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AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 25 Apr 2012, 14:46
by AwarE
Hi guys,

I have noticed that AI games are becoming more popular. At any given time there are at least 20% and sometimes 50% of games in progress that include AI. I really think the FAF management team has underestimated just how popular this method of play has become. I am not suprised to see so many peeps battling the AI, especially now that Sorian's brilliant AI is embedded and runs so well.

There are many forms of AI battle being fort such as:
2 humans(teamed) v 1AI v 1AI,
2 humans(teamed) v 4AI(teamed) ,
3 humans(teamed) v 1AI v 1AI v 1AI,
1 human v 1 human v 1AI v 1AI v 1AI v 1AI,
4 humans(teamed) v 4 AI(teamed)
4 humans(teamed) v 2AI(teamed) v 2AI(teamed)

Also lots of games on Survival maps where the AI units are map generated without the need for AI resources or plants.

Unfortunately I do not see many games of true 'TeamPlay' where just the Sorian Turtle AI(not AIX) performs at maximum strength and ability, and with the human team in a good position to create an excellent battle with fast game speed. All the other forms of AI battle listed above will cause slow game speed or poor AI performance, except on Survival maps.
Once peeps try a proper TeamPlay setup they will never again play the slow doggy matches that are currently the norm.

Here are some tips to improve AI matches:

TeamPlay Setup

- Choose a TeamPlay map made for fast internet play... size will be dependent on slowest computer capability. 20x10 size maps or bigger needs all quad CPUs @3GHz with 1000 units.
- Place humans and the AIs in the correct start positions... I have marked my latest maps with 'H' for Human start positions and 'AI' for AI start positions. Generally I place the Human start at the top of the map or on the right hand side. There are exceptions such as 'Serpentine Siege' which has the AI start on the right side. The map description should tell you where the start points are for each.
- Use only 2AI ... 2AIs will give faster game speed and be harder to defeat than 3AIs. Of course 1AI would run faster than 2 but my maps are set for 2AI with 2 unoccupied start point expansions available for a good balanced game.
- Select Sorian Turtle AIs... they always build a good Navy if the map has water markers, do decent Air, also a strong ground attack and are best at resource production.
- Team the AIs... I notice in some replays that peeps are not teaming the AIs. This gives a lame game as the AIs will attack each other and not attack the humans.
- Make the AIs the same faction...Aeon or UEF seem to go best.
- reduce the land expansions to say 5... that will allow 10 land plants for each max 20...(or 15plants if Air is not restricted...10land+5air = total max 30)
- reduce the naval expansions to say 4...that will allow 12 shipyards for each max 24.
- TML inaccuracy... to max 20%... your Fatboy will still not get anywhere near the AI base.
- Cheating... off
- Civilians... none
- FoW... explored
- No rush... off
- Prebuilt Units... off
- Share... full share
- Unit cap... 1000
- Victory conditions... Annihilation (your efforts will not score under the current FAF score system but who cares as long as the game is fun to play.

Other settings and advice:

- Ally with other humans
- Set 'Allied Victory' and 'Share Resources' (do in game)
- It is worth having voice communication with you ally... we use Skype without headphones... just a mic.
- If you are expert and find the Sorian Turtle AI an easy pushover then use Sorian Turtle AIX set at say 1.5 cheat power and 1.5 build power.
- If you want to play on custom maps that have no FA markers then you will generally need AIX to produce a decent battle. An AIX will always build a much better defended main base.
- Restricting Air will generally give a faster game speed and improve the AIs performance.

I have seen replays where one human commy rushes the AI base, blows up in the middle of it and his units are Autogiven to his partner... this is not TeamPlay.
There is only one rule for TeamPlay - all allied human commys must be alive at the end of the game for a true Allied Victory. If any commy dies or leaves the match is lost.

Latest TeamPlay Maps

Serpentine Siege.v0001
Aeon HomeWorld.v0001
Planet X.v0001
Water Dragon
AwarE Wolf
Red Rift
Zan-Uyalthow StarGate
TeamPlay Mt Glenam

coming soon... not yet in FAF Vault

Amazonia TeamPlay LandLink
Painted Desert TeamPlay
AwarE1 ver2

Wish List.

- A Co-Op server devoted to TeamPlay.
- A unique scoring system that allows 'Annihilation' mode and Survival mode
- A time limit to complete the battle depending on map size.
- Immediate game end, as a team loss, if any Human commander dies or leaves.(The AI can lose commy and continue)
- A computer that will run a 40x40 map with 2 or more AI and not slowdown.

Hope this improves your AI experience.


Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012, 08:10
by AwarE
- Place humans and the AIs in the correct start positions... I have marked my latest maps with 'H' for Human start positions and 'AI' for AI start positions. Generally I place the Human start at the top of the map or on the right hand side. There are exceptions such as 'Serpentine Siege' which has the AI start on the right side. The map description should tell you where the start points are for each.

Sorry, I have made a switch since 'Serpentine Siege' by now starting the Human team on the Left side West for the horizontal 10x20 maps like 'Planet X', 'Water Dragon' and 'Red Rift'. The map called 'Amazonia TeamPlay LandLink' is an example of a different start position where the humans start in the North East and the AI in the South West. That is game lobby positions 1 and 3 for humans and 6 and 8 for AIs.


Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012, 08:48
by AwarE
Amazonia LandLink TeamPlay

Painted Desert TeamPlay

NooBMaP TeamPlay


Fields of Isis 4v4 TeamPlay

These maps will be available in FAF Vault soon.

Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012, 17:07
by FunkOff
lol, you already took one of the most turtly maps ever, Isis, and made it more turtly? :lol:

Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 01 May 2012, 01:56
by AwarE
Well let me answer you comment by saying that I only edit the actual landform of a map to make the AI play stronger. I did not alter the landform of the 'Fields of Isis 4v4' [10x10] map or the 'NooBMaP' [5x20] , all I have done is add a set of FA markers that will provide a good contest against a team of 2 Sorian Turtle AI in a TeamPlay battle.

I did alter landform on the other three maps:

1. Amazonia [20x20] -> Amazonia LandLink TeamPlay - I added a land link, removed the high walls and made it possible for naval units to become a more important part of the battle. I also added FA markers and movement chains.

2. Painted Desert [20x20] -> Painted Desert TeamPlay - I had to flatten out some areas and remove some props so that the AI could build a decent base. I also added FA markers and movement chains.

3. Braincakes_Thermo [20x20] -> Braincakes_Thermo_TeamPlay - the original only had one passage through the mountains ... I added two more plus some minor side paths. The ground at the entrance to the Human base was made rougher to make it harder to build fixed point defenses and shields. I also added FA markers and movement chains.

So thanks for you comment but I think it is incorrect to say that I have made any of these maps easier for turtling as in fact the opposite is true.

I always suggest using Sorian Turtle AI in TeamPlay because it is the best AI available.


Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 01 May 2012, 13:24
by uberge3k
This is some really nice work. Keep it up, I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy it. :)

Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 18 May 2012, 10:53
by AwarE
Thanks for the encouragement

@all Players
Can you and your m8 beat a pair of teamed Sorian Turtle AIs that are not cheating?

I have added 2 more TeamPlay maps to the FAF vault:

Gap of Rhonda TeamPlay 10x10

Beyond Insane TeamPlay 10x10

Considering their small size both maps will produce a tough hard game using non-AIX sorian turtle AIs.
If you use the map for a non-AI all Human team match, then start the weaker team where the AI would normally start to help balance the game.

These maps are a slight departure from my usual FA marker layout:
1./ I have placed the markers to allow for Air. If you restrict Air the AIs will run even better, but this time I have set the AI to play well with AIR ENABLED. I figure that now most people have a rig that can run a fast 1000 unit game on a 10x10 with Air ON, especially when there is no water.
2./ Another major change that is incorporated on these maps is a build restriction on LRCs(long range cannons). The reason for this change is to improve game play. You will have to dig the AIs out of their strong positions instead of killing from a distance. The AI will Turtle-up and have formidable defense as well as a aggressive attack. Nukes are not restricted and the AI will use them.
3./ Also satellites are restricted... you have air scouts for this purpose.

The maps have been tested to play well with normal FAF as well as the Black-Ops mod.
Please don't be pissed off if the AI murders a Human commander at or before 30mins...treat it as a challenge... restart the game and your team will do much better the 2nd time. Even experts will be beaten by the AI... difference is that experts will only be beaten once while noobies will be beaten many times before they achieve an 'Allied Victory' under TeamPlay.

So your TeamPlay setup is the same as described in the above post... the AI starts in the west on Gap of Rhonda and in the South on Beyond Insane. Please note that there is only one correct start position for each AI, if you start the AIs in the wrong position it will break the AI build.

Good Luck Commander.

PS. Please give feedback either here or using a vault comment to say what you like or dislike about TeamPlay maps. Try to be constructive and give some details or a replay link. The rating system in the vault is not that useful for improving map design... what does 3 stars really mean? It would be better to comment that 'AI was too easy' or 'AI was too hard' or 'I like the narrow passage ways through the mountains' or ' I think Air makes it too easy' or 'give me my BB back' and so

Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 29 May 2012, 09:05
by AwarE
Two new Teamplay maps to keep the TeamPlay entertainment at a high level.
People have asked for some small TeamPlay maps that don't require a Quad core to run fast. So I decided to bring back some of the fun from old TA with 'Lava Highground' and 'Lava and 2 Hills' both small 5x5 maps.
These maps have been modified and FA markers are included to give a strong AI battle.
Lava and 2 Hills is more like a game of chess than RTS. The AI stratrgy is very effective under all game conditions that I have tried. Use the normal TeamPlay setup on both maps with Humans verse 2 teamed Sorian Turtle AI for best results. No Restrictions are necessary just put the AI in the correct start positions for and excellent game. On 'Lava Highground' the teamed AI start in the South, on 'Lava and 2 Hills' the teamed AI start in South/East and North/East.

Lava Highground TeamPlay

Lava and 2 Hills TeamPlay

Both maps the above maps are available in the FAF Vault.

I am working on 2 other maps that show a lot of promise with FA markers set for no restrictions.
'3x3 Nuke the Elk 4'[10x10] and
'Hrungdaks Dryland TeamPlay'[40x40]

Good Luck Commander

Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 30 May 2012, 10:13
by monty
aware, make sure you put land or amphibious markers as close to mass deposits as possible. if the markers is too far from mass deposits, the ai will not build extractors on those mass deposits. the same goes for other markers such as hydrocarbons, defensive markers, starting positions...

Re: AI Co-Op TeamPlay

PostPosted: 01 Jun 2012, 02:54
by AwarE
Hi monty

I generally agree with your comment, although I think there are some fine points to consider:
1. If you place the movement marker right on top of the item you wish the AI to build it can cause a unit movement problem when the AI builds storage adjacent or other buildings around that spot. This can cause milling of AI combat units and can slow the AI build.
2. If you place a movement marker close to an item you wish the AI to build but just on the AI start position side of the item, the AI may send builders to the next marker in the chain then return to build the item. This slows the AI build.
3. I have found the best position to be just on the opposite side of the item from the AI start position. This speeds the AI build and allows combat units uninterrupted movement past the item.
4. Also I have found that when the AI sends a builder the land movement markers are often ignored and the amphibious markers given preference. Engineers are amphibious so I guess that makes sense.
5. Even though you have placed the movement marker in the correct position the AI may still not build the item. Examples would be a hydrocarbon power if the AI has already built say 4 or a shipyard marker if the AI has already built to the # of expansions limit set in options.

After I have placed markers I test the map to ensure the AI builds on all available mass deposits, hydrocarbon and expansion points. This testing is very thorough and usually takes about 3 weeks to complete. On most of my TeamPlay maps the AI will build all basic markers in 6-10mins depending on map size and complexity of landform. The difficult part is to get the AI to go T3 mass at 20mins and build an experimental by 40mins, then continue to produce experimental at an increasing rate. Another thing the AI must do is build anti-nukes that cover its whole base including shipyards if possible.

Have you found an instance on one of my map where the AI does not build a basic marker?
Please let me know which map and I will correct it.

Thanks for your comment