AI size limits

AI size limits?

Yes, I think it's a good idea
7
50%
Why not, I don't really care
1
7%
No, I don't like this idea (please detail why)
6
43%
 
Total votes: 14

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GFX47
Dev Team
Posts: 2008

AI size limits

Post#1 » 02 Nov 2017, 00:39

I've always considered unlimited size AIs as a way to give full creative freedom to the player and allow her to refine her design by adding more and more cases over time.
But more and more players are giving me the feedback that it's a big part of what makes them quit the game.
They either feel powerless when facing AIs that are there for a while and handle much more cases than theirs or just don't feel like they are willing to spend enough time refining it to reach that level of hardly maintainable complexity.
It seems like iteration has a much bigger impact than creativity after all.

Improving by iteration is one of the many aspects of programming I want to communicate to the player with Gladiabots.
But the most interesting part for me is this creative power you feel when starting a new piece of code.

Real game designers (meaning not wannabes like me) often say that constraints can be a catalyst for creativity.
So I'm thinking about introducing some limits to the size of the AIs.
Latest tournaments seem to prove that some of you are interested by this kind of constraints.
Of course, I'm anticipating the feedback from the "oldest" players who must fear for their mighty AIs.

There won't be one magic size that satisfies all players so I'm thinking about something like the cups in Mario kart.
So different difficulty (or more accurately complexity) levels like 10, 20, 50, 100 nodes for example (don't focus on the values but on the concept).
Players would choose in which category they would like to compete.
Beginners would most likely try lower complexities first and when they feel confident enough, could try higher ones.
Already established players could find new challenges in lower ones, having to change their way of designing their AIs, focusing on some parts of their global strategy or trying to make it all fit in less space, etc.

So, what's your opinion about that?

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TheGnoo
Automaton
Automaton
Posts: 173

Re: AI size limits

Post#2 » 02 Nov 2017, 00:51

Well, if you do limit Ais size, I'm pretty fucked.

But the concept of different game modes is very interesting, although imho the playerbase is not big enough yet to split players between different categories.

Another worry: A limited size will definitely encourage people to build an AI for each map, and I hate that. But if you plan to introduce randomized maps soon, why not.

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Revenge
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Re: AI size limits

Post#3 » 02 Nov 2017, 03:25

I think limited nodes would be fantastic along with randomized maps.

However, could you please leave an "unlimited mode" in the game. I love the idea of limited node size, go for it. But leave an "unlimited mode" for players to fall back on when they wish.(At least for now ^.^)
Last edited by Revenge on 02 Nov 2017, 20:23, edited 5 times in total.

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GFX47
Dev Team
Posts: 2008

Re: AI size limits

Post#4 » 02 Nov 2017, 10:53

Yes, this goes with random maps.

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0x1de
Automaton
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Posts: 156

Re: AI size limits

Post#5 » 02 Nov 2017, 20:04

I develop iteratively, but the UI makes this hard when you want to shift nodes into a subroutine.

In GM it can be frustrating. The top players have extremely sophisticated AIs. I'll rewatch a match, even in slow motion, and have no idea what to change in order to improve. Your AI becomes more difficult to work on as it gets more complex and the rewards (in terms of increased rank, which all I care about) decrease.

When I started, I worked up to top 10. Then I got a new tablet and started over again, got to top 20, but I couldn't keep up and got demoted to Master. Then the sub-50 tournament came along so I developed an AI for that in ranked matches, which was fun. Unfortunately there weren't many competitors, so I'm in favour of a way to play more people working under the same constraints.

You'll need a live node count display, and I suggest that only counts condition and action nodes. Including connectors and sub-ai nodes would penalise good design.

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LuBeNo
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Re: AI size limits

Post#6 » 02 Nov 2017, 22:00

Revenge wrote:However, could you please leave an "unlimited mode" in the game.

This. If a well structured AI with subnodes grows to the magic limit it is hard to remove anything.

Also there is a problem with debugging sub trees. The nodes should not be counted? (should there be an advanced debugging replacement ingame)

However, I like it as an option. It arises the problem of simply switching the assigned AIs to the bots. (profiles)

IMO there should be 3 leagues to keep it easy: 25, 100, infinity (don't focus on the values but on the concept)
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Ritter Runkel
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Re: AI size limits

Post#7 » 02 Nov 2017, 23:40

GFX47 wrote:Real game designers (meaning not wannabes like me) often say that constraints can be a catalyst for creativity.


This is so true and I've seen that very often, especially in gladiabots. Before we could count we spend much time to create crazy assumptions about the size of assaults attacking me. Or before we could flee in an intelligent way we spend some time to reduce the zig-zagging when fleeing.

So the constraints keeps it simple and reward you for finding creative solutions.

But the size of the AI is the wrong constraint in my opinion. It rewards simple messy solutions, not creative ones. The abilities we have with tagging, counting, fleeing from several enemies makes it hard to debug and to understand why one lost a game. That's frustrating and imho a reduction of complexity would help. Some features I see on trello like waypoints or points on the map to orientate will make it even more complex.

If we only reduce the size of the AI there will be three effects which will be super frustrating (for me).

1. Generic AIs don't make sense any more. It still be more powerful to have one Sniper AI for meeting point, one MG AI for the same map, one SG AI for this map and one for another map. That's unmaintainable and not fun at all.

2. There will be a stronger Rock paper scissors issue. My tiny AI can be powerfull against one other tiny AI and suck against another one. There is little which can be done because of the AI size.

3. I can't use my debugger subtree any more. It costs nodes "only" to check what my bots are sensing during the game.

What I would like to see is a kind of reduction of the complexity. But reduction of the AI size rewards only unmaintainable, messy AIs. I'm not afraid of losing my hugh AI. But I'm afraid of losing the ability to make a clean generic AI for all classes and all maps.

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0x1de
Automaton
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Posts: 156

Re: AI size limits

Post#8 » 03 Nov 2017, 00:00

The debugging sub-tree is an example of being creative under constraints. It's a brilliant idea but I wonder how many people came up with it independently. I feel that it's something for the elite only.

I suppose you could only count nodes in a tree bounded by an action node...

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GFX47
Dev Team
Posts: 2008

Re: AI size limits

Post#9 » 03 Nov 2017, 01:06

0x1de wrote:You'll need a live node count display, and I suggest that only counts condition and action nodes. Including connectors and sub-ai nodes would penalise good design.


That's my intention, including nodes inside the sub-ais obviously. .

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GFX47
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Posts: 2008

Re: AI size limits

Post#10 » 03 Nov 2017, 01:17

Revenge wrote:However, could you please leave an "unlimited mode" in the game.


Alright.

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GFX47
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Posts: 2008

Re: AI size limits

Post#11 » 03 Nov 2017, 01:26

0x1de wrote:I suppose you could only count nodes in a tree bounded by an action node...


I could but it would be a weird exception that would need additional explanation to new players... Not very fond of it.

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GFX47
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Posts: 2008

Re: AI size limits

Post#12 » 03 Nov 2017, 01:38

Ritter Runkel wrote:Generic AIs don't make sense any more. It still be more powerful to have one Sniper AI for meeting point, one MG AI for the same map, one SG AI for this map and one for another map. That's unmaintainable and not fun at all.


Don't forget it's in the context of random maps.

Ritter Runkel wrote:There will be a stronger Rock paper scissors issue. My tiny AI can be powerfull against one other tiny AI and suck against another one. There is little which can be done because of the AI size.


That would be true only with very limited sizes.

Ritter Runkel wrote:What I would like to see is a kind of reduction of the complexity. But reduction of the AI size rewards only unmaintainable, messy AIs. I'm not afraid of losing my hugh AI. But I'm afraid of losing the ability to make a clean generic AI for all classes and all maps.


I don't think removing AI options would be welcome by other players.
And I don't understand why you say size reduction would reward unmaintainable AIs, it's exactly the opposite in my mind: reducing size would allow to have a better visibility on the AI and to keep it clean more easily.

ai drone
Script
Script
Posts: 34

Re: AI size limits

Post#13 » 03 Nov 2017, 01:40

I just got back to Grand Master after a long time out. :) I don't know how many nodes I had before, but pretty sure was under 70 in five subroutines. I now have 39 nodes in 4 subroutines. I have been purposely trying to become competitive staying in the range of 50 or less nodes as I feel that I can maintain and understand what I have done when I come back after some time away. If I have a span of several days away from the game I tend to make changes after a loss too quickly and mess up what I had going. :?

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0x1de
Automaton
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Posts: 156

Re: AI size limits

Post#14 » 03 Nov 2017, 01:59

GFX47 wrote:
0x1de wrote:I suppose you could only count nodes in a tree bounded by an action node...


I could but it would be a weird exception that would need additional explanation to new players... Not very fond of it.

That's just a freebie for those using a debug subroutine. I don't like it either.

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0x1de
Automaton
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Posts: 156

Re: AI size limits

Post#15 » 03 Nov 2017, 02:22

My sub-50 AI had no subroutines (because of the tournament rules). Totally generic because of the hassle maintaining class and/or map specific versions. I'd say it's the limit to manage a single AI on one (10") screen.

ai drone
Script
Script
Posts: 34

Re: AI size limits

Post#16 » 03 Nov 2017, 02:36

If I could copy paste I would probably do away with the subroutines, but since I can't when something from one ai would work in another I just copy whole ai and delete what I don't want leaving the parts that I do, thus subroutine. Trying to go between two ai's copying multiple nodes takes more time and increases chances of me making a stupid mistake :oops:

Jeffrey Harpen
Algorithm
Algorithm
Posts: 55

Re: AI size limits

Post#17 » 03 Nov 2017, 11:04

I like the idea and I'd like to keep "unlimited" category as well.

Why I like it? I believe it would be helpful to beginners, but also personally I also would like to play in limited category sometimes. Just for fun.

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Ritter Runkel
Neural Network
Neural Network
Posts: 472

Re: AI size limits

Post#18 » 03 Nov 2017, 11:37

GFX47 wrote:
Ritter Runkel wrote:Generic AIs don't make sense any more. ...


Don't forget it's in the context of random maps.


This makes it better but it's even horrible. I need one AI for every bot class after that. If I have a new idea I have to implement that four times after that change. And I like to keep an AI readable. For that I use filters which are avoidable. For sure I can compress many filters into the action conditions. I'm very sure that top ten AIs will be almost unreadable after that change.

GFX47 wrote:
Ritter Runkel wrote:There will be a stronger Rock paper scissors issue. ...


That would be true only with very limited sizes.


Even 100 or 200 nodes is very limited for me. I can optimize small AIs against pushy enemies or against hardcore collectors. But not like now where I can try to find an optional way to handle all of these cases. It will feel bad if you get beaten by an AI where you can see how to counter bit being unable to counter because most players use other strategies.

GFX47 wrote:
Ritter Runkel wrote:What I would like to see is a kind of reduction of the complexity. But reduction of the AI size rewards only unmaintainable, messy AIs.


I don't think removing AI options would be welcome by other players.
And I don't understand why you say size reduction would reward unmaintainable AIs, it's exactly the opposite in my mind: reducing size would allow to have a better visibility on the AI and to keep it clean more easily.


I think you're right with the fact that taking away given possibilities would not be welcomed by the player base. That's a point. But reducing the AI size is also a removement.

The part with the messy AI I explained above. To give you an idea I post two images of my generic AI code. Most of the filters are redundant and can easily be compressed into actions. But it won't be readable anymore.

IMG_20171103_103314.jpg
Retreatment Code
IMG_20171103_103314.jpg (131.36 KiB) Viewed 142 times


IMG_20171103_103331.jpg
Behavior Tree
IMG_20171103_103331.jpg (100.15 KiB) Viewed 142 times


Maybe size based leagues could be a way to handle that. Bit you need a much bigger player base to split them into different groups.

Sorry that I don't have a solution for that problem. I see what you want to archive and I second the goal. But I think that the AI size is the wrong part to start with the reduction.

pier4r
Skynet
Skynet
Posts: 2764

Re: AI size limits

Post#19 » 03 Nov 2017, 12:39

0x1de wrote:The debugging sub-tree is an example of being creative under constraints. It's a brilliant idea but I wonder how many people came up with it independently. I feel that it's something for the elite only.


me 8-) after many requests that asked for more data. I realized that the data is already there.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=588&p=6739&hilit=debug+subtree#p6739
http://www.reddit.com/r/Gladiabots/wiki/players/pier4r_nvidia_shield_k1 -> Gladiabots CHAT, stats, insights and more ;

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GFX47
Dev Team
Posts: 2008

Re: AI size limits

Post#20 » 03 Nov 2017, 12:40

@Ritter Runkel You can play the unlimited mode only.
And players can actually play several modes.

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