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artofmath

Ai-aided Historical Castle for Human Player

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Just got a new idea for a map. I could design a new AI that is allied to the human player, that does not produce any units but rather builds a historical castle for a human player. The human player is not allowed to place any walls, towers, or gatehouses. This means that the human player is *forced* to play from behind the confines of a historical castle.

This would make historical castle skirmish scenarios possible. What do you think of this idea?

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This is so genius I can't believe it's never been done before! I think this is an exceptional idea and I think it could really be the start of something big. Perhaps we could even create an official SHN historical campaign trail, or something. So the mission would be kind of an "Invasion" mission, right?

Or are you thinking more of a custom scenario where there are other objectives to complete as well, resources to gather.... etc?


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Yeah, the scenario would have to be a skirmish scenario. Any ideas on castles worth doing? I've been researching into Spanish & Greek & Sicilian castles, more than just the ones in the Middle East. I've gotten pretty interested in the city of Toledo in Spain. The wall layout isn't particularly crazy and so it would be pretty easy to develop an AI that could build it.

I'm thinking of the city in the top left corner of the map, with 3 Wolves representing Crusaders on the other corners of the map. The scenario would be to defeat the Crusader siege of Toledo by killing all 3 Wolf AIs, only using Arabic units

Edited by artofmath

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That's a really nice idea! There are so many possibilities for this, too. There could maybe be a "Castles of the World" Trail or similar, with a map showing various trails around the middle east, or perhaps start in the middle east, move around the Mediterranean for a bit and then down south through Egypt into North Africa, Morocco and up into Spain or something. If it works, it doesn't even need to be confined to purely historic castles, either. We could expand it to fantasy castles, legendary castles, rebuilding cities..... you name it.

Or, here's a cool idea too, maybe it could become a "Knights Templar" trail. Where you could go around some of the places the Knights Templar were active, and re-create real history with them... so, obviously Acre would be a big one. Maybe there could be a small island on the far-left of the map representing Nicosia or something, and you could have to try and protect shipping or supplies, which you need in order to complete the castle, and which you can only get through that certain channel. We could even use some of the various "secret passage" tricks to create secret ways in/out of the city as it actually was.

Then there's Jerusalem as well, where you could have to protect the city and keep the Holy Grail under Templar control or something. To make it even cooler, we could maybe re-skin a few units as well, and then I (or someone else if they wanted) could package it all together into an installer so people can get all this stuff in one file.

In terms of other castles, I know it's not exactly in the same area but have you thought about maybe Vatican City? This could be a really dramatic battle, staged in the early days of the Crusades or the Papacy for example. I'll have a look and see if I can think of any other good Castles :classic_smile:


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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I'm in the process of putting a map of Jerusalem on grid paper. 😊

Backlit tracing pad, map of Jerusalem on a transparency, and a 12 lines/inch grid paper!

 

IMG_20201013_201143640.jpg

Edited by artofmath

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Sorry I didn't get back to you! I thought I'd replied, but must have got sidetracked.

I'm loving this, I think it's fantastic. Drawing out maps before starting them is something that never really occurred to me before, but it makes a lot of sense. Have you got much further with it?


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Siege of Jerusalem map in progress. Maybe you can guess where the dome of the rock will go? 🙂 That was one hard thing to plan out for the AI to build.... 

Of course, for playability purposes only the castle could be historical (not shown yet!). The landscape needs to be fictional too...

Any & all feedback on the landscape is gladly welcomed!

Siege of Jerusalem.png

Edited by artofmath

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I tell you what that looks very nice, it certainly looks like it was difficult to create. I honestly don't think you could have created that much better - with the compact space available within the editor, this is a very very nice natural landscape. I can already see invasions happening on all sides of the map! Really looking forward to how this progresses.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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It looks good!

I would want to know, if there could be any elevations in the terrain? You have layed out jerusalem, and it looks well planned out, but does the surrounding terrain fit the actual environment?

I would also like to know more about the balance for the scenario you are making, what do you have in mind there?

I love to see map creation processes well structured and organized :D

I will check it out when its finished ;)

 

Edit: just read about the Idea! And it sounds great :D it would mean, the player lives in this symbiotic relationship with the AI. You could even split off which resources he can produce and which the AI has to produce for him, you could even adjust the trade parameters for the AI in how often it requests resources and how generous it is with the help of the Unofficial Crusader Patch. And heck, you could even go so far, that you would give the playerkeep to another AI that manages partly the resources for him and controls part of the army!

But that could get hard to balance :D

Edited by Krarilotus

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I'm planning for a Human & Saladin vs. 4 Wolf AIs. And there's an extra challenge: no European units, Arabian ones only. So no xbows to shred metal units, buahahahaaaaaa....

The 4 Wolfs will be situated at the far corners of the map, and will not have tower mounted siege weapons (so the player doesn't have to worry about being pounded by mangonels)

The Saladin AI will not have any units training buildings, and will have only just a couple of hovels. So it'll probably accumulate massive amounts of gold. The human player can ask Saladin for gold from time to time...

The human player will not have access to walls, gates, or towers, only stairs. This means that they will be forced to defend the *historical* walls of Jerusalem, built and maintained by the Saladin AI.

Since I want the scenario to be playable for everyone, and because I don't yet know how to amend the AI behaviors, they will be given default behaviors.

I've been a bit busy with school right now so this project is on the back burner for now. But once December rolls around I'll promise to finish this map once and for all.

If you'd like to playtest this map I can put up a file link on this forum once I'm done with a first draft.

Edited by artofmath

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5 hours ago, artofmath said:

Since I want the scenario to be playable for everyone, and because I don't yet know how to amend the AI behaviors, they will be given default behaviors.

I can help you with that, if you want. The map would still be playable for everyone, but you could make a difficult version with custom AI behaviour.

You always seems to know how to use one AI with multiple castles well. Do you have a trick on how you force a specific castle to be build, instead of a random one, one a location on the map?

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5 hours ago, Krarilotus said:

I can help you with that, if you want. The map would still be playable for everyone, but you could make a difficult version with custom AI behaviour.

You always seems to know how to use one AI with multiple castles well. Do you have a trick on how you force a specific castle to be build, instead of a random one, one a location on the map?

Cool! 

I think I got a bit lucky with my two Wolf AIs. But I followed these rules:

1. The AI always places its keep's campfire to face away from the center of the map, towards the closest corner of the map. This rule might be violated if the keep is in the middle of the map.

2. I think the AI checks if a castle is fully buildable on a map before it builds its castle. So what I did was make the terrain (sea) around the map exactly fit the AI castle the way it's done in my Acre map.

3. Delete all AIV files but the one you want the AI to build on your map before doing the sav-to-map trick.

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