SoC Ideas Whiteboard Multiple CTK 2012
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|See the list of Summer of Code 2012 Ideas|
|This is a Summer of Code 2012 Idea|
- 1 Description
- 1.1 Whiteboard: Multiple Chance-to-kill calculations and interface polish
- 1.1.1 Andriy Andriychuk - "Total defence" strategy
- 1.1.2 Sanka Darshana - "Implement a 'total defense' strategy"
- 1.1.3 Geoffrey Hart - Maximizing Utility
- 1.1.4 Christopher Conway - Defensive AI
- 1.1.5 Conor Nevin - Implementing a Total Defense AI
- 1.1.6 Nikolay Agafonov - Line Defence Strategy
- 1.1.7 Ed Kim - Total Defense AI
- 1.1 Whiteboard: Multiple Chance-to-kill calculations and interface polish
- 2 Additional Information
- 3 Requirements
- 4 Whom to ask about this
Whiteboard: Multiple Chance-to-kill calculations and interface polish
Page for the idea: SoC Ideas Whiteboard Multiple CTK 2012
The whiteboard (the wesnoth action-planning system) allows you to plan several attacks on a single unit. Wesnoth already computes your chances to kill an attacked unit in the battle dialog: extend this dialog to compute total kill chances taking into account all attackers.
In addition, the whiteboard interface still has some outstanding bugs or incomplete features and usability issues. Identify as many of those problems as possible and propose ways to solve them (see details for some ideas).
Finally, do exhaustive playtesting and bugfixing involving devs and community members to make sure the whiteboard is fully reliable.
There are 8 submitted student proposals for this idea
Andriy Andriychuk - "Total defence" strategy
Sanka Darshana - "Implement a 'total defense' strategy"
The AI will decide the best movements considering the resources available, enemy positions and their types, enemy distribution and etc... The generated movements will be decided on the values of the each troop. As an example, a shaman will be more important if there are more troops with low health, and Archers if there are troops with health. So the AI will determine which actions to take depending on a list of variables in the game environment
See SankaD for more information.
Geoffrey Hart - Maximizing Utility
A good offense is made by identifying an opponents vulnerabilities and exploiting them. As such, a good defense is made by reducing the number of weak spots. Since there is no perfect unit and all have their own imperfections, the idea is send them out in groups of units that compliment each others strengths and weaknesses. This will allow them to rearrange themselves in a way most suitable to handle nearby enemies. Since the number of predictive steps the AI can make is limited, it can become "surprised" rather easily. Therefore, it's a good choice to maximize utility and the ability to be flexible in order to handle these surprises. Then, within action-packed skirmishes, raw processing power can be brought to bear more effectively.
See SOC - Geoffrey Hart for more information.
Christopher Conway - Defensive AI
My goal is to develop an AI which is capable of “total defense” behavior, as opposed to the current aggressive AI. It would allow for the AI to function in scenarios like controlled retreats, unit escort, or holding a given area while minimizing unit loss.
See Soc2012 Borgrumm Defensive AI for more information.
Conor Nevin - Implementing a Total Defense AI
Implementing a defensive mode of the AI, so that it is able to heal units whilst holding ground against an advancing enemy.
See Soc2012 cnevin92 Total Defense AI for more information.
Nikolay Agafonov - Line Defence Strategy
The idea of this strategy is to stick together the troops and create the defencive line. All the units
should be put on hexes where they would be on the defensive in most effective way. THere would be some kinds of AI's behaviour (full retreat, banking, passive attack etc.) depending on on game factors.
See SoC2012 LineDefenceStrategy for more information.
Ed Kim - Total Defense AI
Often, the best defense is a good offense. In Wesnoth, lacking either can get you slaughtered. It is particularly important that the AI learn not only to consider immediate gains and losses off a linear formula, but to take other considerations into account, especially some foresight into human reactions and macroscopic army flux. Similar to a chess engine, if the AI could learn to take "next move" heuristics into account as well as consider positional strategies such as defensive formations (line, square) by taking unit relationships into account, the AI would become a much more versatile and formidable foe.
See SoC2012 Yokipi Total Defense AI for more information.
Chance-to-kill calculations for multiple planned attacks
The main challenge here besides computing the odds will be to design a good interface to accomodate this new info. You should at the very least submit UI mockups. Be aware that your UI should still work at the lowest resolution Wesnoth supports.
Optional addition: When several attacks are planned it can be hard to remember which unit is using which weapon. Try and find a way to display this information. Again, UI mockups are necessary so we can evaluate your idea.
Polishing up the Suppose Dead feature
The whiteboard has a "suppose dead" feature from GSoC 2011 which is currently disabled for lack of a good UI. This feature allows to basically remove a unit from the game temporarily to see how it affects pathfinding and zones of control. Propose visuals and a UI for this feature to try and redeem it. Yes, you guessed it, UI mockups needed.
- Current whiteboard bugs on the tracker: https://gna.org/bugs/?group=wesnoth&bug_group_id=117 (Fixing one or two of those as part of your submission is highly recommended, to show you can handle the wesnoth code base.)
- Ensure the interface to show/hide your allies' plans works properly and has good usability.
- Reduce visual clutter as much as possible: more visual elements such as numbers for planned moves should probably only display when a planned action is highlighted. This and other visual choices should be made optional: show always/show on highlight/never show.
- The interface for moves which go over multiple turns needs some work. Currently the emphasis is on the last future position of the unit (even if that is 5 turns from now), while it should probably on where the unit will end up during this turn.
Past experience has shown that properly testing the whiteboard means testing:
- multiplayer scenarios vs the AI and vs players, with and without heavy WML scripting
- observers (can cause bugs and should be tested)
- 2v2 matches
For proper playtesting you'll need to create several very simple scenarios that allow to quickly test all the possible planned actions, i.e. recruit, recall, move (including over several turns), attack, and eventually the "suppose dead" action if we re-enable it.
You should at first do exhaustive tests by yourself up to simulating 2v2 matches with 4 local clients, and when you're confident the game is bug-free, organise matches with devs and community members to see how people react, and to find the last, least obvious bugs.
Prior Wesnoth playing experience is required, since you're gonna do interface design, and a multiplayer match versus the whiteboard developer will be part of the acceptance process (don't worry, he sucks at Wesnoth, and you're only expected to show that you have some clue on how to play the game).
Good C++ skills are recommended, as is at least basic experience in interface design.
Note that all feature development (i.e. multiple CTK and Suppose Dead) must be finished by the GSoC midterm evaluation, after which all the time will be reserved for playtesting and further polishing.
Whom to ask about this
gabba on irc. If I'm hard to reach you can also find my email in the game's source files (if you're gonna make the effort to find it, I can make the effort to read your mail ;) ).
Crab_ on irc is a good resource about the internals of the current chance-to-kill calculations.