Solution to path finding problems

General discussion about Multiwinia

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esqmo
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Solution to path finding problems

Postby esqmo » Fri May 09, 2008 1:08 pm

I'm sure you get this sort of thing all the time, but this is a little suggestion for the up and coming Multiwinia. The path finding in the game Darwinia was non-existent which for me was the most annoying thing in the game because you would always have to keep coming back to things to move them around corners. A very simple fix for this is to have the ability to cue up movements (like in supreme commander) its just a simple list of movement orders by holding shift and I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to implement!

This only really applies to the squads and engineers it would take the fun out of the Darwinians.

The main place this is a problem is in the Yard map after you get to the second radar dish control tower, and then have to assault the Soul capturing machines every time you loose a squad you have to wait a couple of minutes while you babysit them so they don't get stuck on the way to the front lines.

Thanks
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xander
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Postby xander » Fri May 09, 2008 2:48 pm

If you read through these forums, you would know that (a) this has been brought up before (your exact 'solution,' in fact) and that (b) there is no pathfinding in Darwinia because there is not meant to be any pathfinding. The units in Darwinia are meant to be dumb, and require constant supervision. It is entirely within the theme of the game, and it is how IV intended the game to behave. Human controlled programs are meant to require human supervision, and DGs can be made to follow officers as though they were waypoints (as you describe).

So, in short, you have given a solution to a problem that does not exist.

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Postby Dover » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:34 pm

I'm aware, that this topic is kindof old but anyway. xander, i know that you're defending every single design decision of IV and i'm fine with it. and while i do like the way you can set waypoints in darwinia, i also think, that the behaviour of the darwinians isn't quite how it should be, if you think of them as something with 'character' as most of the users do. your argument about the 'controlled programs' certainly applies to squads, engineers and armours, but i just think it doesn't for the darwinians: they are not meant to be 'controlled' as sepulveda introduces them in 'garden', but to be influenced. now i don't know how 'bad' influence can be, but if someone tells you to run through a laser wall and you actually do it, you are a) a strange kind of suicidal who waits until someone orders you to kill yourself or b) someone with NO intelligence. behaviours, that i would expect from a darwinian in such a case:
a) stand still until new orders come
b) turn into a red darwinian, since you just have lost your belief in god and become angry
and/or c) turn around, run back and beat the hell out of the officer who told you to do so

don't you think, that b) and c) would be a way more interesting behaviour as the one ingame? at least it would bring some comical relief to the thing. :D
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Postby xyzyxx » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:59 pm

Dover wrote:turn around, run back and beat the hell out of the officer who told you to do so
at least it would bring some comical relief to the thing. :D
I, for one, am amused.
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Postby xander » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:45 pm

Look, the fact is that, at the end of the day, Darwinia is a game. IV decided to create the game in such a way that all units require supervision of the user. The Darwinians were meant to have a Lemmings-like kind of behaviour (i.e. do exactly what they are told, no matter what happens) and other units are meant to be baby-sat. These are gameplay decisions that IV made for whatever reason (I am willing to bet on lack of time/skill/motivation as a primary explanation).

It is also very likely that the pathfinding behaviour of the units is not going to change much, if at all, in the future. I could probably provide a few more details on that at the moment, but I don't want to break the agreement that I have with IV. Dumb units are part of the game design of Darwinia, intentionally so -- thus, complaining is not likely to change anything. Thus, you have two options (1) don't play the game, or (2) get used to it.

Any story that I tell regarding why that is the case is simply that -- a story. You can tell any story you like, as well. However, my stories match the reality of the game much better than yours, and so I prefer my stories.

Finally, I don't see where in this topic I have defended IV's decision to create this kind of behaviour, nor do I see how that implies that I defend every decision that IV has made. In fact, there are a lot of gameplay, design, and other decisions that IV have made that drive me nuts (I would prefer more keyboard control in Uplink; the editor in Darwinia is arcane, at best; &c.). I am simply being realistic -- the game is as it is, and there is very little that you can do to change it, especially in this particular situation.

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Postby Dover » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:53 am

@xander:

if you feel offended now, that honestly wasn't my intention. secondly i don't believe either, that complaining will change anything. i just wanted to give some idea, how it could have been. i actually find the lemming- like behaviour ok gameplay-wise. it just doesn't quite fit their story - background in my opinion. as for multiwinia: there it doesn't really matter anyway i guess. what matters there is performance, so that you don't need a petaflop- server to simulate all the darwinians on king of the hill ;). darwinia is already quite good at that, i think. from the point of view, that you can have thousands of them on a map, their 'individual' behaviour is quite good.
my post really wasn't that serious, i think xyzyxx got that right ;).
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Postby esqmo » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:22 pm

xander wrote: Thus, you have two options (1) don't play the game, or (2) get used to it.


Well not quite, actually I could write a mod.... thus I would be happy and probably the 99% of people who dont want to to have to tell the AI to put one foot infront of the other would be happy. It really doesn't damage the story-line AT ALL seeing as its a program and I could write a program that does this! Its just a linked list...

Stop blindly following the developers just because they make good games doesn't mean they are perfect! Change is good.

Another solution to the problem would be the ability to fast forward the game so that the AI actually gets there quickly. Yet again, no this doesn't ruin the storyline seeing as Darwinia is in a computer. This might be a bit hard on slower machines tho.
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Postby KingAl » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:54 pm

Unfortunately, you can't mod AI in Darwinia, so I don't imagine that you will be able to in Multiwinia. And, for the record, you'd probably want to be looking at algorithms like A* rather than lists ;)
You are essentially criticising the game's design; improved pathfinding would certainly be important if the games design made it so, but the current system is a result of the fact that the player is meant to take direct control of squads etc. Changing this would be making it into a different game. Feel free to make your own game with wonderful pathfinding, but criticising an intentional design decision of another game will not get you anywhere.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:01 pm

I read an interesting article lately claiming that game designers should not listen to suggestions made by their self proclaimed target audience. Unfortunately, I can't find it any more :(
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Postby xander » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:38 pm

esqmo wrote:Well not quite, actually I could write a mod....

You do that. Let me know when you figure out how to mod the AI -- you will be the first to know the answer to that one, because as far as anyone else here knows, the AI cannot be modded at all.

esqmo wrote:It really doesn't damage the story-line AT ALL seeing as its a program and I could write a program that does this! Its just a linked list...

The story isn't the issue. We can come up with stories for why pathfinding does or does not exist in Darwinia, but, at the end of the day, a lack of pathfinding was a game design decision. IV decided to make a game with no pathfinding. Period. Any rationalization after the fact is irrelevant to that decision (though may it be fun to talk about why unit in Darwinia don't follow the best path, but go in straight lines).

esqmo wrote:Stop blindly following the developers just because they make good games doesn't mean they are perfect! Change is good.

This is not about "blinding following the developers." This topic has been brought up before. In fact, it was probably brought up in the beta. Thus, this discussion is as old as the game itself. In all of that time, IV have not change the behaviour of the AI vis-a-vis pathfinding. You can argue over whether this is good or bad until the cows come home, but the fact is that the pathfinding in Darwinia isn't going to change, and that the pathfinding in Multiwinia is --NDA--. In both games, it is what it is, and is that way because IV decided to make it that way.

As to change being good, I don't care if things are changed. If Darwinia were to receive improved pathfinding, it would probably make the game quite a bit easier, but I could live with that. It is not change that I am opposed to. It is you that I am opposed to, and your arrogant attitude that you know better than all of us (and the fact that your reading comprehension seems to suck).

At the end of the day, IV is almost certainly not going to change the pathfinding behaviour in Darwinia. It was a design decision. You can either learn to live with it, or stop playing Darwinia. There is no other option. This is a realistic statement of fact; not "blindly following the devs;" not a fear of change; not my opinion on the matter; just a statement of fact.

esqmo wrote:Another solution to the problem would be the ability to fast forward the game so that the AI actually gets there quickly. Yet again, no this doesn't ruin the storyline seeing as Darwinia is in a computer. This might be a bit hard on slower machines tho.

Another solution would be to have teleporters. Or maybe you should be able to pick up units and move them around. Or maybe they should fly through space. OH! I KNOW! Engineers and squads should rain down from the sky!

Again, the behaviour of the units was a gameplay decision. Play the game that IV made, or find something else to play. The "problem" of pathfinding in Darwinia, the speed of the units, &c. were gameplay decisions. You may not like those decisions, but deciding that they are "problems" is like deciding that Tetris is broken because it contains both S pieces and Z pieces.

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Postby Mas Tnega » Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:13 pm

Game decisions like "Implementing A* is difficult and we don't have time for that". :P
In all fairness, A* seems to be "Resolve the next node by doing guesswork, then do some more guesswork to work out how you might approach further guesswork". Then again, wikipedia's pseudocode looks like unusable bullshit, so I might be way off.

and that the pathfinding in Multiwinia is --NDA--
Looking at one of the videos the IV team posted up on YouTube I think you can at least say "a little suspicious in earlier versions", seeing how at somewhere around 00:21, the path traced was anything but the most direct path. :P
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Postby esqmo » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:50 pm

xander wrote:If you read through these forums, you would know that (a) this has been brought up before (your exact 'solution,' in fact)


I had actually done a quick search... nothing at all comes up under path finding.

As for the rest I think its a shame that IV wont implement this because from what im reading the beta testers have put up a good fight.

Sorry if I offended you xander. If I had managed to get into the beta testers (I think I signed up about 3 months ago now) I probably wouldn't have minded.
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Postby jelco » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:24 pm

esqmo wrote:As for the rest I think its a shame that IV wont implement this because from what im reading the beta testers have put up a good fight.

A good fight in what sense? You're not making yourself clear, but if you meant this sentence the way I think you did you are clearly misreading things.

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Postby Rkiver » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:34 pm

jelco the galactaboy wrote:
esqmo wrote:As for the rest I think its a shame that IV wont implement this because from what im reading the beta testers have put up a good fight.

A good fight in what sense? You're not making yourself clear, but if you meant this sentence the way I think you did you are clearly misreading things.

Jelco


I can tell you right now, there was no "fight" in the beta testers forums about pathfinding.
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Postby elexis » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:35 pm

Personally, I am sick of these "lets have path-finding" topice that crop up every month. Might I suggest that any further topics of this nature be considered spam?

To xander: Was your first reply in this topic and exact copy-past from somewhare else? It seemed awfully familiar...
Last edited by elexis on Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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