Monday, December 27, 2004

Game Development Status 12/26/04

Monthly total ~30 hours; yearly total ~373 hours.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

I had a good holiday. Did the family thing, did the gift bit, consumed mass quantities (but lost weight due to exercise and the Playstation 2 diet). Good news: Eylau is getting closer and the gal I was dating stopped dating me. Bad news: I got an XBox for Christmas and I'm going to start dating someone else.

OK, here's the current status. I am now able to get the AI game to play all the way through using the Assault of VII Corps scenario. The AI actually does stuff. VII/1 and VII/2 move towards Anklappen along with the Corps headquarters. Attacks are made, artillery and infantry fire is conducted, and the infantry assaults (they attempt to do so rather often, but close pretty infrequently, as you might expect given strict adherence to the version 4 regs). Regroup movement occurs. There was an involuntary breakdown to battalions due to casualties. Current problems include:
  • Units fire to the rear and infantry units fire further than one hex sometimes.
  • Major problems with divisions maintaining line of advance formation when not in contact.
  • Artillery units out of command radius do not regroup back to their commands.
  • Regrouping units blocked by the artillery units listed above do not go around the obstructing artillery.
Time to put these guys on maneuvers. My next couple of sessions will involved increasing the amount of data tracked on a per-friendly-unit basis by the AI and providing more information in the AI Debug dialog. This will let me diagnose plotting problems without stepping through the code. Then I will make a new test scenario for Assault of VII Corps and the Opening Moves that have only Coalition leaders, so that I can make unopposed test runs. My goal is to get the AI moving to contact in an orderly fashion, with divisions keeping units together in formation, and Corps keeping divisions in formation. I also need to fully implement reinforcement movement.

After that, I need to switch over to the Coalition side and get the AI to perform defensive tasks.
After that, I need to get both offense and defense to do a number of things:
  • Consitute, commit, and reconstitute a reserve.
  • Perform flanking maneuvers.
  • Work with a variable FEBA (required for the larger scenarios in which there are initially unreachable victory locations). Fortunately, we can do most of the AI work without worrying about this, just by testing with the Assault of VII Corps and the Opening Moves.
  • Cleanup code, fix memory leaks, handoff to Chris for creation of the Beta installation CDs.
In my opinion, we can go into Beta without the reserve, flanking maneuvers, or variable FEBA. Without those parts, the AI should still be playable in the Assault of VII Corps and the Opening Moves, and PBEM and hotseat are available. We can continue to finish the AI for the larger scenarios during Beta. We'll see what happens.

I have already put in for vacation on January 14th, 28th, and February 11th, so that I can take 3-day weekends to work on the game. I have a couple of vacation days in reserve, plus enough time to attend Origins.


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