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Star! AI playing against AI Sun, 10 May 2009 21:38 Go to next message
Madman is currently offline Madman

 
Officer Cadet 1st Year

Messages: 228
Registered: November 2003
Location: New Zealand
Daniel wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 10:02

I've often wondered what Stars! would be like if you could write your own AI to play the game and have custom AI vs custom AI games.

If I ever get back into looking at a Stars! clone project, that's actually one of my major interests - so much of what I do (in peacetime) could be automated, and it would be an interesting project to try and improve the AI warfighting.

Two related things I'd like to see (could be done completely within the Stars! rules, but would need to be done with open source software):

* Being able to write tools to do large amount of automation for players (sort of an AI assist)
* AI vs. AI competitions. This could possibly lead to a better AI vs. people.

A Stars! like game would very well suited to this, as there is deep enough game play for the AI analysis to do optimisations that people would be very unlikely do, and it's not real time, so it wouldn't be cheating (except in a blitz).

For instance, my testbed 322K by 2450 - I could write a program that would do most of that, as a _huge_ amount of that was mechanical.

Unfortunately, other commitments at the moment dictate that I have no time for any of that Sad

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Re: Star Craft 2 Mon, 11 May 2009 13:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
Commander

Messages: 2760
Registered: October 2004
Location: Third star to the left
There's been some advances in that direction recently. Cool

PaulCr has tools that can:

Deal Dump most (or all) of the info in the m and h files to an external file that can be used by 3rd party utilities (some of which could be AI utilities).

Deal Transcode at least some kinds of orders into stars-readable x-files. Teleport

Perhaps if enough people pesters/begs/bribes him he'll release non-Net-dependant user-and-AI-friendly utilities. Rolling Eyes


[Updated on: Mon, 11 May 2009 13:16]




So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Star Craft 2 Mon, 11 May 2009 21:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Madman is currently offline Madman

 
Officer Cadet 1st Year

Messages: 228
Registered: November 2003
Location: New Zealand
m.a@stars wrote on Tue, 12 May 2009 05:15

There's been some advances in that direction recently. Cool

Perhaps if enough people pesters/begs/bribes him he'll release non-Net-dependant user-and-AI-friendly utilities. Rolling Eyes

I think it would probably be less effort to get a full Stars! clone running than to to reliably reverse engineer the .m and .x files and write code to read/write them.

There's also the matter of security - the one _really_ bad engineering decision in the design of Stars! seems to have been that the server doesn't do full validation of the orders, so if there was enough code was around to deal with the .m and .x files, someone would use it to cheat and wreck a game or two Sad

When I do eventually find some time for Stars! coding, I'd want to put it into FreeStars, or whatever project (that can run on Linux) was most promising to get a fully open source Stars! replacement, rather than retrofitting to a dead codebase (no offense at all meant to the great work that PaulCr has done - everyone has different interests).

This should probably be split to a thread in another section ...

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Re: Star Craft 2 Wed, 13 May 2009 06:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
Commander

Messages: 2760
Registered: October 2004
Location: Third star to the left
Madman wrote on Tue, 12 May 2009 03:14

I think it would probably be less effort to get a full Stars! clone running than to to reliably reverse engineer the .m and .x files and write code to read/write them.

Other people think so too. Unfortunately, the clone is still not here, but reading and writing m, h, and x files is mostly doable now (and has been for years, according to some).

Plus, there's already a known and working client for these utilities. Twisted Evil

Quote:

There's also the matter of security - the one _really_ bad engineering decision in the design of Stars! seems to have been that the server doesn't do full validation of the orders, so if there was enough code was around to deal with the .m and .x files, someone would use it to cheat and wreck a game or two Sad

That might have already happened. Some of PaulCr's tools are x-file checkers for just that. Others check and fix several known & serious bugs. Cool

Quote:

When I do eventually find some time for Stars! coding, I'd want to put it into FreeStars, or whatever project (that can run on Linux) was most promising to get a fully open source Stars! replacement

That'd be great! Very Happy

I suggest you start by the turn generator, so you can take advantage of the several Universe Generators already in progress as well as from PaulCr's work that gives a working and known client to everybody daring enough to interface with his tools (that do the actual dirty work of dealing with the old-but-not-quite-dead m and x data formats). Twisted Evil



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Star Craft 2 Thu, 14 May 2009 15:50 Go to previous message
sirgwain is currently offline sirgwain

 
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I know in my Stars! clone the AI is the main component of testing. Otherwise it would take too much manual effort to build and design ships, colonize, wage war, etc.

I've always imagined a new Stars! would be great with pluggable AI pieces, or automator scripts. The trick is to offer an API that makes writing your own scripts easy.

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