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Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My!

 
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Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/23/2020 1:42:39 AM   
rkr1958


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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/23/2020 1:57:51 AM   
rkr1958


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I've been busy lately putting the game file editing concepts captured in https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4136832 into code. Python code.

I've successfully built an initial (rudimentary) controller that can "safely" read-in, edit and save a MWiF game file. Examples of which I'll post later.

I also have plans to build several bots to automatically handle certain functions (e.g., allied ASW) based on pre-defined algorithms and rule sets. I hope to one day to even build AI modules to learn for an opponent, or opponents, and better execute these bots.

What you may ask do I mean by utilities, controllers, bots and AIs? Very good question and one which I plan to give you my thoughts on later.

I'm a bit tired right now and have some work to do to pull all this together for posting. So as a bit of a tease I'll leave it here for tonight with the promise of more posts with these details ... hopefully tomorrow.



Now it's bedtime ...

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/23/2020 2:01:07 AM   
rkr1958


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By the way, I wish to thank markb50k whose work on his World War III VERSION 2 mod has inspired me to move forward with putting game file editing concepts to code.

Thanks ...

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/23/2020 8:23:59 PM   
rkr1958


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Before I go into specifics I wanted to layout my (initial) concept for a MWiF game file editing tool suite. My vision to say the least is grandiose and will require community participation to produce anything comprehensive in a reasonable period of time. If left to my own devices, my vision would take multiple decades to achieve.

At the core of my concept is the modification of MWiF game file(s) to achieve various goals, where modified game files remain compatible (i.e., work with) the MWiF game engine.

Though I've initially begun this in python, my vision is one that could/would incorporate computer executables and scripts from multiple languages and developers. However, one important constraint to this, for me at least, is that the end users (i.e., MWiF players) are not required to purchase anything beyond a license for MWiF to use the game file editing suite.

Utilities: This contains the functions, subroutines, methods and data to perform basic operations on the game file. For example, (1) open and save, (2) log changes, (3) flip/unflip units, (4) move counters, (5) change hex control, (6) change version, (7) keep ships/CPs at sea during RTB, (8) toggle "certain" optional rules, ... , (9999) etc.

Controllers: These allow the players to interface with the game file to either perform basic editing functions, run unit tests, integrate files from multiple (2-6) players, execute Bots and AIs to name just a few. Note that my vision includes two concepts for multi-player play. The traditional where up to 6 players play with each in command of a MP. The other is where players are given theater command that include two or more MPs.

Bots: These guys using deterministic rule sets and algorithms are designed to accomplish specific in-game missions/operations/functions. For example, (1) send out ASW escorts & patrols, (2) build convoy lines, (3) move a unit from point A to B changing hex control as applicable, (4) generate pre and post battle reports, (5) analyze various land, air and naval combat situations, ... , (9999) etc.

AIs: Like the Bots these guys are also designed to accomplish specific in-game missions/operations/function, but unlike the Bots learn to do it better over time.




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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/23/2020 8:27:07 PM   
rkr1958


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I would also like to add that my concept for Bots include the functionality to implemented uncoded version 7 (FE) optional rules, version 8 (CE) rules, half-map scenarios and other scenario variants.

Should have all that done by tomorrow.

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 4:17:01 PM   
rkr1958


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Ok, it's time for me to put some meat on the bones instead of just showing you pretty pictures. Technically I've only shown you one pretty picture so far. Well, I hope you think it was a pretty picture.

I've got a good start on putting many of the "manual" game file editing (gfe) techniques into python. I'm using object oriented programming to do this.




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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 4:23:12 PM   
rkr1958


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The first controller I've built (or am building), also using object oriented programming, is a unit test controller for the first MWIF utilities class (MWIF_Utilities_01.py) that's under development. To date, I've successfully executed 4 units, which I go into more detail and which will show the automated game file editing power of all this.

The second controller which I will soon begin will be a game file editor.




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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 4:37:16 PM   
rkr1958


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To date I've executed four unit tests on the MWIF_Utilities_01.py class. The beauty, or power, of using a controller to run these tests is that I can re-run past in addition to new unit tests on this class as it develops. Re-running past and comparing to previous units test runs will help minimize breakage as this class evolves (i.e., code additions and changes are made).

Below is the log file from the last executing of the unit test controller. I will in the following posts cover in more detail each of these unit tests.

UT.log
======================================================================================================
Unit Test: UT_001
date and time (start): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
Read in game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT.GAM
Wrote out game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT_001.GAM
date and time (finished): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
======================================================================================================
======================================================================================================
Unit Test: UT_002
date and time (start): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
Read in game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT.GAM
Changed verison from 3.1.0.7 to 3.1.0.5
Wrote out game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT_002.GAM
date and time (finished): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
======================================================================================================
======================================================================================================
Unit Test: UT_003
date and time (start): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
Read in game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT.GAM

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Ita,Inf HQ,1934,0,Badoglio,0,60,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 60,42 to x,y= 61,52.
changed counter status to flipped and out-of-supply.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Italian,light aa,1939,0,20mm,0,60,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 60,42 to x,y= 61,52.

move_counters. ERROR. Unable to move and/or change counter status.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Italian,small aa,1939,0,20mm,0,60,

move_counters. ERROR. Unable to move and/or change counter status.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
German,light aa,1939,0,20mm,0,60,

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
German,MIL,1936,0,LEIPZIG,99,56,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 56,27 to x,y= 61,52.
changed counter status to flipped and in-supply.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
UK,CVL,1913,0,eagle,99,46,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 46,26 to x,y= 38,22.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
NED,Convoy,1936,2,1,99,102,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 102,0 to x,y= 44,30.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Commonwealth,Oil,1936,2,2,99,47,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 47,26 to x,y= 42,26.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
German,u-boat,1939,1,4838,10,39,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 39,22 to x,y= 45,34.
changed counter status to organized and in-supply.
Wrote out game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT_003.GAM
date and time (finished): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
======================================================================================================
======================================================================================================
Unit Test: UT_004
date and time (start): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
Read in game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT.GAM
change_hex_control. following hexes changed to germany control (cid= 79):
change_hex_control. ERROR. invalid coordinate pair. x,y= 5000,45.
change_hex_control. ERROR. invalid coordinate pair. x,y= 0,-1.
[60,40],[60,41],[61,40],[61,41],[61,42],[62,42],[62,41],
change_hex_control. following hexes changed to japanese control (cid= 49):
[81,140],[84,140],[89,141],
change_hex_control. ERROR. invalid country input
following hc line not processed. Note. hc[0]=invalid country input.
bad_country_input,0,0,0,0,
Wrote out game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT_004.GAM
date and time (finished): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
======================================================================================================

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 4:46:05 PM   
Courtenay


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Were you expecting the two ERRORs in your log file? Or should those have worked?

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I thought I knew how to play this game....

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 4:57:02 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay

Were you expecting the two ERRORs in your log file? Or should those have worked?
I'll cover that in more detail, but they were intentional. I like to also test my error handling logic. Well at least the errors that I'm trying to handle.


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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 5:13:26 PM   
rkr1958


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The game file that I'm starting with, "UT.GAM", is a copy of my solo game that I'm currently playing. This will serve as my "original" game file and against which I will compare the computer generated edited files.

Note that I'm currently running the public beta MWiF version 3.1.0.7





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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 5:26:38 PM   
rkr1958


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All this functionality is worthless unless the edited file produced is compatible with the MWiF game engine. So the first unit test that I ran was to confirm that I could read-in (UT.GAM) and save (UT_001.GAM) a game file.




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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 5:30:47 PM   
rkr1958


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My second unit test was to confirm that I could change game file versions. This is important if one wants to revert to an earlier version of MWiF due to a the introduction of a bug in the MWiF game engine or to stay compatible with a player using an earlier version of MWiF.




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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 8:40:02 PM   
rkr1958


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Unit Test 3. Move & Change Status of Units (1/2).





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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 8:40:29 PM   
rkr1958


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Unit Test 3. Move & Change Status of Units (2/2).


======================================================================================================
Unit Test: UT_003
date and time (start): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
Read in game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT.GAM

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Ita,Inf HQ,1934,0,Badoglio,0,60,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 60,42 to x,y= 61,52.
changed counter status to flipped and out-of-supply.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Italian,light aa,1939,0,20mm,0,60,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 60,42 to x,y= 61,52.

move_counters. ERROR. Unable to move and/or change counter status.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Italian,small aa,1939,0,20mm,0,60,

move_counters. ERROR. Unable to move and/or change counter status.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
German,light aa,1939,0,20mm,0,60,

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
German,MIL,1936,0,LEIPZIG,99,56,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 56,27 to x,y= 61,52.
changed counter status to flipped and in-supply.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
UK,CVL,1913,0,eagle,99,46,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 46,26 to x,y= 38,22.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
NED,Convoy,1936,2,1,99,102,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 102,0 to x,y= 44,30.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
Commonwealth,Oil,1936,2,2,99,47,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 47,26 to x,y= 42,26.

move_counters. Success. Found unit.
mc[country,type,year,id key,id,status,x,y]=
German,u-boat,1939,1,4838,10,39,
successfully moved counter from x,y= 39,22 to x,y= 45,34.
changed counter status to organized and in-supply.
Wrote out game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT_003.GAM
date and time (finished): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
======================================================================================================





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< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 7/24/2020 8:46:10 PM >


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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 9:19:01 PM   
rkr1958


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Unit Test 4. Change Hex Control (1/2).




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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 9:19:30 PM   
rkr1958


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Unit Test 4. Change Hex Control (2/2).

======================================================================================================
Unit Test: UT_004
date and time (start): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
Read in game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT.GAM
change_hex_control. following hexes changed to germany control (cid= 79):
change_hex_control. ERROR. invalid coordinate pair. x,y= 5000,45.
change_hex_control. ERROR. invalid coordinate pair. x,y= 0,-1.
[60,40],[60,41],[61,40],[61,41],[61,42],[62,42],[62,41],
change_hex_control. following hexes changed to japanese control (cid= 49):
[81,140],[84,140],[89,141],
change_hex_control. ERROR. invalid country input
following hc line not processed. Note. hc[0]=invalid country input.
bad_country_input,0,0,0,0,
Wrote out game file: C:\Users\rkrun_000\Documents\Python\MWIF\game_files\UT_004.GAM
date and time (finished): 07/22/2020, 19:55:28
======================================================================================================




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< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 7/24/2020 10:27:20 PM >


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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/24/2020 9:22:39 PM   
rkr1958


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Alright, I think that's enough pulling together charts on this for now. It's time to do some more coding, but more importantly to do some more playing. After all, that is what all of this is about. Playing the game and having fun.

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/25/2020 4:04:43 AM   
markb50k

 

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Me likey. Good job man :)

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 7/25/2020 3:49:31 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: markb50k

Me likey. Good job man :)
Thanks!


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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 8/1/2020 4:53:11 PM   
rkr1958


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I've been pittling away at developing a game file editor controller. I haven't been rushing but I expect to have one with a basic (i.e., crude) interface in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure if this initial version would be classified as an advance alpha or a "premature" beta. Maybe it's a premature alpha.

If there's any interest in getting your hands on this version, I can package it in something like a windows bat (i.e., cmd) file that, when run, asks for a text file containing your editing inputs/commands.

Also, if there's any interest on getting your hands on the source code for the initial and, as applicable, following versions, I'd always be happy to share that too.

I'm using Spyder 4.1.4 (installed through Anaconda distribution) as my python development IDE and I'm running Python 3.8.3 64-bit version for Windows 10.

So, if there's any interest for either or both you can respond in this thread or PM me.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind sharing this limelight (joking of course) with one or more coders who could help take all this to something grander that I could/can achieve on my own.




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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 8/1/2020 9:45:02 PM   
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Promising work.

I can envision bots for convoy guarding, which does the cyclical guard duty in the Faroes and NA with one click. Maybe even production optimisation?

Alas - my programming days were in the 80's (Turbo Pascal and a meriad of other lanquages but not for long). So the only contribution would be defining functional specification.

hope you succeed!

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 8/2/2020 1:13:51 AM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL

Promising work.

I can envision bots for convoy guarding, which does the cyclical guard duty in the Faroes and NA with one click. Maybe even production optimisation?

Alas - my programming days were in the 80's (Turbo Pascal and a meriad of other lanquages but not for long). So the only contribution would be defining functional specification.

hope you succeed!
Thanks!

I cut my teeth on FORTRAN IV and BASIC in the late 70's. The BASIC I learned on had a max variable length of 2!

Worked with both BASIC and FORTRAN early in my career through the mid 90's. In my early career (80's) worked with FORTRAN on card-decks.

I eventually moved on from FORTRAN to MATLAB, java and python. Did a lot of MATLAB programming. Now I'm retired and program for fun.


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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 10/12/2020 8:49:09 PM   
TrogusP96

 

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Can any of these tools be used to change unit costs? I am thinking of the divisions in particular. Thanks. Looks ambitious.

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 2/11/2021 11:27:22 AM   
Angeldust2

 

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I think, this was the most important and inspiring post in MWiF forums of all in 2020. It got me really excited and motivated to start new games. I am amazed, there is not more feedback (and interest?) on this project.
Unfortunately I have no programming skills or experience by myself, otherwise I would happily try to contribute to this unselfish effort for the greater good of the community. rkr1958 was not too shy to ask for any kind of help with coding, but it seems, there is not much response?

Ronnie, thank you so much for your efforts so far! What is the current status of your project? Do you have something to share or to test?

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 2/11/2021 5:27:56 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Angeldust2

I think, this was the most important and inspiring post in MWiF forums of all in 2020. It got me really excited and motivated to start new games. I am amazed, there is not more feedback (and interest?) on this project.
Unfortunately I have no programming skills or experience by myself, otherwise I would happily try to contribute to this unselfish effort for the greater good of the community. rkr1958 was not too shy to ask for any kind of help with coding, but it seems, there is not much response?

Ronnie, thank you so much for your efforts so far! What is the current status of your project? Do you have something to share or to test?
Thanks! I have made some progress. I've decided on a command file based editor and I'm a few coding hours away from that first release. However; coding is taking a distance seat to playing and documenting (i.e., AARs). I'd estimate that I have 10 to 20 hours of work left before I have a workable command line editor.

My vision for anything beyond that (e.g., GUI front end to the editor, AI bots, etc) was one that would require community support, development and testing. I'm afraid I enjoying playing the game too much to sacrifice that for a solo development of what I envisaged in this thread. Though I have no doubt that with a hand full or two of dedicate folks (5 to 10) working in a distributed manner could accomplish a lot of what I envisaged in less than a year.

By the way, a signficiant motivation for a command line editor controller is driven by the significant slow down in MWiF that I've encountered in end game. With the command line editor controller I'm close to completing (10 to 20 hours of more work for an initial version), I will be able to move units and change hex control. This means that I won't be frustrated by the 2 to 3 minutes it takes to move a stack, because of the long supply calculation times, and possibly have 1 to 2 hours off per impulse.


< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 2/11/2021 5:29:15 PM >


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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 8/25/2021 6:30:03 AM   
Angeldust2

 

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Your last post in
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=5065954
reminded me on your stunning project to develop utilities for MWIF. I want to repeat my availability for helping to develop such tools as you require. My coding skills are almost non-existant, but for other tasks I am at your service.

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RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 8/25/2021 3:47:25 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Angeldust2

Your last post in
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=5065954
reminded me on your stunning project to develop utilities for MWIF. I want to repeat my availability for helping to develop such tools as you require. My coding skills are almost non-existant, but for other tasks I am at your service.
Ulrich, thanks! I'd definitely be willing to take you up on your offer if we'd could come up with any worthwhile 2-man project(s) and still have time to play the game. Any ideas for bots and/or controllers that would be worth our time that would improve play?


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Ronnie

(in reply to Angeldust2)
Post #: 28
RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 8/25/2021 3:53:06 PM   
rkr1958


Posts: 22564
Joined: 5/21/2009
Status: offline
P.S. I do know someone a few months back that stated they were going to pull together a word document (I believe) on editing the game file. I'll check with them on that and also if they have any interest in all this.

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Ronnie

(in reply to rkr1958)
Post #: 29
RE: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My! - 8/25/2021 4:03:31 PM   
rkr1958


Posts: 22564
Joined: 5/21/2009
Status: offline
P.S.S. & FYI. What prompted the previous three posts was this from another thread. I suggested we move discussion on that below as not to highjack the original thread I posted it in.

Reference: https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=5065954#

quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958


quote:

ORIGINAL: Angeldust2

I completely agree on your assessment MWIF versus Vassal WIF CE. One of the biggest strength (but for sure only one of several) of MWIF is its ability to enforce the rules against intentional and unintentional exploits.

I liked very much when Steve still added some small new features like showing CONV and PIL in Destroyed Pool recently. My main concern is, that too much effort goes into AIO, which is not so relevant if you play with human players using pbem. Too much effort, while at the same time for example the one-map scenarios, who could potentially be an important stepping stone to transform new players into regular ones, are still not functional. Or many small items, bug fixes, improvements, UI enhancements, suggested by the community not being implemented at the same time. This seems to be the main reason, why the community of dedicated players of this fine game is not growing, but seems to be steady on a quite low level, compared with many other ("inferior") Matrix games.


I’m retired now, but I had a professional career that spanned nearly 40-years with the same company. I retired as a Senior Principal Systems Analyst. My career included both management and technical. My passion was always the technical so I got out of management and stayed technical the last 20-years, which included both analysis and software development. My software development experience included both internally used products and externally “shrink-wrapped” delivered products. The later was where I learned that you need to include in your code robust error handling capabilities, which I generally found was not as robust as needed. I discovered that users would often use or break your software in ways of which I haven’t dreamed. I give all this background in the hopes of lending validity to the most important corollary I believe to be true with respect to software development. “Software designers may pick any two: (1) Cheap, (2) Fast and/or (3) Good.”

While some may argue if MWiF is cheap, I think it’s safe to say that Steve chose, (1) Cheap & (2) Good. I don’t believe I’ll get any argument that the MWIF development hasn’t been (2) Fast. I’m grateful that 7-years or so after initial release we still have a developer that’s around making improvements and taking care of bug fixes. Contrast that to other Matrix games, such as WiTP-AE where the developer(s) have long since left the game to the community. But also contrast the size of that community that’s still fateful to WiTP-AE versus MWiF. That’s what saddens me the most about MWiF. That is, that we’ve lost a whole lot of the folks and enthusiasm that was present about this game 12+ years ago. Just take a look at some of the old AI threads. In my opinion that’s a real shame because MWiF is “almost” that great game that could have not only held on to all that but thrived well beyond it’s software end date as WiTP-AE has done. Again, my opinion.

What could have been done differently to accomplish this? I’m going to be frank and, again this is my opinion. Really, it’s a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking, so take it as you wish. My equation for this is quite simple, really:

(1) Steve -> MWiF code base to handle maps, units, rules, scenarios, etc. (pretty much the MWiF solitaire code & functionality + ALL WiF scenarios) +
(2) Volunteer team 1 -> help with scenarios, maps, rules, AI logic, etc (pretty much what was happening in force 12+ years ago) +
(3) Volunteer team 2 -> develop a collection of external apps that interfaced with a well-documented game file.

I documented my vision a year or so ago of what Volunteer team2 and their apps could look like in: Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My!

Well, anyway hindsight is 20/20 and sorry for “high jacking” this thread. I suggest if anyone wishes to comment on this or continue this discussion that we continue in Utilities, Controllers & Bots, Oh My!

Monday quarterbacking over.


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Ronnie

(in reply to rkr1958)
Post #: 30
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