[MUD-Dev] Combat intelligence

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk
Tue Jun 30 15:29:15 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


>  "This shows our strategy test program for computer AI. The blue
>  circles are areas the computer tries to defend/take over. The
>  colored regions represent areas near the strategy points. Lines show
>  which points can defend/attack other points. This is used for long
>  term strategy planning, rather than immediate path solving. Some
>  paths are one-way because you can go down a hill, but not
>  necessarily up it, making hill tops more advantageous.
> Have you ever thought of mapping the topology of your MUD world and
> analysing it against any of a number of the standard tactical metrics
> and *then* pumping that into the combat brains for your Midgarrd FIDO?

Heh, misread that last Midgard as Midnight (as in Lords of Midnight by
Mike Singleton).  After a quick flirting around a games dedicated site,
the Golgotha AI looks like it is for a platoon of vehicles, as opposed to
one on one.  This stuff is right up my street but atm, I rilly can't
comment coz I don't have a working mud, let alone think about tactics for
the AI to employ.

Here's some thoughts I read off usenet somewhere (rec.games.design?) -
this is for working out where the battlefront is and to give the AI a
general idea of what's where why:

Assume: A big grid the AI can examine showing the position of fidos.

Give each unit a rating according to some magic formula.  Do the same for
the enemy (known positions anyway).  eg:

  .....6 <- baddie
  ..5... <- goodie fido

This rating is assigned to the appropriate grid square.  Imagine it as a
shade of red, the deeper the red, the tougher the unit(s) in that square.
For the enemy, the same is done with another colour (eg: blue).

Now, treat the grid as a picture and run it thru a blur filter except that
any place where opposing colours meet, they do not mix and dam each other

  23445* <- baddie
  34*445 <- goodie fido

The above diagram is prolly the worse one in the world but there is a
vague line of 5/4 running diagonally where the two units are almost

This blurring routine should take account of terrain/elevation/corridors
and 'pinch' the zones of control as appropriate.

I think this may give you something usable.  Important locations should
have an attractor on them, and likewise repellers for horrid locations
(for that particular unit).

Reading the above, it's like common sense but I suppose this is the sort
of thing you'd wanna instil into something that takes you literally.

An utterly random link regarding tank platoon doctrines:


> Per the screen shots it also seems that Golgotha has also handled much
> of the problem of handling large unbounded spaces in a DOOM-style
> game, tho I also note that most of the timestamps seem to be in
> September of last year.

After much thought, I've decided that a custom client would be cool in
both spellings of the word.  After even more thought, I'm scurrying for
the display random stills/anim coz for what I wanna do, 3D ain't the right

Semi-random tangent (wee!) - Anyone got any hints/thoughts/pointers with
regard to sound fx in a mud?  Muds, by nature, are slow moving and playing
spot effects (like a tacky 'Aaaaaargh!' when you kill someone) is
completely poxy (cf: sound-enabled NetHack/Moria/Angband, my neighbour has
driven me mad playing those things.)  So... it may be better to take notes
from the techniques used in story-telling programmes that come on telly
around kiddies' time.  Ambiance sound fx tend to be faded in and out
v.slowly.... But there must be more to it than that!

Unfortunately, this sort of information is hard to come by...  I suppose
some of the current gfx muds out there prolly have all this sussed out. :P

  |    Ling Lo of Remora (Top Banana)
_O_O_  Elec Eng Dept, Loughborough University, UK.     kllo at iee.org

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