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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2019, 01:45:15 PM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v190830
Dutch Owen 30/08/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.3 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 18.9MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.3 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 18.9MB

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Changelog

   Makerwys.exe added
I updated the installers to version 0.9.3 with the inclusion of Makerwys.exe and it will be automatically run if needed to create R5.csv. Glad you spotted that. Makerwys.exe is a free utility from Pete Dowson that many other programs use, including FSCaptain.

Dutch

« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 02:55:32 PM by Asid »

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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2019, 01:53:12 PM »
Thinking clearly about Radar in FSCAI
28 Aug 2019

Dutch Owen

Captains interested in FSCAI Combat,

As I've said a couple of times here and there one of the major features of modern air combat that's missing in FSCAI at the present time is a through simulation of radar. Right now, targeting is done entirely visually - if an A.I. can't see you it won't target you. If you get out of visual range before you are engaged the AI will drop you as a target (you can duck into a cloud to get away for instance).

Obviously, this has to be remedied so we need to put radar into the simulation. But radar makes things quite complicated and has serious implications outside of just the FSCAI program itself.

One concept we should keep in mind is balance. Generally as far as possible we don't want to give the AI pilots any capability that the user can't have (if he has the right aircraft and equipment) and also we don't want to give the user an unfair potential advantage over any AI adversary no matter what his FSCAI equipment can do.

Right now, without radar for the AI, that advantage of user over AI exists - many airplanes the user can fly have some form of radar, and Tacpack has radar-guided missiles like the AIM-120 that can strike well beyond visual range.

So let's think about how to give the AI pilots some useful radar capabilities.

Right now ground-based guns (only guns, not missiles) can be tagged as 'radar guided'. What this does in practical terms is that the gunners can target an aircraft regardless of visibility if the aircraft is within their radar range, and they can shoot at the aircraft so long as it remains painted on their gun radar even if they can't see it. The 'gun radar' isn't explicitly defined, it's assumed to have a visibility cone of 360 degrees and the range as being the same as the weapon range.

I see us giving the advantages of radar to AI aircraft in stages, starting with the easiest and going on to the more difficult areas later.

Step 1. Extend targeting capability of aircraft equipped with radar.

The important attributes of a radar set are its range and visibility cone. Since airborne radar capability varies widely its obvious we have to define radar sets as "weapons" to FSCAI, but weapons that don't shoot they just have special targeting capabilities. We already allow a weapon type of "RADAR" and there are couple of experimental sets already in the database (the RP-21 and RP-22 radars typically found on the MiG-21). It should be a simple matter to do an additional check in the targeting functions to see if the aircraft has a radar set attached to it, and if it does, can that radar detect an enemy aircraft within its range and visibility cone? If so, treat the target as visible to the AI pilot whether we can see it or not.

Step 2. Extend targeting capability to ground based radars.

It is possible to define a radar set with a range and visibility cone and attach it to a ground unit. (Bear in mind ground units already can have radar-guided guns.) But here we are talking about giving long-range detection capability to certain ground units. What would they do with that capability? What they do in the real world is pass on that information to friendly interceptors who can then approach the target deemed "best" by the ground radar. Once close the aircraft's own targeting capabilities would take over (whether that's an eyeball or a radar in the airplane).

Here's our basic problem with that. How do we define an "friendly interceptor?" My first idea is to use the "role code" placed on the aircraft's vehicle definition in FSCAI. Role codes are A=Attack, F=Fighter, FB=Fighter/Bomber, LB=Level Bomber, DB=Dive Bomber, T=Transport. I would say that only type "F" qualifies as an interceptor. The ground radar, on seeing an enemy aircraft within range and within its cone, could then look for friendly "F"-role aircraft airborne within intercept range of the enemy, and if any were found they would be vectored towards the enemy aircraft by the ground radar station. Think of this as a "pre-targeting" function. It's really GCI - Ground Controlled Intercept - for AI.

So now the problem of balance rears its head. User aircraft don't have GCI. They might have an unrealistic 360-degree radar set but that's about it. How important is this balance issue? Ultimately it would be solved by including GCI as a capability of FSCAI, but that's a major effort and not going to happen tomorrow.

Step 3. Allow AI-controlled units (ground or air or sea) to launch radar-guided missiles.

As far as coding goes this capability already exists. From a pure simulation point of view the code that guides a heat-seeking missile to a flying target is not different from code that guides a "radar-guided" missile. And that problem is already solved, as the many times I've gone down in flames to a missile attests. The only real difference in how FSCAI would handle an incoming radar-guided missile as opposed to a heat-seeking one is that 1) chaff, not flare, is used to spoof it, 2) another avialable countermeasure is a radar jammer and 3) Radar guided missiles can be detected where heat-seekers generally can't.

So now you see the balance problems. Radar-guided missiles are long-ranged and deadly over heat-seekers - but because they are guided by radar signals they can be detected by radar warning receivers in aircraft that can warn the pilot when he is being painted by a radar, roughly its direction and signal strength, when he's locked on by it, and when a missile is launched. This information is critical to survival in modern air combat!

Although a few user aircraft have a radar warning receiver it is either a non-functioning dummy device or tied in with Tacpack to show warnings about Tacpack-only radar sites and missiles. Most don't have anything at all. Nothing of course supports FSCAI missiles because we haven't even established an interface they could use. One thing we could do right now without much effort would be to play an audio tone to give some form of warning - a slow beep when a radar is painting you, a faster one when you are locked on, and a fast and loud one when a missile is launched. That wouldn't be hard to program at all.

So, is it fair to give AI the capability to launch radar-guided missiles at user aircraft that, while the user can detect them in a primitive way (using audio tones from FSCAI) can't see the direction and distance of the threat?

Or do you think we should wait on radar-guided missiles in FSCAI until we develop an interface and a 2D popup gauge that can be installed in a user aircraft to give it accurate, realistic radar warning capabilities?

Step 4. Stealth capabilities of aircraft.

Once we have all the first three steps the last is to implement a "radar resistance" factor into aircraft definitions by some means (perhaps another "device"?) Since the late 1980s some aircraft have been carefully designed to reduce their detectability by enemy radars. The most modern generation of fighters increasingly depend on this feature for their advantage over the enemy. Modern air combat is a radar war with long-range kills. Stealth aircraft like the F-35 and others have a distinct advantage in this radar and computer based air combat. But while it's not techically difficult to implement stealth in FSCAI we have to get the first three stages done before it has much meaning.

Thanks for your input, all ideas and thoughts on this are welcome,

Dutch


Original Radar discussion



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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2019, 01:54:10 PM »
Thinking clearly about Radar in FSCAI
30 Aug 2019

Dutch Owen

Step 1 of this plan is implemented in the just-released Third edition. AI aircraft can be assigned a "RADAR" type weapon, and the AI pilot will use it to detect and target enemies at whatever range the radar set is capable of. A set of representative US and Soviet radars are included in the database, and several of the aircraft in the database are equipped including the F-4, F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, and F-35. Also the MiG-21 and MiG-25 have radar. Also several ground-based Early Warning radars are defined - but the code to support GCI for AI is not in the program, yet. It will be coming in an update soon.

Dutch


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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2019, 07:05:55 PM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.4
Dutch Owen 31/08/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.4 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 18.9MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.4 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 18.7MB

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Changelog

Version 0.9.4 corrects the following bugs in 0.9.3 - the major feature is a more aggressive AI pilot.

   The missile delay timer to prevent your opponent from spamming missiles at you was set too high, so he doesn't fire a second missile for far too long.
Status: This is fixed in version 0.9.4.

   Speeds flown by the AI pilot are too high resulting in poor turn performance.
Status: Speeds are adjusted downward in 0.9.4.

   A report of crashes when releasing AI missiles from the user aircraft.
Status: Unable to Reproduce at this time.

   When flying post-merge if the AI pilot crosses the 180 degree magnetic heading during the turn he will zig-zag on a generally southern heading for a while.
Status: Fixed in 0.9.4.

Changelog

- The 64-bit installer is now properly in it's 64-bit ZIP file.
- The AI pilots are now much more aggressive about firing their weapons.
- Speeds flown during ACM are lower to faciliate better turn rates.
- Several bugs that caused AI pilots to become confused have been fixed.
- Timeout for contacting the DLL is doubled to allow for longer P3D load times.
- Missions will now advance to "Inbound" when you kill an enemy object.

Dutch

« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 11:25:01 PM by Asid »

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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2019, 12:09:10 PM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.5
Dutch Owen 02/09/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.5 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 18.9MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.5 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 18.9MB

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Version 0.9.5 Dated 02-SEP-19. Known Bug List.

- AI pilots fixate on their target and fail to check their six at appropriate intervals.
Status: Fixed in 0.9.6, interval is indexed by skill.

- Several errors involving confusion between magnetic and true heading result in some targeting errors.
Status: Fixed in 0.9.6, all headings in FSCAI, except advisories to the pilot, are now true headings.

- Gun cone for the BF-109 in the database is too restrictive
Status: Fixed in 0.9.6

- Installation errors in the 64-bit version thinking it is installing in a 32 bit environment.
Status: Under investigation, not reproducible yet.

Changelog Version 0.9.5

- AI Pilots in ground attack aircraft will now attack any ground target they see
  if they are free to engage targets.
- Groups of AI pilots are now splitting up to take on multiple targets when
  they are available.
- Several missing effects and textures have been restored to their proper folder.
- When an AI fighter-type is attacking a non-fighter-type and is itself targeted
  by an enemy fighter it will switch targets to the more dangerous enemy.

Dutch


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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2019, 12:56:21 PM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.6
Dutch Owen 04/09/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.6 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 18.9MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.6 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 18.9MB

Important Tip!! When you run the installer for FSCAI you should right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator". This will help avoid possible security-related problems in the installation. You'll have to extract it from the ZIP do to this.

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Unless the README says otherwise, simply re-installing over the old version will update, no need to un-install first.

Beware, that if you have modified the configuration files they will be replaced by a re-install!


Changelog Version 0.9.6

- AI pilots will no longer fixate on their target and fail to check their six at appropriate intervals.
  If they find someone on their six they will switch targets to the attacker.
- Several serious errors involving confusion between magnetic and true heading have been fixed.
  These could have had far-ranging effects.  Now dogfight opponents will ne straight in front.
- Changes made to correct installation errors in the 64-bit version plus new better logging.
- Gun accuracy now scales up scaled up for decreasing distance to the target so that at 100 meters
  it is 100% regardless of the starting accuracy at maxium range defined in the database.
- Gun cones, accuracy, and potency have been adjusted for changes in the accuracy calculations.
  As a result of these two changes AI opponents using guns are now far more deadly than before.

Dutch

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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2019, 11:50:08 PM »
General Tips on Adding Weapons and Vehicles to the Database.
Dutch Owen Sep 4, 2019

Captains,

Some of you are getting deep enough into FSCAI to start to try and add weapons and vehicles. Here are some general tips on how to do that. The UI should be easy enough to use so there's no need to cover that here. Instead we talk about general topics.

First you'll notice that to create a new weapon or vehicle you must first select another one into the edit dialog. This is deliberate. It makes no sense to start "from scratch" with a blank slate. When creating a new weapon or vehicle find one that's already in the database that's close to what you want or at least the same basic type, double-click on that, then modify the name to the new name you want to give it and change whatever else you need to change then click on "Add New Weapon" or "Add New Vehicle" as the case may be. If you're adding a new air-to-air missile, pick an existing air-to-air missile and so on.

Second, always remember that whatever you create is for the use of AI pilots. The numbers you give not only give the weapons operating parameters but they are also used by the AI pilots to make decisions. You'll need to research each new weapon to get its specifications, but please resist the urge to put the quoted "maximum limit" numbers in as the numbers to use for FSCAI. This is because the numbers you find on the Internet are often right out of the sales brochure and we all know how truthful they are. Often a Wikipedia article will mention the practical maximums versus the sales claims. Always go with the practical not the theory. Otherwise you risk defining weapons with unrealistic capabilities. I never use sales brochure numbers - I always reduce them to a reasonable practical limit. This is especially true of missiles, where the manufacturer (or the using Air Force) often claim performance and range that's seldom seen in the real world.

Third, always consider balance. Try not to define weapons that are so powerful that they give the user of that weapon an overwhelming advantage. Also be wary of setting numbers like accuracy and potency too low or too high, you can easily gimp a weapon to the point of uselessness or make it into science fiction rather than realistic.

Weapons Details

Each weapon name obviously needs to be unique, and keep it short. You'll be using it often when you attach it to vehicles.

Every weapon has a type. For those that do damage the codes are GUN, ROCKET, BOMB, or MISSILE. There is one special code here: RADAR. This defines a radar device that will be used by the AI pilot to detect enemy aircraft based on the range, altitude, and visibility cone values define below.

Regarding the maximum and minimum ranges and altitudes - remember the paragraph above about not putting in unrealistic numbers either too high or too low. AI pilots look at these numbers to decide what weapon to use when and also they greatly influence the calculations for maneuvers since the whole point of air combat is to get within weapons range.

Visibility Cone is quite important. Specifically this is the degrees left or right of the aircraft's current heading in which the weapon can be used. For example, if this cone is defined as 20, then if the aircraft's heading is 200 then the weapon can be used on any enemy (otherwise within range) from a bearing of 220 to a bearing of 180 from the airplane's nose. Typically for ground weapons this cone is 180, which is the maximum number here, representing 360 total degrees. For aircraft this is rarely the case because aircraft weapons are restricted - the only exception usually being the rotating turrets on many vintage level bombers. Aircraft guns have narrow cone of 5 to 10 degrees. For missiles this is particularly important as it limits the firing azimuth - older air-to-air missiles have narrow numbers and newer ones have higher numbers but no missile will have a cone greater than about 50. An AIM-9B or a Shrike will have a very narrow cone of 5 to 10. You can make this number negative, in which case the cone line is behind not ahead of the aircraft. This can be useful for some aircraft that have rear-facing guns.

The Burst, Rounds and Reload data items have a profound effect on what happens when the weapon is fired. FSCAI vehicles (air or ground) take "shots", and roughly at a rate of one "shot" per second. "Burst" is the number of rounds expended per shot, and "Rounds" is the number of rounds in a "magazine." Be aware this applies not only to guns but all weapons. Once the rounds are expended then for a ground vehicle they will have to pause to reload (this gives the targets a short respite) and the "Reloads" data item gives the number of times the magazine can be reloaded until the vehicle is "out of ammo" and has to be re-supplied, which is a lengthy amount of downtime. Aircraft do not get any reloads, when their "Rounds" are used up they are out of ammo even if you give a "Reloads" number for a weapon (remember the same weapon can be attached to an aircraft or a ground vehicle.)

There are some special rules around "Burst" and "Rounds" when talking about bombs to reproduce the way they are dropped in the real world. The "Rounds" is always simply the number of bombs the aircraft is carrying. But "Burst" has some special meaning and this depends on the "Role code" of the aircraft doing the bombing. In short, Attack (A) and Dive Bombers (DB) work differently from Level Bombers (LB). For A and DB types, a "Burst" of 1 means one bomb will be dropped from the centerline store on each attack pass. A "Burst" of 2 means a pair will be dropped from the wings. And any "Burst" above 2 means that number will be dropped per pass from the centerline store. For LB (Level Bomber) roles a "Burst" of 1 means to drop all the bombs in the magazine from the center on the first pass over the target. Any "Burst" above one means to drop that many bombs from the center on each pass.

Accuracy and Potency: These two define how effective the weapon really is. Accuracy is roughly the percentage of the time any shot at the weapon's maximum range will score a direct hit. It is rough because anything can miss. But an accuracy of 100 is extreme - it means the weapon would almost never miss even at maximum range. For guns this accuracy will scale up based on distance such that at a range of 100 meters it will be 100% for for them a low initial maximum range number here would be appropriate. For rockets and bombs this is not relevant - they will either hit or miss based on ballistics. For a missile this is the success rate, in the sense that success means no malfunction will occur. For example a missile with an "accuracy" of 75% would experience guidance or other failures on 25% of shots taken with it. This doesn't mean they will always miss when they fail but the odds of a hit are significantly reduced depending on when in the flight path to the target the failure occurs. It doesn't mean they will always hit when there is no malfunction either - evasive maneuvers and/or countermeasures can still foil them.

Potency is the amount of damage inflicted by a direct hit expressed as a percentage, from 1 to 200. Why over 100? because of the "mitigation" factor on vehicles (see below) that simulates armor. A weapon with a potency of 100 scoring a direct hit on a vehicle with a mitigation of 40 means a 60% hit not a 100% hit. Therefore the maximum is 200, which is a number that will destroy any vehicle in one shot regardless of its mitigation. Any number over 100 is extreme but justified in the case of big bombs like 2000LB and above. This is because of blast radius.

Blast Radius is the diameter of a circle around the impact point of a round in which any SimObject will take damage. The damage is calculated realistically based on distance and the way this is done is to scale the potency. This is why the potency number is for a direct hit. The damage scale is not linear - an object at a distance 50% of the blast radius will take less than 50% of the damage, but it will take some. We should note here the effect of secondary explosions. Any time a truck type vehicle is destroyed there is a random chance that the truck contained ammo, and that ammo may cook off and detonate some time after the initial explosion. This creates another blast radius equivalent to a 500LB bomb. Which in turn can affect other nearby objects and cause more damage which could result in more secondaries and so on. This is why trucks shouldn't be parked close together, ever. But in real life they are sometimes. Further, any time a fuel truck is damaged more than 10% it too will explode in a fireball which again causes secondary damage. The fire will burn for a long time. This is also true for aircraft on the ground which can randomly be loaded with bombs and also have lots of fuel on board. When a bunch are parked together a single bomb hit can cause massive havoc.

SimObject Title is the name of an actual object in the game that will be spawned to visually represent a round from the weapon. Be cautious in the use of this field! Every spawned object costs time and too many can make your sim stutter or even crash. When too many effects are onscreen odd graphic effects sometimes happen. As designers we want to keep performance up so don't put a title on a weapon unless you really need to. A title of "*" means the weapon shoots "invisible bullets" and this is good - no objects are spawned, the program instead calculates the probability of hit or miss based on many factors and inflicts damage based on the results but the amount of time for these calculations is a tiny fraction of the performance hit of having an object flying through the air - because for the sim, every object even tiny nearly invisible ones is an airplane and is treated like an AI airplane piloted by a pilot.

Use the title for missiles, rockets or bombs. In the case of a gun carefully consider whether we need to see tracers coming from it. If it's defined as a "Flak" gun in the special flag code FSCAI will provide the flak explosions as well as calculate the hit percentage based on the accuracy data item. If it's not "Flak" then if you use the "*" FSCAI will not spawn any object so you won't see tracers. If you provide a title to a non-Flak gun then the "Burst" number of tracers will be released each shot. When this happens the program doesn't use its hit probability calculations at all, instead it tracks the tracer and if it hits damage is done (based on Potency) and if it misses, it misses. The "Accuracy" number in this case is used to introduce aiming errors. This is why sometimes "accuracy" is a very rough guide.

Vehicles Details

A vehicle is anything that can move. It can be a truck, tank, ship, or airplane or anything that has an engine.

For any SimObject in the sim world to shoot it must be listed in the FSCAI Vehicle database. What it shoots and how it shoots it depends on the weapon or weapons attached to it, selected from the weapons database. FSCAI does not try to enforce realism. You can define ridiculous weapons and attach them to inappropriate vehicles, the program doesn't care. It's entirely up to you to provide realistic or at least plausible vehicle and weapon definitions.

Vehicle definitions are simple. There aren't too many data items. This causes you to think generically instead of getting lost in details, which is so easy to do in the complex and arcane world of military hardware. Remember what we said at the beginning: KISS: keep it Simple. This database is to serve the purposes of a plausible and realistic AI, not to document the details of real-world weapons. I will repeat that. This database is to serve the purposes of a plausible and realistic AI, not to document the details of real-world weapons.
Resist any urge to get too specific or detailed. It will just make life more complicated for everyone.

The most vital concept to understand is how FSCAI links up a SimObject to a vehicle definition. Every SimObject in the sim world has a data item called Title. The title for each aircraft is defined in the aircraft.cfg file, and for a non-aircraft it's defined in the sim.cfg file. For non aircraft FSCAI uses this title to link to a vehicle. For an aircraft the rule is different (there are good reasons for this.) Every aircraft in the sim world also has an "atc_model" code assigned to it in the aircraft.cfg. As far as the sim goes this "atc_modeL' is used to help the built-in ATC system call the airplane by it's right model. For example a model code of "B737" would allow the ATC controllers to say "seven thirty seven" when they refer to the aircraft. Because this model code is the closest thing to a type of aircraft we have available to us, FSCAI uses it to link to aircraft vehicle types in the database.

If we used the "Title" then every single livery or paint would have to be defined in the database. But by using the model we get around this: a "P51" is a "P51" regardless of how it's painted. Why not use the model code for ground vehicles then? Because the sim.cfg fiel they are defined with typically does not allow an "atc_model" to be defined for them. We have to use Title, but this is not a major problem because there are rarely multiple paints for ground vehicles in practice.

Therefore because of this, aircraft and non-aircraft are defined a little differently. Let's talk about aircraft first.

Every vehicle has an official name and it must be unique but you can use anything you want in this field. I recommend keeping it short.

After the official name you must list the atc_model for this aircraft definition. It should be unique too -- there is no point in defining the same model twice, only the first would ever be used. This is used to match to the atc_model defined in the aircraft.cfg as mentioned above. No match, no weapons. You will need to look in the aircraft.cfg for "atc_model=" for new airplanes and use the code there, or change it in that file to match.

For an aircraft the vehicle type must be aircraft - obviously.

Damage Mitigation is rarely used for aircraft, they are all pretty fragile. For some that have a reputation of being tough I put a small number here like 5. This will prevent a weapon with a potency of 100 (for example a missile) from outright destroying it with one hit. It will be almost destroyed at 95% but still can be flown. Beware putting higher numbers in here - even "tough" aircraft will fall to a direct hit from most missiles.

Normal cruising speed isn't really used - we use the design cruising speed defined in the aircraft.cfg instead. But you need to put something reasonable here, because it will be used if the speed in the aircraft.cfg is missing or unreasonable (which some actually are).

Visibility Cone is quite important. Specifically this is the degrees left or right of the aircraft's current heading in which the pilot can normally see another aircraft. This is a major factor in finding enemies and avoiding disaster. Remember this is the degrees to the left and to the right, not both! The maximum value is 180, which would be a 360 degree circle with no blockage. This is not realistic! Almost every airplane has some blockage to the rear vision, even with mirrors - and mirrors distort and aren't effective unless the enemy is close behind you. Some aircraft have more than others - for instance the famous MiG-21 has very poor rear visibility. Thus is is defined with a restrictive cone of 110, whereas a more modern bubble cockpit has a typical cone of about 160. This is not an absolute block! All pilots can "check six" periodically (rate determined by their skill rating) but if an enemy is within this cone he will be picked up much quicker.

The Role Code is used to generically define the aircraft's combat role. Since aircraft don't use a Title to match up we have taken over this data item for the Role Code. The purpose of this code is so the AI pilot can understand the typical combat role his aircraft plays. This affects many of his decisions and defining an appropriate role code is vital. The codes are:

- A - Attack Aircraft. This is an aircraft designed to strike ground targets. Although it may have some defensive air-to-air capabilities that's not its purpose and not what it's good at. Examples would be most US aircraft whose model starts with "A" like the A-1 Skyraider, A-4 Skyhawk, or A-10 warthog. Or the Russian Su-25 is another good example. It will always have a primary air-to-ground weapon defined and usually many more.

- F - Fighter Aircraft. This is designed to shoot down other aircraft in an air superiority role. It will always have a primary air-to-air weapon defined and often more on modern airplanes.

- FB - Fighter/Bomber. One that swings both ways. Typically a jack of both trades but master of neither. It can be difficult to decide between F and FB for some aircraft, like the P-51 which served both roles. It's not a huge deal which you pick actually.

- DB - Dive Bomber. An Attack aircraft that uses a steep dive as its primary method of bomb release. A Stuka or Douglas Dauntless or many other examples.

- LB - Level Bomber. An Attack aircraft that's designed to release typically large bomb loads in level flight.

- T - Transport. A typically unarmed transport aircraft, usually large. It may have defensive weapons which is why we allow it to be defined here. An AWACS aircraft would be defined as a T type, but would be equipped with a radar device for detection of enemy aircraft.

Vehicle Weapons - this is where you list the weapons attached to the vehicle. There are 8 "slots". Slot #1 should be reserved for the primary air-to-air weapon, and slot #2 should be reserved for the primary air-to-ground weapon. Either can be used for any weapon however. Weapons are selected by the AI pilot in a primary order defined by the slot position. Lower slots are selected over higher numbered ones. Only when a lower numbered slot is out of ammo or out of range will an AI pilot select a higher numbered one.

Now we'll talk about ground vehicles - which includes ships.

These vehicles don't use the atc_model code to match up, so that data item can be used for a "Short name".

The "Vehicle Type" can be a wide select; anything but "Aircraft". This isn't used much in the present release, but when we start to have ground vehicles engaging one another it's going to matter a great deal.

Damage Mitigation is very important for ground vehicles - it's how we distinguish between soft and hard targets. A truck has zero mitigation, whereas a tank could have up to 50 or more. Be wary of extreme numbers here. Remember this is matched against weapon potency to determine damage in a direct hit. For example let's say an AGM-65 Maverick has a potency of 100. Let's also say a tank that it targets has a mitigation of 50. That means a direct hit by the Maverick would reduce the tank by 50%, barely disabling it but it would survive. That's not totally unrealistic, although a mitigation for 30 or 40 would be better. A mitigation of 80 would allow a vehicle to not only survive a direct AGM-65 hit but not even be disabled - NOT realistic.

Cruising speed is important for surface vehicles, as we have no other source for this number.

Visibility Cone works just like it does for aircraft, but typically it is 180 for ground vehicles specially anti-aircraft weapons.

The "Role Code" data item for aircraft is the SimObject Title for ground vehicles. This is used to weaponize a particular ground vehicle or ground of vehicles with the same title in the same world. No match, no shooting. This title can be found in the sim.cfg in the vehicle's folder, or sometimes a ground vehicle is defined as an aircraft - in this case look in the aircraft.cfg. In both cases what you are searching for is "Title=" - case doesn't matter.

I hope this has been useful.

Dutch



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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2019, 12:43:23 AM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.7
Dutch Owen 06/09/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.7 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 18.9MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.7 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 18.9MB

Important Tip!! When you run the installer for FSCAI you should right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator". This will help avoid possible security-related problems in the installation. You'll have to extract it from the ZIP do to this.

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Unless the README says otherwise, simply re-installing over the old version will update, no need to un-install first.

Beware, that if you have modified the configuration files they will be replaced by a re-install!


Changelog Version 0.9.7

- AI pilots when using guns will no longer score hits when not pointing at the target.
- Rear-aspect missiles will no longer home to target if not fired from the target's rear.
- ground objects are now properly assigne to teams based on proxminty to an airport.
- Large aircraft will no longer roll adn pitch unrealistically when attacked by fighters.
- AI pilots will no longer panic and target friends when the friends are on their six.

Dutch

« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 05:26:15 PM by Asid »

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2019, 05:25:54 PM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.8
Dutch Owen 07/09/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.8 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 19.2MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.8 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 18.8MB

Important Tip!! When you run the installer for FSCAI you should right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator". This will help avoid possible security-related problems in the installation. You'll have to extract it from the ZIP do to this.

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Unless the README says otherwise, simply re-installing over the old version will update, no need to un-install first.

Beware, that if you have modified the configuration files they will be replaced by a re-install!


Changelog Version 0.9.8

- You can now access the FAC/JTAC (if one's in the mission) with the CTRL-F9 keys.
- Ground vehicles with weapons will now target the user and other AI aircraft.

Dutch
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 02:01:53 AM by Asid »

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2019, 02:01:10 AM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.8
Dutch Owen 08/09/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.9 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 20.4MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.9 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 20.0MB

Important Tip!! When you run the installer for FSCAI you should right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator". This will help avoid possible security-related problems in the installation. You'll have to extract it from the ZIP do to this.

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Unless the README says otherwise, simply re-installing over the old version will update, no need to un-install first.

Beware, that if you have modified the configuration files they will be replaced by a re-install!


Changelog Version 0.9.9

Version 0.9.9
- Configurations are now stored in Config_STD and Config_USER and files in
  the USER folder will override or update the files in the STD folder when
  FSCAI is run.  Changes made through the UI will auotmatically be stored
  in Config_USER.  Changes made manually to any file can be placed in
  Config_USER and the file will be safe from being overwritten by a new
  release installer.
- Several UI Weapons and Vehicles editing errors were corrected.
- Additional logging now tracks database loading and Team assignments.

Dutch



IMPORTANT NOTICE for those updating to release 0.9.9!

Captains,

FSCAI Release 0.9.9 is now live. This release contains an important change to the way the configurations are stored and processed.

This change should not affect anyone unless you have modified the standard configuration files included in the FSCAI Installer.

If you haven't made any changes to the database through the UI, or manually to any of the Options, Teams, Eras or any other configuration files you can ignore this message but I recommend reading it to understand the new changes.

There is no longer a 'Config' folder included in the installer. Instead there are two: "Config_STD" and "Config_USER". Config_STD contains all the files the previous 'Config' folder had. Config_USER is empty except for a README.txt file. The purpose of Config_USER is to hold your local versions of files. From now on, when you update anything via the UI the updates will be written to Config_USER. Nothing should ever modify Config_STD except an install of an updated version!

After installing 0.9.9 you will have the two new folders and the old Config folder still there. If you haven't modified anything just delete the old Config folder if you want - or you can leave it it will be ignored.

If you have modified anything, copy the modified files to the new Config_USER folder. From here on out, you won't have to worry about it getting smashed by a new install. When FSCAI loads, it will update the contents of the STD version of weapons, vehicles, or simobject definitions with the files in USER. Any other files in USER will override the same file in STD, this includes Options.cfg, Eras.cfg, Externals,cfg, Formations.cfg, Combat.cfg, and any Team definition files referred to by Eras.cfg.

This will make your life much easier in the future when you modify FSCAI for your local purposes.

Dutch


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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2019, 02:15:28 PM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.10
Dutch Owen 11/09/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.10 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 20.4MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.10 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 20.0MB

Important Tip!! When you run the installer for FSCAI you should right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator". This will help avoid possible security-related problems in the installation. You'll have to extract it from the ZIP do to this.

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Unless the README says otherwise, simply re-installing over the old version will update, no need to un-install first.

Beware, that if you have modified the configuration files they will be replaced by a re-install!


Version 0.9.10 Notes:

This release is live. It represents dozens of bugs and flaws in the ground attack handling fixed. Plus a new feature - a new configuration file "Wings.cfg".

This new files allows you to easily configure substitute aircraft that will be spawned as wing men or opponents, by model type you are flying.

This solves the problem that arises when a clone of your aircraft wouldn't be a good AI airplane, either wing man or opponent.

You can specify the opponent to spawn and all three wing men, and all three can be different aircraft titles. Thus you can define mixed groups of aircraft.

If you use this, or modify any configuration file manually, be sure to copy it to the Config_USER folder to preserve it from updates.


Changelog Version 0.9.10

- All ground attack code extensively reworked with many bugs fixed.
- New 'Wings.cfg' file in Config_STD allows the user to specify
  substitute aircraft for Wingmen and/or Opponent spawns. If you
  use this be sure to copy Wings.cfg to Config_USER and modify it
  there.
- FIXED  AI aircraft dropping to the ground after they acquire a ground target.
Status: Reproduced, working on a fix.



IMPORTANT NOTICE for those updating to release 0.9.9+

Captains,

FSCAI Release 0.9.9 is now live. This release contains an important change to the way the configurations are stored and processed.

This change should not affect anyone unless you have modified the standard configuration files included in the FSCAI Installer.

If you haven't made any changes to the database through the UI, or manually to any of the Options, Teams, Eras or any other configuration files you can ignore this message but I recommend reading it to understand the new changes.

There is no longer a 'Config' folder included in the installer. Instead there are two: "Config_STD" and "Config_USER". Config_STD contains all the files the previous 'Config' folder had. Config_USER is empty except for a README.txt file. The purpose of Config_USER is to hold your local versions of files. From now on, when you update anything via the UI the updates will be written to Config_USER. Nothing should ever modify Config_STD except an install of an updated version!

After installing 0.9.9 you will have the two new folders and the old Config folder still there. If you haven't modified anything just delete the old Config folder if you want - or you can leave it it will be ignored.

If you have modified anything, copy the modified files to the new Config_USER folder. From here on out, you won't have to worry about it getting smashed by a new install. When FSCAI loads, it will update the contents of the STD version of weapons, vehicles, or simobject definitions with the files in USER. Any other files in USER will override the same file in STD, this includes Options.cfg, Eras.cfg, Externals,cfg, Formations.cfg, Combat.cfg, and any Team definition files referred to by Eras.cfg.

This will make your life much easier in the future when you modify FSCAI for your local purposes.

Dutch

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Offline Asid

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Re: FSCAI: Flight Simulator Combat Artificial Intelligence FSX/P3D
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2019, 12:40:06 AM »
Release of FSCAI Third Edition ALPHA v0.9.11
Dutch Owen 11/09/19


Captains,


The installers for the Third Edition of FSCAI are here ready for download:

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.11 for 32-bit Sims (FSX and Prepar3D Version 3) 20.4MB

FSCAI ALPHA version 0.9.11 for 64-bit Sims (Prepar3D Version 4) 20.0MB

Important Tip!! When you run the installer for FSCAI you should right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator". This will help avoid possible security-related problems in the installation. You'll have to extract it from the ZIP do to this.

Warning: This software is an ALPHA development release. It will contain bugs. It is extremely unlikely it will do any harm to your system but we can't make any promise that it won't.

Unless the README says otherwise, simply re-installing over the old version will update, no need to un-install first.


Version 0.9.11 Notes:

This release is exactly the same as 0.9.10 except for the addition of the ability to configure speed scalars that apply both globally and to a specific aircraft model.

Unless these scalars are changed the speeds are derived unchanged from the speed sources in the sim. Those are:

VS1 - Clean Stall Speed. This plus 10 knots we consider the minimum speed for any operation.
VC - Cruise Speed. We use this as a basic starting point for all speed settings. We later adjust this depending on the operation being performed.
VNE - Never Exceed. We use this as the maximum speed allowed for any operation.

There are two options in the 'Options.cfg' file - SPEEDSCALAR and PURSUITSCALAR. These are by default 1.00. They are both scalars. .85 is 85% of the base speed, 1.10 is 110% of it. SPEEDSCALER affects all speeds set for any reason except speeds set in the PURSUIT dogfight function. PURSUITSPEED is the scalar for those.

Speeds will be adjusted by these scalars but not below the minimum or above the maximum for an aircraft according to the speeds provided to FSCAI by the sim engine.

In addition to these two global scalars, you may edit the Combat.cfg file to place these same two scalars after the model code. For example for a P-38:

atc_model=P38,.95,1.05

This will override the global scalars for any 'P38' AI aircraft (coded as 'P38' in the atc_model) in this case all speeds except pursuit are reduced by 5% and pursuit speeds are increased by 5%.

This is included for experimentation purposes. In normal operations, don't change these. Avoid extreme changes like .50 or 1.50 - you will hit the min/max caps. And likely cause very odd behavior.

Version 0.9.10 and several earlier ones reduced speeds roughly 15% by an internal scalar. That internal one is replaced by these that you can change and the speeds are set back to 1.00. Therefore, AI will move about 15% faster in 0.9.11 than 0.9.10 by default.

Dutch


Changelog Version 0.9.11

- Global and local scalars for speed are now available for experimentation.
  The global ones are in Options.cfg and the local in Combat.cfg per model.




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