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Subject: Dungeoncrawl AI Research rss

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Charilaos Bacharis
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Hello everyone.

I am in the early stages of designing a dungeoncrawl. Nothing substantial yet, just some core ideas I find interesting, floating around.

Anyway, before starting designing I wanted to check what came before. So research.

I started of with how theses games incorporate AI.
Below is a list I made. Are there any games I forget? or perhaps other, non-dungeoncrawl co-op games with interesting AI I should look into?

1) Endure the Stars
○ Spawn: Tokens that flip to reveal exact spawn. Tokens are part of setup.
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase.
○ Target: Simple go to clause combined with priority target list (noise tokens).
○ Action: Normal enemies, just attack. Boss has his own deck. Random action depending on draw or mood that buffs.

2) Gloomhaven
○ Spawn: Enemies have specific type, number and position according to scenario.
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase.
○ Target: Simple go to clause combined with priority target list.
○ Action: Each enemy has his own deck. Random action depending on draw

3) Shadow of Brimstone
○ Spawn: Various random Event cards. Specific way to set the enemies up.
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase.
○ Target: Simple go to clause combined with a small priority target list.
○ Action: Enemies, just attack.

4) Myth
○ Spawn: During setup, depending on tile and by AI card (Darkness fills up)
○ Activation: When Darkness meter fills (by player actions), and only if player is in threat range or if they are attacked. Order depend on AI card
○ Target: Simple go to clause combined with a small priority target list that changes depending on the monster.
○ Action: Enemies, just attack.

5) Swords & Sorcery
○ Spawn: Tokens that flip to reveal exact spawn. Tokens are part of setup.
○ Activation: Enemies activated after each hero's turn depending on random card draw
○ Target: Simple go to clause combined with priority target that changes depending on the monster, and priority list.
○ Action: List of possible actions depending on range that depends on the monster

6) Warhammer Quest
○ Spawn: Event card when exploring new room. Appear next to players
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase.
○ Target: Simple go to clause nearest, taking care to divide equaly among palyers.
○ Action: Enemies, just attack.

7) Nova Aetas
○ Spawn: Event card when exploring new room. Appear next to players
○ Activation: Enemies are activated depending on their position in the horologium or react when hero tokens move in the horologium
○ Target: Threat Rating that depends on actions taken. Each enemy also has a specific mission with a TR
○ Action: Enemies, just attack depending on stats.

8) Kingdom Death
○ Spawn: According to setup
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase but can also react to player attacks
○ Target: Priority list depending on monster specific random card draw
○ Action: Various attacks and abilities depending on monster specific random card draw

9) Super Dungeon Explore
○ Spawn: Set up and through the game from Spawning points
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase according to a priority list
○ Target: Most Wrath otherwise nearest.
○ Action: Various attacks and abilities depending on random card draw

10) Perditions Mouth
○ Spawn: Setup and enemy rondel
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase according to a priority list
○ Target: Simple priority list, that is slightly different in some monsters
○ Action: Attacks or move depending on rondel movement

11) Middara
○ Spawn: Setup
○ Activation: Turns of heroes and enemies determined by Random initiative track
○ Target: Target choice depends on the action taken
○ Action: If..then clause depending on monster state, possition, etc

12) Gears of War
○ Spawn: Setup / Location card / AI card
○ Activation: After each hero turn through AI card draw
○ Target: Depend on AI card draw (usualy active or nearest player)
○ Action: If..then clause depending on AI card draw. Sometimes monster ability activates as a reaction to player action

13) Level 7
○ Spawn: Various random Event cards.
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase depending on the even card.
○ Target: Simple go to clause combined with a priority target.
○ Action: Enemies, just attack.

14) D&D System
○ Spawn: Setup
○ Activation: Turns of heroes and enemies determined by Random initiative track
○ Target: Target choice depends on the action taken
○ Action: If..then clauses depending on monster position, etc

15) Zombicide
○ Spawn: variable difficulty spawn (based on player level) at spawn points determined by scenario, also random draw when opening/entering room.
○ Activation: At the end of each game turn, after players. All mobs activate simultaneously.
○ Target: Priority decision tree based on line of sight or noise.
○ Action: Move or attack, multiple actions are to move towards players or attack.

16) Human Interface
○ Spawn: Setup and every round in order keep enemy count the same.
○ Activation: Enemies are activated one after the other in their own action phase
○ Target: Each room get alert rating depending number of figures inside and actions last turn
○ Action: Move or attack, multiple actions are to move towards players or attack.

17) The Legends of Andor
○ Spawn: During setup, through the legend cards, through the fog tile or through the tiles on the track
○ Activation: At the end of each day (a certain amount of action point from each player is a day). They are activated in order per monster type, those on lower tile numbers going first
○ Target: The castle. They ignore everything on their way to the castle
○ Action: They move one step closer to the castle, following the arrows, jumping over other monsters if any and ignoring heroes


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Martin Larouche
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Gears of War: The Board Game has one of the best "AI" i've seen in a game. Every enemy follows some patterns, but you are never exactly sure what they are going to do.
Basic soldiers will tend to close in until they can see you, then shoot at you from a distance. However, the speed at which they close in and whether they will shoot or not during a specific turn is unknown. They will seek cover if they can.
Other enemies will tend to group together, close in a player, then attack him in melee with lots of attacks. However, they might very well just rush towards you and not group up altogether...
etc. for each enemy type.
The system works by drawing an AI card, which dictates which enemy will activate this turn, then follows a set of commands that reminds of a computer program. For example:
- "For each Locust enemy, if they are within LOS of at least one player, they will shoot on the closest player (and not move). If not, they will move 2 space towards the nearest player (and not shoot this turn)".
- "For each Locust enemy, move them 1 space towards the nearest player. Then shoot the nearest player if he has LOS".

You might also see the upcoming app for Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition). FFG's releasing an app that will take over the role of the monsters player. I think you won't find better as far as AIs go for a boardgame.

Then there's Mice and Mystics, which has a very simple AI system, where the ennemies are predictable... this is an AI that "does the job", but nothing more. Ennemies move 1 to 3 spaces (dice roll) towards the nearest player, then attacks him. If there's more than 1 player available as a target, he will attack in initiative order.

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game is an abstracted dungeon crawl. The AI is driven by cards which are drawn, which will tell how many ennemies will rush towards you and from where they'll come in (corridor, vent, etc.). Then, they'll try to group together (they are stronger in a group) and move to attack your marines from the rear.
The system to do this is very clever, though cannot be explained easily as it requires understanding the entire game. The AI only makes sense if you know how the game works.

Outside the dungeon-crawls, you have XCOM: The Board Game, where an app dictates how the aliens will behave. In some games, they will try very actively to send troops to destroy your base. In others, they will send UFOs everywhere to try to make the nations panic. Or they'll send their UFOs to single continents, raising their panic levels quickly. Or they will try to cause an overwhelming number of crisis situations. Or they'll maybe mess around with your communications, requiring you to defend your base or send interceptors before you even know what you are up against... Awesome system...

You'll also find very clever AI systems in many coop games. Pandemic comes to mind. Diseases will tend to spawn in cities where they have already spawned before, and this will change every game... You drawn a couple of city card each turn and add diseases cubes in that city. Once in a while, you get an epidemic crisis which will send another city into the mix. The catch is, whenever you draw an epidemic, the cities cards discard pile is shuffled and placed on top of the draw pile. This means that all cities that were already infected will be drawn all over again, but you have no way of knowing in which order.

Pandemic: The Cure goes for probabilities based on custom dices. Each turn, you draw some disease dices. Each disease has it's specific dice color, but the numbers on the dice are completely different depending on the disease. You roll them and the number shown will determine where they end up on the board. This means, for example, that the black disease that has 3 face with the value "3" has 50% chances of appearing in the "3" region, 1 chance out of 6 in the "6" region, 1 chance out of "6" in the "2" region and 1 out of 6 of not spawning at all. The black disease will never appear in the other regions.
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Chris
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Also look at the AI for the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System Board Games like Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game. Each monster has a script they follow based on their distance to the characters.
 
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Charilaos Bacharis
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deedob: Thanks! Added to the list. Also thanks for the other suggestions.

cbrua: Thanks. Do they all use the same system?
 
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James Arias
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First, awesome list! Search for "cardboard AI" and you'll get some other hits.

The D&D games use a "Tactics" if-then-else logic (google images of their cards for examples). Galaxy Defenders and Doom: The Boardgame have something similar but only activate subgroups of already spawned monsters.

This kind of logic seems to be a best practice vs. "close with nearest and attack". Especially if you can randomize or provide multiple possibilities.

The other system I liked was Dungeon Plungin', which had a fixed list of "tactics" types and each monster had one. Not as seamless as having it right on the monster card, but allowed for more elaborate "algorithms".
 
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Chris
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gparali wrote:
cbrua: Thanks. Do they all use the same system?

Yes. Later games added slightly more complexity, but the mechanism is the same.
 
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Martin Larouche
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crazybyzantine wrote:
First, awesome list! Search for "cardboard AI" and you'll get some other hits.

The D&D games use a "Tactics" if-then-else logic (google images of their cards for examples). Galaxy Defenders and Doom: The Boardgame have something similar but only activate subgroups of already spawned monsters.

This kind of logic seems to be a best practice vs. "close with nearest and attack". Especially if you can randomize or provide multiple possibilities.

The other system I liked was Dungeon Plungin', which had a fixed list of "tactics" types and each monster had one. Not as seamless as having it right on the monster card, but allowed for more elaborate "algorithms".




Doom: tbg did not have an AI. The monsters were managed by a player.
 
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Billy Lumiukko
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The Legends of Andor is a coop that has a simple AI.

o Spawn: during setup, through the legend cards, through the fog tile or through the tiles on the track
o Activation: at the end of each day (a certain amount of action point from each player is a day). They are activated in order per monster type, those on lower tile numbers going first
o Target: the castle. They ignore everything on their way to the castle
o Action: they move one step closer to the castle, following the arrows, jumping over other monsters if any and ignoring heroes
 
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Lizzie
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Good luck with your research!

Flash Point: Fire Rescue has additional arrows on the board so that if the original randomly generated spawn point (for possible casualties) is already on fire they have a set path to follow until they can be legally placed.

Somewhat different to the games you've looked at, but Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm has a somewhat unusual example of an AI in its solo game. It makes semi intelligent decisions, but still with some randomness, that vary with the start world the AI gets. You select two actions using cards as normal, it selects them by rolling two dice, one side of which shows a robot symbol - what action this selects varies according to which homeworld it has. It leads to actually quite a good feel, I really enjoy it.
 
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James Arias
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deedob wrote:
crazybyzantine wrote:
First, awesome list! Search for "cardboard AI" and you'll get some other hits.

The D&D games use a "Tactics" if-then-else logic (google images of their cards for examples). Galaxy Defenders and Doom: The Boardgame have something similar but only activate subgroups of already spawned monsters.

This kind of logic seems to be a best practice vs. "close with nearest and attack". Especially if you can randomize or provide multiple possibilities.

The other system I liked was Dungeon Plungin', which had a fixed list of "tactics" types and each monster had one. Not as seamless as having it right on the monster card, but allowed for more elaborate "algorithms".




Doom: tbg did not have an AI. The monsters were managed by a player.


Really, it has a GM? Guess I better read that page again.
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Charilaos Bacharis
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Thanks everyone!

Added Andor, Human Interface and Zombicide.

I am also trying to codify everything and break it into seperate mechnanisms.

I started with Spawn

SPAWN
• Setup: Enemies are placed in a particular position during the setup phase
• Proxy: Spawned enemies are represented by tokens until Players have line of sight
• Spawn Point: Different spawn point depending on monster or other factor
• Event: Spawns happen during particular events.
○ Ex. Time interval (random or regular)
○ Ex. A new area is revealed
• Enemy: Enemy actions cause or affect spawns
○ Ex. AI card causing spawn
○ Ex. Enemy ringing alarm affecting dungeon threat level and number of enemies spawned on next spawn event
○ Ex. Spawn points that can be destroyed, and spawn enemies
• Player: Player actions cause or affect spawns
○ Ex. Player threat level causing spawn

I will also be lookingi into Dungeon Plungin crzybyzantine suggested.

Huggable: Gathering Storm was also on my study list. It seems too fiddly, but maybe there useful parts.
 
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Kai Bettzieche
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I can direct you to my solitaire "village crawl":

Zombie Slayer
○ Spawn: Upon revealing a card depicting a part of the village, you get a chart (sort of), on which you roll a die to determine the number and the kind of zombies spawning. The zombies spawn at positions determined by a rol of 2 dice.
○ Activation: Zombies activate during their phase in order of their quality: the fast ones before the slow ones.
○ Target: They move towards your slayer, or towards a townsmen, if you found and positioned one of them somewhere.
○ Action: Simple zombies. They move on the shortest path towards you or a townsman and attack if an action is left.
The Boss is a bit different, as he doesn't move, but can spawn more and more zombies, once he has been discovered.

Why you should look into it: Have you aver considered to colour-code the pips of a die? No? Are you interested? Then look into the rules, to see, what you can do!



Kind regards,
Kai
 
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Martin Larouche
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crazybyzantine wrote:
deedob wrote:
crazybyzantine wrote:
First, awesome list! Search for "cardboard AI" and you'll get some other hits.

The D&D games use a "Tactics" if-then-else logic (google images of their cards for examples). Galaxy Defenders and Doom: The Boardgame have something similar but only activate subgroups of already spawned monsters.

This kind of logic seems to be a best practice vs. "close with nearest and attack". Especially if you can randomize or provide multiple possibilities.

The other system I liked was Dungeon Plungin', which had a fixed list of "tactics" types and each monster had one. Not as seamless as having it right on the monster card, but allowed for more elaborate "algorithms".




Doom: tbg did not have an AI. The monsters were managed by a player.


Really, it has a GM? Guess I better read that page again.


Doom tbg is the first version of the game that would become Descent journeys in the dark (then Descent 2 amd Imperial Assault). They play almost the same.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Mice and Mystics
The enemies have a single priority AI that moves or stays the unit based on what foes it can see, what it can reach and other factors.

RuinsWorld
Had an interesting AI where the enemy would approach or fall back based on various factors. All abstracted.

Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie while not originally having an AI. There is a fan version that covers things like patrol routes and prioritizing targets.
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Matthew Hughey
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Bookmarked for when I get a crazy idea.
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Thanee
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gparali wrote:
6) Warhammer Quest
○ Target: Simple go to clause nearest.


I don't think this is correct.

Enemies are distributed evenly among the heroes (that they can reach) with no preference (just randomized, if necessary).

Bye
Thanee
 
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Charilaos Bacharis
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Thanee wrote:
gparali wrote:
6) Warhammer Quest
○ Target: Simple go to clause nearest.


I don't think this is correct.

Enemies are distributed evenly among the heroes (that they can reach) with no preference (just randomized, if necessary).

Bye
Thanee


Corrected
 
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djfooboo wrote:
Bookmarked for when I get a crazy idea.

Same here. But I have my crazy idea.
 
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Charilaos Bacharis
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ex1st wrote:
djfooboo wrote:
Bookmarked for when I get a crazy idea.

Same here. But I have my crazy idea.


Do tell
 
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Mark T
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gparali wrote:
Thanks everyone!

Added Andor, Human Interface and Zombicide.

I am also trying to codify everything and break it into seperate mechnanisms.

I started with Spawn

SPAWN
• Setup: Enemies are placed in a particular position during the setup phase
• Proxy: Spawned enemies are represented by tokens until Players have line of sight
• Spawn Point: Different spawn point depending on monster or other factor
• Event: Spawns happen during particular events.
○ Ex. Time interval (random or regular)
○ Ex. A new area is revealed
• Enemy: Enemy actions cause or affect spawns
○ Ex. AI card causing spawn
○ Ex. Enemy ringing alarm affecting dungeon threat level and number of enemies spawned on next spawn event
○ Ex. Spawn points that can be destroyed, and spawn enemies
• Player: Player actions cause or affect spawns
○ Ex. Player threat level causing spawn

I will also be lookingi into Dungeon Plungin crzybyzantine suggested.

Huggable: Gathering Storm was also on my study list. It seems too fiddly, but maybe there useful parts.


This looks a lot like what's used in Galaxy Defenders. Someone else mentioned this one further up the thread, but I'll second it as it's one of the best AIs I've had the privilege to play with. Spawn points are determined by the scenario, but any enemy type available in the scenario can spawn at any of the fixed spawn points. Spawns come on the board as generic tokens until LOS is established with a player character. Then a card draw determines the type of enemy.

Each enemy has a card that lays out an If Then, Else priority based on range to nearest player with LOS. It seems to work very nicely with lots of trade space to work with during combat.
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Charilaos Bacharis
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Actually its just a composition of all the mechanics used in various games for the spawning, along with examples.
 
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Cutthroat Caverns is a kind-of-co-op-but-not-really game that has a good A.I. system.

 
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