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Forum / aurevoir
« Last post by Luke on February 01, 2018, 06:53:49 AM »
These forums have been unused for too long now so we will be retiring them.

Many thanks to all that have been a part of the discussion over the years, and the lurkers too  :D

Excalibur is actively being developed still. All public discussion is now being held on discord, a free chat service, click this link here to find us: https://discord.gg/eAQMeDY

Facebook, twitter, and the site will continue as they always have.

We have a few last tasks to do then the forums will be taken down fully.

Many thanks to Mark and John for graciously hosting us.

Cheers!

 hiya
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AI / Re: AI Alpha 1 Discussion
« Last post by Rob Archer on February 26, 2015, 12:43:54 AM »
Hi Josh

Thanks for putting all this together, i think we already had a discussion about this before so theres not a great deal i can add to it. From a workflow point of veiw it would be best to focus on In system Patrols, Orbit, Following and Intercept. At the moment warp drive is still has issues and collision meshes dont seem to be functioning too well at the moment, So warp and Docking might be best placed on the back burner for now at least until we get those two issues ironed out. Everything else should be doable in the engine now.
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AI / AI Alpha 1 Discussion
« Last post by Josh W on February 23, 2015, 06:22:53 PM »
This thread is to report / discuss / plan the AI heading towards Alpha 1 release and to keep everyone informed and on the same page in what is happening.

I have created and attached a document, mainly expanding on AI points from the "Excalibur Alpha 0 - Alpha 1 Release Roadmap".
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AI / Re: AI and Universe Dynamics / Persistence / Simulation
« Last post by Rob Archer on January 21, 2015, 07:08:18 PM »
Yea, absolutely -- It strikes me that only ships that are currently rendered with the GOM should have an Active AI.  BY all means, give them an AI object, but its not in any active processing list until its added to a visual scene.  We can compute the positions of ships in other systems programmatically based on their goals etc.

Is this something we can do now or is it something that we need to add? we'll also need to modify a few objects so that the _unrender event doesnt remove the object.

I've recently added a ShipDestroyed event so it might be worth using that in some instances, i just think we need to make a distinction between _unrender, Destroyed and deleted/removed.
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AI / Re: AI and Universe Dynamics / Persistence / Simulation
« Last post by John on January 21, 2015, 06:42:54 PM »
Quote
My current thinking is having distant ships being'simulated rather than in the game world, depending on what happens with your / Johns solutions.
Yea, absolutely -- It strikes me that only ships that are currently rendered with the GOM should have an Active AI.  BY all means, give them an AI object, but its not in any active processing list until its added to a visual scene.  We can compute the positions of ships in other systems programmatically based on their goals etc.
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AI / Re: AI and Universe Dynamics / Persistence / Simulation
« Last post by Josh W on January 19, 2015, 07:32:24 AM »
Ok.

I was thinking about it from the perspective of AI ships.

My current thinking is having distant ships being'simulated rather than in the game world, depending on what happens with your / Johns solutions.

So if there is a cargo ship going to a planet when and the player in and the player leaves it will remove the ship from the game world at some distance (when leaving the system or just a large distance away). Then just record a progress percentage that is incremented, when the player leaves the ship was just entering the system so the progress is 5%. Then the percentage is incremented over time to simulate progress. If the player returns and for example the percentage is 90% then spawn the cargo ship in it's way out of the system (keeping same registry and statistics), where as if it was 50% have the ship docked at the station. This way we still have the persistence of the universe without the impossibility of having everything loaded.

Similarly combat that occurs without the players interaction would have a type of autoresolve mechanic.
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AI / Re: AI and Universe Dynamics / Persistence / Simulation
« Last post by Rob Archer on January 19, 2015, 07:00:38 AM »
How are we handling large distances / instancing / warping to a new system in the engine?
If the player is there then there is no point having a physical ship loaded.
Has this been implemented or discussed yet?

The large distance issue has been discussed on multiple occasions but we still dont have a solution to it yet. I have a potential work around but i need to talk with John to see how long it will take to impliment his solution to it, as mine is far from perfect.

Warping within a system can be done as soon as i get the warp drive back into the game.

Warping between systems was previously in the game but i've delayed putting it back in until i can make sure that system loading is working correctly, it will also need some fx added, and theres also a problem preserving submodels during the set transition, which im not sure how to solve yet.

Cloaking, and tractor beams are my next priority then the system loading and then warp drive.

Previously in order to send a ship to warp you would need to pass the destination and speed to the ships warp subprocessor which would take care of the rest. I dont see any reason why this would change. I was fairly happy with how the warp drive mechancis were working.

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AI / Re: AI and Universe Dynamics / Persistence / Simulation
« Last post by Josh W on January 19, 2015, 06:24:12 AM »
How are we handling large distances / instancing / warping to a new system in the engine?
If the player is there then there is no point having a physical ship loaded.
Has this been implemented or discussed yet?
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AI / Re: AI and Universe Dynamics / Persistence / Simulation
« Last post by Josh W on January 13, 2015, 08:49:56 AM »
Ok cool. Sounds like we have similar ideas of what we are aiming for when it comes to this.
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AI / Re: AI and Universe Dynamics / Persistence / Simulation
« Last post by Rob Archer on January 09, 2015, 08:05:55 PM »
I’m a big fan of persistence however I’m aware of how resource intensive this can be that being said however I do think it’s possible to implement as I’ve experimented with a similar system for bridge commander back in 08/09 which is what I’m basing much of my concept stuff from, but we would have to do some research first to see how this would behave on a larger scale. I think you’ve pegged the idea I have for this when you say “you see that this ship is on a cargo run to Planet X and if you go there later you can see it arrive or it may show up in a mission in that area.”

The whole concept of the sandbox for Excalibur is that the player is not the driving force of the game, so having things happen “Because the player is there” is something I’d very much like to avoid. The best way I can describe the AI I had in mind is that it’s a very devolved form of management, meaning it is the individual ships and stations who make the requests for things rather than having some large scale management system in place. The advantage being that we see the repercussions of an action ripple out and impact the larger whole. If you take that cargo ship for example:

Starbases manage the local area ~30ly around them and they periodically check to make sure they have all the ships needed (If they don’t they contact a shipyard and request a ship to fill the needed role (Cargo ship, construction ship etc.) Cargo ships have a “Standard Route” meaning they will ferry resources between two locations (a refinery and a starbase for example.) Unless they are ordered to do otherwise (Such as divert to deliver urgent resources).

In this scenario losing a cargo ship would have “indirect” repercussions; 1) it would generate a mission request for the starbase to investigate the ships disappearance. 2) The starbase would be on reduced resources and without a cargo ship it might request a new one from the shipyards. 3) If the resource situation is “Critical” it will also issue a high priority mission request for the player to deliver the resources. If more than two cargo ships go missing the starbase might request more “Starfleet ships” and issue escort mission requests to defend the area.

This approach means our Universe is evolving and regions of space start to develop “organically.” And we develop a natural “Supply Chain” when it comes to the fleet logistics, it also means the universe feels more alive and the player can become familiar with the ships in the region they are in, their strengths and weaknesses. The only element that acceptably could be implemented is pirates, we could make it that they “Spawn” in regions of space where Starfleet (Controlling Empire)’s influence is low at this point a “Pirate ship” and a Pirate construction ship is spawned and the two will start setting up a facility essentially allowing the potential for this new pirate faction to become established as a new Empire in the region, the long the issue goes unchecked the more instability is added to the region, more pirates.

Intelligence reports would be where all the additional information comes into play, it also means we can generate flavour text and again it feels like the player is entering into a situation that isn’t simply “This ship is the enemy go kill it” instead it provides the enemies (Even pirates) motivations, “The pirates in this reason formed as a result of Starfleet’s apparent lack of interest in the region, the planets in the system are also unhappy with the federations lack of support and the diversion of resources (Starfleet might have re-allocated ships to another sector due to a temporary increase in tensions with a neighbouring power.

As for static some things will be scripted, these will be story missions or “Role play” The sandbox missions are generated based on driving forces in the region. Scripted missions would include missions added by modders these would behave like Adventure modules in a Dungeons and dragons game, these are more difficult to implement on the larger scale.
For Alpha 1 in terms of Trading all we really need is for cargo ships to fly between starbases/facilities and dock with them (Assuming we get docking done in time). We can add more features to this as time permits, such as getting a list of planets in range that the Trading ships Affiliation has a “Trade Treaty with.” This could be a simple Boolean flag added to the planet class which can later be expanded on (already tested) whereby friendly/enemy/neutral status is defined by treaties under the current government of the controlling political entity.
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