Post news RSS LOUD Project - Ver 5.0d - Naval Bombardment - Update

An update on ongoing work for The LOUD Project for Supreme Commander Forged Alliance. May 13, 2018 - From the desk of Sprouto.

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I'm pleased to announce that with this weeks release of version 5.0d - Naval Bombardment, a long awaited new feature, is finally available. This is an entirely new behavior for the LOUD AI and brings with it a complete overhaul of most of the naval and amphibious routines for LOUD.

It's been a very long road for this feature, first specified back in 2016, that would give the AI some ability to co-ordinate his naval operations with his overall goals. In the end, it turned out to be a rather broad new idea, involving not only work on the naval behaviors, but new work for our mapping folks, a new category for naval units. Along the way it revealed a number of shortcomings in the existing naval and amphibious functions.

New Behavior

Unlike most AI behaviours, Naval bombardment is the first that does not point units at a specific target. Instead, this behavior will direct a platoon to a position that will allow the units to engage a high priority goal that the AI is working towards. So, it was necessary to look at how naval units move from place to place, how they engage targets, which targets they don't chase after, and the composition of each factions platoons. So, as you can see, quite unique.

The work is by no means complete, as it will take some time to see how LOUD deals with the highly varied unit compositions posed by the factions. In short, any unit that has a range of about 100 grids is technically a bombardment vessel. For some, that capability comes early, in particular, for the UEF and the Seraphim, at Tech 2, but for others, only at Tier 3. This means training LOUD to recognize when the conditions for suitable bombardment targets exist, and how to reorganize his production to accomplish that. For now, we'll be watching how he makes use of this new capability and I expect there will be several 'tunings' in the near future.

New Map Marker

Over the next few months we'll be updating our water maps with a new 'old' marker - the Naval Link marker. While this is not a new marker, having always been present, it's never had a purpose in any AI code before - but now it does. Map makers can use it to specify unique bombardment positions that normal naval markers might not cover. The idea here is to allow bombardment platoons access to positions which are not usually suitable for the much larger naval flotilla to transit thru - especially close to the shore, where naval movement can get kind of odd.

Other updates

As usual, 5.0d includes a wide variety of tweaks, corrections and minor improvements, but nothing of real significance. There will be a unit review towards the end of this month that will address a number of minor unit issues, including fuel time for transports, AOE for T2 artillery, Black Ops ACU, some revised and updated artwork for certain mods, and most importantly, the first stage introduction of the BrewLAN mod, which will bring a host of new units, features and game modes to the LOUD world.

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond with their observations, both here and on our LOUD Discord (link found in the help tab of the launcher).

We look forward to hearing more. Thanks for your interest.

Sprouto

Comments
WDMeaun
WDMeaun

First of all.. Kudo's for the project. Been wondering whether it wouldn't be a possibility to re-code AI myself and then discovered LOUD.
Second. Yesterday I've had my first crash, which was combined with a lot of other activities. (Windows messing up resources and another application could be the issue)

This was on an island map (81km) and happened roughly 1 1/2 hrs in the game. It did not 'crash', but froze without actually getting the Windows freeze. So SupCom was still responding, just not updating the screen with the notable exception of the mouse cursor.

I was wondering if you think it might be related to the latest update and if so, I'll try my best to get some kind of reporting in case it happens again.
It is worth mentioning that the AI opponents didn't even seem to use airscouts, but I havent kept them under radar surveillance.

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Sprouto Author
Sprouto

While we do include a few 81k maps with LOUD, they're not really marked for good AI results. We provide them mostly for multiplayer options. I suggest you try one of the many 40k maps and you'll see a very different result - try Burial Mounds 40.

Let us know your results - we thrive on feedback from users like yourself giving us their impressions and observations.

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Guest
Guest

I love to see this mod keep developed. Great work and good luck.

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Sprouto Author
Sprouto

Thanks very much - and work continues.

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