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Zhampir
April 16th, 2010, 19:53
I'll start off by saying that I'm not too sure where to put this.
I have an idea to redo the Imps AI, and it involves a new GUI. I based my design off of DK2, but really it could potentially go into any remake.

I want to have the user able to customize the AI of the imps. Select specific behaviors, group them together, and just organize them.

Also I want to give them a new skill. When an imp finds an enemy I want them to run back to a room in your dungeon (that you choose with a flag) call the monsters in that room and lead them back to the enemy. I.e. a call of arms effect.

here's a picture of a very basic design of it.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z195/ddml/ImpGui.jpg

The text box is where the user could create a custom name for his/her group.

The Load/Save buttons allow for this configuration to be saved (I thought 10 would be appropriate)

The "X" of course closes it

The color button would bring up a little color wheel(diagram, what-have-you) that would change the background behind the imp. This color would also be applied to some clothing on the imp (likely the bag) and to the groups' flag.

Place Flag would change the hand to the hand holding the colored flag, you can then drop it into room you own. This option will be grayed out if the Call To Arms radiobutton is not checked.

Onto explaining the behaviors:
Collect: This allows the user to select what items the imp should interact with. FOr instance, if Gold is not checked, an Imp in this group would never pick up gold, but if it's the only thing checked then the imp would only pick up gold (and deposit it of course)

Defence: these are three behaviors typically associated with the defence of a dungeon, how nice would it be to have an imp that ignores everything else and just fortifies your walls buying you the valuable time you need to prepare for the enemy? (btw, I forgot to include dig, and I'm thinking about changing this to Maintenance)

Combat: these are radiobuttons because, obviously, the can't use more than on style or else the game will crash (unless also based on other values but I'm not going to include things like fear except to make them run away and hide) Call to Arms would of course use the flaging technique I described earlier.
Ignore Fights forces the imp to drag the enemies dead bodies away even if a fly is repeatedly attacking it.
Attack and Stall has the imps Attack the enemy until their health falls below 50%, then they run in the opposite direction of your dungeon heart, thereby leading the enemies away and stalling for time for your creatures (and possible trap installation)

Of course there are a few other GUIs that I would need to create (the load/save screen, how they get to this screen, and so forth) but I don't have the time at the moment to create them for you, so for now you will have to use your imagination.

I also thought of including a table displaying the imps in this group and what they're doing. How you put imps into different groups will be explained when I show you the GUI that makes this one pop up (likely done Monday, I'll be away from home this weekend)

Please post your ideas on this, ways I could make it better (besides graphically please, I meant programming wise, I'm not an artist), and of course any other ideas you may have on improving imp AI involving this idea.


--------------------------
Another thought. Making digging it's own section of behavior. For example
Dig: []Dirt []Gold/Gem [] Enemy Walls

but I'm not really sure how often somebody would only check one or two of those....

Also, the max number of groups usable at one time should be around 4. The would also be a 5th group that just follows normal AI (it would all be checked and call to arms would be selected)


The computer would have set groups that are programmed in (or possibly use the player's if they use a group too often)

natchoguy
April 16th, 2010, 21:09
the first map-making thing... awesome

DragonsLover
April 17th, 2010, 06:44
This sounds to be a really nice idea! :)

About the colours, I don't think it would be a good idea to change the colour of the clothes. It could be confusing with the colour of the Keeper the Imp is associated with. I mean, a blue imp for a red keeper wouldn't fit well. How about some kind of letter association like, group A, B, C, D... if this is what you meant with the colour system?

For Place Flag, you'd have to be sure that CTA spell is also available, excepted if you want it to be "mini", I mean dissociated with that spell (like for the mini CTA spell of the Alarm trap).

For Attack and Stall, I'm so-so about that one. Imps are not really suited for combat. Most of the enemies can kill them in a single hit, the 50% becoming kinda useless... It would act a bit like a "Kamikaze" button. I do, however, like the idea of keeping the enemy occupied, but... is it worth it?

Some other ideas:
- I guess it would be nice to have some kind of option that would directly apply selected behaviours to ALL groups at once.
- Another nice thing would be to prioritize a path for them to claim. It would be nice to place some kind of flag, target or magnet (whatever), to force imps to claim toward a specified place as soon as possible. I don't know if it's doable.
- A "Force Idle" button could be interesting too. It would disable temporarily all the behaviours for the imps of the selected group(s), forcing them to be idle.

P_Hansson
April 20th, 2010, 15:08
Sounds quite nice.

Actually you could probably redesign gameplay entirely around this feature: It always bothered me that the player has near perfect control of his creatures because he can pick them up and drop them at will (even angry creatures). Instead you could limit the player's control to imps and everything else to be controlled indirectly through imps.

Could be fun to make this as a mod for KeeperFX some time. Disclaimer: Will be quite long until it can be coded, because of how KeeperFX relies on DK machine code that hasn't been rewritten as C, and such a fundamental change to gameplay would require changing several modules.

Zhampir
April 23rd, 2010, 06:40
I like the idea of not picking up monsters... but... I really have no idea how I could implement that (besides making a populous-like drag/select mode)

here are two ideas that I have for grouping imps.

One, next to each group is a button that when clicked changes the hand to have a small picture of the groups flag in the corned (not in the hand mind you) when you click on one of your imps the ai is simply swapped with the new one, the could be used in conjunction with the create imp spell to directly create imps into that grouping.

-and/or-

Make the "normal imps" a sort of "imp pool" and each group has a pair of up and down arrows, to increase/decrease the number of imps in that group (wouldn't be available for the normal imps of course) and decrease/increase the number of normal imps. The imp chosen would be completely random (if you clicked increase, a random imp from the normals, if you decrease a random imp from the grouping), so you'll never know if you'll get the imp you want to change or an imp halfway across the map (adding a bit more challenge to the game)

By the way, I'm not directly making if for DK1, I just like DK1's programming as a good set-up to base off of and DK2's layout. I think I mentioned this in the beginning, but no harm in saying it again, right? ^^

P_Hansson
April 23rd, 2010, 08:58
I like the idea of not picking up monsters... but... I really have no idea how I could implement that (besides making a populous-like drag/select mode)

I considered not even having Populous control over military units; the idea would be to make it more of a "sim" game where you build a dungeon and try to influence it by indirect means. Think SimCity or Ceasar 2. The design of the dungeon would be a lot more important if you just can't move creatures around to make up for its shortcomings.


here are two ideas that I have for grouping imps.

...

Gotta think more about these.


By the way, I'm not directly making if for DK1, I just like DK1's programming as a good set-up to base off of and DK2's layout. I think I mentioned this in the beginning, but no harm in saying it again, right? ^^

You're breaking my heart. ;) Yeah I was aware you're not specifically targeting DK1, just saying you inspired me and what I might try in the far future as a result. :)

Krizzie
April 23rd, 2010, 10:08
I thought I already posted here.. But I guess not.

I like the idea of better imp control, but if this is implented in KeeperFX, make it optional. Since it will mean a significant change in gameplay.

As I stated before, I love the work behind KeeperFX, but there are (imo) limits to changing things of the game. Else it will become a different game instead of an improved/more stable version of the original. Just to keep in mind. ;)

P_Hansson
April 23rd, 2010, 17:17
Yes of course, note that I said "mod" which means optional modification to game.

Zhampir
April 23rd, 2010, 18:55
Of course I thought of this as well. it could easily (although tedious..., but the customer is always right) be implemented to be optional. Just a few if-thens here and there. I was mostly thinking I would try to get this put into the war for the overlord or some later project. KeeperFX (once nearly finished) would be a major base on which to incorporate the design (as it seems he wishes to eventually convert all of DK1 into C++ but in the meantime, incomplete sections can still work off of the original code... I would love to find out how he did that...)
Wouldn't it be amazing if the KK became BullFrog? and the forum launched it's own series of games in a DK style? (of course getting permission for that would be difficult... as I hear that's what you all have been trying to do since EA renewed the copyright) heh, what if the forum went ahead and created the game that some big wigs at EA liked it and actually hired the whole production team to start on reviving Dk-style games.

P_Hansson
April 24th, 2010, 03:43
KeeperFX is more like reverse engineered C code where a lot of the variable names aren't even discovered. And even had we had the original code, it'd be a decade from well written C++. ;-)


Wouldn't it be amazing if the KK became BullFrog? and the forum launched it's own series of games in a DK style? (of course getting permission for that would be difficult... as I hear that's what you all have been trying to do since EA renewed the copyright) heh, what if the forum went ahead and created the game that some big wigs at EA liked it and actually hired the whole production team to start on reviving Dk-style games.

I seriously doubt that will happen (just being realistic). Maybe some individuals could get together and start up a new company, but usually it's more profitable inventing your own IP than trying to license somebody else's in this matter. By specifically using the name Dungeon Keeper before having permission (which EA won't give because they know 99% of people who want to make games are incapable due to several causes) you're pretty much coming to the negotiation with your hands tied.

Edit: I'm not speaking for anybody else in this matter (heck I even just recently joined KeeperFX). Still, you won't find the necessary quantity and quality of competence to develop a commercial AAA game on gaming boards with hobby developers doing this in their spare time.

Searingflame2
April 29th, 2010, 08:37
First of all, love you and love how this is looking so far.

But... What about priorities? Having an imp that simply doesn't drag dead bodies may be as annoying as one that does it instead of claiming that tile and disarming that damned trap (Well, actually, I don't think anything can ever be that annoying. That was borderline gamebreaking, and the reason why I EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEMELY rarely get vampires). With this system, you'd likely have the keeper spending oodles of time making each of the groups priorities change this way and that way as the sitation develops (as it no doubt will).

So I'd like to see some priorities happening. So maybe you could set dig ahead of "attack the door that is a tile away from what i'm telling you to dig to DESTROY the door >:O", but still have both dig and... attack, selected.

Hope I was clear? :D

Zhampir
April 29th, 2010, 19:16
Hmm... I see what you're saying... kind of like Lego Rock Raiders (if you've ever played that game you'll probably know what I mean)?

I don't know how the imp AI is currently set up, but I was basically going to more or less keep the existing AI and just set if/thens in checking to see if they are allowed to perform that action...

Exceptions would include the combat, which I would basically have to completely write...

Of course I could design it similar to rock raiders (in which you were given a list of all the jobs a "raider" could do, able to togle them on/off and switch them in their priority rating.) However... this could really complicate the enemy AI...


or... I could simply modify how the game handles its all ready made priorities... Like when imps attack a door check the tiles on either side of the door to see if they're selected to dig and dig them...

However, I disagree with you about the body claiming/trap disarming thing. I commonly made imps free (In DK1) and sent 30 or so into a field of lightning traps and just kept summoning more imps until the traps were gone and I'd come out with a few vampires. (I don't do this in DK2 because I don't like the vampires as much in the second game)

DragonsLover
April 29th, 2010, 21:09
Perhaps something like Theme Hospital? The handymen in the game had priorities between "watering the plants", "repair machines" and "clean the floor". By boosting the priorities, handymen could perform (a) specific task(s) first than checking for the other(s), less important one(s).

Searingflame2
April 30th, 2010, 10:26
However, I disagree with you about the body claiming/trap disarming thing. I commonly made imps free (In DK1) and sent 30 or so into a field of lightning traps and just kept summoning more imps until the traps were gone and I'd come out with a few vampires. (I don't do this in DK2 because I don't like the vampires as much in the second game)

It depends on the circumstance (are you dirt poor? Hmm?), but in many spamming imps at a trap to disarm it isn't even remotely practical. Especially in Keeper FX, where you can't get beloved impies for 150g... except for your very first.

At any rate, I'd very much like the option to 'claim' a trap and have a graveyard and not need a dozen imps to do so.

Madkill
April 30th, 2010, 22:18
Change Claim Rooms to 'Dig' since 'Claim Rooms' should come under 'Claim Land' in my opinion.


Also, P_Hansson's first idea (although interesting) may make the game a bit more dull, unless it could be both like in Black and White where you set disciples worshippers who were forced to do what you wanted them to do and then there were those that just did it naturally.

Skaruts
May 25th, 2010, 03:26
I don't think having imps separated by tasks is much needed since you can easily and quicly assign them specific tasks.

I think a good thing was to have a tab in the game's UI that could show imps taks and you could pick up imps from there, rather than picking random working imps.
And if this same tab could have a priorities pannel, even better.

The thing of having imps alarming other creatures is a great idea tho. I'd like to see them running around the dungeon alarming everyone to go fight.
But this must have an on/off switch or it can be very devastating to the player at times.

Maybe have several states (apart from the flee button)
- Don't call reinforcements
- Call stronger creatures
- Call everyone

and then an button to toggle "try to go back there" or "go work somewhere safe".

One thing I notice imps could consider is when you place 4 imps next to a marked wall, the 4th one just runs off. He could wait till the wall is digged and start claiming floor behind the other 3 diggers.

Guy L W Hardy
September 19th, 2010, 22:00
Nice idea, and interesting that you intend to redirect player attention away from total control of other creatures and feed in a little more control on imps. Nice balance.

The interface needs to be cleaned up a skosh, though, if it is going to be used on-the-fly; in the middle of a battle royale, this could become a real shot in the foot.

Overall, though, nice idea. I hope it becomes real for DK2, because I cannot even play DK1 anymore. Don't know why, but even compatibility mode won't open it. Oh, well...