Friday, May 27, 2005

Game Development Status 5/26/05

Monthly total ~25 hours; yearly total ~132 hours.

Artillery is now unlimbering and firing for the AI. It is not always sited very well, but it is doing something for now.

I have been working on getting the Opening Moves scenario to play a complete game. I have also been working on the AI save file issue. I have been noting a lot of behavioral problems that need to be improved.

The AI is still very stupid -- it just bulls straight ahead and it does not do much reasoning concerning enemy commands. If multiple commands have the same goal, they tend to physically interfere with one another. The AI in its current brilliance will run the Russian units out of Freiheit, but will not occupy enough hexes in the town to officially "take" the town. The AI does not understand flanks, or reserves, or maintenance of aim (there is excessive goal "churn"). The AI does not understand tieing in flanks, or screening, or retreats, or even defensive missions (I haven't written that part yet).

There's a long way to go to get the AI to perform well in the Corps and Army level fights.

We'll get there. I'm just not sure who'll be president when that happens. :-)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Game Development Status 5/19/05

Monthly total almost 18 hours; yearly total over 124 hours.

I made good progress on the artillery code the last couple of sessions. I have AI artillery unlimbering and firing now (well, again, actually). I got a rules clarification from the La Bat forum at CSW, and another from the rulebook. Artillery a cheval does not halt its movement when entering a ZOI (ZdI). Artillery a pied halts its move, but can unlimber in that hex if plotted to do so. I have made these changes in the game.

I also added code to prevent artillery from going into battery in a maneuver command unless a certain percentage of units in the command is engaged. I'm currently running the threshold at 35%.

There is an interesting article about rules changes in the new Regs on Consimworld. We'll have to ask Charlie and Ed what they want to do about the new Regs. It would be a major undertaking to update the game to work with the new Regs. We're probably talking a push back of 6 months to a year to do so.

I was reading the scenario special rules for Assault of VII Corps the other day. It was a rude awakening for me: the rules are quite detailed in restricting the movement of the VII Corps. Chris decided that we would not implement the detailed special rules for Assault. This is a good thing; it would require a lot of work at this point. I think we will still do what we had planned to do all along: allow VII Corps to retreat after a certain number of turns (perhaps 3 or 4 turns).

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Game Developement Status 5/17/05

Monthly total 16 hours; yearly total 123 hours.

I finished April with about 29 hours of work.

Things are going well for Eylau. I did 6 hours of work yesterday. The AI game now saves and loads in any turn in any phase, so the "AI Alpha" is a go. I am currently working on my Mission Essential Task List for Origins 2005. This includes the following

  • Save/Load AI Game (done)
  • infantry conducts feu and assault (done)
  • cavalry conducts charge (done)
  • infantry artillery units unlimber and fire (in progress)
  • Play Assault of VII Corps scenario
    • change goals in the middle of the game to allow VII Corps to retreat

  • Play The Opening Moves scenario
    • include multiple goals in the FEBA set; FEBA set is static

  • work fit and finish tasks and critical bugs as time permits
  • prepare report of game status for Chris

Right now, I have artillery firing when in battery. Only Artillery a Cheval goes into battery with any consistency, but I'm working on that.

We are heading to a code freeze on June 11. I expect to have the METL completed by then.