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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design

 
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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/8/2006 4:26:44 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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I forgot to mention, ...

For cost and turns I used the rather simple device of Costs (with the plural) denoting a 2 cycle unit and the actual BPs required shown as 2+4, for instance.

The sinlge cycle convoy has the word Cost (no plural) and just a single cost number (1/4).

The turns changes depending on whether the unit is being built new or repaired.

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Post #: 601
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/11/2006 3:36:37 AM   
trees

 

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this is a game interface question I noticed in the air tutorial thread...in the screen shot showing airplanes on the map there are Russian and German land units on the map. Only the Germans have the small green supply status indicators. Is this because the screen shot used is from old, old beta code and the indicator is simply not working for the Russian units? Or will supply status only be shown for your own units?

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Post #: 602
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/11/2006 5:28:54 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: trees

this is a game interface question I noticed in the air tutorial thread...in the screen shot showing airplanes on the map there are Russian and German land units on the map. Only the Germans have the small green supply status indicators. Is this because the screen shot used is from old, old beta code and the indicator is simply not working for the Russian units? Or will supply status only be shown for your own units?

Supply status should be shown for all units all the time. The bright green indicators for the German units means they can move. Supply status is the third button in on the top (reading left to right). HQ units have it as a dark green indicating they are secondary supply sources.

In-supply units have no supply indicator. The default is to show nothing, which means the unit is in a normal state. That is why the USSR units are showing no status indicators (one of my design goals is to minimize clutter).

I haven't gotten the code for updating the status indicators functioning correctly yet. To my mind, the definitions of the status inidcators needs one more pass before I will bless it and implement the final version.

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Post #: 603
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/12/2006 12:56:22 AM   
trees

 

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ahh, I hadn't looked back to find out which indicator was which.

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Post #: 604
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/12/2006 4:54:46 AM   
Zorachus99


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: trees

this is a game interface question I noticed in the air tutorial thread...in the screen shot showing airplanes on the map there are Russian and German land units on the map. Only the Germans have the small green supply status indicators. Is this because the screen shot used is from old, old beta code and the indicator is simply not working for the Russian units? Or will supply status only be shown for your own units?

Supply status should be shown for all units all the time. The bright green indicators for the German units means they can move. Supply status is the third button in on the top (reading left to right). HQ units have it as a dark green indicating they are secondary supply sources.

In-supply units have no supply indicator. The default is to show nothing, which means the unit is in a normal state. That is why the USSR units are showing no status indicators (one of my design goals is to minimize clutter).

I haven't gotten the code for updating the status indicators functioning correctly yet. To my mind, the definitions of the status inidcators needs one more pass before I will bless it and implement the final version.


I would very much like to see a legend showing indicator status in a tutorial.


_____________________________

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Post #: 605
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/12/2006 6:32:13 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorachus99
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
quote:

ORIGINAL: trees
this is a game interface question I noticed in the air tutorial thread...in the screen shot showing airplanes on the map there are Russian and German land units on the map. Only the Germans have the small green supply status indicators. Is this because the screen shot used is from old, old beta code and the indicator is simply not working for the Russian units? Or will supply status only be shown for your own units?

Supply status should be shown for all units all the time. The bright green indicators for the German units means they can move. Supply status is the third button in on the top (reading left to right). HQ units have it as a dark green indicating they are secondary supply sources.

In-supply units have no supply indicator. The default is to show nothing, which means the unit is in a normal state. That is why the USSR units are showing no status indicators (one of my design goals is to minimize clutter).

I haven't gotten the code for updating the status indicators functioning correctly yet. To my mind, the definitions of the status inidcators needs one more pass before I will bless it and implement the final version.


I would very much like to see a legend showing indicator status in a tutorial.


Yes. I might do this piecemeal though since the status indicators relate to different parts of the sequence of play.

The first place will be in tutorial #9 (8 pages plus overview text):
---------
[9,8]
[This tutorial defines how units trace supply to primary and secondary supply sources.
Overland and overseas supply lines are shown. The tutorial also describes alternate
sources of supply and the effects of being out of supply.]

[primary supply sources]

[secondary supply sources with paths to primary]

[units tracing over land to secondary sources]

[units supply path over land being blocked by enemy units]

[overseas supply paths]

[tracing supply over both land and sea]

[effects of being out of supply]

[alternative supply sources]
---------

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Post #: 606
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/21/2006 6:41:14 AM   
lomyrin


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How will the game hexes display on a widescreen monitor? 

Will the hexes be elongated horizontally or will there just be room for extra hex rows where the hexes are not distorted?

Lars

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Post #: 607
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/21/2006 8:57:16 AM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin

How will the game hexes display on a widescreen monitor? 

Will the hexes be elongated horizontally or will there just be room for extra hex rows where the hexes are not distorted?

Lars

IMO it depends entirely on which screen resolution you choose. Not on the game.
If you choose 1280 x 1024 on a wide screen, the hexes will be elongated in width, as will be anything displayed on the screen.

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Post #: 608
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/21/2006 10:09:13 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp
quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin
How will the game hexes display on a widescreen monitor? 

Will the hexes be elongated horizontally or will there just be room for extra hex rows where the hexes are not distorted?

Lars

IMO it depends entirely on which screen resolution you choose. Not on the game.
If you choose 1280 x 1024 on a wide screen, the hexes will be elongated in width, as will be anything displayed on the screen.


I routinely run the program on 2 monitors side by side, which is a logical 2560 by 1024. I get more visible hexes with no distortion.

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Post #: 609
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/21/2006 10:21:07 AM   
Davidt

 

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Hi Steve,

I can't seem to find anything about whether or not the current multipliers are shown. The reason im asking is, sometimes it wont be worth occupying that 1 hex in russia or attacking that div, because of the 0.25 multiplier increase. (Yeah i know its gamey, but WIF is a game)

There could be a status window, to be called on at will, telling current multipliers for all major countries, including whether or not the country is getting special multipliers such as:

1. Enemy units in the home country
2. attacks made on units in homecountry
3. For russia, keeping Leningrad, minsk and odessa (?) etc during 42
4. Current US gearing and when the gearnig will rise

Best Regards,
David

edit: Spelling

< Message edited by Davidt -- 11/21/2006 11:04:26 AM >

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Post #: 610
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/21/2006 11:44:23 AM   
oscar72se

 

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Hi!
I don't know if you guys already thought of this, but would it be possible to add a "hover effect" to the interface so that when the user points at a stack, a small window with compressed info about the current stack pops up? In terms of compressed info one could display total attack factors, number of ARM points etc.

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/21/2006 6:34:53 PM   
lomyrin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp
quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin
How will the game hexes display on a widescreen monitor? 

Will the hexes be elongated horizontally or will there just be room for extra hex rows where the hexes are not distorted?

Lars

IMO it depends entirely on which screen resolution you choose. Not on the game.
If you choose 1280 x 1024 on a wide screen, the hexes will be elongated in width, as will be anything displayed on the screen.


I routinely run the program on 2 monitors side by side, which is a logical 2560 by 1024. I get more visible hexes with no distortion.


With the newer larger screen monitors seemingly being more and more in the 16:10 widescreen format at 1680 by 1050 resolution instead of the 4:3 format with 1280 by 1024, is it unavoidable to suffer elongation of the hexes or will the program be able to be selected for format and display correctly? It seems that future game programs will need such a feature.

Lars




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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/21/2006 7:10:06 PM   
SamuraiProgrammer

 

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Here is the way I believe this will work and if I am wrong, Steve will correct me.

The game will display appropriately in whatever resolution windows is running in. The hexes will be of the correct shape and all will be well... UNLESS...

You are running a Windows resolution that is of a different height to width ratio than your display and it is working in full screen mode. In this case, everything (except some DirectX situations) will be distorted. Word, Outlook, Excel, your desktop picture and anything else will be distorted. Not just MWiF.

DirectX programs will be distorted or not based on the resolution you have picked inside that program. Again, if the resolution is of the same height to width ratio as your display, there will be no distortion, but if you force it to use a resolution with a different ratio, it will be.

For example, my laptop will run in the following modes:


Resolution....Ratio.....Distortion?
800x600.......1.333.....Distortion
1024x768......1.333.....Distortion
1280x768......1.666.....Distortion - Hardly noticable
1280x800......1.600.....No Distortion
1280x1024.....1.250.....Distortion - Worst
1680x1050.....1.600.....No Distotion


In short, if the rest of your windows applications look fine, so will MWiF

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/22/2006 10:10:02 AM   
amwild

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SamuraiProgrammer

Here is the way I believe this will work and if I am wrong, Steve will correct me.

The game will display appropriately in whatever resolution windows is running in. The hexes will be of the correct shape and all will be well... UNLESS...

You are running a Windows resolution that is of a different height to width ratio than your display and it is working in full screen mode. In this case, everything (except some DirectX situations) will be distorted. Word, Outlook, Excel, your desktop picture and anything else will be distorted. Not just MWiF.

DirectX programs will be distorted or not based on the resolution you have picked inside that program. Again, if the resolution is of the same height to width ratio as your display, there will be no distortion, but if you force it to use a resolution with a different ratio, it will be.

For example, my laptop will run in the following modes:


Resolution....Ratio.....Distortion?
800x600.......1.333.....Distortion
1024x768......1.333.....Distortion
1280x768......1.666.....Distortion - Hardly noticable
1280x800......1.600.....No Distortion
1280x1024.....1.250.....Distortion - Worst
1680x1050.....1.600.....No Distotion


In short, if the rest of your windows applications look fine, so will MWiF


Uh... No.

Windows resolution does not cause distortion unless the application uses algorithms that fit images to the screen without maintaining aspect ratio. This means that distortion is usually only seen in a few graphic apps that do not preserve aspect ratio - otherwise images are displayed with black bars at the top/bottom or sides.

MWiF appears to count pixels to generate its images. It does not multiply the desktop dimensions to generate pixel counts.

In short, it doesn't matter what resolution you use as long as you have enough desktop resolution to show everything you need to see. There won't be any distortion.

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/22/2006 9:21:46 PM   
lomyrin


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I performed the actual test of setting up a widescreen 16:10 monitor at 1680 x 1050 resolution with the CWiF program. It displayed just fine across the entire wide screen with no distortion, all hexes were of the correct shape.

Lars

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/24/2006 5:23:14 PM   
SamuraiProgrammer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: amwild

Uh... No.

Windows resolution does not cause distortion unless the application uses algorithms that fit images to the screen without maintaining aspect ratio. This means that distortion is usually only seen in a few graphic apps that do not preserve aspect ratio - otherwise images are displayed with black bars at the top/bottom or sides.

MWiF appears to count pixels to generate its images. It does not multiply the desktop dimensions to generate pixel counts.

In short, it doesn't matter what resolution you use as long as you have enough desktop resolution to show everything you need to see. There won't be any distortion.



Uh...Yes

If I tell Windows to display a 1.333 ratio resolution, it displays it on my 1.600 ratio laptop screen in such a way that the entire screen is used and things are streched out horizontally. Everything looks wider than it should.

Dell Insprion 9100



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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/24/2006 6:34:44 PM   
lomyrin


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Keep in mind that the pixel density for 1280 in a 4:3 (12:9) display corresponds very well with 1680 in a 16:10 display. 1680 divided by 16 times 12 is 1260.  This gives a distortion horizontally of about 1.5% which is not discernible. Correspondingly in the vertical 1024 vesrus 1050 is only about 2% distortion and also not descernible. This lets you see more of the map in the horizontal direction or to place the Global and Units windows at the right side without reducing the main map a lot.

Lars

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/24/2006 6:52:56 PM   
SamuraiProgrammer

 

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I am not worried about the distortion.  I know I can change windows settings to fix the problem.  I was just trying (poorly) to explain that any problems with the hexes being the wrong shape could be fixed by changing the windows settings.


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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/25/2006 5:24:22 AM   
amwild

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SamuraiProgrammer


quote:

ORIGINAL: amwild

Uh... No.

Windows resolution does not cause distortion unless the application uses algorithms that fit images to the screen without maintaining aspect ratio. This means that distortion is usually only seen in a few graphic apps that do not preserve aspect ratio - otherwise images are displayed with black bars at the top/bottom or sides.

MWiF appears to count pixels to generate its images. It does not multiply the desktop dimensions to generate pixel counts.

In short, it doesn't matter what resolution you use as long as you have enough desktop resolution to show everything you need to see. There won't be any distortion.



Uh...Yes

If I tell Windows to display a 1.333 ratio resolution, it displays it on my 1.600 ratio laptop screen in such a way that the entire screen is used and things are streched out horizontally. Everything looks wider than it should.

Dell Insprion 9100


That would be your video driver, then, distorting the desktop to fit it to your non-standard display. Use a screen resolution that matches your display resolution, and the distortion should dissappear. What do you expect from Dell, anyway... ;)

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/28/2006 12:37:53 PM   
oscar72se

 

Posts: 100
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From: Gothenburg Sweden
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quote:

ORIGINAL: oscar72se

Hi!
I don't know if you guys already thought of this, but would it be possible to add a "hover effect" to the interface so that when the user points at a stack, a small window with compressed info about the current stack pops up? In terms of compressed info one could display total attack factors, number of ARM points etc.


So I guess, no?

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Post #: 620
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/28/2006 2:15:56 PM   
Mziln


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quote:

ORIGINAL: oscar72se


quote:

ORIGINAL: oscar72se

Hi!
I don't know if you guys already thought of this, but would it be possible to add a "hover effect" to the interface so that when the user points at a stack, a small window with compressed info about the current stack pops up? In terms of compressed info one could display total attack factors, number of ARM points etc.


So I guess, no?


In CWiF you could click on a stack and it would allow you to filter what you wanted to see battleships, Carriers, Crusiers, Convoys, Subs, Transports, Aircraft, Land units, and etc.

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Post #: 621
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 11/28/2006 8:17:09 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mziln
quote:

ORIGINAL: oscar72se
quote:

ORIGINAL: oscar72se
Hi!
I don't know if you guys already thought of this, but would it be possible to add a "hover effect" to the interface so that when the user points at a stack, a small window with compressed info about the current stack pops up? In terms of compressed info one could display total attack factors, number of ARM points etc.


So I guess, no?


In CWiF you could click on a stack and it would allow you to filter what you wanted to see battleships, Carriers, Crusiers, Convoys, Subs, Transports, Aircraft, Land units, and etc.


What Mziln describes is still in MWIF. There is a Units Under Cursor panel that can be toggled to be continuously visible or not. It has summary information about the stack under the cursor.

The 2 views shown here are for when the top unit has been clicked on (1 unit's details) and when it has not (whole stack).




Attachment (1)

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/10/2006 12:02:18 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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I was reluctant to start a new thread just for this, so I have placed it here.
=================
This is the MWIF Processing Structure for the redesign of the game engine. I had done several previous versions but this is both more complete and more coherent. All the lines without arrowheads are bi-driectional.

I think of the 'player' as having two roles: Controller and Player. As Controller, he starts the game, sets up for restoring or begining a new game, and also has the option to replay a previous game or run through the tutorials. Note that in all those cases he is not 'playing' the game per se. As a Player, he is moving units and making other decisions according to the WIF rules.

So, the Controller starts MWIF (upper left corner) and then decides what to do using the Controller Interface. Say he chooses to start a new game. He gets to set the mode of play (e.g., solitaire or Internet), scenario, optional rules, and identify the players. He might simply assign major powers to players or decide to go through the bidding process. If bidding, he then becomes a Player and the program reaches out to the other players over the Internet. Once major powers are set, Game Control is in charge and informs the active decision makers (Local Player, Internet Player, PBEM Player, AI Assistant, and AI Opponent) so they can perform any preparatory analysis they want. Simultaneously, the "Player on Move" will be informed that it is his turn to make decisions.

The AIO will perform and store its preparatory analysis while waiting on the human player(s) and the human players can do likewise with "Preplanned Decisions".

There is some minor stuff not shown here, but I believe all the important pieces are identified and in place.

My follow-up task to this one is to restructure the program logic so it matches this process structure.




Attachment (1)

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/11/2006 4:31:39 AM   
Incy

 

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You should consider using UML Use Case syntax for this stuff.
It will help you get the relations between the various tasks (use cases) better sorted out, and you won't have to define your own symbols.

You could also do good looking into some other UML diagram types for some of this, such as state diagrams and/or Activity diagrams , your drawing seem to mix several types of design drawings into one.

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Post #: 624
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/11/2006 7:40:03 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Incy

You should consider using UML Use Case syntax for this stuff.
It will help you get the relations between the various tasks (use cases) better sorted out, and you won't have to define your own symbols.

You could also do good looking into some other UML diagram types for some of this, such as state diagrams and/or Activity diagrams , your drawing seem to mix several types of design drawings into one.

In an earlier version I had disk symbols for the data that is stored on disk. They were troublesome to maintain though, so I went with just about the simplest forms possible - mostly identically sized rectangles.

Some portions of this diagram are much better thought out than others. Indeed, the whole upper left quadrant (light brown and light blue) has been rendered into code already. The message control section in the lower right, though not coded, is solid too. The AI stuff is pretty easy conceptually, though I intend to create separate threads for them so they can run in the background. Game replay isn't too hard either.

The messy stuff is the Game Control, Simulation Control, and Player Interface, with the interactive portion of the Tutorial Interface unclear, but that's ok because it is also uncoded as of yet.

It is modifying the existing code (from CWIF) for Game Control, Simulation Control, and the Player Interface that will require the most time for my redesign of the Game Engine. As of today I have it scheduled for 370 hours (remaining). That is probably a lot more than necessary, but overestimating time required is a rare phenomenon for a programmer.

What is UML?

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/11/2006 10:45:21 AM   
Lothrim

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
What is UML?


It is the Universal Modelling Language.
Think of it as a standardised way of drawing software diagrams.

It is only useful if you need to communicate a software model to another developer. If you just code your stuff alone you can draw anyway you want. So for this project just forget UML, it will not make a difference.

regards
Jesper Lyster, independant software architect

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Post #: 626
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/11/2006 5:41:41 PM   
SamuraiProgrammer

 

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Steve,

Have you considered making the same module that ensures all data is routed to net play be responsible for routing all data to the AIO?  This might be useful if the AIO has its own 'game state data'. 

(To be honest, it would also facilitate the addition of AI dlls in case that is still a remote possibility).

Dean

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/11/2006 6:52:50 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SamuraiProgrammer

Steve,

Have you considered making the same module that ensures all data is routed to net play be responsible for routing all data to the AIO?  This might be useful if the AIO has its own 'game state data'. 

(To be honest, it would also facilitate the addition of AI dlls in case that is still a remote possibility).

Dean

I have completed most of the code for the comprehensive and detailed system that packs/encodes each transaction that changes the game state (i.e., the set of variables that define a game in progress). This is for writing transactions to the game record log. Once I get the Simulation Control module the way I want it, it should only take me another 2 or 3 days to finish that code.

I designed that system to create a single universal 'string' for each transaction (there are close to 500 'string' definitions for the different 'transactions' that occur during game play). The purpose behind this code is to both serve the Game Record Log read/writes and also serve the Message Control read/writes. As for applying it to the communications with the AIO/AIA, I am not so sure that is best.

For one thing, the AIs need to access the Game in Progress Data directly to perform their internal analyses of the game state/map position. Routing all that through a message system would either be a duplication of data values or very inefficient (what with encoding and decoding every transaction). However, I have been giving some serious thought to having the AIs communicate their decisions using the Game Record Log strings, since that task needs to be done anyway. If the AIs do it, then Game Control can send the 'string' along to Simulation Control and hence to the Game Record Log without any extra work being required. That is how transactions received though Message Control (NetPlay and PBEM) are handled. It is also what I intend for the Player Interface communication to Game Control of the Local Player's moves/decisions.

In fact, when I talk about "redesigning the game engine" that mostly involves identifying and isolating every decision/transaction made by the Local Player, encoding it as a GRL string, and routing it through Game Control and Simulation Control rather than having the Player Interface act upon the Game in Progress Data directly (which is how is happens presently).

The AIO (or AIA) as a separate DLL is unlikely because of the first sentence in the third paragraph.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to SamuraiProgrammer)
Post #: 628
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/11/2006 7:06:00 PM   
SamuraiProgrammer

 

Posts: 338
Joined: 10/17/2004
From: Paducah, Kentucky
Status: offline
Steve,

I agree with the premise that if the AI has access to the main 'game state', that it will be more efficient as well as preclue external AIOs. 

I think I have mistakenly attributed the argument for having a separate data structure for the AI to you when it was made by someone else. 

Dean



_____________________________

Bridge is the best wargame going .. Where else can you find a tournament every weekend?

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 629
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 12/11/2006 7:16:25 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 17934
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: SamuraiProgrammer

Steve,

I agree with the premise that if the AI has access to the main 'game state', that it will be more efficient as well as preclue external AIOs. 

I think I have mistakenly attributed the argument for having a separate data structure for the AI to you when it was made by someone else. 

Dean



The AIO needs to maintain a supplemental set of variables related to previous and current analyses, of course. Those will be one set per major power AIO, though some of them regarding the enemy units and position will be held in common for all the AIOs on the same side. For example, the German AIO and Italian AIO might have a single, common analysis of the position of the French units, but separate plans for what each AIO is going to build.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to SamuraiProgrammer)
Post #: 630
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