Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Surprising Japanese Regent!

Okay, remember how I was working on Kampaku, a small game about supply lines?

Holy shit is this gameplay emergent. There's no possible way I can write a decent AI for this game.

I've tried every trick short of neural nets and alife. I can get it to perform well, but there's a clear counter to each, and an experienced player will have no problems outwitting the computer foes I have designed.

This becomes especially true as I tweak the statistics of the combat - giving one side a faster spawn or march rate, another side more powerful fortifications...

The only way I see to get this game to work is to make it strictly multiplayer.

So... hrm... I think I'll need to totally sack the idea and make a new system that doesn't carry a required AI that's only theoretically possible.

The good news? The foundation for the AI - the map scanning and weighting - worked perfectly. I just didn't realize how complex the gameplay would get.

So, a new Kampaku. I have ideas.


Patrick Dugan said...

Hey, don't be so hasty to throw out the single player. AI that has a clear counter for every move might not provide an endless depth of re-play value, but it seems to be entertaining for all but experienced players, and the challenge of infering the counter for each situation has a strong educational value to making players experts ready for multiplayer.

Go ahead and put in the sub-par AI, along with some decent writing and storyline, and you'll have a single player that serves as a nice intro to the full complexities of the game.

kestrel404 said...

I agree with Patrick. A single player mode just to learn the game would be good, especially if you can tweak the AI so that learning to defeat it points out some of the more interesting features of the gameplay.

Craig Perko said...

I'm not throwing away the idea of single player: I'm throwing away the idea of that particular gameplay. Mostly because I don't have the ability to make it multiplayer without a week of learning.

Without the useful gameplay, there's nothing to set the game apart. My new version should be more fun.

Patrick Dugan said...

I'd be happy to alpha test that, but I'm a sucker for single player modes.