H7 vs taking things into our own hands

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Dalai
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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Dalai » Oct 10 2016, 21:57

cjlee wrote:Heroes of Might and Magic is very different from first person shooters and the other games that crowd the market. I believe it is because it is very appealing to the most intelligent people.
This idea is so obvious and so beautiful that I have a line like this in our forum rules.

Then my company hired a national Heroes star. Man, were we disappointed :disagree: Best case scenario - he is a Heroes savant at the expense of anything else. Worst case... No. I don't want to think about it.
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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby cjlee » Oct 11 2016, 5:42

Um, Dalai, I don't understand what you mean.

but if it is about the intelligence thing, let me stress that I'm not about discriminating or looking down on people of lower intelligence.

Fact is that people are all different. Some people are damn good with data and abstract thinking. Some people are wizards with human relationships. Some people are great with their bodies.

Heroes of Might and Magic is the type of game for the first kind of people. If you're a People Person, maybe MMORGs are the way to go. If you're fast with your hands, FPS for you. Since the first kind of person is less than 10% of the population, the People Persons maybe 20% and the physical types are maybe 70%, we can never expect HOMM to have a market like Counterstrike or whatever FPS is popular now. (You can see that I know nothing of FPS so I might have mentioned a very ancient game.)

We gotta be level headed in understanding what Heroes is meant to appeal. It's the brain. That's why most Heroes gamers don't care about a fancy 3D interface or some nice looking GUI. In fact for me, the only reason to have 3D in a Heroes game is so that attacks can come from different angles.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Dalai » Oct 11 2016, 9:40

cjlee wrote:Heroes of Might and Magic is the type of game for the first kind of people.
I used to think exactly like you. Until I met some of the stars, and worked with one for some time. I have no idea how the same person can win multiple Heroes competitions and be unable to grasp pretty basic concepts requiring very limited abstract thinking. And when he was let go, a lot of people who prefer FPS, RPG or TV-shows, came to us to express support for decision, and were genuinely surprised how we could work with him, given how limited his abilities (to understand, adapt and develop) were.

For the sake of my sanity I convince myself that this is just an exception. But it does shake the rule a little bit.

cjlee wrote:let me stress that I'm not about discriminating or looking down on people of lower intelligence
You couldn't even you wanted to. There is no real definition of intelligence, there are several types of intelligence, and each type has different ways to measure it. The most classic IQ test is very limited and has different results depending on test you choose.

If there were some sort of "composite intelligence score", I bet there would be surprisingly low correlation between this score and propensity to play TBS. Not zero, of course, but not 80% either.
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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby cjlee » Oct 12 2016, 4:51

Dalai if I read you correctly, you mean that one of the top Heroes gamers is pretty 'dumb'?

As you observed, intelligence comes in many ways.

in any case I get the impression that you are in some kind of AI/ Tech related field? These draw people of high intelligence. The dimmest bulb in your computer lab is probably still smarter than the brightest bulb in many other companies.

I'm pretty intelligent in many ways, but as my stint in computer programming told me, I just can't program for nuts. So I'm probably one of those "unable to grasp pretty basic concepts requiring very limited abstract thinking" if you're only talking about the computer field.

But just take a look at Benbird's posts in Heroes III, and tell me if Heroes III is not a super cerebral game. To be a top Heroes III gamer, your brain has to look forward like 50 moves, make tons of mana and damage and probability calculations, think about what the AI or your opponent is likely to do given the range of possibilities given to him, etc.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Dalai » Oct 12 2016, 12:20

cjlee wrote:I get the impression that you are in some kind of AI/ Tech related field?
He was in tech related field, yes, but in sales. One of the concepts he failed to grasp after many attempts was "sales funnel". :disagree:

cjlee wrote:tell me if Heroes III is not a super cerebral game
I neither said nor implied anything like that. I was merely talking about relation between "smart game" and "smart players" being not so linear. Some not so smart people play smart games and sometimes are good at it.

And that is, may be surprisingly, a good thing. A good game should be simple and accessible on the surface, but hard to master. Any kid can play chess. But it takes a lot of effort to become grossmeister (yes, grandmaster :D). It makes the prospective market for a game much wider, and investment decision in it's development easier to justify.
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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Steven Aus » Oct 12 2016, 15:10

I think the main reason for how few people are playing new Heroes games is because how it's been managed. Give a good game with good people making and publishing it and I'm sure there will be lots of sales and interest.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby markkur » Oct 12 2016, 16:09

Panda Tar said:
"Most of us are in that situation, which feels powerless and helpless somehow. If we all had more power on that question, surely HoMM wouldn't have gone down the fail lane. However I hope this endeavor to succeed, I'm going to watch holistically, while looking for another game which would appease my feeling on that genre of gaming. Still, I'm not inclined to play anything of strategy niche at the moment (even having AoW 3 and Endless Legends to play) – I would, of course, if it was Heroes. So I guess I'm attached to this franchise regardless all the ill making over it"
---------------------------------
cjlee said:
"I'm pretty intelligent in many ways, but as my stint in computer programming told me, I just can't program for nuts. So I'm probably one of those "unable to grasp pretty basic concepts requiring very limited abstract thinking" if you're only talking about the computer field."


These two statements combine for a couple of thoughts of mine possibly worth sharing.

First off, over 5 years ago Q began his Quest and what happened to my thinking trying to understand his on the A.I. was simple. I'm no dummy but I am light-years from the vision and capability of the man's profession. So what I realized (and this came by degrees) is that he would need a "lot of solo-time" because of the vastness of his planned A.I. Each time I played the game I would see more events on the map and further realize charting a good HoMM game would be a huge project. "Generally", I don't see it as intelligence issue with people but simple igorance. It is not a dirty word, it just means that a person does not understand something .i.e. have never been exposed to the subject.

Anyway, the reason I logged on is this; As much as I was excited about Q's A.I. vision and even witnessed and enjoyed a small but sound improvement. <imvho> there is a side about Q that I also think important to mention since the subject is always the A.I. He truly loves this genre of game and that means much. I just wanted to highlight that fact because I think it deserves reflection too. Somebody with a creative-fire and solid understanding of the game is important as well and Q represents both - the A.I. and the player's experience. I could read his' Passion on typical gaming-topics and I think that is very important too.

Cheers

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Steven Aus » Oct 12 2016, 16:25

Yes, really enjoying what you do is half the battle to making a quality product, and I think that has been missing since the release of H5:TOTE. And Quantomas is great at AI too.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Quantomas » Oct 12 2016, 19:42

Cheers guys. :)

Indeed, innovation is helped by courage and vision. Detractors and ignorants are everywhere. Yesterday I watched the CitizenCon 2016 presentation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuDj5v81Nd0). It does not look grand, but it is great stuff, honestly. Most of you have seen the forums and chat for MMOs, it's mostly the same basic software ever since World of Warcraft came out, totally uninteresting today. So, when the people in charge of the Starcitizen community software entered the stage for a presentation, I thought "oh dear". But what they showed *is* noteworthy, it's a complete rethink of how communication around games work and clearly a way forward in terms of integration and player engagement.

If you have little spare time I recommend watching the video from 2:04:00 hours onwards, the last ten minutes. It is an artist showing how to edit the environments on a procedurally generated world in realtime. The sheer elegance and smoothness of the process is outstanding already. THEN the artist points at the sky and says "those little sprites in the sky, they are not really sprites, those are other planets". So he enters the spacecraft he just placed on a landing pad, takes off (mind you, in the editor!) and puts the sprite in his sight, says "this is not a sprite" and flies towards it, it growing bigger and bigger until you enter the atmosphere of another planet. The fluidity of it all plus the editing tools are hard to believe if you have not seen it yourself. I can imagine they are way ahead of Bioware's new upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda in terms of worldbuilding and that a lot of devs around the globe where watching this with jaws open and asking themselves what they had been doing the last years.

The thing is the world is changing. You can do so much stuff today. The first part of the transformation of the game industry away from a publisher milked market is that games are becoming as ubiquitous as books. The next part is that independent studios are slowly taking the lead in innovation, because they believe in something.

We can do the same for AI. But moreover there is a ton of innovation for turn-based games that has simply been held back. A game like Heroes V TotE screams for a proper Arena mode. Multiplayer can be so much more.

Regarding the current development status, the prototype has made a big stride forward in the past week and it is a beautiful machine now. Its AI is fairly universal to assess any feature Heroes games have and eventually will get, but the first goal is to get it running of course.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby cjlee » Oct 13 2016, 20:28

Quantomas, I'm happy to see you on this forum. Your efforts really tell us that what is needed to build a great AI, is not an exhausted, overworked team in a big corporation. But a brilliant, creative mind supported by a dedicated team in their free time.

You couldn't have spent so many man hours on H5 development. But your AI is way above Nival or anything done under Ubisoft's aegis.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Quantomas » Dec 22 2016, 19:25

I wish happy holidays to all of the Christian faith. To all go my best wishes for a peaceful and inspirational period leading up to the new year.

I wish I could thank all who have contributed to this project in one way or another by presenting finally the 3.2 release. Alas, as much as I tried, it wasn't meant to be. Though it is very close. I am upgrading now the original code that connects the H5 core with the AI and then attach the newly created final AI to get the game to work.

It feels like ages since I last played Heroes V. Years ago I stopped because the game felt too much like waiting more than playing and that the AI wasn't yet what it could be. I simply could not go back. That is what the new release is about: no waiting on the end of turn and an AI that is worth a challenge. :wall:

Recently I tried Soren Johnson's Offworld Trading Company. It is an outstanding educational game. You heard that right. At the start the game beats you, and then it teaches you what neoliberal capitalism and Wall Street is about: investing strictly into the most profitable stuff. As you understand that outsourcing and shutting down less profitable businesses is essential, you begin to beat and then outclass the AI opponents. It's a terrific experience. Unfortunately, there it ends. It has little replay value for me because I feel no sense of achievement in beating the game with a handicap. It reminds me why I have little interest in playing Heroes VI or Heroes VII. And why AI makes a real difference to a game.

There are rumours in the community that I am planning to abandon Heroes V. :| Nothing could be further from the truth. Heroes V is our starting point from which we will build a more advanced game. What we will abandon is the world of Ashan and move to the giant ringworld of Amara close to the center of our Milky Way. Check out Larry Niven's Ringworld if you are curious about its scope. Sci-fi and fantasy are not that far apart as many believe.

It is unfortunate that the development of the AI has taken five years because we have an entirely written campaign ready that makes use of our new world map feature. Hopefully the work on the maps for this campaign will begin in earnest early next year. I wished I had the time to communicate fairly with the team members, everyone who made a contribution to our effort, and can only apologize if you feel left out in the cold. I wished I could do better on this front, but there are days when it feels unbelievably difficult to work on the code and do the project management on top of it. There is a time for everything, or so it is said. Have no doubt, once the biggest burden is lifted I will make an effort to get our communications on the right track.

I am still fully committed to create a highly polished version of Heroes V that will be the pinnacle of the game, a strategy game with an AI that verifies the brilliance of its game design and thus brings honor to the Heroes of Might and Magic formula again, and credit to its creators.

From that point onwards we will be moving to Heroes of the Ancient Order, but we won't abandon Heroes V for a long time.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Panda Tar » Dec 22 2016, 21:58

Happy holidays for you too.

As for the news, it sounds quite good! :D Although I might not end up playing anything of that project so soon, I hope all these endeavors go into the light and succeed with your expectations. :tsup:
Last edited by Panda Tar on Dec 22 2016, 21:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby dredknight » Dec 23 2016, 9:59

Quantomas wrote:I
Recently I tried Soren Johnson's Offworld Trading Company. It is an outstanding educational game. You heard that right. At the start the game beats you, and then it teaches you what neoliberal capitalism and Wall Street is about: investing strictly into the most profitable stuff. As you understand that outsourcing and shutting down less profitable businesses is essential, you begin to beat and then outclass the AI opponents. It's a terrific experience. Unfortunately, there it ends. It has little replay value for me because I feel no sense of achievement in beating the game with a handicap. It reminds me why I have little interest in playing Heroes VI or Heroes VII. And why AI makes a real difference to a game.


I was also very mesmerized by the game. But yes things get pretty repetitive so after 1 game-week in campaign mod I did quit.

Happy Holidays Q!
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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Galaad » Apr 21 2018, 13:30

So... Anything still going on here?

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Quantomas » Apr 21 2018, 17:31

:wall: It has turned a bit into a slog.

:up: Technically, there is one week of coding left to complete.

8| But the thing is that most of the work is of a conceptual nature, to figure out how intelligence truly works. It's big and the progress that has been made is mind-boggling. The fundamental connections between quantum physics, how the world organizes itself, down to the very fabric of space and time, and in the middle of all the conundrum of life, which is intelligent.

It's difficult to see, how this is relevant to develop the AI for H5. It's now a good time since I solved the biggest challenge how to move from processing innumerable variants (40 turns lookahead for 8 factions with multiple heroes interacting with each other and countless map objects) to a solution that understands what matters. The solution is solid and good, outstanding even, but I am still climbing that tower. It's like a spiral stairway, you arrive at a solution and then it reveals how you can go even further, again and again, and you keep climbing the tower.

It's now near the point at which I will simply take what has been achieved and write the final bit of code.

:down: It's almost seven years since I started working on the AI for good, ceaselessly, day for day without a break. Well, there were a few exceptions, the day I met the classmates of my final year at school, and I think there were three or four days I were sick, and Wednesdays is mostly doing other chores. Somehow it's doable, and it's possibly the only way to develop true AI in one's lifetime. I cannot imagine that a work like this can be done in a regular development studio with roadmaps and schedules.

But in essence, it's mostly done now, and in theory you might get a new H5 to play in a couple of weeks, but please do not expect that.

Wait and see and hope for the best. And naturally there is a blueprint for a spiritual successor of Heroes of Might & Magic that has come along nicely, and which I believe most of you will like, even if the setting will surprise you.
Last edited by Quantomas on Apr 21 2018, 17:34, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby mctronic » Apr 22 2018, 1:58

Hello Quantomas,

Nice to know that the new AI is close to completion. I have three questions:

1) Do you intend to beta test the AI before its release or have you already done it internally ?

2) Will the new AI affect combat as well?

3) Will the new AI incorporate some scripting functions from 3.1 such as HERO_TOUCH_TRIGGER ?

Regards,
mctronic
Last edited by mctronic on Apr 22 2018, 1:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Steven Aus » Apr 22 2018, 4:37

Great News, Wonderful Story and Hero's Journey. Truly, the only thing that can stop a Sovereign Free Will Human BE-ing in their Heart's Desires is choosing to give up. :)

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Quantomas » Apr 22 2018, 16:44

Steven Aus wrote:Great News, Wonderful Story and Hero's Journey. Truly, the only thing that can stop a Sovereign Free Will Human BE-ing in their Heart's Desires is choosing to give up. :)

Naturally there are things that can derail you. But of course you can choose to see this as a lack of will and a failure to find the right way.

@mctronic
Surely there will be an alpha/beta after I have made sure that it works as intended. ;) It will not be published before it's feature-complete and thoroughly tested, but Heroes fans will know where to find it.

The strategic AI is the much bigger challenge. But combat can be done in the same vein, so it's only natural to upgrade the combat as well.

The idea is to make sure that this version of H5 will be truly polished. But we have to see how it is received after it is out. Maybe, if TotE stays at the top of the GOG sales charts for a while, even Ubisoft could be convinced that a H5 platinum edition will earn them some money and the 3.1 upgrades could finally be introduced properly.
Last edited by Quantomas on Apr 22 2018, 16:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby mctronic » Apr 22 2018, 19:47

Hello Quantomas,

Thanks for the answers.

I sincerely hope that your AI catches Ubisoft's attention and compensates you well enough should they decide to release a platinum edition of H5.

While I understand you did not do this for the money, it has taken seven years of your life to do it. You've likely made a lot of sacrifices on spending time with friends and family. You deserve to share the success as much as Ubisoft.

Regards,
mctronic

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Re: H7 vs taking things into our own hands

Postby Galaad » Apr 22 2018, 20:45

Thanks for the news. :D

TBH and IMO I'd rather see a collaboration between you and the H5.5 mates than with the Ubilols sharks. I mean, a TotE without Xuxo's textures and others enhancements from H5.5 mod will lack the awesome upgrades this game got through modding in the other areas.

To me, the ultimate H5 edition would be the current ongoing H5.5 mod (which I already consider fantastic) with the new AI. Anything else would feel incomplete.

But there is something I don't understand, about "Heroes of the Ancient Order", is the name of the AI or??

Cheers


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