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pirate
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Joined: 18th Apr 2006
Location: u.s.a
Posted: 27th Oct 2006 19:41
i am going to get dark a.i. soon and i was wondering if some of you guys who have been using it could give me a rating on it from your experience. i'm still going to buy it because i have a lot of trouble getting my own a.i. to work well. this is just to let me know if some of you are experiencing problems with it and if it does what it says it will do...
thanks for your time, pirate

aaarg!
Alfred
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Location: Jalisco, Mexico
Posted: 27th Oct 2006 21:04 Edited at: 27th Oct 2006 21:36
: . (Very particular opinion)

I am very happy with my purchase, especially since I do a lot of things concerning robotics. The pathfinding is great, and all the commands that let you modify the waypoint data and how it is treated are really powerfull tools. The only problem I had was with the lack of the "AI Set Entity Attack Distance" command, which really limited many applications. However, the command now exists and my problem is solved.

Hallowed are the ori.
Kenjar
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Posted: 27th Oct 2006 21:40 Edited at: 27th Oct 2006 21:43
I only rate it as 1 out of 5, for the simple reason that it's 2D not 3D as most new buyers think. That is it will work on mutliple plains, but don't expect your AI to chase you down the stairs. It's usless for 3D games where you move in a 3D enviroment. Unless you are making a Diablo, or a retro remake it's not much good. I've tried using it for RTS's and mutli-level FPS games, but both these games had variations to the terrain. Frankly it's a pain in the ass to use in any real 3D enviroment, and it's easier to write my own. Very dissapointing plugin.

I lay upon my bed one bright clear night, and gazed upon the distant stars far above, then I thought... where the hell is my roof?
pirate
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Posted: 28th Oct 2006 01:03
kenjar, i thought it was for 3d, i watched the video download and it showed it working well in a fps. i would not want it if it doesn't work for fps games because thats what i make....what kind of games are you making with it alfred?
thanks, pirate

aaarg!
indi
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Posted: 28th Oct 2006 11:26
Kenjar would you mind elaborating on those issues in a little more detail please.

BatVink
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Posted: 28th Oct 2006 12:54 Edited at: 28th Oct 2006 12:54
Quote: "I only rate it as 1 out of 5, for the simple reason that it's 2D not 3D as most new buyers think"


You can't really blame the product for your misunderstanding, here's a quote from the product page...

Quote: "The internal system is based around a 2D top down view and allows you to create your own 2D avoidance shapes manually, allowing its use in any situation that can be represented with 2D shapes"


Besides, I have it working OK in 3D, you can even code it to get characters to take account of hills and slopes when choosing a path.

As long as you are comfortable with memblocks, it is an extremely flexible solution. Out of the box, the AI is good. Going the extra mile and changing waypoint and path weightings makes it superb.



Olby
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Posted: 28th Oct 2006 17:38
Yeah I agree with BatVink i give it a 5 outta 5. I bought it, installed and in 15 minutes I had my modeled character running in a simple level and shooting. Its as simple as that. And speaking about the 3D there is no problem with it. Simply AI doesnt care about entities Y position in space so basically you can connect your enemies models with physics object (DP, Newton, ODE(didnt tried this yet with D.AI)) and physics subsystem will control character Y position avoiding any obstacles in physics world. There is no problem with this. And as always TGC's super product support is intact for this plugin too, there is alredy a 1.05 version of DAI so it still updated actively. And probably will get a new update with November newsletter as always. So 5/5, Very good plugin and helps a lot. Dont listen to Kenjar!

AMD Sempron 3.1+ Ghz, 512MB Ram, ATI R9550 256MB Ram, Sound Blaster Live!, WinXP SP2, DirectX 9.0c, DBP 6.2
http://www.myspace.com/producerolby
Lukas W
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Location: Sweden
Posted: 28th Oct 2006 19:01
I would give DarkAI a 4 out of 5.

Reasons:
I had my expectations too high when i developed a game. i though i was good enough to create a cool game using DarkAI. when i saw that i though a 3 year old made my game.

on a more serious note,
DarkAI is very easy to use (once you know how it works).
I wanted to create a Deathmatch type game but i couldn't figure out how that worked with D.AI. so eventually i found out that it wasn't possible. Team Deathmatch works, but not all vs. all deathmatch style games.

other than that it is yet another quality product from TGC.

Kenjar
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Posted: 28th Oct 2006 21:34
My main dislike of it, that it can't operate in a true 3D enviroment. Flight sims, space sims, 3D puzzles. It's unsitable for all of them. Also I am not the only person to be caught out with this, I've had a few people ask me what I thought of DarkAI, and each and every one was shocked to hear that it would only operate on a plain, i.e. 2D. DarkBASIC Pro, is mostly viewed as a 3D game enviroment. Had they called it DarkAI 2D I'd have had no issues at all. And yes, it is my fault for not reading the 2D shape statment, that BatVink pointed out. I just downloaded the demonstration programs they released and made my judgement based on that. 3D shapes moving about, I assumed that it would work in a true 3D space.

The simple fact is that is, that if you are writing a diablo game, it's great, or pacman, or a doom style game (Doom 1 not 3), or even an RTS game it's great. If you are programming a multiple level FPS game, with floating gun emplacements, men with jet packs, flying vehicals, or a space sim, or anything else the existing in a true 3-Dimentional space, then it's a right pain in the ass.

But, that is just my opinion, clearly other people worship the product. I think it's pretty clear from this thread what DarkAI does, so you can make a completely informed decision either way. I hope it suits your needs.

I lay upon my bed one bright clear night, and gazed upon the distant stars far above, then I thought... where the hell is my roof?
Alfred
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Posted: 29th Oct 2006 20:41 Edited at: 29th Oct 2006 20:42
Quote: "clearly other people worship the product"


Hehe

As for the true 3D it´s true what Kenjar says. However, many 3D scenarios (including fps space combat like in Halo II) are posible and actually quite easy. That doesn´t go for spaceship combats and things like that. I just think that it is a very powerfull product.

Hallowed are the ori.
entomophobiac
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Posted: 30th Oct 2006 11:09
Kenjar: You must realize that most games operate theoretically. It's pointless to calculate a third dimension when all you need to do is check whether an object is colliding or not. That's it. Battlefield and similar games use terrain collision - as easy as pie with DB and DAI as well. Just connect the AI entities to the Y coordinates of your terrain and it's done.

So what are you actually trying to say?

Want different floors in a 3D game? Use the built in container commands. This seems only to be you not thinking outside the box.

For efficiency, games calculate only what needs be calculated. And DAI does that splenduously.
bosskeith
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Posted: 30th Oct 2006 23:24 Edited at: 30th Oct 2006 23:26
Kenjar's 2 major concerns were 1) space similators that would require "Y" axis in the algorithm and multi floored levels yes they may be broken into top floor bottom floor but they cannot chase you down the stairsand then follow you into a tunnel that may lead under the stairs.

but as you said what it can do it does do beutifully(sp?).

pirate
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Posted: 31st Oct 2006 19:54
thanks a lot for all the input...i am going to try to get it in two weeks when i get paid. i will probably be asking some questions on this forum so y'all be patient with me.
thanks again, pirate

aaarg!
Kenjar
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Posted: 31st Oct 2006 21:13
thanks bosskeith, those where my primary problems with it. If they ever update Dark AI with true three dimentional movement, I'll more than likely go back to using it. But for the sort of games I make, it's wasted money.

Anywho, obviously pirate has taken all this on board, and understands what the product actually does, in which case I hope he finds it very useful, as I'm sure he will.

I lay upon my bed one bright clear night, and gazed upon the distant stars far above, then I thought... where the hell is my roof?
Lordcorm
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2006 01:11
Dose it realy not work well in a 3d enviornment becaseu i was thinking about getting it for my MMO for NPC's....... UUUUG i hope its good enough for that

Thanks Guys!

People think DarkBASIC is for noobs and isnt professional, but i think its the future of game programming. Do you agree with me? Just reply to this thread saying you do.
DarkBASIC for ever!
BatVink
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2006 09:59
You need to distinguish between 3D, and multi-level. 3D is not an issue. If your game involves, for example, a multi-floored building, you need to do a little more work yourself.



Cash Curtis II
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2006 15:06
Dark AI is fantastic. It reduces the work of adding great AI by a huge amount. The fact that it uses 2D calculations is fantastic, because it makes it extremely fast and efficient.

It works great for 3D. It is designed to manage individual units. Giving it a low rating because it doesn't work with spaceships is inappropriate, because there was never any kind of claim in the software that would lead anyone to believe that it was designed to do so. I don't consider it appropriate for vehicles either. So, I wrote vehicle AI. That doesn't make Dark AI any less good at what it's designed to do.

It can use stairs, or anything else that can occur in a game with units. The demos that come with this clearly demonstrates how.




Come see the WIP!
BatVink
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2006 16:43
It can also work multi-level, and there are examples for that too. You simply need to use zones, and a manual technique for repositioning the AI entities when you override the decisions. It's the same technique used for integrating physics...AI makes an informed decision, you accept, override or adjust slighly, and modify the AI entity.



Kenjar
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2006 17:05
Pff, so basically in order to get it to work with multilevels you have to disable the AI, move the objects, then re-enable it, is that correct? And that's just for going up the stairs! What if you have en entity three floors down? Will it follow you up using Dark AI commands only, will it at least point it's gun at you and fire at you if you look out a window? I doubt it, to do so you're talking some pretty clever programming.

And btw, I define a True 3D Enviroment on the bases that it operates along 3 axis in space. DarkAI doesn't, it merely works in two. The rest has to be done by the user. Just don't expect to make a sophisticated FPS (Starwars Battle grounds, Quake 4, Unreal 2004+) purely from using Dark AI commands, it's not powerful enough.

I lay upon my bed one bright clear night, and gazed upon the distant stars far above, then I thought... where the hell is my roof?
BatVink
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2006 23:44
no, you don't have to disable it. You can allow the entities to move according to the AI. Then you add an extra layer of your own AI, which would be normal practise. When your AI influences the automatic AI, you make adjustments to the entities.

For example, take the example of moving from one zone to another. When your character moves into a new zone, the AI can't follow. But you can instantiate a new entity to take the place of the old one, and set your NPC to follow a different entity target.



Cash Curtis II
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Posted: 4th Nov 2006 02:53
The AI itself is very nice. Coupled with a little work, and you've got fairly intelligent enemies and friendlies at your disposal. Enemies that react to sounds, to being attacked, hide behind obstacles for cover, avoid obstacles when moving.

It's easy to add behaviors that aren't in the AI. Any time that you want them to do something else, you just move them yourself and then reset the AI position and Y rotation.

Think about this - when you have a group of AI units on a level in a building, why do you need the Y axis? You really don't. Dark AI provides for multiple levels, and it is easy to make someone follow you up some stairs and enter a different container.

Dark AI does exactly what it's supposed to, and it does an excellent job of it.


Come see the WIP!
indi
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Posted: 21st Nov 2006 08:23
I think after reading this i'm still going to get it.
I can see workaround's for the multiple levels already in my minds eye.

Crazy Programmer
AGK Developer
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Posted: 29th Nov 2006 01:55
Im with indi i still think im going to get it.


Load Programmer "Crazy Programmer",1
Kenny77
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Posted: 29th Nov 2006 02:24
I was going to ask somewhere else, but I think I'll save a thread. People have been saying DarkAI is good for using on a plane (or plain, which?), so would it be good to use with sports games?
Crazy Ninja
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Posted: 26th Dec 2006 06:52
Glad i just found this thread, because i was about to ask about Dark A.I. too. Although i'm not trying to hijack your thread(sorry if I am) how hard would a pretty much newb to program fare with Dark Physics? I'm thinking about getting it too but i don't want to waste my money.

indi
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Posted: 26th Dec 2006 08:44
dark ai has containers that allow for different levels.
combine containers with your levels and you can have multi tiered dungeons.

Cash Curtis II
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Posted: 26th Dec 2006 18:07
Quote: "so would it be good to use with sports games?"

I wouldn't use it for a sports game personally. In a sports game, team members need to react to the ball, team mates, and opposing team mates, appropriately. Dark AI is perfect for a team fighting another team. While you could tweak it to meet your needs, I feel that the sports AI would be inappropriate.

Quote: "how hard would a pretty much newb to program fare with Dark Physics? "

Not that hard. There's a thread around here in which I tell how to do it, and the Dark AI help files also point you in the right direction. The thing is, once you've coded it once, you never have to mess with it again.


Come see the WIP!
Olby
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Posted: 27th Dec 2006 19:38
Hey Cash do you know is it possible to use DAI with ODE. I wrote somewhere else that I tried once but I didn't managed to blend the correctly.

AMD Sempron 3.1+ Ghz, 512MB Ram, ATI R9550 256MB Ram, Sound Blaster Live!, WinXP SP2, DirectX 9.0c, DBP 6.2
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Cash Curtis II
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Posted: 28th Dec 2006 05:05
I'm not familiar with ODE. When it came out, the only advantage that it offered over Newton was licensing, which doesn't matter for an individual project.

For it to work, you have to be able to position either a kinematic or static physics body at the AI position every loop, then reposition the AI according to the actual physics location. And, to get around a minor Dark AI bug, don't reposition the AI unless the distance is further than the height of the model.

If you can reposition a static box every time, it would probably work. I've done that with Dark Physics, and it worked, just not as well as with a kinematic object. I've stopped using character controllers, so I'm a little closer to the true operations of it all.


Come see the WIP!
Olby
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Posted: 28th Dec 2006 16:35
Ok thanks a lot Cash.

AMD Sempron 3.1+ Ghz, 512MB Ram, ATI R9550 256MB Ram, Sound Blaster Live!, WinXP SP2, DirectX 9.0c, DBP 6.2
http://www.myspace.com/producerolby
White knight
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Posted: 5th Jan 2007 04:09 Edited at: 5th Jan 2007 04:13
well dark ai does work with a 3d or 2d enviroment i'm working on a ingame editor that uses dark ai it works fine there is tutorials with dark ai showing 3d samples of patrol waypoint pathfinding react to sound and more. reason it had porbs is because or collision boxes .it does work for multi level upstars and through doors with some help of way points. But don't expect it not to go through your levels fully without some kind of waypoints.I do also know this is compadible with newton phisics dll.

abcd
Crazy Ninja
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Posted: 5th Jan 2007 13:42
The only thing i wish it came with is a demo of how to do damage to to units and deleting them. I have ideas of how to do it, but whenever i get to coding it I always just seem to screw it up or blank out.

Airslide
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Posted: 6th Jan 2007 01:02
Quote: "The only thing i wish it came with is a demo of how to do damage to to units and deleting them. I have ideas of how to do it, but whenever i get to coding it I always just seem to screw it up or blank out."


For damage - I think you have to do that yourself. Or at least I do. I keep all my entities in a UDT array which includes a health integer, and when it hits zero I use:

AI Kill Entity Entity Number

That just removes it from the AI system, so the object is still there, I play a death animation at that point.

Black Mesa
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Posted: 6th Jan 2007 04:24
Seems like people are expecting Dark AI to consist of

MakeCompleteAIforMe()=True

Its a great starting point with plenty of commands to rapidly simplyfy AI situations. Just because it doesnt automatically have the ability to handle stairs doesnt mean it sucks, thats what programming is all about, using what you have to solve problems. If you dont understand how to do this Im sure there are many people willing to help if you ask nicely.

Your mod has been erased by a signature
Roxas
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Posted: 6th Jan 2007 15:24
Say is this good for Action Rpg games?

I have no soul.. I nobody.. I have no heart.. I have felt in the darkness.. Im the darkness.. Whatever..
Airslide
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Posted: 6th Jan 2007 23:26
Quote: "Say is this good for Action Rpg games?"


It should work just fine

Roxas
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Posted: 7th Jan 2007 11:03
Tehee thanks! I'm doing action rpg called Soul Alchemist (i know it's misspelled in gallery ) when im bored of coding SoulSky (morpg)

I have no soul.. I nobody.. I have no heart.. I have felt in the darkness.. Im the darkness.. Whatever..

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