TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

Zim Xero
This post was updated on .
I am considering starting an ad-free website using "Free Web Hosting"... just a simple site to provide a place to upload and download games not yet in repository.  It will feature TripleA and open source gaming content/links only.

This brings me to an idea, is it possible to create a stand-alone install of TripleA... putting specific games into the main games folder (for Windows with Java install).  The purpose: So that games like TWW, Elemental Forces, and others to come, can advertise independently on sites with free game downloads.  This way the downloader can install and play the game without any configuration... AND they will have the option at any time click over to the TripleA website and upgrade their version, load new games, etc.

I think that this could bring new life and members to our TripleA community... and automatically turn map makers into recruiters.  Every map maker wants people to play their game and host on other sites via a downloadable playable game.  It will expand TripleA's footprint on the web, and bring many more people to TripleA in a simple fashion, without wasting effort posting all over the place trying to convince people to try TripleA.

My personal plans are to finish the game Steller Forces and work on an American Revolution map next, while learning Java so I can begin submitting patches and eventually upgrade the functionality of the AI... probably will take Strong AI and make an alternate version of it, nothing major.. just a few heuristic functions to prevent it from being 'stuck' when enemies are too many sea zones or territories away, or too many neutrals surround it.  I'd like to create a scored weighting system for purchases, so AI never fails to buy and place, is random, but not stupid, and will recogize units like range=2 aircraft as potentially viable.  I'll tackle easiest obstacles first in reguards to the AI not recognizing new game features and unit attachments.... thus never buying or moving them etc... this has to be improved.  As a litmus test I'd like the Strong AI run at 50% or higher normal speed, not get stuck in games, be improved noticeably to players, and be able to play TWW at least poorly with politics turned off.

'thats the way it is' makes it neither desireable nor inevitable
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

WarTrooper122
In reply to this post by Veqryn
I am interested in Central Intelligence Operatives. I am great in advertising and I know people outside of A&A who were interested in a game like this.
" We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals."
                                              -+++The Mentor+++
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

Zim Xero
Your hired.  You will be reporting to Veqryn, who seems to be on an extended vacation at the moment, so you'll be freelancing.  Do us proud, and remember we are an open source community.  Seriously... we have no formal structure, but everyone appreciates anything you do to help us out.  Thanks and welcome to the team.
'thats the way it is' makes it neither desireable nor inevitable
ice
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

ice
In reply to this post by WarTrooper122
i second zims reply, im mearly a dedicated user, but aaa really needs all the help we can get..

spread the word

ice
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

Veqryn
Administrator
In reply to this post by Veqryn
Veqryn wrote
Positions (in no particular order):

* Marketing Executive Director (Chief Marketing Officer)
Your responsibilities and job is to promote TripleA. This means making videos and posting them to youtube, constantly updating our facebook page, reaching out to people on gaming websites and forums, and generally doing any kind of marketing and advertising you can think of.


* TripleA.sf.net Website Admin

Your responsibilities are to maintain this website.  This means making it prettier and easier to use at the same time.  Would involve making screenshots and tutorials and art.  If possible, we need to do some SEO (search engine optimizing) so that this website comes up on the front page when you search google for Axis & Allies online.


* TripleA War Club website Admin
Your responsibilities are to maintain the tripleawarclub.org website.  That includes both the website and the forum (the forum is XOOPS) and the dice server.  The forum is especially in need of help, mainly we need to add some kind of better captcha module, or find some other way to stop spam bots from registering.  The dice server is coded in php i think, and it could be updated so that it can show registered users all their dice for last 60 days, broken down by which game id they are from, etc.


* Central Intelligence Operatives
Your responsibilities are to join forums, lobbies, websites, groups, where other people are talking about or playing Axis & Allies in some form (by board, by a competitor's software, etc).  Subtly influence members to give TripleA a try.  A great example of this is GTO (game table online), which is where people pay $10 to play a clunky ugly slow version of A&A Revised.  Yet they have more users than us because their advertising is better.  WTF?  If only these people knew about TripleA, they'd probably give it a try and start using us permanently!


* Abandoned Map Updater

We have a lot of crappy and abandoned maps.  Most of them are extremely unbalanced, incomplete in some way, not fun, and have no art direction.  This is usually caused by a map maker who joins, makes a map, then stops maintaining it a week after it is done, because playtesting is 100x harder than making a map in the first place.  I think it really hurts us to have a lot of shitty maps in the download list, and I would like to have them either updated/upgraded/balanced/beautified or dropped out of the list.  This position would have you playtesting the maps against other Humans (no AI's allowed for playtesting purposes), then fixing the xml and map up yourself to be more fun and balanced.  If possible, would be great to have the art updated if it not so good, but this is optional.


* TripleA Game Event Organizer
This person would organize both live events, and play by forum events.  The live events should be organized weekly, and the play by forum events organized monthly.  The events could include "Map of the Week/Month" and small Tournaments / Ladders.  You would have to recruit the players to join these events, and build up a following.  You can find sponsors to donate prizes for the tournaments, or just have free tournaments.


I am looking for committed people.  You will not be reporting back to me, or anyone, about your progress or whatever.  You do your stuff independently, and are interested/motivated to do it by yourself.

Well it has been more than 1 year since I originally posted this, and basically we still don't have anyone doing any of the above things.

A few people said they would, but nothing ever becomes of it and they don't appear to be doing anything.

So with that in mind, I'm bumping this in hopes of finding new volunteers.

We need self-directed people who aren't going to need to be told what to do.  (You can still ask all the questions you want, but the initiative and effort has got to come from you.)

So BUMP!
Please contribute to the TripleA 2013 donation drive:
http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/2013-TripleA-Donation-Drive-tp7583455.html
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

TC_Triple3
I'm not really interested in any of the positions you're looking for, but I am interested in learning how to work with the code to solve some of the problems I have with my map, and I would also like to add some more functionality to it.

I was ignorant as a post when I decided to create my own map, but I was able to figure out how to make almost everything i wanted to do work.

My custom techs and new units all work great, as well as the spontaneous insurgencies that I created.

Here are the things that I want to see if I can solutions for once I learn how to work with the code, which includes learning how to use the programs used to do so.

My Carrier Capacity is additive problem: I want to see if it possible to exclude some air units from certain naval units.

Trains: I really like how trains are used in "Red Sun over China", it's a clever solution, but like my carrier capacity work-around, it's not ideal because I was able to place other naval units at those stations, which I suspected was possible. I could use this same approach for my C5 air transports that I ideally would like to limit to territories with an airfield, but instead of train stations, I can set up airstrips and use canal zones also, but this would have the same problem, naval units could be placed at airstrips because they're water. It's also a butt-load of canal attachments, which I wouldn't mind if not for the aforementioned problem.

Land Transports: This is related to trains. I want dedicated land transports (an M3 Bradley, and trains) and I want to be able to set transport capacity for these units just like you can for air and naval transports. I don't know how I would then set-up train stations, or airstrips without using the canal zone idea. Perhaps there is way to exclude certain units from those areas with the "units not allowed" option for territory effects, but I haven't looked into yet. It would be nice if I specify a transport capacity of "4" for a Bradley Fighting vehicle instead of using armour as land transport.

adding more economic features: I don't really know what I have in mind yet, but it would revolve around the concept of scarcity. All resources, including manpower are limited in the real world, and I'm thinking about ways to add this to my map. Under these conditions, squandering your infantry would bite you in ass after several rounds because you simply wouldn't have the manpower to replace them despite having the PU's to do it. This would apply to any and all resources, and these resources would replenish themselves overtime, probably requiring some sort of investment as well.

I'll definitely post anything I come up with because it might give one of the developers an idea, or, on the off chance that I actually come up with something that they might want incorporate into the game. It's going to take a awhile before I learn enough to actually do anything, and I'm not sure if it's even possible to do any of the things I have in mind, but I'll have fun trying to figure it out!
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

SanFrancisco
In reply to this post by Zim Xero
Hello guys. I'm a longtime player on Triplea, and I'm interested in contributing. I have experience Python programming experience, but I could pick up Java.

What are currently the most pressing needs on Triplea?
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

redrum
Administrator
@SanFrancisco - I would recommend pulling the code down from github and getting a feel for it: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea

There are plenty of features people would like to see though usually its best to pick something that you particularly would like to see improved or added to start with.
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

Shumaan
In reply to this post by Veqryn
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

redrum
Administrator
@Shumaan - Yeah, we are still looking for lots of help around the websites. We are currently working on completely overhauling the main website (http://triplea.sourceforge.net/) to http://triplea-game.github.io/ (code located in github here: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea-game.github.io). The new site is technically 'live' but really hasn't been broadcasted yet as we are still working on it.

We also still have the warclub site as well that we could use help with here: http://www.tripleawarclub.org/

The work is pretty open ended and self-driven. If you have ideas on improving/assisting with either/both of them let me know.
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

Shumaan
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

redrum
Administrator
@Shumaan - Its probably best to start with the new github one as its easily accessible and the one that needs the most development right now. I'd suggest looking the repo and site over then start adding issues/etc in the github repo and we can discuss ideas/next steps over there.
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

Rooser
So about 5.5 years ago I briefly barged into this community and started this thread:

http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/AI-Module-API-tp5447042.html;cid=1457982827770-600

In the intervening years I've been a PhD student in Machine Learning and AI and every once in a while I get this urge to write good AI for Triple A. I imagine a lot has changed in 5.5 years, and the OP of this thread says redrum took on this task and so if I [i]were[/i] to contribute I definitely have some catching up to do.

But basically I'm just putting some feelers out there: Is there still some desire for improving the AI? I was reasonably suited to the task all those years ago, but now I'm very very well suited to the task and willing to offer a bit of my time.

Caveat: I am a PhD student with his nose to grindstone, married, and have a toddler, so I'm going to be honest: my time constraints are pretty rough at the moment, but if there is interest in having somebody else take a crack at the ol' AI I'll try to find time for it.
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

redrum
Administrator
@Rooser - That is definitely some time ago and things have changed some. I'm still currently developing the newest iteration and welcome any help I can get (haven't really gotten any besides lots of guidance from Veqryn). There have been I believe 2 new AI attempts over the last 5 years:

1. Dynamix AI (Wisconsin) - Created an AI which seemed to focus on consolidating its units and using that mega stack as best as it could. It only really supported land/air units and never tackled naval. It also didn't handle the small battles of trading territories back and forth well. It has recently been decommissioned along with the old 'Moore N Able AI' which is probably what you looked at 5 years ago.

2. Pro AI (redrum) - Created an AI based around the battle calculator (and a faster version based on a simple strength formula). It performs considerably better than all previous AIs though isn't quite as fast on larger maps. It essentially tries to maximize the amount of TUV and production the player has and decrease that of its opponents. There are still many things it doesn't handle well but it probably has the core 80-90% of the functionality on most of the standard popular maps.

So I've considered adding some sort of machine learning or at least some basic capturing of previous game knowledge to improve future games but decided not to go down that route currently. For one thing, you need to have a frame to teach the AI even the basics of playing the game before you can really get to any kind of machine learning which really didn't exist (and you could argue still doesn't). It needs to be able to understand all the rules and options in order to even play the game.

If you did want a basic form of machine learning then you'd probably want to centralize the data capture for a learning AI into a database and then maybe cache a local copy. This adds a lot of complexity and that is before you even try to write algorithms to actual 'learn' from the data.

I would recommend the following to start:
1. Download the latest stable version 1.8.0.9 and play a few games against the Hard AI on a few different maps.
2. Read at least the first post of this thread: http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/AI-Development-Discussion-td7585227.html. Feel free to add any feedback discussion on the AI there.
3. Clone and review the latest code from github: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

Rooser
Your description of the current AI sounds WAAAAAY better than what I remember looking at and what you've implemented sounds like good and proper game AI. While there's lot of devil in the details, something that just tries to maximize some value (or minimize this value with respect to its opponents) is pretty much the best you are going to do; making it better is a matter of getting really particular with what it values and how much.

The value of machine learning here isn't "learning over time" - it would be in optimizing an objective. Actually learning anything real from a human player would take a LOT of games.

As an example, let's say part of the AI was figuring out how to value the benefit of attacking (and capturing) a particular territory. "features" of this move might include the IPC value of the territory, the number of Infantry, the number of Tanks, etc. Machine Learning could help in tuning how much to value each with respect to each other; but once you learn that relationship, you just hard code it into the AI and walk away.

This is not unlike your smart phone recognizing faces when you try to take a picture - the smart phone didn't do any machine learning, it just benefits from relationships learned once upon a time on some server somewhere. Your phone isn't trying to learn how to recognize faces on the fly, and kitting out this game AI to learn how to play on the fly would be similarly clunky.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you've already made a huge improvement, and further improvements are more a matter of tuning what you've already got.
I'm certainly interested in helping with that, and I'll give the source code a look when I can.

On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 1:15 PM, redrum [via tripleadev] <[hidden email]> wrote:
@Rooser - That is definitely some time ago and things have changed some. I'm still currently developing the newest iteration and welcome any help I can get (haven't really gotten any besides lots of guidance from Veqryn). There have been I believe 2 new AI attempts over the last 5 years:

1. Dynamix AI (Wisconsin) - Created an AI which seemed to focus on consolidating its units and using that mega stack as best as it could. It only really supported land/air units and never tackled naval. It also didn't handle the small battles of trading territories back and forth well. It has recently been decommissioned along with the old 'Moore N Able AI' which is probably what you looked at 5 years ago.

2. Pro AI (redrum) - Created an AI based around the battle calculator (and a faster version based on a simple strength formula). It performs considerably better than all previous AIs though isn't quite as fast on larger maps. It essentially tries to maximize the amount of TUV and production the player has and decrease that of its opponents. There are still many things it doesn't handle well but it probably has the core 80-90% of the functionality on most of the standard popular maps.

So I've considered adding some sort of machine learning or at least some basic capturing of previous game knowledge to improve future games but decided not to go down that route currently. For one thing, you need to have a frame to teach the AI even the basics of playing the game before you can really get to any kind of machine learning which really didn't exist (and you could argue still doesn't). It needs to be able to understand all the rules and options in order to even play the game.

If you did want a basic form of machine learning then you'd probably want to centralize the data capture for a learning AI into a database and then maybe cache a local copy. This adds a lot of complexity and that is before you even try to write algorithms to actual 'learn' from the data.

I would recommend the following to start:
1. Download the latest stable version 1.8.0.9 and play a few games against the Hard AI on a few different maps.
2. Read at least the first post of this thread: http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/AI-Development-Discussion-td7585227.html. Feel free to add any feedback discussion on the AI there.
3. Clone and review the latest code from github: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea

Let me know if you have any questions.



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NAML

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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

ZjelcoP
Had a look at the TripleA Facebook page which i liked quite some time ago. Turns out it's awfully quit over there and it has few followers. Definitely could use some attention and upkeep.
Have some idea's on it.

Sent a message offering help, and the reply said to put it up with the forummoderators..., So Veqryn, Redrum, aaLafayette do you approve/object me modding that page?

Cheers Zjelco
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

redrum
Administrator
@ZjelcoP - Go for it. Didn't even know one existed :)
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

kaister
In reply to this post by Veqryn
I would like to be an an Abandoned Map Updater; I am always creating custom maps, and would love to adopt some orphan maps as my own. I have been hoping for a position like this, and can upkeep this position regularly.
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

redrum
Administrator
@kaister - You're hired. We are in the process of moving maps into github. I would recommend reading this thread and then go ahead and find some maps you are interested in adopting:
http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/How-To-Update-Maps-td7591386.html
http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/Maps-in-Github-Getting-Started-and-Questions-td7590671.html
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Re: TripleA is looking for Volunteers!

kaister
How do I test out secondary maps with other people to check their playability before submitting them? More specifically, where? Please note that my TripleA Online Hosting/Playing service within the game engine doesn't work well if at all, so I would like alternatives.
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