v5 changes - these were mostly about the ACU, making it more aggressive and less suicidal
Also updated the guide slightly to add details of the AI development discord channel in FAF (separate to the main AI development discord), and a couple of common hard crash errors
v4 changes (in reality v2, but when I uploaded the mod on its first release I had to rush out a couple of hotfixes where I'd forgotten to remove debug logic and accidently introduced a bug that affected all games!)
I've also updated the guide to reflect speed2's comments (as well as a couple of other minor points/sections, such as a bit on uploading a mod and some tests that I now run before uploading)
If it can be implemented without changing how high the missiles go then I’d see it as a good change. My main concern (already mentioned above by ofhers) is maps like astro craters where even a slight change in the height of a missile from a cruiser could have a dramatic balance impact (at the moment some but not all missiles can clear the astro cliffs so i expect even a small change could have a large impact in the damage cruisers could do)
I’d suggest highlighting the point about being able to join multiple queues in the news post when its released (and possibly even the game loading tooltips)-I doubt I’m the only one who assumed you could only be in one queue at a time.
Don't think I've got that folder with the steam install, I've got the following:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Supreme Commander Forged Alliance
(this doesn't have a coderecs folder, and adding one in doesnt resolve the issue)
I've also got the FAF location:
same issue as with the steamapps folder
(just in case I also tried the \Documents\My Games\Gas Powered Games\Supreme Commander Forged Alliance folder but no luck).
Is there anywhere else I may have missed for a steam version?
Although I'd hoped I'd got the CDs for both as well, checking I've only got the CD for the original supcom so cant try a fresh install via disc.
Thanks, in particular for the debug window - I expect using that would've drastically cut my debugging time! I'll update for your comments in the latest version.
Unfortunately I can't get the debug window to work for me (I just get an error message) and some other people have had the same problem. Asking in the AI discord Jip thought that you need to do an install from the cd version of the game not steam but that you may know the exact procedure?
Error message below in case it helps:
Thanks, I'll reflect the correct case usage of Lua in the next version of the guide (I'll probably update it whenever I release an AI update so the two are in sync)
Following the recent Supreme Computer Cup I was inspired to have a go at developing a basic AI for FAF. As I had zero experience of coding in Lua, I thought at the same time I would write down things as I learnt them to have both a guide for other people interested in getting started in developing an AI, and a dev log for the creation of my AI.
See below for a link to the current AI development guide and devlog:
The current AI has been uploaded as a mod, and the files can also be accessed from the below:
I've copied the current overview from the guide below:
This document is intended to do 3 things at once (meaning it does none of them very well!):
• Act as a guide to people new to FAF AI development, including collating any other useful resources out there on AI development
• Be a sort of dev log of my thought process and development steps for creating my first FAF AI, with extracts of code thrown in
• Form my main ‘todo’ list for further developments of my AI
If you see any errors, or have any comments or suggestions (in particular any AI developers who read this since you’ll probably know better/easier ways of doing things than the methods I’ve chosen) let me know and I can update the guide where relevant.
If you’re here for useful resources and/or details of how to write AI and don’t care about the dev log aspect then just skip to section 2) Setup and background and section 4) Index of useful functions, and/or browse the index for points that may be of interest.
In terms of the dev log section, if you start seeing lots of yellow highlighting/square brackets you’ve reached the end of the dev log part and the start of my todo list of things I’m planning on working on next.
Latest changes (v5) summary:
Good idea. However will the map size be weighted to be similar to normal ladder, or will it be 1/3 5x5 1/3 10x10 1/3 20x20? If possible (if not already done) I'd suggest it mirror the normal map pool weighting for a particular rating bracket.
I've won with sera SACU spam a few times, but that's on astro craters. You have the build power to get AA on the fly, and can take out ground experimentals mass efficiently if your opponent doesn't micro well. However they're slow and hence vulnerable to kiting while your opponent will have plenty of time to get defences if you try and attack with them.
I essentially see them as a 'jack of all trades' type of unit. They give an eco boost, but IIRC it's about half as efficient as a RAS SACU. They've got a good DPS and mass for their cost, but are slow and have a poor range. They can give you AA, but it'll be fixed and can't handle large amounts of air at once.
They're also the only SACU that gets the TML upgrade, although so far my attempts at getting a sneaky snipe with this have failed as you need so many to punch through multiple T3 shields (and if you fail with the first launch the opponent will move their com and get more TMD).
If making such a change I'd suggest still having an e cost so power stalling costs you mass - e.g. this could just be the same as a T2 mass fab (-100 e) so it's far less proportionately while still punishing you for stalling (and meaning that if you mindlessly spam them forever you'll also end up stalling)
I found my biggest improvement (moving from c.400 rank to 800) was primarily from watching replays where i got crushed and figuring out what my opponent did. Playing more games instead wouldn’t have taught me that anywhere near as quickly.
I also found sandboxing initial strategies numerous times to both figure out what works and to memorise it was better than just starting a game and trying to think about it on the spot (as I was frequently finding i would be close to overflowing mass despite trying to build more factories early) - sandboxing and replays helped me realise i was sending my acu to the front too early and that i should get it to build more factories first.
I see this as something that could be useful not just for reclaim but more generally
e.g. instead of needing to select a group of bombers, and then shift-click on every enemy in an area before using spread-attack, you just click the 'attack area' button, click to drag over the area in question, and they will randomly target any enemy in the area (at the time the command is issued, so it's a 1-off order).
Similarly with engineers they would randomly reclaim anything in that area, and keep reclaiming until the area is cleared of reclaim.
Yeah some way of easily telling tree groups would help - I just don't bother and use attack move as I don't have the time to try and figure out what's a tree group and what isn't, but would be nice to have better information on this so if I wanted to I could try and make better use of tree groups without needing to memorise the map in question. I'd probably prefer including the mass and energy values for tree groups (but not individual trees, to avoid too much information on the overlay), or some special icon/other visual indication (that happens when activating the reclaim overlay), over 'zoom out to a particular level and you can see tree groups but not individual trees', although the zoom out option would still be better than nothing.
Tbh in any RTS game I've played, I can breeze through the campaign on hardest difficulty, then try a multiplayer match and get absolutely crushed (and I also expect to be). I don't think FAF is anything different in this regards - there's an established meta (since it's not a brand new game) and that meta is different to how you can win in the campaign.
Challenge maps/improved tutorials would still help, but it requires someone to do it (although improving the tutorials section of the client to include links to the various guides I'd like to think would be an 'easy win').
I'd prefer option 2 or option 3.
I'd also see this as having a benefit from a gameplay perspective (not just a performance perspective) because it always seemed counter-intuitive to me that an ACU which kills an experimental by itself gets only 1 rank of vet, whereas an ACU that kills some T2 tanks that are a fraction of the mass value can get multiple vet ranks easily. That said though, it's also slightly more intuitive that you gain veterancy when a unit dies rather than when you damage it, though I've seen RTS's that take either approach.
However, it would generally make veterancy more powerful, so might need some sort of slight tweak to compensate. E.g. any unit with moderate or better health that would benefit from an earlier vet would get a benefit when attacking a high health unit with a higher mass cost, such that the veterancy bonus or mass requirement might need adjusting.
Having only started following the FAF forums and news the start of this year I'd not come across the PC election before, but one thing that's surprised me is just how long the process has gone on for. To summarise the timings for the PC election that's almost now finished:
So essentially, 3 months taken up with the PC election.
Regardless of whoever wins the current election, I'd suggest shortening this period significantly, as 1/4 of the PC's time will potentially be in 'election mode'.
I'd therefore suggest allowing 3 weeks for candidates, and then 3 weeks for voting, to halve the time involved overall, for next year's election, while still giving enough of a period to allow most people who might be on holiday at some point in that time to be able to stand and/or vote, without having the election go on for so long.
I'd also be curious if anyone has stats on the timeframe of when votes were cast, as I suspect they will be weighted significantly towards the start of the voting period (which would give further support for there not being a need for a whole month to vote). If this isn't the case and votes tend to be evenly spread over the time period (or even weighted more towards the end of the voting period) then it may still be worth retaining 4 weeks for voting.
Could you give a source for 95% of games being on gap? If I was to guess I’d have thought it closer to 20-30%, and thats counting both gap and dual gap, and ignoring 1v1 ladder
After the recent AI tournament I was inspired to have a go at experimenting with AI development to see if I could come up with anything remotely functional, and figured I'd also document some of the steps in doing it to help anyone else who is interested in starting out (assuming I make enough progress for such documentation to be of any use).
Unfortunately I feel I've failed already at a basic first hurdle, and wondered if any of the AI developers might take pity and help me out?
I thought I'd start simple, and just try and adapt an AI's initial build order. I used the MicroAI as a starting point since I understand it's intended for public use for such a purpose:
My presumption with how the AI relating to the intial build order worked from looking through the files is as follows:
So, as a simple test to check if I was right, I changed it so the first item listed was 'T1EnergyProduction', followed by 'T1AirFactory'. However, on loading up the AI on an (offline) custom game, it would still start by building a T1 land factory.
Other changes I made seemed to have some sort of impact (e.g. to try and change the attacks the AI was sending I started messing around with the "MicroAILandBuilder" part of this file, along with the PlatoonTemplates\MicroAITemplates/lua file, which resulted in the AI massing an army of land scouts to attack with - not quite what I was after but at least a noticeable change! So I don't think the issue is with the changes I'm making failing to be reflected in the mod I then load in the offline FAF skirmish)
Searching for articles that might give some basics of how the AI works I found the below which has a section on AI scripting (in the context of custom missions) and a separate guide which gives an overview/diagram of how the AI works:
I've also been able to locate the core game files that are part of FAF (i.e. the Lua file within Supreme Commander Forged Alliance\gamedata), but I couldn't find anything else from a skim of these forums and Discord.
Is anyone able to help either with my query, or alternatively if there's any material aimed at beginners getting into FAF AI development that might explain some of the basics?
Edit: Thanks for the help everyone - now resolved the issue
Edit2: See my more recent forum post for a link to the current version of the guide: