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Re: [FT] Mobile mine field(?) suggestions sought

From: Tony Francis <tony@b...>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 19:38:43 +0000
Subject: Re: [FT] Mobile mine field(?) suggestions sought wrote:

>I'd like suggestions on modelling fields of small, unmanned weapons
>platforms that would move slowly towards intruders, with the idea of
>overwhelming by numbers.
>I'd need them to track targets, build to killing mass against anything
>would stick around long enough, but relatively ineffective against
>Please note that I'm most interested in suggestions on modelling
>'behavior', auto-rules for a relatively amorphous pattern of
This sounds similar to an AI behaviour known as 'flocking' (see if you're interested in details). This 
is fairly straightforward to implement when you have a powerful CPU 
updating fifty times a second, less trivial with a pocket calculator and

the granularity of an FT turn !

I'd suggest that the 'bots' (for want of a better term) don't use either

of the FT movement systems - off the top of my head, I think 
auto-manoeuvering rules for either could be nightmarish to work out 
(although I could be wrong).

I'd suggest defining one bot as a 'swarm leader', and he moves by a set 
of rules - which could be as simple as "always move towards the target".

The others bots in the swarm would merely keep formation with the leader

instead of having their own rules (a bit like moving the squad leader in

SG2 and placing the rest of the squad around him). Speed of the swarm 
would be low and I guess they'd effectively move like fighters. 
Alternatively, each swarm member could obey a simple rule like "always 
move towards the swarm leader".

If they're armed with (for example) a turreted beam weapon with 360° 
field of fire, their facing won't matter, if they have a facing-critical

weapon then you could assign them a fixed turn rate (say 3-4 clock 
points per turn) which is used with another simple set of rules ("always

turn towards the target").

If the leader is destroyed, you could have a turn or two of confusion 
(each bot moves in a random direction and changes facing by a random 
amount) before another swarm member assumes leader responsibilities. 
This could make it easy for the opposition to target the leader and 
nullify the swarm so you could employ some subterfuge (randomly reassign

the leader each turn ?).

If multiple targets appear, multiple swarms would choose targets 
randomly - I'm sure you could work out a system that biases towards 
closer targets but stops every swarm picking the same target.

Just a few thoughts - back to programming some real game AI !


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