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  • CTPII Info: AI

    Source: IGN Preview


    (13 May 2000, 17:37 EST) IGN also published the first preview of CTP2. Some quotes
    On AI and borders
    "We've made the AI a lot more robust," explains White, "it understands a lot more about borders and if you're friendly it won't come into your territory. Of course, it will also expect the same behavior of you."
    Diplomacy AI has also been improved – you can now make offers to the computer and posture based on the result. There's nothing nicer than threatening a neighbor if they won't agree to your proposals"

    Source: Gamecenter


    (13 July 2000, 23:46 EST) GameCenter posted a brief preview of Call To Power II today.

    "Another change Activision is touting is a much-enhanced diplomatic system. The AI will be much more in-depth and will react much more realistically to your civilization's overtures of friendship, proposals, treaty offers, threats, counter-threats, and more."

    Source: Apolyton


    (26 August 2000, 17:31 EST) Activision programmer Richard Myers, aka Azmel, surfaced on our forums this afternoon and delivered some exciting news which you heard on ACS first! There are three major parts to the Artifical Intelligence (AI) found in CTPII: the strategy engine, city management and diplomacy.

    "The algorithm used for the strategy engine is the same one used for CTP1, but it has been rewritten (for [Star Trek] Armada)", Myers explains. "The purpose of rewriting it is to make it easier to add the refinements that distinguish a so-so AI from a truely clever one. The advantage of using the same algorith as CTP1, and starting with existing code from Armada is that we have had a year to tune and tweak the engine to play CTP.

    The city management system has also been greatly improved. The player can utilize the same AI used by the game (via Mayors) to control their nation. Exposing the AI for player use has made it easier for us to tune and optimize. The ability of an AI to grow its civilization has a profound effect on how good an opponent it is.

    Last but not least, our diplomacy improvements come in two parts. The first is just having a more comprehensive system; mainly new types of proposals, and response options. The second part is a flexible way to write the rules used by the AI for choosing new proposals and responding to your proposals. We're currently in the process of expanding, tuning and tweaking those rules to be rational and to express the desires of our different AI leader personalities"

    If you have any questions/comments as a result of this new information, you know where to ask it.

    Source: Apolyton


    (26 August 2000, 10:50 EST) Actigrammer, St Swithin, says "yes", responding to a thread by Atahualpa:
    "Just about all of the AI code was rewritten, so it's difficult to answer lots of specific questions. Let's suffice it to say that it's much smarter and much more conniving, and you can expect much better attack strategies from AI players"
    Only when we get the game on our hands we'll know for sure...


    (28 October 2000, 18:08 EST) GameSpot posted probably the biggest of the close-to-release previews for CTPII. 5 Full pages and 22 screenshots give a good look on the beta version of the game.
    On Artifical Intelligence: "During peacetime, you can count on rival nations to build up their military forces as needed to counter any moves you might make. During times of war, enemy armies are generally well organized, with long-range units such as archers and cannon effectively mixed in with frontline troops."


    (29 October 2000, 12:55 EST) It's less than a month away from the much anticipated release of CTPII, and our forums are buzzing with activity. First questions, then answers, and then more questions are keeping Activision on their toes and at the forefront of the discussions. In the latest round of "question period", Pyaray takes on Ralf's concerns pertaining to AI (computer's) city logistics. He states:

    "I don't mind some minor AI-unit pathfinding problems -- I can live with that. I also don't mind some minor quirks and limitations in the diplomacy-area. Some can be patchable, and the rest I can live with. I just however *don't* want to relive above SMAC-experience [see forum thread] when it comes to bad AI-city logistics.

    Can you guys [Activision] reassure me (and all the others in this forum) that CTP-2's AI city-logistics is stronger than in SMAC and Civ-2?"

    The answer:

    "It's very difficult to give an absolute answer on this for a few important reasons. The first being that how well the AI plays is a subjective thing. One person may think the AI is too hard while another thinks it's too easy. How well an AI player responds has a lot to do with the events that happen, and therefore how you play directly affects what the AI does, and your play style may be such that the AI doesn't know how to respond.

    The next being since we don't have access to the AI for either SMAC or Civ2 we can't make a qualitative assesment of if ours is better. And my final reason is that I try very hard to not talk about competitors in any way. I prefer not to say anything about the competition, either positive or negative. Every now and then I will, but generally I avoid it."


    (1 November 2000, 18:36 EST) Despite the recent surgence in the number of CTPII previews hitting the Web, there is a sense of disappointment amongst some members of the Apolyton forum community regarding the game's Artifical Intelligence. As Slax, one of our forum users, put it:

    "Perhaps if someone who had played a recent build of the game came on here and gave a detailled description of the AI performing some very intelligent actions, that might soothe the crowd somewhat."

    The response from Activision came from Pyaray shortly thereafter, who has been fielding most of the latest slue of questions on behalf of the team.

    "The only people who have played recent builds of the game are internal to Activision. Would a review from one of us make any difference? I seriously doubt it. I suspect that we would just be told we were biased, and that we really need someone unbiased to review it. Of course nobody who is unbiased has seen a recent build, which puts as back firmly into square one."


    (4 November 2000, 19:38 EST) As you might have noticed, the discussion on the decision to still have 8 civs in a game is nothing but over, so Pyaray decided to give a more thorough explanation. Here is the main part

    "There is a concern with the AI comparing the other civs, and that is exponential. With 8 civs, each AI has to evaluate 7 other civs, so it's 7^2=49, with 9 civs it's 8^2=64, and 10 civs it's 9^2=81. So you can see, by increasing the number of civs by 2 we have nearly doubled the amount of work that needs to be done. Just for the record, 32 civs would be 961 comparison's each turn. Almost 20 times that of 8 civs."

    From the... context of Pyaray's post, it is clear that we still be able to have 9 to 32 civs by hand...

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