Aurora 4x

C# Aurora => C# Aurora => 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