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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blitzkrieg 3 Neural Network AI Questions and Answers

Q. What is Blitzkrieg 3 today?
A. Blitzkrieg 3 is an online WW2 RTS made for true admirers of strategic mastery! Challenge your tactical skills in historical campaigns and defeat either players or powerful Neural Network AI in competitive matches.

Q. What has changed from 2015 to 2017?
A. Boris is definitely the main change. 
Our main goal is - and always was - to create an online RTS. That genre doesn’t exist yet so it took a lot of experiments. During this period we did a lot of work on non-classic RTS approaches and modes. Finally, we realized that a strong computer opponent is a must for almost any approach to online RTS. At the same time people always wanted to play with interesting and smart AI. That’s why we had to do it. And we found an answer in Neural Network.

Q. What are the key features of upcoming game?

  1. Neural network AI
  2. Historical campaigns
  3. Multiplayer modes
  4. Authentic models
  5. Tactical features
  6. Legendary commanders

Q. DeepMind, Blizzard, IBM and others are working on their own Neural AI solutions. What are the differences, similarities?
A. From player’s point their solutions are not really different from ours. 
DeepMind already teached PC to play simple games and took a more challenging task. The issue was mostly theoretical for them, so they chose a hardest genre and continued their efforts. On the other hand, we have been making strategies for twenty years, thus we played on our home field. We believe that we made the world’s first effective Neural Network AI. Moreover, it is capable to scale for hundred thousands of live players.

Q. RTS with Neural Network AI? How does it work?
A. Standard AI usually utilises a pretty simple tactics. For example, he attacks if there is an enemy tank, but it doesn’t care if there is a possibility of ten more tanks behind the corner. 
In contrast, Blitzkrieg’s AI named Boris tries to predict the actions and plans of the opponent. Neural Network components help Boris to “understand” that if a player scouts it can result in an attack from that direction, that a player has more units than Boris can currently see, that it takes time to move units from one side of map to another, etc. 
That allows Boris to play strategically.
Q. Neural Network AI Boris in multiplayer. Why do people play with Boris?
A. Why do you call someone a Bullet Dodger? Because he dodges bullets! 
Once you fully read someone’s strategy it’s not interesting to play against him anymore. Boris is different, he’s not easy to read. He acts tough and unpredictable, so he can amaze you over and over again.
Q. Is Boris fair? Do he use any hidden information? How do he scouts the map and use fortifications? Is he hard opponent?
A. Boris utilizes the same information as player does and plays on a top player’s level. 
The fairness is a hard concept, there is no single point of view on fairness level. We have a player who suggests that Boris has to lose the attention focus and sometimes randomly not paying attention to mini-map. We honestly think that it is a bit too much to require. Boris uses the same information as player can use - but does it as effectively as he can.
Q. How can player manage the difficulty of PvAI?
A. As in almost any other game - by choosing the appropriate missions and/or conditions.

Mostly by starting conditions, unit number, levels, upgrades, speed of reinforcements gaining, etc. The task of providing the best user experience is still too complicated for whatever AI you can imagine. That boulder lies on game designer’s shoulders. AI will utilize all his resources in efforts to beat you but the number of that resources is defined by the overall gaming progress.
Q. Boris is permanently learning, isn’t he?

A. Yes, he does.
The most dangerous rival is the one who can predict the future. That’s what Boris is learning to do with every patch. And if he will steadily succeed, he will probably become unbeatable. Sounds scary, but on the other side of the coin humanity can potentially learn to predict the nearest future basing on the similar technology.

Q. Does it mean that RTS genre will die?

A. More likely no than yes.

The humanity follows this road for many years. Robots have already beaten us in checkers, chess, and Go. They will inevitably beat us in any video game, including RTS. But the fact that excavator beats any human in weightlifting didn’t kill Olympic Games. People will definitely continue to get fun from playing.

Q. What is the release date?

We now target at Summer 2017.

Q. How to play with Boris right now?

1. Firstly you have to get on the Test (Closed) Server, please follow the steps from this manual for that.
2. To select the play vs Neural AI (Boris), please follow the steps from this manual.

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