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Fleet Command MKII, Vanilla Real Time Strategy Gaming In SE [Released!]

Discussion in 'General' started by Rdav, Jul 26, 2017.

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  1. Rdav

    Rdav Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    117
    Fleet Command Is Returning...
    Real time strategy gaming with the programmable block, I need your input!




    Introduction:

    One year on from my initial release, after a year of tireless work, it's coming back, and better than before, better drones, more performance friendly, allowing you to create AI-automated fleets even easier than ever before.

    Fleet command is soon to be winging its way back to the workshop, bigger, better, more efficient, and more practical, and much more like the Real time strategy I originally envisioned it to be!




    Example Of The New User Interface


    The Fleet Command Concept:

    Fleet command is a gargantuan project for the vanilla in-game programming block, aimed at giving late game players in SE the ability to control a fleet of intelligent drones akin to a real time strategy game, using an LCD-menu interface.

    The code gives automated behaviour and intelligence to every drone, enabling it to travel, attack, follow, dock, undock etc.

    Ships attack and move with specialized intelligence, and behave in unique ways, fighter craft will roll, duck strafe and fly aggressively around targets, frigates will engage targets bringing frontal weaponry to bear, and cruisers will attack defensively bringing their best guns onto a target.


    Allowing players to control an automated fleet through the use of a single LCD command map means players can begin to do away with the one large ship all guns blazing approach, and start to build a fleet that allows them to strategize and outmanoeuvre an opponent, using a combination of ship classes to inflict maximum damage.


    Autodocking a small group of ships, showing the new LCD trail system


    Better Than Before:


    Moving on from my previous version, the code sees a massive amount of improvements, pushing the capabilities of the in-game programmable block to the limit, to name a few features, the code now supports:

    - Advanced Docking, a highly requested feature, allowing players to make trails of LCD panels to a connector a docking ship will automatically detect these trails allowing for complicated guidance through complicated hangar bays. Also, you can now dock any small ship, anywhere, have a frigate with docking bays for an escort, have a cruiser with a small hangar, the choice is yours.

    - Improved AI And Auto-Detection Systems, to make the code even easier to setup I’ve made pretty much everything auto-detecting, modules will simply need to be placed, everything else is automatically detected, assigned and initialised, gyros, thruster stopping distance, you name it.

    - Raycast Radar Network, using a custom Raycast detection network, shared between all ships it means players can detect enemy ships and asteroids far and wide, with all data displaying on the Minimap for easy interpretation

    - Antennae Network Communication , the code now uses a players antennae network to transmit data, this not only means no more hacks, but a much easier system to use.

    - New LCD UI, a new flashy LCD UI allows for a true RTS interface, see what’s going on and where with a dynamic mouse operated semi-3D scrolling minimap. Use Q and E as left and right click to control the map in realtime to control an armada, or just a single drone.

    - Dynamic AI, the AI has been totally overhauled, more intelligent faster, sleeker, small drones use more advanced attack patterns and use drift cancellation manoeuvres to perform faster, along with many many improvements to motion controllers and locational awareness. The AI I've input is a result of a great deal of multiplayer testing and research designed to mimic the combat of elite SE players, they will use drift, dampeners and use newtonian mechanics to inflict maximum damage, chasing fast moving targets, but gunning down slow ones using hit and run tactics, they are very, very deadly to an unprepared target.

    - New Classes!, Cruiser, carrier, Heavy missile frigate, railgun frigate, all new classes supported by the code, each utilising weaponry in a unique way, railgun and heavy missile frigates utilise Player made missile and grav-cannon weaponry to fire on heavier targets

    - Massively Less Buggy And Performance Friendly, The code has been worked, reworked, and reworked again, in the aim of making it more user friendly and more usable in a real-world scenario, I’ve spent over 100 hours on optimisation alone to make it as fun and usable as I can.




    I Need You! Project Status And Recent News:


    Let me know what you are all thinking in the comments! I’ve put my heart and soul into this project, working pretty tirelessly for an entire year, free weekends, evenings, I’ve sunk over 500 hours of coding, research and development into this version alone, there is plenty I'm sure I haven't explained and plenty of features not written on the list, so I’d like to see what people think about it so far!

    Final release is only a few weeks away currently, the excitement is building!
    I’m planning on keeping this page as a buildup dev-log in the weeks leading to release, hopefully getting some input from everyone on the forums here will help me both iron out any potential bugginess and also squeeze in any highly sought-after features prior to release!
    I'm currently waiting on some LCD fixes from keen to make the code more stable in multiplayer, so in the interim I'm bughunting, reviewing, and doing what testing I can,


    Regarding Auto-Miners And Auto-Welders :
    I Know that automated welding and mining facilities are and have been a massively requested feature, and as of this date I have both developed, *and* prototyped autominers and assemblers for the code and they are working great, in fact that symbol on the UI on the far right is a count of the amount of utilities class you have in operation.
    HOWEVER, I am not intending to release these with this initial section of code, as for the purposes of bughunting and because people might well want these utilities classes as a standalone without the military aspects that this version brings.

    Regarding Natural Gravity
    The fleet command as it is written here is primarily designed for my personal habitation of choice, space, and high altitude on planets, but I am aware people would like planetary surface capable operation.
    For this I am working on some code, but as with the autominers it will not be released with this as they are completely different codes optimized for different environments, so expect a planetary version, hopefully around the corner, but my current priority is space and the autominers and welders, so I wouldn't hold out hopes of it being very soon.



    Acknowledgements
    Big thanks to all the folks down in my discord on the Beta-testing team providing continual input and suggestions for the code, without their input I would surely be lacking some of the cooler features the code currently has! Many thanks to all

    Current Project Dev-Log
    [X] Drone AI: Basic-Motion ~50 hrs
    [X] Drone AI: Command input/output ~20hrs
    [X] Drone AI: Command inteperetation ~20hrs
    [X] Drone AI: advanced logic systems ~30hrs
    [X] Fleet command squad management ~10 hrs
    [X] Fleet command squad-handling assignment & running ~5hrs
    [X] Drone AI: System Scanning ~20hrs
    [X] Drone AI: target engagement logic ~5hrs
    [X] Drone AI: advanced revisions/system updates ~30hrs
    [X] Docking manager: system setup and identification ~6hrs
    [X] Docking manager: command inputs & outputs ~ 6.5hrs
    [X] Docking manager: advanced logic systems - 30hrs
    [X ] Docking manager: Revisions/polishing - 6 hrs
    [X] Fleet Command: system command updater - 30hrs
    [X] Fleet Command: streamlining & logic systems
    [X] User Interface: basic inputs & setup - 5hrs
    [X] User Interface: mapping display 40 hrs
    [X] User interface: System logic and interperatation 10 hrs
    [ X] User interface: User inputs and advanced mapping features 7 hrs
    [X] User interface: bughunting and testing - 10 hrs
    [X] Fleet Command: polishing interface - 10 hrs
    [X] Drone AI: subcategory Interceptors -7 hrs
    [X] Drone AI: subcategory Frigates - 4 hrs
    [X ] Drone AI: subcategory Carriers 2 hrs
    [X] Drone AI: subcategory Cruisers - 3hrs
    [X] Low performance UI for multiplayer and low-end machines - 40hrs
    [X] Beta-testing combat phase, testing & refining combat - 10hrs
    [X] Beta testing fleet-phase, testing the fleet-on-fleet combat - 4hrs
    [X] Bugfixing and retesting from combat phases - 7 hrs
    [ X] Beta Testing Distribution Phase, revisiting AI's, general bughunting prep for release
    [X] First 'Full' release for testing for beta-testers
    [X] Release instructions and artwork - 3hrs
    [X] Release video - 30hrs (due to pc issues)
    [X ] Release!

    Gif Dump Of Progress So Far:
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  2. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,460
    Looks incredible. :)
     
  3. zopzodeman

    zopzodeman Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    78
    :eek:
    Wow...just wow....how is it even possible to have a mouse interface on the lcd? im speechless....

    also a few questions :

    - is the script also worthwile for smaller ships ? e.g. a ship with only 2 drones?
    - can the drones do more then fighting? how about scouting duty (finding materials on asteroids/hoovering up components?) or can they do mining automatic? maybe even repair/construction drones?
    - do the drones work in athmosphere/gravity?

    Cant tell you how excited i am for the release! this will bring SE to a whole new level... great work!
     
  4. Sarekh

    Sarekh Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,200
    Oh.my.gaaawd.

    You sir, are beyond awesome for even trying that, let alone accomplishing it. We need a hall of fame somewhere here.
     
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  5. SileniusFF

    SileniusFF Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    116
    Just mind blowing! Seriously cool project.
     
  6. FlakMagnet

    FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,551
    There are many things I could write, and comments I could make here ...... but...well... I don't think I need to.

    WE ARE NOT WORTHY!!!!

    One question, from my humbled self..... can the pirates use this? I mean....could an AI pirate carrier launch a bunch of drones that use this AI? Then dock back with the ship when done. I loved the MkI script, and used it a lot until updates and it really adds a much needed dimension to game-play. You build a big ship and the laws of Sci-Fi say when you drop out of warp, fighters must be released.

    I am seriosly looking forward to this being released.
     
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  7. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin

    Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    I ... is this real? How? How have you wrought this miracle?
     
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  8. Rdav

    Rdav Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    117
    Thanks for the comments all! Much appreciated! :D
    , to answer a few questions:

    Sure is! unlike the previous version the ability to control drones on a per-drone basis means small scale applications are much more suited to the code, because it doesn't force them to operate as a squadron people can use single drones for scouting, sniffing out resources, or just general guard duty,

    The Question of miners/collectors is a big one, and I will update the main post too to say this but I have both developed, *and* prototyped autominers and assemblers for the code and they are working great, in fact that symbol on the UI on the far right is a count of the amount of utilities class you have in operation HOWEVER, I am not intending to release these with this initial section of code, as for the purposes of bughunting and because people might well want these utilities classes as a standalone without the military aspects that this version brings.

    Heh, indeed! potentially, after the code is released I have a few plans for it, I'm hoping to get in touch with the creators of the advanced exploration mod, or similar and create a hybrid for self-aware AI factions, with the autominers and auto-welders I have planned it could lead to some exciting self replicating AI fleets and such, at the moment just a pipe-dream, however, seeing as fleet-command was originally a pipe dream too.. who knows where it could go!

    Energy drink and severe sleep deprivation :woot:
     
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  9. zopzodeman

    zopzodeman Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    78
    now im even more speechless and cant wait till release!
    this sounds almost too fantastic!
    cant imagine how much work this must have been... maybe you should set up a donation page to have a little compensation for your work?


    EDIT: KEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!! Give this man a job! NOW! :D
     
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  10. Ronin1973

    Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,964
    You know, I was thinking about this the other day and wondering where all the really cool fleet command stuff ended up. The ability to communicate via PBs and antennas has been around for a few months but nothing that exciting came from it... until now.

    That is something and something special.

    I would contact @Whiplash141 about working in atmospheres. He has a few scripts in the workshop that deal with automated atmospheric performance as well as PMW guidance and speed matching. Speed matching is VERY critical for fleet formation as every ship will be able to accelerate at a different rate.

    Team RDAV rocks.

    As far as input... FORMATIONS.

    Being able to load in your own formations based on class or ship name would be great. Maybe a list<T> in a method at the head of the code where advanced users can enter values manually to set up their own formations?

    i.e.
    (0) FORMATIONNAME1@Mothership:0:0:0^Carrier:200:0:0^Destroyer: 0:0:-400
    (1) FORMATIONNAME2@Mothership:0:0:0^Destroyer:300:0:0:^Destroyer:-300:0:0^Fighter:100:100:100


    etc
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  11. AedanXaelan

    AedanXaelan Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    311
    You are my new god...and my old one.
     
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  12. FlakMagnet

    FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,551
    Damn...I got goose bumps :)
     
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  13. Rdav

    Rdav Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    117
    That's quite a good idea actually, I always was adverse to the idea because of the additional decision matrix requirements, but if people are willing to enter offsets manually and such then it would be very easy to add the functionality in!, I'll see how easy it would be to implement and get back to you on that one!

    Thanks! It was a lot of work definitely, pretty much every free hour I've had during the week apart from the occasional bit of downtime I've devoted to this, I never really considered adding a donation page, I did do this for fun after all, give something back to a community that has given so much to the game! Although saying that some celebratory beer money wouldn't go amiss :p
     
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  14. Ronin1973

    Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,964
    In my example there are different symbols for different parsings.
    The @ symbol divides the formation name from the rest of the string.
    The ^ symbol divides the second part of the string into ships and offsets.
    The : symbol divides the ship class/name from the relative coordinate matrix.

    I use a similar set of symbols to do the same for guided player made weapons that fire in salvo and are arranged in flight for different purposes. I really do think bring Whiplash in on this could save a lot of time and spur some great ideas.
     
  15. Hale

    Hale Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    78
    This looks AMAZING!
     
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  16. halipatsui

    halipatsui Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,253
    Fantastic work!
    --- Automerge ---
    Now if keen added similar opponents to the game it would be awesome.
    Argentavis can be crushed with a fleet pretty easily.
     
  17. FlakMagnet

    FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,551
    Argentavis can be crushed solo pretty easy too
     
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  18. Rdav

    Rdav Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    117
    Right, so, long story short, I'm still waiting on some fixes from keen for LCD's before I can go into final release phase and properly start hyping things up!
    While I was waiting for these fixes I decided to code an alternative User Interface for users with low-end machines, or people who just want an alternative way of commanding the fleet! And should work as an alternative allowing me to do some early-access multiplayer testing until keen fixes the LCD multiplayer bugs.
    Being a completely modular code the code supports different modules with a user Interface installed, so for any UI created it is simply plug and play, hell you could even potentially have multiple people on different UI's helping strategtise and micromanage the entire fleet.

    A text based UI was my first port of call, however, ended up getting exceptionally awkward to navigate in combat situations, as such I decided to base the second UI on turret designation, reading information from button presses and clicks while the player is controlling it, using antennae illumination I can make ships appear to be selected, and using a few little tricks I can make additional information and some basic menu options appear on the HUD while controlling the turret, as such a new UI was born:



    Currently selected information is displayed on the HUD below the aiming recticule, players can select advanced commands by scrolling through the list with Q and E, adjusting goto-distance, which drone to dock/undock. The code supports click and dragging through ships, clicking and dragging through a ship will add it to the currently selected, also you can select just single ships and double click on a ship to select all of it';s type.
    Despite looking quite odd I've found it actually quite intuitive so far, and very cool as you can go to asteroids or precise coordinates very easily, Overall I am actually really fond of it, although it does have the occasional bug that needs dealing with

    Also while doing a bit of playtesting, the battles, despite being against only one ship, are actually very cool, I tried doing some semi-cinematic shots

     
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  19. Ronin1973

    Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,964
    If Keen changed the GUI so that hotkeys (1-9) were available from the cockpit/seat the player was in, you could easily create an interface using named timer blocks triggering arguments to programmable blocks.

    As far as text driven LCD screens. I'm currently programming mine as a scroll-able list with a pointer in the middle. You can scroll up, scroll down, or perform an action to the currently selected item in the list. Only having three buttons in the system is a bit limiting so you have to be careful about the logic of your actions. However, I can drive three different menus on three LCDs at the same time. I have a mouse with a 12 digit thumb pad so mapping the hot-keys to those buttons allows me to fly through all three menus. Being able to drive three LCDs at once also allows you to branch into sub-menus automatically. Example: I scroll to item 7 on the far left LCD, that in turn triggers a sub-menu on the middle LCD followed by another sub-menu on the far right based on the item selected in the middle LCD. There are a lot of possibilities using that kind of menu driven interface all while keeping the functionality relatively simple.
     
  20. Wicorel

    Wicorel Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,263
    You could do those commands with a toolbar setup to run timers or script with arguments.
     
  21. FlakMagnet

    FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,551
    I really like the turret idea.....

    If you had a turret without a gun, as a 'drone control unit' it would also be a natural multiplayer target to protect or lose fleet control. I also like the visual element of it. Clicking and selecting what you can see. Seems a neat way to do things. Better than LCD
     
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  22. bobhendly

    bobhendly Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    132
    "Turret without a gun" .. sounds like that one moveable camera that darth biomech made I think
     
  23. PLPM

    PLPM Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    850
    Wow, just wow, I never expected something quite like that.

    This makes SE go into a whole new level.

    You`ve made it. And i didn`t think it was possible, not like that.

    Can we put your name in the credits of the game :p?

    I`m at a loss for words, thanks.
     
  24. Captain Broadstairs

    Captain Broadstairs Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    469
    Excellent news, Now my Missile Destroyer's fighter bay will have a true purpose, regardless of if i have a crew to actually fly the escort fighter wing.
     
  25. Ronin1973

    Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,964
    Using a turret is nice except by clicking you're firing at a target by the looks of it. It could be done using two rotors, a remote, a gyro, and a camera. The camera could raycast and the grid zeroed in could be selected. I think raycasts give you some useful information about the grid once detected. Granted, using rotors still kind of sucks on multiplayer so you may lose your PMW turret.
     
  26. Forcedminer

    Forcedminer Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,227
    Player-to-Game Neural Interface helmet when? :p

    that stuff looks awesome.

    I can easily see 1 single player dominate an entire server with this awesome code.

    with the one type of ship it would be like guessing with ship the engineer is REALLY inside of. :p
     
  27. halipatsui

    halipatsui Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,253
    I can see one person tanking all of server sim speed with fleet of ships and codes running all of them.

    But hopefully theyvwill work later.

    I guess blovk limits wouöd allow somaewhat sane fleets yo be done even in mp
     
  28. PLPM

    PLPM Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    850
    Or just... you know...

    Make the turret not pull from conveyors and leave it without ammo.

    Much simpler and not so invinting for Klang.
     
  29. Ronin1973

    Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,964

    Yes, but if you don't actually fire bullets will the mouse click still be recognized?
     
  30. FlakMagnet

    FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,551
    There is no issue making a turret with a 'dummy' weapon that doesn't actually fire anything.
     
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