Fanstratics – Update #33 – Toadish Intruder and game AI

Fanstratics Troop: Toadish Intruder

Toadish Intruders are a difficult Troop to engage under any circumstance. Wielding a long, heavy rapier, doused with toxins derived from their wart-covered skin, the Toadish Intruder specializes not in killing, but in applying poisonous debilitation. If they are unable to pierce their targets and administer their contaminants, their own thick hide has a chance to apply a pollutant to any Troop brave enough to Assault them. As expected, this Troop is immune to the very contagions it produces.

Justin asked if he could conceptualize and render this Troop on his Twitch stream. I said, “Sure.” This put us on an accelerated timeline as Justin had the last two weeks of the month scheduled for other things. Considering how this Troop turned out, perhaps we should ‘rush’ more often. Another favorite.

Fanstratics Question: I really like HoMM III and HoMM V (as it close to third part), but I have one major problem with both of them.  Mainly we play with my wife in hotseat mode with teams (humans vs AI).  And at some level of our skills it becomes quite boring to play against AI (especially in HoMMV).  AI becomes predictable or even stupid (for example, AI heroes run back and forth until the end of movement points).  So, did you consider such a problem?  As I understand, today machine learning can dramatically change the situation.

 Regarding the AI, I can only speak to HoMM3.  Overall, for something programmed in 1999, I believe it does what it is supposed to do, and I think it does its job quite well.  Is there room for improvement?  I believe ‘yes’.

 Where Fanstratics is concerned, I suspect we will take a traditional approach when building our Ai.  Still, if time and budget permit, I would like to add additional ‘Ai profiles’ at a later date.  This is where machine learning could possibly play a role.  We’ll see what happens.  Ai is quickly becoming the newest frontier in game and technology development.

Fanstratics – Update #32 – Lamassu, Hero Leveling and the Ultimate Artifact

HoMM3 Question: Regarding the HoMM3 Board Game, they had a survey for fans asking about their favorite gameplay elements and what from the original PC game they’d most like to see featured in the board game. To me, this was nearly impossible to answer, because I think every part of HOMM3 works really beautifully in concert and removing or altering any one part might have cascading effects on the whole game, but being cornered, I thought that everything that works about HOMM3 ultimately stems from the exploration of the map in any given scenario… because that’s what opens the doors to every other element of gameplay. Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts there?

From what little I’ve seen of the game, it appears they are attempting to touch upon all facets of HoMM3. So, I suspect this developer’s ‘question’ was simply an attempt to engage their community.

As to your question, you are correct in how everything in HoMM3 works in concert. What would happen if you removed Adventuring, or Town building, or Battlefield combat? In the end, there really is no right or wrong answer, as it all comes down to the type of game you want to make. If you posed this question to the HoMM3 community, I have no doubt you would start a flame war as everyone has a different opinion concerning the relative importance of each element… and each person thinks their opinion is the right one.

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