Interesting Interview with Ed Beach

dexters

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Multi threaded AI confirmed

Beach: We have a whole new AI system. The AI is multithreaded this time. Exactly where we’ll land on performance—I don’t want to make any claims yet. It should be good. It should be an improvement. But until we actually have everything tuned the way we want, I don’t want to make any claims.

We’ve looked at some of the AI research going on lately, but the problem is, all of those developments assume that you have some time to spend on doing the deep thought. Our players expect to get control back. We are using some new technologies. We have a more goal-oriented AI than we did in the past. We’re using behavior trees. It can do things like look at a chain of boosts and tell how to achieve getting three levels deep in the tech tree by unlocking boosts to get there. Once it starts down that path, it will follow through with that line of reasoning.
 

Hail

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goal-oriented AI algorathims and behavior trees are very different to be used together imo.
goal-oriented AI looks through decision space for a chain of actions that satisfy some criteria, while a BT AI executes behavoir tree nodes in some predefined order until, ultimately children node(s) return to the root node a SUCCESS/FAILURE status. a BT is a static, rigid structure.

I do hope they will use at least behavoir trees.

on multithreading: sounds like PR talk. then again even with mutexes all over the code, i7 with 8 threads and i7 from enthusiast Intel sockets should see a considerable boost.

much depends on the minimal specs that 2K will choose for civ6. if the min specs will still be a dual core cpu, then don't expect much.
 

Thormodr

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Glad to hear they will have multi threading. Stardock's games have been using that for a while and the wait times between turns are extremely quick. Would be a refreshing change from Civilization 5 where things got bogged down badly on "larger" maps.
 

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Glad to hear they will have multi threading. Stardock's games have been using that for a while and the wait times between turns are extremely quick. Would be a refreshing change from Civilization 5 where things got bogged down badly on "larger" maps.

In fact, when well done, there are NO waiting times. The beautiful paradox is that, the more into the game the human player advances, the more time he uses in his turn, and the more time the MT AI has to "pre-process" its algorithms, so that when human player finally ends his turn, AI is already done (to some extent, of course, at least with the algorithms that are more long term and do not depend on the latest moves as input).

"Gosh, human idiot, hurry up already! I am TMAIT, and I am sick of the waiting times in this game!" :D

(@TMIT, with love and humor, Phil... ;) )
 

shaglio

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"Gosh, human idiot, hurry up already! I am TMAIT, and I am sick of the waiting times in this game!" :D

(@TMIT, with love and humor, Phil... ;) )

Huh, reminds me of joncnunn's signature :)
 

Hail

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In fact, when well done, there are NO waiting times. The beautiful paradox is that, the more into the game the human player advances, the more time he uses in his turn, and the more time the MT AI has to "pre-process" its algorithms, so that when human player finally ends his turn, AI is already done (to some extent, of course, at least with the algorithms that are more long term and do not depend on the latest moves as input).
you imply that the AI(s) should use player's turn time to process their stuff, but I do not think that is the case with civ6. :(
 

dexters

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Civ5 was designed to run with dual core setups. Though it was eventually patched to utilize i7 processors (the ui was it's own thread allowing players with the cores and threads to view various menus while the turns processed IBT)

Would not surprise me minimum this time is a 4 core processor. i5s are pretty popular for gaming PCs. Most i7 will be 4 cores and 8 threads though there is a hexa core 12 thread i7
 

bison21

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Can someone explain what is meant by "multi-threaded AI"? Does this refer to AI decision making in particular? (which doesn't make much sense to me in the context of multi-threading).
 

Aristos

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you imply that the AI(s) should use player's turn time to process their stuff, but I do not think that is the case with civ6. :(

I'm not implying it, it runs like that in Galactic Civilizations 3 (and IIRC, it ran already like that in GalCiv2). Whether FXS is up to that challenge and catches up with Stardock or not, that is another matter (Stardock has Derek, and very close to him, the genius of Soren).

We shall see. As of right now, it all can only be regarded as, hold on, don't die, MARKETING.

(of course I hope they are up to the challenge and really deliver this time, but I am cautious).
 

joncnunn

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Can someone explain what is meant by "multi-threaded AI"? Does this refer to AI decision making in particular? (which doesn't make much sense to me in the context of multi-threading).

I'm going to state this in terms of games in which each person must move exactly one piece during each turn for simplistically:

You can then think of when it's your move to play having a choice of all legal moves from the current position.
For each of these, your opponent has a choice of legal moves from that point
For each of these, you then have a choice of all legal moves from that point
etc.

With a logical single thread AI, you use a single thread to do all the above work.
With a logical mutithreaded AI, each possible move is an opportunity to spawn a new thread to get it's set and when all its children report back, it can select the best move.

Now, to avoid mutlithreading AI performance actually decreasing from a single threaded, it must also have a way to share across arriving at the same game position from multiple paths and also sharing the "alpha" & "omega" pruning across all threads.

Of course if there are more logical threads being spawned than the number of CPU processors (extremely likely) some of the spawned threads will have to wait (or more precisely the OS will periodically suspend each thread to go onto the next one in line), but it's still better than maxing out one CPU processor while all the others stay idle.
 

Nixalo

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Found something slightly interesting

GamesBeat:Is there any AI helping you choose where to put a city?

Beach: There is. The UI’s just not online for it yet. It will be there.

GamesBeat: It seems like that’s very important.

Beach: There’s a whole system you probably didn’t get a chance to play with. We have what we call a lens system. Those are UI filters that get draped over the map to help you analyze data. There’s a religion lens that will color-code the map based on what religion is dominant in all the tiles of the map. We have a settlement lens that tells you about which plots are valid for settlement and which ones are going to have the most housing and water to get your city up and growing. A lot of UI work is going into that kind of helping stuff. It’s just not online yet.

Apparently a new city relies on housing and water to grow well. Sound like if you plop down a city in a lo water low housing spot just to grab resources, it might suck and you might new get access to them anytime so.

Combine that with military encampments and barbarians, you might not be able to settle in crazy spots without the support of your other cities depending on how harshly Firaxis makes you need water and housing. The way Beach speaks makes it sound like setting up your capital city is priority number 1. Or at least their goal.
 

rastak

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Found something slightly interesting



Apparently a new city relies on housing and water to grow well. Sound like if you plop down a city in a lo water low housing spot just to grab resources, it might suck and you might new get access to them anytime so.

Combine that with military encampments and barbarians, you might not be able to settle in crazy spots without the support of your other cities depending on how harshly Firaxis makes you need water and housing. The way Beach speaks makes it sound like setting up your capital city is priority number 1. Or at least their goal.


I was wondering when someone would pick up on that. I saw that too. No idea mechanic wise how that will work.
 

bpower

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I was wondering when someone would pick up on that. I saw that too. No idea mechanic wise how that will work.

Isn't the housing mechanic, in terms of restricting growth, a replacement for global happiness?

I have same worry about scale as the writer, we might end up with no courty side bewtten cities,cities only working districts packed close very close. Will the maps be bigger to hold the bigger cities?
 

Nixalo

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I was wondering when someone would pick up on that. I saw that too. No idea mechanic wise how that will work.

Water probably works like IV and V. River city might have access bonus food building. Farms with fresh water get bonus food. Etc etc.
I remember that farms give also housing in Quill/Marbs's videos. With limited use workers, a "dry" city might need the capitals to build it a full builder and use all their charges. A "wet" city might be able to grow just from founding and a single builder charge for a farm.

The real revelation is that you might need this info before founding and not just deal with it later.
 

rastak

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Isn't the housing mechanic, in terms of restricting growth, a replacement for global happiness?

I have same worry about scale as the writer, we might end up with no courty side bewtten cities,cities only working districts packed close very close. Will the maps be bigger to hold the bigger cities?

I'll be honest, that was my first thought when unpacking cities was announced. It still sounds really interesting.
 

joncnunn

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Isn't the housing mechanic, in terms of restricting growth, a replacement for global happiness?

Not really, global happiness basically amounts to you can support 50 people in your empire: Choose between ten cities that are each size 5 and one city size 17 + three cities size 11.
In addition, in this case whenever you found or conquer a new city, this number is reduced.

Housing mechanics don't limit max number of cities you can found at all. It's instead mostly a limit on how tall a given city can be at the time, but amount of land tiles it has is a factor.
In addition, founding a new city has no impact on housing of existing ones (unless it's close enough that you reassign some farms the old city to the new one)
 
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