Hello

all the talk around the remake

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Garison
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Hello

Postby Garison » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:04 am

Hey folks,

Been learning CompSci at university.
3rd year.

People still pushing a clone?
Phoenix is the new thing right?

Happy to see this board still alive.

-Garison

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:51 pm

Phoenix is the only one I'm aware of with any activity. Flowerpot posted a little over a month ago about the latest release in this thread, in fact. It's come a long way!

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Postby flowerpot » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:48 pm

Eightball Maniac wrote:Phoenix is the only one I'm aware of with any activity. Flowerpot posted a little over a month ago about the latest release in this thread, in fact. It's come a long way!


Hey,

Last friday night (27.11.2015) at 19:03:00 GMT +0200 during a Phoenix test game, symbiot units conquered rebel cities on Absolution. The point is that the symbiots were not under human player, or class RobotTester, control ...

... so some sort of AI for symbiots at least is in the pipeline for Phoenix 0.51 release. Never done AI before, never done large projects like Phoenix in general, so we'll have to see...

Straight from "git log", completed Phoenix 0.51 features include "Tax, pay change effects on loyalty; rebellions", "Add raze city", "Add promise votes, ministry to contracts", "Add grand planetary map", "Add grand galactic map"

If the symbiot AI turns out to be useful I may release some sort of limited single player mission/demo with players starting as Al-Malik regent, with fleet and garrison offices, and tasked with the conquest of Absolution, Chernobog and Daishan.

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:29 pm

AI is what I'm looking forward to most! Do you plan to build up AI profiles for each type of entity (Rebels, Symbiots, Houses, Church, Vau, League) as Phoenix progresses? Some of the weakest points of the EFS AI are the minimal Vau AI and inability for Rebels to produce new units.

I've been holding off on trying Phoenix until you've implemented more of the game mechanics, so a mission/demo pitting us against the Symbiots would be great!

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Postby flowerpot » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:11 pm

Eightball Maniac wrote:AI is what I'm looking forward to most! Do you plan to build up AI profiles for each type of entity (Rebels, Symbiots, Houses, Church, Vau, League) as Phoenix progresses? Some of the weakest points of the EFS AI are the minimal Vau AI and inability for Rebels to produce new units.

(Doing AI is what I have been waiting for three years ... and I would consort with inquisitors and warlocks alike to make it work :shock: :twisted: :? .)

Yes, incremental AI building is the plan, and this has been followed. I started with Symbiots as they are always at war with everyone else, do not surrender, do not vote/trade/research or engage in diplomacy. So building a decent (for a suitable definition of decent) AI for Symbiots should be the least difficult faction AI building task.

Modularity is also in the plan, so if the Symbiot conquest AI is decent that will serve as starting point for other faction conquest AIs. And some sort of statistical analysis of available/buildable/researchable units to determine what to research/build/fight with.

The AI also utilizes (so far limited) parallel processing, currently certain static AI support structures which take time to construct are built in a separate thread, while the human players do their first year. Some static AI stuff can also be saved on a per GALAXY file basis, and can be simply loaded from an AI save if the relevant data is not changed, so some lengthy static AI calculations need only performed the first time when starting Phoenix with a new galaxy.

I'm now in the process of trying to build scout/recon (so far at least, Phoenix AIs honor hex/unit/planet visibility) and intercontinental/planetary transport AIs for Symbiots. After those, a build AI should be done, and that might be just about what is required for first public Symbiot AI.

Also, some aspects of the AIs should be simple to do (crossing fingers), like a method for calculating some minimum required compensation in firebirds when suing for peace after a surprise attack: simply calculating the value in firebirds of all lost units/cargo/cities would be a good start. So in vanilla, an attack which makes the opponent lose one militia legion would cost a minimum of 5 (metal amount to build) * 13 (metal prize) = 65 FB. But for a single space frigate the cost from monopols and singularities alone would be almost 20k FB, so grabbing advanced units from pushover AI factions should not be as easy as before.

Eightball Maniac wrote:I've been holding off on trying Phoenix until you've implemented more of the game mechanics, so a mission/demo pitting us against the Symbiots would be great!

The mission/demo is now in the pipeline after the Symbiot AI

Speaking of implementing more game features, I have never done PBEM myself (other than testing), and I have only played EFS1.4 (Hyperion 1.4g) thru once (exploiting the one Noblesse Elitesse super noble you get at start), thus I may not be the best authority on what features should be absolutely implemented for a minimally playable single/multi-player EFS. So any input from the community would help me prioritize. Latest list of missing features is here

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:35 am

You've put thought into how to build a functioning AI, which is reassuring! I'll certainly dig into the Symbiot demo and test it out when it's ready.

Down the road when EFS 1.4 style play is largely complete, do you plan to expand the game's possibilities at all? Fully functioning Church mechanics would be an excellent addition. I'd also really like to see additional factions such as Minor Houses, Vuldroks, and Kurgans, rather than lumping them together with Rebels. Adding factions is a more complex matter since diplomacy would need to be tied into some or all of them...

flowerpot wrote:Speaking of implementing more game features, I have never done PBEM myself (other than testing), and I have only played EFS1.4 (Hyperion 1.4g) thru once (exploiting the one Noblesse Elitesse super noble you get at start), thus I may not be the best authority on what features should be absolutely implemented for a minimally playable single/multi-player EFS. So any input from the community would help me prioritize. Latest list of missing features is here

I've not done PBEM either, but have spent a lot of hours playing against the AI and modding. Looking at that feature list and checking out the latest release, I have the following recommendations for mechanics that should get a higher priority, in no particular order:
    Orders: Build Road, Sentry. Roads are key to shifting your defense forces around if transport is too risky, while Sentry is helpful for filtering garrison forces from those that get frequent orders.

    Diplomacy. It's important for both multi and single play, though less useful for the latter until the AI can fully use it as well.
These aren't critical, but of some importance:
    Combat: unspotted agility bonus, assassin special targeting. Some units are reliant on these features to be of any use.

    Bombard: city damage. Destroying cities can be useful, particularly Symbiot hives.

    Keyboard shortcuts. I'm so used to pressing B to build cities and R to build roads that using the menu is a bit awkward.
I suggest these be of lower priority than the rest:
    Random Galaxy generator. The default and mod galaxy maps are sufficient until other mechanics are done.

    Esthetics. Everything in that list is less important than the Functional list.


Hopefully other folks will chime in with suggestions as well.

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Postby flowerpot » Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:34 pm

Eightball Maniac wrote:You've put thought into how to build a functioning AI, which is reassuring! I'll certainly dig into the Symbiot demo and test it out when it's ready.

Down the road when EFS 1.4 style play is largely complete, do you plan to expand the game's possibilities at all? Fully functioning Church mechanics would be an excellent addition. I'd also really like to see additional factions such as Minor Houses, Vuldroks, and Kurgans, rather than lumping them together with Rebels. Adding factions is a more complex matter since diplomacy would need to be tied into some or all of them...

Oh, I've got Plans allright ... when I started to code Phoenix seriously I did some research regarding all the previous remake talk and projects that I knew of, starting from the forum discussions in early 2000, to the efforts of 1eyedparrot, BrodieBrodie and Lap ... and came (among other things) to the conclusions that talking the project to the death is a real danger and that going for an EFS1.5 patch has a better chance of success as a project and getting wider community acceptance than going for a full EFS2.0 remake. Thus the need to do more implementation work and less talking about would be vaporware features.

(Of course, in the Fred Brooks sense, an EFS1.5 could be considered a necessary pilot system if/when making an EFS2.0 ...)

Things that are mentioned in the manual, incomplete in EFS1.4 or heard thru the grapevine as more or less official should/would/could have been features could be considered EFS1.5 features and are high on the list of additions along with general modern game features necessary to reduce tedious micromanagement and speed up playing of turns.

Regarding the Church, with the AI as I now envision it, some features should be less than too difficult to do:being pissed about high tithe skim, sending inquisitors directly to raid only known or highly suspect locations of heresy, escalating hostilities if suspect labs are surrounded by garrisons and maybe electing a new patriach from a sect with the highest population among the cities and units and setting church AI demeanour accordingly (like high tech acceptance: from "avestites => kill all the scientists" to ... hmm, actually, I don't know which sect would be the most tolerant regarding high tech in the FS universe...) I also recall some priest saying "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs"

Also, regarding assassinations: making unspotted assassins invulnerable to all phases before their first/best/close attack on their first turn might make assassins more useful even in vanilla, and the task of keeping a noble on Byz II a bit more interesting ...

Phoenix looks like it could fly ... three years of work, good game concept, existing community ... it would be a waste, borderline criminal to just stop developing if/when all desirable EFS1.4 features are implemented.

Eightball Maniac wrote:Looking at that feature list and checking out the latest release, I have the following recommendations for mechanics that should get a higher priority, in no particular order:


I added the new features you mentioned to the list and reorganized the list into High, Medium, Undecided and Low priority features.

flowerpot wrote:Hopefully other folks will chime in with suggestions as well.


Hmm, regarding this thread, only Garison, you and I (and moderators) are possibly getting new message notifications, others will have to explicitly nose around this forum.

Heh, if I was publishing videos of some celebrity in a drunken stupor this would go viral instantly ... but a remake of a twenty-year-old-could-have-been-big game will attract only the interest of les connaisseurs ...

I have not thought too much about public relations ... two years ago dogamusprime suggested I post on the Reddit.com 4x, or strategygaming subbreddits. Back then I was of the opinion that it's too early to publish outside of forums or existing threads dedicated to EFS, I thought Phoenix was too much vaporware and I had not any automated testing done. Maybe it's time to go public among more general gaming forums ...

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:59 am

flowerpot wrote:Things that are mentioned in the manual, incomplete in EFS1.4 or heard thru the grapevine as more or less official should/would/could have been features could be considered EFS1.5 features and are high on the list of additions along with general modern game features necessary to reduce tedious micromanagement and speed up playing of turns.

Regarding the Church, with the AI as I now envision it, some features should be less than too difficult to do:being pissed about high tithe skim, sending inquisitors directly to raid only known or highly suspect locations of heresy, escalating hostilities if suspect labs are surrounded by garrisons and maybe electing a new patriach from a sect with the highest population among the cities and units and setting church AI demeanour accordingly (like high tech acceptance: from "avestites => kill all the scientists" to ... hmm, actually, I don't know which sect would be the most tolerant regarding high tech in the FS universe...) I also recall some priest saying "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs"


Sounds like a solid plan. A fully functioning Church would be a serious concern for Houses to keep track of, lest they draw its wrath. A change in Patriarch sect could drastically change how a game is being played too, as you suggested. I think the most tolerant sect towards high technology of the five in EFS would be the Incarnates. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

flowerpot wrote:Also, regarding assassinations: making unspotted assassins invulnerable to all phases before their first/best/close attack on their first turn might make assassins more useful even in vanilla, and the task of keeping a noble on Byz II a bit more interesting ...


I haven't used assassins much, but such a change would drastically increase the need for units with high spotting ability to accompany nobles. Needing to keep an eye on them is certainly not a bad thing.

flowerpot wrote:Phoenix looks like it could fly ... three years of work, good game concept, existing community ... it would be a waste, borderline criminal to just stop developing if/when all desirable EFS1.4 features are implemented.


I never expected a remake to actually see the light of day, but you've done a lot of work with Phoenix and have proven that a rewrite can work. The possibility of escaping EFS' limitations and incomplete features is something every EFS player should be happy about. Keep it up!

flowerpot wrote:I have not thought too much about public relations ... two years ago dogamusprime suggested I post on the Reddit.com 4x, or strategygaming subbreddits. Back then I was of the opinion that it's too early to publish outside of forums or existing threads dedicated to EFS, I thought Phoenix was too much vaporware and I had not any automated testing done. Maybe it's time to go public among more general gaming forums ...


If you feel the time is right, posting on the general strategy sites might be the way to go to drum up more people. Other than this forum and the Steam group, I don't know where EFS players gather.


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