unit customization

Synchronized-turns strategy. Calling all teamers.
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ththth25
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unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:39 am

Hi Dustin et al,

I had asked about unit specialization in another thread last year and you had said that you were going to work on some aspects of this. I just returned to the map editor after several months' hiatus and noticed what I believe is a new item in the editor drop-down menu: "set UNITS", which appears to allow some degree of customization (ie, changing things like att-def-mov values and cost values). But whenever I try to use this drop-down feature and save (even when I open it and click save without actually changing any of the values) and then open the new map I get error messages about "null" integers, etc. (the map opens fine when I don't click save on this "set UNITS" feature). I've tried to search the forum for instructions about this "set UNITS" feature but with no luck. Can you point me to the right thread?

ththth25
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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:25 pm

Actually, I just went in and retried the "set UNITS" feature and it appears to work and my map opened fine. But now I can't get any of the opposing AI players to make any moves. The "set UNITS" feature appears to have new/revised text in it since I first saw it yesterday, so this makes me wonder if perhaps you are working on this feature as we speak and possibly some bugs are still being worked out?

ththth25
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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:29 pm

Oh, and now I'm trying to go back in and am getting your "I Want You" popup ad. Indeed, I am only getting the ad, and I can't bring up any maps at all (free or not). Does this mean I have to pay now and the "free" stuff is over?

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dustin
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Re: unit customization

Post by dustin » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:42 pm

Unit customization is a brand-new feature, and still in development.

Which AI won't make moves? There seems to be a potential problem with Hawk at least.

Lux Alliance has a 30-game demo period, after which you have to buy it to keep playing. We have a 2-for-1 sale happening right now btw.

ththth25
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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:05 pm

I've tried all the AI bots and none works. Polymath is the one that usually works best with my designed games, but that one doesn't work, either. FYI, this most recent application of "set UNITS" appears to be the issue, because the bots work on my game fine, only not when I apply the "set UNITS" feature.

Thanks!

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dustin
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Re: unit customization

Post by dustin » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:57 pm

Lux Alliance version 1.71 is now available for download. It contains bugfixes for these problems. Grab it here:
http://sillysoft.net/vox/download/

ththth25
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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:20 pm

Thanks Dustin! Unfortunately, though I bought my Vox Alliance registration over a day ago (via paypal) and received a receipt, I still have not been sent a registration code, so I can't go in and test the unit customization updates. Once I get access to Vox Alliance, I'll let you know how my customization and bots work.

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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:49 am

Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that my registration code finally came through (thanks, Dustin!) and the bots move fine with my new design (even after I've customized the cost-att-def values in the "set UNITS" menu item). The bad news is that my opponent bot (namely, Polymath) now appears to have a completely overblown recruiting/attacking advantage. Let me explain:

I am designing a game where there are two players, each starting at opposite ends of a very large map with hundreds of small hexes. Each player begins with one knight and one pawn and one castle. The idea is to spread out and conquer and defend territory (based on things like certain areas having bigger bonuses than others and some areas being more defendable than others, etc.), all the while taking care to counter any enemy strategies. I've placed the most valuable territory toward the center of the map so that each player tries to grab/defend those areas with higher priority than, say, more peripheral areas. I've even placed a couple of neutral castles in these central areas so that players must conquer the castles before they can reap the corresponding area bonuses. So far, I think we can safely say that all this is more or less typical vox/lux map stuff (except that it is designed for just 2 players starting at opposite ends of the map). I have designed the game so that players must consider whether they will accumulate bonuses gradually from the periphery or just go for the big money toward the center of the map. When I use the default vox values (knight att = 5, pawn def = 3), the game plays with pretty good balance.

But, in order to make things more challenging, I went into the "set UNITS" feature to customize unit values. I wanted to make recruitment/bonuses generally more skimpy, especially in the first several turns, and I wanted to more or less prohibit castle building so that players would be forced to conquer the few neutral castles that exist on the map rather than build new ones (in other words, they would need to defend their own castle dearly, but would need to really make conquering a neutral castle a big priority as well). I know of no other way to prevent castle-building, so, to prohibit or strongly discourage castle building, I changed the cost of castles to 500 (even tried 1000). I also made castles HIGHLY defendable (with a defense strength of 100). I gave pawns a slightly higher def and gave knights a higher att, and increased recruitment costs for both. I made area bonuses pretty low (a good-sized area with several hexes would reap a bonus of, say, only 1). So, you would need to take several turns to conquer quite a bit of territory in order to gradually build a meager force, but the units would now have increased att/def values.

Now the bad news: I discovered within just a few turns of my testing that my opponent bot (Polymath), was recruiting knights at a much greater pace than I. I even was able to secure more territory and reap higher bonuses than Polymath, but he just ignored me and recruited knights like crazy--off the charts crazy. It became clear early on that the "set UNITS" feature was working for me, but was not being applied to Polymath. And when Polymath arrived at the precious neutral castles which I had set to be highly defendable, he just invaded with a couple of knights and took ownership of them no problem! I even tried to set their def strength to 1000, but that appeared to have no effect on Polymath (I know he's good, but not THAT good!). When I tried to attack said castles with 5 or 6 knights, I was instantly vaporized.

Conclusion: the "set UNITS" feature appears to still be experimental (as Dustin has pointed out), and, for me, anyway, it appears to work for my units but not for my enemy bots. I can continue playing my designs with default values and with pretty good balance and challenge, but I eagerly await the day I can implement some of these custom changes and see how much better the game plays.

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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:28 am

And just to add: it's also very possible that I may simply be applying the "set UNITS" feature incorrectly.

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dustin
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Re: unit customization

Post by dustin » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:41 pm

Yes, it's still experimental. Currently some of the bots still use the old built-in units. Stay tuned...

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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Wed May 03, 2017 9:11 pm

Since we're on the topic of unit customization, following is my wish list (besides easy modding of att-def-mov values):

1. Smaller unit icons to facilitate large maps with smaller hexes (the chess piece icons on one design looked smaller). The extreme maps now are neat, but they use large hexes with the same icons and you have to scroll a bunch to see the whole map. It would be very cool if we could see a rendering of the whole theater in some small side window or something, but smaller icons and hexes might just be the ticket.

2. One or more additional default but moddable units built into the easy menu (for illiterates like myself) so we could add more and varied units into the mix.

3. A damage/health bar with retreat options (so we could retreat from battles vs every battle being all or nothing).

4. Ranged weapons (such as artillery or archers).

So there. No biggie, right? Just another day at Lux/Vox labs!!

ththth25
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Re: unit customization

Post by ththth25 » Thu May 04, 2017 2:11 pm

Oh yes, and one more wish: a long-range move order function that would allow players to order units to a specific location or rally point across great distances so that we wouldn't have to click moves for such units every turn.

No biggie, I'm just asking for the world! :smt054

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