Sleeper Game Mode

Telanir · 24452

Telanir

  • Community Guild
  • *****
    • Posts: 75
  • Sleeping
on: April 13, 2015, 02:12:06 am


Hey guys,

I've been working a bit on developing the idea I had a bit before of an autonomous separate command node that uses creeper to combat the player, when I released the Eye of Orion map people seemed to like the idea. I am open to feedback and suggestions, please add your thoughts to this thread and I will do my best to make corrections. :)
This is a post where I want to catalogue all my future maps and updates as well as a tutorial on how to best play these maps.
I will be uploading a template for creating these maps as well in the near future, if you don't know what this is then check out the maps section of this post.

What is a Sleeper?
See this wiki post for the Sleeper lore and more info.



A little idea I had of a Ticon development that went horribly wrong, the creeper ended up corrupting these autonomous command nodes and sending them across the galaxy to orbit distant planets. The command nodes had a built in safety switch that turned them off and made them "sleep" until an enemy arrives, which was supposed to be a creeper except now they watch for human trespassers. In the map Era of the Sleepers a more advanced Sleeper node is activated and it sends signals across the galaxy for other Sleeper nodes to also activate, I will be making these maps with that in mind. Sleepers are an advanced technology, and therefore don't do most of the fighting themselves, but instead employ their creations to fight for them, they are near-clones of the player units with the exception that they fire creeper instead. Units constructed by Sleeper nodes are called Creeps and vary in their purpose, they can either produce or use Creeper, they are made of a modified plated Digitalis and are impact resistant.

Strategy
In order to make the whole Creep idea work I had to find a way for the player to damage these units without the sole use of snipers and beams, because that would be somewhat stale. Creep units therefore have a single piece of Digitalis underneath the CRPL Core that when damaged will sharply reduce the health of the creep. This piece of digitalis will be repaired but if damage is sustained and the digitalis can't grow back fast enough the unit keeps dying. If a Creep has anti-creeper underneath it will also begin to suffer from massive damage.

What does that mean?
I couldn't make your Big Bertha's super useful, but I made sure they stayed relevant. :)
If anyone has any ideas for the code I'd be glad to implement them but as of now there doesn't seem to be a way for me to, strictly speaking, know when a shot is fired and hits the CRPL. Big Bertha's however, are extremely apt at sweeping up the Creep Collectors because they have low health and their Digitalis does not regrow fast.

Quick List of Tips
  • If you want to destroy these units from a distance you can use Strafers and Bombers, just make sure that you use these Strafers to kill Creep Beams first or they will be quickly destroyed.
  • If you want to keep Creep units from flying too close to your borders and wrecking your cannons, place beams to shoot them while they're in the air.
  • If you're looking to get rid of a Creep make a Pulse Cannon prioritize Digitalis and move it near, the Pulse Cannon will shoot the Creep and destroy it.
  • When the Sleeper is close to your borders it will build units there too, make Mortars to destroy these building units.
  • Creep units are not constructed instantly, they suck up their surrounding creeper and use it to build themselves, if there is less creeper around them, they build slower.
  • Sleeper nodes will corrupt Ore deposits with Ore Mines that rapidly draw up Creeper, defend Ore deposits early in-game to prevent massive creeper floods.
  • Sleeper units will use Totems to upgrade, as the Sleeper acquires more Aether it will learn to produce new units, in order: Creep Terp, Creep Spore Tower, Creep Shield, Creep Strafers.
  • Sleeper power surges can only happen once every 5 minutes, don't send in your full attack force the first time you fight it. It will sense danger and activate the surge, then you strike.

Creep Units

Sleeper
Health: Massive
Purpose: Annihilate the trespassing sniveling humans.
Abilities:
  • Emits large amounts of creeper.
  • Produces Creep units.
  • Uses a power surge to destroy nearby threats. Takes time to recharge.
  • Automatic Anti-Air Beams are installed into the unit.
  • Has mortar-like capabilities, will fire at land units.
  • Can fly, will move across the map to claim Ore deposits, Totems, and to cover greater areas in Creep units.
Strategy: In-between power surges is the best time to strike. Always strike in large numbers because the Sleeper has anti-air and point-defense that will destroy your units. When a Sleeper is settled down it will attempt to run if you attack it with units, if the Digitalis on the Sleeper is damaged, however, it will hunker down and will not attempt flight. Therefore, use a combination of Snipers and Pulse Cannons, douse the Sleeper in anti-Creeper, all three will deal continuous damage to it's massive health and the Pulse Cannons will prevent it from escaping.

Collector
Health: Low
Purpose: Produce creeper to feed surrounding Creep units.
Abilities:
  • Emit small amounts of creeper.
Strategy: Use any available Big Bertha's to sweep up large amounts of Collectors at once, the Sleeper usually can't keep up.

Ore Mine
Health: High
Purpose: Produce creeper to feed surrounding Creep units.
Abilities:
  • Emit massive amounts of creeper.
Strategy: Once an Ore Mine is settled it can be tough to chew out, secure as many Ore deposits as early as possible, otherwise use Pulse Cannon fleets, target Digitalis and land them on the Ore Mines to take them out.

Totem Siphon
Health: High
Purpose: Upgrade the Sleeper node with Aether and unlock bigger and badder Creep units.
Abilities:
  • Emit tiny amounts of defensive creeper.
  • Extract Aether and sent it to the Sleeper.
Strategy: A Sleeper does not instantly unlock the more powerful Creep units, Totem Siphons have a lot of health but if you focus Pulse Cannons on them you can take them out. The more time a Sleeper has with active Totem Siphons the faster it unlocks new techs!

Pulse Cannon
Health: Medium
Purpose: Use surrounding creeper to eliminate anti-creeper and player units.
Abilities:
  • Shoot creeper bullets.
  • Can fly to the front lines, will pursue player units and anti-creeper.
Strategy: Cannons will target your units and without your Forge upgrades they will fire farther than your units. If you see an approaching Creep Cannon, move your units closer and target Digitalis.

Mortar
Health: Medium
Purpose: Use surrounding creeper at a distance to eliminate anti-creeper and player units.
Abilities:
  • Fire massive mortar rounds, sucking up 9 cells of creeper and firing them at a target.
  • Can fly to the front lines, will pursue player units and anti-creeper.
Strategy: Mortar fires farther than the Pulse Cannons and packs a bigger punch. They are slower however and can't fight back if you place Pulse Cannons near them.

Beam
Health: Low
Purpose: Use surrounding creeper to eliminate air units.
Abilities:
  • Fire a beam of Creeper at a flying target.
  • Can fly to the front lines, will pursue player units.
Strategy: Beams will target every flying unit, that includes when you move your cannons! Place beams at your front lines to avoid enemy beams preventing you from beefing up your front line. Otherwise stack groups of Strafers and order them all to fire at the Beam, it will eliminate it fairly quickly.

Terp
Health: Medium
Purpose: Use surrounding creeper to create Digitalis in their surrounding area.
Abilities:
  • Creates Digitalis in a circle around it.
Strategy: Once a Terp is deployed there is very little you can do, focus on destroying building Terps to avoid a map covered in Digitalis.

Shield
Health: High
Purpose: Push anti-Creeper away and pull Creeper in, drawing fire and assisting friendly units to advance the front line.
Abilities:
  • Project a force against anti-Creeper and
  • Can fly to the front lines, will pursue player units and anti-creeper.
  • Are very aggressive and will often place themselves very close to player units.
Strategy: Shields don't produce Creeper and without backup support they are nearly useless. They are very aggressive and will often plow into the front lines before anything else gets there, use this time to destroy them before their reinforcements arrive.

Strafer Base
Health: Low
Purpose: Produce Strafers with medium health to help push the front lines against the player. Fire at weak points such as relays and collectors and eliminate the ability of player units to receive power.
Abilities:
  • Uses surrounding Creeper to produce Strafers.
Strategy: Strafer Bases have low health on their own, consider sending a wave of player strafers against them. Creep Strafers can be extremely frustrating because they are specifically designed to cut power lines and force you to pull back. Destroy their bases as soon as possible, and use many beams to destroy approaching Strafers before they can cause too much damage.


Changelog
v1.0
  • Original release for the Sleeper mod.

Sleeper Maps
You can find a comprehensive list of all available Sleeper maps on this wiki post. If your map is not on there you should notify me either by sending a PM or making a post in this thread, you can also simply edit the wiki page to include your map.


Map Template
Navigate to this post for more information about making your own sleeper map!



Thank you for everyone who supported the Sleeper project and added their suggestions, concerns, and reported bugs, you have all made a meaningful contribution.
Thanks to Tyler21, Loren Pechtel, iwishforpie2, porlob, strigvir, hbarudi, D0m0nik, cecel123, RrR, stdout, Karsten75 and of course, the amazing VirgilW.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 03:55:55 am by Telanir »

Want to make genius CRPL? The new top map? You can start here!

Find out more about Creeper World 3 on the wiki!

CW3, The Sleeper Menace!

Own an iOS device? Check out my game Blobivers


Tyler21

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 205
Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 07:12:50 am
First of all, you are doing a wonderful job, you made this mod even more amazing then in Orion's Eye.
And you deserve another huge compliment for making your scripts very user-friendly and including that incredible amount of comments.

However, as in any game, there is always room for improvement ;-)

Here are my comments and suggestions (currently I have only these, but when I will have more, I'll just put them at the end of this list):
  • It would be nice to see the range of enemy units (for instance by setting a radius image that is only visible when the player hovers the cursor over the enemy unit). Though I am usually against making the gameplay easier for players, I think this would be really cool.
  • The SHIELD is not working properly. Does not repel AC at all. I think this is because of a general bug in CW3, the EnableTowerField call usually applies the same input var for both C and AC. You can use SetFieldCell for every surrounding cell instead, for instance see my attached script that uses the same parameters. I hope this helps, but may contain bugs.
  • Snipers can shoot the CN even when it is on higher grounds. I am not sure whether this is intended or not, but I think CONST_SNIPERIGNORELOS should be set to FALSE instead of TRUE in the CN script. Unless you want to provide some additional aid for the players.
  • I saw that you included a ranking in the targeting script, which is nice but you did not put the nullifier on that list to prevent speedruns. Related to this, the enemy CN's CONST_NULLIFIERDAMAGES should be set to 0 until its first landing. I know that it's not a serious issue.. until more players will find this loophole.
  • I encountered strange building patterns, for instance the CN built lots of high Creeper consuming buildings without having any working collector. I checked the build function and if I get it right currently the CN just randomly picks one Creep building from the unlocked Creep building list and starts building that one (if there is no ore depo or totem available). I suggest to include some unit counters here as well, as it would be better to build those buildings first which are more important and necessary for the current state of game (for example: when low on creeper, more collector and no strafer pads, when player has more strafers then the CN should build more beams, don't build terps when the surrounding area is full of digi, etc.)
  • The STRAFERS are way too powerful against the Creeps. If you avoid the CN, even one strafer can destroy 8-10 Creeps on a single raid, including beams. And if built on a PZ + speed upgrades, the strafer is unstoppable. If you decided to constrain sniper and bertha use, you might consider constraining strafer as well (limit unit number or cost) since in its current form it is the single ultimate unit (of course, for defeating the CN players still need snipers or nullifiers).
  • The enemy units only rarely move towards the front and when they do, they do not cause much trouble as these movements are uncoordinated and enemy ranges are relatively small. I know that 'smart' relocation of the units is one of the most difficult parts of AI in any strategy game, but it would increase the gameplay experience a lot if enemy units would
    • coordinate their attacks
    • move more frequently and aggresively towards the player
    • target weak parts in the players' defense (for instance they could start a raid on relatively unprotected collectors or ore mines,etc.)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 07:17:42 am by Tyler21 »

“Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person's capacity to act.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Check my collection of the 30 most difficult and challenging maps in Colonial Space!


Telanir

  • Community Guild
  • *****
    • Posts: 75
  • Sleeping
Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 08:20:20 pm
Thank you Tyler for your feedback, it is very helpful as I am working on fleshing out a balanced template for all future maps. I really pride myself in having well commented code that people can read and understand easily, we're all a community and we deserve to have access to all these wonderful resources.

I took your forcefield method ( gave due credit ;) of course) and applied it in all the Creep units. I still can't believe that I completely forgot to include Nullifiers as a target in the Sleeper Point Defense module, until now I also had no idea how people were finishing the maps in a minutes time, until I realized that hold on... that makes a lot of sense. Sniper targeting for the Sleeper will be fixed, I'm not actually sure why I did what I did they shouldn't be able to as they can't aim "up" (hence making beams target the flying Sleeper).

Strafers are a constant problem in the old and new version, I found it really hard to balance them but I also want the player to be able to spam Strafers galore because sometimes you really need to take a pool of creeper out. How do you destroy beams if you can't get to them in the first place? Well I came up with a solution. Simply have flying non-air units take a lot less damage to their hitpoints and have players haul groups of Digitalis-targeting pulse cannons. I'll be making the beams hit air units a lot harder now that it makes a whole lot more sense.

When it comes to build patterns yeah I'm pretty guilty of rushing the Sleeper code as it came last and I really wanted to push a map. I'll be pushing a changelog as soon as I'm doing all of this.

Want to make genius CRPL? The new top map? You can start here!

Find out more about Creeper World 3 on the wiki!

CW3, The Sleeper Menace!

Own an iOS device? Check out my game Blobivers


strigvir

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 107
Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 12:01:21 am
Do creeper units follow the same line of sight rules as their normal counterparts, i.e. can I wreck a pulse cannon from the higher elevation without getting hit back?



Tyler21

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 205
Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 03:12:00 am
I took your forcefield method ( gave due credit ;) of course) and applied it in all the Creep units

I am not sure whether this is a good idea for two reasons.
First, Creeps will have overlapping ranges and they will override the others' field as these do not add but the last value applies to the target cell. This could result in very strange patterns.
This is not an issue if you will use it for shields only and add a script that ensures that each shield will be at least (shield range) distance from eachother.

Second, as the number of Creeps will increase this will lead to an exponential decrease in performance.
I think it is not really necessary to use fields for each Creep. You can improve the creeper collecting method. Currently the cores are using the single cell only under the core (I assume that's why you want to use the fields), but you could modify the collecting method itself, for instance by forcing the core to collect a certain amount of creeper within its range if possible.

This can be done in several ways, with a combination of a while loop, getcreeper and setcreeper functions (I'd prefer damagecreeper, it's more convenient and it already allows you for damaging creeper in a radius instead of a single cell). The Creep would check nearby cells for creeper in a given pattern (either starting from the core's cell and going away or starting at the radius and going inside, add the amounts of creeper found and when it reaches a certain limit break the loop and damage the creeper for that specific total amount.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 03:13:59 am by Tyler21 »

“Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person's capacity to act.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Check my collection of the 30 most difficult and challenging maps in Colonial Space!


Telanir

  • Community Guild
  • *****
    • Posts: 75
  • Sleeping
Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 04:19:37 am
Don't worry, while I really appreciate it I never take source code at face value--I always want to improve the tools we have and it was a pleasure using your code. I adapted your source to make a radial-based forcefield that is activated only once. Calculations for forcefield only occur upon liftoff and landing for units. Forcefields also now stack on top of one another, I achieved this by using code that modified forcefields using GetFieldCell and SetFieldCell to get the effect. I will be putting the source in the wiki EasyCRPL, but when it comes to forcefields, I didn't bother updating source for all of them you are right, I only did so for shields.

The next update is pretty packed and I'm liking where this is going. Only problem I'm having at the moment is the AI for deciding which Creep to build is causing lag spikes a few times a minute when the area around it is full and it gets annoying--so I postponed my next release until tomorrow. It's time to peek out from under that beta cloud and get a template running. I tried using my template that I built and ran into a bunch of issues, thankfully now issues nobody else will have to run into. DialogueMessages are really hard to work with and bug out for me... so I'm not using them.

Do creeper units follow the same line of sight rules as their normal counterparts, i.e. can I wreck a pulse cannon from the higher elevation without getting hit back?
As of the next version they will check if you're on higher terrain but as for line-of-sight (building walls) it can be pretty CPU intensive. I will have to think about that... for now try using mortars to get the Creep cannons offline.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 04:26:14 am by Telanir »

Want to make genius CRPL? The new top map? You can start here!

Find out more about Creeper World 3 on the wiki!

CW3, The Sleeper Menace!

Own an iOS device? Check out my game Blobivers


Telanir

  • Community Guild
  • *****
    • Posts: 75
  • Sleeping
Reply #6 on: April 17, 2015, 04:31:23 am
With the release of the Sleeper v1.0 Dreams of Eridani I have also released the Sleeper map template for anyone who also wants to contribute to this project. : )

You can find the Sleeper Map Template here.

Want to make genius CRPL? The new top map? You can start here!

Find out more about Creeper World 3 on the wiki!

CW3, The Sleeper Menace!

Own an iOS device? Check out my game Blobivers


Karsten75

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 7116
Reply #7 on: April 17, 2015, 02:02:08 pm
I played one of the "sleeper" maps. Reasonable fun, but my primary objection would be the terrible lag on what I perceived as even a moderate map. I got around 16-18 fps on my Intel Core i5 desktop.

'If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.'

Albert Einstein
(1879-1955)


Telanir

  • Community Guild
  • *****
    • Posts: 75
  • Sleeping
Reply #8 on: April 17, 2015, 02:04:57 pm
The latest release map Eridani was focused primarily on fixing the lag issues and balancing. If the other maps play slow I want to recommend that you try this one. :)

Please let me know how it goes, I also run an i5 on a fairly old desktop and encountered lag on my previous maps.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 06:47:47 pm by Telanir »

Want to make genius CRPL? The new top map? You can start here!

Find out more about Creeper World 3 on the wiki!

CW3, The Sleeper Menace!

Own an iOS device? Check out my game Blobivers


strigvir

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 107
Reply #9 on: April 29, 2015, 12:45:10 am
PAC maps starring Sleeper when?



Telanir

  • Community Guild
  • *****
    • Posts: 75
  • Sleeping
Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 10:07:40 pm
PAC maps starring Sleeper when?

That sounds really difficult to do, it would mean writing an entire new system to make you play as the Sleeper too. Maybe if more people voice interest in the idea. :D

Want to make genius CRPL? The new top map? You can start here!

Find out more about Creeper World 3 on the wiki!

CW3, The Sleeper Menace!

Own an iOS device? Check out my game Blobivers


Warpsing

  • Jr. Member
  • **
    • Posts: 55
  • I'm one of the new guys.
Reply #11 on: July 21, 2015, 07:17:36 pm
Hey there.  I seem to be having a problem with the sleeper strafer.  It doesn't seem to be moving when it's created.  The map starts you off with only collectors, relays, cannons, and nullifiers.  You have a sleeper striker, a few emitters, and a spore tower to keep you busy until you face off against the sleeper, who produces more collectors and pulse cannons, but produces no mortars or beams.

On another note, I thought of how a sleeper guppy might work out to be like. A sleeper guppy could be varied in 3 ways as how guppies are, and could change between construct, emit, and siphon.  Construct acts like a sleeper command node that is much weaker in terms of hp, has barely any turbo mode or self defense, and has a limited ammo for building, but is faster in terms of speed.

Emit uses creeper, and acts like a emitter for a certain amount of time.  same hp and self defense as the other guppy.  Siphon lands and tries to connect to the power grid to steal materials, and then unload it to the pad.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 08:19:28 pm by Warpsing »



tanminecraft2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
    • Posts: 13
Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 03:13:04 am
hey telanir do you to collaborate with tyler and warren? I'm sure it'll be a better map such as you can play sleeper map with the game concept of hoover dam you're one of the 3CRPL god along with them so it's your chance to try if possible or if too hard try to add their script into your sleeper game mode it'll be great



rer24

  • Jr. Member
  • **
    • Posts: 46
Reply #13 on: October 04, 2015, 08:47:56 am
I love the idea behind this game mode! First of all, I would also like to see a PAC with this game mode. Second, a couple of ideas for more units:
1. Reactors: They would be similar to collectors, but be more expensive and produce more creeper
2. Guppies: they would draw in creeper at landing pad, fly to areas with lots of structures but little creeper, and release the creeper
3. Sprayers: they could be more powerful than pulse cannons, and hold some creeper for later use
4. Sniper: Lots of range, low fire rate
5. Bomber: Similar to strafer, drops creeper right below it, slower but stronger
Any of these may have an unlock cost.

We shall end the infinite cycle of madness!


rer24

  • Jr. Member
  • **
    • Posts: 46
Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 01:35:33 pm
Also, it would be interesting if the Sleeper could interact with Power-zones. Make the units stronger/more efficient.

We shall end the infinite cycle of madness!