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Poll the players 4/17/14

Discussion in 'General' started by LORDPrometheus, Apr 17, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. LORDPrometheus Trainee Engineer

    This weeks edition of edition of poll the players is about automation

    The devs have expressed significant interest in the ability for players to program in game objects and create automated mining and processing or even combat vessels! The addition of conveyors brings us closer than ever to this creation with the ability to automatically refine and store ore with ease. Is this a good thing? Or is it robbing the game of some of its core mechanics?

    The question is how should this be done and to what degree should it be developed. Is space engineers a game we must slaveover and do everything for ourselves or is it something that should have automation. Should the players attention be solely on building and designing and resource gathering be a job for AI? Or is it like minecraft a core feature of the game and less automation is better?

    As always the poll is just a part of this thread what really matters is what is posted in the comments.

    Please be courteous and remember all ideas are valid but not all can be used.
  2. iron_dinges Apprentice Engineer

    The first option, but worded differently:

    Spending time doing menial tasks like mining tons and tons of materials is just that - menial.
  3. ctiberious Apprentice Engineer

    The biggest thing I like is that you have the option. If you want to spend the time mining you can, but you can also setup an automatic rig and let it do all the work or you can do both. Same goes for processing and building. I see any automation as simply helping you with whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. If you decide to sit back and let the automation do all the work, that's up to you but I know I'll be using any automation as an assistant instead of letting it do all the work.
  4. GothicRebel Trainee Engineer

    ^ This. When I played Minecraft FtB, I was heavily reliant on turtles (small programmable robots) to do many of the more boring tasks in the game, but the amount each one did varied enormously, some simply dug out a room or dropped ore into a furnace. Others would build entire houses, even villages for me. Basically I would like to be the one deciding how involved my AI drones actually are when I use them.
  5. aboredteen1 Junior Engineer

    I would simply like the option to make super advanced ai . I probably won't get to deep personally but I wouldn't mind having it do stuff for me. I just like that there is the option.
  6. Hatchie Apprentice Engineer

    Well I think the poll is constructed badly. It's not about defining if AI should be able to mine, build, or fight but on what scale of inteligence it is capable of doing so.
    My opinion is: Really dumb!
    I would like to see AI ONLY at level of "engage thruster 4", "send ore from cargo 5 to refinery 1" or "fire rocket launcher 5". You can try to make it build, mine or fight as you wish, you can enhance its effectivness by smart engineering (kinda point of this game) but is shouldn't be better than human. It surely shouldn't be possible to command like "target nearest enemy ship" and "fire upon it" or "fly to nearest asteroid", "locate uranium or iron deposit" and "mine it".
  7. Shiliski Apprentice Engineer

    As someone with a BS in Computer Science I am heavily looking forward to programming of some form. Even if it has some reasonable limits, I still want to see it happen in-game.

    After all, this is an engineering game and software engineering is still engineering. Also, some amount of automation is going to be necessary or else certain ideas are just never going to work. Automated doors, automated torpedo launchers (that aren't gravity based), torpedo reloading, automated launching systems, etc.

    The upside of allowing automation is that automation will, in most cases, likely only take over the most boring of tasks. After all, something like "dig a hole 50 meters straight through this asteroid" is going to be a lot easier to program than something like "go find all of the Uranium on the map and BRING IT TO MEEEE!"

    Also, I'd like to say, in response to "how smart should we make the AI?": If you give me commands like "engage/disengage thruster X", "Wait Y seconds", "engage/disengage inertial dampeners", I can turn that into "Engage all thrusters for Y seconds".

    From that, I can easily combine that to be "Disengage inertial dampeners, Engage all thrusters for Y seconds, coast for Z seconds, and then engage inertial dampeners".

    From there, I can calculate how far that would get me (J meters) and then I'd have "Fly forward for J meters".

    If I also had a command like "Get distance K of nearest detectable ore", "Get angle L of nearest detectable ore", and "Rotate ship by angle M"; I can turn that into "Turn ship towards the nearest detectable ore".

    If I also have "Engage/disengage Drill", then I'd combine that into "Turn towards nearest detectable ore, engage drill, then move J meters towards ore", which then translates to "Go get the nearest detectable ore".

    Depending on what other low-level functions we get, it wouldn't be hard to eventually combine functions to such a point where "Find all Uranium on the map and bring it to me" becomes viable. Same thing with "Destroy all enemy ships in the sector" or "Grab every cargo ship that passes by and bring it to the salvage yard." Here's the thing though: With precise controls, your version of "Go get all the ore" will be different from mine, and both of ours' will be different from some other guy's.

    Now, is that complicated? Maybe. I've been programming for 10+ years now so it's not complicated to me, but maybe a player who doesn't program that much might be at a loss. By giving only bare-bones, low level programming commands, you're giving people like me a TON of control, but also making a barrier for people who haven't spent the time to learn this stuff. Maybe that's okay, maybe it isn't, but I think that since this is a game about ENGINEERING then we're going to want low-level controls of some form.

    One thing I will say, however, is that while having tons of minute control over your AI is great, it also leads to certain problems. After all, there's one very serious weakness in the AI described above. Mainly, if something knocks the drone off course, it's going to not reach its target. Granted, it's eventually going to try again, but if it was counting on coasting for Z seconds, and Z happens to be ~20, then that's roughly 20 seconds where it isn't doing anything but coasting in whatever direction it was bumped towards. Which basically means that it's a sitting duck during that time.

    Yes, there are ways around that, but the point I'm trying to make is that AI will likely always have some exploitable weakness. It's just a matter of knowing what that weakness is. If it's up to the devs to make complicated AIs, then all AIs will have the same predictable weaknesses. On the other hand, if it's up to the players to make it, then they will have widely varying levels of complexity, widely different levels of efficiency, and widely different weaknesses.

    Personally I'm all for having low-level controls, but I understand that what's best for me isn't necessarily best for everyone.
  8. Uhm Apprentice Engineer

    If you can program it, you can use it.
    The Idea of having the programming capacity of the block be limited by space, and thats a good idea.
    WOuld ensure a complex ai Isnt going to be running around amuk without a large ship.

    Also, Eventing has been thrown around.

    I think personally a mid level programming language such as C++ would be good.
  9. Uhm Apprentice Engineer

    another thing I forgot to metion; by actually having execute lag time, this would prevent any AI from being better at the game than a human.

    What this means is that complex lines of code would take longer to execute than short ones.
    Also, each line of code would have an inherent time it takes to execute (ex .1 seconds) so that there is a percievable lag between actions.
    This would prevent any sort of computer ai with better skills than a player
  10. Uhm Apprentice Engineer

    And this is valid. You always have the option NOT to use AI/programming.
  11. Shiliski Apprentice Engineer

    For most cases, I would be okay with having lag time for commands (anything noticable is way too slow to be realistic, but whatever) because I know how to code efficiently. However, it would be very difficult to make ship-seeking torpedoes if there was significant lag time between "Hey we're off course" and "Hey get back on course".

    Maybe some lag on inputs would be better. Average human input lag (as in, response time between stimulus and action) is 1.5 seconds, so if AI's input lag was 2 or even 3 seconds, humans would have a distinct advantage over AI in combat without actually making AIs useless. After all, if a battle comes down to "The one who shoots first wins" and you're shooting .5-1.5 seconds faster than the AI does, then you win.

    An example of what I mean: Say an AI has a scanner that tells them what objects are in their visual range (as in, draw distance). Let's also say that, once your ship enters their visual range, there's a 3 second lag before the AI even notices, giving you an advantage of 1.5 seconds.

    You could also just make sure their scanner works at a distance that is less than draw distance, so you'll always have a chance to see the AI before it sees you.
  12. Rbrown782 Trainee Engineer

    Well just an idea but I think there should be automation for just about everything but have it so the players attention can do it faster and or more efficient. For example mining an AI miner may collect but at a slower pace and maybe pick up more gravel than a player would. Same thing for welding an AI of some form drones maybe could do the welding but the player can weld faster than any one AI drone could
  13. Hatchie Apprentice Engineer

    Well thats why I spoke about only those basic commands like operating components, switching them on/off and thing like wait and simillar. Commands that would allow automated ships to navigate through space and distinguish objects on their own with commands like getting distances from ores/enemy ships etc would kill the game!

    Reason one: It would kill the engineering and that should be the core of the game! With only those basic commands, efficient mining is about designing mining rigs/ships with mining mechanisms that would allow efficient semi-automated mining (as in you fly the mining ship, place it on an asteroid and switch on the macro operating the mining mechanism).
    Why would anyone bother designing that if for half the resources you can build 30 small automated mining drones which would completely automatically fly to space and return with desired ores while you just lay down and have a cookie. Good engineering should be rewarding with more efficiency, the game is called Space engineers not Space programmers after all...

    Reason two: It would kill the cooperation. This should also be important part of the game. Not mandatory, but rewarding. Having a battleship with lets say 6 people aboard (1 captain, 2 shooters from smallship-turrets and 3 fighter pilots) should be rewarding in increased batlle efficiency. One person with more resources shouldn't be able to overcome them with a swarm of automated battle drones capable of targeting enemy ships and shooting them down.

    So no to advanced commands, especially taking outputs from sensors/scanners and using them in programming this easily.
  14. THE_VB Junior Engineer

    I used to program in garrys mod and i can say that bigger abilities can let players to explore the game more and more.
    The wiremod for Gmod implemented some manual tools that letted players to do some half-automatic machines, like closing doors, catapults etc.

    They led the players to more complicated contraptions, like cars, that can turn at least.

    Time passed, and the chips were added to the game. Players could program something!
    Doors now could have an alert system, machines could have more complicated engines based on the turning speed of some detail? emitting the real engine's work, basic dornes appeared.
    Oh, and some real badass thingies did too

    And look at the date, 2009 year. Since that time gmod is one of the most sellable games on steam.

    Back to history - expression 2 chip appeared.
    It is a simple LUA coding interface that uses some outputs and inputs, persistant variables etc. Well, it was.
    Before adding some...POWER to it it was slowly becoming the death of other chips, that are still in the pack only because E2 is blocked on some servers due to it's powers.
    Instead of a wall of chips for a crane, printer or something you can just enter the LUA-based code, or just paste it, and use it in your contraption! That was a real progress.

    Lets go forward.
    Nowadays the game is still popular. Mosly because of mod-based gameplay. If you see a clean server you know that THAT is a kind of a bad server.
    Well, wiremod is still alive. And it enmassed such a type of players that I name code zombies. or e2 zombies. They fill good servers just...standing and coding. No more building, only coding.
    Yeah, noobs still build, sp,e advanced players build. But even a scholar noob tries just to code a thing instead of making it work with right balancing and building.

    Why do I tell this story?
    Well, if developers see the future of the game in realism, they should know the lessons of other sandbox games.
    In gmod, that is the closest analog of space engineers, coding turned the game into some boring version of the walking dead game, where zombies can use magic to instantly kill you with a flying melon, spawned and thrown by the expression 2 chip.
    If they don't want to see things like these it would be better to make limits for the game. Limits that should be expandable in fututre.
    Don't make fast and omniversal 3d-printers that let you to just copy a big ship without any work - limit it to small ships or let players to build a complex programmabale printer tha is not just a block that uses lots of resources, but needs some
    Don't let players to build drones easily with a welder and pre-made sets of codes, let them learn how to make their things work and they will find out and share the best ways of building a drone.
    I hope that helps. Maybe I will repeat this post in the devs' coding topic.
  15. Flubbles Trainee Engineer

    I wouldn't want to learn a programming language just to be able to do some simple stuff like controlling rotors or doors from a distance.

    It would also make that feature a lot less accessible for people without programming experience.
  16. NutterChap Apprentice Engineer

    Not everything needs to be automated, but I choose 'Automated mining and buidling FTW' because mining can get tedious to have to do manually (a good engineer should be rewarded for his ingenuity by not having to do chores by himself but have his masterpiece do it for him), and automated building is a must for people who want to start a production line of nice ships. It is tedious to have to rebuild your whole ship from scratch when some joker demolished it. Just click on the saved blueprint in your 3d printer et voilĂ . Or a torpedo manufacturing line in a ship that can throw them using a gravity field.Really, such opportunities must not be missed, but to have everything automated is over the top. With programmable blocks, though... :comp:
  17. nalyD Trainee Engineer

    If these programmable blocks hit the workshop finding a preprogrammed addon would be trivial, with people porting a linux kernel to 0x10C before there was an Alpha, if you build it they will come

    So people not wanting to learn to program themselves is a moot point, someones going to make "miscellaneous supercool OS addon"
  18. Skeloton Master Engineer

    Voted for "I should be able to let my AI play for me!" because "Automated mining and building FTW" would be nice, " Maybe refining and processing but no more" is what we already have and if "Manual gameplay is the most important automation is dumb" applies to you can turn the automation off.
  19. tharkus Junior Engineer

    I dont understand most people voted for more automated stuff...
    Where is the fun of the game if everything is done automatically??!!

    LAZY PEOPLE.....
  20. Kolb Trainee Engineer

    I agree, I also understand though that once the scripts are written the will be a greatly lower bar of entry for people to copy, paste and modify the script vs. write the script for themselves.

    But those that can write for themselves will have the advantage in the long run.
  21. Grossmond Trainee Engineer

    I would say yes to deep programming because it opens up so many options the Devs can chase after. I know its a stretch idea but it would be nice to create an AI drone that could build/mine but set it up to go AWOL and set up a secret base of its own on a nearby asteroid and try to destroy you. It could start out slow though where it tries to exist on its own and doesn't bother you, then it starts to come over and try to secretly steal stuff. Then progress into blatantly stealing your stuff and locking you out of its base, finally progressing into hostility by sending small ships out to attack your base or hunt you down.

    Maybe I just have a bit of HAL fever though when I think about space and AI.
  22. THE_VB Junior Engineer

    At the other hand it will be advanced engineering.
    You just get to know how to do simple things. By the way the best language for that is LUA, that is already used in a couple of sandboxes.
  23. Grossmond Trainee Engineer

    I'm sure there is a good middle ground that can be reached, have some more basic functions available via a menu and then have an option for Adv Programming via LUA.
  24. Maul555 Apprentice Engineer

    I like the idea of being able to unleash my creations upon their tasks without having to hold their hands 1 at a time individually each step of the way...
  25. tutkarz Apprentice Engineer

    I'm not lazy and I want to have possibility to automate everything. That allows me to do few things at once. It's not easy to set up everything optimally but it is rewarding. Way better than mindless clicking.
  26. THE_VB Junior Engineer

    Also, wouldn't it be awesome to make an army of AI-controled ships and start space battles?
  27. Baseliner Trainee Engineer

    I think there are nice opinions here.

    My opinion is, there should be a way to automate a lot, by far not everything (especially not shipbuilding), but a lot. Kind of the automation options you have, if you play minecraft with the technic-pack. I even think, that bulding everything in the assembler is faaaar to easy! There is currently no tech-tree, which you can climb up and improve your automation cycles with.

    For the Shipbuildingpart, i think importing blueprints of already build ships would be nice! You would need some kind of "Shipyard" to do set the frame, but nothing more, than one percent of block integrety. You would need to weld everysingle block like befor, but you wouldn't need to place them and imagine a new ship everytime. To build the Hulls of larger vessels, some kind of smallship welder would be nice, especially because you wouldn't need to carry everything in you inventory (i prefer playing on reallistic and building hundreds of blocks of hull armor with 400l is just boring!)
  28. Judgernaut Apprentice Engineer

    we can already build automatic mining ships that not only mine but refine and assemble components aswell.

    I assuming you want a block that does it automatically without zero skill(engineering), ie blop the block and off it goes. That is pointless.

    I mean automation to the max, but we build the automatic systems and we maintain them(by using gravity anchoring, rotors, conveyors etc etc). Not some block that does things itself.

    The only zero effort automation that I would say this game needs is a 3d printer for mass production.
  29. Shiliski Apprentice Engineer

    I don't really want the game to play for me according to some dev-defined script that I cannot change.

    I would be plenty interested in programming a variety of AI to do various tasks, following a drone around to see what it does and what bugs it has, finding ways around those bugs, and then mass producing that drone before going on to work on something else.

    In short, I don't want the AI work done for me. I want to do the work myself.
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