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  #1  
Old February 6th, 2009, 02:45 PM

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Default Opportunity Fire

Hi:
Here a suggestion I'll like to toss out.

Presently, we all use the tactic of moving alternate units to draw down the op fire. This works because we all know that the unit moved will be the one fired upon.

I suggest changing this routine, so when op fire is triggered, the most dangerous unit with the highest probability of kill is fired upon.

The algorithm would probably be:

(A) Call Op fire routine, which is now does the following:

(B) Create list of all targets.

(C) Create sub list of targets with potential to harm itself.

(D) If list (C) is empty, then use entire list of (B) is used for steps (E) through (I). List (B) can never be empty because it always has at least 1 target - the target that triggered the op fire. If list (C) is not empty then proceed to use list (C) for the next steps (E) through (I).

(E) Asses risk from each target in list based on severity of damage and likely hood of hit. This assessment looks at the risk of the target scoring a damage (ex. based on speed, fire control, position, distance, type of weapon, #times target fired at unit, target suppression level, etc.) For illustrative purposes: If the target is out of range and thus can not harm unit, then it may have a high consequence of damage, but a zero chance of it. So it would be risk ranked to zero. A target that has the range, but is at a high rate of speed with a low fire control, and hasn't fire at unit, has perhaps a moderate probability of hit => moderate probability x high damage = risk rank of 70 (scale 0-100). A target that is stationary, fired once at unit, not suppressed, within range, has a gun that can easily destroy it could get a risk rank of 100 as an example. I believe the raw data to make this assessment already exist within the system.

(F) Asses probability of kill against each target. Same routine used in (E), except, now units are switch.

(G) Apply objective function (in this case it could be the product of (F) and (E)). All cases where neither side can score a hit are eliminated (rank 0). Objective function may incorporate a threshold, where the results have to exceed a certain value, otherwise it may not be preferred that it doesn't fire.

(H) Prioritize list, highest result from objective function at top of list.

(I) Return op fire to target on top of list.

The expected result from this revised routine would mean that if you pop unit one up. Target will look around and take the opportunity to fire at the unit you popped up, or it may fire at some other unit which it considers more dangerous. If you pop a second unit up, it may fire at it or it may not or it may fire at the first unit that popped up, or fire again at the unit it fired at before, depending on which one it thinks is more dangerous. The more time the unit fires at a target, the more likely it will fire at it again (remembering that this target was rated as most dangerous so far). So you would have to think twice about popping a unit into view to draw op fire, especially if it is a low value unit (eg. scout car, light tank, etc.).

One could pop a unit up to draw fire then drop back down again to break the lock, but that is no different than the way op fire works now, except that the more the units pops up, the higher its speed, and thus arises the potential that it may lock on to some more promising target instead of the one that popped up.

I would be interested in any comments.

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  #2  
Old February 6th, 2009, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Opportunity Fire

You are thinking too much. Use the filter if you worry so much about op fire of your units.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Opportunity Fire

You have some intresting ideas & present them fairly clearly.
Your aim here I think is to stop drawing fire mainly with more distant lower threat units.
keeping in mind this is a very old program near its limits perhaps something a bit simpler might work along the lines of.
Unit fired on always returns fire at firer.
Other units will check for other similar units at closer range if the firer is further than say 1/2 or 2/3rds max range from for infantry.
To some extent this does happen as unit will not take the shot with a low hit chance.
I have afeeling the way the game is set up you can't do what you are asking for it can only react to the current unit so your choices are to fire or not.
With this in mind buy the CD & when you need to set the op fire filter to restrict fire to the targets you want.

Your other option play a game that is not based on moving units individualy. It will play much slower & need very good AI routines to work well but if both sides give orders then press go the computer would then take over & try to carry them out.
So if you told a unit to move to here but it met enemy it would decide based on threat level what to do. Keep going, engage or withdraw.

The mechanics of single unit movement means this would need some careful thought as curing one evil will probably create a new one to exploit.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 02:21 PM

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Default Re: Opportunity Fire

There are merits in the idea proposed, more from an AI perspective than a player perspective. Players with the CD can use filtering as pointed out, but the AI doesn't have this option.

IRL, a tank with six shots isn't likely to engage six different targets over the time reflected by a turn unless it has destroyed some. That is how the game handles it now. More than likely a tank will keep engaging the first one the commander decided was a viable target until it is destroyed, biggest threat or not. The first target engaged is a tank at 1,000m and one shows up at 800m, it will more than likely continue engaging it's original target even though the second tank is the bigger threat. Some common sense comes to play here, however. If the first target was no threat, you switch to the target that can kill you.

There were some basics we used for the target call: truck, tank, APC, SAM, troops, chopper(yes, we trained to engage them, too) etc. We identified it if we could, but didn't worry as long as we classified it as enemy. ALL tanks were assumed to be able to kill our tank. Therefore, the tank facing us was deemed a bigger threat than a tank closer to us, but facing away. This was our early 1990s way of thinking. Threat assessment during other eras and by other nations might be different. I don't think there is one simple fits all routine that would work.

The biggest thing is Shrapnel is working with old code. Sounds like many suggestions would require a complete overhaul of the SP engine and I don't think they are prepared to do that.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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Post Re: Opportunity Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by RERomine View Post

Sounds like many suggestions would require a complete overhaul of the SP engine and I don't think they are prepared to do that.

Keep in mind that Steel Panthers 2 was released in 1996. That's ancient in computer terms. Alot has happened since 1996 in the area of computer games.

The thing that gets me is nobody seems to have any interest at all in taking steel panthers to the next level.
Meaning steel panthers clone games.

Look at a game like the original X Com game. It has been repeatedly cloned.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Opportunity Fire

Quote:
The thing that gets me is nobody seems to have any interest at all in taking steel panthers to the next level.
Meaning steel panthers clone games.
Had some discusions about this & a couple of problems.
Doing as a private venture something like X-Com the total information in the game is probably less than that contained in one nations OOB. Just building these & error checking is a huge task & you have not even looked at the game yet. 3 or 4 people would therefore never get the project off the ground.
As for a developer looks great at first glance, we have this product with a known high volume market that needs a revamp. Alls great till they look a bit closer & say actually the games not that good, why because free copies probably vastly outnumber sold copies I am guessing.
If that was the case I would not spend my development money on a game that is okay but not worth paying for. Offering the free version was I think a requirement to get the use of the game code in the first place but long term was a shot in the foot.
Having said that the game still slowly moves forward & despite its creaking age gets a level of support far supperior to most modern games which is frankly amazing.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 08:11 PM
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Post Re: Opportunity Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imp View Post
Quote:
The thing that gets me is nobody seems to have any interest at all in taking steel panthers to the next level.
Meaning steel panthers clone games.
Had some discusions about this & a couple of problems.
Doing as a private venture something like X-Com the total information in the game is probably less than that contained in one nations OOB. Just building these & error checking is a huge task & you have not even looked at the game yet. 3 or 4 people would therefore never get the project off the ground.
As for a developer looks great at first glance, we have this product with a known high volume market that needs a revamp. Alls great till they look a bit closer & say actually the games not that good, why because free copies probably vastly outnumber sold copies I am guessing.
If that was the case I would not spend my development money on a game that is okay but not worth paying for. Offering the free version was I think a requirement to get the use of the game code in the first place but long term was a shot in the foot.
Having said that the game still slowly moves forward & despite its creaking age gets a level of support far supperior to most modern games which is frankly amazing.


Well the game could be made modular (like they were doing with Combat Leader,a failed SP clone)
Say you made the game theatre by theatre,or area by area,even a limited stretch of time. Anything to get the ball rolling.

There's no need to incorporate more than a few nations in the initial release. So say you made a clone game that just dealt with the arab isreali wars of the 1970's,then as time and resources allowed you added in more years,more countries,more equipment,etc.
The whole oob thing is and endless process really. At no point in time can anybody really say,this OOB is done.
So any clone game dealing with to much at once wouldn't be feasable.

I agree SP CaMO goes way beyond the call of duty to keep these products as quality as they possibly can. I still love playing the game,even though its seems dated.
WinSPMBT and WinSPWW2 are classics.

Last edited by Skirmisher; February 7th, 2009 at 08:19 PM..
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Old February 7th, 2009, 09:11 PM

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Default Re: Opportunity Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirmisher View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RERomine View Post

Sounds like many suggestions would require a complete overhaul of the SP engine and I don't think they are prepared to do that.

Keep in mind that Steel Panthers 2 was released in 1996. That's ancient in computer terms. Alot has happened since 1996 in the area of computer games.

The thing that gets me is nobody seems to have any interest at all in taking steel panthers to the next level.
Meaning steel panthers clone games.

Look at a game like the original X Com game. It has been repeatedly cloned.
I don't disagree, but as you mention, no one seems to want to take it to the next level. There may be more factors at play we don't know about, however.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Opportunity Fire

Quote:
I don't disagree, but as you mention, no one seems to want to take it to the next level. There may be more factors at play we don't know about, however.
Indeed
If anyone was going to take it on privatly it would be people on this forum. There all people here willing to do the research, graphic artists etc but it would need programers & someone to keep it on target. Everybody would start jumping in with their point of view wanting to add things when realy that could be done much later fixing the big issues like TI artillery gun limbering should come first.
Even the basics need thinking about for instance do you set the ranges of infantry weapons to max & have routines that use them at effective range or do you set the effective range as the max. Either way it needs to be uniform.

Modular design is the only way to go & I am talking the entire program here for ease of updating modules make it simpler.
As for Developers doing modular game visa vis OOBs still don't think it would work.
Wargames are not mainstream games & do not command there budgets so you could do a limited theatre game which then has less appeal. Then would people realy pay to add another 4 nations to their game.
Yes it worked for ASL but that was a complex game & you got a chapter of new rules with it. Then once you learnt them you bought the next chapter.
Seem to have gone off topic suggest new post if want to continue.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Opportunity Fire

I played several wargames in the past, pre steel panthers era. I wouldn't give up winSPMBT for a smaller in scope game. Would I like to see more features, better graphics etc in a sequel? Sure, but if I have to choose between playing the game as it is or a smaller and "improved" game, I will take the current one.
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