Poll

What do you like doing most in RA2/RA3/robot combat games?

Building robots
Local single player battles with manually-controlled robots
Local multiplayer battles  with manually-controlled robots (PvP with controllers or a shared keyboard)
AI-only tournament battles
Other?  Please comment below.

Author Topic: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development  (Read 19272 times)

Offline Squirrel_Monkey

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #400 on: February 28, 2019, 12:06:46 PM »
I echo what Badger says. I imagine you can hide those values from the user.

The other disputed factor in RA2 was movements that were not "human reproducible" along the lines of rapidly switching a motor on and off to save power or doing fancy things such as meltybrain.

Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of how it should we to though. I have very little preference for either language. What sort of math libraries do they include? I imagine that might be a factor in more complicated routines.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #401 on: February 28, 2019, 12:54:42 PM »
I echo what Badger says. I imagine you can hide those values from the user.

The other disputed factor in RA2 was movements that were not "human reproducible" along the lines of rapidly switching a motor on and off to save power or doing fancy things such as meltybrain.

Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of how it should we to though. I have very little preference for either language. What sort of math libraries do they include? I imagine that might be a factor in more complicated routines.

Uh oh.  I had fully assumed that people would be okay with melty brain controls.

We can do something where state is only updated and made available to the AI every 0.1 seconds, so even though the AI can run at 60 FPS, it is only reading new state information at 10 FPS.  Or we could do it in reverse, where state is read every 60 fps, but control signals are only applied to the motors every 10 FPS.

I fully expect that good AI controls would be able to kick a human player's butt.  At least that is what I had in my head -- when competing against other players, you are putting your very best AI against their very best AI.

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #402 on: February 28, 2019, 12:56:44 PM »
Neither language has a robust set of external math libraries.  Here is the complete API for each:

http://luminaryapps.com/temp/MiniScript-demo/MiniScript-Manual.pdf

https://moddable.softrare.eu/#manpages/api.html

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #403 on: February 28, 2019, 01:27:10 PM »
I echo what Badger says. I imagine you can hide those values from the user.

The other disputed factor in RA2 was movements that were not "human reproducible" along the lines of rapidly switching a motor on and off to save power or doing fancy things such as meltybrain.

Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of how it should we to though. I have very little preference for either language. What sort of math libraries do they include? I imagine that might be a factor in more complicated routines.

Uh oh.  I had fully assumed that people would be okay with melty brain controls.

We can do something where state is only updated and made available to the AI every 0.1 seconds, so even though the AI can run at 60 FPS, it is only reading new state information at 10 FPS.  Or we could do it in reverse, where state is read every 60 fps, but control signals are only applied to the motors every 10 FPS.

I fully expect that good AI controls would be able to kick a human player's butt.  At least that is what I had in my head -- when competing against other players, you are putting your very best AI against their very best AI.
The issue with Meltybrain in RA2 is that it's ONLY possible with AI. There's no real way to do it (at least that isn't cludgy as hell) for a player-controlled bot. If you can find a way to get meltybrain to work for both player and AI driven bots, I can't see why it would be an issue
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #404 on: February 28, 2019, 02:45:22 PM »
I echo what Badger says. I imagine you can hide those values from the user.

The other disputed factor in RA2 was movements that were not "human reproducible" along the lines of rapidly switching a motor on and off to save power or doing fancy things such as meltybrain.

Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of how it should we to though. I have very little preference for either language. What sort of math libraries do they include? I imagine that might be a factor in more complicated routines.

Uh oh.  I had fully assumed that people would be okay with melty brain controls.

We can do something where state is only updated and made available to the AI every 0.1 seconds, so even though the AI can run at 60 FPS, it is only reading new state information at 10 FPS.  Or we could do it in reverse, where state is read every 60 fps, but control signals are only applied to the motors every 10 FPS.

I fully expect that good AI controls would be able to kick a human player's butt.  At least that is what I had in my head -- when competing against other players, you are putting your very best AI against their very best AI.
The issue with Meltybrain in RA2 is that it's ONLY possible with AI. There's no real way to do it (at least that isn't cludgy as hell) for a player-controlled bot. If you can find a way to get meltybrain to work for both player and AI driven bots, I can't see why it would be an issue

I hadn't really thought about that.  I suppose the problem would be that as a player you could potentially fight against a meltybrain robot, but wouldn't have a chance to make one yourself.

I have already solved a similar problem by making an electronic stability control system that works nicely by cutting power to wheels to help a player drive straight.  I was thinking of making this an option that you could select while driving.  Maybe I could make a meltybrain driving option that operates with the same basic principle?

Has anyone driven a meltybrain robot before?  Does it still use forward/back/left/right controls, or do you tell it to travel in a particular direction, then using a gyroscope or something to go in that direction?

This could get interesting.  Depending on how quickly the meltybrain is spinning, the physics system might not update quickly enough to actually control the robot.  Physics currently runs at 400 fps.  Does anyone have any experience building real-life meltybrain systems?

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #405 on: March 01, 2019, 07:02:19 AM »
How complex is the game's AI going to be? Will it be like RA2, where the robots more or less just drive straight at each other, or will you be able to program more complex behaviours? Things like pushing opponents towards hazards, timing flips instead of hitting the button instantly, preserving CO2 when it starts to run out, trying to aim for specific points like wheels...

Basically, we've covered that the AI shouldn't be able to do anything that a human player can't. But ideally, the opposite should be true, and human's shouldn't be able to do anything that an AI can't. I know that's unlikely, but the more lifelike the AI is, the better, IMO. It would prevent what you get in RA2 sometimes, where two robots with equal wedginess just push each other slowly round in a circle for three minutes.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #406 on: March 01, 2019, 07:14:06 AM »
How complex is the game's AI going to be? Will it be like RA2, where the robots more or less just drive straight at each other, or will you be able to program more complex behaviours? Things like pushing opponents towards hazards, timing flips instead of hitting the button instantly, preserving CO2 when it starts to run out, trying to aim for specific points like wheels...

Basically, we've covered that the AI shouldn't be able to do anything that a human player can't. But ideally, the opposite should be true, and human's shouldn't be able to do anything that an AI can't. I know that's unlikely, but the more lifelike the AI is, the better, IMO. It would prevent what you get in RA2 sometimes, where two robots with equal wedginess just push each other slowly round in a circle for three minutes.

Caveat: We are going with miniscript for now, and I haven’t explored the language yet. Bearing this in mind, I can see two limitations at this point:

1. AI scripts are going to be limited to a single file — no includes.
2. The available inputs to the AI are whatever data we choose to include from the native code (C# in this case) side.  I am totally open to taking suggestions at this point.  We can choose to be more precise than just driving at the chassis origin or COM.  If we want, we can choose to target the nearest motor, or get a list of all of the motors and target the farthest one.  At this point we don’t have anything coded, so anything is technically possible.  It is just a matter of converting ideas into reality.

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #407 on: March 01, 2019, 07:19:32 AM »
How complex is the game's AI going to be? Will it be like RA2, where the robots more or less just drive straight at each other, or will you be able to program more complex behaviours? Things like pushing opponents towards hazards, timing flips instead of hitting the button instantly, preserving CO2 when it starts to run out, trying to aim for specific points like wheels...

Basically, we've covered that the AI shouldn't be able to do anything that a human player can't. But ideally, the opposite should be true, and human's shouldn't be able to do anything that an AI can't. I know that's unlikely, but the more lifelike the AI is, the better, IMO. It would prevent what you get in RA2 sometimes, where two robots with equal wedginess just push each other slowly round in a circle for three minutes.

Caveat: We are going with miniscript for now, and I haven’t explored the language yet. Bearing this in mind, I can see two limitations at this point:

1. AI scripts are going to be limited to a single file — no includes.
2. The available inputs to the AI are whatever data we choose to include from the native code (C# in this case) side.  I am totally open to taking suggestions at this point.  We can choose to be more precise than just driving at the chassis origin or COM.  If we want, we can choose to target the nearest motor, or get a list of all of the motors and target the farthest one.  At this point we don’t have anything coded, so anything is technically possible.  It is just a matter of converting ideas into reality.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #408 on: March 01, 2019, 07:31:39 AM »
How complex is the game's AI going to be? Will it be like RA2, where the robots more or less just drive straight at each other, or will you be able to program more complex behaviours? Things like pushing opponents towards hazards, timing flips instead of hitting the button instantly, preserving CO2 when it starts to run out, trying to aim for specific points like wheels...

Basically, we've covered that the AI shouldn't be able to do anything that a human player can't. But ideally, the opposite should be true, and human's shouldn't be able to do anything that an AI can't. I know that's unlikely, but the more lifelike the AI is, the better, IMO. It would prevent what you get in RA2 sometimes, where two robots with equal wedginess just push each other slowly round in a circle for three minutes.

Caveat: We are going with miniscript for now, and I haven’t explored the language yet. Bearing this in mind, I can see two limitations at this point:

1. AI scripts are going to be limited to a single file — no includes.
2. The available inputs to the AI are whatever data we choose to include from the native code (C# in this case) side.  I am totally open to taking suggestions at this point.  We can choose to be more precise than just driving at the chassis origin or COM.  If we want, we can choose to target the nearest motor, or get a list of all of the motors and target the farthest one.  At this point we don’t have anything coded, so anything is technically possible.  It is just a matter of converting ideas into reality.
What if we use actual artificial intelligence?

What did you have in mind?

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #409 on: March 01, 2019, 08:07:24 AM »
How complex is the game's AI going to be? Will it be like RA2, where the robots more or less just drive straight at each other, or will you be able to program more complex behaviours? Things like pushing opponents towards hazards, timing flips instead of hitting the button instantly, preserving CO2 when it starts to run out, trying to aim for specific points like wheels...

Basically, we've covered that the AI shouldn't be able to do anything that a human player can't. But ideally, the opposite should be true, and human's shouldn't be able to do anything that an AI can't. I know that's unlikely, but the more lifelike the AI is, the better, IMO. It would prevent what you get in RA2 sometimes, where two robots with equal wedginess just push each other slowly round in a circle for three minutes.

Caveat: We are going with miniscript for now, and I haven’t explored the language yet. Bearing this in mind, I can see two limitations at this point:

1. AI scripts are going to be limited to a single file — no includes.
2. The available inputs to the AI are whatever data we choose to include from the native code (C# in this case) side.  I am totally open to taking suggestions at this point.  We can choose to be more precise than just driving at the chassis origin or COM.  If we want, we can choose to target the nearest motor, or get a list of all of the motors and target the farthest one.  At this point we don’t have anything coded, so anything is technically possible.  It is just a matter of converting ideas into reality.
What if we use actual artificial intelligence?

What did you have in mind?
Take Google's Deep mind AI, and use it in this game, this specific AI can learn by itself, and it has taught itself how to walk, so I think it could teach itself to play RR2, but it's probably impossible to do
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #410 on: March 01, 2019, 09:10:52 AM »
How complex is the game's AI going to be? Will it be like RA2, where the robots more or less just drive straight at each other, or will you be able to program more complex behaviours? Things like pushing opponents towards hazards, timing flips instead of hitting the button instantly, preserving CO2 when it starts to run out, trying to aim for specific points like wheels...

Basically, we've covered that the AI shouldn't be able to do anything that a human player can't. But ideally, the opposite should be true, and human's shouldn't be able to do anything that an AI can't. I know that's unlikely, but the more lifelike the AI is, the better, IMO. It would prevent what you get in RA2 sometimes, where two robots with equal wedginess just push each other slowly round in a circle for three minutes.

Caveat: We are going with miniscript for now, and I haven’t explored the language yet. Bearing this in mind, I can see two limitations at this point:

1. AI scripts are going to be limited to a single file — no includes.
2. The available inputs to the AI are whatever data we choose to include from the native code (C# in this case) side.  I am totally open to taking suggestions at this point.  We can choose to be more precise than just driving at the chassis origin or COM.  If we want, we can choose to target the nearest motor, or get a list of all of the motors and target the farthest one.  At this point we don’t have anything coded, so anything is technically possible.  It is just a matter of converting ideas into reality.
What if we use actual artificial intelligence?

What did you have in mind?
Take Google's Deep mind AI, and use it in this game, this specific AI can learn by itself, and it has taught itself how to walk, so I think it could teach itself to play RR2, but it's probably impossible to do

That isn’t something we had planned to implement, and I don’t think miniscript has the ability to do http requests.  It might be worth asking Joe Strout, miniscript’s creator, if he plans to include something like this though.  If it is possible in miniscript, then it should be possible for any player to do it themselves.

Offline Squirrel_Monkey

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #411 on: March 01, 2019, 10:19:08 AM »
"Taking Google's DeepMind AI" is way beyond the scope of this.

We're talking about a simple set of logic that takes the available inputs from the game and outputs commands to the robot. This should be possible in any basic language. Miniscript seems perfectly adequate. I would have to have a play around before really commenting too much.

Maybe you could create a little demo with 2 simple robots that can drive, turn and activate some kind of weapon. Then if you expose arena/bot parameters as readable and motor/weapons as writeable we can try it out.

I'm a software engineer , although I'm usually working with C/C++, I should be able to give some useful feedback.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #412 on: March 01, 2019, 10:41:03 AM »
We are starting work on an in-game miniscript code editor today, and I'm hoping to have something very basic working by the first beta release. This should include a very basic script to drive toward the nearest enemy and turn on the weapon.

Once upon a time I mentioned by the end of March for the first beta, so I'm going to try to stick to that.  We'll see though.  We still have a lot to build before we are ready to release.

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #413 on: March 02, 2019, 07:09:30 AM »
Not sure if this has been mentioned, but will there be basic default AI scripts for different weapon types that the player can apply straight to a robot? Just thinking for players who might find writing AI scripts to be difficult, if they’ve never done any scripting or basic programming. That said, I did look up MiniScript and it looks pretty simple to use, even compared to python.
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Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #414 on: March 02, 2019, 07:27:03 AM »
Not sure if this has been mentioned, but will there be basic default AI scripts for different weapon types that the player can apply straight to a robot? Just thinking for players who might find writing AI scripts to be difficult, if they’ve never done any scripting or basic programming. That said, I did look up MiniScript and it looks pretty simple to use, even compared to python.

I showed miniscript around to quite a few people yesterday, and yours was a pretty common request.

The first thing I would like to get working is a default AI script that simply drives toward the nearest waypoint.  If there aren't any obstacles in the way, this means driving directly at the nearest opponent.  This script will be exposed and editable in the Robot Workshop.

I think the next step would be to have "code snippets", where you can copy-paste a script in to do a certain thing.  I'm hoping that most people can use the code snippets, then tweak the numbers to their liking.

No promises yet on anything more advanced than that (drag-and-drop, etc).  Lets wait until after the first beta to get some feedback on it.

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #415 on: March 05, 2019, 08:17:02 AM »
Things are tearing along at quite a clip right now.  We are shooting to have our first Beta out at the end of March.  Here are some of the things we are working on this week:

1. Fight your own custom-built robots in the arena vs pre-built robots in exhibition matches. (Done)
2. Give your robot a custom paint job. (Working, but with a very limited brush selection.)
3. RR2 Component Modding Tool - This is a separate Unity3D project that we will place on GitHub that will allow you to create your own robot components and import them into the game.  (Under development. Probably won't make the first Beta.)
4. Write your own robot AI in miniscript. (Under development. I am hopeful this will make the first Beta in a very rudimentary way.)
5. More motor types: servors, linear actuators. (Under development. We should have at least some of these working for the first Beta.)
6. Tournament mode. (Started, but most likely will not be ready for the first Beta.)

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #416 on: March 07, 2019, 03:23:56 PM »
AI is now moddable with miniscript!  Miniscript is completely sandboxed from the main code, which means that users shouldn't normally be able to cheat the game with miniscript unless they really try.  Bear in mind that I say this without having done any user testing whatsoever.  :smile:

Right now miniscript is accessible only by me.  In the next few weeks I will be working on exposing the scripts to you guys for the Beta release.  We have an in-game miniscript code editor in the works, so you shouldn't have to leave the game to edit your AI like you do for RA2.

All of the old AI still exists by default, but you can override values and change things in miniscript.  I have exposed all of the AI variables to be read by miniscript, and am allowing miniscript to control 5 values: vRaw, hRaw, axeDown, retractWeapon, and spinnerOn.  If one of these 5 values is not set by miniscript, it is left in its original state.  In the script I have below, this means that driving works as normal, but the weapons are never triggered.  This means that the robots only push, but never turn on their weapons.

Here is the current list of variables to be read by and set by miniscript.  We will need to add to this list when we add things like trigger zone sensors in the Robot Workshop.

Readable:
    selfPosition
    selfRotation
    nearestWaypoint // This is taken from a NavMesh.  It is used if there isn't a direct path to the target.
    nearestTargetPosition
    nearestTargetRotation
    crossProduct // This is the cross product of our current heading vector with the direction to the target.  It is used to compute the steering signal.
    controlSignal // This is the steering signal computed by the existing AI.
    dotProduct  // This is the dot product of our current heading vector with the direction to the target.  It is used to compute the forward/backward signal.
    nearestTargetImmobileTime
    isImmobile
    selfImmobileTime

Settable:
    hRaw // The raw left/right signal given to the controller.  This is equivalent to pushing the right/left arrows or "D"/"A" keys.
    vRaw // The raw up/down signal given to the controller.  This is equivalent to pushing the up/down arrows or "W"/"S" keys.
    axeDown
    retractWeapon
    spinnerOn

Here is the miniscript code I am using so that D.B. can beat up on Bubblegum.  They are both using this script, and D.B. is a better pusher, and Bubblegum's weapon is never turned on:

Code: [Select]
while 1
            hRaw = controlSignal
            vRaw = dotProduct
            spinnerOn = false
            wait(0.1)
        end while 

Edit: Added spinnerOn = false to force Bubblegum to not spin.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 04:49:19 PM by cjbruce »

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #417 on: March 08, 2019, 03:37:28 PM »
Here's D.B. staring down Crabsolutely Crawful.

Neither of them are going anywhere at the moment.  Setting hRaw and vRaw to something other than zero should do the trick...


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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #418 on: March 08, 2019, 04:42:46 PM »
I know its a buttload of extra work and also that I'm a bit late to the party but I think the most ideal way to program robots would be through a graphical language. Those tend to be much more friendly towards those that aren't familiar with programming (and would also be more familiar to people who use stuff like labview).

If you were to come up with your own icons it would probably be possible to have a 1-to-1 correspondence to miniscript (so at least a transpiler could be easy). Maybe just keep this as a suggestion for when after all the more important stuff is finished.

Offline cjbruce

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Re: Robot Rumble 2.0 - Robot Combat Simulator - Under Development
« Reply #419 on: March 08, 2019, 05:19:19 PM »
I know its a buttload of extra work and also that I'm a bit late to the party but I think the most ideal way to program robots would be through a graphical language. Those tend to be much more friendly towards those that aren't familiar with programming (and would also be more familiar to people who use stuff like labview).

If you were to come up with your own icons it would probably be possible to have a 1-to-1 correspondence to miniscript (so at least a transpiler could be easy). Maybe just keep this as a suggestion for when after all the more important stuff is finished.

I hear you.  It would be cool to make a block-based visual coding system.  I would like to wait to get some feedback on the Beta (don’t forget to sign up!) before we march down that path though.  I suspect that simple things like picking clear names for variables, and having a few good examples will go a long way though.

Once this little piece of the game is ready for beta, I will most likely be shifting focus over to things like robot components, and getting a tournament system in place.  I am definitely planning to come back to AI before launch though!