Saturday, August 27, 2011

Early Update, AI questions and thoughts.

Yes, this sundays post is a bit early, but I figured early is better than late.

So with this next update that will be released I am messing around a lot with the AI scripts cand codes. Spicificly I am adding in scripts that slightly modify the way the AI works to give players a more customized feel. For example I recently added 3 new Scrin AI Scripts in, one that focuses on tactical powers, one that focuses on income, and one that focuses on unit enhancment. This is to give the players more options to help talor their enemies to specific play styles.

The next one I'm looking at doing is for GDI, it will be called Xeno-No Orca. I am interested to see just how effective the GDI AI would be if it decided that it didn't like to build orcas of any kind. This doesn't mean that it CAN'T build Orcas, they are still there, it's just that this AI will prefer Firehawks and Tanks instead of Orcas, if it works the way I hope it will lead to a very interesting AI to fight against.

What kind of AI's would you like to go up against? Ones that spam ground forces? Ones that prefer infantry? How about ones that want as much land as possible and will just expand like there is no tommorow? Let me know!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Defcon, the Refit, and the Hazel Project

The UC side of the Earth Federation really relies on it's base line mobile suits to win the day. Where AW will have mass production gundams with abilities and SEED will have massive mobile armors to win its battles the UC forces really have to use their wide array of mobile suits to push through. Thankfully they have 3 different systems working together to allow them to get the most out of their forces.

The first system everyone already knows about, the DefCon system. This system works a lot like the old Timeline system did. The player has 2 ways to advance the Defcon system compaired to the Timeline system that only had the one. The first is just wait, as the battle progress's the UC high command will decide that the commander will need more advance tech to try and win and will not only allow you, the commander, to deploy newer, stronger suits to the battlefield but will also drop in a special "Command" Gundam mobile suit with a team to help assist. This is how the UC player gets access to Gundams in the game.

The 2nd system is the Retrofit System. At Teir 4 the Research Center has new upgrades avalible for research that will upgrade older mobile suits to new uses on the battlefield. Some upgrades, like the GM-III Retrofit, will upgrade the original RGM79 to a fully armored GM-III with a bazooka and anti-air missiles. We're still working on what upgrades we're going to do here, but at the moment we've got the GM-III retrofit, the Guntank Repair retrofit, and the RX-77 Guncannon 3 Retrofit in the works.

Finally there is the Project Hazel Retrofit. At Tier 4 (or 5, haven't decided yet) the Hazel Research Center becomes avalible to build. Inside will be 4 upgrades that will again increase the power and usefulness of 3 different units on the battlefield. There are actually 4 upgrades that can be done here. The major difference between the Retrofit and the Hazel systems is that the Retrofit system can drastically change the way a unit works on the battlefield where the Hazel system keeps the unit in its same roll just with more abilities to get it's job done. What we have here so far are the Powered GM Hazel Phase, the GM Sniper Hazel Phase, the GM Custom Hazel Phase, and the Hazel Retinue Phase.

The Powered GM Hazel gains accuracy with it's main beam rifle (which is also stronger than the original), gains a bit more speed, and gains anti-air beam cannons on it's back. The GM Sniper Hazel gains stealth (which is a big plus) and a more powerful beam rifle. The GM Custom Hazel gains a nice boost in health, speed, and a stronger beam rifle. Finally the Hazel Retinue is for the Gundams. With this upgrade special "dual shield" GM Custom Hazels will drop in with the Gundams. These special units will be as strong as the RX78, if not stronger depending on the situation and be equipped with 2 short barreled beam rifles.

So hopefully you can see how UC will play out. Not only do you have what we mentioned above on UC's side, you also gain powers based off of the Gundams that are on the field and the Gundams give "strength" bonus's to diffent class's of units. I hope you guys enjoy UC, it's really turning into a very unique army all it's own.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A two part update. GP03 and the AI

So I was hoping to have pics of the new GP03 with all my changes up for you guys to see on this update, but I've been really busy with the AI so the pics will have to wait until later this week. Still, I promised more details and have been waiting to tell everyone about it, so at least you'll get to read what I'm thinking.

First GP03. When Doug and I decided that since we're going back and fixing things up anyways one last time I personally wanted to take a crack at making GP03 something truly special. Something larger than life. Something that your enemies will fear and you will honestly go "that's what I'm talking about."

And how to pull this off? Well, the first question came down to how should the unit work. There were 3 locomotor choices to choose from. 1-Come in and attack then leave, 2-Be built and constantly move, 3-Be built and hover. Also GP03 has 3 major ways to attack. 1-Mega Beam Cannon, 2-Rockets, 3-Beam Sabers.

As you all know our GP03 model didn't have the beam saber arms on it. It does now, I went in and added them in. It was a patch job, but it works. Then I looked at the locomotor choices. We had it originally set up at option 2, but the weapons just were not firing properly there. I switched it over to option 3 and everything clicked weapon wise. So to use all the weapons I would have to have it set up to as a hovering model. This ment adding some sort of "positioning thrusters" onto the body. Again, I went to the model and threw something together. Overall it looks rather nice I think.

I then took a good hard look at the code and the way the weapons worked. My biggest problem was GP03's mega partical beam cannon. There simply isn't a good way to make the cannon avalible to the player in a way that it would both be true to the actual power of such a weapon of that size AND constantly useable without being overpowering. So this is what I did.

I went in and combined options 1 and 3. GP03 will now fly in from the side of them map and make an attack run at it's target "location". When it gets close it will fire the Mega partical Beam cannon off once, doing MASSIVE damage to the location/target that gets hit. GP03 will continue flying forwards and stop over the smoldering ruins of it's target. It is then selectable and able to be used as normal.

But I didn't stop there with the unit. The Beam Sabers were given a good distance and set up so they only attack air. This makes GP03 a very dangerous anti-air unit. Enemy targets that get too close like Firehawks and Vertigo's that like the fly past their target after firing their missiles will get a nasty surpize against GP03. Orcas do the best against them with their quick hit and run tactics.

And then I went to the Rocket Pods. Sure, I could give the unit some missiles and call it a day, but that's not how GP03's rocket pods were designed to work. After 3 days of testing different things I came up with this - GP03 fires out 4 missile pods. As the pods fall they suddenly gain their own orintation in the air and take off on their own flying very fast. The pods will fly around the area and fire off 2 vollys of missiles from themselves, firing special micro missiles. Then the pods explode in the air. GP03 is timed to have at most 8 of these missile pods flying around it. The effect is quite awsome to witness and I can't wait to show you guys/let you play with it and see. There is no other weapon in CNC3 like this, and it has opened up another realm of possibilities to us. It all came about thanks to me making a mistake on the code by the way, GP03 at one point was firing missile pods that acted like jumping beans, bouncing from one target to the next killing everything and anything around it. That was just funny to watch lol.

So thats the update for GP03. Now the AI. I've had a problem recently where the AI just simply refused to work properly for me. The game would crash 5 minutes into a battle every time. I've narrowed it down to a couple of buildings, I'm not sure which structure of mine is causing this conflict that is doing all this but that has taken a lot of my time. Once I have this fixed I should have something that Doug and you guys will find a bit more challanging to face other than the current "wow..... that was just sad." AI that the EF currently uses. Here is hoping I can come up with some more evil plans right? :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August has not been a good month for me.

Lets see, first there was my GF's birthday, then my own 2 days after than, and then my sisters a few after that.... oh yea, and then my car decided to shit the bed and die on me yesterday, did I mention that? And work is cutting hours (only getting 20ish a week now!) during all of this. And it's only August 10th? Fuck, not looking forward to the rest of this month at this rate.

What does that mean? Well, for starters I've been too busy to post anything here (but not to do work, as many of you know from MOD DB). I apologize for the missing sunday posts and hope to be back on track this sunday with new information about how GP03 will work in the new version of the mod. I'm very excidted and love how it is turning out. As long as I can, you know, actually GET it to work. That's kinda key.