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Member Since 19 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active Aug 04 2015 03:20 AM

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In Topic: What squad commands are required?

04 August 2015 - 03:02 AM

The mission editor in Ghost Recon was one of easiest to use modding tools I have seen... very user friendly. I think it was called Igor.  Most important things, especially regarding AI, vehicles etc. could be done using GUI. Even existing missions could be easily modified.

Upon choosing a map, AI could be added very simply. We could choose the number of soldiers in a squad, from 1 to most probably 8. Say 4 riflemen, 2 machinegunners, 1 sniper and 1 demolishion guy. Choose them from a list in a side panel and simply place them on the map by clicking on a desired spot. We could give them patrol paths if we wanted, by drawing waypoints. If we wanted defensive AI then they could be limited to a certain area by drawing a circle on the map. If we wanted them protecting an army camp then just draw the circle around the camp. If we wanted a machine gunner behind a sandbag, who will not move fromhis spot, then just choose a machine gunner, place him behind the sandbag and draw a very small circle just behind the sandbag. Those AI squads who were not limited to an area could fight well as a squad where-ever we put them. They would hunt our team down to any part of the map if they became aware of out presence. Every newly placed squad would use the terrain dynamically, move using concealed areas and fight well.

Any existing mission could be modified as easily and by the same method too. Remove a tank by choosing it on the map an deleting it. Add a truck and give it a patrol path. Place a 6 man squad in it. etc.

A lot of hard work by the developers must have gone into it  to make it that easy to use by layperson gamers. This resulted in lots and lots of great mods.

In Topic: What squad commands are required?

03 August 2015 - 01:54 AM

zoombapup...what you are saying is clearly demonstrated  by the fact that, apart from GRAW 2, no other game in the history of pc games has had AI using cover in a believable and really effective manner in a dynamic environment. It is also demonstrated by the fact that it took Bohemia 12 years to make their first believable AI in the Arma / OFP series.

In Topic: What squad commands are required?

03 August 2015 - 01:14 AM

The enemy acting as an unified entity, with communication between squads and camps, should happen in every mission, irrespective of individual mission design. This would not only be realistic but would give rise to truly dynamic and enjoyable gameplay with replayability and varying experiences, depending on the route or area of conflict  I choose, the time I take after alerting the enemy and the attack method and strategy I employ. If I can relocate after alerting the enemy but killing off the immediate patrol then we would have the enemy on high alert in camps and maybe searching for me if squads are available and equipped to do so. Can be a lot of fun, replayability and variation as far as gameplay is concerned.

Ghost Recon Island Thunder had incorporated other enemy squads hunting for us if we had alerted a far-away squad and had a firefight. This was way back in 2002. We often had new squads flanking us if we took too long to clear a given area.

In Topic: What squad commands are required?

02 August 2015 - 11:46 PM

 Pvt_JDoe, on 02 August 2015 - 07:06 PM, said:

Ok I feel like we're not understanding each other. What I was trying to say is that programming enemy AI for this kind of game isn't really as complicated as you seem to think it is. By far the hardest part would be to get the basics down, like having the enemy react realistically with his senses of sight and sound, and having a realistic understanding of how many other enemies are around him and what seems to be going on in general. If you can get that down the rest is just scripted behavior.

Let me give you a general example, maybe it'll help clear things up.

You have a base that's being defended. Most of the defensive positions are not manned besides for the main ones, and even then the soldiers are pretty laid back and not really switched on. There's a QRF in there somewhere, with their gear all ready to go in case something happens, but for the moment they're just relaxing on their bunks. There's an HQ in there somewhere as well with the guys in charge of the base, planning things out and coordinating things with their own higher ups, but generally everything's calm.

Since this base is still  fairly important, there have also been 4-6 man foot patrols put out on the perimeter and in certain strategic areas. Some mostly static, some who have a planned patrol route. They serve as an early warning to the main camp, but again, nothing has happened so far so they're just going through the motions.

To keep things simple, say your mission is to grab some important documents from that HQ.

So you go in with 10 well trained guys, insert by foot and start creeping into the defended area around the camp. You spot the first patrol and decide that you'll just take them out, cause you're an elite GB team after all and you can away with anything. So you take out the first patrol with barely any of them having a chance to even return fire, whew that was easy!

What happens from the enemy point of view?

The guy back at base monitoring the radios notices that patrol one hasnt checked in like they were supposed to. Standard procedure for them would be to grab a spare radio from patrol two if they had some comms malfunction, so he contacts patrol two. Patrol two say they haven't hear from patrol one either so they are ordered to check out their last known location. Patrol two finds a bunch of dead bodies and immediately contacts the base saying there's some kind attack going on.

The entire base goes on "stand to"  and initiate their defensive SOPs. All those unmanned positions now have soldiers in them, switched on and watching their fields of fire, trying to spot even the slightest movement. All the patrols outside the perimeter pull back to defensive ambush positions, facing out, waiting to get further confirmation from the base that this is an attack, in which case they'll pull back to the safety of the base.

The QRF, armed to the teeth and ready for a fight, rolls out. They got a message from another patrol that's taking fire and they're moving to reinforce them.

Back to the good guys. You're shooting at the patrol in front of you but they're a bit more alert than the last one and taking a bit more time to kill off. You hear vehicles. All of a sudden a volley of machinegun fire erupts tearing through the foliage you were using for concealment. You check on your team and 3 guys are already badly injured. You've now lost fire superiority against the patrol you were shooting at and now they are even being reinforced by guys from the QRF. You're completely surrounded with fire from all directions, your team has taken heavy casualties, and you're still 500 meters from that camp you were supposed to raid.

That's how defensive strategies play out in reality if taken on head on.

This is a hell of a long post so I'll end it here, but I hope you have a better idea how things are all connected on the defensive side of things maybe it'll make things clearer on how the enemy AI should be structured.

I think the detailed reply that zoombapup gave addresses your concerns to a large extent. The things you are suggesting would require high quality individual AI bots who can analyze the terrain, take cover and/or hit the deck, take good shooting positions and fire back in a realistic manner. . It would also require AI s acting as squads . These issues are being worked upon very well.

It would then require communications between various enemy squads in the vicinity / of the same camp. I don't think that would be very difficult to implement. I had requested this feature earlier in this very thread.

It would also require QRFs, patrolling squads and defensive squads in the camp.... with their specific and different types of duties outlined and a lot of co-ordination among them. From what zoombapup has said...it seems quite doable after some time although it would require a lot of expertise. I would like this feature a lot too.

This kind of enemy behaviour is seen a lot in ARMA 3 and it actually increases the gameplay fun...not the other way round. There is a depot raid mission. I have tried it in various ways. First,I went in steathily, attacked the depot without taking on any patrolling squads, took out an APC carrying QRFs and took over the depot having soldiers in defensive positions after a medium intensity firefight. Then, I got out fast..... Then I tried the mission in a different manner. I attacked a patrol. Took out a couple of guys but  another couple ran and hid within bushes etc. As I searched for them an APC came and started blasting my team, a couple of my team mates died and I hid behind rocks with the rest of my team. A group of highly trained and lethal soldiers came out of the APC and started to encircle my team and fire heavily. Then, another APC came and my team was not able to survive.

This thing happens all the time in ARMA 3. You alert the enemy and take time. New squads come and flank you, armoured vehicles etc. come, even helicopters drop off new squads occasionally. This happens with more intensity if your squad is near an enemy base. Outnumbered forces often break contact and call reinforcements if available. There are defensive squads in bases etc. too, who man their defensive positions and act accordingly.

I think what you are asking for will happen in the final release version of Ground Branch too .... because the game is being made by a team with a lot of ability, passion, experience and fan-feedback.

In Topic: What squad commands are required?

31 July 2015 - 11:34 PM

View PostPvt_JDoe, on 31 July 2015 - 05:06 PM, said:

Well that's what I was trying to explain. How should the enemy AI act in what condition? Well it depends on the defensive plan that they are following. Literally every enemy on the map should have custom made AI according to what his role is in the defense of that area.

That's how it works in real life. Someone is put in charge of overall security in a camp/military installation. That person makes a plan of how many patrols to put out, how many guard towers, where to place fences/sand bags/barb wire, etc. This plan is then passed down to every individual soldier so he knows exactly what his role is and how he should react. This is called standard operating procedure, and it varies for every situation. An example of variation in SOP would be say in one scenario the defensive patrols would be told to break contact and go back to base to sound the alarm and on another base it would be to call in and wait for the QRF.

The defensive SOPs will vary depending on many different factors, like how many troops do you have for security? How high is the threat of attack? Who is likely to attack us? What kind of weapons will likely be used to attack us? How long does this area have to be defended? How far are the sight lines in the area? Are we in a flat desert or in a dense jungle?etc.

When you understand that, then you'll understand that there is no such thing as "general behavior for enemy AI". The only thing in common should be the script that deals with detection. Every other action, like retreat, call for help etc should be left "open" so that they can be modified (according to an overall defensive plan) on an individual level when creating every scenario.

Special Operations work because of the element of surprise. That doesn't mean going "Boo!" and scaring somebody. It means your offensive strategy takes into account the enemy's defensive strategy. In other words you hit them and disappear before they can set their defensive plan in motion. If you take too long after the first shot is fired, no matter how cool looking and tactical of a stance you hold your gun with, you'll get outmaneuvered and killed/captured.

This is a good post. I would like the enemy AI to behave in this manner only... appropriate to the situation and in a realistic manner. Just want to clarify that I was not talking about general enemy AI behaviour but the total gamut of abilities that I would like the AI and AI squads to have so that they can be used in appropriate situations.  

But, I don't think realistic numbers for both enemies and friendlies, appropriate to different types of missions or situations, would be possible just yet due to hardware limitations of many players.

Another issue would be making AI available for modding. How would relatively amateur modders use AI and AI squads in their missions if a lot of situation specific scripting has to be done by them ? Can the answer be creating different classes of AI and AI squads who will act accordingly ? ....like defensive watch-towerman, defensive rifleman, defensive machine gunner, offensive rifleman,offensive machinegunner, offensive squadleader, patrolling rifleman etc. etc. as also defensive squads, offensive squads, patrolling squads etc..... zoombapup will know best.