurs to be that there's probably a failure mode in AI where the decision weights are roughly equal and the AI keeps reversing itself in a short period of time, that this might make the AI more susceptible to manipulation/exploit by the player, and that an inertia term might fix that.  In addition, I suspect it represents actual human psychology: it's (probably) more difficult to rally routed troops than to keep them from routing in the first place.

John
Such a system could be used to simulate battle experience. A well experienced battle commander might spot tactical problems easier compared to a newbie. So maybe such a system could be added into an experience system for AI Generals?!?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on March 20, 2019, 08:41:45 AM
Presumably the downside of that is in the reverse situation where the AI is attacking, suffers a setback and instead of sensibly withdrawing continues on to pointlessly die? Admittedly you may say that is human psychology as well and certainly has some historical precedents. Bu an AI which is better able to make a "tactical withdrawal" is a better AI in my view.

I didn't say (or intend) that it necessarily be a big factor :)  I was more thinking of a small term to stabilize a potential AI instability.

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ardem on March 20, 2019, 06:34:00 PM
A small amount of randomness should be added. For example, there whould be the perfect tactical AI response like described above, then there should be a randomness of less choices, to humanise the AI.

Else it could be gamed if the human player know exactly how the AI will always respond. Example of a bove I put 10 escort to 1 missile ship and seperate this from a group of laser boats, I keep the missile  boat at range and it waste it own missile on the escorts that knock out all the missiles. Without fear I rush my laser boats in knowing they only need to stay alive a small amount of time.

Randomness would on occassion spit out missile at these laser boats instead of the missile cruiser, just to keep the player honest and not always know the AI tactics. I find randomness the real humaniser in AI strategies. Its not always effective, sometime it the worst decision, however it cannot be gamed as easily as a AI that subscribes to the same tactics over and over again.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on March 21, 2019, 01:03:49 AM
That stuff could be handled by the traits of the Commander in overall charge of the ship or task group, or the traits of the race, randomness is good and prevents too easily being able to exploit the AI, but some of those factors could be dependant on those other factors.
Eventually anyway, if more complexity is desired :p
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on March 21, 2019, 12:56:17 PM
Randomness comes from the fact that the AI "player" will only rarely have perfect information regarding human player's ships. If you don't know the armament of two-thirds of the ships you've spotted coming your way, you cannot make well-informed targeting decisions. There probably is no need for further random element just for the rake of randomness, especially since the combat/fleet AI will also be restricted due to the new high-level, Empire AI.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 21, 2019, 03:15:03 PM
As left the action, the AI had fired on a player ship. The target was destroyed. A few months later, a new player force turns up to seek revenge. The AI detects four ships, decides it has the advantage with its own four ships and moves out from the system population to attack. As the player force approaches, a further three ships, smaller than the first four, are detected. The AI re-evaluates the situation and decides to retreat to the safety of the population defences.

This is the first example of new combat behaviour for the AI.

BTW this is happening in a new campaign, not the Cold Sun campaign. I started again with a single player race to speed things up. I'll post some reports in the next day or two.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ardem on March 21, 2019, 11:03:03 PM
AWESOOOOMMMMEEEEEE.

Keep up the great progress
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Adseria on March 22, 2019, 07:04:30 AM
Purely out of curiosity, why is everyone talking about "humanising" the AI? I thought they were meant to be aliens anyway?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tree on March 22, 2019, 07:22:53 AM
Steve talked about adding a setting making it so NPRs spawning would use the same race as you, as he wanted to play a game inspired by WH40K's Great Crusade.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on March 22, 2019, 01:26:26 PM
And it's already possible to have multiple human races starting on Earth/Sol with the others as NPRs.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JacenHan on March 22, 2019, 03:28:27 PM
It would probably be more accurate to say "give the AI a semblance of personality that makes it have the appearance of a sentient being rather than a computer following a flowchart" but "humanize" is easier to write.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Barkhorn on March 22, 2019, 08:41:25 PM
How exactly will the AI know what weapons a ship has?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't get any messages or anything about which contacts fired what, only how many missiles are coming or beam weapons hit you.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on March 22, 2019, 08:46:48 PM
In VB6, your intel window will tell you what ships were observed firing which weapons. I imagine this is much the same in C#.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Barkhorn on March 22, 2019, 08:50:02 PM
If an enemy fleet is far enough away that you only have active sensor contacts on their ships but not their missiles, will you still get that information?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: King-Salomon on March 23, 2019, 02:31:38 AM
If an enemy fleet is far enough away that you only have active sensor contacts on their ships but not their missiles, will you still get that information?

the C# changes in the wiki

http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/index.php?title=C-Alien_Contact  there you will find "Alien Weapon Detection"
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on March 23, 2019, 05:05:28 AM
Will AI be bound to the same rules and require new module to gather info on player?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on March 23, 2019, 01:32:43 PM
While Steve hasn't explicitly said so, generally NPR operates mostly on the same rules.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 23, 2019, 02:00:13 PM
Will AI be bound to the same rules and require new module to gather info on player?

The AI uses the same intelligence gathering methods as the player, which mainly involves using normal sensors to observe behaviour and weapon fire.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: chrislocke2000 on March 26, 2019, 03:37:09 AM
It should be tonnage or HTK-based.  Losing one fighter out of a wing of 5 is a huge loss.  Losing one fighter in a wing of 500 is no big deal.  Likewise losing a battleship should be scarier than losing a destroyer.

I've set it up so the AI analysis of the 'threat' of a hostile ship is an independent function, which is influenced by the situation and its knowledge of the ship. This function will be called when required by other parts of the code. The AI will track the capability of different ships using an internal version of the intelligence window. For example, assume a player TG of four ships of different classes. The AI has previously observed all four classes in action and knows the respective armaments are 10cm lasers, 25cm lasers, size 5 missile launchers and AMM launchers. The AI will radically change the different threat levels posed by those ships depending on the range.

In general, at 20m kilometers, the AI will take out your missile ship first, at 200,000 km it will probably take out the 25cm laser ships and at 20,000 km the 10cm laser ship will be the priority target, etc. The priority of secondary targets will also depend on the range. In some situations at longer ranges, the AI might instead decide to eliminate the escorts first. There are other considerations as well, such as speed and sensor capability, but I don't want to give too much away :)

I can add to the intelligence of this 'threat' function over time without it affecting other parts of the code (except for returning a 'smarter' decision).

All of this is still relatively early, so the results of play testing should improve the AI considerably. With the speed and flexibility of C# I have a lot more scope to improve the AI compared to VB6.

Interesting to see in the latest AAR that the precursors didn't turn round and attack the player ships. In that encounter it looked like the AI could tell its ships and missiles were substantially faster than the hostiles and that its AMM was able to defeat the incoming missiles. Are you still working on how the AI iterates its threat assessment or is that working as intended?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 26, 2019, 05:08:34 AM
Interesting to see in the latest AAR that the precursors didn't turn round and attack the player ships. In that encounter it looked like the AI could tell its ships and missiles were substantially faster than the hostiles and that its AMM was able to defeat the incoming missiles. Are you still working on how the AI iterates its threat assessment or is that working as intended?

The AI was prioritizing its defence mission. While it couldn't hit the player ships at that range, the calculation was that the player force was stronger and therefore it should not engage in a deep space engagement as would take heavier casualties. By holding position, it increased its chance of defending the planet. It is still relatively primitive but as I encounter more situations and add code to deal with them, the AI should get better at weighing its options.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on March 26, 2019, 09:27:35 AM
The AI was prioritizing its defence mission. While it couldn't hit the player ships at that range, the calculation was that the player force was stronger and therefore it should not engage in a deep space engagement as would take heavier casualties. By holding position, it increased its chance of defending the planet. It is still relatively primitive but as I encounter more situations and add code to deal with them, the AI should get better at weighing its options.

I cannot praise this kind of analysis enough. Even if it might have won, the AI would have substantially weakened itself, thus hurting its long-term goals. This is exactly the kind of choosing strategic victory over tactical victory that marks a good commander.

(Not every AI needs to be a good commander, of course.)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Drakale on March 27, 2019, 10:19:41 AM
New AI seem really interesting. Just a small point I'd like to make, it would be nice if there was some variation to the AI decision making, like most of the time it will do the logical thing but once in a while it will make a bold decision, or even a mistake. Main point is to make it not totally predictable so it's harder to manipulate it. Possibly way harder to program that in than it's worth but it would be nice.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: waresky on March 28, 2019, 01:59:28 PM
Sorry..am REALLY become hating these posts. Questions? Too many. useful? Useless. Am hopes Steve going forward without folow hundreds of "questions" or "suggestions". And stop. Too many ppl questioning..too long take Game to born.

Wtf ppl wanna? This isnt a Messengers chat. How many looser time.

@Steve : good job. Whatever u want. Every time.

(My english isnt understandable? amen. The point its CLEAR : stop suggestions. )
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Rye123 on March 28, 2019, 04:13:13 PM
.... it's a forum. It's not like this is the "suggestions" thread where everyone's supposed to post suggestions, or the "questions" thread where everyone's supposed to post questions.

I'm pretty sure Steve doesn't say "oh I'll spend an hour replying to questions instead of working on the game", he probably checks the forum in his free time, etc, and I'm pretty sure he knows what suggestions are feasible for now and for later and to filter out the suggestions to leave for later.

What's the purpose of a "suggestions" and a "questions" thread if they were empty?

I understand you're irritated, but this is probably another way for people to express their excitement.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on March 28, 2019, 07:21:18 PM
.... it's a forum. It's not like this is the "suggestions" thread where everyone's supposed to post suggestions, or the "questions" thread where everyone's supposed to post questions.

I'm pretty sure Steve doesn't say "oh I'll spend an hour replying to questions instead of working on the game", he probably checks the forum in his free time, etc, and I'm pretty sure he knows what suggestions are feasible for now and for later and to filter out the suggestions to leave for later.

What's the purpose of a "suggestions" and a "questions" thread if they were empty?

I understand you're irritated, but this is probably another way for people to express their excitement.

I'm also sure Steve has received many seeds to new ideas for Aurora over the year through questions and suggestions on this forum. I hardly think it is useless information or is wasting anyone's time.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 29, 2019, 04:01:43 AM
.... it's a forum. It's not like this is the "suggestions" thread where everyone's supposed to post suggestions, or the "questions" thread where everyone's supposed to post questions.

I'm pretty sure Steve doesn't say "oh I'll spend an hour replying to questions instead of working on the game", he probably checks the forum in his free time, etc, and I'm pretty sure he knows what suggestions are feasible for now and for later and to filter out the suggestions to leave for later.

What's the purpose of a "suggestions" and a "questions" thread if they were empty?

I understand you're irritated, but this is probably another way for people to express their excitement.

I'm also sure Steve has received many seeds to new ideas for Aurora over the year through questions and suggestions on this forum. I hardly think it is useless information or is wasting anyone's time.

Yes, many, many ideas :)

I tend to take a lot of short breaks while programming so browsing forums is a good way to fill that time. It isn't a distraction.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: waresky on March 29, 2019, 04:49:27 PM
Okay. Go ahead with "suggestions".

See ya in 2025
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: iceball3 on April 01, 2019, 05:23:31 AM
Okay. Go ahead with "suggestions".

See ya in 2025
You read steve's post, right?
Even if everyone listened to you, all it would do is give steve less to do on his free time. The time he's specifically not coding. He can't spend every waking moment developing the game.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on April 01, 2019, 03:15:35 PM
I mean, the guy is probably right that some of the suggestions will get listened to prior to release.  Not necessarily that big of a deal though.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Person012345 on April 24, 2019, 11:10:20 AM
I mean, the guy is probably right that some of the suggestions will get listened to prior to release.  Not necessarily that big of a deal though.
Yep, to be fair to ware, suggestions can and do slow down the release of the game. However, I would say that any suggestions that do slow down the release of the game slow it down for good reason, they're substantial additions that will enhance the game. The initial idea for designing ground units came out of a suggestion I made and led to a general re-look at ground combat (I think). I'm sure that ate up a lot of time and if you don't care about ground combat you'd probably consider it a waste of time. But to me the new system looks like a lot of fun and I'm hyped to play around and land some troops. Although that was itself prompted by the removal of PDCs which I think sort of required a re-look at ground units anyway so whether it would have happened anyway with or without my suggestion is debatable. That being said, I think the focus is on making the game work right now rather than feature creep so waresky should probably calm down.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: swarm_sadist on April 24, 2019, 09:56:05 PM
The initial idea for designing ground units came out of a suggestion I made and led to a general re-look at ground combat (I think). I'm sure that ate up a lot of time and if you don't care about ground combat you'd probably consider it a waste of time. But to me the new system looks like a lot of fun and I'm hyped to play around and land some troops.
I'm pretty sure the entire ground update was because Steve wanted 'SPACE MARINES!' in his campaign. Thinking back, I think he had an update earlier (unreleased) that had Baneblades as well, although it's been nearly three years and I might of imagined that.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Profugo Barbatus on April 25, 2019, 01:49:56 AM
The initial idea for designing ground units came out of a suggestion I made and led to a general re-look at ground combat (I think). I'm sure that ate up a lot of time and if you don't care about ground combat you'd probably consider it a waste of time. But to me the new system looks like a lot of fun and I'm hyped to play around and land some troops.
I'm pretty sure the entire ground update was because Steve wanted 'SPACE MARINES!' in his campaign. Thinking back, I think he had an update earlier (unreleased) that had Baneblades as well, although it's been nearly three years and I might of imagined that.

If I'm remembering correctly, it started with wanting Titans, actually. Then it got onto different classes of Titans, and I guess Steve decided he didn't want to special case every single type of special unit going forward for his campaigns, so he ripped the whole thing out and now here we are. Titans with special carry and maintenance requirements were implemented before the ground overhaul happened, or at least were being designed.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Person012345 on April 26, 2019, 05:16:29 AM
If I'm remembering correctly, it started with wanting Titans, actually. Then it got onto different classes of Titans, and I guess Steve decided he didn't want to special case every single type of special unit going forward for his campaigns, so he ripped the whole thing out and now here we are. Titans with special carry and maintenance requirements were implemented before the ground overhaul happened, or at least were being designed.
It was regarding the PDC removal and how ground-to-space defenses could be handled.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=9679.msg104363#msg104363

This is my post and steve's post announcing the planned changes is a few days later further down the page. Of course it's way more fleshed out than my off-my-head proposal but the timing and similarity to what I was thinking has always made me think that my proposal had an impact on the direction of ground unit design (maybe it was a coincidence though and these changes were already planned out) and I THINK the general ground rework went hand in hand with the new way units were designed (I didn't in any way directly suggest any more general changes to organisation and all that though and perhaps it was already in the works prior, I'm not sure, as said above it's been a number of years).

In any case, I think the point stands that suggestions can lead to extra development time, I'm sure I've seen it happen in other regards as well even if this isn't an example.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: boggo2300 on April 28, 2019, 05:51:02 PM
But so can Steve watching tv or movies, reading books, so it's really no extra risk of further development
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TheRowan on April 29, 2019, 02:16:06 AM
But so can Steve watching tv or movies, reading books, so it's really no extra risk of further development

How much would a sensory deprivation tank with a computer inside cost? And how much trouble would one get in for kidnapping a coder?

Asking for a friend...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ardem on May 02, 2019, 08:34:23 PM
LOL
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alamoes on May 02, 2019, 09:25:57 PM
The hot pockets you drop into the tank to keep him alive might inspire him to do a farming overhaul.   Don't risk it.   
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: joansam on May 14, 2019, 08:13:35 PM
Seriously though - Steve works on Aurora because he enjoys it.   Saying that he shouldn't talk about his game with the other players who are also enjoying it.  .  .  is probably not the most helpful response.   This is a labor of love, not a commercial project.   Enjoy the ride - we'll get the C# version when we get it. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on May 19, 2019, 04:17:43 PM
I hope I not too impolite asking the recurring question, but ... given Steve said that the only missing major part is diplomacy, can we hope to have a version available for Christmas? That would be awesome!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: boggo2300 on May 19, 2019, 05:34:08 PM
I hope I not too impolite asking the recurring question, but ... given Steve said that the only missing major part is diplomacy, can we hope to have a version available for Christmas? That would be awesome!

As has always been the case with every version of Aurora it will drop when it's done, usually this is when absolutely no-one expects it to :D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on May 20, 2019, 12:21:47 AM
As long as theres an AAR ongoing it means progress. Sweet sweet progress.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on May 20, 2019, 05:18:56 AM
As has always been the case with every version of Aurora it will drop when it's done, usually this is when absolutely no-one expects it to :D
So we all have to not expect it - and it will be there. Pfff, that's easy  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ardem on May 21, 2019, 12:11:48 AM
Now your done it, you expecting the unexpected. It will never drop now since people are expectings the expected and your expecting the unexpected. My world is burning!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: boggo2300 on May 21, 2019, 06:34:36 PM
relax, it's like learning to fly, throw yourself to the ground and miss, same principle!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on May 22, 2019, 02:10:36 AM
just don't forget your towel, very important that.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: theoderic on May 30, 2019, 06:00:34 PM
Hey Aurora folks!

So I accidentally removed my win-xp virtualbox harddrive that contained a 35h+ campaign about a week ago :'(  had gone conventional start like I always do (dont you just love to see those 100km/s spaceliners hauling people and other crap to the moon and back again)
 
Was going all out submarine MIRV-torpedo style /w system sensor bouys in all my controlled systems, considered it a pretty creative strategy and something new since massive parasite micro didn't appeal to me this time.  Met an NPR homeworld and considered a war to test my capabilities, well now I might refine my strat for next release instead

So now that I've got nothing to do (yea, right) I'm eager of the C# version which is round the corner?

Anyway great game and keep it up man! Definitely an inspiration for future 'virtual realities'
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on June 02, 2019, 06:04:14 AM
Steve, looking at the planetary terrain table I note that Cold Desert and Ice Fields have the same abbreviation but different effects.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on June 02, 2019, 07:58:04 AM
Steve, looking at the planetary terrain table I note that Cold Desert and Ice Fields have the same abbreviation but different effects.

Yes, that is a typo. Fixed it now, thanks.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on June 25, 2019, 03:58:52 PM
With the introduction of the Diplomacy module, the team concept has been removed from C# Aurora. Everything that was handled by teams is now handled by commanders or ground units.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on June 25, 2019, 04:42:55 PM
Well, this is going to complicate the diplomacy mechanics substantially. Which is a good thing, diplomacy is a complex subject, and nations generally do care about how important a given chunk of real estate is when someone unfriendly enters it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on July 29, 2019, 12:05:21 PM
Just a quick note for the Discord. You cannot put railguns in turrets in C#.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: waresky on August 01, 2019, 03:52:28 PM
Just a quick note for the Discord. You cannot put railguns in turrets in C#.

Merry Christmas !!!!!!!!...ahhhh at last C# out...:D..okay..brrr...hmm let me see..38°..(HOLY CRAP!..isnt Xmas time????)....sbong.,,
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 04, 2019, 06:13:20 PM
Just a quick progress update. The new campaign has helped me spot quite a few significant bugs. It's surprising how much you can play and still miss fairly large problems :)

The campaign is also highlighting missing areas, such as forgetting to add code for refuelling ships in hangars, plus I've been fixing the AI as (fairly minor) problems become apparent. I still have some areas to add to the AI, such as attacking and/or invading colonies, plus more options for starting NPR design themes. In general though, the AI seems a lot better than VB6.

Increments are still MUCH faster than VB6 with sub-second increments nine years into my current campaign, which has a large player race and two NPRs.

In terms of major functional areas, they are 95% done (probably higher) with Diplomacy remaining the area that needs the most work. At some point I plan to start a test campaign with multiple NPRs in Sol, so that will force me to tackle the Diplomacy AI code :)

I'm still not ready to predict a release date, as a lot depends on my available free time and enthusiasm, but I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel :)  Just hope it isn't an oncoming train.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on August 04, 2019, 10:00:03 PM
Thanks for the update.  Are NPRs designing varied ground formations and launching invasions of other worlds with them?  Are they loading transports and conducting internal troop movements?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 05, 2019, 02:33:39 AM
Thanks for the update.  Are NPRs designing varied ground formations and launching invasions of other worlds with them?  Are they loading transports and conducting internal troop movements?

Yes, not yet, yes, yes.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on August 05, 2019, 02:42:38 AM
Will NPRs in 1.0 of c# have the ability to have at least basic adaptation to the enemies thy encounter? Like, changing % of missile ships if missiles are ineffective?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 05, 2019, 04:24:54 AM
Will NPRs in 1.0 of c# have the ability to have at least basic adaptation to the enemies thy encounter? Like, changing % of missile ships if missiles are ineffective?

That is a lot trickier to code than it sounds. How does the AI determine that the situation in which its missiles were ineffective is representative of the potential combat situations against that particular opponent and how does it factor in other potential opponents that may have different defensive capabilities?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on August 05, 2019, 05:30:57 AM
Will NPRs in 1.0 of c# have the ability to have at least basic adaptation to the enemies thy encounter? Like, changing % of missile ships if missiles are ineffective?

That is a lot trickier to code than it sounds. How does the AI determine that the situation in which its missiles were ineffective is representative of the potential combat situations against that particular opponent and how does it factor in other potential opponents that may have different defensive capabilities?

Would real Militaries be capable of judging such things unbiased and factfully though?

If a real Navy suffered say 3 severe defeats in a row where zero % of their missiles made contact with their targets would they not adapt and scale back on missiles even if other potential future enemies might be more vulnerable to missiles?

Military history is full of examples of Navies drawing erroneous conclusions about combat effectiveness based on fluke events. For example in the very early age of Steam warships all warships were designed with rams and tactical formations supporting ramming were discussed everywhere because the only heavy ship sunk in the last larger battle was sunk via ramming.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 05, 2019, 08:06:00 AM
Will NPRs in 1.0 of c# have the ability to have at least basic adaptation to the enemies thy encounter? Like, changing % of missile ships if missiles are ineffective?

That is a lot trickier to code than it sounds. How does the AI determine that the situation in which its missiles were ineffective is representative of the potential combat situations against that particular opponent and how does it factor in other potential opponents that may have different defensive capabilities?

Would real Militaries be capable of judging such things unbiased and factfully though?

If a real Navy suffered say 3 severe defeats in a row where zero % of their missiles made contact with their targets would they not adapt and scale back on missiles even if other potential future enemies might be more vulnerable to missiles?

Military history is full of examples of Navies drawing erroneous conclusions about combat effectiveness based on fluke events. For example in the very early age of Steam warships all warships were designed with rams and tactical formations supporting ramming were discussed everywhere because the only heavy ship sunk in the last larger battle was sunk via ramming.

it will rarely be as clear-cut as a series of severe defeats in fair battles against a single opponent though. If a small force fires missiles ineffectively against a large force, does that count? Or vice versa? Does a defeat mean stop using missiles or invest more money in missile development or just bring more ships next time? Or maybe avoid deep space engagements and fight defensively. What if you are facing multiple enemies with different defensive challenges? In the reverse situation, what causes my energy-focused fleet to change to missile-focused, without ending up with all AIs following that path.

These are the areas where humans are far superior at judging the right strategy. I'm not saying the AI won't adapt, as some adaptation is already coded, plus the way the AI is setup I can adjust the future fleet mix for an NPR without too much trouble. The really tricky part is deciding when that is appropriate based on strategic trends and potentially non-representative battles.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on August 05, 2019, 12:25:51 PM
Thanks for the update.  Are NPRs designing varied ground formations and launching invasions of other worlds with them?  Are they loading transports and conducting internal troop movements?

Yes, not yet, yes, yes.

Thanks for the answer.  I'm code ignorant but I imagine it is a challenge determining logic thresholds for when the AI thinks it has sufficient ground and space forces available, conditions set around the target (space/orbital superiority), and whether it has sufficient force ratio to deal with the enemy ground opposition and of course all the logistics set to maintain those forces - all the while keeping its own colonies sufficiently garrisoned.  Any rate glad to hear about the light at the end of the tunnel because this has become my #1 game I'm looking forward too.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on August 05, 2019, 01:54:03 PM
In order to make the AI more adaptable, I would suggest the following:

The function that determines AI ship construction assigns a different weight to each type (escort, beam ship, missile ship), that determines how many of each type are built/assigned to task groups

Each ship type has an associated fitness function: percentage of incoming missiles destroyed vs missiles engaged for escorts, damage dealt vs damage received for anti ship combatants, broken down by weapon type.

During a battle, defined as when opposing sides are in sensor contact, integrate the fitness function for each ship type.

Also integrate the type of damage (beam/missile/fighter) received.

After the battle, adjust the weights so that ineffective types (poor fitness) are deemphasized.

Also look at damage received: if incoming damage is mostly missile-based, increased the ratio of escorts built/allocated to task groups. If incoming damage is mostly beam-based, build more beam combatants.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on August 05, 2019, 01:57:49 PM
Define a battle.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on August 05, 2019, 02:09:41 PM
During a battle, defined as when opposing sides are in sensor contact
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Titanian on August 05, 2019, 04:35:43 PM
[...]

Let's imagine a simplified situation where I am in a fight with an npr which has two similar ship classes. For some reason, I focus my fire on ships of class A first, and only after those are destroyed I start shooting class B ships. Now just because they survived longer, they are going to have dealt a lot more damage themselves compared to the damage recieved, and thus recieve a better rating for no good reason. Filtering all such situations is a really involved task!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on August 05, 2019, 05:17:52 PM
Good point, maybe it could be normalized as damage dealt divided by shots fired multiplied by some factor proportionate to the size of the battle, so that fleet battles have a bigger effect than small skirmishes.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on August 06, 2019, 12:14:07 PM
I asked because the sensor contact might not mean anything. Unarmed ships can have active sensors. Would passive sensor contacts also qualify? What if the NPR never spots what fired the missiles at them?

I mean, I totally support better AI and an adaptable, learning AI for NPRs - modified by racial details - would be awesome, but very few strategy games have good AI to begin with and I can't think of any that can actually adapt in a reasonable manner. Most cheat like motherfrakkers in order to give the illusion of challenge.

Trying to figure out all the possible contingencies that could happen in a game as complex as Aurora, and the possible consequences of them all is quite a daunting task, for very little gain in the end.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 06, 2019, 01:04:59 PM
Trying to figure out all the possible contingencies that could happen in a game as complex as Aurora, and the possible consequences of them all is quite a daunting task, for very little gain in the end.

Yes, I have spent the last two evenings doing nothing but optimise the AI code that decides when a ship reloads missiles :)

It is surprising how many factors have to be considered to make a decision that at first glance would seem to be trivial. There can be multiple ships in an AI fleet, only some of which are missile-armed, and different ships have different values in terms of whether the fleet can accomplish its missions, which means reloading some ships is more urgent than others, plus the presence, proximity and capability of hostile units can change the decision and also the location of the reload point versus the ship's current location. The current amount of ordnance vs maximum possible is also a factor. I've also had to handle the situation where a ship is firing from a location in which it can simultaneously reload to make sure it doesn't just fire a single missile as soon as it arrives in the magazine (because reloading now takes time).

Consider that relatively minor decision vs all the other decisions that the AI has to make and you get an idea of the scale of the AI programming task :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: boggo2300 on August 06, 2019, 05:02:45 PM
Trying to figure out all the possible contingencies that could happen in a game as complex as Aurora, and the possible consequences of them all is quite a daunting task, for very little gain in the end.

Yes, I have spent the last two evenings doing nothing but optimise the AI code that decides when a ship reloads missiles :)

It is surprising how many factors have to be considered to make a decision that at first glance would seem to be trivial. There can be multiple ships in an AI fleet, only some of which are missile-armed, and different ships have different values in terms of whether the fleet can accomplish its missions, which means reloading some ships is more urgent than others, plus the presence, proximity and capability of hostile units can change the decision and also the location of the reload point versus the ship's current location. The current amount of ordnance vs maximum possible is also a factor. I've also had to handle the situation where a ship is firing from a location in which it can simultaneously reload to make sure it doesn't just fire a single missile as soon as it arrives in the magazine (because reloading now takes time).

Consider that relatively minor decision vs all the other decisions that the AI has to make and you get an idea of the scale of the AI programming task :)

Have you considered breaking the actual AI logic out into text files that the specific code calls when a decision is needed? ie when magazines are empty call ai_missile_reload.txt  and then breaking the actual logic out into that file (like Space Empires did around version 3) though I suspect that would cause a performance hit it would make tweaking the ai easier
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 07, 2019, 04:09:09 AM
Trying to figure out all the possible contingencies that could happen in a game as complex as Aurora, and the possible consequences of them all is quite a daunting task, for very little gain in the end.

Yes, I have spent the last two evenings doing nothing but optimise the AI code that decides when a ship reloads missiles :)

It is surprising how many factors have to be considered to make a decision that at first glance would seem to be trivial. There can be multiple ships in an AI fleet, only some of which are missile-armed, and different ships have different values in terms of whether the fleet can accomplish its missions, which means reloading some ships is more urgent than others, plus the presence, proximity and capability of hostile units can change the decision and also the location of the reload point versus the ship's current location. The current amount of ordnance vs maximum possible is also a factor. I've also had to handle the situation where a ship is firing from a location in which it can simultaneously reload to make sure it doesn't just fire a single missile as soon as it arrives in the magazine (because reloading now takes time).

Consider that relatively minor decision vs all the other decisions that the AI has to make and you get an idea of the scale of the AI programming task :)

Have you considered breaking the actual AI logic out into text files that the specific code calls when a decision is needed? ie when magazines are empty call ai_missile_reload.txt  and then breaking the actual logic out into that file (like Space Empires did around version 3) though I suspect that would cause a performance hit it would make tweaking the ai easier

The AI is too integrated into everything else for it to be separated into a standalone file. For example, each ship AI checks its own status with a variety of parameters (fuel, ordnance, damage, ability to perform primary mission, etc). For ordnance for example, there are five statuses. Ordnance Not Needed, Fully Loaded, Reload Required, Urgent Reload Required and Empty. Each fleet AI then checks the status of its constituent ships and makes a determination at the fleet level for each status, which is different for the whole fleet vs any key element ships. So the ordnance status of a key element ship is more important than an escort and the number of ships with lower ordnance statuses has an impact too. The Race AI will take account of the fleet status when deciding how to deploy the ships within the Empire and the System AI will use the status when deciding how to deploy the fleets assigned to it by the Race AI.

The code that checks for fleets needing a reload occurs in three places, depending on the urgency of other tasks. So in some situations a fleet with a status of Reload Required might be sent to reload, although perhaps not if there are hostile ships in the system, depending on the threat posed by those ships (threat is assessed at a system level and for each grouping of hostile ships). The level of threat required to overcome an Urgent Reload Required status is different than for Reload Required, so the AI may sent urgent status fleets for reload, then assign other available forces to deal with the threats (or run away from them) and then check for reload status fleets that were not required to deal with threats, etc.

When a reload decision is made, the Population AIs check their own missiles available and the System and Race AIs try to match up ships needing particular missile types with those missiles available at population, taking into account demand so that sufficient missiles are available at a population for the ships en route to reload. Some ships may be sent further away if a population doesn't have sufficient missiles to meet local demand.

With those type of interactions, you can't really create a standalone script file because the reload isn't a standalone decision.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: chrislocke2000 on August 07, 2019, 07:28:59 AM
Its hugely exciting to see the level of thought and consideration going into the AI which looks like it will provide a real step up in challenge compared to the current AI. Have you had more of a chance to see it in action in your current test campaign?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 07, 2019, 07:47:18 AM
Its hugely exciting to see the level of thought and consideration going into the AI which looks like it will provide a real step up in challenge compared to the current AI. Have you had more of a chance to see it in action in your current test campaign?

Yes, the AI is launching on my player race at the moment (which is why the sudden focus on reloading :) )

The AI killed a survey ship by sending out a small squadron to intercept. A large player fleet has now arrived. Rather than blindly attacking, the AI is holding its missile ships at a planet covered by defences and firing from there as the player ships approach. They can also reload at that location.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on August 07, 2019, 10:25:19 AM
For those of us interested in how AI coding works, would you be willing to share a decision tree or the like for the AI once you get reloading working to your satisfaction?

I don't mean code, but more an informal design document, I guess. Just because it's really cool.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 07, 2019, 12:09:03 PM
For those of us interested in how AI coding works, would you be willing to share a decision tree or the like for the AI once you get reloading working to your satisfaction?

I don't mean code, but more an informal design document, I guess. Just because it's really cool.

I don't have any design documentation :)

I code based on the overall design in my head (not just for AI - for the whole project). I know in broad terms what needs to be done and how it will all fit together, so I just sort of transfer my thoughts into the code syntax and then fix problems as I find them. The code and the comments become the design documentation. This may seem a chaotic approach but my experience has been that you can never think of everything beforehand and you will spend a great deal of time trying, so I just start coding and work it out as I go.

There isn't an overall decision tree as such. Each ship, fleet, population, system and race has its own AI. Each one makes decisions based on the information passed to it by higher and lower AI and within the parameters set by those AI. It is event-driven, rather than linear. For example, if a system AI detects hostile forces, it will inform the race AI. Depending on how the threat is assessed, the Race AI may tell the System AI to evacuate the non-combatants. The Race AI will also pass on which adjacent systems are regarded as safe. The System AI decides which fleets need to leave but also tells them the location of the known threats and the safest fall back positions within the system if they can't leave. The Fleet AI will try to calculate a path out of the system that avoids moving too close to the threats, or at least moving away if they are already close. If it can't find one, it will try to reach one of the 'safe' locations. So there are decisions being made at different levels based on the available information and each of those individual decisions has something like a decision tree, but the overall effect is more of a decision network. It would be difficult to put it down on paper in a concise way.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 20, 2019, 12:44:08 PM
Latest amusing bug. The AI tried to intercept its own anti-ship missiles with AMMs :)

This happened because the AI ships and the player ships could both detect the AI anti-ship missiles at the same time (the two sides are only 500k km apart) and the AI fired at the player race's hostile missile contact. Oops!

This is why some bugs are hard to spot. They need a specific situation before they manifest. The good thing about C# Aurora is that there is a Save button, so when something like this happens I can fix the code and go back to the previous save.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on August 20, 2019, 01:28:05 PM
SAVE BUTTON!?!? Praise z0rg!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: mtm84 on August 20, 2019, 02:26:01 PM
If i remember right as part of database optimization, in C# Aurora he is only saving to the DB after it processes a turn, instead of interacting with the DB any time there is a user interaction.  This makes it easy to have a save button so you can save it in between turns as well.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on August 20, 2019, 04:24:17 PM
The good thing about C# Aurora is that there is a Save button, so when something like this happens I can fix the code and go back to the previous save.

Steve you cannot drop bombs like that in a post! Unless I didn't see it in the new feature list this should have been mentioned sometime before today!

Another QOL improvement that is worth more than some new feature.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on August 20, 2019, 09:18:24 PM
Didn't he mention the save button ages ago?  I don't fully remember now.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't hit the DB at all unless you are saving for some reason, which is why turns go faster.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Doren on August 20, 2019, 11:31:50 PM
Didn't he mention the save button ages ago?  I don't fully remember now.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't hit the DB at all unless you are saving for some reason, which is why turns go faster.
I think this was the case. No saves until you hit the button
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 21, 2019, 02:55:29 AM
I didn't realise I hadn't officially mentioned it :)

C# Aurora doesn't continually update to disk, which is why it is so much faster (still about 1 second per turn in my current campaign which is on year eleven). When you save, it takes about thirty seconds. The database pre-save is copied to a new file called AuroraDBSaveBackup.db and then the AuroraDB file is updated with the current game. The downside is that if you close without saving you lose progress. I tend to save quite often.

It is super useful for testing through as I can run the same situation many times without having to save and restore db files.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on August 21, 2019, 03:09:16 AM
The downside is that if you close without saving you lose progress. I tend to save quite often.


Can we get a confirmation window before closing the game to remind us to save? I believe many players are very used to how VB6 version works and will forget to save.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tree on August 21, 2019, 03:15:34 AM
I didn't realise I hadn't officially mentioned it :)

C# Aurora doesn't continually update to disk, which is why it is so much faster (still about 1 second per turn in my current campaign which is on year eleven). When you save, it takes about thirty seconds. The database pre-save is copied to a new file called AuroraDBSaveBackup.db and then the AuroraDB file is updated with the current game. The downside is that if you close without saving you lose progress. I tend to save quite often.

It is super useful for testing through as I can run the same situation many times without having to save and restore db files.

Will you also add an autosave feature? Maybe something customizable, so you can set it to save every hour while fighting a battle, every month if you're moving a lot of ships, or only every year if you're just clicking through?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 21, 2019, 03:54:12 AM
Yes, I will definitely add a warning on close. Some form of auto-save will be possible too.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on August 21, 2019, 05:04:54 AM
And can we get an optional Ironman feature?)))
As having to deal with consequences of your actions without the possibility to revert to previous save is one of the reasons Aurora is so engaging.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on August 21, 2019, 07:57:42 AM
And can we get an optional Ironman feature?)))
As having to deal with consequences of your actions without the possibility to revert to previous save is one of the reasons Aurora is so engaging.

Simpler solution: Just say no :)

Aurora is solitaire, so yada yada yada :)

To be more verbose about it: it would be a much larger development task for Steve to try to prevent players from cheating, and there's no need since it's not multiplayer.  This is one of the core design principles of Aurora.  So you're free to implement iron-man yourself by simply resolving to never exit without saving.

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on August 21, 2019, 08:07:22 AM
I didn't realise I hadn't officially mentioned it :)

C# Aurora doesn't continually update to disk, which is why it is so much faster (still about 1 second per turn in my current campaign which is on year eleven). When you save, it takes about thirty seconds. The database pre-save is copied to a new file called AuroraDBSaveBackup.db and then the AuroraDB file is updated with the current game. The downside is that if you close without saving you lose progress. I tend to save quite often.

It is super useful for testing through as I can run the same situation many times without having to save and restore db files.

Hi Steve,

  Is it *really* 30 seconds, or is it a lot quicker?  30 seconds seems like a VERY long time, long enough that it will actively discourage people from saving as frequently as they should and to make an auto-save feature potentially frustrating: "I was running my turn and the game suddenly stopped for 30 seconds".  For example, in RtW I've learned to hit the save button every turn, just in case it crashes.  Even in battles, the RtW save is about 5-10 seconds which is right at the edge of being frustrating.  Outside of battles it's probably about 3 seconds.

  To put it a different way, on average I'd probably like to save every 5 minutes or so of wall-clock time so I don't lose a significant fraction of an hour if Aurora crashes.  A 30 seconds save time means 10% of my time will be spent saving; 5-10 seconds lowers this to a few percent.

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bughunter on August 21, 2019, 08:25:43 AM
Aurora crashed for me once in over 3 years of playing and I remember when saving meant changing floppy disks.. so 30 seconds sounds fine :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 21, 2019, 09:19:21 AM
It does take 30+ seconds, although that is faster than a single increment in VB6 Aurora with a similar sized campaign. I usually save after spending time on design or doing a lot of orders, but I don't bother very often during the normal flow of the game. Because all the saving is concentrated in one update, the rest of the game is incomparable to VB6 in terms of speed.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on August 21, 2019, 09:46:09 AM
Regarding surrender; some normal races will also not surrender, depending on determination and xenophobia, and instead ram, flee or both.

Also, does the attacker's racial diplomacy rating help convince an enemy fleet to surrender?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 21, 2019, 09:59:47 AM
Regarding surrender; some normal races will also not surrender, depending on determination and xenophobia, and instead ram, flee or both.

Also, does the attacker's racial diplomacy rating help convince an enemy fleet to surrender?

Correct on the normal NPRs. Diplomacy isn't a factor at the moment.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on August 21, 2019, 01:39:27 PM
Correct on the normal NPRs. Diplomacy isn't a factor at the moment.

Diplomacy should be a factor, but I can understand if you don't want to put it in.

What happens with the crew/commanders after a surrender?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Doren on August 21, 2019, 02:58:06 PM
Yes, I will definitely add a warning on close. Some form of auto-save will be possible too.
I would say an autosave feature with two parameters which ever would come first would trigger autosave: Days in game or Actual time in minutes.
If you are having a long battle then the actual time limit would hit first. If you were cruising through the game with long intervals the days in game time would hit the first.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Peroox on August 21, 2019, 03:35:24 PM
Correct on the normal NPRs. Diplomacy isn't a factor at the moment.

Diplomacy should be a factor, but I can understand if you don't want to put it in.

What happens with the crew/commanders after a surrender?

I think that Steve think about it, but for now it's not possible to add diplomacy factor (lack of diplomacy coded ?).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: papent on August 23, 2019, 01:59:29 AM
Just a quick note for the Discord. You cannot put railguns in turrets in C#.

will there be a time when we can turret most if not all beam weapons?
i mostly just want to uparmor my weapons
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 23, 2019, 02:36:57 AM
Just a quick note for the Discord. You cannot put railguns in turrets in C#.

will there be a time when we can turret most if not all beam weapons?
i mostly just want to uparmor my weapons

The lack of turrets is for balance reasons. If you could turret railguns for example, they would become extremely powerful.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on August 23, 2019, 04:29:59 AM
In terms of autosave, I would suggest an option which autosaves after x amount of clicks on any of the time forward buttons. That way the game either autosaves after 20 (or whatever number) times clicking the 30 day forward, or it autosaves after 20 times clicking on the 5 sec forward. Gives a little more savety when doing a looong battle, and not being annoying autosaving if you just click around making notes, designing ships or whatever.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on August 23, 2019, 08:05:58 AM
In terms of autosave, I would suggest an option which autosaves after x amount of clicks on any of the time forward buttons. That way the game either autosaves after 20 (or whatever number) times clicking the 30 day forward, or it autosaves after 20 times clicking on the 5 sec forward. Gives a little more savety when doing a looong battle, and not being annoying autosaving if you just click around making notes, designing ships or whatever.

I like this idea in terms on cutting user interface complexity while still providing an excellent metric of how long the user has spent in front of the screen.  I'd also make "20" an adjustable option parameter, so that people can tune it according to their tolerance for save time vs. risk aversion.

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on August 23, 2019, 01:54:39 PM
I'm not sure how the save function is made but in one project that I worked with we dumped the save state into memory first and then had a new thread do the actual save to disk, this way the game could continue after the dump to memory which is pretty fast while the slower writing to disk take place. Not sure if this can be applicable here. I assume that C# is 64bit only so memory should generally not be a problem.

30sek seem like a pretty long time for saved data... I would not have a problem with it... just saying.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on August 23, 2019, 06:46:20 PM
Its a big old database, they can be a bit on the slow side.  Seems like not a big deal to me.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alucard on August 24, 2019, 02:25:18 AM
I just wonder whether Steve uses a TRANSACTION to save the game. Using a single TRANSACTION for large write operations in sqlite improved speed 20+ times for me in the past.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 24, 2019, 05:17:03 AM
I just wonder whether Steve uses a TRANSACTION to save the game. Using a single TRANSACTION for large write operations in sqlite improved speed 20+ times for me in the past.

I am using a single transaction for each table, so all rows are committed at once.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on August 24, 2019, 01:15:47 PM
So Steve, how far along is C# Aurora? Not asking for release date, or even an exact breakdown, just curious how far along you feel it is as a project?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 24, 2019, 02:33:18 PM
So Steve, how far along is C# Aurora? Not asking for release date, or even an exact breakdown, just curious how far along you feel it is as a project?

I'm playing the game like I would VB6 Aurora, so in that sense it feels close to complete. As I mentioned I need to do the Diplomacy code, which I will tackle as soon as I meet an NPR. I also need to run some campaign ground battles, which should happen in this campaign. The AI is already much better than VB6, but I still need to handle AI ground invasions. In fact, C# already does virtually everything that VB6 does and a lot more besides.

Most of my time now is for testing, just running through normal play and fixing bugs as I find them. With a program this complex, there are always going to be minor bugs that I fix post-release, but I will feel better about releasing when I stop finding major bugs. Finally, I need to understand how to create a C# install program as I have never done that :) and I will probably obfuscate the code, so I need to understand how to do that as well. I guess the fact I am thinking about install programs is probably a good sign :)

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: clement on August 25, 2019, 01:56:08 PM
Finally, I need to understand how to create a C# install program as I have never done that :) and I will probably obfuscate the code, so I need to understand how to do that as well. I guess the fact I am thinking about install programs is probably a good sign :)

Steve you don't need to make an install, especially if there are no additional thinks like registry keys that need to be installed. If you just gave an exe, dlls, and static resources like images then you could zip it like the VB version and that is it.

In my experience, installation apps are only needed when dealing with licensing or additional installs of frameworks.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Ynglaur on August 26, 2019, 11:49:38 AM
Counterpoint: learning to do new things--like build an installation package--can be fun.  :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on August 26, 2019, 09:35:25 PM
Counter counterpoint: learning to build new things—like building an installation package—when not truly necessary can delay a release and prolong the suffering of all of Steve’s bros.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Doren on August 27, 2019, 09:14:37 AM
Installers also easily pollute the Windows registry. I have seen a lot of programs have varying degrees of success with keeping cohesion of their files and registry. Most start to fail once they need to install additional patches on top of the existing package and fail catastrophically once they need to remove the program and all installed packages
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on August 27, 2019, 02:51:30 PM
What have I done...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on August 28, 2019, 08:42:12 AM
Steve, with all the latest updated in your AAR and bugs that you squished I wondered how 2 NPRs will interact? With the much faster speed of the C# I assume people will be able to run bigger games with numerous NPRs, will you test some scenarios on this? I assume some bugs may show up there as well.
Also, do NPRs distinguish between player and other NPRs? Do they take intelligence data into account or they have full data from the start?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 28, 2019, 08:44:35 AM
Steve, with all the latest updated in your AAR and bugs that you squished I wondered how 2 NPRs will interact? With the much faster speed of the C# I assume people will be able to run bigger games with numerous NPRs, will you test some scenarios on this? I assume some bugs may show up there as well.
Also, do NPRs distinguish between player and other NPRs? Do they take intelligence data into account or they have full data from the start?

My last test campaign will probably be a multi-race start in Sol with one player and multiple NPRs. That should really test the speed.

NPRs gather intelligence in the same way as players, although both players and NPRs have more intel data now than before. They don't distinguish between players and other NPRs.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on August 28, 2019, 11:24:57 AM
The Alien Ground Unit Intelligence system looks interesting if very basic.

I'm doubtful it needs to be more sophisticated though.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 29, 2019, 10:17:52 AM
Another milestone achieved. First round of major ground combat concluded (not entire battle, just first increment). This involved substantial forces, including infantry, tanks, artillery and orbital bombardment support. Different formations were in field positions of front line attack, front line defence, support and rear echelon. Supply consumption, counter-battery fire and breakthroughs were all included. Many minor bugs squashed in the process and event reporting updated. Details will be in the next AAR.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on August 29, 2019, 10:24:56 AM
Do logistics vehicles create supplies out of thin air or do supplies have to be shipped in?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JacenHan on August 29, 2019, 10:30:08 AM
If I remember correctly, logistics vehicles are the supplies, and are "consumed" as combat goes on.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 29, 2019, 11:00:46 AM
If I remember correctly, logistics vehicles are the supplies, and are "consumed" as combat goes on.

Yes, that is correct.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg109760#msg109760
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on August 29, 2019, 01:27:27 PM
Do the GSP replenish like Readiness when the units are at home? Or do I need to train a new logistics unit each time? I wouldn't mind having to build GSP like MSP at a colony, it means I'd have the option of a forward supply base... Or having to sweep for an enemy one. Sounds like great fun honestly. :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 29, 2019, 02:57:34 PM
Do the GSP replenish like Readiness when the units are at home? Or do I need to train a new logistics unit each time? I wouldn't mind having to build GSP like MSP at a colony, it means I'd have the option of a forward supply base... Or having to sweep for an enemy one. Sounds like great fun honestly. :)

There is no readiness in C#. I suggest reading through the various rules posts on ground units.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on August 29, 2019, 04:06:19 PM
With formations being made up of individual units that can be destroyed, does the interface allow merging and splitting formations and rebuilding units for understrength formations?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 29, 2019, 04:38:00 PM
With formations being made up of individual units that can be destroyed, does the interface allow merging and splitting formations and rebuilding units for understrength formations?

Yes, all of the above.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg109808#msg109808
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 30, 2019, 06:30:29 AM
A quick performance update.

I am about 12 years into my current campaign. There are two NPRs, plus some active precursors.
There are 154 systems with a total of 13,000 system bodies. Orbital movement is on, including asteroids.
There are 788 ships in 337 fleets, including 156 civilian fleets. 262 of those fleets are under AI control.
There are 70 populations.

C# Aurora does everything that VB6 does, plus all the new functionality.

A 1-day increment is taking 1.3 seconds.
A 5-day construction turn is taking 1.7 seconds

This is on a PC that was good three years ago :)  I am also running in debug mode, which is probably a little slower than normal.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tree on August 30, 2019, 06:34:31 AM
A quick performance update.

I am about 12 years into my current campaign. There are two NPRs, plus some active precursors.
There are 154 systems with a total of 13,000 system bodies. Orbital movement is on, including asteroids.
There are 788 ships in 337 fleets, including 156 civilian fleets. 262 of those fleets are under AI control.
There are 70 populations.

C# Aurora does everything that VB6 does, plus all the new functionality.

A 1-day increment is taking 1.3 seconds.
A 5-day construction turn is taking 1.7 seconds

This is on a PC that was good three years ago :)  I am also running in debug mode, which is probably a little slower than normal.

That's amazing.

But... what about saving times? Still 30 seconds or so?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 30, 2019, 06:52:45 AM
But... what about saving times? Still 30 seconds or so?

Yes, still 30+ seconds That isn't too bad when you consider that is shorter than a single increment in VB6. TBH I haven't found it to be a problem, or I would have done something about it by now :)

I may take another look at that at some point but it isn't a priority at the moment.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on August 30, 2019, 07:43:33 AM
I don't expect 30 seconds will be a problem, but I won't really know until I have a chance to play with the program for myself.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Impassive on August 30, 2019, 08:37:42 AM
Yep Steve should release now so we can help "test functionality" :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tree on August 30, 2019, 11:20:42 AM
That isn't too bad when you consider that is shorter than a single increment in VB6.

Haha, excellent point.
I just hope I won't forget to save often, or at least when I quit. It'll be nice though to have the possibility to experiment without having to copy/paste the database.

Oh hey, what about load times? 30 seconds too, or does C# load faster than it saves? Not a problem either, just curious.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on August 30, 2019, 11:29:33 AM
Is there an auto save function? I'd recommend the option to save automatically at adjustable intervals, maybe every three months up to every five years
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 30, 2019, 04:13:39 PM
That isn't too bad when you consider that is shorter than a single increment in VB6.

Haha, excellent point.
I just hope I won't forget to save often, or at least when I quit. It'll be nice though to have the possibility to experiment without having to copy/paste the database.

Oh hey, what about load times? 30 seconds too, or does C# load faster than it saves? Not a problem either, just curious.

No, load is faster. About 10-15 seconds.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 31, 2019, 10:11:55 AM
As a result of ongoing ground combat, I've made three changes to the ground combat rules.

1) Ground Combat happens every 8 hours.

2) If ships are assigned to provide ground support or orbital bombardment support and, due to losses, the supported formation no longer has sufficient Forward Fire Direction capability to control all supporting ships, then one or more ships, starting with the smallest, will automatically change to support other formations in the same engagement that do have available FFD capacity. This is to avoid the micromanagement of manually changing support when FFD units are lost. You can still manually override for key decisions.

3) When you design a ground unit class, you can designate it as a 'Non-Combat Class'. A class with this designation suffers an 80% penalty to hit and any hostile unit selecting targets treats this unit as 80% smaller. This could be used for supply vehicles, HQs, FFD units, etc. It is intended to simulate the type of unit that will actively avoid combat and is therefore much less likely to be chosen as a target. This applies regardless of field position.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on August 31, 2019, 12:06:58 PM
Supply, Xenoarcheology, Construction, STO/CIWS and Survey units? I can believe those as Non-Combat even if it's a little thin for Supply units. It can even be argued for HQ units above a certain size, which includes most sizes you are likely to see in Aurora.

But FFD? Those guys are supposed to be close to the fighting, to give the best and most accurate targeting data possible. There's a reason it's considered a very dangerous job.


Also, for automatic FFD assignment, would it be possible to have the game automatically assign the biggest number/caliber of beam weapons to the most forward on the front line's FFD units and have it work its way down the list until it either runs out of ships/fighters with a bombardment assignment or FFDs?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on August 31, 2019, 12:42:22 PM
I was poking through the changes list and saw references to plans for active jamming and passive stealth technologies. Do you still plan to include those? It'd also be cool to have deployable decoys, like chaff launchers.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on September 18, 2019, 06:03:09 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096.  msg116166#msg116166 date=1567164629
A quick performance update. 

I am about 12 years into my current campaign.   There are two NPRs, plus some active precursors.   
There are 154 systems with a total of 13,000 system bodies.   Orbital movement is on, including asteroids. 
There are 788 ships in 337 fleets, including 156 civilian fleets.   262 of those fleets are under AI control. 
There are 70 populations. 

C# Aurora does everything that VB6 does, plus all the new functionality. 

A 1-day increment is taking 1.  3 seconds. 
A 5-day construction turn is taking 1.  7 seconds

This is on a PC that was good three years ago :)  I am also running in debug mode, which is probably a little slower than normal. 

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but how is C# in terms of thread utilisation?

Are there things like orbital calculations for different systems being handled simultaneously on different threads, or is it done more sequentially on a single thread?

Kind of curious if Aurora C# will benefit purely from pure single core clock speed, or if core count will actually play a bigger factor in performance.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on September 18, 2019, 10:34:23 PM
But... what about saving times? Still 30 seconds or so?

Yes, still 30+ seconds That isn't too bad when you consider that is shorter than a single increment in VB6. TBH I haven't found it to be a problem, or I would have done something about it by now :)

I may take another look at that at some point but it isn't a priority at the moment.

I don't think it's a problem, I mean at the end of the day you'll have to save once you are going to close the app or if you are pondering a decision that may impact your save. I would say that if you can keep it under the minute it's fine.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on September 19, 2019, 03:16:23 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096.  msg116166#msg116166 date=1567164629
A quick performance update. 

I am about 12 years into my current campaign.   There are two NPRs, plus some active precursors.   
There are 154 systems with a total of 13,000 system bodies.   Orbital movement is on, including asteroids. 
There are 788 ships in 337 fleets, including 156 civilian fleets.   262 of those fleets are under AI control. 
There are 70 populations. 

C# Aurora does everything that VB6 does, plus all the new functionality. 

A 1-day increment is taking 1.  3 seconds. 
A 5-day construction turn is taking 1.  7 seconds

This is on a PC that was good three years ago :)  I am also running in debug mode, which is probably a little slower than normal. 

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but how is C# in terms of thread utilisation?

Are there things like orbital calculations for different systems being handled simultaneously on different threads, or is it done more sequentially on a single thread?

Kind of curious if Aurora C# will benefit purely from pure single core clock speed, or if core count will actually play a bigger factor in performance.

It is single threaded. I looked at multi-threading but decided the downsides outweighed the benefits. Aurora is mainly procedural so most elements can't run simultaneously, which means the opportunity for MT is low. Detection and orbital movement could be done using MT, but the latter is really fast anyway and the former would require sharing data across threads so I don't duplicate IDs, etc.

MT adds an overhead per thread, so you need to gain enough performance to overcome the overhead, plus it can create bugs that are very hard to find. I've learned that simple and robust is usually better than complex and elegant :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Impassive on September 19, 2019, 03:20:30 AM
How is the overall bug hunting and diplomacy going?

Also looking forward to next update of your AAR :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on September 19, 2019, 05:58:00 AM
How is the overall bug hunting and diplomacy going?

Also looking forward to next update of your AAR :)

I haven't actually done any programming for the last week or two due to an obsession with Roguetech :)

I'm about 18 months further ahead in the campaign than the AAR updates. A rather powerful incarnation of the Swarm has popped up in one system, although no direct encounter yet. Interesting times ahead I suspect.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: jonw on September 19, 2019, 02:45:52 PM
How is the overall bug hunting and diplomacy going?

Also looking forward to next update of your AAR :)

I haven't actually done any programming for the last week or two due to an obsession with Roguetech :)


I saw you post in the roguetech subreddit and definitely thought, well there go any c# updates for a while! 8 mechs is a hell of a drug.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on October 02, 2019, 10:07:00 PM
Almost every evening, get back from work and drop in hoping for that oh so wonderful "Hey, here's a C# build to play around with, get familiar and drop off posts on any problems with stability on differing hardware".

Know it's unlikely to happen anytime this year at this point, but yet still do in and every time the forums is loading up there's that warm fuzzy hope.   ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Rabid_Cog on October 03, 2019, 02:41:59 AM
Almost every evening, get back from work and drop in hoping for that oh so wonderful "Hey, here's a C# build to play around with, get familiar and drop off posts on any problems with stability on differing hardware".

Know it's unlikely to happen anytime this year at this point, but yet still do in and every time the forums is loading up there's that warm fuzzy hope.   ;D

"Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment"
Quite fitting since Steve is busy with a not-WH40k game. Personally I would settle for another episode of fiction, though I understand the appeal of Roguetech  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 05, 2019, 06:52:06 AM
I know updates to both C# and AAR have been very light lately. It is due to a combination of work, illness (nothing serious) and Roguetech. The next few weeks probably won't see any improvement due to social and work commitments, but things should be back to normal by late October.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: swarm_sadist on October 05, 2019, 03:53:07 PM
A very easy way to guess C# ETA is to look at upcoming W40K games.  :)

Necromunda: Underhive Wars, Release Date TBC
 :(

The tea leaves don't look promising today. I'll check tomorrow.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: lord of waffles on October 07, 2019, 07:34:27 PM
So like the release date of Dwarf Fortress on Steam.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: tobijon on October 08, 2019, 11:50:08 AM
So like the release date of Dwarf Fortress on Steam.
or like the release of dwarf fortress in general
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on October 16, 2019, 07:24:45 PM
Am kind of curious as to what kind of development milestone Steve has in mind for what would constitute ready for some kind of public availability on the C# side of things as they're progressing.

Given the nature of Aurora as a labour of love for personal enjoyment with the open distribution more of a nice gesture, I can't imagine it would be anything that would really be 'feature complete' as I'd imagine Steve's wish list of things to add, change or overhaul is a constantly shifting thing and Aurora will never really be 'done' until he no longer has a personal interest in the whole thing, so that milestone is pretty much a no.

And considering the various bugs, weird workings and in the case of one or two technologies completely non-functioning elements present in the current public VB release, I am not sure stability is altogether a milestone objective either (Although based on the game reports shared and their duration, core stability seems pretty decent already). A C# build with only 40% of the tech tree functional in the sense they actually apply bonuses or technology and with some non-optimal AI decision making, would still from a user stand point probably be a quality of life step up from the current public VB build given the changes made in the fundamentals in the C# revision.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 17, 2019, 03:43:45 AM
C# is already more-or-less where VB6 is in terms of functionality. There are some minor blank areas on windows that need to be filled in and I still haven't done Diplomacy, but C# also has more functionality than VB6 in other areas.

The main thing driving the release date (besides Diplomacy) is testing. Once I stop finding significant bugs it will be ready for release. I was in Santorini all last week and I am busy this weekend too, so its been a while since I have done any coding. Should be back to normal after this weekend (assuming I can avoid Roguetech).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on October 17, 2019, 12:27:17 PM
Quote
Santorini

I am dying of envy, enjoying as I am the fabulous Yorkshire autumn.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on October 17, 2019, 05:17:43 PM
Quote
Santorini

I am dying of envy, enjoying as I am the fabulous Yorkshire autumn.

Imagine he is not only in Santorini but he can also play Aurora C# and you don't. Life sucks!

:-)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on October 18, 2019, 04:41:33 AM
What is this Roguetech? Are you talking about the mod for Battletech? If so, is it really THAT good?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Arwyn on October 18, 2019, 09:53:04 AM
What is this Roguetech? Are you talking about the mod for Battletech? If so, is it really THAT good?

It is. Almost video game crack. Battletech was already a good game, and Roguetech dials it up to 11. Much more challenging, but also adds a ton of stuff to the game from the historical lore. It advances the tech tree to around the Word of Blake Jihad era. Tons of new tech. It also opens the map up to have actually possession mechanics, so you can pick a faction to serve and flip system control to them through your campaigning.

Its a bit finicky to get setup, but its worth it. :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on October 18, 2019, 01:35:46 PM
What is this Roguetech? Are you talking about the mod for Battletech? If so, is it really THAT good?

RogueTech takes the BattleTech core game and pretty much turns it into BattleTech.

Much of the games core rules are either replaced entirely with ones more appropriate for BattleTech or tuned to remove 'gamey' open to abuse tactics all too common in the vanilla game.

A lot of the existing weapons along with newly introduced ones are redesigned to fill particular niche roles, so there is actually a strong drive to design your lances to work as a unit against the enemy, where as in the vanilla game you could very much just pure blind firepower all your mechs and stomp your way through anything.

The MechLab scope is expanded massively to the point where all the various sub-components of each mech are now exposed and open to customisation.

The galaxy map is opened up entirely to give you the full scope, with a online persistent system ownership state that the mod keeps updated as you play along with everyone else playing RogueTech (Plus a pretty cool live control map you can find here (http://roguetech.org/))

Enemy and friendly unit AI are quite improved... still not great, but improved enough so that alongside the increase in typical enemy strength that actually pulling a victory in anything above 1.5 skulls without some casualties with a non-advanced tech lance actually feels like an accomplishment. (Just for the love of Bob, disable nukes when installing RogueTech. They're stupidly unbalanced and broken at the moment and will constantly throw unmanageable same spawn turn suicide mission losses that you couldn't possibly counter).

MechWarrior traits have been significantly tweaked so your pilots background actually now matters, and finding the right pilot for the right mech can make all the difference in a battle. It's not just about how you spend XP on their skill tree anymore. Traits do matter.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on October 19, 2019, 05:40:32 AM
C# is already more-or-less where VB6 is in terms of functionality. There are some minor blank areas on windows that need to be filled in and I still haven't done Diplomacy, but C# also has more functionality than VB6 in other areas.

The main thing driving the release date (besides Diplomacy) is testing. Once I stop finding significant bugs it will be ready for release. I was in Santorini all last week and I am busy this weekend too, so its been a while since I have done any coding. Should be back to normal after this weekend (assuming I can avoid Roguetech).

I honestly can't remember the last time I even used diplomacy with the VB6 branch of the game. lol

But sounds like it's all coming together quite nicely.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 19, 2019, 11:29:59 AM
Quote
Santorini

I am dying of envy, enjoying as I am the fabulous Yorkshire autumn.

It was rather nice :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 19, 2019, 11:41:04 AM
My wife and I were at the Motorhome show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham today (UK, not Alabama :) ) and we've ordered our first Motorhome (RV). It will arrive at the end of March 2020. Given my free time is likely to be severely curtailed at that point (weather permitting), that gives me something of a hard deadline for the initial C# release.

So while I don't normally commit to release dates, one way or another I will have something released before the end of March 2020. With any luck it will be a little sooner than that, assuming nothing major comes along to interfere, but that is now my target date.

This doesn't mean that C# Aurora development will cease at that point, but it is likely to be even slower than normal in the summer months.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bremen on October 19, 2019, 01:02:33 PM
Time for a song! It's been a long road, getting from there to here. It's been a long time, but my time is finally near.

More seriously, best news I've seen today (and that includes CK3 getting announced!)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Panpiper on October 19, 2019, 08:13:31 PM
What is this Roguetech? Are you talking about the mod for Battletech? If so, is it really THAT good?

Every few months, I brush off Battletech and look at the state of the Roguetech mod, reinstall everything and play it, Roguetech, not Battletech. I have no interest in playing Battletech. Roguetech on the other hand I keep coming back to. Yes. Roguetech is that good. It's what Battletech 'should' be.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on October 21, 2019, 06:47:01 PM
What is this Roguetech? Are you talking about the mod for Battletech? If so, is it really THAT good?

Every few months, I brush off Battletech and look at the state of the Roguetech mod, reinstall everything and play it, Roguetech, not Battletech. I have no interest in playing Battletech. Roguetech on the other hand I keep coming back to. Yes. Roguetech is that good. It's what Battletech 'should' be.

You see the recent announcement for the next BattleTech paid DLC? Adding a whole 5 new mechs to the base game! Whilst RogueTech alongside using the Community Asset Bundle adds more than 1,600 mechs into the game (if you include variants), and hundreds of different vehicles including aerial craft.

I kind of feel sorry for Harebrained, they clearly didn't want mod support with BattleTech and even outright said that officially they view the game as not being supportive of modding. Yet modders tackled all the early headaches getting around the limitations of trying to load so many additional assets into the game without hitting load/save bugs or the game constantly running out of memory due to Unity limitations, injecting new behaviour and so forth and pretty much killed off most of the appeal for the official paid DLC roadmap.

Edit: Just for giggles. For when you feel the urge to constantly just run up to anything and melt them very quickly.  (https://i.imgur.com/62lWpLI.jpg)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on October 21, 2019, 10:28:14 PM
I think they promised Workshop support with the 3rd DLC? Or did I dream?

Back to the progress update, as the talented developer he is, Steve knows he would be wise to release the first 'open beta' of AC# some 2 months before he goes on the road... Because from past experience, I know that there is approximately 0% chance that a game developer manages to find 100% of the bug of his game. We the players will find new ones!

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on October 22, 2019, 10:48:19 AM
I think they promised Workshop support with the 3rd DLC? Or did I dream?

Back to the progress update, as the talented developer he is, Steve knows he would be wise to release the first 'open beta' of AC# some 2 months before he goes on the road... Because from past experience, I know that there is approximately 0% chance that a game developer manages to find 100% of the bug of his game. We the players will find new ones!

The way modders have had to go about injecting things into the game, adding any meaningful official mod support through something like the Steam workshop would pretty much require a massive rewrite of the core game and how they're using Unity.... certainly not impossible but given their official stance is that they don't support modding in their game at all, it's really not going to happen.


On the topic of guesstimates on the most appropriate lead up time for C# distribution, even if Steve were to just focus on wrapping up the known major issues over the next week or two, decide diplomacy can wait for getting feedback on the rest of the core of the game and  release now, he'd likely still have new bug reports and fringe case issues coming in this time next year on that exact same build, so trying to assign any kind of meaningful lead-up time for "When is the best time to release to get reports back on additional issues" before his mentioned downtime is like trying to predict the length of a piece of string needed for a task before you know what the task is nor the quality of the string itself.

There really isn't a ideal appropriate lead-up time before March, it all really depends how Steve wants to approach things, how much time he'd want to spend investigating submit issues and how much he'd like to just carry on with his existing plans and then loop back around for fringe case issues later.

In one scenario it would make all the sense in the world for Steve to intentionally not release anything openly until March, throw it out and then step away from it all for a few weeks to allow the reports, discussion of shared experiences of the same issue (or not) and potential community solutions/workarounds to happen, then once back at some point go through the range of reported issues, weed out the ones that will resolve themselves naturally once already planned work is completed, or issues that aren't actually what the person reporting says they are. Then assign the rest into severity categories, amend existing development focus accordingly and then shut out additional input on issues until the next significant release milestone and repeat the process all over again... Release. -> Step back. -> Weed out. -> Assign issues. -> Adjust schedule. -> Develop. <--> Repeat loop.

From a personal interest standpoint I'd hate to see that happen as I am busting at the bit to dive into the C# build and poke around, and the idea of there being nothing tangible for another half a year almost would really be a huge shame  but I can understand if Steve were to take such a approach, especially with how Aurora development is being handled and the ever shifting real life demands.

Really only Steve knows what kind of lead up (or no lead up at all) would work best around known real life plans given how he wants to approach the project, hence my original question trying to ascertain what Steve had in mind in terms of what would qualify as an open feedback viable state for C#.

From the answer given, it seems in terms of the state of the project itself, C# Aurora could pretty much be released today and it would perform decently against the current VB release (if not already better) for most users outside of Diplomacy (The severity of Diplomacy being missing I guess is a question of personal opinion lol) and begin getting feedback by this evening. But that increase in forum noise may not be appropriate for the decided approach, especially with known issues likely being reported over and over again even if Steve were to include disclaimer links everywhere in large font to a list of known issue alongside the release.... perhaps only releasing when there is a more assured real life period of downtime and being able to remove himself for a period of time after the release is seen as important with whatever way Steve would prefer to approach things.

Or maybe there are a thousand other factors that are influencing when the most appropriate time to push anything public out is, I wouldn't at all be surprised if Steve hasn't already picked out a series of long term forum posters or individuals he knows in real life and even has some closed group feedback collection going on, and if that's the case then the net gain from any kind of public release suddenly becomes massively depreciated, would certainly make sense for him to have gone down that route as that approach does significantly improve the quality of feedback and ability to respond to it directly for situations like how Aurora is being developed.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 22, 2019, 11:12:00 AM
You see the recent announcement for the next BattleTech paid DLC? Adding a whole 5 new mechs to the base game! Whilst RogueTech alongside using the Community Asset Bundle adds more than 1,600 mechs into the game (if you include variants), and hundreds of different vehicles including aerial craft.

Yes, I don't really see the point of buying the DLC as it doesn't add anything not already in Roguetech and the new weapons sound unbalanced.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 22, 2019, 11:13:55 AM
Time for a song! It's been a long road, getting from there to here. It's been a long time, but my time is finally near.

I know it wasn't that popular, but I really liked that theme :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Marski on October 22, 2019, 12:48:54 PM
Motorhome? Nice. You deserve any and all enjoyment, after all you've created a 4x game that simply doesn't have a serious rival on the market (and it's free too).
I myself finally did what I've always wanted and bought myself a VR kit, pedals, new thrustmaster joystick and gas-stick. Been enjoying IL2 Battle of Stalingrad flight simulator a lot with them.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on October 22, 2019, 05:30:42 PM
Clearly the best date for Steve to release C# Aurora is my birthday.  #:-]
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Naismith on October 22, 2019, 08:10:38 PM
Time for a song! It's been a long road, getting from there to here. It's been a long time, but my time is finally near.

I know it wasn't that popular, but I really liked that theme :)
Star Trek themes shouldn't have lyrics. They broke that rule, but they made a really good opening.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on October 22, 2019, 08:54:01 PM
So while I don't normally commit to release dates, one way or another I will have something released before the end of March 2020. With any luck it will be a little sooner than that, assuming nothing major comes along to interfere, but that is now my target date.


My 30th birthday is March 31, 2020. Thanks for the gift.  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on October 23, 2019, 12:35:45 AM
My 30th birthday is March 31, 2020. Thanks for the gift.  ;D

Aurora's 30th birthday isn't much after that.  #:-]
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on October 23, 2019, 06:48:51 PM
Wow. I don't know if that means the game is old, I'm somehow still young, or both.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on October 23, 2019, 06:54:41 PM
I exaggerate for effect.  Aurora is about 20 years old at the moment.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on October 23, 2019, 06:56:28 PM
Close enough!  :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on November 01, 2019, 05:20:58 PM
Are we there yet?  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on November 01, 2019, 05:47:35 PM
No...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 01, 2019, 06:00:04 PM
Actually got some programming done this evening and should do some more over the weekend. Hope to get a fiction update done within the next couple of days.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on November 03, 2019, 04:16:16 PM
I'll be fine for another year as Fm2020 is out and season start again in March with preseason for my club (the real one) which I decided to start earlier this year in late Jan. Will be busy till September 2020; hopefully, will get a beta by then. I am still enjoying a new save on 7.1 that after almost 100 years in-game is surprisingly not taking that long to process turns.

I am sure Steve is doing something very special otherwise he wouldn't take that long. Also now the community is much larger than 10 years ago (when I started) and the debug phase will be much faster and smoother allowing him to concentrate on gameplay and UI improvements.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on November 08, 2019, 06:12:56 AM
Are we there yet?  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on November 08, 2019, 03:01:55 PM
No.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 14, 2019, 12:15:14 PM
I've updated the boarding combat changes post. If a ship is hit by external damage during boarding combat, it may cause casualties among the combatants.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg111751#msg111751
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on November 16, 2019, 06:54:02 PM
New week which means another "Are we there yet?"

  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on November 16, 2019, 09:50:49 PM
No!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on November 24, 2019, 11:20:57 PM
*Looks out Window*

Are we there yet?  ::)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 02, 2019, 04:57:41 PM
As it's soon the holiday season (Except for those in sectors such as the public services, retail etc) this will be the last one of the year.....

Are we there yet?  ::)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on December 02, 2019, 05:53:56 PM
It's holiday season for people in the retail, public service etc. sectors too.

It's just the busy time of the year for them.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 02, 2019, 07:37:46 PM
It's holiday season for people in the retail, public service etc. sectors too.

It's just the busy time of the year for them.

Well A busy time of the year, along with Easter, Halloween and all the other 'holidays' that are more work load for no additional pay in many cases as working holidays gets more and more normalised and employers feel it's now expected as standard.

Anyone on these forums wants to give this Christmas, at the very least avoid retail shopping over Christmas and make quite a few peoples end of year when they're already feeling smegty for not being able to spend it with family.  :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Scandinavian on December 02, 2019, 10:28:47 PM
It's holiday season for people in the retail, public service etc. sectors too.

It's just the busy time of the year for them.

Well A busy time of the year, along with Easter, Halloween and all the other 'holidays' that are more work load for no additional pay in many cases as working holidays gets more and more normalised and employers feel it's now expected as standard.

Anyone on these forums wants to give this Christmas, at the very least avoid retail shopping over Christmas and make quite a few peoples end of year when they're already feeling smegty for not being able to spend it with family.  :P
You people need better unions. Make picket lines great again.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on December 03, 2019, 03:29:59 AM
This is why I do all my holiday shopping online  :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 03, 2019, 10:24:37 PM
It's holiday season for people in the retail, public service etc. sectors too.

It's just the busy time of the year for them.

Well A busy time of the year, along with Easter, Halloween and all the other 'holidays' that are more work load for no additional pay in many cases as working holidays gets more and more normalised and employers feel it's now expected as standard.

Anyone on these forums wants to give this Christmas, at the very least avoid retail shopping over Christmas and make quite a few peoples end of year when they're already feeling smegty for not being able to spend it with family.  :P
You people need better unions. Make picket lines great again.

One day maybe, but main thing the last few months has been trying to fish out all the political lying, scandals and trying to weed out the fake information being thrown out to scam election votes all the while hoping certain far right groups aren't put back into a position where they can sell off national services to American drug companies so they can extort the sick without immediate oversight.  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Ayeshteni on December 04, 2019, 02:06:52 PM
Quote from: Deutschbag link=topic=10096. msg117245#msg117245 date=1575365399
This is why I do all my holiday shopping online  :)

I've worked in an Amazon warehouse over Christmas period.  I'd sooner clean sewers.

Aye
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on December 05, 2019, 06:29:10 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 06, 2019, 05:07:52 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Got to do something to pass the time given the approximate timeline Steve has given is between now and March 2020 at the earliest.  :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on December 06, 2019, 06:25:44 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Got to do something to pass the time given the approximate timeline Steve has given is between now and March 2020 at the earliest.  :P

Then I would suggest going back to school to get a degree, enter a trade program to learn a valuable skill, or perhaps come up with some brilliant idea to make millions. Posting labor complaints about management in the aurora forums seems like the absolute least productive use of passing the time.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Gyrfalcon on December 06, 2019, 06:32:18 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Or when you see activity in this thread, only to realize it's more people complaining about people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are...

and so it goes... (and yes, I'm fully aware of the irony of my own post.)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 06, 2019, 09:56:58 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Got to do something to pass the time given the approximate timeline Steve has given is between now and March 2020 at the earliest.  :P

Then I would suggest going back to school to get a degree, enter a trade program to learn a valuable skill, or perhaps come up with some brilliant idea to make millions. Posting labor complaints about management in the aurora forums seems like the absolute least productive use of passing the time.

Apologies for responding to someone else's comment Mr Rees-Mogg.

Side note, having a degree and learning a valuable skill doesn't magically create jobs..... would be nice if having attended university did mean anyone got handed a well paying job with a good employer though.... but such things are the dreams of those removed from actual reality.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 06, 2019, 11:34:58 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Got to do something to pass the time given the approximate timeline Steve has given is between now and March 2020 at the earliest.  :P

Then I would suggest going back to school to get a degree, enter a trade program to learn a valuable skill, or perhaps come up with some brilliant idea to make millions. Posting labor complaints about management in the aurora forums seems like the absolute least productive use of passing the time.

I was unemployed back in the 1980s so went on a 3-month government-sponsored training scheme to learn to program :)

It was C in UNIX, but somehow I managed to translate that into get a job using C++ on Windows 3.1. Unfortunately, I was made redundant but soon got a second programming job using C++ with DEC. They needed me to also learn VB3, so I decided to learn by creating a program to help me play Starfire, which eventually formed the basis for Aurora. So, in a way, Aurora is the result of government-funding :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on December 06, 2019, 11:55:13 AM
Hah, that's funny! Kinda like how the UK government paid for Harry Potter because JK Rowling was on welfare benefits when she wrote the first book.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 06, 2019, 08:05:48 PM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Got to do something to pass the time given the approximate timeline Steve has given is between now and March 2020 at the earliest.  :P

Then I would suggest going back to school to get a degree, enter a trade program to learn a valuable skill, or perhaps come up with some brilliant idea to make millions. Posting labor complaints about management in the aurora forums seems like the absolute least productive use of passing the time.

I was unemployed back in the 1980s so went on a 3-month government-sponsored training scheme to learn to program :)

It was C in UNIX, but somehow I managed to translate that into get a job using C++ on Windows 3.1. Unfortunately, I was made redundant but soon got a second programming job using C++ with DEC. They needed me to also learn VB3, so I decided to learn by creating a program to help me play Starfire, which eventually formed the basis for Aurora. So, in a way, Aurora is the result of government-funding :)

lol, that's kind of awesome.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on December 07, 2019, 08:53:46 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Got to do something to pass the time given the approximate timeline Steve has given is between now and March 2020 at the earliest.  :P

Then I would suggest going back to school to get a degree, enter a trade program to learn a valuable skill, or perhaps come up with some brilliant idea to make millions. Posting labor complaints about management in the aurora forums seems like the absolute least productive use of passing the time.

Apologies for responding to someone else's comment Mr Rees-Mogg.

Side note, having a degree and learning a valuable skill doesn't magically create jobs..... would be nice if having attended university did mean anyone got handed a well paying job with a good employer though.... but such things are the dreams of those removed from actual reality.

Herein lies your problem...you are expecting to “get handed” a well paying job. That is not how it works. Go out, work hard and make it happen. That, my friend, is “actual reality.”

Or, you can keep waiting and hoping for that perfect socialist utopia, where unicorns roam and rainbows will fly out of your butt. ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 08, 2019, 10:49:33 AM
Every time I see there is activity in this thread, I get excited...only to realize it’s just more people complaining about how overworked and underpaid they are.  ???

Got to do something to pass the time given the approximate timeline Steve has given is between now and March 2020 at the earliest.  :P

Then I would suggest going back to school to get a degree, enter a trade program to learn a valuable skill, or perhaps come up with some brilliant idea to make millions. Posting labor complaints about management in the aurora forums seems like the absolute least productive use of passing the time.

Apologies for responding to someone else's comment Mr Rees-Mogg.

Side note, having a degree and learning a valuable skill doesn't magically create jobs..... would be nice if having attended university did mean anyone got handed a well paying job with a good employer though.... but such things are the dreams of those removed from actual reality.

Herein lies your problem...you are expecting to “get handed” a well paying job. That is not how it works. Go out, work hard and make it happen. That, my friend, is “actual reality.”

Or, you can keep waiting and hoping for that perfect socialist utopia, where unicorns roam and rainbows will fly out of your butt. ;D

The irony of you pointing out the very fallacy of your own previous post.

(https://scifanatic-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/facepalm-head.jpg)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on December 08, 2019, 12:23:56 PM
Take care ye who quarrel on teh interwebs, lest the mods show up, for where the mods are there also is the Banhammer whose fury is swift and terrible...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Erik L on December 08, 2019, 10:01:25 PM
Take care ye who quarrel on teh interwebs, lest the mods show up, for where the mods are there also is the Banhammer whose fury is swift and terrible...

Yes. Yes I do have one of those.

No real world politics please.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on December 09, 2019, 04:31:10 PM
The only acceptable politics is veneration of the almighty God Emperor of Mankind. Go and pay heed, ye unworthy ones (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?board=266.0).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on December 09, 2019, 07:20:41 PM
THE EMPEROR PROTECTS!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 10, 2019, 09:44:04 AM
The only acceptable politics is veneration of the almighty God Emperor of Mankind. Go and pay heed, ye unworthy ones (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?board=266.0).

Do love the current series, though also leaves more desire for C# seeing all that juicy functionality whilst left playing the VB version and its quirks, so I try to space out reading the updates for fear of suffering full C# lust symptoms. :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: NihilRex on December 14, 2019, 03:12:52 PM
I have not seen a single post from the C# series, because I fear the waiting shall become more intense.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 16, 2019, 10:47:07 AM
A minor change. I have updated the new resupply rules so that a maintenance facility can act as a cargo shuttle station for the purposes of transferring maintenance supplies to and from ships. It just felt odd that ships couldn't resupply at a population where they could be overhauled.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg109593#msg109593
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: waresky on December 17, 2019, 02:29:55 PM
A minor change. I have updated the new resupply rules so that a maintenance facility can act as a cargo shuttle station for the purposes of transferring maintenance supplies to and from ships. It just felt odd that ships couldn't resupply at a population where they could be overhauled.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg109593#msg109593

:D

Dear Steve...its from 2016 (First Shot so far...wow..time passes really fast??)..am waitin for...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 20, 2019, 08:43:30 AM
I know I have been doing a lot of testing, but I am still finding bugs. They are just becoming more obscure. I found one today where a ship transiting a jump point would not be detected given a very specific set of circumstances :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on December 20, 2019, 09:49:20 PM
You know, there's another way you could find a lot of bugs quickly: A large number of people searching for them!  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on December 20, 2019, 11:12:15 PM
A valiant attempt!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on December 21, 2019, 01:50:11 AM
Hey, we're only a hundred days away!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 21, 2019, 11:08:17 AM
A quick update on performance. I am 20 years into the current campaign, which has one player race, two starting NPRs, a decent-sized Swarm presence and several Precursor systems. There is nothing substantive missing in terms of performance. Diplomacy won't make much difference and AI enhancements will be relatively minor performance-wise compared to the existing AI. I should mention here that the AI is doing a huge amount more than the VB6 AI.

There are 274 systems with 21,200 system bodies.
There are 585 fleets and 1252 ships, of which 284 are civilian ships.
There are 597 populations, although only 50 of those have colonists.

Finally, bear in mind this is running in debug mode on a PC that is almost four years old.

A 5-day cycle is taking about 3.5 seconds and a 1-day increment about 2.7 seconds. Orbital movement with asteroids on requires 0.016 seconds. Each detection phase is running in about 0.003 seconds, although I need a campaign with a lot of races in Sol before becoming excited about that number :). The base AI routine during each increment is taking about 0.05 seconds. That will increase a little during combat.

The main time sink is movement orders. There are currently 316 fleets underway with a total of 1047 outstanding orders. While acting on those orders for all 316 fleets only takes about 0.05 seconds, in a one day turn there are 48 increments, each with a movement phase.

Considering that C# Aurora is doing far more work than VB6, I am more than happy with the current performance. I've been playing Battletech recently and the AI mechs literally take about 10 seconds each to decide where to move and fire :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Zincat on December 21, 2019, 11:27:40 AM
Yes, I would say this is definitely a very woderful improvement. I am so looking forward to this  ;D
All of my long term vb aurora campaigns died of lag death after all...
(or invaders  :P)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: FrederickAlexander on December 21, 2019, 12:20:31 PM
If anything I am just looking forward to being able to play it with my laptop....
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 21, 2019, 12:33:36 PM
If anything I am just looking forward to being able to play it with my laptop....

On launch, there will be resolution requirement of 1400 x 900. I might create a small version of some windows in the future but I'm not sure how many current laptops still use 1366 x 768.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: FrederickAlexander on December 21, 2019, 12:41:06 PM
oh..... guess I can't play it.....
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: dr125 on December 21, 2019, 02:07:10 PM
A long time lurker dropping by to say that I am very excited for C#! However, please at least have the same reduced height windows option (or similar) as the current version.  I have a 1366x766 laptop and would be willing to bet a good portion of others out there do as well.  With a little bit of rearranging, VB6 is perfectly playable, but x900 will not be. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 21, 2019, 02:22:41 PM
I will have a look at reduced height at some point, but probably not for launch. The problem is that my main monitor is 3440 x 1440 and the secondary is 2760 x 1440. Even 1400 x 900 windows are relatively small, although I went for that resolution (in 2016) as I thought it would cover most laptops. We have four laptops in the house and they are all at least 1920 x 1080. I'm surprised that 1366 x 768 is still popular. Is it a relatively small screen?

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on December 21, 2019, 02:30:56 PM
So, it's been awhile since I messed with C# and WPF applications, but as I understand it, it's either default behavior or super easy to split the user interface and backend code into separate threads. This would increase performance even more if you had the backend thread pre-calculate the results of the next increment while the game is idling (that is, while the player is interacting with the interface). This could make time advancement instantaneous except in the case when you immediately advance time back-to-back.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: dr125 on December 21, 2019, 02:36:55 PM
It is a laptop, so it is not huge, but I have had no issues running any thing else.  On looking online at the local electronics store ~1/3 were 1366x766, so they must be reasonably common.  The main problem with Aurora is the buttons at the bottom of the screen.  To make things worse, Win 10 no longer has the fake extended screen trick that the forum recommended previously.  Perhaps it be easier to make the windows scroll-able?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on December 21, 2019, 03:10:11 PM
I will have a look at reduced height at some point, but probably not for launch. The problem is that my main monitor is 3440 x 1440 and the secondary is 2760 x 1440. Even 1400 x 900 windows are relatively small, although I went for that resolution (in 2016) as I thought it would cover most laptops. We have four laptops in the house and they are all at least 1920 x 1080. I'm surprised that 1366 x 768 is still popular. Is it a relatively small screen?

1366x768 is only on notebook, very low end laptop and very old laptop. If you were to buy even a 600$ laptop (so a low to mid range one, not a great one, and definitively not for game), then you would not have this resolution but probably something like 1680x1050.

Sure, there are some that are happy with their decade old laptops, but please do not go for the lowest common denominator...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on December 21, 2019, 03:11:01 PM
On launch, there will be resolution requirement of 1400 x 900. I might create a small version of some windows in the future but I'm not sure how many current laptops still use 1366 x 768.

According to Steam HW survey it seems that about 14-15% of all gamers run resolutions below 1400 x 900 for November 2019 ( Although shrinking every month with 2560 x 1440 gaining users the fastest ).

https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/Steam-Hardware-Software-Survey-Welcome-to-Steam
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on December 21, 2019, 03:12:22 PM
On launch, there will be resolution requirement of 1400 x 900. I might create a small version of some windows in the future but I'm not sure how many current laptops still use 1366 x 768.

According to Steam HW survey it seems that about 14% of all gamers run resolutions below 1400 x 900 for November 2019 ( Although shrinking every month with 2560 x 1440 gaining users the fastest ).

https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/Steam-Hardware-Software-Survey-Welcome-to-Steam

Latest survey tells also that only 1.14% of users have only 1366x768
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on December 21, 2019, 03:16:05 PM
(..)
Considering that C# Aurora is doing far more work than VB6, I am more than happy with the current performance. I've been playing Battletech recently and the AI mechs literally take about 10 seconds each to decide where to move and fire :)

Awesome performance indeed. I have read in the BT forum, from one of the main modder of Rogue Tech that the AI in BT is very slow because it makes a systematic analysis of all possible moves for each mech and vehicle. And the faster the mobile, the more it becomes computational intensive.
Clearly some AI programmers went with the brute force approach  ::)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on December 21, 2019, 03:19:14 PM
Latest survey tells also that only 1.14% of users have only 1366x768

Odd. My list shows over 10%.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kiri on December 21, 2019, 03:45:09 PM
There is a 1360x768 and 1366x768, curious:
1360 x 768 : 1. 63%   -0. 03%
1366 x 768 : 10. 79% -0. 34%

according to that list ~15. 44% of steam gamers have a primary display resolution of smaller then 1440x900 with the two thirds of those using 1366x768.

It is a long time since I saw anything below 1920x1080, so I am surprised about those smaller things still being sold as one poster send previously.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on December 21, 2019, 04:02:12 PM
At some point you just have to deal with the fact that you can't deal with it or in this case small monitors if it means you feel constrained in the development area and need to cut your losses. Such resolutions is really low today.

If it mean additional development time and compromises needs to be made I don't think catering to such low standards are really meaningful.

If it on the other hand can be relatively simply "fixed" then why not.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on December 21, 2019, 10:00:49 PM
I mean even if its the same window but with scroll bars on both axes to let you pan it around, most laptop people would probably accept that as a decent attempt at accommodating them.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: papent on December 22, 2019, 12:00:57 AM
I second the scroll bars on both axis, for the smaller screen resolutions. My travel laptop has X768 resolution because it is ultraportable and the impression i get from browsing electronic shops near me that a lot of small form factor laptops are still stuck at the low resolutions. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tuna-Fish on December 22, 2019, 04:53:29 AM
The main time sink is movement orders. There are currently 316 fleets underway with a total of 1047 outstanding orders. While acting on those orders for all 316 fleets only takes about 0.05 seconds, in a one day turn there are 48 increments, each with a movement phase.

And if that ever starts to feel too much of a drag, I think the movement orders might be a decent target for parallelization. Assuming that fleets do not mess with the data of other fleets not in the same system, it might boil down to splitting the list of all fleets into a map of systems to lists of fleets in each system, and then using Parallel.ForEach on the map. Transitions between system might require an extra step, and if fleets do look up the data of other fleets not in the same system while moving, everything gets a lot more complicated.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 22, 2019, 04:57:19 AM
The ultimate issue is that Aurora is a hobby project designed for a large, multi-monitor PC desktop. It was never intended to function on a small screen. It's not a commercial project so I am not trying to make it compatible with as many different setups as possible.

C# is more flexible than VB6, but realistically I need to either design separate windows to fit the smaller resolution, or include code that resizes and moves everything around on the existing windows. Then I need to remember to include the 'small window' changes every time I change something.

Again, this is a hobby project, so I tend to work on the functionality that appeals to me most. I'm not saying I won't tackle smaller windows at some point, but it don't be a priority over something like Diplomacy, especially as the proportion of sub 1400x900 laptops is relatively small and presumably shrinking over time.




Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 22, 2019, 05:06:46 AM
The main time sink is movement orders. There are currently 316 fleets underway with a total of 1047 outstanding orders. While acting on those orders for all 316 fleets only takes about 0.05 seconds, in a one day turn there are 48 increments, each with a movement phase.

And if that ever starts to feel too much of a drag, I think the movement orders might be a decent target for parallelization. Assuming that fleets do not mess with the data of other fleets not in the same system, it might boil down to splitting the list of all fleets into a map of systems to lists of fleets in each system, and then using Parallel.ForEach on the map. Transitions between system might require an extra step, and if fleets do look up the data of other fleets not in the same system while moving, everything gets a lot more complicated.

As you mentioned, fleets can change systems during a turn, possibly more than once. They also move in order of initiative (reaction in C#). Movement is very complex already with over a hundred different order types, plus I would need to share data across threads, track new ID assignments, etc, and each thread adds a small overhead. Multi-threading is also much harder to debug. Given the relatively small potential benefit, I don't want to spend time on that extra complexity in preference to adding functionality. Finally, the movement code is setup to cycle by fleet, not system, so it would require extensive re-coding anyway.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: dr125 on December 22, 2019, 03:40:41 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg117607#msg117607 date=1577012239
The ultimate issue is that Aurora is a hobby project designed for a large, multi-monitor PC desktop.  It was never intended to function on a small screen.  It's not a commercial project so I am not trying to make it compatible with as many different setups as possible.

C# is more flexible than VB6, but realistically I need to either design separate windows to fit the smaller resolution, or include code that resizes and moves everything around on the existing windows.  Then I need to remember to include the 'small window' changes every time I change something.

Again, this is a hobby project, so I tend to work on the functionality that appeals to me most.  I'm not saying I won't tackle smaller windows at some point, but it don't be a priority over something like Diplomacy, especially as the proportion of sub 1400x900 laptops is relatively small and presumably shrinking over time.
I completely understand, this is after all your project.  Though if possible, the scroll bar at least on the surface seems like a relatively easy addition compared to redesigning the windows in total. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 22, 2019, 04:19:30 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg117607#msg117607 date=1577012239
The ultimate issue is that Aurora is a hobby project designed for a large, multi-monitor PC desktop.  It was never intended to function on a small screen.  It's not a commercial project so I am not trying to make it compatible with as many different setups as possible.

C# is more flexible than VB6, but realistically I need to either design separate windows to fit the smaller resolution, or include code that resizes and moves everything around on the existing windows.  Then I need to remember to include the 'small window' changes every time I change something.

Again, this is a hobby project, so I tend to work on the functionality that appeals to me most.  I'm not saying I won't tackle smaller windows at some point, but it don't be a priority over something like Diplomacy, especially as the proportion of sub 1400x900 laptops is relatively small and presumably shrinking over time.
I completely understand, this is after all your project.  Though if possible, the scroll bar at least on the surface seems like a relatively easy addition compared to redesigning the windows in total.

That is what I tried in VB6 before creating the smaller windows. I remember it being a lot harder than it sounded :)

The best idea I can think of is some hot keys that give a window negative coordinates, so you can just move the window relative to your desk top without scroll bars or re-designed windows. If I could get that to work, that would be a lot easier because I would never need to update it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: dr125 on December 22, 2019, 04:41:50 PM
That sounds like the best of both worlds, easier for you and playable by many more regardless of resolution.  :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on December 22, 2019, 05:23:39 PM
How about the issues in terms of language and windows settings? Will we still need a launcher to use Aurora on other settings than UK, or will these be gone because of C#?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 22, 2019, 05:35:52 PM
How about the issues in terms of language and windows settings? Will we still need a launcher to use Aurora on other settings than UK, or will these be gone because of C#?

TBH I have no idea. Until you mentioned it, I hadn't thought about it :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on December 22, 2019, 06:49:21 PM
Well, HTML has a "100%" for it's resolution options when embedding... so instead of "640x480" it would be "100% x 100%". Maybe C# can do something similar with text fields?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: firsal on December 22, 2019, 10:14:08 PM
About the resolution issues:

Back when I played Aurora on my old 1366x768 monitor, I used a nifty little program called ResizeEnable (free to download online) to shrink the oversized windows to fit on my screen (though the windows looked a bit janky and squashed). Perhaps this program may work on C# Aurora as well?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bughunter on December 23, 2019, 04:33:06 AM
I know there is also some software to virtually extend your desktop space outside the monitor somehow, but maybe move this whole discussion to a separate thread.

I fully agree it's not worth Steve's development time. Just get some cheap/older external monitor, the improved Aurora experience is totally worth it on its own and you will never want to go back again once you tried it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on December 23, 2019, 10:11:10 PM
Just get some cheap/older external monitor

Very much this, if you're strapped for cash it's very possible to get a 1440 x 900 monitor for about $50.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 26, 2019, 10:59:03 AM
I found a minor bug today. When the target of a missile with on-board active sensors is destroyed, the missile looks for a new target (as in VB6). However, due to a small coding error, the missiles in that situation in C# decided to target their own ships instead of the enemy :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on December 26, 2019, 11:48:05 AM
"Care to explain why our own missiles destroyed the flag ship?"

"A small coding error, my liege..."
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: AlStar on December 26, 2019, 12:08:51 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg117693#msg117693 date=1577379543
I found a minor bug today.  When the target of a missile with on-board active sensors is destroyed, the missile looks for a new target (as in VB6).  However, due to a small coding error, the missiles in that situation in C# decided to target their own ships instead of the enemy :)
Curious - did the anti-missile defenses fire at the incoming missiles, or did they ignore them, since they were "friendly"?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 26, 2019, 03:04:41 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg117693#msg117693 date=1577379543
I found a minor bug today.  When the target of a missile with on-board active sensors is destroyed, the missile looks for a new target (as in VB6).  However, due to a small coding error, the missiles in that situation in C# decided to target their own ships instead of the enemy :)
Curious - did the anti-missile defenses fire at the incoming missiles, or did they ignore them, since they were "friendly"?

They ignored them - the defences only fire at hostile targets. I reloaded at that point :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 27, 2019, 07:22:22 AM
I've updated collateral damage based on play test experience. Collateral damage will now use the base value of a weapon, rather than the base value multiplied by the weapon tech. For example, personal weapons will always do 0.0001 collateral damage per combat round regardless of tech level. A heavy anti-vehicle weapon will always cause 0.0216. This is on the basis that higher tech weapons will be more destructive but more precisely targeted. Fighter pods have also been adjusted in line with ground units. This means collateral damage will be much lower overall, about 10-12% of current values in my campaign, allowing more extensive ground combat without completely wrecking the objective. However, collateral damage from orbital bombardment support has only been lowered a little, so that should be generally avoided if you want low collateral damage.

More detail in the updated rules post.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg110508#msg110508
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on December 28, 2019, 07:18:16 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg117693#msg117693 date=1577379543
I found a minor bug today.  When the target of a missile with on-board active sensors is destroyed, the missile looks for a new target (as in VB6).  However, due to a small coding error, the missiles in that situation in C# decided to target their own ships instead of the enemy :)
Curious - did the anti-missile defenses fire at the incoming missiles, or did they ignore them, since they were "friendly"?

They ignored them - the defences only fire at hostile targets. I reloaded at that point :)

*Gasps*

Steve save scums!

On a side note, some way to trick hostile missiles to turn on their own ships would be pretty neat for a weird twist on a pacifist culture..... they refuse to use their own weapons, but see no problems turning their enemies weapons against them. lol


I've updated collateral damage based on play test experience. Collateral damage will now use the base value of a weapon, rather than the base value multiplied by the weapon tech. For example, personal weapons will always do 0.0001 collateral damage per combat round regardless of tech level. A heavy anti-vehicle weapon will always cause 0.0216. This is on the basis that higher tech weapons will be more destructive but more precisely targeted. Fighter pods have also been adjusted in line with ground units. This means collateral damage will be much lower overall, about 10-12% of current values in my campaign, allowing more extensive ground combat without completely wrecking the objective. However, collateral damage from orbital bombardment support has only been lowered a little, so that should be generally avoided if you want low collateral damage.

More detail in the updated rules post.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg110508#msg110508

With these changes to conventional attacks are there still reasonably easy means to essentially just scorch earth a target without being pigeon holed into just one option like dirty orbital bombs?

Probably beyond the scope of what you'd consider worth working on, but I quite liked the Stellaris approach where each empire had a selection of bombardment policies based on government type and you could then pick from the list that would represent your maximum stance for a fleet when attacking a planet.

Depending on your government type, some of the lighter policies might not even be available, for others you could only have lighter policies as viable. So for a standard empire you could set a higher government policy for allowed level of bombardment severity (At the risk of annoying other races), but still have fleets switch to lower bombardment stances on a case by case basis.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on December 28, 2019, 08:03:12 AM
*Gasps*

Steve save scums!

Only for bugs :)

With these changes to conventional attacks are there still reasonably easy means to essentially just scorch earth a target without being pigeon holed into just one option like dirty orbital bombs?

Assuming you can get past the planetary defences and you don't plan on using the planet afterwards, you can still follow a scorched-Earth approach.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on January 07, 2020, 05:43:38 AM
Hope everyone had a great New Year!


So.....


Are we there yet?  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on January 07, 2020, 02:34:16 PM
NO!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on January 07, 2020, 03:03:19 PM
I sympathize.  This along with Kerbal Space Program 2 and Crusader Kings 3 are my day one purchase/downloads.  There are some other games out there I'm interested in but those three are the ones I most interested.  If Steve releases before end of March, then my year is nicely set with each in nice decent intervals.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on January 08, 2020, 11:03:19 AM
I'm a little on the fence about KSP2 just because they got bought by TakeTwo (however so far TakeTwo seems decent). So I'll reserve judgement. No doubt it'll be great, but time will see. I also strongly think that KSP is as popular as it is because of the highly robust modding community. So long as they keep that going in KSP2 I'm sure it'll be great.

CK3 is looking interesting. I do love paradox, but they don't always hit home runs (early HOI4 comes to mind) so again we shall see.
I'm mostly looking forward to Mount and Blade Bannerlord and Cyberpunk. Oh and Baldur's gate III could be good given that Larian is behind it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on January 08, 2020, 12:19:21 PM
I'm a little on the fence about KSP2 just because they got bought by TakeTwo (however so far TakeTwo seems decent). So I'll reserve judgement. No doubt it'll be great, but time will see. I also strongly think that KSP is as popular as it is because of the highly robust modding community. So long as they keep that going in KSP2 I'm sure it'll be great.

CK3 is looking interesting. I do love paradox, but they don't always hit home runs (early HOI4 comes to mind) so again we shall see.
I'm mostly looking forward to Mount and Blade Bannerlord and Cyberpunk. Oh and Baldur's gate III could be good given that Larian is behind it.

I generally tend to play KSP with less than a half-dozen mods so I'm not as much into the mod scene - but I understand it is a HUGE part of the appeal.  Judging off the features list, KSP2 seems to scratch the big itches I needed for the series so if turns out to just be KSP + More, then I'll be satisfied.  I totally hear you on Paradox - huge fan of theirs but the reputation that every other game of theirs is incomplete and fixed by the expansions is totally earned.  BUT, given CK3 is their biggest and most important series, I tend to think they are going to pull out all the stops to not screw this one up.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on January 10, 2020, 08:48:12 AM
I am still playing the campaign and finding bugs. For example, only this week I noticed that minerals showed up in the population minerals view even without a geo survey :)

Therefore, in order to meet the March date I might leave the new version of Diplomacy until v1.1 (VB6-style Diplomacy is already coded). I'll keep bug-fixing and I am also working through the minor functions that are still missing.

As an example, below is the new technology window.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Crusade/Technology003.PNG)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on January 10, 2020, 09:10:45 AM
I'm really intrigued by a new diplomacy model but my big ask was for better ground game and NPR initiated ground invasions so I'm totally cool with diplomacy slipping to v1.1 (not that I'm even remotely the decider on that one at all).  Lots of new toys to play with already!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on January 10, 2020, 01:32:00 PM
I think most of us would be pretty hype for an initial release that is missing some features.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Arwyn on January 10, 2020, 04:06:59 PM
I am still playing the campaign and finding bugs. For example, only this week I noticed that minerals showed up in the population minerals view even without a geo survey :)

Therefore, in order to meet the March date I might leave the new version of Diplomacy until v1.1 (VB6-style Diplomacy is already coded). I'll keep bug-fixing and I am also working through the minor functions that are still missing.

As an example, below is the new technology window.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Crusade/Technology003.PNG)

You seem to be missing some boarding and melta torps there Steve.... :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on January 11, 2020, 11:00:09 AM
I think most of us would be pretty hype for an initial release that is missing some features.

Still, i feel like diplomacy is the major feature for me and i really want it from the start :(
@Steve - if diplomacy module will be released later can it happen to be compatible with saves in previous versions?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JustAnotherDude on January 11, 2020, 11:09:03 AM
The man will release it how he wants and when he wants, and that's that. The fact he listens to us at all is very, very kind on his part.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on January 11, 2020, 10:16:49 PM
As I mentioned in a earlier post, diplomacy is probably the one aspect of the game I rarely ever touch in VB so the idea of C# releasing with diplomacy bare bones would have little to no impact, as diplomacy has never really been a 'player engagement' feature in Aurora. Diplomacy has always been more of a passive system that exists in the background of Aurora that just happens by itself whilst I am busy playing the actual game.

The improved stability, performance and deeper behaviour to the various aspects of the C# release that are actually player engaging completely win out plus being able to kick the recurring bugs and broken aspects in the current public VB release to the curb is long desired.

Fed up with so many whole campaigns in VB becoming unplayable and need to be wiped because the game hits time progression stopping errors on orbital behaviour.  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on January 11, 2020, 10:27:17 PM
I am still playing the campaign and finding bugs. For example, only this week I noticed that minerals showed up in the population minerals view even without a geo survey :)

Therefore, in order to meet the March date I might leave the new version of Diplomacy until v1.1 (VB6-style Diplomacy is already coded). I'll keep bug-fixing and I am also working through the minor functions that are still missing.

(..)

What about a campaign started in March, will the new diplomacy be compatible with it once it is released?

I'm asking that because our current RPG campaign, 5 people around a table for almost 5 years is about to end, and I gearing up for a new campaign, a sci-fi themed one. I intent to use Aurora as a basis to describe ongoing actions between nations block of Earth and their possible interaction with alien races (with a good dose of Space Master intervention if things go south in a way I do not intent to).
So if you tell me there are some good chances the new diplomacy will require a restart, I might revise my plan, perhaps not using Aurora for the RPG campaign in 2020 but waiting for 2021, and 'simulating' in good old 'paper' way the campaign background.

I see an immense benefit of using Aurora partly to support the campaign, consistency, plausibility and surprise which don't have the DM hand (again, with the SM mode to edit things if this really don't fit my plan). Imagine I tell my players they are planned for a 120 days travel toward a new colony and then Aurora kicks in and show me there is an alien ship spotted along the way. This I would not have planned for and this would increase tension, because players will know even the DM did not took part in the event . So what will they do, will they end up in a lifeboat? ;)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on January 11, 2020, 11:02:15 PM
I am still playing the campaign and finding bugs. For example, only this week I noticed that minerals showed up in the population minerals view even without a geo survey :)

Therefore, in order to meet the March date I might leave the new version of Diplomacy until v1.1 (VB6-style Diplomacy is already coded). I'll keep bug-fixing and I am also working through the minor functions that are still missing.

(..)

What about a campaign started in March, will the new diplomacy be compatible with it once it is released?

I'm asking that because our current RPG campaign, 5 people around a table for almost 5 years is about to end, and I gearing up for a new campaign, a sci-fi themed one. I intent to use Aurora as a basis to describe ongoing actions between nations block of Earth and their possible interaction with alien races (with a good dose of Space Master intervention if things go south in a way I do not intent to).
So if you tell me there are some good chances the new diplomacy will require a restart, I might revise my plan, perhaps not using Aurora for the RPG campaign in 2020 but waiting for 2021, and 'simulating' in good old 'paper' way the campaign background.

I see an immense benefit of using Aurora partly to support the campaign, consistency, plausibility and surprise which don't have the DM hand (again, with the SM mode to edit things if this really don't fit my plan). Imagine I tell my players they are planned for a 120 days travel toward a new colony and then Aurora kicks in and show me there is an alien ship spotted along the way. This I would not have planned for and this would increase tension, because players will know even the DM did not took part in the event . So what will they do, will they end up in a lifeboat? ;)

If they aren't compatible how about using two different installations of Aurora, the initial 1.0 C# release you can reference for your campaign, and then a updated one further you can use for your own purposes playing the latest releases as they roll out?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on January 12, 2020, 12:11:07 AM
As I mentioned in a earlier post, diplomacy is probably the one aspect of the game I rarely ever touch in VB so the idea of C# releasing with diplomacy bare bones would have little to no impact, as diplomacy has never really been a 'player engagement' feature in Aurora. Diplomacy has always been more of a passive system that exists in the background of Aurora that just happens by itself whilst I am busy playing the actual game.

The improved stability, performance and deeper behaviour to the various aspects of the C# release that are actually player engaging completely win out plus being able to kick the recurring bugs and broken aspects in the current public VB release to the curb is long desired.

Fed up with so many whole campaigns in VB becoming unplayable and need to be wiped because the game hits time progression stopping errors on orbital behaviour.  ;D

But is that, perhaps, because diplomacy hasn't been very good so far?  For me it's the fourth most important part of the software, after economy, movement, and space combat.  It's MORE important to me than ground combat (although please note that I consider NPRs ability to launch ground invasions part of Diplomacy).  I'm tired of having all non-player controlled interaction be enslavement or extermination.  Either I win the race to full alliance, or they get mad at me for existing in a system they consider theirs, and all-out war ensues.  The only way war stops is if I run away from it, they exterminate me, or I destroy every last combat-capable unit they have so the remainder surrender.

It's easy to make another faction fight you -- start shooting at them.  There's an infinite variety of non-fighting interactions, and VB6 Aurora models about two of them.

I want weak allies that are always pestering me for support, and strong allies that occasionally demand I help exterminate some spoilers.  I want permanently neutral aliens that are happy to co-exist in the same system because they're methane-breathers and don't like my planets.

I want to sell minerals, and technology, and spare ships to other empires when I have a Corundium shortage.  I want to buy their High-Powered Microwaves 'cause I've never researched any.  I want conquered populations to slowly assimilate a few percentage points at a time each construction cycle, not jump 20% once every four years.

- - - - -

In short, I'm more excited about a properly-robust Diplomacy system than I am about Chaos Rifts or spoiler races getting ground units.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on January 12, 2020, 01:12:56 AM
I mean thats great and all but in my experience games do a lot better in the long run if the currently active community is playing them.  It seems to me the sooner Steve can set everyone loose on this thing the sooner he starts getting some gratification out of people having fun playing his thing.  I grant you that is an assumption, but I am pretty sure he interacts with us because some aspect of it is enjoyable to him.  When there is a giant refactor in single-dev game communities like this, its always been like the dev is holding their breath, and whether or not they manage to release the refactored version in time or not decides the fate of the community.

From the sounds of it what he's got is entirely releasable (it could be played and enjoyed), with the caveat that we will probably fairly quickly start finding bugs.  I think if he is feeling it then he should go for it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Silentbrick on January 12, 2020, 10:55:38 AM
I am eagerly awaiting this as my current games tend to wind up with 45 min to an hour for 30 days to pass and that's on a 4th gen I7 with 16 gigs of ram.  My personal laptop only takes 20 min but I mostly play on my work machine.

Besides, maybe it'll elminate my habit of sitting quietly in my system while mad scientists probe the universe whether it likes it or not until the ships of DOOM start rolling off the assembly line.  I just hate upgrading or getting a ship out of the yard and 2 years later half of it's obsolete.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Caplin on January 19, 2020, 01:35:19 PM
I can definitely sympathize with wanting a new diplomacy system, as it has always seemed to be a slightly oversimplified omission in the current VB6 game.

On the other hand, I want to see how well C# works with my screen reading tech, and being able to enjoy the rest of the game features will be wonderful. I can't wait to have a poke at it. I've missed this game a great deal.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: bugkill on January 21, 2020, 01:45:28 PM
Quote from: QuakeIV link=topic=10096. msg118026#msg118026 date=1578813176
I mean thats great and all but in my experience games do a lot better in the long run if the currently active community is playing them.   It seems to me the sooner Steve can set everyone loose on this thing the sooner he starts getting some gratification out of people having fun playing his thing.   I grant you that is an assumption, but I am pretty sure he interacts with us because some aspect of it is enjoyable to him.   When there is a giant refactor in single-dev game communities like this, its always been like the dev is holding their breath, and whether or not they manage to release the refactored version in time or not decides the fate of the community.

From the sounds of it what he's got is entirely releasable (it could be played and enjoyed), with the caveat that we will probably fairly quickly start finding bugs.   I think if he is feeling it then he should go for it.

I discovered Aurora 4x late in the game and was barely scratching the surface of it before I happened to come across this forum for C#.  After seeing all the updates, I immediately stopped playing Aurora in order to save all my experience for the better version.  It has been a very long wait and I highly anticipate the release.  I'm not going to try and rush Steve because he KNOWS how bad the community wants to get their hands on this thing.  I do agree that if the game is playable with no game breaking bugs, it will help him immensely in the long run to release it because it will allow him to step back a bit and breathe. 

He will be able focus on other things for a bit of time while the community is able to play it and provide feedback where only major issues would need his immediate attention.  In the end, it is entirely up to Steve and he knows what he is doing, so we all have to find something else to do until release.  Getting updates is greatly appreciated, but I'm at the point of checking in to verify a release date and leaving.  Updates are great, but there comes a point where it feels a bit like torture.  Anyway, look forward to the release and keep up the great work, Steve.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on January 21, 2020, 05:09:42 PM
Like you, I came to Aurora later in the game, played a pair of games till they became untenable, and resolved to wait for the next version.  I think the thing which makes this particular anticipation feel longer is there isn't anything else like Aurora out there.  There are other science fiction 4Xs out there - I enjoyed Stellaris and Distant Worlds quite a bit - but none of them have the detail of this game and the ability to go down the rabbit hole with ship designs, command structures, and exploration (one of my favorite parts is jumping into a new system).  Rule the Waves and to a lesser degree CMNAO is the only things which come close so yeah, I'm really looking forward to this one.  BUT I'm also really mindful of the fact that I'm getting someone's private home brew project on the cheap and thus I far more tempered here than for different projects which I have paid money.  I have posted complaints on Paradox forums about game mechanics before, I wouldn't dream of it here.  Aurora 7.1 was the proof of concept that this project is real and the next iteration will be outstanding.  Someday I'll check in here and there will be a new C# version posted - that will be a happy day.  Like you, I hope it is sooner rather than later but I'm also prepared to wait for a build Steve thinks is solid enough to have us yammering monkeys putting it through its paces.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: the obelisk on January 21, 2020, 07:03:36 PM
From my understanding, the main advantage of getting more features in before release has been that it means time doesn't need to be spent coding in the way it worked in VB, on top of the new way it's going to work.  If Steve says the old diplomacy is already coded for C#, I don't see what advantage there would be to waiting until the new system is coded.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: bugkill on January 21, 2020, 07:23:18 PM
From my understanding, the main advantage of getting more features in before release has been that it means time doesn't need to be spent coding in the way it worked in VB, on top of the new way it's going to work.  If Steve says the old diplomacy is already coded for C#, I don't see what advantage there would be to waiting until the new system is coded.

I hear you, but I'm past the point of questioning things. It will get released when Steve is ready and I don't think there is anything we can do about it. He is the only one that knows if it is ready for release, so it is what it is. Who knows, we may end up getting it within a month or two.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 03, 2020, 02:47:56 PM
Even now, I am still finding bugs :)

A race stores records of known alien ships in a collection with the ShipID as the key, because the ship ID is unique. Sounds logical. Except, once a ship is captured you can now detect it a second time and it seems to be a new ship, except it still has the same ID. Oops.

So ships that are captured will now be removed from alien ship records as if they were destroyed. I could try to be clever and update the new race details if detected a second time, but I would no doubt get myself in trouble with even more obscure bugs. Better to nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Starhero on February 08, 2020, 01:44:12 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg118507#msg118507 date=1580762876

So ships that are captured will now be removed from alien ship records as if they were destroyed.  I could try to be clever and update the new race details if detected a second time, but I would no doubt get myself in trouble with even more obscure bugs.  Better to nuke it from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.

I completely concur.  Something that gives a more featured event could be developed at a later time maybe.  Sounds like a recursion issue, but I have been out of the coding game since 2012 so I am rusy as all hell.

Anywhoo. . . I am a habitual lurker here whom has been watching this thread and forum for a while.  Apparently we have a tentative release by next month? Are things still looking like that deadline might be met?

I don't wanna die of corrona virus before I get to play the greatest conceptualized Sci-fi genre game ever made.  I use to say jokingly that the world was gonna end before the recoding of aurora in C# is done.  I say it with love but i think this worlds about to pop.  Make sure to leave a timecapsule with your game on crystal storage (if you can afford it) before it all hits you too steve.  Least what survives or maybe some aliens that search the planet for artifacts might play you're game 1000+ years in the future.

I say this all jokingly but semi serious over CoV.  I don't have it or anything that I know of, tho the first case in USA was in my very county. . I have been a patient in the past at the very hospital he was at.  I fear for those that might contract it. . its no laughing matter.

I believe your game has more depth then DF, any highly modded MC, SE, Hazeron, and i think CDDA (oh the IRONY) might be the only competitor in depth. . . . but Apples and oranges for sure between A4X and CDDA.  I am probably forgetting tons of other games and especially more classically turned  based 4x games. . they still fall short of your game. . . your time scales are perfect for short term and long term planning. . . the things good leaders are actually good at. . its takes high intellect to play that way.  IMHO

Your game is proof that graphics matter not to those that love to play with there mind.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 10, 2020, 05:08:19 AM
I've decided not to run the Isle of Man campaign I was planning, due to a sudden attack of "I wonder if it would be possible to...". after I saw this map:
https://en.battlestarwikiclone.org/w/images/9/98/Quantum_Mechanix_The_Twelve_Colonies_of_Kobol.jpg

This (of course) immediately inspired to me to create a Battlestar Galactica theme campaign, assuming I could get the pre-requisite system design working. I plan to use Real Stars but start somewhere other than Sol. I haven't decided yet whether to leave Sol empty or add a human NPR on Earth :)

This won't be a 'rag-tag' fleet campaign, but rather than a 'normal' campaign starting in a quaternary system with twelve colonies and Battlestar-style ships. I might style the Swarm as Cylons though :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on February 10, 2020, 05:47:30 AM
I might style the Swarm as Cylons though :)

Will we get a possibility to build smaller ships by larger ones? This is one of the features I always wanted as i wanted to stage Homeworld campaign with Mothership.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JustAnotherDude on February 10, 2020, 05:56:02 AM
Love me some BSG, I'm excited to see what sort of designs you come up with.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on February 10, 2020, 05:59:28 AM
I might style the Swarm as Cylons though :)

Will we get a possibility to build smaller ships by larger ones? This is one of the features I always wanted as i wanted to stage Homeworld campaign with Mothership.

That would open up to a new universe of possibilities, factory ships. That's an advanced, yet often asked for concept in many 4X sci-fi games, being able to have races/empires which are purely ship-based, without ground population. Name them Cylon, Nomads, Pirates, etc. They are quite a staple of many books also.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tavik Toth on February 10, 2020, 06:54:01 AM
Yeah, I'd love the ability to play a exodus/nomadic-style campaign.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: db48x on February 10, 2020, 09:34:29 PM
I've decided not to run the Isle of Man campaign I was planning, due to a sudden attack of "I wonder if it would be possible to...". after I saw this map:
https://en.battlestarwikiclone.org/w/images/9/98/Quantum_Mechanix_The_Twelve_Colonies_of_Kobol.jpg

Whoa, ambitious. Are you actually going to put the jump points around the barycenter of the system? That's 5000 AU away from either of the two pairs of stars…
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on February 11, 2020, 12:31:40 AM
Well, no, because aurora doesn't have barycenters.  Or more specifically the barycenter is always locked to the 'parent' object.  Which is fine IMO, but certainly precludes certain interesting configurations.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Profugo Barbatus on February 11, 2020, 12:37:41 AM
I'd imagine that this will be a 'close enough' version where they all orbit Helios Alpha, and Helios Alpha is going to have the jump points. That being said, if he's recreating the Colonies, having one of the jump points far away from traditionally powerful players like Caprica and Scorpia could be interesting. Maybe use Helios Delta as the center instead, give the weaker worlds a paper territorial advantage.

Gah, now I want to run this campaign as a multi player race game. At least we're hopefully close to release, if Steve is putting dev time into nice to haves like system crafting to support a new campaign instead of putting out fires.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: db48x on February 11, 2020, 01:55:50 AM
Well, no, because aurora doesn't have barycenters.  Or more specifically the barycenter is always locked to the 'parent' object.  Which is fine IMO, but certainly precludes certain interesting configurations.

I took him to mean '"I wonder if it would be possible to..." add barycenters as an object in the orbital body database table.' A mere matter of deciding how to render them (just a visual marker floating in space instead of a big circle floating in space), how to name them (I don't think astronomers ever have, so make something up), and then dealing with whatever odd special cases have been lurking all these years simply because the center of a system has always been a star. How hard could it be, right? :D

If that's what he does, I think the system is a trap. With a few jump-points at some Lagrange points you can navigate between the four systems easily enough, but how would you ever get out? The first ships you send to another star system would have to have a range of at least 1.6 trillion km just to be able to get there and back. I guess you could stash your return fuel at the gate, but still.

Maybe if the jump points were spread out so that they can be anywhere in the system instead of clustered near the center? Then it would be less of a trap, because the two pairs of stars would swing closer to and farther from each jump point. Maybe you would be cut off for a hundred years when the distance went up, but you would at least know it was coming.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on February 11, 2020, 02:28:57 AM
In all seirousness kindof crazy stuff like that is a lot more practical with the system editor, I would generally approve of such things (though preferably as something he would add after his first release).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 11, 2020, 03:25:29 AM
Well, no, because aurora doesn't have barycenters.  Or more specifically the barycenter is always locked to the 'parent' object.  Which is fine IMO, but certainly precludes certain interesting configurations.

I plan to have the jump points around the main system. Theoretically, I could add jump points in other systems. However, this has the same game play problem as orbiting jump points. If the jump points move then distances between destinations also change, which means a lot more micromanagement in understanding the shortest route when there are a lot of internal connections, or ensuring you have enough fuel for a particular journey. The same issue exists with planets or LG points, but useful destinations tend to be in the inner system so the change in overall distance is usually much less.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 11, 2020, 03:27:26 AM
Well, no, because aurora doesn't have barycenters.  Or more specifically the barycenter is always locked to the 'parent' object.  Which is fine IMO, but certainly precludes certain interesting configurations.

I took him to mean '"I wonder if it would be possible to..." add barycenters as an object in the orbital body database table.' A mere matter of deciding how to render them (just a visual marker floating in space instead of a big circle floating in space), how to name them (I don't think astronomers ever have, so make something up), and then dealing with whatever odd special cases have been lurking all these years simply because the center of a system has always been a star. How hard could it be, right? :D

If that's what he does, I think the system is a trap. With a few jump-points at some Lagrange points you can navigate between the four systems easily enough, but how would you ever get out? The first ships you send to another star system would have to have a range of at least 1.6 trillion km just to be able to get there and back. I guess you could stash your return fuel at the gate, but still.

Maybe if the jump points were spread out so that they can be anywhere in the system instead of clustered near the center? Then it would be less of a trap, because the two pairs of stars would swing closer to and farther from each jump point. Maybe you would be cut off for a hundred years when the distance went up, but you would at least know it was coming.

I wasn't planning to have a barycentre, but if I did the easiest way to handle that would be an invisible star.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on February 11, 2020, 07:55:35 AM
an invisible star.

That sounds like a great Astronomy thesis topic!

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Viridia on February 16, 2020, 05:30:31 PM
This is looking amazing! Looking forward to the BSG story as well, the Crusade one has been great.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 18, 2020, 03:09:28 PM
I'm in Philadelphia for a few days so there won't be any more reports or updates until the weekend. I've have started the prep for the BSG campaign though.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 22, 2020, 09:11:44 AM
I've seen some speculation on the Discord about the C# Aurora release date. It is likely to be the end of March, not the beginning. I haven't even finished the prep for the new campaign, although I hope to have that done this weekend.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on February 22, 2020, 10:38:09 AM
March 32nd?  March 34th?  March 40th?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 22, 2020, 01:14:22 PM
March 32nd?  March 34th?  March 40th?

:)

At this point, I am still happy with late March. Need to run this last test campaign, create an install program and do the code obfuscation. Anything not found by that point can get fixed post-release. The only unknown is the obfuscation, but there are plenty of options if one doesn't work as planned.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Caplin on February 23, 2020, 11:08:01 PM
I just want to say, I'm thrilled beyond belief that this is happening and I can't wait to play.

I literally just spent 30  minutes reading back through the "Changes List," topic, when I had just intended to pop by and see what was new. I can't tell you how excited I am for this, and I hope that it is as accessible for me as VB6 was.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on February 24, 2020, 01:18:21 AM
I just want to say, I'm thrilled beyond belief that this is happening and I can't wait to play.

I literally just spent 30  minutes reading back through the "Changes List," topic, when I had just intended to pop by and see what was new. I can't tell you how excited I am for this, and I hope that it is as accessible for me as VB6 was.

If anything I imagine the C# version should be more accessible than the VB version ever was.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kaiser on February 24, 2020, 08:03:23 AM
Can't believe it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Ayeshteni on February 24, 2020, 01:56:54 PM
Squeee

Aye
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 27, 2020, 04:42:53 PM
Just spent a couple of hours bug-hunting.

I couldn't understand why my geological survey ships seemed to be choosing asteroids at the far side of the system when auto-surveying. Couldn't find anything wrong with the code that selects the next body and it has been working for years anyway. I reset their courses a few times and it kept happening. Then I suddenly noticed almost straight after I set a course for one ship, the asteroid the ship was heading to wasn't there any more. After searching, I realised the asteroid had moved to the far side of the system. It quickly became apparent that the survey selection code was fine, but the asteroids themselves were changing to a mirror-image location during some orbital movement phases. Only asteroids - not planets. As they both used the same orbital movement code that was extremely weird.

I starting stepping through the code and realised the asteroids were orbiting at insane speed. More checks needed. Then I checked the database and realised that every asteroid in the game, except in the starting system, had an orbital period of one hour, regardless of distance. I checked the asteroid creation code and couldn't find a problem with the code that created the year length. The only situation in which the asteroid would be set to a one-hour year is if the orbital distance was zero. After more head scratching and code-stepping I finally realised that at some point during the code modifications to add star system design, I had accidentally moved the year-length algorithm after the orbital distance generation code, but only for asteroids, not planets. That meant that when the year-length algorithm ran for asteroids, the distance was still zero and the code selected one hour as the year. That one-hour year was causing the mirror-flipping for asteroids, which in turn was sending my geosurvey commanders insane :)

Sometimes bug-hunting can be a little obscure :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alucard on February 27, 2020, 05:15:04 PM
The only situation in which the asteroid would be set to a one-hour year is if the orbital distance was zero.

I would strongly recommend throwing an exception in weird cases like these, unless you need to support zero distance for some reason. The program crashing with the nice C# stack-trace could save you a lot of time. Learnt this the hard way unfortunately.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on February 27, 2020, 06:50:53 PM
Just spent a couple of hours bug-hunting.

I couldn't understand why my geological survey ships seemed to be choosing asteroids at the far side of the system when auto-surveying. Couldn't find anything wrong with the code that selects the next body and it has been working for years anyway. I reset their courses a few times and it kept happening. Then I suddenly noticed almost straight after I set a course for one ship, the asteroid the ship was heading to wasn't there any more. After searching, I realised the asteroid had moved to the far side of the system. It quickly became apparent that the survey selection code was fine, but the asteroids themselves were changing to a mirror-image location during some orbital movement phases. Only asteroids - not planets. As they both used the same orbital movement code that was extremely weird.

I starting stepping through the code and realised the asteroids were orbiting at insane speed. More checks needed. Then I checked the database and realised that every asteroid in the game, except in the starting system, had an orbital period of one hour, regardless of distance. I checked the asteroid creation code and couldn't find a problem with the code that created the year length. The only situation in which the asteroid would be set to a one-hour year is if the orbital distance was zero. After more head scratching and code-stepping I finally realised that at some point during the code modifications to add star system design, I had accidentally moved the year-length algorithm after the orbital distance generation code, but only for asteroids, not planets. That meant that when the year-length algorithm ran for asteroids, the distance was still zero and the code selected one hour as the year. That one-hour year was causing the mirror-flipping for asteroids, which in turn was sending my geosurvey commanders insane :)

Sometimes bug-hunting can be a little obscure :)

I love bugs that require the fine tooth comb to figure out.  Your brain spends the whole time screaming this is stupid, wtf, why is this even a possible outcome?, and everything you check is correct, except one thing and while its wrong, the code that set it that way is correct, so you have to keep going up the ancestry of the strange values, until you see it and facepalm - far too often it warrants it, you've done a stupid that didn't seem it at the time, lol, quickly followed by curse you past me, you caused this dammit.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on February 28, 2020, 01:31:04 AM
I mostly just find it to be unpleasant to be honest.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: xenoscepter on February 28, 2020, 01:37:53 AM
Late March? Praise Kerensky!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 28, 2020, 02:42:19 AM
Just spent a couple of hours bug-hunting.

I couldn't understand why my geological survey ships seemed to be choosing asteroids at the far side of the system when auto-surveying. Couldn't find anything wrong with the code that selects the next body and it has been working for years anyway. I reset their courses a few times and it kept happening. Then I suddenly noticed almost straight after I set a course for one ship, the asteroid the ship was heading to wasn't there any more. After searching, I realised the asteroid had moved to the far side of the system. It quickly became apparent that the survey selection code was fine, but the asteroids themselves were changing to a mirror-image location during some orbital movement phases. Only asteroids - not planets. As they both used the same orbital movement code that was extremely weird.

I starting stepping through the code and realised the asteroids were orbiting at insane speed. More checks needed. Then I checked the database and realised that every asteroid in the game, except in the starting system, had an orbital period of one hour, regardless of distance. I checked the asteroid creation code and couldn't find a problem with the code that created the year length. The only situation in which the asteroid would be set to a one-hour year is if the orbital distance was zero. After more head scratching and code-stepping I finally realised that at some point during the code modifications to add star system design, I had accidentally moved the year-length algorithm after the orbital distance generation code, but only for asteroids, not planets. That meant that when the year-length algorithm ran for asteroids, the distance was still zero and the code selected one hour as the year. That one-hour year was causing the mirror-flipping for asteroids, which in turn was sending my geosurvey commanders insane :)

Sometimes bug-hunting can be a little obscure :)

I love bugs that require the fine tooth comb to figure out.  Your brain spends the whole time screaming this is stupid, wtf, why is this even a possible outcome?, and everything you check is correct, except one thing and while its wrong, the code that set it that way is correct, so you have to keep going up the ancestry of the strange values, until you see it and facepalm - far too often it warrants it, you've done a stupid that didn't seem it at the time, lol, quickly followed by curse you past me, you caused this dammit.

I have to confess to a certain satisfaction when I track a down a particularly strange bug :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on February 28, 2020, 03:11:14 AM
snip...

snip...

I have to confess to a certain satisfaction when I track a down a particularly strange bug :)

Definitely.  Anytime I find a solution to something that has me stumped I'm inevitably in a much better mood, not just the removed malus of having an unresolved issue become resolved, but there's definitely a boost from solving it.

Both bugs and finding a way to implement something I was having difficulty conceptualising in a way that was feasible can do it I find.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on February 28, 2020, 07:00:44 AM
Wait until first release and touchdown with the userbase. What bugs we will uncover might (hopefully not, but I am a realist) become a nightmare...  ??? ;)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: db48x on February 28, 2020, 08:55:24 AM
I love bugs that require the fine tooth comb to figure out.  Your brain spends the whole time screaming this is stupid, wtf, why is this even a possible outcome?, and everything you check is correct, except one thing and while its wrong, the code that set it that way is correct, so you have to keep going up the ancestry of the strange values, until you see it and facepalm - far too often it warrants it, you've done a stupid that didn't seem it at the time, lol, quickly followed by curse you past me, you caused this dammit.

I have to confess to a certain satisfaction when I track a down a particularly strange bug :)

I love debugging stories like this too.

Aurora is a Windows program, so I know that this isn't going to help you much at all, but on Linux there's a debugger called rr that can really help in situations like this (rr-project.org). rr records the entire execution state of a program (slowing the program down by about 40%, which in practice is rarely a problem), and allow you to deterministicly replay that recording as many times as you need in order to hunt down the bug. It also allows you to run the program in reverse. You could set one memory watchpoint on the orbital period for an asteroid and and another on the orbital distance, then run the program backwards until one of them changed. This would have lead you right to the problem with no fuss and no need for deduction. It's essentially a superpower.

There's another level to this as well, because there's a commercial product called Pernosco (https://pernos.co/) that takes an rr recording and presents it as a queryable database rather than as the traditional debugger. It can give you a timeline of the dataflow of a value, or of several values, which would make this bug even clearer.

So why do I mention it? Microsoft has started adding a similar feature to MSVC. It's not cheap, but you might want to check it out anyway: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/visualstudio/introducing-time-travel-debugging-for-visual-studio-enterprise-2019/
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on February 28, 2020, 09:42:15 AM
Just spent a couple of hours bug-hunting.

I couldn't understand why my geological survey ships seemed to be choosing asteroids at the far side of the system when auto-surveying. Couldn't find anything wrong with the code that selects the next body and it has been working for years anyway. I reset their courses a few times and it kept happening. Then I suddenly noticed almost straight after I set a course for one ship, the asteroid the ship was heading to wasn't there any more. After searching, I realised the asteroid had moved to the far side of the system. It quickly became apparent that the survey selection code was fine, but the asteroids themselves were changing to a mirror-image location during some orbital movement phases. Only asteroids - not planets. As they both used the same orbital movement code that was extremely weird.

I starting stepping through the code and realised the asteroids were orbiting at insane speed. More checks needed. Then I checked the database and realised that every asteroid in the game, except in the starting system, had an orbital period of one hour, regardless of distance. I checked the asteroid creation code and couldn't find a problem with the code that created the year length. The only situation in which the asteroid would be set to a one-hour year is if the orbital distance was zero. After more head scratching and code-stepping I finally realised that at some point during the code modifications to add star system design, I had accidentally moved the year-length algorithm after the orbital distance generation code, but only for asteroids, not planets. That meant that when the year-length algorithm ran for asteroids, the distance was still zero and the code selected one hour as the year. That one-hour year was causing the mirror-flipping for asteroids, which in turn was sending my geosurvey commanders insane :)

Sometimes bug-hunting can be a little obscure :)

I love bugs that require the fine tooth comb to figure out.  Your brain spends the whole time screaming this is stupid, wtf, why is this even a possible outcome?, and everything you check is correct, except one thing and while its wrong, the code that set it that way is correct, so you have to keep going up the ancestry of the strange values, until you see it and facepalm - far too often it warrants it, you've done a stupid that didn't seem it at the time, lol, quickly followed by curse you past me, you caused this dammit.

I have to confess to a certain satisfaction when I track a down a particularly strange bug :)

One of my standard interview questions is "what's your favorite bug you've ever encountered".  I'm looking for stories like this that show a high GQ (Geek Quotient).

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 28, 2020, 10:13:28 AM
- far too often it warrants it, you've done a stupid that didn't seem it at the time, lol, quickly followed by curse you past me, you caused this dammit.

I even leave comments in the code along the lines of "Dear Future Me. I know this code looks odd but let me explain..." :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bughunter on February 28, 2020, 03:18:31 PM
I even leave comments in the code along the lines of "Dear Future Me. I know this code looks odd but let me explain..." :)

I usually want to send messages in the other direction when looking at old code but didn't figure out how yet.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 06, 2020, 07:43:07 AM
I've just caught up with the chat on the Discord so I thought it would be worth giving an update.

I still plan to release at the end of March, assuming no unforeseen circumstances. I'm actually picking up my new motorhome on Tuesday next week and I will be away for a few days, although probably still answering on forums as we have 4G in the motorhome. We will be probably be away at weekends, etc. but I will still be at home for most of the last two weeks in March.

The BSG campaign has stalled a little. A lack of time in the last few days, plus in hindsight it was not a good idea to create such a complex setup when I am trying to test specific things in a relatively short period, although it did allow me to test the system design code. Therefore, I am going create a new campaign this weekend with a multi-start in Sol (one player race and 2-3 NPRs). I'll probably go back to the Space 1889 campaign I once ran and have Venus and Mars as alien worlds.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: razanon on March 13, 2020, 10:34:30 AM
Steve, can you free your game now? at this state? here in Spain just called the "State of Alarm" and having your game to spend that 15 days enclosed at home, will be like a cure.

:)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 13, 2020, 02:03:18 PM
Steve, can you free your game now? at this state? here in Spain just called the "State of Alarm" and having your game to spend that 15 days enclosed at home, will be like a cure.

:)

No, its not ready yet. I've just spent a week in the UK collecting my new motorhome, so I need to run my new campaign, test diplomacy, create an install program and get the obfuscation working in the new two weeks.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on March 13, 2020, 05:42:23 PM
Steve, can you free your game now? at this state? here in Spain just called the "State of Alarm" and having your game to spend that 15 days enclosed at home, will be like a cure.

:)

No, its not ready yet. I've just spent a week in the UK collecting my new motorhome, so I need to run my new campaign, test diplomacy, create an install program and get the obfuscation working in the new two weeks.

That'll only take a few hours right?  :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on March 13, 2020, 08:25:40 PM
Steve, can you free your game now? at this state? here in Spain just called the "State of Alarm" and having your game to spend that 15 days enclosed at home, will be like a cure.

:)

No, its not ready yet. I've just spent a week in the UK collecting my new motorhome, so I need to run my new campaign, test diplomacy, create an install program and get the obfuscation working in the new two weeks.

Please Steve... take your time... we have waited thus far so we can probably wait a few weeks or even months if necessary...

C# seem to shape up to an amazing game and I will wait for as long as it takes, I can keep fantasise about my next campaign... which will not start immediately... most likely after the first or second patch...   ;)   ...as a programmer myself I know there always are tweaks and bugs to fix... ALWAYS...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on March 13, 2020, 08:32:51 PM
Do what you gotta do, I can understand adding more obfuscation.  It sounds like you are close to release though so I would not personally dissuade you from that track.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: razanon on March 14, 2020, 04:26:31 AM
Thx a lot for creating that game, Steve.
Steve, can you free your game now? at this state? here in Spain just called the "State of Alarm" and having your game to spend that 15 days enclosed at home, will be like a cure.

:)

No, its not ready yet. I've just spent a week in the UK collecting my new motorhome, so I need to run my new campaign, test diplomacy, create an install program and get the obfuscation working in the new two weeks.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Marski on March 14, 2020, 05:12:04 AM
Try not to get infected fam.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ExChairman on March 14, 2020, 03:32:07 PM
Its like being a kid again, waiting for Christmas to happen... It will come when its time... Like Santa!  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 16, 2020, 05:57:48 AM
I just fired up VB6 Aurora to check something, which I haven't done for a while. It feels incredibly slow and clumsy compared to C#. I can't click-drag the map, I can't use mouse-wheel zoom, windows actually load rather than open instantly. I hadn't realised just how much an improvement C# is in terms of simple usability.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: roug on March 16, 2020, 06:21:10 AM
This is music for my ears!

There are no games i am looking more forward to than this c# game!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 16, 2020, 07:29:18 AM
I just fired up VB6 Aurora to check something, which I haven't done for a while. It feels incredibly slow and clumsy compared to C#. I can't click-drag the map, I can't use mouse-wheel zoom, windows actually load rather than open instantly. I hadn't realised just how much an improvement C# is in terms of simple usability.

That kind of teasing is just mean.  :(

By the way, with everything going on at the moment are your caravanning plans going ahead at the end of the month?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 16, 2020, 07:31:13 AM
I just fired up VB6 Aurora to check something, which I haven't done for a while. It feels incredibly slow and clumsy compared to C#. I can't click-drag the map, I can't use mouse-wheel zoom, windows actually load rather than open instantly. I hadn't realised just how much an improvement C# is in terms of simple usability.

That kind of teasing is just mean.  :(

It was meant as good news :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 16, 2020, 07:33:45 AM
I just fired up VB6 Aurora to check something, which I haven't done for a while. It feels incredibly slow and clumsy compared to C#. I can't click-drag the map, I can't use mouse-wheel zoom, windows actually load rather than open instantly. I hadn't realised just how much an improvement C# is in terms of simple usability.

That kind of teasing is just mean.  :(

It was meant as good news :)

For those not playing VB6 maybe. Otherwise it's just mean hearing about how much better something is over what we're playing. hehe  ;D

Kidding aside, it is good to hear the change is so apparant.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on March 16, 2020, 11:14:05 PM
I just fired up VB6 Aurora to check something, which I haven't done for a while. It feels incredibly slow and clumsy compared to C#. I can't click-drag the map, I can't use mouse-wheel zoom, windows actually load rather than open instantly. I hadn't realised just how much an improvement C# is in terms of simple usability.

Yes Santa, yes. Now stop teasing us!! I bought yet another Steam game yesterday, but to no avail. I need Aurora C# !!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Person012345 on March 17, 2020, 06:38:51 AM
Steve, can you free your game now? at this state? here in Spain just called the "State of Alarm" and having your game to spend that 15 days enclosed at home, will be like a cure.

:)

No, its not ready yet. I've just spent a week in the UK collecting my new motorhome, so I need to run my new campaign, test diplomacy, create an install program and get the obfuscation working in the new two weeks.
Did you get back before the mandatory quarantine for everyone travelling to the Island? I'm not sure which answer would be preferable. :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 17, 2020, 06:55:31 AM
Steve, can you free your game now? at this state? here in Spain just called the "State of Alarm" and having your game to spend that 15 days enclosed at home, will be like a cure.

:)

No, its not ready yet. I've just spent a week in the UK collecting my new motorhome, so I need to run my new campaign, test diplomacy, create an install program and get the obfuscation working in the new two weeks.
Did you get back before the mandatory quarantine for everyone travelling to the Island? I'm not sure which answer would be preferable. :P

Yes, we got back on Friday. Quarantine starts today. However, I have just moved to working from home full time from today anyway. I normally just use my work laptop when working at home, but as I am now doing it full time our facilities department is going to deliver my office-based computer equipment to my home.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 19, 2020, 03:17:35 PM
I've updated the medal window to include an abbreviation column. Commanders will be displayed where appropriate with the medal abbreviations following their name. For those medals that you don't want in the list, such as campaign medals, just leave the field blank.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 20, 2020, 06:35:52 AM
I've updated the medal window to include an abbreviation column. Commanders will be displayed where appropriate with the medal abbreviations following their name. For those medals that you don't want in the list, such as campaign medals, just leave the field blank.

How goes the underlining prep work for the distributable?

Everything still looking good for the rough target of a week or so from now?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 20, 2020, 06:59:00 AM
I've updated the medal window to include an abbreviation column. Commanders will be displayed where appropriate with the medal abbreviations following their name. For those medals that you don't want in the list, such as campaign medals, just leave the field blank.

How goes the underlining prep work for the distributable?

Everything still looking good for the rough target of a week or so from now?

I haven't even looked at the exe yet. My plan is to keep testing and tweaking up to Friday next week, then spend the weekend creating and testing the install and doing the obfuscation.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kof on March 20, 2020, 11:54:02 AM
This is getting really exciting now.... Can't wait for release!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Steve.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SultanPepper on March 20, 2020, 07:21:22 PM
Any chance all forum users can get a mass email celebrating the release when it happens? In case I forget to check the forums that day haha.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Erik L on March 20, 2020, 08:15:19 PM
Any chance all forum users can get a mass email celebrating the release when it happens? In case I forget to check the forums that day haha.

Are you trying to break my mail server?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 21, 2020, 12:38:36 AM
Any chance all forum users can get a mass email celebrating the release when it happens? In case I forget to check the forums that day haha.

Are you trying to break my mail server?

Well we already know the first sign that C# is released will be that the forums are down. :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on March 21, 2020, 03:38:34 AM
A mass email plus torrent link might be the best way to get things distributed reasonably efficiently given the fairly good point that the forums might get taken out by the feeding frenzy.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SultanPepper on March 21, 2020, 05:41:57 AM
Quote from: Tikigod link=topic=10096. msg119838#msg119838 date=1584769116
Quote from: Erik Luken link=topic=10096. msg119831#msg119831 date=1584753319
Quote from: SultanPepper link=topic=10096. msg119830#msg119830 date=1584750082
Any chance all forum users can get a mass email celebrating the release when it happens? In case I forget to check the forums that day haha.

Are you trying to break my mail server?

IT'S FOR A GOOD CAUSE!! Haha
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 21, 2020, 09:37:56 AM
Quick performance update. About 2.5 years into my latest test campaign. Five races in Sol and all five are active in Alpha Centauri as well. In VB6, this has such an impact on turn times that there is an option to turn off sensor checks in a system. The 1-day increments (which including 48 separate detection phases) are running in about 2.2 seconds.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Frick on March 21, 2020, 10:39:47 AM
Quick performance update. About 2.5 years into my latest test campaign. Five races in Sol and all five are active in Alpha Centauri as well. In VB6, this has such an impact on turn times that there is an option to turn off sensor checks in a system. The 1-day increments (which including 48 separate detection phases) are running in about 2.2 seconds.

Some questions: About how long would that increment take in VB6? How normal is that load? Is there a difference to performance when races operate in the same system or different systems?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on March 21, 2020, 10:53:28 AM
It's not the NPRs themselves that cause slowdowns in VB6, it's the constant detection between all ships and the more NPRs you have, the more ships you have flying around in same systems, needing to do detection checks.

So 2.2 seconds for 6 races that all have ships in 2 systems is really, really, really good time.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 21, 2020, 10:54:48 AM
Quick performance update. About 2.5 years into my latest test campaign. Five races in Sol and all five are active in Alpha Centauri as well. In VB6, this has such an impact on turn times that there is an option to turn off sensor checks in a system. The 1-day increments (which including 48 separate detection phases) are running in about 2.2 seconds.

Some questions: About how long would that increment take in VB6? How normal is that load? Is there a difference to performance when races operate in the same system or different systems?

No idea, because I haven't run this same game and situation in VB6. However, it would be considerably longer. In VB6 games with several races in Sol, I usually turn off sensor checks in busy systems unless there is conflict.

The performance is hit for multiple races is exponential because of the sensor checks. If you assume all races are the same size and have similar number of ships then two races just check each other (2 checks). Three races is 6 checks (each race checking two others). Five races is 20 checks, so my current campaign has ten times more sensor checks than a normal game.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Frick on March 21, 2020, 10:57:25 AM
Ahh, hadn't thought about the sensor thing. Thanks!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on March 21, 2020, 11:29:42 AM
Is that time with or without disabling the sensors?  If 2.2 is with sensors disabled, whats it like without?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Frick on March 21, 2020, 11:37:06 AM
Is that time with or without disabling the sensors?  If 2.2 is with sensors disabled, whats it like without?

He specified the sensor checks, so I assume they are enabled.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 21, 2020, 11:50:29 AM
Is that time with or without disabling the sensors?  If 2.2 is with sensors disabled, whats it like without?

2.2 seconds is with sensors on.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on March 21, 2020, 02:33:12 PM
I remember I had a game in VB with 3 different NPRs ships in one system, around 20 systems discovered by me, bot only that one with NPRs in there.
It took around 3-5 minute for a 5-day pulse.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Ultimoos on March 21, 2020, 05:14:41 PM
I've been playing recently and I noticed that civilian ships contribute severely in worsening game performance. 
Is this still an issue in new version? Or is impact considerably smaller?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Polestar on March 21, 2020, 05:19:30 PM
Quick performance update. About 2.5 years into my latest test campaign. Five races in Sol and all five are active in Alpha Centauri as well. In VB6, this has such an impact on turn times that there is an option to turn off sensor checks in a system. The 1-day increments (which including 48 separate detection phases) are running in about 2.2 seconds.
Updates like this are great, and the gain versus VB Aurora is clearly huge. I'm almost ashamed to post anything but "good news!".

But I propose that 2.2 seconds per day is still significant. The story of a space empire in Aurora extends (or should extend) for decades, even centuries. If you were to play out this game for one century, with no more ships or missiles constructed, and no more systems discovered, you would be watching the busy icon for a bit over 22 hours. Almost a day and a night.

Now, I'm not going to ask for anything now, at this stage of C# development. Don't want to get lynched by fellow players. ;-/

However, I will say that the biggest reason I appreciate this update post is for the heads-up that my first game of C# Aurora needs to play out in a small universe, with one or two other colonizing non-player realms (NPRs), tops, and that I don't go crazy with colonizing or building.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Ynglaur on March 21, 2020, 06:12:03 PM
Are the sensor checks multi-threaded?  If so, maybe somebody could get Aurora running on spot instances of AWS or something just for processing.  :p
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on March 21, 2020, 06:55:28 PM
Another idea would be to pre calculate the next turn while the game is idle. That is, while the player is making decisions, designing ships, etc. The game is calculating the results of the next time advancement. This would not save time if time is advanced immediately back to back, but on turns you pause to do something it'd make time advancement seem instantaneous.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Ayeshteni on March 21, 2020, 07:23:14 PM
Another idea would be to pre calculate the next turn while the game is idle. That is, while the player is making decisions, designing ships, etc. The game is calculating the results of the next time advancement. This would not save time if time is advanced immediately back to back, but on turns you pause to do something it'd make time advancement seem instantaneous.

But how can it calculate the next turn advancement when the next turn could be 5 seconds or 30 days (or anything inbetween)?

Aye
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on March 21, 2020, 08:32:46 PM
But how can it calculate the next turn advancement when the next turn could be 5 seconds or 30 days (or anything inbetween)?

A pre calculation could for example logically assume that the next time advancement will be of same length as the previous one.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Execrated1 on March 21, 2020, 10:11:29 PM
I need this so bad. I like Stellaris, but it doesn't fill the emptiness in my soul that this game does.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 21, 2020, 10:31:55 PM
Another idea would be to pre calculate the next turn while the game is idle. That is, while the player is making decisions, designing ships, etc. The game is calculating the results of the next time advancement. This would not save time if time is advanced immediately back to back, but on turns you pause to do something it'd make time advancement seem instantaneous.

But how can it calculate the next turn advancement when the next turn could be 5 seconds or 30 days (or anything inbetween)?

Aye

The next player initiated step doesn't really matter, the game still has a preset 'tick' duration for various activities as well as a preset number of pulse durations.

There isn't any real reason Steve couldn't have the game crunching away at certain things like construction/research activities, potential fleet locations and such in set tick steps before the player initiates any kind of time progression, other than the fact that the overall time reduction may very well be negligible at best.

I'd assume at least he's already doing performance shaving when handling things like sensors by introducing some measures like not calculating each individual ship sensor detection and just summarising it based on the first instance of a ship type per fleet in system.... if you have 15 ships of the same design in the same system, all with actives enabled, if the ships are only marginally spread out you could frankly just take the furthest distance between the ships, sanity check it's within a tolerance range and then just calculate the sensor interactions for the first instance of that design and forego calculating the rest of the same-design ships sensors.

Also doing things like not calculating additional sensor contacting of a target within a fleet if a ship in the fleet has already picked up the target and would only perform additional calculations for targets within the sensor radius yet not flagged as detected.


As given that active targeting is shared between similar deployed ships in a fleet, there is absolutely no reason to be having 25 ships all calculating active sensor detection of a target already known to have been detected. You only really need to calculate if the first ship that detected the target can still detect the target and then run checks for if each ship can detect anything known to be within sensor range but to have a low enough signature to have avoided detection yet.... and even with that you could pre-sample the sensors in play for signature detection strength and if Steve felt especially ballsy set up a series of generalised sub-detection groups on a fleet level where the game doesn't even bother to perform sensor checks for detecting anything below a certain signature threshold that's within that area as there really would be no point in checking.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: LoSboccacc on March 22, 2020, 02:16:58 AM
Quick performance update. About 2.5 years into my latest test campaign. Five races in Sol and all five are active in Alpha Centauri as well. In VB6, this has such an impact on turn times that there is an option to turn off sensor checks in a system. The 1-day increments (which including 48 separate detection phases) are running in about 2.2 seconds.

Some questions: About how long would that increment take in VB6? How normal is that load? Is there a difference to performance when races operate in the same system or different systems?

No idea, because I haven't run this same game and situation in VB6. However, it would be considerably longer. In VB6 games with several races in Sol, I usually turn off sensor checks in busy systems unless there is conflict.

The performance is hit for multiple races is exponential because of the sensor checks. If you assume all races are the same size and have similar number of ships then two races just check each other (2 checks). Three races is 6 checks (each race checking two others). Five races is 20 checks, so my current campaign has ten times more sensor checks than a normal game.

are you running checks for every present ship or there's some kind of optimization there?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bughunter on March 22, 2020, 03:50:07 AM
Should maybe move this discussion elsewhere, but one way to optimize could be saving calculation results from previous turns.

So every time a ship enters a system you calculate detection range both ways between it and every other ship in the system and save in memory for that system object. Per increment you only check against the precalculated ranges when a ship moves (and here you could maybe also group ships by detection range as suggested above). If anything else changes like thermal signature etc. you recalculate detection ranges for that ship as needed.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: db48x on March 22, 2020, 04:39:40 AM
The performance is hit for multiple races is exponential because of the sensor checks. If you assume all races are the same size and have similar number of ships then two races just check each other (2 checks). Three races is 6 checks (each race checking two others). Five races is 20 checks, so my current campaign has ten times more sensor checks than a normal game.

Forgive me if this has come up before, but do you use quadtrees (or anything similar) to reduce the number of other ships that each ship must do a sensor check with?

Are the sensor checks multi-threaded?  If so, maybe somebody could get Aurora running on spot instances of AWS or something just for processing.  :p

That _has_ come up before :)

Adding multiple processing threads to a program is always easier said than done. You have to really think hard about how the order you check everything matters to the simulation. If the order matters in any way at all, then making it multi-threaded will break it, or just make the results random and unreproducible. I think one problem that has been brought up in the past is that sensor checks depend on when ships enter or leave a system, but ships entering and leaving the system also depends on sensor checks.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on March 22, 2020, 05:00:25 AM
How quadtrees would work? Genuinely curious, that's not a trap ;)
Explain as if I'm not too good in maths also!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 22, 2020, 06:52:52 AM
Quick performance update. About 2.5 years into my latest test campaign. Five races in Sol and all five are active in Alpha Centauri as well. In VB6, this has such an impact on turn times that there is an option to turn off sensor checks in a system. The 1-day increments (which including 48 separate detection phases) are running in about 2.2 seconds.

Some questions: About how long would that increment take in VB6? How normal is that load? Is there a difference to performance when races operate in the same system or different systems?

No idea, because I haven't run this same game and situation in VB6. However, it would be considerably longer. In VB6 games with several races in Sol, I usually turn off sensor checks in busy systems unless there is conflict.

The performance is hit for multiple races is exponential because of the sensor checks. If you assume all races are the same size and have similar number of ships then two races just check each other (2 checks). Three races is 6 checks (each race checking two others). Five races is 20 checks, so my current campaign has ten times more sensor checks than a normal game.

are you running checks for every present ship or there's some kind of optimization there?

No, I am dumb and checking every sensor against every ship :)

Each location in which there are sensors uses the single best passive sensor of each type and the best active sensor for each unique resolution. When a ship is detected for a specific sensor type (active, thermal, EM, GPD, Transponder) by a specific race, it is ignored for further checks of the same type by the same race.

I have considered multi-threading, but as anyone who has used it in action will know, there are downsides to that. Firstly, each thread has a performance overhead, so unless you save enough time overall, multi-threading can actually be slower. Secondly, multi-threading adds considerable complexity, so even if I saved a few microseconds in performance I will lose out in additional, hard-to-find bugs.

Sensor check speed is not a concern for me. Even if one entire second of the turn is spent in detection for five races detecting each other, its ONE SECOND! Frankly, I am amazed how fast it is running. I am not going to rip apart the sensor code and add multi-threading in an effort to get that down to half a second, even if that were possible.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on March 22, 2020, 11:04:41 AM
How quadtrees would work? Genuinely curious, that's not a trap ;)
Explain as if I'm not too good in maths also!

Think about a fractal checkerboard:  take a single square, and subdivide into a 2x2 "quad" of sub-squares.  (For 3D, this is a cube divided into a 2x2x2 "oct" of sub-cubes hence "octree" for 3D.)  Take each of those sub-squares and subdivide them, so now you've got a 4x4 checkerboard divided up into 4 2x2 quadrants (the original level-1 sub-squares).  Rinse and repeat to get 8x8, 16x16 etc.

Let's say max sensor range is roughly 1/128 of the board size (the original square).  You can think of the region of the board that needs to be checked for a particular ship as a disk with diameter 1/64 (of the board size) - think of putting a penny down on the checkerboard.  So you only need to check enemy ships that lie within the disk.  If you think about cells (sub-sub-...squares) that are 1/32 the board size, then most (75%) of the time the disk is completely within the cell and you only need to check enemy ships that are in the same cell as you.  So if you pre-sort all enemy ships into bins corresponding to the cells, then 75% of the time you only need to check the enemy ships in the bin/cell you're in.  If the ships are uniformly distributed over the board, this will give you roughly a 1 million-fold speed up since there are 1/32*1/32 = 1/1K cells of that size on the board.

The algorithm is more subtle when the ship is near a cell boundary (the other 25%) - you have to identify and check all the neighboring cells that the disk overlaps -  but that's a rough flavor of how quadtrees (and octrees) work to speed up searches.  In 1D this is very closely related to the "divide and conquer" logarithmic search and sort algorithms, where you recursively take the region of interest, divide it in two, and ask if you're interested in the upper or lower half.

[EDIT] This is also intimately related to a really cool sorting algorithm for points in 2D, 3D etc space that is (logarithmically) good at keeping points that are close to each other in space close to each other in the sorted sequence: it's called Morton order (or Z-order): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z-order_curve (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z-order_curve)  As I write this the Wikipedia page has a good picture of this fractal subdivision (unfortunately it doesn't have the cell boundary lines themselves), but since reality is malleable and retcon happens in Wikipedia land I can't guarantee it's still there :)  This is the technical way that you would use quadtree ideas to find nearest neighbors - a nifty property of Morton ordering is that if you look at the first an last points on an interval of the sorted set, then the smallest quadtree cell that contains both start and end guaranteed to contain all the points between in the sorted list, so those are the only points you need to check.  So if you think about your penny of the (hierarchically subdivided) checkerboard, then you just need to find the smallest cell that the disk lies completely in in order to find the points you need to check. [/EDIT]

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: LordPC on March 22, 2020, 11:57:14 AM
Was thinking the easiest way to parallelize depending on how exactly the code works might be to have one level of parallelization over systems and another over races.  But maybe the races act subsequently to each other so one might in fact depend on the result of the other not sure how that works in the games at a sufficiently short time interval.  (One reason the former might also make sense is because movement calculations for moving celestial bodies could also be parallelized on the system level with a potential secondary level for bodies orbiting another. ) The number of levels and type of parallelization that would be ideal may depend on the architecture one is hoping to utilize for the software.

While using some sort of tree algorithm based gird could be cool and might be part of an optimal in run time program for certain situations.

I was thinking that one way to optimize would be do see if ships with longer sensor ranges completely covered the sensor range of other ships with lessor sensor ranges.  But whether this would have significant impact might depend on one's play and ship design styles.

I realize there can be more important consideration like developer time.  At this point I will be glad for a faster functioning release even if it is not theoretically optimized (maybe especially so since at some point there would be diminishing return and time to release might approach infinity ).  But I do enjoy considering possibilities for parallelization and optimization.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on March 22, 2020, 01:26:57 PM
You don't need quadtrees for sensor checks, though. A binning algorithm would achieve O(n) time with significantly less complexity.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: LoSboccacc on March 22, 2020, 02:22:05 PM


No, I am dumb and checking every sensor against every ship :)


and here I was, trying to carefully word my previous question to be the least confrontational as possible, but apparently someone is very territorial so I'll leave you be
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 22, 2020, 02:31:26 PM
Just as well I am still testing. 3 years into the game and I was wondering why I wasn't detecting any NPR ground forces. So I went into designer mode to check and the NPRs didn't have any ground forces - aagh!

Ground forces generation was working for auto-create NPRs, but not those manually created. Fixed now and I will add the ground forces retrospectively to the current campaign.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 22, 2020, 02:38:49 PM
No, I am dumb and checking every sensor against every ship :)

and here I was, trying to carefully word my previous question to be the least confrontational as possible, but apparently someone is very territorial so I'll leave you be

Sorry, I've answered the same question, or variations of it, many times so I got a little snippy. I've been working with the detection code for about sixteen years, four of those in C#, so I have tried to optimise it during that time.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on March 22, 2020, 08:04:33 PM
Regarding sensors, while thermal/em/active sensors all tell you something specific and separate, transponders could tell all those things at the same time, and thus be run first and then let the transponder using ship skip the thermal/em/active sensor steps.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MasonMac on March 22, 2020, 09:26:09 PM
Honestly, I never figured out the point of transponders.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on March 22, 2020, 11:29:15 PM
Honestly, I never figured out the point of transponders.

To advertise one's presence.  To be polite.  To avoid antagonizing others.  To not be mistaken for 'sneaking around'.  Traffic control.  Anti-smuggling & -piracy operations.  Keeping track of commercial shippping.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on March 23, 2020, 04:35:53 AM
Honestly, I never figured out the point of transponders.
Just watch „The Expanse“ 😁
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on March 24, 2020, 02:32:25 AM
They're for transponding obviously. Transponders gotta transpond.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on March 24, 2020, 03:25:36 AM
So that you can feel sneaky when you turn them off.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Gerbil1 on March 24, 2020, 09:42:47 AM
Quote from: TMaekler link=topic=10096. msg119934#msg119934 date=1584956153
Quote from: MasonMac link=topic=10096. msg119929#msg119929 date=1584930369
Honestly, I never figured out the point of transponders.
Just watch „The Expanse“ 😁

Or better still, read the books :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on March 24, 2020, 11:45:54 AM
Or better still, read the books :)

The books are great, but so is the show. I love both.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ExChairman on March 24, 2020, 12:27:41 PM
Hmmm, transponders, does this make us able to "Cheat", lika a civillian transponder on a warship/Q-ship?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on March 24, 2020, 01:55:25 PM
Hmmm, transponders, does this make us able to "Cheat", lika a civillian transponder on a warship/Q-ship?

No.

But yes, though probably not in the way you mean.  But no.

- - - - -

Currently there's no way to hide your class, or broadcast a different class, with your Transponder.  It's a flashlight in a dark room.

But it is a great way to tell everyone where you are, so it can be used to sucker folks into an ambush.  Just be sure you brought a big enough fleet that it's the other folks who get ambushed, not you.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Marski on March 25, 2020, 05:55:56 AM
A ship without transponder activated can't be confirmed to be anyone without accurate sensor reading. It could be potentially abused to strike at a rival faction without revealing yourself, thus leaving the culprit of the attack to remain unconfirmed. You'd have to be really, really careful about it thought, because if the ship used in the attack is identified and then seen flying your colours, the gig is up.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on March 25, 2020, 11:27:35 AM
A ship without transponder activated can't be confirmed to be anyone without accurate sensor reading. It could be potentially abused to strike at a rival faction without revealing yourself, thus leaving the culprit of the attack to remain unconfirmed. You'd have to be really, really careful about it thought, because if the ship used in the attack is identified and then seen flying your colours, the gig is up.
So like old school privateers.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Arwyn on March 25, 2020, 12:30:28 PM
A ship without transponder activated can't be confirmed to be anyone without accurate sensor reading. It could be potentially abused to strike at a rival faction without revealing yourself, thus leaving the culprit of the attack to remain unconfirmed. You'd have to be really, really careful about it thought, because if the ship used in the attack is identified and then seen flying your colours, the gig is up.
So like old school privateers.

In that particular instance, yes. In a more real world scenario, transponders are used, particularly in aviation, for traffic control and international controls. Most nations have air defense zones, and in times of war, or in particularly sensitive areas, transponders are a necessity to not getting shot at.

As a poster above mentioned it, its kind of a politeness thing. "Hi, its me your boring commercial hauler, im supposed to be here, and my flight plan is filed" kind of thing. Something that can be easily checked against.

As for "false flagging" as mentioned by the previous poster, in the privateer or secret strike role, its a high tech spoofing of a transponder to make you show as something you are not, or to black out your force so as to not give away your identity.

That would only work once, and only for ships that had not been encountered before. By Steve's previously established EW logic, most ships that are scanned by sensors are recorded and logged. So, much like modern submarines, that log can be reviewed to identify a ship, any time it is seen again. That being the case, a false flag strike on another power would only work if those ships were never going to be seen by that power again. Otherwise, they are eventually going to figure it out. That also includes the classes involved.

So, while you could in theory turn of your transponders, attack another power, its only going to work once (ok, maybe a few times) and only if the ships and ship classes used are never used by your empire again. Otherwise, your busted.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 26, 2020, 05:44:37 AM
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

Not loooooooooooong!

*Squeals*
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: stabliser on March 26, 2020, 06:18:45 AM
Hey, weren't you supposed to be at the Auroraholics Anonymous meeting last night.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 26, 2020, 07:11:46 AM
Hey, weren't you supposed to be at the Auroraholics Anonymous meeting last night.

Social distancing mate.  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 27, 2020, 01:41:36 PM
Quick Update. I'm about 1-2 days behind where I wanted to be at this stage (work keeps interfering). I've begun testing Diplomacy and I am already making changes and additions, but I hope to finish that this weekend, which means install program and obfuscation may slip into next week. Still possible by March 31st though if everything goes well.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on March 27, 2020, 02:04:16 PM
March 32nd?  March 34th?  March 40th?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on March 27, 2020, 02:13:18 PM
Quick Update. I'm about 1-2 days behind where I wanted to be at this stage (work keeps interfering). I've begun testing Diplomacy and I am already making changes and additions, but I hope to finish that this weekend, which means install program and obfuscation may slip into next week. Still possible by March 31st though if everything goes well.

This and BannerLords coming out on the same day is both awesome and awful!  <I love me some Mount and Blade what can I say?)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 27, 2020, 02:52:00 PM
Quick Update. I'm about 1-2 days behind where I wanted to be at this stage (work keeps interfering). I've begun testing Diplomacy and I am already making changes and additions, but I hope to finish that this weekend, which means install program and obfuscation may slip into next week. Still possible by March 31st though if everything goes well.

This means Aurora C# and Mount & Blade 2 on the same day..... this is a problem.  :-\
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ehwhoami on March 27, 2020, 02:54:49 PM
Quote from: Tikigod link=topic=10096. msg120032#msg120032 date=1585338720
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120029#msg120029 date=1585334496
Quick Update.  I'm about 1-2 days behind where I wanted to be at this stage (work keeps interfering).  I've begun testing Diplomacy and I am already making changes and additions, but I hope to finish that this weekend, which means install program and obfuscation may slip into next week.  Still possible by March 31st though if everything goes well.

This means Aurora C# and Mount & Blade 2 on the same day. . . . .  this is a problem.   :-\

Obviously Aurora C# comes first
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 27, 2020, 03:00:50 PM
Quote from: Tikigod link=topic=10096. msg120032#msg120032 date=1585338720
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120029#msg120029 date=1585334496
Quick Update.  I'm about 1-2 days behind where I wanted to be at this stage (work keeps interfering).  I've begun testing Diplomacy and I am already making changes and additions, but I hope to finish that this weekend, which means install program and obfuscation may slip into next week.  Still possible by March 31st though if everything goes well.

This means Aurora C# and Mount & Blade 2 on the same day. . . . .  this is a problem.   :-\

Obviously Aurora C# comes first

I am so conflicted now.  :(

Do you think Taleworlds would agree to delay by 3-4 days if I wrote a polite E-mail explaining the situation?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Marski on March 27, 2020, 03:03:17 PM
Work at your own pace Steve, we are just extremely excited which is telling of your work quality. Better slow and steady than rushed. There's an old-folk saying here that roughly translates to "hurrying up doesn't do smeg or kid". Don't stress man.

I tried playing stellaris to pass the time, I couldn't do it. I kept thinking all the time "if I was playing Aurora right now I could do y or x instead of c"
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on March 27, 2020, 03:13:23 PM
If it is on March 31st, it will be the best 30th birthday gift ever. :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Coleslaw on March 27, 2020, 04:56:18 PM
I'm seeing a lot of antagonism (at least more than usual) coming from people on the forum regarding the release or certain mechanics. The ultimate power move would be for Steve to just not release the game, which would be absolutely hilarious but also so very disappointing.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on March 27, 2020, 05:43:31 PM
I'm seeing a lot of antagonism (at least more than usual) coming from people on the forum regarding the release and certain mechanics. The ultimate power move would be for Steve to just not release the game, which would be absolutely hilarious but also so very disappointing.

Not really sure I see the antagonism much at least in this particular thread.  I know I was just joking above about MB2 and C# on the same day being awful - having both on the same day is a GOOD problem to have.  People are just excited to get their hands on it and will be praising Steve's name and gleefully putting C# through the paces and posting bug reports/AARs and having the time of their lives upon release.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ReviewDude01 on March 27, 2020, 06:38:51 PM
.. Still possible by March 31st though if everything goes well.

March 2020 ?  8)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 27, 2020, 07:56:32 PM
I'm seeing a lot of antagonism (at least more than usual) coming from people on the forum regarding the release or certain mechanics. The ultimate power move would be for Steve to just not release the game, which would be absolutely hilarious but also so very disappointing.

I've at least noticed a few posts on these forums and in the discord that want to knee jerk react and assume joking comments are "Serious business", then make comments about how much more reasonable they are. :p
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: mtm84 on March 27, 2020, 08:52:12 PM
Sometimes it is necessary to observe the ancient MST3k wisdom: 'It's just a show,
I should really just relax.'


(Aurora being “just” a game is not in any way meant to undermine Steve’s passion and effort that he puts into it, but as far as anyone else is concerned, at the end of the day it’s take it as is or leave it.)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bremen on March 27, 2020, 09:00:37 PM
Work at your own pace Steve, we are just extremely excited which is telling of your work quality. Better slow and steady than rushed. There's an old-folk saying here that roughly translates to "hurrying up doesn't do smeg or kid". Don't stress man.

I tried playing stellaris to pass the time, I couldn't do it. I kept thinking all the time "if I was playing Aurora right now I could do y or x instead of c"

Yep, while I'll be sad if it gets delayed, I don't think anyone's going to riot if the release is late. We understand that things happen sometimes.

Also, I doubt many impatient people play a game like Aurora  :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Demonides on March 28, 2020, 02:22:18 AM
HAHA releasing the Bannerlord one day earlier  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on March 28, 2020, 03:44:41 AM
March 32nd wouldnt be so bad, of course not april 1st, everyone would just assume its a joke.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 28, 2020, 06:27:26 AM
Basic Diplomacy (Part 1), except the damage section, and Diplomatic Ships (Part 8) working as intended (as per screenshot). Part 7 (Banned Bodies) already tested as well.

NPRs are using their Diplomacy ships to influence the British, but the British are not currently detecting those ships, so the British just know the location in which the contact originated.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Crusade/Diplo1.PNG)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 28, 2020, 01:22:11 PM
I'm editing some of the Diplomacy posts as I go, so it will be worth rereading them after launch.

I'm making slower progress than I hoped, so early warning that the date might slip a day or two. I'll keep posting updates.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Zincat on March 28, 2020, 02:20:24 PM
I'm editing some of the Diplomacy posts as I go, so it will be worth rereading them after launch.

I'm making slower progress than I hoped, so early warning that the date might slip a day or two. I'll keep posting updates.

Not a problem. It feels like the last stretch. We waited quite a bit, we can wait a couple of days more XD
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 28, 2020, 03:21:10 PM
I'm editing some of the Diplomacy posts as I go, so it will be worth rereading them after launch.

I'm making slower progress than I hoped, so early warning that the date might slip a day or two. I'll keep posting updates.

Not a problem. It feels like the last stretch. We waited quite a bit, we can wait a couple of days more XD

As I work through Diplomacy, it is causing me to mess around with other areas such as system value to avoid NPRs claiming too many systems. That is the unknown factor at the moment.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Retropunch on March 28, 2020, 03:57:00 PM
Absolutely worth taking your time on the last stretch - as Zincat says, we've waited this long. Can't wait till it's out though!

EDIT: Just a quick thought on diplomacy and Independence - do you think it'd make sense for independents to lose a bit of tech/intel/wealth if it was due to unrest/rebellion? It would help simulate all the upheaval such an event would cause, and mean that you don't have two exact civilisation clones.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Marski on March 28, 2020, 04:06:23 PM
Good thing I still have my job to exhaust and otherwise keep me occupied, weeks tend to fly by for me.
Well, for now.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 28, 2020, 05:55:04 PM
One of the things that has slowed down testing is that I've run into a logical issue with system value. In my original code, NPRs value a system based on existing population and installations, whether it is a logistics node, mining potential, terraforming potential, presence of low colony cost planets, proximity to other important systems and access to other systems that would be cut off by the loss of the system in question.

However, that can cause them to value systems a long way from their capital, based purely on mining or terraforming potential. That estimate of value will then cause them to order players and other NPRs to leave and because this might apply to many systems, especially when the races all have the same home system, it will rapidly increase threat and cause a war.

On the other hand, if they don't place value on these systems then they will not object when players claim them, which would disadvantage the AI.

Therefore, I think I am going to change system value so that systems where the only value is from potential, be that mining, terraforming or low colony cost planets, will be set as Claimed. Furthermore, NPRs will only Claim systems that are adjacent to an existing system that has at least Secondary value. Finally, NPRs will not ask players to leave Claimed systems, only those of Secondary value or higher. However, they will resist players demanding they leave Claimed systems. I hope that will resolve the issues above without disadvantaging NPRs too much.

EDIT: I am also going to add a proviso that NPRs will only accept claims on a system if the opposing race has a population in that system with an EM signature of at least 250. That is 5m pop without installations and would be valued as Secondary by the NPR.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on March 28, 2020, 06:24:48 PM
I don't see a problem with an expansionist NPR going to war over a terraforming candidate or a minerally valuable system, especially in a Real Stars game where interesting systems might be pretty scattered.

What if, instead of applying a penalty that is the sum of all the penalties for mutual claimed systems, you take only the maximum penalty (or several penalties)? For example, if two NPRs are both interested in systems with values 5, 3, 2, 2, instead of applying a penalty for each, just apply the penalty for the most interesting shared system(s).

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on March 28, 2020, 07:37:52 PM
Do NPRs value distant systems less? And can NPRs see/figure out how far away from another empire's territory a system is? At least when they have identified at least one settled system and the jump route from that system to the one they are considering?

Because a penalty from number of jump points/millions of kilometers away from a valuable system would be quite sensible, as would a penalty or bonus for a system that it's estimating to be closer to another empire than to its own borders, depending on why it would want to establish a presence there. Expansionist/Militant empires would be more willing to establish a forward military position to check a rival's expansion after all, while a having a few highly valuable in minerals and living space colonies right on the border of another empire might not be to the preference of a more peaceful or xenophobic empire (if for different reasons).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on March 28, 2020, 08:15:35 PM
Perhaps addittional value could be placed on distant systems if they're particularly valuable, perhaps if the NPR is close to or feeling mineral or fuel shortages, they may see the best system thats close enough within reason to be worth claiming and building up, or even going to war over.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on March 28, 2020, 11:40:39 PM
I do kindof feel like that valuation system would struggle with nearby but not adjacent systems of high value, unless a systems value goes up purely by providing access to valuable places.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: obsidian_green on March 29, 2020, 01:25:12 AM
One of the things that has slowed down testing is that I've run into a logical issue with system value. In my original code, NPRs value a system based on existing population and installations, whether it is a logistics node, mining potential, terraforming potential, presence of low colony cost planets, proximity to other important systems and access to other systems that would be cut off by the loss of the system in question.

However, that can cause them to value systems a long way from their capital, based purely on mining or terraforming potential. That estimate of value will then cause them to order players and other NPRs to leave and because this might apply to many systems, especially when the races all have the same home system, it will rapidly increase threat and cause a war.

On the other hand, if they don't place value on these systems then they will not object when players claim them, which would disadvantage the AI.

Therefore, I think I am going to change system value so that systems where the only value is from potential, be that mining, terraforming or low colony cost planets, will be set as Claimed. Furthermore, NPRs will only Claim systems that are adjacent to an existing system that has at least Secondary value. Finally, NPRs will not ask players to leave Claimed systems, only those of Secondary value or higher. However, they will resist players demanding they leave Claimed systems. I hope that will resolve the issues above without disadvantaging NPRs too much.

EDIT: I am also going to add a proviso that NPRs will only accept claims on a system if the opposing race has a population in that system with an EM signature of at least 250. That is 5m pop without installations and would be valued as Secondary by the NPR.

Maybe the Claimed status is being applied too soon. NPRs could value systems enough to exploit them, but not make the Claim until they are actually invested with populations and facilities. It might be good for NPRs to value distant systems, the problem seems the premature Claim. What if NPRs could also demand systems remain neutral/free passage so they can stay linked to distant valuable systems without having to make Claims on those linking systems?

I haven't been following development changes (figured I'd just wait and see what the new Aurora will be) so I hope I'm not rehashing considerations that have already been made.

EDIT: Put another way, "realistically" diplomatic tensions would rise when actual assets/investments are threatened, which is separate from making the investments. It sounds like the original code sometimes had NPRs counting chickens before they laid any eggs.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 29, 2020, 05:48:10 AM
Maybe the Claimed status is being applied too soon. NPRs could value systems enough to exploit them, but not make the Claim until they are actually invested with populations and facilities. It might be good for NPRs to value distant systems, the problem seems the premature Claim. What if NPRs could also demand systems remain neutral/free passage so they can stay linked to distant valuable systems without having to make Claims on those linking systems?

I haven't been following development changes (figured I'd just wait and see what the new Aurora will be) so I hope I'm not rehashing considerations that have already been made.

EDIT: Put another way, "realistically" diplomatic tensions would rise when actual assets/investments are threatened, which is separate from making the investments. It sounds like the original code sometimes had NPRs counting chickens before they laid any eggs.

What you have described, is fairly close to what I have implemented.

NPRs now value systems at Secondary or above based on hard assets. For Secondary, this is one of the following: Population of 5m, 25 mines, logistics facility, ideal habitable world, directly adjacent to to a Core system.
NPRs will value systems as Claimed if they are directly adjacent to a Primary system or they have high mining or terraforming potential and are adjacent to a system with a value of Secondary or higher.
NPRs will attempt to enforce their ownership of Secondary and above.
NPRs will accept foreign claims without further consideration only if they have flagged the system as neutral and they have detected player populations in the system with at least 500 EM Signature (about 10m pop with no installations, or about 4m with infrastructure) and no claimed or higher systems will be cut-off.
They will dispute foreign ownership of systems that they value as Claimed or above, depending on the variety of factors described in the Diplomacy posts.

This creates a more realistic system where NPRs are trying to enforce ownership of systems where they have assets, plus nearby systems, while leaving a band of systems around their territory where they can still interact with other races, perhaps even with small colonies from both.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on March 29, 2020, 06:41:46 AM
Seems to me what the AI lacks the most here to model a more logical behavior is some concept of planning. Realizing that it won't be able to develop all that potential at once so it's pointless to stake "claims" on all of it from the start.

If you for example have 4 NPRs starting on the same capital system what you want to happen ideally (IMHO) if there are 4 adjacent systems with 4 different levels of potential, is for the most powerful NPR to claim/plan to exploit the system with most potential, but be okay with letting the others divide up the less valuable systems, because it can't afford to exploit all 4 systems at once anyways and claiming all 4 will lead to conflict with all the other powers that combined are stronger.

Basically even if it does not have any/enough assets in place yet one system is set as the planned expansion "target" anyways for when doing so will be feasible.

If you want to get more advanced here direction of planned expansion could then be linked to aspects of the NPR like isolation / xenophobia and such or relations to other NPR/Players.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 29, 2020, 07:10:57 AM
Seems to me what the AI lacks the most here to model a more logical behavior is some concept of planning. Realizing that it won't be able to develop all that potential at once so it's pointless to stake "claims" on all of it from the start.

If you for example have 4 NPRs starting on the same capital system what you want to happen ideally (IMHO) if there are 4 adjacent systems with 4 different levels of potential, is for the most powerful NPR to claim/plan to exploit the system with most potential, but be okay with letting the others divide up the less valuable systems, because it can't afford to exploit all 4 systems at once anyways and claiming all 4 will lead to conflict with all the other powers that combined are stronger.

Basically even if it does not have any/enough assets in place yet one system is set as the planned expansion "target" anyways for when doing so will be feasible.

If you want to get more advanced here direction of planned expansion could then be linked to aspects of the NPR like isolation / xenophobia and such or relations to other NPR/Players.

Yes, that is definitely true. In the original code, the NPR was basically claiming every system with value without the means to exploit most of them. The new code is much better as the NPR is only claiming systems it is already exploiting and then defending against claims on a limited number of systems that it is likely to be able to exploit in the near future.

I agree some form of quid pro quo is the next step forward, but I don't want to try to do that before initial launch. Once the current code is working, I'll look at the options for two races to resolve mutual claims on multiple systems.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on March 29, 2020, 08:55:37 AM
I agree some form of quid pro quo is the next step forward, but I don't want to try to do that before initial launch. Once the current code is working, I'll look at the options for two races to resolve mutual claims on multiple systems.

This sounds really really exciting. One of my most prized assets in roleplaying is a sensible reactive world in which it takes place to help bring form to it, which is why I like tabletop RPGs so much when compared with even well-realized single-player video games. Obviously Aurora will never replace a gaming group, but it's thinking like this that gets it closer to the mark, at least for me.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 29, 2020, 09:37:53 AM
The new version of NPR System Value is now working as intended, so another step forward. I am definitely struggling on time though as I wanted overall Diplomacy working by now and I am still making changes., so I expect the release will be delayed a few days. On the up side, I think the changes are a significant improvement.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MasonMac on March 29, 2020, 11:53:54 AM
I'll take your entire stock
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amschnei on March 29, 2020, 02:04:10 PM
Just thought I’d chip in to say I think you should release it when you’re happy with the diplomacy functionality, not rush it in hopes of sticking to a mostly-aspirational March release plan from months ago.

Nobody’s going anywhere (literally).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 29, 2020, 02:11:37 PM
Just thought I’d chip in to say I think you should release it when you’re happy with the diplomacy functionality, not rush it in hopes of sticking to a mostly-aspirational March release plan from months ago.

Nobody’s going anywhere (literally).

The March date was originally set because I was picking up a motorhome and would have less time for Aurora. It did help me focus though on working on Aurora and not being distracted by other games. Now I have more a lot more time than I expected as the motorhome is likely to remain on my drive for several months. I do want to get Diplomacy working well though before release, as I don't want lots of bugs due to lack of testing. This is a particularly detailed area, as is anything with the AI, so it would be difficult to understand any problems from player reports. I am testing the key areas by stepping through the code line-by-line in debug-mode and monitoring all the relevant values as they change. That led to recognition of several design issues as well as spotting bugs, but I am steadily dealing with both.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on March 29, 2020, 03:56:33 PM
Just thought I’d chip in to say I think you should release it when you’re happy with the diplomacy functionality, not rush it in hopes of sticking to a mostly-aspirational March release plan from months ago.

Nobody’s going anywhere (literally).

See, you say that, but the world is kinda ending at the moment* and I want to be able to say the game came out before the world ends

*=world may not actually be ending
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 29, 2020, 07:05:22 PM
See, you say that, but the world is kinda ending at the moment* and I want to be able to say the game came out before the world ends

*=world may not actually be ending

I'm aware the world is going through some disruption at the moment. The island is completely locked down with no flights or ferries, plus my asthmatic daughter, who is isolated with my 9-year old grandson, was tested due to chest pains (she tested negative). I am doing my part by keeping her well supplied with quality wine left on the doorstep for her to collect :). My wife and I have been isolated for two weeks but I've been well-stocked with everything since the end of January (my day job is predicting what is going to happen) :)

However, the world has gone through far worse in the past and the vast majority of people will come out of this unscathed, if a little more aware of life's frailties. My wife, my adult children and my grandson are managing due to preparation, a lot of humour and an understanding there is no point worrying about something beyond your ability to influence the outcome.

In the meantime, I may as well take advantage of the situation by spending more time on Aurora, even though I am pretty frustrated I can't get the van on the road :)

https://lindylou-lifeinthecraftlane.blogspot.com/2020/03/weve-got-it-let-adventures-begin.html
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Ynglaur on March 29, 2020, 07:27:52 PM
Take your time and enjoy the coding.  It'll be ready when it's ready.  Thanks for the updates, though!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Marski on March 30, 2020, 04:32:19 AM
I have no doubt we'll pull through this, what I am most certainly concerned is what comes after. It's going to be a difficult time for everyone.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on March 30, 2020, 05:31:33 AM
I was wondering if some kind of "diplomatic interest point" could resolve the issue with system claiming. Any AI receives a monthly value of "diplomatic interst point" and can save them or distribute them on the values it determines systems do have. Since these numbers are very limited it will begin valuing some systems more than others. If it then so happens that another player claims a system, if and how the AI will react to that claim depends on the relative number of "DIP" the AI has given that system.

Example:
Known Systems (Internal AI Value): Cygni-17 (22), Epsilon-2 (28), Arandi-9 (22), Alpha Centauri (9), Magellan-4 (15)
Every month the AI receives one DIP. Lets say it spreads them as this:
Jan: 0 - 1 - 0  - 0 - 0
Feb: 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0
Mar: 1 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 0
...
Dez: 4 - 6 - 1 - 0 - 1

Next January another player claims Arandi-9. So the AI looks into its numbers. Since Arandi has a relative low DIP value of 1 it does not react.
In February the Cygny-17 system is also claimed by the other player. And since Cycni has a relative high DIP value of 4 here it will react - even though both systems have an identical internal value of 22.

With such a system you could simulate political interest. Maybe you even could link that system to the commanders and political leaders of that empire. Maybe those points are linked to the leader in your leader pool - and depending who is in charge, some systems will be to them of more value than others - and they will steer politics into that direction... .
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 30, 2020, 06:30:04 AM
I was wondering if some kind of "diplomatic interest point" could resolve the issue with system claiming. Any AI receives a monthly value of "diplomatic interst point" and can save them or distribute them on the values it determines systems do have. Since these numbers are very limited it will begin valuing some systems more than others. If it then so happens that another player claims a system, if and how the AI will react to that claim depends on the relative number of "DIP" the AI has given that system.

Example:
Known Systems (Internal AI Value): Cygni-17 (22), Epsilon-2 (28), Arandi-9 (22), Alpha Centauri (9), Magellan-4 (15)
Every month the AI receives one DIP. Lets say it spreads them as this:
Jan: 0 - 1 - 0  - 0 - 0
Feb: 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0
Mar: 1 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 0
...
Dez: 4 - 6 - 1 - 0 - 1

Next January another player claims Arandi-9. So the AI looks into its numbers. Since Arandi has a relative low DIP value of 1 it does not react.
In February the Cygny-17 system is also claimed by the other player. And since Cycni has a relative high DIP value of 4 here it will react - even though both systems have an identical internal value of 22.

With such a system you could simulate political interest. Maybe you even could link that system to the commanders and political leaders of that empire. Maybe those points are linked to the leader in your leader pool - and depending who is in charge, some systems will be to them of more value than others - and they will steer politics into that direction... .

Its an interesting idea. I'll probably do something on these lines when I get to the concept of trying to resolve competing claims in an overall deal, rather than individually.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on March 30, 2020, 07:59:05 AM

I'm aware the world is going through some disruption at the moment. The island is completely locked down with no flights or ferries, plus my asthmatic daughter, who is isolated with my 9-year old grandson, was tested due to chest pains (she tested negative). I am doing my part by keeping her well supplied with quality wine left on the doorstep for her to collect :). My wife and I have been isolated for two weeks but I've been well-stocked with everything since the end of January (my day job is predicting what is going to happen) :)

However, the world has gone through far worse in the past and the vast majority of people will come out of this unscathed, if a little more aware of life's frailties. My wife, my adult children and my grandson are managing due to preparation, a lot of humour and an understanding there is no point worrying about something beyond your ability to influence the outcome.

In the meantime, I may as well take advantage of the situation by spending more time on Aurora, even though I am pretty frustrated I can't get the van on the road :)

https://lindylou-lifeinthecraftlane.blogspot.com/2020/03/weve-got-it-let-adventures-begin.html

I know. I was joking somewhat. Take the time you need, Steve.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 31, 2020, 06:04:21 AM
Another minor conundrum :)

In order for an NPR to accept your claim on a system, it must recognise that you have established a presence. This is defined as populations with a combined EM signature of 500 (about 4m pop with infrastructure).

I'm currently using the Alien Population intelligence as the basis for that, because every time an NPR (or a player) detects a alien population they will update the EM and Thermal signature of that population for the Alien Population record. So when an NPR is considering if your claim is worthy, it will use the latest information it has.

The problem arises when you have a population of the required size, but the NPR hasn't visited the system for a while so it doesn't know the population is large enough. You make a claim and it is immediately rejected on the basis you don't have an established presence. I am considering three options:

1) Leave as is. If the NPR isn't visiting the system, then whether you claim it or not doesn't matter. The downside here is that the next NPR visit might be a colony fleet, which changes the situation.
2) Allow players to pass information on their own colonies to NPRs (and add the same code to NPRs).
3) Use actual population data. This assumes that 2) is happening in the background. The downside to both 2) and 3) is that it assumes races believe each other :)

Tempted to use 3) as 1) could be frustrating and I think 2) adds an unnecessary step.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alex_brunius on March 31, 2020, 06:08:36 AM
Another minor conundrum :)

In order for an NPR to accept your claim on a system, it must recognise that you have established a presence. This is defined as populations with a combined EM signature of 500 (about 4m pop with infrastructure).

I'm currently using the Alien Population intelligence as the basis for that, because every time an NPR (or a player) detects a alien population they will update the EM and Thermal signature of that population for the Alien Population record. So when an NPR is considering if your claim is worthy, it will use the latest information it has.

The problem arises when you have a population of the required size, but the NPR hasn't visited the system for a while so it doesn't know the population is large enough. You make a claim and it is immediately rejected on the basis you don't have an established presence. I am considering three options:

1) Leave as is. If the NPR isn't visiting the system, then whether you claim it or not doesn't matter. The downside here is that the next NPR visit might be a colony fleet, which changes the situation.
2) Allow players to pass information on their own colonies to NPRs (and add the same code to NPRs).
3) Use actual population data. This assumes that 2) is happening in the background. The downside to both 2) and 3) is that it assumes races believe each other :)

Tempted to use 3) as 1) could be frustrating and I think 2) adds an unnecessary step.

I think it sounds fairly reasonable that population data and the aliens verifying that data is correct ( sending a 50 ton civilian/diplomatic ship or something if needed ) is abstracted away and assumed to happen in the background here for a game on the scale and focus of Aurora 4x ( option 3 ).

What happens in the reverse situation? ( Player want to claim a system where NPC has an established population ) Would the player be informed of that presence as feedback of why the player can't claim?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on March 31, 2020, 06:13:53 AM
I think 3) is a good solution to this problem.   I personally like the idea of 1) for the realism side but you’re right that it would create frustrations and conflicts which could have been avoided - ‘I thought that Cygni 61 situation had been resolved so why did the Draks just show up with a fleet?’.   It isn’t unreasonable to assume that when you announce a claim to the Galaxy it comes with a stipulation ‘We have people there’
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 31, 2020, 06:21:49 AM
Another minor conundrum :)

In order for an NPR to accept your claim on a system, it must recognise that you have established a presence. This is defined as populations with a combined EM signature of 500 (about 4m pop with infrastructure).

I'm currently using the Alien Population intelligence as the basis for that, because every time an NPR (or a player) detects a alien population they will update the EM and Thermal signature of that population for the Alien Population record. So when an NPR is considering if your claim is worthy, it will use the latest information it has.

The problem arises when you have a population of the required size, but the NPR hasn't visited the system for a while so it doesn't know the population is large enough. You make a claim and it is immediately rejected on the basis you don't have an established presence. I am considering three options:

1) Leave as is. If the NPR isn't visiting the system, then whether you claim it or not doesn't matter. The downside here is that the next NPR visit might be a colony fleet, which changes the situation.
2) Allow players to pass information on their own colonies to NPRs (and add the same code to NPRs).
3) Use actual population data. This assumes that 2) is happening in the background. The downside to both 2) and 3) is that it assumes races believe each other :)

Tempted to use 3) as 1) could be frustrating and I think 2) adds an unnecessary step.

I think it sounds fairly reasonable that population data and the aliens verifying that data is correct ( sending a 50 ton civilian/diplomatic ship or something if needed ) is abstracted away and assumed to happen in the background here for a game on the scale and focus of Aurora 4x ( option 3 ).

What happens in the reverse situation? ( Player want to claim a system where NPC has an established population ) Would the player be informed of that presence as feedback of why the player can't claim?

NPR claiming from Player works differently than Player claiming from NPR. At the moment, the player will just be told the system is important to the NPR, but no more detail than that. However, as players are much more flexible than NPRs, they will probably conduct a stealthy recon to find out why.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg118318#msg118318
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg118362#msg118362

(from the second link) Note that the player vs NPR and NPR vs player functionality for claiming systems are a little different. Both sides can send messages to each other and the types of messages are effectively the same. The difference is the method of delivery and the potential reaction. This is because I wanted to give the player maximum flexibility in Diplomacy, while still proving a structured approach for the NPR. For example, the player view of the NPR in terms of diplomatic points does not drop if the NPR ignores demands to leave. The player can decide whether it is necessary to go to war.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on March 31, 2020, 07:04:47 AM
Maybe we can do 3) but only for system that is being claimed? So when you say I will claim this you transmit data about that system populations to interested parties.
Also, will this be happening if NPR is already hostile? You do not care if they accept the claim and sharing pop info is dangerous in that case.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on March 31, 2020, 07:14:12 AM
I'd go with a mix.

When an NPR/player claims a system they also say roughly how large their operations there are (a combined thermal/EM signal strength of 1 or 5 followed with a number of zeroes, pick the closest to the actual system wide combined colony signal strength). It may also say 'this is a transit corridor'.

The AI can then decide if it wants to accept the claim and do nothing other than update the charts and routing code, inspect the claim and send a small fleet to check for signals, contest the claim and try to deploy a battle fleet to scare off the rivals or try and enforce its own claim on the system with a war. Because if the NPR thinks the system is valuable enough it will reject foreign claims, possibly regardless of how big the population is. I mean, would you let millions of tons of high accessibility of Duranium slip through your fingers when you desperately need it? Or would you go to war over it even if you are likely to lose disastrously?

This might be more complex then you want to implement now though.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on March 31, 2020, 07:24:47 AM
#3 seems perfectly fine. No good getting tied up on minor decisions when a perfectly workable solution is also entirely plausible in-game, it'll just encourage second guessing more and more things in a "Yeah but what if you choose to look at it like this..." abyss spiral. heh


As it will be driven by intelligence data regardless, as soon as the data says otherwise it's not like it'll stop NPRs acting if opportunities become open again.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: hostergaard on March 31, 2020, 07:24:53 AM
Another minor conundrum :)

In order for an NPR to accept your claim on a system, it must recognise that you have established a presence. This is defined as populations with a combined EM signature of 500 (about 4m pop with infrastructure).

I'm currently using the Alien Population intelligence as the basis for that, because every time an NPR (or a player) detects a alien population they will update the EM and Thermal signature of that population for the Alien Population record. So when an NPR is considering if your claim is worthy, it will use the latest information it has.

The problem arises when you have a population of the required size, but the NPR hasn't visited the system for a while so it doesn't know the population is large enough. You make a claim and it is immediately rejected on the basis you don't have an established presence. I am considering three options:

1) Leave as is. If the NPR isn't visiting the system, then whether you claim it or not doesn't matter. The downside here is that the next NPR visit might be a colony fleet, which changes the situation.
2) Allow players to pass information on their own colonies to NPRs (and add the same code to NPRs).
3) Use actual population data. This assumes that 2) is happening in the background. The downside to both 2) and 3) is that it assumes races believe each other :)

Tempted to use 3) as 1) could be frustrating and I think 2) adds an unnecessary step.

Haven't read everything you might have written about claims what considerations there, but maybe instead of making what players and NPC's know a problem, make it so its a feature? I can imagine not knowing if a claim is valid could lead to a lot of emergent gameplay.

So to start with, make it so they do not have to react immediately? Basically, they can be like yup, we are aware of the claim you made and the reasons you provided. Then they have to decide how to react to said claim, you already discussed what makes it valid and how they think of it when they have all knowledge they need at hand so I wont' get into that, what happens first is more interesting to me. First they have to evaluate the veracity of said claim. This can happen several ways. If you got really good relations, they like and trust you a lot and you have some fantastic diplomatic teams, they will accept your word no question asked. If you don't maybe they got some great intelligence on you then maybe they already know it, and thus also accept the facts of the claim. Maybe it will trigger a response from them to go check it out with a ship. Maybe they will ask to be allowed to or maybe not. Maybe they will ask to have some information send, or have an observer team check it out. And you could have them be more likely to accept the fact without question if you do stuff like solution #1 and send info along from the beginning.

This all leads to players having to consider how much info they are willing to part with and consider that versus how likely an NPC will accept the claim without issue. And do note, there is two stages to accepting the claims; accepting the facts, and accepting the claim. The facts are what is what the problem is right now, how the NPC (and players too!) knows whatever there actually is a population there. A player or npc could lie... Once the facts are established, the question is of course, if the fact matters, maybe there is actually a population there, but the system is neighboring the capital system, so the NPC don't want you there no matter what and rejects any claim whatsoever.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Britich on March 31, 2020, 08:42:53 AM
Another minor conundrum :)

In order for an NPR to accept your claim on a system, it must recognise that you have established a presence. This is defined as populations with a combined EM signature of 500 (about 4m pop with infrastructure).

I'm currently using the Alien Population intelligence as the basis for that, because every time an NPR (or a player) detects a alien population they will update the EM and Thermal signature of that population for the Alien Population record. So when an NPR is considering if your claim is worthy, it will use the latest information it has.

The problem arises when you have a population of the required size, but the NPR hasn't visited the system for a while so it doesn't know the population is large enough. You make a claim and it is immediately rejected on the basis you don't have an established presence. I am considering three options:

1) Leave as is. If the NPR isn't visiting the system, then whether you claim it or not doesn't matter. The downside here is that the next NPR visit might be a colony fleet, which changes the situation.
2) Allow players to pass information on their own colonies to NPRs (and add the same code to NPRs).
3) Use actual population data. This assumes that 2) is happening in the background. The downside to both 2) and 3) is that it assumes races believe each other :)

Tempted to use 3) as 1) could be frustrating and I think 2) adds an unnecessary step.

What about option 4? Forcing claims, ie "This system is my system dont come here" how the NPR or players handle this could be one of two things.
A) Dont agree (see options 1-3, or conduct further survey).
or
B) Agree (you take a diplomacy hit for staking a claim, as an example).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: chrislocke2000 on March 31, 2020, 08:45:28 AM
I'd think option 3 makes sense to me. If you have sufficient diplomatic relations with another race to be able to discuss claims it seems a pretty reasonable assumption that you would tell that other race the foundation of the claim.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 31, 2020, 08:50:28 AM
Maybe we can do 3) but only for system that is being claimed? So when you say I will claim this you transmit data about that system populations to interested parties.
Also, will this be happening if NPR is already hostile? You do not care if they accept the claim and sharing pop info is dangerous in that case.

If NPR is hostile, no check takes place.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Zincat on March 31, 2020, 08:53:25 AM
I would keep this particular thing simple. Number 3 seems reasonable, no reason to build a very complex system over somethig like this.
Especially for a first version of diplomacy, which may or may not be changed after extensive playtesting (from us too, if c#aurora is released  ;D)

Maybe what you can do is that if you make a claim over at a system, and at a later date you remove people/infrastructure from it and DON'T communicate it to the other nations, and they discover it, you take a diplomacy hit for that. But even this may be too complex for now.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 31, 2020, 08:54:11 AM
Another minor conundrum :)

In order for an NPR to accept your claim on a system, it must recognise that you have established a presence. This is defined as populations with a combined EM signature of 500 (about 4m pop with infrastructure).

I'm currently using the Alien Population intelligence as the basis for that, because every time an NPR (or a player) detects a alien population they will update the EM and Thermal signature of that population for the Alien Population record. So when an NPR is considering if your claim is worthy, it will use the latest information it has.

The problem arises when you have a population of the required size, but the NPR hasn't visited the system for a while so it doesn't know the population is large enough. You make a claim and it is immediately rejected on the basis you don't have an established presence. I am considering three options:

1) Leave as is. If the NPR isn't visiting the system, then whether you claim it or not doesn't matter. The downside here is that the next NPR visit might be a colony fleet, which changes the situation.
2) Allow players to pass information on their own colonies to NPRs (and add the same code to NPRs).
3) Use actual population data. This assumes that 2) is happening in the background. The downside to both 2) and 3) is that it assumes races believe each other :)

Tempted to use 3) as 1) could be frustrating and I think 2) adds an unnecessary step.

What about option 4? Forcing claims, ie "This system is my system dont come here" how the NPR or players handle this could be one of two things.
A) Dont agree (see options 1-3, or conduct further survey).
or
B) Agree (you take a diplomacy hit for staking a claim, as an example).

The whole mechanic is based on "This system is my system don't come here". This part is about what information the NPR has access to when deciding a response. There is always a diplomacy hit for making the claim. Have a read through the Diplomacy posts in the changes log. The relevant ones for this are at the top of page 14.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on March 31, 2020, 09:27:01 AM
I think 3) is fine as a 'good enough' solution. I have another proposal, however.

Just have the NPR believe the player. NPRs have complex logic behind which systems they will claim vs which they will not. Players get to make a choice. When a player claims a system, he's telling his NPR contactees, "Don't touch this system; I'm willing to go to war or provoke a diplomatic incident if you do." The why doesn't matter; if a player wants to use strong-arm diplomacy to try to control NPRs while eating the relationship penalties, that's his risk.

I understand the question isn't, "Why do players make claims?" but, "How do NPRs evaluate a response?" I suggest just taking the question of whether a player population already exists out of the calculus of how an NPR responds or not and just using the calculation you posted that involves relative military strength, etc.

Where existing populations vs not might come in is in the diplomatic impact of the claim. If an NPR doesn't know you have a population in-system already the relationship hit for claiming a system should be substantially greater, like twice as great. For that, you could easily just use the population as it actually exists.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: punchkid on March 31, 2020, 09:38:05 AM
Option 3 definatly sounds like the best option imo.  And can be RPed as the NPR sending a small scout to check out the players claim.
A possibility would be for the claim to take a certain amount of time, maybe depending on the NPRs closest colony/fleet, to allow for the "scout" to get to the system to check it out.
But then you would need to deal with how the NPR handles the system in the time it takes for the demand to be processed. 
The more I think of it, all this is just unnecessary complications.

I think option 3 is fine.  Can always revisit at a later time if needed after playtesting more thoroughly.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 31, 2020, 10:08:23 AM
Today was the day I hoped to release Aurora but, as I mentioned in the last few days, Diplomacy is taking longer to fully test than I hoped. I am pretty busy with work this week, so I am now going to aim for this weekend instead, but that isn't a hard date.

Giving the March date definitely concentrated my mind though and I managed to avoid getting distracted in the last few months. Otherwise, it may have taken considerably longer. Rather than give a firm date when will be finally done, I will try to issue daily updates over the next few days. What remains is testing the rest of Diplomacy, creating the install program and implementing obfuscation.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on March 31, 2020, 10:16:18 AM
Thanks for your hard work, Steve. As much as I'm sure we'll all be overjoyed to get our greedy little mitts on it, I'm also sorry for the circumstances that led to this latest spate of productivity. Here's hoping you can get on the road sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on March 31, 2020, 10:45:29 AM
As others stated, option 3) sounds entirely reasonable for what is needed at the moment.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 31, 2020, 11:40:43 AM
As others stated, option 3) sounds entirely reasonable for what is needed at the moment.

Yes, that seems to be the consensus. I've implemented 3).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Paul M on March 31, 2020, 01:42:49 PM
Steve, there is a lot of sense in the whole "It is done when it is done, and release when it is ready" concept.  Take the time you need.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on March 31, 2020, 05:57:52 PM
I personally think if its reasonably ready to go, may as well release it and then continue working on it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on March 31, 2020, 06:30:14 PM
I personally think if its reasonably ready to go, may as well release it and then continue working on it.

The problem is that it isn't ready to go. I am finding bugs as I work through Diplomacy. If I release now there will just be a lot of Diplomacy bugs and they won't be easy to track down. I need to work through it until every part of Diplomacy has been run successfully at least once.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SpaceMarine on March 31, 2020, 06:33:13 PM
We are all very eager to get our hands on the game as it has been so long, but if you say and I believe you that it is not ready to the standard you want then am sure people can respect that and will wait a little longer, we have waited so long already that a few more days wont be that hard.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on March 31, 2020, 08:49:40 PM
Apologies, I had meant that in the context of your previous statements that it wasn't ready yet.

I was responding to the contingency I have seen unfold in past communities where things are close to a preliminary release, people start saying 'take your time and keep working on it until its perfect' in hopes of a better end result, and then it just never ends up releasing.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: obsidian_green on April 01, 2020, 12:48:23 AM
Another minor conundrum :)

In order for an NPR to accept your claim on a system, it must recognise that you have established a presence. This is defined as populations with a combined EM signature of 500 (about 4m pop with infrastructure).

I'm currently using the Alien Population intelligence as the basis for that, because every time an NPR (or a player) detects a alien population they will update the EM and Thermal signature of that population for the Alien Population record. So when an NPR is considering if your claim is worthy, it will use the latest information it has.

The problem arises when you have a population of the required size, but the NPR hasn't visited the system for a while so it doesn't know the population is large enough. You make a claim and it is immediately rejected on the basis you don't have an established presence. I am considering three options:

1) Leave as is. If the NPR isn't visiting the system, then whether you claim it or not doesn't matter. The downside here is that the next NPR visit might be a colony fleet, which changes the situation.
2) Allow players to pass information on their own colonies to NPRs (and add the same code to NPRs).
3) Use actual population data. This assumes that 2) is happening in the background. The downside to both 2) and 3) is that it assumes races believe each other :)

Tempted to use 3) as 1) could be frustrating and I think 2) adds an unnecessary step.

Late to the party. :(

Your decision to go with Option 3 seems most straightforward. If you revisit the diplomacy later you might reconsider Option 1, but implement a status/state of "pending" claims where the AI doesn't have to immediately accept or reject it, with muted effect on the hostility math. If an NPR flags a system due to a foreign claim, that could prompt the AI to scout the system, thus making NPRs behave more "lifelike". The arrival of a colony fleet might even be a FUN wrinkle for the player, but is there any reason the NPR couldn't cancel the order to colonize?

Is there a mechanism for player-factions or NPRs to rescind claims? Mechanics for NPRs backing down (here specifically, but wherever applicable in the diplomacy) might help limit wars between NPRs and give human players roleplay prompts to deescalate as well.

Release should come when you feel comfortable. Stay safe; be well.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on April 01, 2020, 02:53:09 PM
The plans you have, Steve, adding more functions to the game after first release opens the question on DB compatibility. Will it be possible to keep a game running over a new version or will it be stuck to the version you started it in?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: pyrobit on April 01, 2020, 04:06:06 PM
No worries Steve! I've been waiting for years now, and the guarantee of release in a few days -- even if it is an indeterminate guarantee -- is enough to make me really excited! I would put my two cents in and say that a craftsman could work on finishing a project forever; so the release of this first Aurora C# should be after Diplomacy is finished in its implementation (even if a really great idea comes up) in order to prevent perpetual delays. 

Fortunately, the time that I would otherwise spend on C# is now being spent on studying for finals, so I suppose i should thank you for the boon of better grades  ;D

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 02, 2020, 02:28:53 AM
The plans you have, Steve, adding more functions to the game after first release opens the question on DB compatibility. Will it be possible to keep a game running over a new version or will it be stuck to the version you started it in?

It will depend on the changes. If they don't require DB updates, then games will still run.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 02, 2020, 12:28:39 PM
I've rewritten the Diplomacy Part 3 post to change some of the algorithm for claiming systems from NPRs. I hope this makes it cleaner and clearer.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg118362#msg118362
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alsadius on April 02, 2020, 02:15:56 PM
I've rewritten the Diplomacy Part 3 post to change some of the algorithm for claiming systems from NPRs. I hope this makes it cleaner and clearer.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg118362#msg118362

One typo in that edited post:

Population Factor
This is equal to Total EM Signature of Player Populations in System / Total EM Signature of Player Populations in System. However, this factor can never be higher than the cube root of (Total EM Signature of Player Populations in System / 100). For example, if the player had 1000 EM Signature and the NPR has 200 EM Signature, the factor would be 2.15 (because the cube root of (1000/100) is lower than (1000 / 200). This is to limit the advantage when the populations are relatively small or the NPR has no populations. Population Factor is the best ’peaceful option’ as demonstrating a large population is much more likely to achieve a decision in your favour.


One of the two bolded bits should probably read "NPR Populations".

Otherwise, this looks like a nice clear write-up for a fairly complex set of interactions.

And as others have said, take the time you need. Just remember that you'll probably wind up wanting to tweak it later, so don't worry if you go with the "good enough for now" solution. You're still creating more realistic diplomacy than some big-name games even with the "simple" options, so you don't have to complicate it too much.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tyrell on April 02, 2020, 02:38:31 PM
Hello there,
I'm new here and just want to voice my opinion on the topic of: to release or not to release.   

I know (since I am kind of myself) that programmers by themselves just never think their software is 'finished', as they know it could be much better with just a little more effort - and they know it's littered with bugs (since every piece of software more or less is).  And if it wasn't for pressure from the marketing-department, some software would literally never have seen daylight.   

In the case of Aurora, I'd say, if it's only about diplomacy - I could live with some bugs there and thus have the game (call it alpha) sooner in times of curfew and all.  Really running out of stuff to do here .  .  . 

regards, Tyrell
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Profugo Barbatus on April 02, 2020, 02:56:00 PM
The problem is that diplomacy bugs *could* be gamebreakers still. If there is a bug or miscalculation that causes the AI to react wildly inappropriately to a situation, like glassing all your worlds because a diplomacy ship turned on active sensors, or ignoring the player while they fired missiles into their shipyards, because they got a ridiculous opinion boost from the player yielding a system that was so low value that it underflowed or something stupid like that.

Better to just test it out. Mount and Blade: Bannerlords released into early access on monday, if you want a playable but buggy experience, thats where it is right now :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Gimlie on April 02, 2020, 04:28:18 PM
Diplomacy is one of the major components of any 4x game - I think we should be glad that Steve is making sure it's mostly functional before release.  Sure, the internal management of your empire is a big part of the game but the real fun comes in when you're forced to interact with your fellow sentient empires.  We wouldn't want the game to break as soon as we start talking with an NPR, right?

I don't know about you guys, but I can wait a little while longer if it means that the AI will have something resembling a functional decision making process.  Although I totally understand wanting to get your hands on the C# release as early as possible, especially given the current circumstances  :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on April 02, 2020, 04:33:24 PM
The problem is that diplomacy bugs *could* be gamebreakers still. If there is a bug or miscalculation that causes the AI to react wildly inappropriately to a situation, like glassing all your worlds because a diplomacy ship turned on active sensors, or ignoring the player while they fired missiles into their shipyards, because they got a ridiculous opinion boost from the player yielding a system that was so low value that it underflowed or something stupid like that.

Better to just test it out. Mount and Blade: Bannerlords released into early access on monday, if you want a playable but buggy experience, thats where it is right now :P

Bannerlords is a hot mess - can see where it would be fun but my opinion is it wasn't ready for even late early access.  But I do agree with you, Steve should only release when he is satisfied with the stability and integrity of the current diplomacy set.  Given how much time I invest in a single playthrough and the fact that anything that touches DB means you have to start over, I rather wait for the little bit Steve says he requires rather than rush and have to restart because of a major bug.  I mean, come on, we are on the home stretch here!  Everyone stay in formation!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 02, 2020, 04:54:59 PM
One of the two bolded bits should probably read "NPR Populations".

Thanks for that spot. I've edited it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 02, 2020, 05:04:08 PM
But I do agree with you, Steve should only release when he is satisfied with the stability and integrity of the current diplomacy set.  Given how much time I invest in a single playthrough and the fact that anything that touches DB means you have to start over, I rather wait for the little bit Steve says he requires rather than rush and have to restart because of a major bug.  I mean, come on, we are on the home stretch here!  Everyone stay in formation!

I'm still running into bugs that would compromise the game within Diplomacy or lead to unpredictable results. For example, I realised today I forgot to save the NPR acceptance of player control to disk, so when the game restarted the NPR forgot about accepting that control. That would have caused some confusion if released :)

It's a complex area and I want to make every piece of code within it has executed at least once. I am slowly getting there though :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: RavenStormcaller on April 02, 2020, 09:53:55 PM
I personally don't care how long it takes to get released because I want it to be playable so. . .  Keep going Steve I loved VB6 Aurora.  the only sad part was I couldn't resize the screens to fit my laptop screen.  I'm pretty sure I will love C#.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 03, 2020, 03:33:35 AM
I've been checking the NPRs to see why no one has claimed any systems yet.

Two reasons:
1) Alpha Centauri is an incredibly useful system. Many asteroids for mining and two mineral-rich planets, one of which was terraformed by me and the second is being terraformed by NPRs. It is also next to the joint home system, which means no claims.
2) Three of the NPRs are low grav, which means the non-AC mining and colonising effort is directed at a lot of asteroids that lie within their acceptable grav range, which means many small populations in several systems, rather than building up one or two systems.

If they haven't started claiming things soon, I may intervene in their orders :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on April 03, 2020, 05:12:55 AM
So it's starting to sound like a weekend release is no longer likely. That's cool if that's the case. I ask only because if it is going to relesse, I plan to tell a bunch of people to screw off and leave me alone so I can play. Just trying to schedule my weekend and see if I'll have an excuse to shirk responsibilities.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on April 03, 2020, 07:05:26 AM
We won't know until we know.

My advice is not to plan on anything until you have C# Aurora in your hands.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on April 03, 2020, 07:41:37 AM
All I can offer are the two standard contradictory requests:

1. Take all the time you need to make sure this game is as good as it can be.
2. I want the game to come out yesterday because dear god am I hyped.

 ;)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Frick on April 03, 2020, 10:03:50 AM
So it's starting to sound like a weekend release is no longer likely. That's cool if that's the case. I ask only because if it is going to relesse, I plan to tell a bunch of people to screw off and leave me alone so I can play. Just trying to schedule my weekend and see if I'll have an excuse to shirk responsibilities.

I've used that excuse for several years now.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: NightlinerSGS on April 03, 2020, 01:18:30 PM
Quote from: Inglonias link=topic=10096. msg120316#msg120316 date=1585917697
All I can offer are the two standard contradictory requests:

1.  Take all the time you need to make sure this game is as good as it can be.
2.  I want the game to come out yesterday because dear god am I hyped.

 ;)

That's also me right now.  :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 04, 2020, 11:11:19 AM
I've updated Diplomacy Part 2 as a result of play test. As with the update to Part 3, this should make the mechanics cleaner and clearer.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg118318#msg118318
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: DFNewb on April 04, 2020, 11:29:11 AM
If the end of March release isn't a goal anymore can you possibly add in Spinal Rail-guns before the first release?
I don't see why they would be a big deal to add in and test.  I rather wait an extra week and have spinal railguns if that is a possibility.  Halo style ships.

I'm super excited for the release and I can definitely wait for you to be satisfied with the initial release.

It's looking great so far I really can't wait to play.

Best wishes goes out to everyone reading this and living through the current crazy times we are experiencing.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JacenHan on April 04, 2020, 11:41:50 AM
I think (based on what has been said previously) that the delay on non-laser spinals is more because Steve hasn't decided how he wants them to work yet rather than the time it would take to implement.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on April 04, 2020, 11:48:37 AM
I would support a sooner release than waiting another week or two for an optional pet feature.  Fact is I think anyone who plays and has been following the current feature set has a feature that would have liked to see in for this release.  Mine include combat air patrol/interception for fighters (including A2A combat) and peace treaties in diplomacy.  BUT, I think it has been clear what the release criterion are at this point - polish diplomacy to designer satisfaction, obfuscation, install program and release.  Everything else will/should come after.  My opinion for what it's worth.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 04, 2020, 11:50:05 AM
I think (based on what has been said previously) that the delay on non-laser spinals is more because Steve hasn't decided how he wants them to work yet rather than the time it would take to implement.

Yes, this is correct.

I might even make particle lances a spinal weapon if they seem too powerful as a normal weapon.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 04, 2020, 11:52:46 AM
I would support a sooner release than waiting another week or two for an optional pet feature.  Fact is I think anyone who plays and has been following the current feature set has a feature that would have liked to see in for this release.  Mine include combat air patrol/interception for fighters (including A2A combat) and peace treaties in diplomacy.  BUT, I think it has been clear what the release criterion are at this point - polish diplomacy to designer satisfaction, obfuscation, install program and release.  Everything else will/should come after.  My opinion for what it's worth.

Yes, that is my intention. Install seem to be done now, so I need to finish testing Diplomacy (I am making progress) and implement obfuscation. I am throwing in one or two extra features as I go when they are quick (like the mineral search) or I need a break from the more complex areas.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on April 04, 2020, 12:15:59 PM
Apologies in advance for what may be a stupid question...

What is "obfuscation" in relation to finalizing the development of the initial release?  ???
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bremen on April 04, 2020, 12:21:40 PM
Obfuscation is a way of making a program harder to reverse engineer. It's basically to keep any unscrupulous programmer from stealing it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on April 04, 2020, 02:58:09 PM
<snip>
I might even make particle lances a spinal weapon if they seem too powerful as a normal weapon.

Don't you dare!

*growls*
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on April 04, 2020, 04:07:24 PM
It never really made sense to me why 1 8,000 ton ship can have only 1 spinal mount, but 4,000 ton ships can each mount the same weapon. Why not make max spinal mount size scale with ship size, or allow multiple spinal mount weapons up to some multiple of ship tonnage?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on April 04, 2020, 04:22:05 PM
It never really made sense to me why 1 8,000 ton ship can have only 1 spinal mount, but 4,000 ton ships can each mount the same weapon. Why not make max spinal mount size scale with ship size, or allow multiple spinal mount weapons up to some multiple of ship tonnage?

I agree with this sentiment... a ship might be able to carry a total spinal weapon weight based on ship size, but you don't want it to be a linear...

Perhaps something like...

Ship Size in HS (ShHS), Weapon Size in HS (WpHS)

ShHS^0.5*10=WpHS

A 500 ton fighter could mount max spinal weapons of 220t size
A 5000 ton frigate could mount a maximum spinal weapons of 700t size
A 50000 ton battleship could mount a maximum spinal weapons of 2250t size

Just as an example...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: papent on April 04, 2020, 04:53:52 PM
How many spines do these ships have?

I always imagined a spinal mount is like a HALO Mac cannon or the Gau-8 in the A-10. You designed the craft around the weapon not vice versa.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Gladaed on April 04, 2020, 05:11:33 PM
Quote from: papent link=topic=10096. msg120399#msg120399 date=1586037232
How many spines do these ships have?

I always imagined a spinal mount is like a HALO Mac cannon or the Gau-8 in the A-10.  You designed the craft around the weapon not vice versa. 

This is a fair point.  (Super)Capital class vessels should have a dedicated class of very large (capital) mounts that is similar but inferior to spinal mounts.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alaysian on April 04, 2020, 08:09:05 PM
Quote
How many spines do these ships have?

I always imagined a spinal mount is like a HALO Mac cannon or the Gau-8 in the A-10.   You designed the craft around the weapon not vice versa. 

For the record regarding halo, Infinity has 4 super-MAC cannons.

That's why I think it makes more sense to have larger spinal mounts as others have said.    Either have multiple sizes restricted based on class, or autoscale them based on hull size of the ship, or even both. 

I love my giant ships and just want to build my death star  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on April 04, 2020, 08:44:22 PM
How many spines do these ships have?

I always imagined a spinal mount is like a HALO Mac cannon or the Gau-8 in the A-10. You designed the craft around the weapon not vice versa.

I think if you want more than ONE spinal-mount weapon, your ship should be a catamaran or even trimaran design (which could be a simple tech line).
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on April 04, 2020, 09:10:03 PM
For that matter, you can just shove a couple of spinal guns into the center of your ship and build your keel around them. I mean, you'd do that with a single spinal gun anyway.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on April 04, 2020, 09:29:18 PM
Yeah, the Big Gun isn't a structural member of the actual spaceframe.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: swarm_sadist on April 04, 2020, 11:46:44 PM
The problem is that diplomacy bugs *could* be gamebreakers still. If there is a bug or miscalculation that causes the AI to react wildly inappropriately to a situation, like glassing all your worlds because a diplomacy ship turned on active sensors...
In keeping with the WH40K theme, the new diplomacy system is window dressing for the eventual nuclear holocaust.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Zincat on April 05, 2020, 12:06:06 AM
Spinal mounts is, in my opinion, something to be addressed after release, and it has nothing to do with the number of spinal weapons.

My problem with the current implementation is that the spinal mounts we have right now.... are just not "spinal" enough.
The increases in damage is frankly not enough. When I think of spinal mounts I think of something that is truly larger than normal weapons, not the "small" increases we have right now.

Add to that the problem that you often cannot use spinal weapons very well, because you're severely limited by the beam fire control tech. So you end up having a larger weapon.... that cannot fire over a longer range compared to a normal weapon.
In my opinion it really doesn't make much sense that spinal weapons have the same range as normal weapons, because beam fire controls always end up being the limiting factor. Where is my superweapon that can (try to) incinerate the enemies before they get into normal range?
This is really a staple of spinal weapons in sci-fi. Bigger damage AND bigger range.

I would like to hear your opinion on this Steve. Would you be contrary to address this problem in some way? Maybe being able to build "spinal" beam fire controls that can be used only for spinal weapons, in order to be able to use their effective range?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 05:27:29 AM
Apologies in advance for what may be a stupid question...

What is "obfuscation" in relation to finalizing the development of the initial release?  ???

Despite my repeated requests not to do so, there have been threats to hack the source code and create alternate versions of Aurora. These have come mainly via the Discord or private message, but also on these forums. Here is an example.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10217.0

This is impossible to prevent entirely and it is frustrating that I have to spend time on this, but I need to give myself some protection against those with less-than-honourable intentions. I've also added a FAQ post on the subject.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10606.0
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Vasious on April 05, 2020, 06:20:14 AM
Spinal mounts is, in my opinion, something to be addressed after release, and it has nothing to do with the number of spinal weapons.

My problem with the current implementation is that the spinal mounts we have right now.... are just not "spinal" enough.
The increases in damage is frankly not enough. When I think of spinal mounts I think of something that is truly larger than normal weapons, not the "small" increases we have right now.

Add to that the problem that you often cannot use spinal weapons very well, because you're severely limited by the beam fire control tech. So you end up having a larger weapon.... that cannot fire over a longer range compared to a normal weapon.
In my opinion it really doesn't make much sense that spinal weapons have the same range as normal weapons, because beam fire controls always end up being the limiting factor. Where is my superweapon that can (try to) incinerate the enemies before they get into normal range?
This is really a staple of spinal weapons in sci-fi. Bigger damage AND bigger range.

I would like to hear your opinion on this Steve. Would you be contrary to address this problem in some way? Maybe being able to build "spinal" beam fire controls that can be used only for spinal weapons, in order to be able to use their effective range?

Wouldn't the over range still give a damage drop off advantage ?


I wondered if Spinal Mounts of weapons could be represented similar to the relationship between the Particle beam and the Particle Lance if the Lance became a Spinal Mount Weapon only

So one had Regular Sized versions and a different Spinal Mount only version unlocked after some of the regular versions have been developed that in addition to bigger & better has something else to make it stand out

Such as the Lances' different Damage template


Though I am not sure what a Spinal Laser or Spinal Mass Driver could have as a point of difference, but I fail on the creativity front, but image for the sake of example shield bleed through or bonus to shock damage.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on April 05, 2020, 07:03:16 AM
Apologies in advance for what may be a stupid question...

What is "obfuscation" in relation to finalizing the development of the initial release?  ???

Despite my repeated requests not to do so, there have been threats to hack the source code and create alternate versions of Aurora. These have come mainly via the Discord or private message, but also on these forums. Here is an example.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10217.0

This is impossible to prevent entirely and it is frustrating that I have to spend time on this, but I need to give myself some protection against those with less-than-honourable intentions. I've also added a FAQ post on the subject.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10606.0

Thanks. I’m not sure what is more offensive. The simple fact that someone would want to do this, or the fact that some would be so open about their intention to do so.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alsadius on April 05, 2020, 07:11:34 AM
Thanks. I’m not sure what is more offensive. The simple fact that someone would want to do this, or the fact that some would be so open about their intention to do so.

If Steve wasn't so massively opposed to it, I'd give it some serious thought. More as a learning exercise than anything - I'd certainly never try to fork his project - but I'm curious as to how you'd build something like this in the first place. Heck, I'm even a little bit curious about what obfuscated code looks like, though not nearly enough to justify both the effort involved in teaching myself how to reverse-engineer a code base *and* the feeling that I'm being a dick by screwing with the wishes of someone who is doing really nice things for dorky gamers like me.

Maybe I should just go find one of those old-school open source games like Wesnoth and read that source code instead.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on April 05, 2020, 07:39:28 AM
Thanks. I’m not sure what is more offensive. The simple fact that someone would want to do this, or the fact that some would be so open about their intention to do so.

If Steve wasn't so massively opposed to it, I'd give it some serious thought. More as a learning exercise than anything - I'd certainly never try to fork his project - but I'm curious as to how you'd build something like this in the first place. Heck, I'm even a little bit curious about what obfuscated code looks like, though not nearly enough to justify both the effort involved in teaching myself how to reverse-engineer a code base *and* the feeling that I'm being a dick by screwing with the wishes of someone who is doing really nice things for dorky gamers like me.

Maybe I should just go find one of those old-school open source games like Wesnoth and read that source code instead.

Grab hold of any game made in Unity, most developers using it don't bother with Obfuscation as it's a additional headache when done in conjunction with a 3rd party pre-packaged engine you don't have source access to. Unity stores most of the core script code the developers used to program the game logic in a handful of assembly files that are easy to decompile for the purposes of just reading the contents if all you are is curious how developers might structure their game logic in more elaborate projects.


However if you have A LOT of time on your hands and want to go through something from the ground floor up to see how every facet of development is done check out this series:


Guys been running the series for 5 years now, starting from writing the core game engine to moving on to the game logic itself.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 08:25:11 AM
Another small step forward.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Crusade/Diplo2.PNG)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 09:40:39 AM
I plan to add more detail to trade post-launch. For the meantime though, shipping line vessels will be ignored for the purposes of diplomacy once a trade treaty is in force. They won't count as an intrusion into alien territory and their tonnage will be ignored for relationship penalties.

Without a trade treaty, shipping line vessels are treated as any other unarmed, commercial vessel.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Luckymoose on April 05, 2020, 11:18:20 AM
Been lurking here for a while, but wanted to chime in on the obfuscation topic.  Wouldn't it make the most sense to add some kind of license to the code that would 1.  eliminate the possibility of it being used in a commercial product by anyone other than Steve and 2.  forbid redistribution of any source code? In combination with some kind of checksum for official versions there would be no reason to ever address bugs reported in modified copies and no one would be allowed to distribute any kind of reverse engineering anyway.  It isn't like people can outright steal your code and use it in a commercial product if you have a proper license on it (even if they tried, there would be horrendous legal penalties for them).  It all seems like a ton of concern over an issue that is relatively minor and easily dissuaded.

Of course, someone will always try and even if they did they wouldn't be able to do anything with it besides potentially break their own games.  And with a checksum, you'd spot their modification anyway and thus wouldn't have to deal with it.

Just my two cents while I eagerly await release. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alsadius on April 05, 2020, 11:20:36 AM
Been lurking here for a while, but wanted to chime in on the obfuscation topic.  Wouldn't it make the most sense to add some kind of license to the code that would 1.  eliminate the possibility of it being used in a commercial product by anyone other than Steve and 2.  forbid redistribution of any source code? In combination with some kind of checksum for official versions there would be no reason to ever address bugs reported in modified copies and no one would be allowed to distribute any kind of reverse engineering anyway.  It isn't like people can outright steal your code and use it in a commercial product if you have a proper license on it (even if they tried, there would be horrendous legal penalties for them).  It all seems like a ton of concern over an issue that is relatively minor and easily dissuaded.

Of course, someone will always try and even if they did they wouldn't be able to do anything with it besides potentially break their own games.  And with a checksum, you'd spot their modification anyway and thus wouldn't have to deal with it.

Just my two cents while I eagerly await release.

Depends which threat he's worried about. But if this is what it takes for him to feel secure releasing it, then I'm cool with that.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bremen on April 05, 2020, 11:21:59 AM
Been lurking here for a while, but wanted to chime in on the obfuscation topic.  Wouldn't it make the most sense to add some kind of license to the code that would 1.  eliminate the possibility of it being used in a commercial product by anyone other than Steve and 2.  forbid redistribution of any source code? In combination with some kind of checksum for official versions there would be no reason to ever address bugs reported in modified copies and no one would be allowed to distribute any kind of reverse engineering anyway.  It isn't like people can outright steal your code and use it in a commercial product if you have a proper license on it (even if they tried, there would be horrendous legal penalties for them).  It all seems like a ton of concern over an issue that is relatively minor and easily dissuaded.

Of course, someone will always try and even if they did they wouldn't be able to do anything with it besides potentially break their own games.  And with a checksum, you'd spot their modification anyway and thus wouldn't have to deal with it.

Just my two cents while I eagerly await release.

A license is just a piece of paper. Anyone that's going to try to steal it already doesn't care about what Steve says or they wouldn't be trying to steal it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 11:29:01 AM
Been lurking here for a while, but wanted to chime in on the obfuscation topic.  Wouldn't it make the most sense to add some kind of license to the code that would 1.  eliminate the possibility of it being used in a commercial product by anyone other than Steve and 2.  forbid redistribution of any source code? In combination with some kind of checksum for official versions there would be no reason to ever address bugs reported in modified copies and no one would be allowed to distribute any kind of reverse engineering anyway.  It isn't like people can outright steal your code and use it in a commercial product if you have a proper license on it (even if they tried, there would be horrendous legal penalties for them).  It all seems like a ton of concern over an issue that is relatively minor and easily dissuaded.

Of course, someone will always try and even if they did they wouldn't be able to do anything with it besides potentially break their own games.  And with a checksum, you'd spot their modification anyway and thus wouldn't have to deal with it.

Just my two cents while I eagerly await release.

See my FAQ post on the subject.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10606.0

Licencing might prevent 'commercial' theft, but that isn't really my concern. Aurora isn't ideal territory for commercial theft anyway because it is such a niche game.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 11:32:07 AM
As the aliens in my campaign are stubbornly refusing to attack each other :), mainly because Alpha Centauri has so many useful colony sites, I am going to temporarily comment out the piece of code that stops them claiming systems adjacent to a shared capital.

Just wanted to mention this here in case you wondered why the NPRs suddenly stopped obeying the rules
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on April 05, 2020, 11:44:20 AM
Maybe in the future, that should be a checkbox at game creation. Lots of people want to try multiple faction starts, they might want to be able to choose to have a "peaceful" campaign or not.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Luckymoose on April 05, 2020, 11:51:57 AM
Quote from: Bremen link=topic=10096. msg120434#msg120434 date=1586103719

A license is just a piece of paper.  Anyone that's going to try to steal it already doesn't care about what Steve says or they wouldn't be trying to steal it.

True, but it does prevent them from rehosting the source code on, for example, any git service for public participation.  This seems to be a major concern.  But for individual people tampering, there isn't really anything anyone could do about that.  The main thing is keeping the official release the only supported release, which licensing can assist in doing.  I don't think most people are bad actors on this, and those that are weren't going to listen to any dev regardless.

Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120436#msg120436 date=1586104141

See my FAQ post on the subject.

hxxp: aurora2. pentarch. org/index. php?topic=10606. 0

Licencing might prevent 'commercial' theft, but that isn't really my concern.  Aurora isn't ideal territory for commercial theft anyway because it is such a niche game. 

I understand the concern and why it upsets you, but licensing is easy for you to implement and doesn't detract from your stated goals on protecting your code.  A license might only be a piece of paper, but it doesn't hurt to include it and explicitly define your intentions on keeping it closed source.   
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bremen on April 05, 2020, 01:22:20 PM
The main thing is keeping the official release the only supported release, which licensing can assist in doing.  I don't think most people are bad actors on this, and those that are weren't going to listen to any dev regardless.

No offense, but you're telling the developer he's incorrect about what the main thing about protecting his release is. The point of obfuscation is to keep them from reverse engineering it in the first place, since as already noted a license isn't going to stop them.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Luckymoose on April 05, 2020, 01:50:27 PM
Quote from: Bremen link=topic=10096. msg120446#msg120446 date=1586110940
No offense, but you're telling the developer he's incorrect about what the main thing about protecting his release is.  The point of obfuscation is to keep them from reverse engineering it in the first place, since as already noted a license isn't going to stop them.

Obfuscation is still required, and I didn't say don't do that.  I'm saying there are additional measures that could be taken to mitigate any bad actors.  One option does not exclude another.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 02:20:13 PM
My understanding is that closed-source software such as Aurora, even when distributed for free, is governed by copyright rather than by licence. The copyright exists, whether I specify or not. For VB6, I do mention that copyright in one of the menu items and I will probably add something for C# Aurora on those lines. Licences are generally used to specify what people can do with software and are used to override the default situation of copyright.

Here is a good overview:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_license

I may look into this in more detail at some point, but I think copyright is sufficient protection from a legal standpoint. 




Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: QuakeIV on April 05, 2020, 05:52:13 PM
Neither of those will really stop people from actively pirating it if they want to.  I do think your original intention of obfuscation is probably going to be a more effective means of preventing that.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 05:56:03 PM
As the aliens in my campaign are stubbornly refusing to attack each other :), mainly because Alpha Centauri has so many useful colony sites, I am going to temporarily comment out the piece of code that stops them claiming systems adjacent to a shared capital.

Just wanted to mention this here in case you wondered why the NPRs suddenly stopped obeying the rules

And that did the trick :)

Note the three messages from the NPRs have different text, which represent different levels of demand. Also, sensors detected that a Jovian population was transferred to the Khanate. This will only be noted for populations that are current sensor contacts when the transfer happens.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Crusade/Diplo3.PNG)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 05, 2020, 06:02:48 PM
Neither of those will really stop people from actively pirating it if they want to.  I do think your original intention of obfuscation is probably going to be a more effective means of preventing that.

Yes, I agree. That is why I am going down that route. Theoretically I can sue someone on the basis of copyright, but that is not likely to happen in practical terms.

I seem to spend a lot of time with lawyers in my day job. For example, I had a conference call on Friday with lawyers from USA, Canada, UK and Malta to compare different implementations of similar legislation in different countries. Anything legal is usually complex, time-consuming and expensive. I want to restrict that to my job, not my hobby :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Hazard on April 05, 2020, 09:21:16 PM
Another small step forward.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Crusade/Diplo2.PNG)

Given that NPRs accept/reject claims based on the populations they've detected this can have interesting consequences for diplomacy on the lower tech levels where sensors are more lacking. Violent confrontations over territorial disputes may be more common than at high tech levels.

I plan to add more detail to trade post-launch. For the meantime though, shipping line vessels will be ignored for the purposes of diplomacy once a trade treaty is in force. They won't count as an intrusion into alien territory and their tonnage will be ignored for relationship penalties.

Without a trade treaty, shipping line vessels are treated as any other unarmed, commercial vessel.

Will shipping line vessels avoid claimed systems from other empires automatically or do you have to forbid it manually?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on April 05, 2020, 09:26:57 PM
Maybe in the future, that should be a checkbox at game creation. Lots of people want to try multiple faction starts, they might want to be able to choose to have a "peaceful" campaign or not.
Seams reasonable as a stopgap before more advanced behaviour is added, but prehaps at a certian point in a conflict NPRS would claim a system adjacent to another nations home system, and if they start in adjacent systems they start off with a truce on claims, which can then deteriorate over time.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 06, 2020, 04:10:52 AM
Another small step forward.

(http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Crusade/Diplo2.PNG)

Given that NPRs accept/reject claims based on the populations they've detected this can have interesting consequences for diplomacy on the lower tech levels where sensors are more lacking. Violent confrontations over territorial disputes may be more common than at high tech levels.

I plan to add more detail to trade post-launch. For the meantime though, shipping line vessels will be ignored for the purposes of diplomacy once a trade treaty is in force. They won't count as an intrusion into alien territory and their tonnage will be ignored for relationship penalties.

Without a trade treaty, shipping line vessels are treated as any other unarmed, commercial vessel.

Will shipping line vessels avoid claimed systems from other empires automatically or do you have to forbid it manually?

Claims are based on actual populations, not detected. There was a discussion about it, probably earlier in this thread.

NPR Shipping lines will avoid space they have flagged as alien-controlled. Alien-controlled is a system-level flag for NPRs, not per alien race in the system. This is to avoid situations where the NPR has a trade treaty with one race but is causing problems with a second race in the same system. Players can be more flexible in dealing with these situations. There is no 'alien-controlled' flag for players, but they can flag a system as controlled by a specific alien race or flag it as military-restricted.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 06, 2020, 08:06:25 AM
So today I finally started looking at obfuscation. It has not gone smoothly.

Running the obfuscation itself generates warnings, such as "Could not evaluate arguments used for call.  Manual property exclusions may be required."

So I manually removed the affected methods from the obfuscation only to find a new set with this same problem. Then my anti-virus quarantined the obfuscated file before the process completed :)

So, this may take a while. I'll keep everyone updated.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on April 06, 2020, 08:23:11 AM
I'm sorry, but I have to ask. Does looking at obfuscation mean that diplomacy testing is now complete, or are you simply taking a break from diplomacy testing?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 06, 2020, 08:26:48 AM
I'm sorry, but I have to ask. Does looking at obfuscation mean that diplomacy testing is now complete, or are you simply taking a break from diplomacy testing?

Taking a break - but Diplomacy is close to complete.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on April 06, 2020, 09:31:05 AM
What tool are you using? It looks like there are many obfuscation tools for .net, both free and commercial. Maybe it's just a matter of finding the right tool.

An alternative would be to move the non-trivial code into a .dll written in a not easily-decompiled language like C++, but that would take a lot of time.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Planetfall on April 06, 2020, 09:41:15 AM
Quote from: Father Tim link=topic=10096. msg120404#msg120404 date=1586051062
Quote from: papent link=topic=10096. msg120399#msg120399 date=1586037232
How many spines do these ships have?

I always imagined a spinal mount is like a HALO Mac cannon or the Gau-8 in the A-10.  You designed the craft around the weapon not vice versa.

I think if you want more than ONE spinal-mount weapon, your ship should be a catamaran or even trimaran design (which could be a simple tech line).
Spreading the weapons farther apart by mounting them on separate ship sections would increase the problems from recoil that a spinal mount is trying to solve.  It results in more torque turning the ship if they do not fire in synce and it concentrates the force into the handul of struts connecting each segment, making the ship more likely to snap in two.  It also makes the ship have far more surface area and thus need more armor. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Bughunter on April 06, 2020, 09:43:11 AM
What tool are you using? It looks like there are many obfuscation tools for .net, both free and commercial. Maybe it's just a matter of finding the right tool.

I'm no obfuscation expert, but he should probably not answer that. When doing security through obscurity, add as many layers of obscurity as possible :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 06, 2020, 10:03:42 AM
So today I finally started looking at obfuscation. It has not gone smoothly.

Running the obfuscation itself generates warnings, such as "Could not evaluate arguments used for call.  Manual property exclusions may be required."

So I manually removed the affected methods from the obfuscation only to find a new set with this same problem. Then my anti-virus quarantined the obfuscated file before the process completed :)

So, this may take a while. I'll keep everyone updated.

Making some progress. The virus problem seems to be because I tried to obfuscate an already obfuscated file. I am new to this :)

The rest is due to problems with reflection. The obfuscation renames fields so if I happen to use reflection and it depends on a renamed field, there is a problem.

There is an option to exclude fields from renaming, but for some reason it is ignoring the exclusions. Frustrating.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: joansam on April 06, 2020, 11:54:54 AM
The whole obfuscation effort seems wrongheaded to me - if the concern is modders making the game quite different, that wouldn’t bother me as a creator. Whereas if the concern is someone else taking the Aurora code and trying to make a profit from it, I think it’s A) extremely, vanishingly unlikely, and B) quite easily handled legally by just sticking up a fair use notice. I also think obfuscation will hurt bold modding projects a lot.

But you’ve made Aurora a fantastic game, Steve, and it’s yours to do what you want with it. Wishing you the best of luck with final release steps, including obfuscation.

Edited to avoid cluttering the thread: Yeah, I'm familiar with Steve's reasoning. I just frankly don't understand where it comes from. The concern about bug reports from modded games taking up his time seems very minor, and easily fixed with a "no modded games" notice on the bug report page. As for the broader concern with preventing people from altering the game in any major way...I don't get it. The closest thing it reminds me of is Lucasfilm shutting down this KOTOR fan remake: https://kotaku.com/star-wars-kotor-fan-remake-shutting-down-after-cease-a-1829720602 (https://kotaku.com/star-wars-kotor-fan-remake-shutting-down-after-cease-a-1829720602)
It's like...why would someone ever do this? In their case it was fear of losing money...I understand it but I think it makes everyone else worse off. Aren't we all better off when people can make more fun things and put them out into the world? Anyway, that's my two cents. Again, it's Steve's game and I don't endorse anyone trying to break the obfuscation against his wishes.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on April 06, 2020, 12:03:56 PM
The whole obfuscation effort seems wrongheaded to me - if the concern is modders making the game quite different, that wouldn’t bother me as a creator. Whereas if the concern is someone else taking the Aurora code and trying to make a profit from it, I think it’s A) extremely, vanishingly unlikely, and B) quite easily handled legally by just sticking up a fair use notice. I also think obfuscation will hurt bold modding projects a lot.

But you’ve made Aurora a fantastic game, Steve, and it’s yours to do what you want with it. Wishing you the best of luck with final release steps, including obfuscation.

Steve's already made it clear he doesn't want to endorse 'bold modding projects'. I really wish people would give it a rest before Steve decides to take his ball and go home.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 06, 2020, 12:06:44 PM
The whole obfuscation effort seems wrongheaded to me - if the concern is modders making the game quite different, that wouldn’t bother me as a creator. Whereas if the concern is someone else taking the Aurora code and trying to make a profit from it, I think it’s A) extremely, vanishingly unlikely, and B) quite easily handled legally by just sticking up a fair use notice. I also think obfuscation will hurt bold modding projects a lot.

But you’ve made Aurora a fantastic game, Steve, and it’s yours to do what you want with it. Wishing you the best of luck with final release steps, including obfuscation.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10606.0
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 06, 2020, 12:20:39 PM
I am making progress with obfuscation. I was aware Reflection was an issue but I didn't realise just how much I used it. Rather than trying to flag everything in the obfuscation program setup, I've been adding code to Aurora to tell the obfuscation which parts to ignore. This is mainly DisplayMember for data binding and using typeof with enums.

An obfuscated build is now launching and running turns from the installation directory. I'll test that in the next day or two to find anything obvious but I am probably going to miss something so there may be some obfuscation-related bugs (which will either cause object missing errors or put weird data into a dropdown). It should get sorted fairly quickly though.

BTW I checked it in NET Reflector and it looks pretty horrible. I wouldn't know where to start :)

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Demonides on April 06, 2020, 01:19:41 PM
what is the probability that it will be release on Friday  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Erik L on April 06, 2020, 01:26:23 PM
It's like Schrödinger's Release. Until it is released, it is both ready and not ready to be released.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on April 06, 2020, 01:36:36 PM
Yeah, at some point in every software project you start to gain a new appreciation for Zeno's Paradox.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Aquilae on April 06, 2020, 02:07:46 PM
To play or not to play on friday, that's the question! :P
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: littleWolf on April 06, 2020, 03:08:08 PM
To play or not to play on friday, that's the question! :P

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here...
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Deutschbag on April 06, 2020, 03:10:07 PM
fraaaakk I can't handle the hype. This quarantine won't be so bad once I have my grubby little hands on C#.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Aquilae on April 06, 2020, 03:13:46 PM
Quote from: littleWolf link=topic=10096. msg120500#msg120500 date=1586203688
Quote from: Aquilae link=topic=10096. msg120498#msg120498 date=1586200066
To play or not to play on friday, that's the question! :P

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. . .

good that i am a hopeful person with persistence :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: alp on April 06, 2020, 03:27:21 PM
Steve, you live like a mile from me.   I love the game, and C# will just enhance it.   So take your time and breath . . . . .  and slowly breathe life into the game.   Sure I want it now, but tre de loar
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Culise on April 06, 2020, 07:28:02 PM
Quote from: Demonides link=topic=10096. msg120494#msg120494 date=1586197181
what is the probability that it will be release on Friday  ;D
Correct with a minor tweak: it will be released by a Friday.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: chickentitilater on April 06, 2020, 07:50:49 PM
Quote from: Culise link=topic=10096. msg120511#msg120511 date=1586219282
Quote from: Demonides link=topic=10096.  msg120494#msg120494 date=1586197181
what is the probability that it will be release on Friday  ;D
Correct with a minor tweak: it will be released by a Friday.

i'm glad my grandchildren will be able to play such a well-fleshed out game  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on April 06, 2020, 08:13:51 PM
Quote from: Demonides link=topic=10096. msg120494#msg120494 date=1586197181
what is the probability that it will be release on Friday  ;D
Correct with a minor tweak: it will be released by a Friday.
I will definitely be released on a Friday
Give or take 2-3 days.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on April 06, 2020, 08:27:04 PM
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: vorpal+5 on April 06, 2020, 10:16:24 PM
Start discussing the settings you'll set in your first game guys!  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on April 06, 2020, 11:05:27 PM
Any Friday Aurora is released on is a Good Friday!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 07, 2020, 05:26:17 AM
Steve, you live like a mile from me.   I love the game, and C# will just enhance it.   So take your time and breath . . . . .  and slowly breathe life into the game.   Sure I want it now, but tre de loar

You on the Isle of Man? - I'm in Santon.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: hadi on April 07, 2020, 07:57:55 AM
All i know is that i am hyped up to uncontrollable levels.
I had issues with aurora vb6 on windows 10 so i had to run it in a windows 7  vm, Now thinking about  running it on my own os and simply alt tabbing  into  tutorials/wiki/video guides excites me, let alone the rest of the  new features.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: skoormit on April 07, 2020, 09:16:56 AM
Quote from: hadi link=topic=10096. msg120529#msg120529 date=1586264275
All i know is that i am hyped up to uncontrollable levels. 
I had issues with aurora vb6 on windows 10 so i had to run it in a windows 7  vm, Now thinking about  running it on my own os and simply alt tabbing  into  tutorials/wiki/video guides excites me, let alone the rest of the  new features.

What issues did you have in Win10?
It hasn't been a problem for me--other than remembering to run as admin, and figuring out how to get the windows back onto the monitor when I switch between computers.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TacticalStats on April 07, 2020, 09:42:14 AM
Quote from: vorpal+5 link=topic=10096. msg120518#msg120518 date=1586229384
Start discussing the settings you'll set in your first game guys!  ;D
I'm gonna go standard beginnings and see what's out there.  Just excited that it will move faster as I get to multiple systems.  Very interested in this diplomacy system.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on April 07, 2020, 10:05:19 AM
Quote from: vorpal+5 link=topic=10096. msg120518#msg120518 date=1586229384
Start discussing the settings you'll set in your first game guys!  ;D
I'm gonna go standard beginnings and see what's out there.  Just excited that it will move faster as I get to multiple systems.  Very interested in this diplomacy system.

I think I will go with Steve's 'Conventional(+)' start suggestion where I go conventional but than add just Trans Newtonian Technology through SpaceMaster. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on April 07, 2020, 10:07:39 AM
Start discussing the settings you'll set in your first game guys!  ;D

I had hoped to do a Jump outpost network empire in a small universe with 2 or 3 pre-generated NPRs, but if civilians still ignore tender stations and only jump using gates then probably just going to go with whatever really.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on April 07, 2020, 10:10:01 AM
I think I will go with Steve's 'Conventional(+)' start suggestion where I go conventional but than add just Trans Newtonian Technology through SpaceMaster.

Isn't that just a standard TN start with no RP allocated?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on April 07, 2020, 10:11:16 AM
I'm boring and will do a standard Sol start. However, I think I'll have 2-3 starting NPRs. Also, I'm super interested in the scenario depot being talked about because you can do some pretty awesome stuff in SM and I'm not creative enough for that..
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on April 07, 2020, 10:11:58 AM
I think I will go with Steve's 'Conventional(+)' start suggestion where I go conventional but than add just Trans Newtonian Technology through SpaceMaster.

Isn't that just a standard TN start with no RP allocated?

I believe you would start with conventional industry though... So gotta convert it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on April 07, 2020, 10:14:12 AM
Guys, use this thread: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10523.0 for the HYPE spam, please.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tree on April 07, 2020, 10:15:46 AM
I think I will go with Steve's 'Conventional(+)' start suggestion where I go conventional but than add just Trans Newtonian Technology through SpaceMaster.

Isn't that just a standard TN start with no RP allocated?
No, if you start as conventional and give yourself only the TN tech, you'll still have conventional industry that you'll need to convert, and you'll have to research basic techs like 10cm laser focal size or nuclear thermal engine which you would get for free on a 0 RP TN start. Also though you can just not use it or ignore the limit, a TN start gives you build points to spend in the "Create Racial Order of Battle" window.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on April 07, 2020, 01:10:44 PM
That makes sense, forgot about the conventional industry.  It has been a while since I did a conventional start.

Also, didn't realise there were a couple free handouts for tech on a TN start.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on April 08, 2020, 05:07:46 AM
Been a bit quiet since the obfuscation update 2 days ago, hope all is going OK Steve.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 08, 2020, 05:43:01 AM
Been a bit quiet since the obfuscation update 2 days ago, hope all is going OK Steve.

Yes, just busy with my day job at the moment. Lawyers and regulators and tax, oh my!

I'm doing a little during the day (the advantage of working from home) and some work in the evenings before wine is consumed at dinner :). However, the weekends are the main time for work, especially now when I don't have to go out :)

Most of the hard work is done now. Install is working. Obfuscation is working at first glance and Diplomacy is very close to done. I am going to take the opportunity to fight the mass battle that is coming, as that is ideal for testing. Then I will start a new game in an installed, obfuscated version and play the first year or two. If all that goes well, I can release.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on April 08, 2020, 06:26:51 AM
Been a bit quiet since the obfuscation update 2 days ago, hope all is going OK Steve.

Yes, just busy with my day job at the moment. Lawyers and regulators and tax, oh my!

I'm doing a little during the day (the advantage of working from home) and some work in the evenings before wine is consumed at dinner :). However, the weekends are the main time for work, especially now when I don't have to go out :)

Most of the hard work is done now. Install is working. Obfuscation is working at first glance and Diplomacy is very close to done. I am going to take the opportunity to fight the mass battle that is coming, as that is ideal for testing. Then I will start a new game in an installed, obfuscated version and play the first year or two. If all that goes well, I can release.

Sounding good albeit rather manic.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on April 08, 2020, 06:30:25 AM
The end of March is in sight!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: chrislocke2000 on April 08, 2020, 06:53:59 AM

 I am going to take the opportunity to fight the mass battle that is coming, as that is ideal for testing.


Whilst I'm hugely looking forward to getting a chance to play the game, I'm also very interested to hearing how that battle plays out!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 08, 2020, 07:27:49 AM
The end of March is in sight!

:)

While I missed the date, in retrospect I think it was a good idea to aim for it. I definitely focused more on delivery with the hard date in sight. Of course, the situation is different now as I am not going to spending time in the motorhome in the near future so the immediate time pressure was removed. Without the lock down, I probably would have released a week or two sooner without the line-by-line review and then regretted it. I know it is going to be a week or two late, but I do think the delay is well worth it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: sloanjh on April 08, 2020, 07:44:42 AM
The end of March is in sight!

:)

While I missed the date, in retrospect I think it was a good idea to aim for it. I definitely focused more on delivery with the hard date in sight. Of course, the situation is different now as I am not going to spending time in the motorhome in the near future so the immediate time pressure was removed. Without the lock down, I probably would have released a week or two sooner without the line-by-line review and then regretted it. I know it is going to be a week or two late, but I do think the delay is well worth it.

Absolutely!!!  I'm actually surprised/impressed (in a good way) that you're hitting the date so closely.  This is the same way I try to schedule projects at work - set an aggressive release date that could conceivably be hit, with the full knowledge that there's a good chance that the date will slip.  It's very difficult to generate the same sense of urgency that forces working through the "20" of the 80/20 rule without a concrete release date looming.

John
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on April 08, 2020, 07:49:26 AM
I think in professional software development missing the date by a week or two is already rather rare and noteworthy. Missing the date by a week or two for a hobby project, plus with large life changes to deal with at the same time (working from home is no joke), is amazing.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on April 08, 2020, 08:16:20 AM
A major studio would have just let it release with completely broken Diplomacy with the option that maybe down the line they'll patch to look less broken but without taking the time to actually fix it.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: snapto on April 08, 2020, 08:22:46 AM
I think I speak for many of the Lurkers out there like myself when I say we really appreciate all the hard work you've put into this project and your willingness to share the fruits of your labors. I'm really looking forward to release WHENEVER that may be. Just don't burn yourself out getting to the finish line - there's bound to be bugs after all  ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Gyrfalcon on April 08, 2020, 08:48:00 AM
A major studio would have just let it release with completely broken Diplomacy with the option that maybe down the line they'll patch to look less broken but without taking the time to actually fix it.

No no, you miss the insanity genius of modern day publishing: Diplomacy would have been released as a DLC option for $9.99.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Doren on April 08, 2020, 09:06:30 AM
A major studio would have just let it release with completely broken Diplomacy with the option that maybe down the line they'll patch to look less broken but without taking the time to actually fix it.
It would have been included in the Season Pass
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on April 08, 2020, 09:35:46 AM
The end of March is in sight!

:)

While I missed the date, in retrospect I think it was a good idea to aim for it. I definitely focused more on delivery with the hard date in sight. Of course, the situation is different now as I am not going to spending time in the motorhome in the near future so the immediate time pressure was removed. Without the lock down, I probably would have released a week or two sooner without the line-by-line review and then regretted it. I know it is going to be a week or two late, but I do think the delay is well worth it.


I was wondering what happened in the universe where we weren't all trapped at home, and I suppose that this is some sort of silver lining?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: clement on April 08, 2020, 10:12:58 AM
Of course, the situation is different now as I am not going to spending time in the motorhome in the near future so the immediate time pressure was removed.

You can still spend time in the motorhome! You could go out there to do your daily work or you Aurora coding. Or, you and the wife could do a weekend "camping" trip to the driveway or side of the yard by staying in the motorhome. Let any family staying with you have the house to themselves for a day or two.

:)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 08, 2020, 10:20:20 AM
Spoiler Alert!

The fighting just began between the Mars and the Hegemony. It looks the Martians moved some STO weapons onto Alpha Centauri-B III because they just moved their own warships out of orbit and then used those STO weapons to attack the Hegemony ships in orbit.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Protomolecule on April 08, 2020, 10:28:50 AM
Oh boy! Can't wait for that AAR!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: AlStar on April 08, 2020, 11:06:02 AM
To be clear - the reason why war broke out was because both NPRs had weighty claims on the system, which they both refused to remove or concede, yes?

Would this situation have happened if they hadn't already had roots down? If everyone had been looking at Alpha Centauri as a possible claim target from the start and following their programing, would the system have been claimed by the NPR who discovered it first? Who did a full geological survey first?

Or would things still have broken down, since the other AIs wouldn't want one of the main passages out of Sol blocked off?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 08, 2020, 11:24:51 AM
To be clear - the reason why war broke out was because both NPRs had weighty claims on the system, which they both refused to remove or concede, yes?

Would this situation have happened if they hadn't already had roots down? If everyone had been looking at Alpha Centauri as a possible claim target from the start and following their programing, would the system have been claimed by the NPR who discovered it first? Who did a full geological survey first?

Or would things still have broken down, since the other AIs wouldn't want one of the main passages out of Sol blocked off?

Depends on the progression. NPRs won't accept claims without populations, so if two NPRs had been building up in the system they would have probably ignored each other's claims unless one demonstrated a significant military advantage. However, if one was established when the other turned, that would be a different situation. There are a lot of other factors involved, such as access to other systems or potential for mining, etc. Check the Part 2 and Part 3 Diplomacy posts in changes.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Vasious on April 08, 2020, 09:50:33 PM
Oh boy! Can't wait for that AAR!

I think I await the AAR more than release!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 09, 2020, 03:37:22 AM
Oh boy! Can't wait for that AAR!

I think I await the AAR more than release!

I'm not investing a lot of effort in the write up at the moment due to focus on testing, but I'll cover the outline of what is happening. I'll go back into full AAR mode with my first post-release campaign.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tree on April 09, 2020, 04:41:41 AM
I'm not investing a lot of effort in the write up at the moment due to focus on testing, but I'll cover the outline of what is happening. I'll go back into full AAR mode with my first post-release campaign.

Will you continue/restart one of the C# test games or go for something new?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 09, 2020, 06:22:14 AM
I'm not investing a lot of effort in the write up at the moment due to focus on testing, but I'll cover the outline of what is happening. I'll go back into full AAR mode with my first post-release campaign.

Will you continue/restart one of the C# test games or go for something new?

Well, the BSG game and Crusade are still in a previous DB that I saved, but I don't have a log of the DB changes I made since then. So probably easier and safer to start from scratch. I might start with conventional.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: V1D0 on April 09, 2020, 07:21:55 AM
Well we can scrap  C/2019 Y4 ATLAS from the game  :'(

https://twitter. com/martinastro2005/status/1247841953594707970
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 09, 2020, 09:31:11 AM
In VB6 Aurora, there is general consensus that the NPRs are not great at research so they present less of a challenge over time.

In my current game, which is seven years in, all four NPRs have researched the next generation of engines, designed new and larger ships, retooled shipyards as they become available and began building the new designs. They have both generations in service which adds a lot more variety to NPRs ships and also means the ships you meet on the frontier may not be the latest designs. One NPR has just researched its third generation of engines and designed a third generation of ships, although it hasn't retooled any shipyards yet. I have only just researched my first set of new engines so they are getting ahead of me.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 09, 2020, 09:45:26 AM
This won't be in the AAR because I don't 'know' about it, but Martian and Hegemony stabilisation ships are working on the same jump point and each has a small escort group. This is the 'far' side of the jump point so none of them can leave. Instead, its a point blank fight between the escort groups :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: JustAnotherDude on April 09, 2020, 10:48:29 AM
God this is so sick, amazing work Steve!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Garfunkel on April 09, 2020, 10:57:22 AM
An awesome improvement over VB6!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on April 09, 2020, 11:19:09 AM
I wanted to ask if there is a chance for portable version without installation program. I travel a lot (well, will be again, I hope) due to business but i cant install any soft on working PC i carry as I am not an admin in the system. Aurora is my lifesaver on those boring lengthy trips.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on April 09, 2020, 11:54:16 AM
Would also be useful for those of us who want to, say, play Aurora on computers where we don't have install permissions. For whatever reason.  :-X
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 09, 2020, 12:07:06 PM
Would also be useful for those of us who want to, say, play Aurora on computers where we don't have install permissions. For whatever reason.  :-X

I can supply a non-install version with the basic program files, but if you don't have the necessary frameworks on your PC it won't run.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Shuul on April 09, 2020, 12:21:44 PM
I can supply a non-install version with the basic program files, but if you don't have the necessary frameworks on your PC it won't run.

This works for me personally :) thanks
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: skoormit on April 09, 2020, 12:51:02 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120648#msg120648 date=1586431334
.  .  .  but I don't have a log of the DB changes I made since then.   .  .  . 

FWIW (and AYMAK), Microsoft makes a tool that will compare two versions of an Access database and create a report detailing the differences. 

Of course, generating a list of all the DB differences may be just the tip of the migration iceberg, since you then have to decide how to reconcile those differences.   
Might be trivial, might be a rabbit hole; only you would know. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: TMaekler on April 09, 2020, 01:06:20 PM
Can it happen with AI Empires that one race has a colony in a system and another also starts colonizing there - and only after some time one side decides to lay claim to the system and the other will refuse because of its own colony? Or would one party make an immediate claim the moment the other entered the system?

Also after a war is done, will the AI empires change their claims when they lost the system? And will they re-invade later to regain what they lost?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: BKL on April 09, 2020, 01:12:36 PM
Really looking forward to the game!  Thanks for all your hard work! 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Erik L on April 09, 2020, 01:42:19 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120648#msg120648 date=1586431334
.  .  .  but I don't have a log of the DB changes I made since then.   .  .  . 

FWIW (and AYMAK), Microsoft makes a tool that will compare two versions of an Access database and create a report detailing the differences. 

Of course, generating a list of all the DB differences may be just the tip of the migration iceberg, since you then have to decide how to reconcile those differences.   
Might be trivial, might be a rabbit hole; only you would know.

I believe Steve has opted to use SQLite for the database now rather than Access.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on April 09, 2020, 02:01:25 PM
I believe Steve has opted to use SQLite for the database now rather than Access.
That's what I recall to. Probably a not insignificant reason that the game is faster too.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 09, 2020, 02:28:05 PM
Can it happen with AI Empires that one race has a colony in a system and another also starts colonizing there - and only after some time one side decides to lay claim to the system and the other will refuse because of its own colony? Or would one party make an immediate claim the moment the other entered the system?

Also after a war is done, will the AI empires change their claims when they lost the system? And will they re-invade later to regain what they lost?

Depends on the size of the colonies involved. If an AI only has a small presence it wouldn't make a claim. See Diplomacy Changes posts part 2 and 3.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Retropunch on April 09, 2020, 02:32:16 PM
Would also be useful for those of us who want to, say, play Aurora on computers where we don't have install permissions. For whatever reason.  :-X

I can supply a non-install version with the basic program files, but if you don't have the necessary frameworks on your PC it won't run.

I'm in the same position as the other posters and this would be really great - I sometimes have really, really long work trips where I'm forced to stay awake but don't have much going on - aurora is a lifeline for that.

Most PCs (work ones and similar) should have all the frameworks necessary, and if not its usually easier to get those installed.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: thashepherd on April 09, 2020, 03:57:48 PM
I would appreciate this! I have VB6 Aurora installed to Dropbox so that I can play the same 'install' on both my desktop and laptop.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Aloriel on April 09, 2020, 05:14:31 PM
I would appreciate this! I have VB6 Aurora installed to Dropbox so that I can play the same 'install' on both my desktop and laptop.

That's kind of brilliant. ;)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: bankshot on April 09, 2020, 09:33:05 PM
I would appreciate this! I have VB6 Aurora installed to Dropbox so that I can play the same 'install' on both my desktop and laptop.

I have a similar set up using Qsync.  A portable/self-contained version would be very convenient. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Desdinova on April 09, 2020, 10:04:53 PM
Studying the changes thread to prepare for release. Did the Tactical attribute bonus from the CIC ever get implemented? What does it do?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: chickentitilater on April 10, 2020, 12:12:42 AM
not to be presumptuous or ( god forbid) trying to rush you, (i'm sure you get your fill of that at your day job) but can we have an eta of when this game will land?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on April 10, 2020, 12:55:38 AM
not to be presumptuous or ( god forbid) trying to rush you, (i'm sure you get your fill of that at your day job) but can we have an eta of when this game will land?
Given how short the todo list is now, and his original thought that he might make it by end of march, this weekend seems a reasonable guess, probably mid/late sunday if so, his time.

One never knows what bugs you will find until you look though, and he still has to test it installed, and iirc finish the current walk through the diplomatic code in his latest play test.

Next weekend would not surprise me for release, nor the one after.  Predicting how long it takes to complete something that has an unknown number of problems embedded in it is a challenging affair that is usually best not attempted—far simpler to just allow far more time than you have any reasonable expectation of needing and likely finish "early".

The best he will likely give is, "When its done", which seems quite near now, fortunately.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kiks on April 10, 2020, 01:51:02 AM
Quote from: amram link=topic=10096. msg120699#msg120699 date=1586498138
Quote from: chickentitilater link=topic=10096. msg120697#msg120697 date=1586495562
not to be presumptuous or ( god forbid) trying to rush you, (i'm sure you get your fill of that at your day job) but can we have an eta of when this game will land?
Given how short the todo list is now, and his original thought that he might make it by end of march, this weekend seems a reasonable guess, probably mid/late sunday if so, his time.

One never knows what bugs you will find until you look though, and he still has to test it installed, and iirc finish the current walk through the diplomatic code in his latest play test.

Next weekend would not surprise me for release, nor the one after.   Predicting how long it takes to complete something that has an unknown number of problems embedded in it is a challenging affair that is usually best not attempted—far simpler to just allow far more time than you have any reasonable expectation of needing and likely finish "early".

The best he will likely give is, "When its done", which seems quite near now, fortunately.

Hi, so I normally lurk but decided to get an account on the forums ahead of the release. 

I don't want to be an ass and I deeply respect the "when it is ready" answer, but an estimate on time would be greatly appreciated.  I've been on "it could be today!" energy for a few days now and I'm starting to not be able to get to sleep from the child-like excitment I'm feeling currently.

I know this is pretty much a me problem but an answer with a time estimate would help to temper my "kid on Christmas" enthusiasm.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on April 10, 2020, 02:04:51 AM
not to be presumptuous or ( god forbid) trying to rush you, (i'm sure you get your fill of that at your day job) but can we have an eta of when this game will land?

Sure.

The estimate is the same as it's always been -- before the Tokyo Olympics start.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on April 10, 2020, 02:08:22 AM
Studying the changes thread to prepare for release. Did the Tactical attribute bonus from the CIC ever get implemented? What does it do?

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8497.msg120087#msg120087 (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8497.msg120087#msg120087)

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10097.msg116461#msg116461 (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10097.msg116461#msg116461)

Yes.

Increases 'to hit' chance.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Father Tim on April 10, 2020, 02:10:34 AM
Hi, so I normally lurk but decided to get an account on the forums ahead of the release. 

I don't want to be an ass and I deeply respect the "when it is ready" answer, but an estimate on time would be greatly appreciated.  I've been on "it could be today!" energy for a few days now and I'm starting to not be able to get to sleep from the child-like excitment I'm feeling currently.

I know this is pretty much a me problem but an answer with a time estimate would help to temper my "kid on Christmas" enthusiasm.

It will not be today.

- - - - -

If your excitement is becoming a problem, I suggest only checking the forums on Tuesdays.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on April 10, 2020, 03:16:56 AM
Hi, so I normally lurk but decided to get an account on the forums ahead of the release. 

I don't want to be an ass and I deeply respect the "when it is ready" answer, but an estimate on time would be greatly appreciated.  I've been on "it could be today!" energy for a few days now and I'm starting to not be able to get to sleep from the child-like excitment I'm feeling currently.

I know this is pretty much a me problem but an answer with a time estimate would help to temper my "kid on Christmas" enthusiasm.
We had an estimate, end of march, and he made clear that's all it was, an estimate.   ;)


The only way you can get a date that means anything is one of two ways.  Either he stops progress and releases on that day, game breaking bugs or not, or he gives himself so much time that its next to impossible for him to fail to meet the "deadline", and then sits on it until the time comes.

That excess could be hours, days, or weeks, only he knows, because only he knows his pace, free time, and remaining tasks to see to, and how fast he and his machine can achieve them.  Only he knows the sorts of issues he may face, given what he wrote, and how he wrote it, and the issues that have plagued him already relating to it.  Yet even he cannot say how long solving them will take.  Its not possible to know — the last time you were stumped, could you have guessed at what time you would suddenly realise the solution and solve it?

Maybe the fix breaks something else and he needs to again think of another solution.

Suppose he thinks it'll be this weekend, and says end of the month?  He maybe makes it this weekend, maybe a bug stops that from happening, maybe he finishes next weekend, or doesn't resolve the issue until too late to test the release build, or life gets in the way and he misses that too, no worry though, he said end of the month, he's still got time to meet the deadline.

Its a one man hobby project, not a AAA studio that is going to dump the game on time complete or not and maybe not patch it after - and they will overestimate the needed time to try and not be late.

We know only that its soon, and that's all we can know with any certainty, and its the only answer he can give with any real certainty until its finished uploading to the site for us to download — He could tell us the minute he finishes the release build, and starts uploading it, it'll be there in 15 minutes, and his internet goes out for several hours and he goes to bed before it comes back, whoops, missed the date.

Easier to just not give one.

Soon.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: froggiest1982 on April 10, 2020, 03:50:10 AM
Quote from: amram link=topic=10096. msg120699#msg120699 date=1586498138
Quote from: chickentitilater link=topic=10096. msg120697#msg120697 date=1586495562
not to be presumptuous or ( god forbid) trying to rush you, (i'm sure you get your fill of that at your day job) but can we have an eta of when this game will land?
Given how short the todo list is now, and his original thought that he might make it by end of march, this weekend seems a reasonable guess, probably mid/late sunday if so, his time.

One never knows what bugs you will find until you look though, and he still has to test it installed, and iirc finish the current walk through the diplomatic code in his latest play test.

Next weekend would not surprise me for release, nor the one after.   Predicting how long it takes to complete something that has an unknown number of problems embedded in it is a challenging affair that is usually best not attempted—far simpler to just allow far more time than you have any reasonable expectation of needing and likely finish "early".

The best he will likely give is, "When its done", which seems quite near now, fortunately.

Hi, so I normally lurk but decided to get an account on the forums ahead of the release. 

I don't want to be an ass and I deeply respect the "when it is ready" answer, but an estimate on time would be greatly appreciated.  I've been on "it could be today!" energy for a few days now and I'm starting to not be able to get to sleep from the child-like excitment I'm feeling currently.

I know this is pretty much a me problem but an answer with a time estimate would help to temper my "kid on Christmas" enthusiasm.

Hi, your answer is pretty much here.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=9841.msg120567#msg120567
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 04:11:46 AM
Studying the changes thread to prepare for release. Did the Tactical attribute bonus from the CIC ever get implemented? What does it do?

Yes, implemented. Commander provides half tactical bonus and tactical officer provides full bonus. It affects to-hit in the same way as crew grade. Crew grade BTW is max 20% in C#.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 04:26:33 AM
I know this is pretty much a me problem but an answer with a time estimate would help to temper my "kid on Christmas" enthusiasm.

I could give an estimate but it would be wrong :)

I've found two bugs during testing combat yesterday, an area which I thought was done but I was just making sure. One was a bug that would only appear occasionally, making it hard to spot. The second meant that missiles targeted on STO units would lose tracking (but vs ground was OK), which was fairly serious but I had never actually run that situation before. Both were fortunately easy to fix. This was a side-benefit of testing Diplomacy. Once the battle began I didn't want to waste the opportunity to test it.

I have to finish the NPR vs NPR combat testing, which I hope will be today but it really depends on whether I find any more problems and how long those problems take to fix. I also keep adding useful extras, like observing races (not directly involved in combat) creating intelligence messages for destroyed ships and updating alien ship records accordingly, plus noting the firing ship or population if energy weapons were used.

Assuming that goes according to hope :) then I will create an obfuscated, installed release and generate a new game. That could be super smooth (I wish) or a complete disaster. I hope it will be closer to the former than the latter, but without knowing that ahead of time it is impossible to know how long it will take.

All I can promise is that I will be at home for the next four days with no other priority except getting Aurora finished and released. One of the benefits of the lockdown is that I don't get dragged out to go shopping :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on April 10, 2020, 05:36:17 AM
I could give an estimate but it would be wrong :)

So just estimate every day between April 11 and the end of time. Bam. Problem solved.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 05:36:28 AM
This won't be in the AAR because I don't 'know' about it, but Martian and Hegemony stabilisation ships are working on the same jump point and each has a small escort group. This is the 'far' side of the jump point so none of them can leave. Instead, its a point blank fight between the escort groups :)

I watched this fight and thought there was a bug. The Hegemony ships weren't firing back at the Martians. Checked the code but couldn't find anything. Eventually I realised the Hegemony squadron may be the unluckiest ships in the galaxy as they transited the jump point moments before the Martians began the war and there happened to be a Martian squadron sat on that jump point. So they were in jump shock from a standard transit and couldn't fire back, but they also couldn't transit out either because the jump point was only stabilised on the far side. Somebody on those ships must have broken several mirrors :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jarhead0331 on April 10, 2020, 08:36:11 AM
For me, its pretty damn heartbreaking that it probably won't release this weekend. The expectation that it might have was totally one made by me, so I'm not criticizing or pointing fingers. I just personally was looking forward to this. I really need a break from the drudgery of quarantine, home schooling and the realization that the forced shutdown of non-essential business has destroyed my practice and the national economy, not to mention the stress of having a wife who is an anesthesiologist living at the hospital risking her life to save others. Its only been about a month, but it feels like a year.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on April 10, 2020, 09:31:43 AM
I could give an estimate but it would be wrong :)

So just estimate every day between April 11 and the end of time. Bam. Problem solved.

Excel says today is day 43931, with day 1 being 1/1/1900.

So release will be on:
Code: [Select]
N = roundup( 43931 +
           (  debug_test_hrs + new_feature_hrs +
              unknown_minor_bugs * hrs_per_minor_bugfix +
              unknown_major_bugs * hrs_per_major_bugfix +
              (obfuscate_hrs + build_hrs + candidate_play_test_hrs) * release_candidate_qty
           ) / 8, 0 )

Determine the hours needed, assume only 8 hours is consumed by the project per day(div by 8 to get days), round up.

Release day will be day N.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 09:35:49 AM
As a small apology for the delay, here is a short, real-time video showing 5-second hell in C# Aurora. There are several systems with multiple NPRs, including this one which has four NPRs and a player race. Detection is running in all systems. AI is running in all systems.

I'm clicking 30 seconds for the increment but the game is shortening the increment to five seconds due to NPR vs NPR action in another system. In this system (Alpha Centauri), this is the player view of one NPR firing missiles at another. This gives an idea of how fast the forced 5-second increments pass vs VB6,

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on April 10, 2020, 09:41:55 AM
As a small apology for the delay, here is a short, real-time video showing 5-second hell in C# Aurora. There are several systems with multiple NPRs, including this one which has four NPRs and a player race. Detection is running in all systems. AI is running in all systems.

I'm clicking 30 seconds for the increment but the game is shortening the increment to five seconds due to NPR vs NPR action in another system. In this system (Alpha Centauri), this is the player view of one NPR firing missiles at another. This gives an idea of how fast the forced 5-second increments pass vs VB6,


I'd be lying if I said the anticipation isn't mounting, lol....

Was that a debug build, or release candidate?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kiks on April 10, 2020, 09:45:32 AM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120708#msg120708 date=1586510793
I could give an estimate but it would be wrong :)

Hey, a wrong estimate is good enough for me.  I think I probably just needed to say what I said cause I passed out right after posting  ;D. 

Thank you for what you do, I think we all are just a bit bored and stressed so your work is helping to put some good in the world.  A bit too excited for release, keep up the great work!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 09:46:35 AM
As a small apology for the delay, here is a short, real-time video showing 5-second hell in C# Aurora. There are several systems with multiple NPRs, including this one which has four NPRs and a player race. Detection is running in all systems. AI is running in all systems.

I'm clicking 30 seconds for the increment but the game is shortening the increment to five seconds due to NPR vs NPR action in another system. In this system (Alpha Centauri), this is the player view of one NPR firing missiles at another. This gives an idea of how fast the forced 5-second increments pass vs VB6,


I'd be lying if I said the anticipation isn't mounting, lol....

Was that a debug build, or release candidate?

This is running in debug mode :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: amram on April 10, 2020, 09:48:09 AM

This is running in debug mode :)

Thought as much, so there's a good chance it'll be even quicker in a release build, might not need the spacetime bubble until very late game now, if at all.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 09:51:26 AM

This is running in debug mode :)

Thought as much, so there's a good chance it'll be even quicker in a release build, might not need the spacetime bubble until very late game now, if at all.

At the moment, there is no space-time bubble. I'll add one if needed.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: ChubbyPitbull on April 10, 2020, 09:52:54 AM
As a small apology for the delay, here is a short, real-time video showing 5-second hell in C# Aurora. There are several systems with multiple NPRs, including this one which has four NPRs and a player race. Detection is running in all systems. AI is running in all systems.

I'm clicking 30 seconds for the increment but the game is shortening the increment to five seconds due to NPR vs NPR action in another system. In this system (Alpha Centauri), this is the player view of one NPR firing missiles at another. This gives an idea of how fast the forced 5-second increments pass vs VB6,


HYPE

I've been following all the new updates you've been adding to the C# version with great interest, but by god this is the most beautiful thing.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Inglonias on April 10, 2020, 09:59:08 AM
As a small apology for the delay, here is a short, real-time video showing 5-second hell in C# Aurora.


This doesn't make the wait any easier, but thank you!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 10:42:04 AM
As a small apology for the delay, here is a short, real-time video showing 5-second hell in C# Aurora. There are several systems with multiple NPRs, including this one which has four NPRs and a player race. Detection is running in all systems. AI is running in all systems.

I'm clicking 30 seconds for the increment but the game is shortening the increment to five seconds due to NPR vs NPR action in another system. In this system (Alpha Centauri), this is the player view of one NPR firing missiles at another. This gives an idea of how fast the forced 5-second increments pass vs VB6,

Actually there are three large simultaneous battles going on while that video is running. Spotted the others due to increment shortening.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kristover on April 10, 2020, 10:57:38 AM
Steve,  I know we aren't doing formal AARs and like everyone else here I'm hoping for a release soon - I'm already making medals for my first campaign! - and don't want to create any delays from that happening.  But could you do a very quick write-up summary of the battles so we can get a scope/scale of what the AI is doing and capable? In VB6, we don't get to see NPR v NPR battles and I felt the latest AI behavior to be interesting.  When I read your post the other day about the Martians sneaking STOs in, moving their fleet out, and opening fire, I was like 'That's new and fun!'.  It might be a good scene setter for the upcoming release.   I'm certainly on notice that I'm going to have to relearn how to play.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: MarcAFK on April 10, 2020, 11:12:48 AM
I would love to know how long 5 second hell lasts in this situation. Perhaps with the increased turn processing time it might be time to consider (in the future) adding additional features for greater control on auto turns, perhaps some options for pausing 5 second hell after some time so that you can save to continue later, or pause immediately after the major backlog has passed. Or things like that.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on April 10, 2020, 11:18:05 AM
Steve,  I know we aren't doing formal AARs and like everyone else here I'm hoping for a release soon - I'm already making medals for my first campaign! - and don't want to create any delays from that happening.  But could you do a very quick write-up summary of the battles so we can get a scope/scale of what the AI is doing and capable? In VB6, we don't get to see NPR v NPR battles and I felt the latest AI behavior to be interesting.  When I read your post the other day about the Martians sneaking STOs in, moving their fleet out, and opening fire, I was like 'That's new and fun!'.  It might be a good scene setter for the upcoming release.   I'm certainly on notice that I'm going to have to relearn how to play.

We could just wait a few days and find out ourselves, which would be about the same span of time between Steve having the time away from everything else to write your request and actually finish writing it and posting.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 11:28:33 AM
I would love to know how long 5 second hell lasts in this situation. Perhaps with the increased turn processing time it might be time to consider (in the future) adding additional features for greater control on auto turns, perhaps some options for pausing 5 second hell after some time so that you can save to continue later, or pause immediately after the major backlog has passed. Or things like that.

You can turn off auto-turns by clicking the automated turns button. I do that at the end of the video.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 12:52:48 PM
Another video, with a few more missiles this time. Its about 2560x1440 but if you view in lower res you can still get the general impression.

This is from the perspective of one NPR (Hegemony of Titan) defending against a missile attack from another NPR (Martian Empire). The green contacts are Venusian and British Empire, which are neutral.

This is real-time with 5-second increments. There are two other simultaneous battles happening in other systems.


BTW - not just having fun here :).  I found a bug while running this battle.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Nori on April 10, 2020, 12:59:06 PM
Thanks for posting, looking nice and fast. But you didn't answer the most important question. Who won? Or rather who lost less..  :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SpaceMarine on April 10, 2020, 01:00:07 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120742#msg120742 date=1586541168
Another video, with a few more missiles this time.  Its about 2560x1440 but if you view in lower res you can still get the general impression. 

This is from the perspective of one NPR (Hegemony of Titan) defending against a missile attack from another NPR (Martian Empire).  The green contacts are Venusian and British Empire, which are neutral.

This is real-time with 5-second increments.  There are two other simultaneous battles happening in other systems.

https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=CSIDMxxgYIs

BTW - not just having fun here :).   I found a bug while running this battle.

Great video again, really nice to see the performance real time and also just the coolness of a battle in C#, at this rate you're becoming a full time youtuber ^^
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 01:13:38 PM
Thanks for posting, looking nice and fast. But you didn't answer the most important question. Who won? Or rather who lost less..  :)

I forgot to stop it running, hit a bug and closed it - so I'll let you know who wins the second time through :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Son_of_Orion on April 10, 2020, 01:17:09 PM
This all looks incredible.  I wouldn't be opposed to watching a stream of this, honestly.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 03:42:39 PM
Last video for today.

This is the previous engagement replayed, but from the Martian perspective and with a much wider view. The engagement near centre is the one in the previous video (but more compressed). Top left is the Martian fleet that launched the attack. Bottom centre is a Martian terraformer group. Bottom right are some Hegemony freighters. This is real-time 5 second increments using an obfuscated install of Aurora (not debug in IDE). As well as the engagements here, there are three other battles taking place in other systems at the same time. The action is relatively slow in places, because I went for the smoother 5-second interval rather than use a longer-interval and have some increments cut short.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Kiri on April 10, 2020, 03:53:40 PM
Thank you for these videos, they are beautiful and impressive to watch.  But tbh I had to snicker at the "Horsejuggler" ships.   ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: kks on April 10, 2020, 04:09:56 PM
I also find it nice how the NPR protects its terraformers. The freighters didn't have so much luck, it seems.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Droll on April 10, 2020, 04:35:29 PM
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120755#msg120755 date=1586551359
Last video for today.

This is the previous engagement replayed, but from the Martian perspective and with a much wider view.  The engagement near centre is the one in the previous video (but more compressed).  Top left is the Martian fleet that launched the attack.  Bottom centre is a Martian terraformer group.  Bottom right are some Hegemony freighters.  This is real-time 5 second increments using an obfuscated install of Aurora (not debug in IDE).  As well as the engagements here, there are three other battles taking place in other systems at the same time.  The action is relatively slow in places, because I went for the smoother 5-second interval rather than use a longer-interval and have some increments cut short.

https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=PySFPn13lg0

How happy are you with how its going bug wise? Does this look like an ideal scenario where all the pieces have fallen into place?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 10, 2020, 04:40:33 PM
I think I am happy now with the combat and the diplomacy. There was a lot of NPR vs NPR combat (as seen in the videos) with no apparent bugs. It isn't perfect, but good enough to release and then tweak. Tomorrow, I will start a new game in the installed version and run the first year or two just to make sure everything functions as expected. This won't a full campaign - I just need to make the installation with obfuscation doesn't have any problems that don't appear in the debug version.

I'm not going to spend time on updating the AAR for Space 1889 - I'll jump straight into the new campaign.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: DFNewb on April 10, 2020, 05:28:19 PM
I think I am happy now with the combat and the diplomacy. There was a lot of NPR vs NPR combat (as seen in the videos) with no apparent bugs. It isn't perfect, but good enough to release and then tweak. Tomorrow, I will start a new game in the installed version and run the first year or two just to make sure everything functions as expected. This won't a full campaign - I just need to make the installation with obfuscation doesn't have any problems that don't appear in the debug version.

I'm not going to spend time on updating the AAR for Space 1889 - I'll jump straight into the new campaign.

But but but I have exams the day after tomorrow.

 :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: skoormit on April 10, 2020, 05:32:12 PM
Quote from: DFNewb link=topic=10096. msg120761#msg120761 date=1586557699
Quote from: Steve Walmsley link=topic=10096. msg120760#msg120760 date=1586554833
I think I am happy now with the combat and the diplomacy.  There was a lot of NPR vs NPR combat (as seen in the videos) with no apparent bugs.  It isn't perfect, but good enough to release and then tweak.  Tomorrow, I will start a new game in the installed version and run the first year or two just to make sure everything functions as expected.  This won't a full campaign - I just need to make the installation with obfuscation doesn't have any problems that don't appear in the debug version.

I'm not going to spend time on updating the AAR for Space 1889 - I'll jump straight into the new campaign.

But but but I have exams the day after tomorrow.

 :)

Better study tonight.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: hadi on April 10, 2020, 06:23:37 PM
@steve are there any sorts of  battle logs/reports from that combat you could perhaps paste to pastebin so i could read some of them? :)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Geezer on April 10, 2020, 07:15:28 PM
Maybe the Easter Bunny will bring us all a nice gift on Sunday!   ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: SultanPepper on April 10, 2020, 08:49:39 PM
God damn, the complexity that all your work entails.  You are one hell of a coder, sir Steve!
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 11, 2020, 04:45:58 AM
@steve are there any sorts of  battle logs/reports from that combat you could perhaps paste to pastebin so i could read some of them? :)

I started to write the AAR but given time constraints I am going to leave it and concentrate on testing. I'll post the short report I have up to April 1896.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 11, 2020, 08:53:22 AM
This is real-time video from the new test campaign. These are 5-day increments passing. The player race is conventional but the three NPRs are Trans-Newtonian and are all exploring, building, researching, etc while this video is running.

As this is conventional I will run through a few years for test purposes. I'm just letting this run for demo purposes, but I will go back and react to events.

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Jovus on April 11, 2020, 09:00:16 AM
Are NPRs now capable of starting conventional and then transferring to be TN?
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Steve Walmsley on April 11, 2020, 09:01:43 AM
Are NPRs now capable of starting conventional and then transferring to be TN?

Not at release. I will tackle that at some point though.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Gerbil on April 11, 2020, 12:45:45 PM
Whenever I see a notification of an 'Update on Progress' from Steve I always get a little tingle - is that normal. . ? ;D
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Tikigod on April 11, 2020, 01:23:55 PM
Whenever I see a notification of an 'Update on Progress' from Steve I always get a little tingle - is that normal. . ? ;D

No.

Steve should not be causing you tingles.

Warm fuzzies are perfectly normal however.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: skoormit on April 12, 2020, 08:39:04 AM
If you are only following this particular thread, waiting for updates, you might want to click here: hxxp: aurora2. pentarch. org/index. php?topic=10635. 0

EDIT: I don't understand why the forum changes the url like that.   What am I doing wrong?
If I format as code, it doesn't change it (but it also doesn't make it a link):
Code: [Select]
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.0
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Droll on April 12, 2020, 08:55:15 AM
Quote from: skoormit link=topic=10096. msg120954#msg120954 date=1586698744
If you are only following this particular thread, waiting for updates, you might want to click here: hxxp: aurora2.  pentarch.  org/index.  php?topic=10635.  0

EDIT: I don't understand why the forum changes the url like that.    What am I doing wrong?
If I format as code, it doesn't change it (but it also doesn't make it a link):
Code: [Select]
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.0

You absolute legend
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: hopeless4xnoob on April 12, 2020, 10:26:53 AM
Quote from: skoormit link=topic=10096. msg120954#msg120954 date=1586698744
If you are only following this particular thread, waiting for updates, you might want to click here: hxxp: aurora2.  pentarch.  org/index.  php?topic=10635.  0

EDIT: I don't understand why the forum changes the url like that.    What am I doing wrong?
If I format as code, it doesn't change it (but it also doesn't make it a link):
Code: [Select]
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.0

Thanks! Sadly I missed it, and now DropBox is complaining that it's being downloaded too much. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alsadius on April 12, 2020, 10:48:13 AM
If you are only following this particular thread, waiting for updates, you might want to click here: hxxp: aurora2. pentarch. org/index. php?topic=10635. 0

EDIT: I don't understand why the forum changes the url like that.   What am I doing wrong?
If I format as code, it doesn't change it (but it also doesn't make it a link):
Code: [Select]
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.0

You're only allowed to post links after you've made 10 posts - it's an anti-spam thing.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.0 ;)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: hopeless4xnoob on April 12, 2020, 10:49:12 AM
Steve has given permission for someone to upload to Google Drive.  .  .  if you're.  .  .  (caugh).  .  .  so inclined :P.   We could use a mirror :P. 
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: bankshot on April 12, 2020, 11:34:32 AM
Mirror links have been posted in the other thread by AGM-114, Alucard, and Peregrine.  see http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.45 (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.45)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: VimWabbit on April 12, 2020, 12:10:27 PM
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alucard on April 12, 2020, 11:09:00 PM
For anyone checking just here:
Release 1.00 thread (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10635.0)
Download Mirrors (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=10644.0)
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Paul Shakur on April 13, 2020, 07:11:45 AM
I think this topic can be closed, because it's similiar one created by Steve after realease.
Title: Re: Update on Progress
Post by: Alsadius on April 13, 2020, 08:12:48 AM
I think this topic can be closed, because it's similiar one created by Steve after realease.

Nah, now we have to hound him mercilessly for v1.01 :P

(Seriously though, I hope we don't start doing that. Dude deserves to enjoy it a bit, not just spend time dealing with a tsunami of bug reports.)