Author Topic: Precursors are Back in v2.6  (Read 388 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Precursors are Back in v2.6
« on: February 15, 2008, 01:53:16 PM »
Precursors will be returning in v2.6 but with a different concept. In the past they were very simplified units using their own rules, including the way they handled damage, shooting at missiles, detecting player units, etc.. Although this made the precursor AI easier, it meant maintaining the "precursor code" to keep up with any changes. When I failed to do this, it caused problems.

Therefore I have taken a completely different approach. In v2.6, Precursor ships are exactly like any other ship in the game. This has meant a lot more work in creating a computer player but means they use exactly the same code as player ships and will therefore automatically make use of any changes. Precursors have the same internal components and will get damaged in the same way as player ships. Within the computer opponent code (I'll call this the AI for short although it obviously isn't an artificial intelligence :)) they have to decide how to allocate weapons, fire control, ECCM, etc, which missiles to load into their launchers, which contacts to pursue and at what distance. They will run out of fuel and missiles and will have to return to a base to refuel and reload. As they have the same sensor components and sensor mechanics, they will have to decide how to use their active sensors and may treat different types of contacts in different ways.

I have extended the AI code to handle precursor grav survey ships and geo survey ships that will survey and explore new systems automatically. I am also looking to eventually add small populations, freighters, colony ships, mining ships, fuel harvesters, etc, creating the option for non-precursor "minor races" to be added to the game. They won't have the same flexibility as a player race but they will provide more of a challenge than a just a few ships defending some ruins. If these races appear, they are under computer control, not SM control, so they will be completely automated races. They will be basic at first, unable to design new ships or conduct research and you won't be able to talk to them, but they will defend themselves and you will be able to conquer them, bombard them and add their pops to your Empire.

Precursors are already in v2.6. The "minor races" might make it into v2.6 or I might get precursors out first and then tackle populations. I mentioned civilian traffic in the past and may handle this by creating "corporations" that spawn from a player parent race and act as a computer-controlled tax-paying minor race.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »


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