Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rewrite the AI - any non-US interested?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rewrite the AI - any non-US interested?

    Since the digital millenium copyright act (DMCA) became law here in the United States, nobody here can help, at least on the initial stages. How about some of you non-US spearheading an effort and decompiling part of SMAC/X, plus using some of the freeware trace programs out there so we could figure out what is occuring in different modules?

    I know the Diablo community did a nice job, to the point Blizzard now gives them partial support. It was legal in the USA when they started, however. I would dearly love to help code, depending on the language used, some of the AI routines though my language skills are sadly out of date. I've emailed Firaxis asking them to consider something, as have others. No response. I wish they could see the example with Call to Power, and realize it would only help them if they did the same for SMAC/X.

    I would assume something modular, with terraforming, infrastructure, diplomatic assessment, various combat types, probe campaigns, etc. Plus we might consider writing an AI e-mail "player(s)", hosted somewhere outside the US. I hadn't thought about that, but when I posted something related to this a year ago, that idea was suggested.

    The AI would take a seat in an email game. Once the critieria for reading the map was determined, I wonder if we could circumvent the issues reference the DCMA. The email seat techniques could let you have various custom programs tweaking the AI for specific conditions, i.e. a large map Hybrid Yang , or a Sikander/Morgan clone . Any thoughts?
    The worst form of insubordination is being right - Keith D., marine veteran. A dictator will starve to the last civilian - self-quoted
    And on the eigth day, God realized it was Monday, and created caffeine. And behold, it was very good. - self-quoted
    Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
    Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry… I wish it were otherwise.

  • #2
    Oh yeah People here in the US *really* uphold the DMCA
    Eventis is the only refuge of the spammer. Join us now.
    Long live teh paranoia smiley! http://www.eventis.ws/images/smilies/emot-tinfoil.gif

    Comment


    • #3
      Out of curiosity, will the DMCA expire in a thousand years?

      Comment


      • #4
        Tassadar, I work for the government, and my job requires periodic background checks. If I am caught being charged and convicted, I lose my job. So I actually take it fairly seriously. I think it's bad for technology. But I won't disassemble anything, what's the point? I don't have any game I want so badly that I'll do that much work to play it solo, and I cannot share my mod without taking a major chance of my butt in a wringer. Plus, if we start and Firaxis gives a cease and desist order, I would HAVE to stop. Plus they could choose to make me another example, like that poor Russian immigrant who broke the eBooks protections. That's why I want it hosted OUTSIDE the US. Canada and/or the EU should be safe. I have no idea what the situation is on Japanese software patents. Maybe some of our Chinese friends will host it, and start the basis for the new strategy game "Three Kingdoms" as the next big hit .

        If anybody outside the US hosted it, they could at Firaxis, though that also depends on the way the EU goes on program copyrights over the next couple of years. I could code AFTER somebody else does the work that let's them incorporate my code, but I could not even help with the actual incorporation, only the actual routine - which for tactics should run several thousand lines, decision trees can get very complicated. If - and - or - butt is in a sling...

        I'd love to see SMAC/X players code for improved AI, I know we coud do the terraforming and infrastructure much better, and while tactics are harder, as someone mentioned in a previous thread, I think that writing them up through fusion and choppers would still be fairly straightfoward. Definitely we can improve the use of airpower and unit design (as in maximize for your technology - no 1-4 infranty with fusion power).
        The worst form of insubordination is being right - Keith D., marine veteran. A dictator will starve to the last civilian - self-quoted
        And on the eigth day, God realized it was Monday, and created caffeine. And behold, it was very good. - self-quoted
        Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
        Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry… I wish it were otherwise.

        Comment


        • #5
          I like the idea of an AI player outside the game code; having suitable 'hooks' for such a player incorporated into the game itself would be quite nice, although I doubt that Firaxix would find that worthwhile to do (it would probably also be a PIA for them dealing with whatever hardcoded stuff might be in there).

          The map and the various infiltration data currently available to the AI player would be the main things that would have to be extracted from the game file for the external AI player to know what was going on. On the output side, the new situation would have to be substituted into the game file - this would be much more complicated as the entire turn would have to be taken and all the appropriate game mechanisms simulated.

          By way of a different approach, one could possibly do all this by some sort of screen-scraper / keyboard-mouse emulator and use the actual game engine for everything - with the external AI directing this process - it might even be perfectly legal this way, just an extraordinary pain.

          Comment


          • #6
            I dont think it would be very easy to hook into the code, there is very little evidence that the systems uses a well defined API or anything. In one interview a firaxis employee said they were scared of touching the auto former code and described it as spaghetti code more-or-less. The best I would hope for is being able to catch formers/bases in the act of building something stupid (like a farm) and replacing it with something good (like a forest).

            The main evidence I have for very bad code structure is all the bugs, things like the auto-former, right-click menus and direct orders all result in different behavior, it reeks of copy'n'paste and hacked solutions. And working on such a mess with just a debugger and similar tools will be an even more hellish task than working on the code itself.

            An external AI player would probably be more feasible - by directly ripping the information out of the save file itself and having another file for the AI's plans, strategies and worldview. However designing and implementing an AI from scratch would also be one hell of a task, although possibly more rewarding than hacking into the spaghetti code.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think Blake's idea is what the other person I mentioned was discussing. Writing the decision trees is simply tedious - a serious of logic statements applied to infiltration data, terrain, and the known map based on that AI's bias. I would dearly love to get some of the best players, like Sikander for Morgan, to actually track their logic and copy it down (yes, we are talking hundreds of hours, people don't realize how many decisions we make in a single day, or in a game like SMAC).

              I am not a graphics person. The "screen-scraper / keyboard-mouse emulator" seems to be a good idea, if I am inferring the proper function. Are there commercial programs for this? Or freeware/shareware? Could you use some of Microsoft's own tools for this? I am unfamiliar with their graphics/direct X toolkits, but it strikes me something might be available from that.
              The worst form of insubordination is being right - Keith D., marine veteran. A dictator will starve to the last civilian - self-quoted
              And on the eigth day, God realized it was Monday, and created caffeine. And behold, it was very good. - self-quoted
              Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
              Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry… I wish it were otherwise.

              Comment

              Working...
              X