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What we are currently working on #4 January 2020

#1
What is up From The Depthians.

It’s probably about Lamb time I made another news / what’s going on at Brilliant Skies post. 

As you have probably noticed there were no recent updates or additions / new devtest builds during December, and this is due to the team working hard on the coming campaign overhaul, localisation and numerous other things which I shall get into in a little bit. 

We are planning to release a build towards the end of January, this build will most probably be a devtest build but that is subject to change.

Currently, we are working on the campaign and localisation, most of which are back end functions which we would not notice during gameplay.

Localisation
When it comes to localisation the team tackles this by category, currently as examples are the APS localisation and CJE localisation, which have been completed for this update. We also plan to have the options menu, tutorials and missile localisation completed and more. We already have a number of sections sorted out in previous updates, so these are ready to get translated and I do believe work is already being carried out in a few languages Big Grin 

Other
Other additions > may < include a corner piece for the steam shaft, updated drill, APS and CJE tutorial, voice-overs for a number of tutorials. We may also see minor tweaks to steam perhaps breadboard control and ability to toggle steam gearbox to disable power generation so that the full rotation speed is used for propellers. Please understand these are subject to change or maybe in a future update.

As some of you already know we will be getting ammo refineries in the game and our current ammo processors will most probably (99% sure) be removed. Currently one of our modellers is working on the multiblock system for the ammo refinery and then we shall get to work on the code for it.

Campaign
In terms of the campaign overhaul, there is plenty left to do. We already have a lot of work sorted out backend in previous updates, which we would not notice during our normal gaming sessions.

In this coming update, we will have prepared Neter/AOTE/Glao to run the strategic AI, out of play management for forces (backend stuff), force strength calculations, removing centralised resources mode and another crap ton of backend stuff, which from a gamer’s perspective is useless information Tongue but very important for the running of all the things however, currently, we are working on NPC faction repairing.

We are hoping to have the following finished for the coming update:
  • Calculating the cost of damage of a fleet, strategic AI to manage forming and separation of fleets and also objectives for defending key points and allies. The AI should retaliate, defend, build etc... 
  • The player performance tracker would tie into the difficulty and what constructs would be built or the types sent against you.
  • Faction vs Faction battles (I am hoping we get a spectate battle in future Big Grin ). 
  • Strategic locations on the map, what this means is while we can build a fort anywhere, there will be locations that can provide a bonus to the production of ammo and/or fuel and even bonuses for building constructs via the repair tentacles from and there may be other additions. 
I am hoping to get a sneaky preview of some NPC / AI fun and things in action, so stay tuned for that Smile 

However until I get my grubby mitts on some hot AI action, I thought I would try and go into some detail on the strategic AI/campaign AI.

*Some of the following may be subject to change.

I guess we should start at the very beginning and the first thing we usually do is set the difficulty up. 
Difficulty scaling will be tweaked a lot, we will still have our easy, med, expert and Bacon mode however the difficulty is not tied to construct design easy, med etc… This is now calculating the firepower to material and cost ratio as well as, the AI calculating how good the player is doing. The AI will use materials to build constructs that can potentially beat and hopefully counter the player in an efficient way.

I will very lightly and very simply go over firepower, we may go into the details of this after the update is live and settled. The basic idea for us to grasp is that firepower is calculated and split into 3 sections:
  • Defensive which is split into 2 parts, fast and air and the rest have the firepower for low and slow.
  • Offensive is based on total firepower with multipliers and modifiers such that all types of constructs are taken into consideration, bombers, melee etc…
  • Misc this revolves around harvesting, repair and transport.
Material transport, ammo and fuel transport depends on the volume transportable which are not set to be kept by the procurement level settings, this would allow large constructs to keep a heavy amount of materials, ammo or fuel without it being tagged as a transporter.

Constructs have a  “Skillset” so I thought I’d go into a little detail on that. If a construct with a lot of anti-air weaponry such as missiles, for example, will have a higher skill vs air targets than a construct with CRAMs which would have a higher skill vs low and slow.

Strategic AI will build with the material it harvests and it shall produce ammo and fuel, therefore the AI will build the facilities to produce ammo/fuel and methods to harvest resource zones, such as harvesters/transporters or harvesting structure. This also means that the AI will create transporter craft where needed and distribute the ammo/material/fuel to whichever construct needs it the most.
In the background, the AI is scoring/weighting priorities so it determines if a transporter/structure needs defenders and what type of skill. Skill is a score based on the setup of the construct which can determine if the construct is more suited for anti air / surface to surface and what skill is going to be best suited vs the player depending on how the player is doing and what skill types have been working well or not well for the player. 

So if a construct has repair tentacles then its skill is based on repairing as a first priority, this brings us to the repair jobs. The AI will repair structures and units, checks are made to determine the closest repair construct and if that construct has enough materials on board to do the job. If the construct does not have enough, it will go to the closest supply location. (there are plenty of other what-if scenarios in the background which the AI will choose the most efficient one).  

The AI will also capture board sections and this requires to be at war / very poor relationship with the owner of that tile. Tiles will also be scored and weighted thus giving the AI priorities. This ties into defending points and defending borders, such as resource zones, HQ and other specific locations. 

Remember I only explained these things very lightly and perhaps a little vague and general for now, just so we get the general idea as to what is going on and what the team is up to Smile .

I hope you good peeps are as excited as I am and cannot wait to see the coming changes to From The Depths Smile
Check out my Lets play of From The depths >here<
As well as other games Big Grin
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What we are currently working on #4 January 2020 - by Jon - Community Manager - 2020-01-12, 08:09 PM

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