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12:46 AM
Anti-windmill is taking longer. Its very similar to MoaR code, but just different enough to be a problem
 
 
7 hours later…
8:10 AM
Jesus. Windmill is almost vampire proof. I think I found a way in, but wow....
 
8:20 AM
And...it failed to be effective in a wider grouping of games. I think I'll have to restart from scratch....tomorrow!
That said, IF the vampire queen gets to the windmill queen, it works. The problem is that first half.
 
8:41 AM
@Draco18s Windmill has a generic immune system - not foolproof but kind of Steamroller-proof... Looking forward to don Quixote de la Transilvania!
 
Yeah, the guards aren't really the problem. Its the miners that get in the way.
anyway, work on it more tomorrow
 
@Draco18s As to yesterday's screenshot, static analysis of the picture says it has a perfectly natural explanation. There is one ant that doesn't belong, and there is something missing that should be there.
What's conspicuously absent is the diagonal blue trail along which the Windmill queen had reached the point where she founded the mill. What's conspicuously present is a laden ant in the garden, on the black G5 cell...
This is consistent with a Trail-eraser having found and followed the blue trail and messed around with the incipient rails before looking at the garden. Two of Windmill's own laden miners then returned and were unable to recognise their rails, stopping when they met the respective engineers (as they should) and waiting for someone to come along and disambiguate the situation (which never happens since we have no food to spare yet on further miners).
 
Trail eraser came along at some point. But windmill was broken before it arrived
from what I remember
 
Nope. Someone must have come along and wiped out the blue trail...
 
I'll get you a better picture tomororw
Or maybe I can't because Dave's controller's seeds somehow mutate when edits get applied. :\
but I swear that Windmill broke before Trail Eraser arrived
 
 
5 hours later…
1:30 PM
@GNiklasch Since Windmill requires a whopping 8 food to start, do you think it would be possible to reuse one of the worker types for Lightspeed-like travels during the initial scramble? It could reduce start-up times by up to ~55%. I'm guessing either "no", or "yes, but the accident rate would go up too much to justify the benefits", but it won't hurt to make sure.
On a side note, ants whom use no more than 3 worker types could utilize this quite easily indeed.
 
@Alion but then, after getting the required food, that helper ant should be put to some use, otherwise it's just wasted. I'm guessing that one of windmills gardeners should be able to do the job though
the question is if that's really worth it - Windmill is already the top player and consistency issues would not be worth the extra time / food
 
If it can't be introduced in a way that wouldn't screw up setup consistency, then it's not worth, obviously. If it can be introduced seamlessly, however, then that would also mean that the arena would be much emptier when Windmill starts up, and that'd reduce accident rate.
...which is really Windmill's only weakness.
...that and Vampire (soon)
 
 
2 hours later…
3:29 PM
@Alion Unfortunately that's not feasible without a complete redesign of the algorithms. Windmill relies on the order in which the different ant types get created (-> order in which they move on each step), and the presence of a single staff ant next to the queen is what orchestrates the creation of the nest/hub and remaining initial set of workers, so can't easily do double duty for scrambling either.
 
3:39 PM
(Besides, the code is - before minifying - more than twice as large as fits into a PPCG answer already. And besides, it would take very long to adequately test intrusive code changes - not racing them through Dave's controller, but watching in slow motion what happens in several hundred games. The changes I have made since v1.0 were all fairly localised.)
(Whereas v1.0 had taken the best part of two months to mature...)
So for the moment I am not strongly tempted. But for someone writing a new player from scratch, three-phase life forms (larval stage: lone scramble, tadpole: small mobile team, and then a full-grown organism to go beyond what a small bounded number of workers can do) will certainly be worth exploring.
 
4:03 PM
Yep, I'm definitely going to incorporate that into my upcoming submission. Phase 2 won't last long here - this thing is going to require just 5 workers to get started. It will be particularly important in this case however, because its drilling abilities will be poor at best, so starting early is going to mean everything.
 
Yep. Not only because of vulnerabilities, but also because food becomes harder to get at as time elapses.
 
bot idea: a 4-cyclic rail, and shafts are made by 2 ants moving side-by-side at light speed. Way more stable than MoaR/SlM and same food per ant amount, though both need to travel back after a food has been gotten
 
Conversely (if you scroll back here about a mile), as I mentioned yesterday, I've experimented a little with Windmill settling even later - which does help a bit on the vulnerability front (esp. by hardly ever ending up with 0 food), but because the food retrieval rate becomes worse as the game evolves, it cost me average score in the unproblematic games.
 
@dzaima Been there, thought about that. Still not sure if it's a good idea.
Here's the thing: we're going to be losing two ants every time something weird happens to them (they get blocked, the rail is gone, etc.)
 
@Alion yep, that's why I'm saying it in the chat and not secretively working on it :p
 
4:12 PM
Makes sense.
 
@Alion well, one ant can get back to the rail on it's own (and can know to do that because it doesn't have the other ant by it's side). Though if it's worth it is a good question
 
but that would require painting a trail...
Still, crazy ideas might work if someone actually bothers to try them. :)
 
@GNiklasch well it can retreat to color once its pair is gone without harming anything else
then there's the question of whether the two ants should be of the same or different type
 
Wait, what are we talking about here? The pair can be designed to be unable to fall apart: that's what Lightspeed does. Neither ant of the pair can actually lose sight of the other one.
Am I misunderstanding something here?
 
It's not obvious without serious experimentation whether it's going to be worth it for lost ants to try to find their way home. Some of mine in some situations do it, in others they intentionally don't, so as not to risk creating even more confusion.
 
4:17 PM
@Alion well, the pair can't move out of it's path, cause then it won't meet the rail properly
 
That's correct, it also can't change direction, but that's obvious.
 
So the question is what do they do to get around obstacles, and the implicit thought was, they might need to split up if they don't want both to remain stuck.
 
My solution would be to do a 180.
 
Ants going straight in pairs and never turning are a recipe for deadlock (see Forensic).
 
@Alion I was more talking about that, as with no reliance of color the ant could just move to the rails middle to notice it's on the rail (and so there'd only be 4 full patterns of base)
turning around actually seems quite possible and sensible
 
4:21 PM
So here's the deal:
Ants travel off some main rail in a direction.
They then go straight, until they find food or obstacle.
And then they turn around to go back to the rail?
That seems sensible to me.
 
@Alion that's my idea at least
 
But do you keep going if just one of the ants from the pair have food, or do you turn back instantly?
 
@Alion ooh, that's a nice idea
 
Which one?
 
maybe one goes back and one continues search?
 
4:24 PM
With some sort of classic trail?
 
@Alion mhm
 
And that trail will be 4 wide, once the other ant starts returning.
Or it can just reuse the other trail.
And ants that return back to base should just wait for a partner, I presume?
But then turn order comes into play.
 
@Alion my thinking right now is that there's only a single miner type
and yes, moving direction is indicated by turn order
 
Can you actually travel in a straight line with a single miner type, though?
Yes, yes you can.
I was thinking about how Lightspeed works. Just diagonal travel is impossible with one type, orthogonal is fine.
We might be onto something here.
 
but sadly I have to go now :/
 
4:29 PM
I'll discuss this further with myself and myself, and will perhaps attempt a prototype.
 
good luck!
 
I'll probably need it.
 
 
2 hours later…
6:35 PM
Issues developing an effective Don Quixote:
1. The gardeners reduce the number of "safe" spots for the vamprie queen to stand (0 where queens are adjacent: vampire's preferred spot, as then she can observe the enemy's food stores)
2. The miners, upon encountering the vampire queen, do not return home (stand still) while they can see an enemy queen, this makes following the rails towards the queen impossible
3. Vampire queen cannot stand next to the windmill queen, or she spawns workers (average case, net 0 food stolen)
 
6:56 PM
@dzaima I decided not try and get a prototype of Rail-less Miners working simply because I am too inexperienced to handle this system properly. Besides, I've got a couple more projects planned (and one in the works), so I'd rather see someone else tackle this idea.
 
 
1 hour later…
8:12 PM
I think my Don Quixote approach is working. I should be able to tag the queen without too much trouble. Needs some adjustment so that the thieves are actually spawned, but I was able to get vampire and windmill's queens adjacent without issue
 
8:22 PM
@Alion alright, now that I'm back at my computer, Imma try to get a quick prototype done, based off of the Sliding Miners idea
 
Good luck!
 
oh right, lightspeed startup needs to be made
eh, I'll leave that for later
 
 
2 hours later…
10:38 PM
@GNiklasch I hate your damn windmill. 😠
2
 

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