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Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 12:54:37 AM   
IanF1966

 

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Hello, I've been playing for some time now and one thing really bothers me about the game.
This has been mentioned before but I feel the need to speak about the blank screen that is shown when the AI is making its turn.

For me, this is a gamebreaker because it 'locks out' the player from the gaming process. I really strongly feel that some work should be made to provide game visuals of the ai making its turn and also speed up the process. At the very leaset, a visual should be made because it really does end the game for me each time.

As it stands, in later turns, it is 5-10 minutes of gameplay and 7-10 minutes of blank screen.

This is a serious and respectful post and I hope to see some genuine responses,
Thank you,
IC
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 1:01:20 AM   
freeboy

 

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are you using the turn playback after the ai turn to see what it did ?

(in reply to IanF1966)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 1:20:28 AM   
xBoroNx

 

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Play pbem . When i got AT for 1-2 weeks i played only SP, then started pbem and haven't played much SP since then anymore.

If you want to play SP you might run AT multiple times, then you can always do your turn for another AT game while the other one gets calculated.

< Message edited by xBoroNx -- 2/16/2008 1:24:08 AM >

(in reply to freeboy)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 2:51:09 AM   
Iron Knight


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quote:

ORIGINAL: xBoroNx
If you want to play SP you might run AT multiple times, then you can always do your turn for another AT game while the other one gets calculated.


Hey, thats a good idea!

_____________________________

Iron Knight returns!

I'm always up for MP ATG games. Send me a PM any time.

(in reply to xBoroNx)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 4:12:50 AM   
GFeros

 

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I agree with I.C., I wish you could see what is going on when you press the next turn button instead of the blank screen. I also posted this before. It would be nice if it could be implemented. Other than that, this is an excellent game!

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 7:25:21 AM   
montarakid


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The <history> button provides all the intel you are allowed to have given your current recon abilities. If you need the "God View" to enjoy a game, well, you've got the wrong game.

As for the "blank screen" mentioned. Your pc is taking 7-10 minutes to resolve the AI moves!? Good Lord man! What kind of pc are you playing this on! Unless you only play the monster scenarios you will should find the wait time to be no more than a minute, two at the most, on any decent piece of hardware.

I'm with xBoroNx. I don't even play any SP anymore since I developed enough confidence to play .pbem.

_____________________________

"If brute force doesn't work, you aren't using enough brute force." - mTk

(in reply to GFeros)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 5:08:29 PM   
IanF1966

 

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Well, if I ran 2 instances of AT that would probably freeze the PC. I'm guessing the reason for long AI turns is that there is a lot of mumber-crunching going on and 2 instances of AT running at the same time wouldn't help.

I am running the monster scenarios,yes youre right - I love them. My PC is 2.8Ghz, 2GB RAM so its not a slow dinosaur, lol.

PBEM? I may try it but then turns will take much longer than the AI won't they? I would very much like to try a PBEM game if there is anyone willing to play historically.

Doesn't anyone agree though? Wouldn't you like to see the AI moves occurring instead of the screen of nothing? I do watch the AI replay at the start of new turns but thats not the point really.

At least I made my point, so I feel I have hopefully brought this to the attention of the developers.

Devs -It's a truly great game, but please consider this.

I.C.

< Message edited by I.C. -- 2/16/2008 5:09:33 PM >

(in reply to montarakid)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 5:40:59 PM   
seille

 

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It was often explained already. Showing the AI moves is not possible.
The PC is busy enough with all the calculations and showing additional stuff
would not make the turns faster.
If your PC need 8-10 minutes for calculating a turn you probably use more than the recommended
map sizes and regimes. If you want to play fast you should not set a 100x100 game with 6 regimes or more.
AT can do that, but then you have to WAIT for the turns. That´s the price.
In addition if AT would show the AI moves it would be faster than you could follow with your eyes i think.

In my AI games the PC needed not longer than a minute for the AI turns, but i played not more than 2 AI´s.
If you played a few PBEM´s you´ll probably not miss the AI games so much....

(in reply to IanF1966)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 5:49:43 PM   
Twotribes


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quote:

ORIGINAL: seille

It was often explained already. Showing the AI moves is not possible.
The PC is busy enough with all the calculations and showing additional stuff
would not make the turns faster.
If your PC need 8-10 minutes for calculating a turn you probably use more than the recommended
map sizes and regimes. If you want to play fast you should not set a 100x100 game with 6 regimes or more.
AT can do that, but then you have to WAIT for the turns. That´s the price.
In addition if AT would show the AI moves it would be faster than you could follow with your eyes i think.

In my AI games the PC needed not longer than a minute for the AI turns, but i played not more than 2 AI´s.
If you played a few PBEM´s you´ll probably not miss the AI games so much....


So you never play any of the monster scenarios? WAW, GW? You chose to limit yourself to a fraction of what the game can do?

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 6:02:53 PM   
seille

 

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WaW is a monster ? I talked more about the setups above the limits.
The bigger the game is, the more units etc the longer the turns need. Pretty simple.
When i want to have fast turns i don´t play huge maps with multiple AI´s.

Last AI game i did was End of a Union (me EU) and the turns needed not much time to calculate.
Less than a minute.
WaW i played only as PBEM. Sometimes i waited 24 hours or more for the next turn

(in reply to Twotribes)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/16/2008 8:46:30 PM   
Twotribes


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In other words we should be happy to just scratch the surface of the game. Tell ya what, you don't try and tell us how to play the game and we won't try and tell you how to play the game? Sound fair? Now back to the discussion?

(in reply to seille)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 12:16:44 AM   
montarakid


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Twotribes, I think seille is probably right in that the AI calculations are so fast that you'd have a very difficult time trying to follow the moves visually, even if you had the chance.

.pbem is a different cat. I'm playing two 4-player games of "Pickem" at the moment (among others) and it is just a riot of activity. The scenario is in the <Fictional> <Human> folder if you like to review it. Yes, you have to wait for a turn file sometimes, but with 6-8 games going at any one time the wait isn't all that long. Besides, I have that SP game waiting for me anytime I need a "fix".

_____________________________

"If brute force doesn't work, you aren't using enough brute force." - mTk

(in reply to Twotribes)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 2:15:18 AM   
xBoroNx

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: montarakid
.pbem is a different cat. I'm playing two 4-player games of "Pickem" at the moment (among others) and it is just a riot of activity. The scenario is in the <Fictional> <Human> folder if you like to review it. Yes, you have to wait for a turn file sometimes, but with 6-8 games going at any one time the wait isn't all that long. Besides, I have that SP game waiting for me anytime I need a "fix".


Sounds familiar. I am in some pbems too and once i need a break or if there is little activity from my opponents i continue working a bit on my mod

(in reply to montarakid)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 3:02:27 AM   
IRONCROM


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I like playing PBEM and I also play AI games. I suspect most people who own this game will never play PBEM. PBEM is not for everone.

The history log is good enougn for me and I do play large scenarios against AI. Although I have thought it would be nice to see a sort of real time history log going on while the AI is taking its turn. TOAW has managed to pull it off and so have many other games. Perhaps in future AT games Vic will adopt that feature for the AI players that make up the majority of AT players.

(in reply to xBoroNx)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 4:05:58 AM   
Banquet

 

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I.C has made a perfectly reasonable point about being able to see the AI's moves during the turn. Responses such as 'play pbem' or having the 'wrong game if you need a god view' are frankly ridiculous and completely missing the point.



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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 6:11:21 AM   
montarakid


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Banquet, thank you for that insight. Very helpful. I'll take it under advisement.

BTW, I got the point, such as it was. I just didn't think it was that big of a deal.

_____________________________

"If brute force doesn't work, you aren't using enough brute force." - mTk

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 6:20:56 PM   
Moltke71


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quote:

ORIGINAL: I.C.

W
Doesn't anyone agree though? Wouldn't you like to see the AI moves occurring instead of the screen of nothing? I do watch the AI replay at the start of new turns but thats not the point really.

I.C.



I don't. I find watch the other turns like in Tiller's games a bit torturous. AT's fast replay is more than enough.

_____________________________

Jim Cobb

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 7:01:50 PM   
IanF1966

 

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I personally find it odd that many are saying they like waiting and seeing that blank screen for minutes at a time.
This is the only game I own that does this.
Not only is it frustrating while playing, it is also frustrating because this is the game I've wanted to see for years: total moddability, flexibility, great play value.

The sad fact is that if you are telling people this is OK, the devs will never change it.

I'm not one of those people who will say nothing if I think something does not work, and IMO, it doesn't.
Its a 'player lock-out'. A feature of the game that locks out player participation for minutes at a time - a big game spoiler.

Sorry guys. I have total respect but this doesn't work -and as long as people say 'its ok' it will never get fixed.


< Message edited by I.C. -- 2/17/2008 7:02:54 PM >

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/17/2008 7:35:27 PM   
Vic


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hi IC,

i hear you. i might add this in a to be future version. no promises, but i realy might.

kind regards,
Vic

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/18/2008 9:23:10 AM   
Das123

 

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I like it the way it is. I can minimise and get some work done.

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/19/2008 12:55:55 AM   
darthsmaul

 

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I can see both points, but I would like to see what happens since I watch the history file evey time but I can see why some might not, me I need the visual, helps me figure out how to counter my opponenet better I think, see what they are trying to do.

love the game

steve

(in reply to Das123)
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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/19/2008 4:17:15 PM   
EricSilver_MatrixForum

 

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Some people like one option, while others like the second option. So just give the user the chance to choose if he wants to see the turn or not.

IMHO, I prefer to watch the AI's actions while they are happening.


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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/19/2008 7:47:30 PM   
hazxan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: I.C.
I personally find it odd that many are saying they like waiting and seeing that blank screen for minutes at a time.
This is the only game I own that does this.
The sad fact is that if you are telling people this is OK, the devs will never change it.

I'm not one of those people who will say nothing if I think something does not work, and IMO, it doesn't.
Its a 'player lock-out'. A feature of the game that locks out player participation for minutes at a time - a big game spoiler.

Sorry guys. I have total respect but this doesn't work -and as long as people say 'its ok' it will never get fixed.


I totally agree with you, I.C. I believe you've made a perfectly valid, well reasoned criticism. Getting fed up with the Screen Of Utter Tedium is one reason why I haven't started AT for over a month now.

AT's implementation of a blank screen is a total contrast with most PC wargames. I'm really shocked that anyone dare use the defence of "it has to be like that". It clearly doesn't. To me it's one glaring howler of an error in an otherwise good game. And I agree that we need to keep it's profile high in order to improve the game.

Clearly tastes vary, but I experience it as a 'lock-out' too. I call it a 'flow-breaker', it's the opposite of the 'one more turn fever' you get in other games.

BTW In common with everybody else whose mentioned this problem, my PC is not obsolete. It plays other resource demanding games (aren't they all these days?) perfectly. If AT has to do an order of magnitude more processing per turn than any other current game, then it has a design flaw. A design should work in it's destination environment. I do not play huge scenarios (for obvious reasons!) . I like watching the AI turns in TOAW and more-or-less every other strategy game ever made. And if anybody is now saying the game is primarily PBEM, I feel I have been mis-sold the game and would like a refund.

If Vic ever does bring out a version that has no Screen Of Utter Tedium and takes a max of 5 seconds for an AI turn, I'll assume that those who defend the way it is now wouldn't download it because it would interfere with whatever they're doing during the S.O.U.T

quote:

ORIGINAL: montarakid

Twotribes, I think seille is probably right in that the AI calculations are so fast that you'd have a very difficult time trying to follow the moves visually, even if you had the chance.


No, the problem is that the AI calculations are too slow!


< Message edited by NotaGrog -- 2/19/2008 8:11:56 PM >

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/19/2008 8:35:56 PM   
zook08

 

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Just my 2 cents on the topic.

1) Quoting Vic from another thread:

"Nope AT does not use duo or quad core. This is because i coded the application as one thread.
However owning a duo or quad core machine does allow for very smooth multitasking while the AI is calculating."

"actually using multiple threads for your caculations is not an easy thing to implement. if you want to use multiple processors the AI thought process will need to be designed in such a way that it is not linear. to be honest i dont think this will be patch material."

If I'm not completely mistaken, to watch the map, scroll around, see the AI move and maybe examine unit stats while the AI is working, you'd need at least two separate threads (regardless of single or dual core). If the application isn't designed from the start to handle multiple threads, it never will, or not without spending a year on rewriting half the code.

2) The AI quality is worth the wait. Not saying that turn time couldn't be improved, but probably not significantly. Asking for either a refund or 5 second turns, in a game of that complexity and with a capably AI, is IMO somewhere on the childish side of wishful thinking. It's wanting to have your cake and eat it. Real strategy games are not meant to be real-time strategy. Are not, can not and never will be.

3) Playing the WaW monster scenario gave me an opportunity to prepare some shushi for the evening, play the next turn, then clean the kitchen (for the first time in quite a while), play another turn, write some longish emails I had put off for days, then play another turn. If the AI didn't take as long as it does, I wouldn't have done any of that.

4) Besides, I'm usually impatient in my games, too. But finding out that turns take a loooong time *in this scenario* actually made me really think about my long-term strategy. I didn't want to waste a precious move, knowing that I can play only a couple of turns per evening. No need to rush things, because you can't. No temptation to hit the "End Turn" button before you're really done. It sounds paradoxically, but the longer the AI took for its turns, the longer I took for mine, and although the waiting is still a bit annoying, my gaming experience (i.e. fun) has somehow increased. The less you get, the more you value it. Weird, eh?

Hooray for one-hour turns!


< Message edited by zook08 -- 2/19/2008 8:40:14 PM >

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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/19/2008 8:52:41 PM   
Banquet

 

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I wouldn't want faster turn times if it made the AI worse and I have got used to looking at that blank screen now, but it does seem odd to me that you spend 'x' amount of time looking at a blank screen while the AI moves, followed by 'x' amount of time scrolling back through the AI moves once your turn begins.

Even if it slightly adds to the turn time, I'd rather view the AI moves while the AI is making them. It would at least give us something to watch and save some time later reviewing the moves. However I understand Vic is a indie dev, not a huge company and so can't do everything, and it certainly doesn't spoil an excellent game for me :)

_____________________________


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RE: Serious Considerations - 2/19/2008 9:41:43 PM   
rickier65

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Banquet

I wouldn't want faster turn times if it made the AI worse and I have got used to looking at that blank screen now, but it does seem odd to me that you spend 'x' amount of time looking at a blank screen while the AI moves, followed by 'x' amount of time scrolling back through the AI moves once your turn begins.

Even if it slightly adds to the turn time, I'd rather view the AI moves while the AI is making them. It would at least give us something to watch and save some time later reviewing the moves. However I understand Vic is a indie dev, not a huge company and so can't do everything, and it certainly doesn't spoil an excellent game for me :)



My sentiments exactly. It would be nice, I think it would improve the game, but it certainly isn't a game breaker as it is. Good AI is more important to me.

Rick

(in reply to Banquet)
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