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Game Idea: Military Command Hierarchy

Ideas for the Future

Game Idea: Military Command Hierarchy

Postby mtobiass » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:04 pm

This is an idea for the next or a future competition.

I would like to see a simulation of an entire army. Each command level is controlled by a separate bot. For example, suppose we have three levels of bots:
Regiment bot is the lowest level and is represented by a single unit on the battlefield.
Division bot controls a number of regiment bots.
Army bot controls a number of division bots.

There could of course be more levels.

Each bot is run independently and can only share information via a few predefined command types. Only the lowest level bot (regiment) has direct view of the battlefield and surrounding enemy units, but its vision radius is very small.
The information flow is that commander bots send orders to their subordinate bots, and the subordinate bots send status information back to its commander.

An order may for example be "Move to location X" and could include an "aggression level" specifying how aggressive the unit should be. Status information from subordinate back to commander could include its own current strength and any detected enemy units.

Orders and status information are only shared at specified time intervals, which means that it will take time for orders and information to flow through the different levels. From the highest level to the lowest level that delay might be quite large.

The information flow means that a bot can only see what its subordinate units see. So the further up the command chain you are, the more information you have, but the older the information is.
The delay of the information flow also means that it will take time before regiment bots start acting on a new order from the army bot.

The regiment bots could be of different types, for example "infantry", "cavalry" and "artillery".

Since each level bot is run independently it could be possible to mix bots from different users. For example my division bot could control regiment bots from another user. We could then get a different winner for each level. And a player does not even have to implement all levels, but could focus on for example only the highest level Army AI or maybe just a "cavalry regiment bot".
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Re: Game Idea: Military Command Hierarchy

Postby Equinoxe » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:28 pm

It is a good idea.

But ... An issue comes when bots of different users are being run as a team. Example : Suppose ants game was like this : half of the ants belonging to one player, half to the other. Or, even worse, a tenth to ten players.
Then xathis would have to wait longer, for his bot to reach the top 10, because he would have to start with starter packages. And 1/10 ants, even extremely performing, could not win against 100% ants mediumly-performing.
So chance has a big role in there.
A possible fix is not to make the skill go down on a new submission, or not to make different bots play in the same team.

On the other hand, having a player concentrating on cavalry, etc. would be interesting. But, then, who is the winner ? The best cavalry or the best infantry ?

So, I think one may come up with an alternative solution : teams. If players were 5 in a team, one per bot to do, it would allow them to help each other, and so the winner would be the best team.

It still arises an issue : How to make teams ? What for people that don't know any other developer (like myself) ?

Hope that helps,
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Re: Game Idea: Military Command Hierarchy

Postby mtobiass » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:23 pm

If the API betwen bots are specified, then the bots can be mixed into teams automatically. But I agree that mixing bots from different players may complicate things too much. But mixing bots from different players is just a possible configuration. The normal configuration is that all bots in an army are from the same player.

The important thing is that all bots run independently in their own process. They can only share limited information via a specified API at certain time intervals. So all bots will have a different view of the battle.

The other important feature is that a commander bot gives a subordinate bot an objective, but it is up to the subordinate to decide how to reach the objective.
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