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  1. Hey guys. I have migrated the Beta to Google Play, so you dont need to sign up on any 3rd party sites, and the app download is managed through Google Play itself. Much better :) . Simply join the Google+ community and then click on the Beta Opt In link. Community: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112776106661612599932 Thanks
  2. Hey guys! I have updated the main indie page with screenshots with the latest art (final, in most cases), and also added a link to participate in the beta. If you have the time to play around 1h and help me balance the game, I would appreciate it very much :) . Link to the Indie Page: https://www.gamedev.net/page/indie/project.html/_/simulation/big-boss-tv-r11 Here is the link to the Beta (using TestFlight): http://tflig.ht/17yeNTU Thanks.
  3. Hey guys. It's been a great and busy week in development. I will post a couple screenshots showing the new art: new Main Menu, new in-game HUD (orange menu on the top and bottom), new random panel (Audience report). Some icons are not final yet, but those screenshots show almost final art. Some other screens are far from being ready (the artist didnt finish yet). He promised me to finish the art by friday (initially I planned the art to be ready on Sept 30th), so I plan to finish all the art-related coding (ie, redesign of all screens) on the middle of next week and then start polishing to release. Hopefully it's finished (not the way I wanted it to be, but still releasable) in 10 days or 2 weeks. Best.
  4. Hey all. Sorry for the absence this last week. It's been a very busy week on BBTV. Starting with the bad news: the game won't be released next friday (Oct 11th) as previously planned. But on the bright side, I still plan to complete the game by that date, but I will need at least a week to improve the balance and work on the final tweaks. The art is coming up great, the artist is really good, besides drawing well he understands the "idea" behind the needed drawing and suggests some changes and improvements to the flow, no being limited by my lack of creativity as it usually happens: the artists I worked before usually get your idea and draw it better, so they are usually limited by my creativity. Fortunately this is not the case. I'm having to adapt a few things due to this, but it's worth it, it's much better than the version I was using as a test. I will post some screenshots tomorrow. With the 4.3 Android update I lost the root of my device so I wont be able to record a video until I re-root it, so the video will take a few more days. So, for the checkpoint: [s][font=arial]1) AI of the enemies[/font][/s] [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial][font=arial]2) Balancing of the game (adjusting the price and scores of movie tapes, adjust the ad tapes parameters, a little tweak on news tapes, and a big overhaul on the audience formula, and some tweak on the antennas)[/font][/font][/color] [indent=1]20% done: did a little work on this but Im not happy with the result, I will probably have to spend a few more days on this. [s][font=arial]3) Define and create the other cities and countries[/font][/s] [s][font=arial]4) Craft the tutorial[/font][/s] [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial][font=arial]5) Create help panels for each of the rooms (0% done)[/font][/font][/color] [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]6) Adapt the game to the art being made by the artist (most screens won't change, but some will, for example the main menu will change a lot)[/font][/color] [indent=1]30% done: Adapted the main menu and the gameplay HUD buttons. Still need to adapt the panels (room and HUD panels). [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]7) Separate the game graphics into HD and non-HD, to make the game playable in low spec devices (most low spec devices I try fail to open the game)[/font][/color] [indent=1]60% done: Adapted all the pixelart images and the images that aren't being remade by the artist. Managed to make the game run on an old device I have to test, which was my goal, so Im satisfied already. [s][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]8) Create the IAP part (complete)[/font][/color][/s] [s][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]9) Setup the ads (interstitial, shows when day finishes and the avatar leaves the building for the next day) (complete)[/font][/color][/s] [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]10) Update/rework the Save and Load mechanism[/font][/color] [indent=1]30-40% done: doing this for the last 6h or so, it's a large effort, I plan to finish by tomorrow afternoon [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]11) Play testing (closed beta, or external balancing) (0% done)[/font][/color] [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]12) Marketing stuff (setup entry on Google Play, create screenshots, create video) (0% done)[/font][/color] Well, hopefully next week I have it all wrapped up and start the final tests. Will keep this updated! Best.
  5. So, the AI task took a bit more time than I expected. Anyway, it's somewhat finished, and I don't plan to spend any more time on it for the next 2 weeks. The only thing I know I will have to do is to break the AI into some personalities: at least 2 are mandatory ("hard/intelligent AI" and "easy/dumb AI"), but I plan to add a few more to make the AI gameplay less predictable/boring (thanks for the suggestion Ben!). And of course, on the final testing/balancing days I might do some tweaks on the AI. But for now I can consider the AI task finished, and now it's time for a checkpoint. On September 10th I started this Dev Journal listing 5 major programming tasks needed before release. Here is the updated list, and also below it some new tasks (not necessarily programming): [s][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]1) AI of the enemies[/font][/color][/s] [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]2) Balancing of the game (adjusting the price and scores of movie tapes, adjust the ad tapes parameters, a little tweak on news tapes, and a big overhaul on the audience formula, and some tweak on the antennas)[/font][/color] [s][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]3) Define and create the other cities and countries[/font][/color][/s] [s][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]4) Craft the tutorial[/font][/color][/s] [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]5) Create help panels for each of the rooms[/font][/color] Well, to be honest the #3 and #4 still need some tweak, but mostly on the data customization (and not programming itself). The #5 task has the programming mostly done, but Im still not sure how I will craft the help, that's why I didnt focus on it yet. And #2 I need to do it urgently, I plan to start it today or tomorrow. So, the other tasks: 6) Adapt the game to the art being made by the artist (most screens won't change, but some will, for example the main menu will change a lot) 7) Separate the game graphics into HD and non-HD, to make the game playable in low spec devices (most low spec devices I try fail to open the game) 8) Create the IAP part (not sure if this will make into the initial release) 9) Setup the ads (interstitial, shows when day finishes and the avatar leaves the building for the next day) 10) Update/rework the Save and Load mechanism 11) Play testing (closed beta, or external balancing) 12) Marketing stuff (setup entry on Google Play, create screenshots, create video) I will probably do the #7 (HD / non-HD) now, then go for #2 (internal balancing). All except #8 (IAP) are mandatory for the release. Task #11 (external balancing) depends on #2 (internal balancing) and #6 (new art) being finished. These new tasks are relatively simpler when compared to the initial 5 tasks, so Im still confident on the planned release date (well, as long as the artist deliver all the images on time!), which is October 11th. For those reading this dev journal for the first time: BBTV (Big Boss TV) is a TV manager "Tycoon" game where the player runs a TV station against 2 other computer-controlled players. Here is a link to its Indie page: https://www.gamedev.net/page/indie/project.html/_/simulation/big-boss-tv-r11
  6. Hey again.   So, I've got the first version of the AI working. Cant tell if it's good yet, would have to play against them a few matches, but its working (as in "not crashing"), and seems to be (way) better than the last AI version.   Just as a recap, I had planned originally to decide and save a "goal", to then match the goal to a task, then create 3 tasks of each goal type, and then compare the task scores. I ended up not doing that, and what I will do now is simply create a single task of each type and assign a score to it. Then I pick one of the top tasks randomly based on the score.   Seems to be working fairly well, but I have to play and tweak the constants used on the formulas. But I think that for now it's fairly usable/testable.   What about the scripting part: does anyone have experience on that? That way it would be easier to allow other people (other programmers or even players) to help me on the AI.   Best and thanks again.
  7. Hey guys, thanks a lot for the replies!!   @foxcode : initially I wanted to go along the lines you described, but I didnt know the name or how to do it. I like the idea of "training" the AI, so I could leave the AI playing against itself for a few days, save all the training data and then load it on game start. I might try to go this way on the next implementation (which Im feeling will be needed before release), I just have to read a bit about it before trying, but knowing it's name solves half of the problem already :)   @BensBucketGames : yeah I love the challenge of it also, the problem is that Im short on time... I wish I had a couple extra weeks to work on it. But anyway, after releasing I can continue to work on the AI and improve it, so Im not so worried, as for the beginner player the opponents are not very much relevant (if they end up too smart, I will have to dumb them down). But I love the idea of having different personalities, that way I can mix different AI personalities on the same match so the AIs dont look and act exactly the same, providing a wider range of outputs for the gameplay.   @ActiveUnique : you have touched 2 very important points. 1) Yes, it is overcomplicated. While implementing it on Thursday/Friday I noticed it is way too complicated, and also it didnt work very well (I will make a new post about it when I actually finish or abandon that approach). 2) For most players (beginners) the challenge and fun is the game itself, and they will mostly ignore the opponents, so the AI isn't very important for those players.   Well, I will go back to the AI now and hopefully in a few hours I will have it finished. Hopefully I won't have to throw it away :) . But certainly I will have to restart it from scratch sometime soon.   Thanks again, and I will post an update here later.
  8. Hey again! I'm currently working on the AI, and since I don't have much experience in AI I'm posting on the forum to get some ideas/directions. So instead of duplicating the text, I will link to the forum thread. And since the post there is lengthy no one replied, it feels very much as an entry here on the journal . Link: https://www.gamedev.net/topic/647966-help-on-game-ai-design/ For newcomers: BBTV is a TV management game being developed for Android (to be released in 3 weeks). Here's a link to its Indie page: https://www.gamedev.net/page/indie/project.html/_/simulation/big-boss-tv-r11 Best
  9. Hey all.   I had to do some other tasks yesterday and this morning (had to update my already existing game), but now Im finished so Im back to BBTV's AI.   So, yesterday I completed/rewrote the AI's API, that is, the exported game functions that the AI can call. Then I started making the AI itself (started fresh), and this below is what I came up and am doing. Please advise if you see a better path :) .   The AI is composed of a simple infinite loop:   - decide next task - do task until finished or aborted   The task is an instance of a simple class that has the task type (walk to certain place, idle, buy certain movie tape, etc) and parameters (which movie tape to buy, where to walk, etc).   The 2nd part of the loop ("do task") is the simpler part, as there's no intelligence involved. It's a simple method that using the game API sends some commands when needed to make the computer's avatar do whatever it was commanded to do. For example, on the "buy movie" task, it checks whether the avatar is on the movie shop, and if not it commands the avatar to move to that destination. When it gets there, it sends the command "buy movie" to the API and then finishes the command and go back to the loop.   The 1st part ("decide next task") is the actual AI part and is what Im starting now. This is what I planned:   1) I created a "Strategy" class that controls the player current needs. Its basically a pack of indicators that value from 0 to 10 that tells how important is that factor right now based on the match context. For example, "money" is one of these indicators: if the player is low on cash (or even worse, negative), this indicator will be very high. Being very high, the idea is that on the array of possible actions, the action that solves this short term need will be highest ranked and selected. In an extreme case (say, the player has negative cash, so the score is 10) the action might be sell out some of his assets (tapes, antennas) to "survive".   2) Initially I need to actually calculate these strategy indicators, so this is where I call the game API to get lots of context information about the match. For example, the indicator "movie tapes need" can be high when the player has only a few tapes, or the competitor tapes are better, or he's not doing well on audience...    3) Then I simulate all the possible actions. To do that I have pre-defined weights for each action type against each strategy indicators. Also I will need a second factor to weight in: I need to estimate how applicable is the exact action right now (given the game context). This factor I think it can be a percent: so if that action can be perfectly executed right now, then I give it a 100%. If it wont give any result at all, I give it a 0%, etc. To illustrate: when the player is low on cash, certainly one action that would be highly ranked is "Ask for a loan". But that action isnt always available, for example if you already have a loan, you cant take another (so "Ask Loan" would give no result in this case).   4) Then I simply set the next action as this that was just created.     The biggest problem is of course Step 3, given the potentially infinite number of possible actions. Before simulating individual actions I think I will rank the action types and select the top 3 action types (ex: buy movie, buy antenna, buy news). Then for each of these 3 action types I use some reasoning (no idea how yet) to simulate maybe 3 specific actions that I think that will succeed (buy movie A, buy mobie B, buy movie C, buy antenna size 2 on area 1, buy antenna size 1 on area 3, ... ). Then I generate the 9 actions, add a little random element to its score, rank it based on the score and select the best.   Well, I think it will be hard to finish this today, but hopefully tomorrow it will be ready.   Any inputs? Ideas? Problems? Optimizations?   Best
  10. Hey guys.   I'm "finishing" the development of a game, and one of the final tasks is to make a decent AI for the game.   I have already a very crude AI that took me like 2 hours to make 2 months ago, but it's way too dumb, and now I need to improve it to make the game challenging.   Of course there's no silver bullet in AI, so my plan was to give the experts some info so they can suggest the path they would take if they were developing the game, so I don't waste time on dead-ends.   So, as a background, the game is called Big Boss TV: it's a "Tycoon" game where each player runs a TV Station and compete against the other stations. For more info, this is the game: http://www.gamedev.net/page/indie/project.html/_/simulation/big-boss-tv-r11   TLDR: If you're gonna skip the long explanation, think of the game as any other Tycoon (or business management) game. I believe the AI ideas will be similar. Old games such as Mad TV (which is the inspiration for this game), Pizza Tycoon, Detroit, Transport Tycoon, etc.   Full explanation: On each stage there are 3 players competing for the same goal (1 human and 2 AIs). Lets say the goal is always the same no matter which stage you're playing (in fact it's not, but the AI don't need to be so flexible - as long as it plays well towards a fictitious goal, it's good enough for me). Let's say this fictitious goal is to accumulate $5 million before the 2 other players.   I'd rather have the AI not to cheat, so it would be better if it had limited knowledge like the human player does (for example, the human player doesn't know how much $ the other players have). But if this makes the AI programming much more complex (or too dumb), I can live with a cheating AI.   On a high level, the players have to do certain actions: - buy movie tapes - buy news tapes - hire anchors - buy antennas - sign ad contracts - schedule movies/ads   And the game is real time, so to do each of those actions the player must go to a certain place (which takes time).   One of the main challenges for a player is to know how much audience will a certain scheduled (future) program have. The better that guess, the easier is to plan ahead (which movies to buy, which ad contracts to sign, etc), so the outcome of the decisions is better. But the audience has 3 uncertainty elements: - a "hidden complex formula" which the average human player will never know - a random element - and also depends on the actions of the other players (eg, if the competitor schedules a top notch movie on the same time, you're screwed)   Well, without making this post extremely long, hopefully this amount of info is enough to help you guys help me.   So, any pointers? I don't have experience and much knowledge in AI, so please use examples/references if possible .   EDIT: Ah, forgot to mention: since the beginning I had this wish of having an API with the possible interactions (the game is designed as client-server, so I already have the API almost ready) and make the AI interact through this API. So far no big deal, but also I wanted to make the AI as an external script (Lua or something). Any pointers on this? I assume that since I have the API ready, this should be somewhat easy to implement.   EDIT 2: My plan is to finish this AI tomorrow or mostly Thursday. So tomorrow morning I will start it, and I will keep this thread updated with my progress (even if it's to say "Finished already, thanks anyway" ;) ). Obviously your input will be very valuable and will make me lose less time, and probably do something with more quality, so hopefully I will get some input in time :) .   Best
  11. Yersterday I couldn't work very well on the tutorial, as I spent most of the day in a meeting with a friend who will do the remaining art of the game. So today I focused 100% on it and it's mostly ready - wrapping it up, these were the main activities: - Created both panels (the sequence of steps on the left, and the panel with the details on the current step) - Created the content (script) for the first tutorial city (it's currently with 16 steps) - Finished and tweaked the tutorial engine (triggers, delays, etc) - Changed the initial Boss speech inside the Boss room to match the tutorial (instead of telling the usual, the boss says like "Hello, welcome, let me tour you on the building") - Spent a while fixing and tweaking the end-game and match restart: it wasn't properly working yet, so the game would crash when the match finished. Now it seems to be working fine. A couple of bugs would arise when starting a 2nd match (some variables werent being properly reset, especially some related to the tutorial itself) Here are 2 screenshots of the tutorial. Yes, the art isn't ready, so please disregard the crappy visual of the panels . Now I'll skip to the next activity then when I have the panels ready I come back to this activity to finish it (create the script for the 2nd tutorial city and a few other things). Actually Im not really sure which activity to pick now. I think I'll go for the computer AI - it's not gonna be easy, but will certainly be interesting. Btw, I will need some volunteer help in the near future. I will post here an entry with more details, but the main thing I think I will need help will be play testing for balance/difficulty, because I need some people that dont know the game very well yet to tell me if it's too easy, too hard, etc. I will need some help on improving the text of the game also, since my English sucks. Best
  12. Well, a couple hours after the last post's hiccup I was able to fix the bugs and started the Tutorial activity effectively. I still didnt have a clear idea on how the Tutorial would work, so the task consisted in planning/drawing the solution, and then coding it. Initially I had planned something more hardcoded, but ended up taking a more customizable route. In general lines this is how it was planned: There will be 2 tutorial cities, the first explains the basics of the screen, movement, etc. The second explains a bit more of the game concept (buy tapes, get ad contracts, etc). This was how I had planned the tutorial originally, so nothing new here. Graphically the tutorial will be consisted of 2 panels, one always visible that shows the list of steps of that tutorial, so the player knows where he is, and how long will it take to finish. The other contains the details of the step, so it only opens when the step begins, or when the player clicks on the first panel. Internally the tutorial is a list of steps, which contains some data such as the step instructions ("Now you have to go to your office so you can do something...") and the trigger to complete it (Trigger = enter the Office room). All the steps are loaded dynamically, allowing easier customization. I finished the mechanics for the tutorial, tomorrow I will focus on the graphics programming (both panels described), and then I will think a bit better about the tutorial "story" and populate the steps accordingly. Oh, as a side note, I also bough a SFX/Music pack today and added the songs to the game. I was using some free songs but that had 2 problems: I had to credit a lot of people (due to each song being done by different people), and some songs I didnt like very well. Now Im with much better songs and only 1 person to credit (which is optional, since I bought it, but I plan to credit him). I kept 1 song of the original free selection which was a very good match which the News Room, so I will probably only keep this single free song. For firstcomers: I'm making an Android game that is a TV manager (or "tycoon") game, inspired on the classic Mad TV. I plan to release it in about 25 days. Here is a link for more info on it (video and screenshot): https://www.gamedev.net/page/indie/project.html/_/simulation/big-boss-tv-r11
  13.   Hey Ben, yes, thanks, thats a good idea. I will just randomize the buildings for the initial version, then later I can tweak them a bit to eventually make them match more properly the level itself (for example on a Hard level I will probably make the building taller so the Elevator "resource" is a little more scarce).
  14. Initially I had planned that: every match would be on a randomly generated building. But then I came up with the City concept and leaned towards pre-designed buildings. Now thinking about it again, I might add a city with "free play" with a randomly generated building, no goals and no time limit. That might be a nice addition, what do you think?
  15. After I "finished" the activity described on the last post (removing the hardcoded map/building parameters), I was going to start the Tutorial activity, which requires that the map is fully parametrized, because I'm creating a whole new layout for the building. It turned out to not be fully customizable yet, I still had many side effects when changing the building height: the bounding area for the camera was hardcoded, and will have to be reset on every match. Besides that, I'm having a few other similar problems, which is making me to basically rebuild all the screens whenever a new match starts. Not a big deal but will make me lose a few hours.