It has been a while since the last update—so today, I want to give you our progress report as we are currently very much focused on continuing to fine tuning and test the game. For transparency, I have compiled a short list of our status and efforts toward closed and open testing. First, I want to thank you for your continued patience as we continue to focus on getting this game released. As a result, the updates may continue to be scarce, but we can assure you that the progress is exponential.Work completed over the past 2-3 months
AI testing is a very involved process. I will admit that I am probably having some of the best fun of my game development career seeing the AI come to life and become self-sufficient in this game. Here are the following testing efforts that we have been making and the progress in that same regard:
AI decision making and prioritization – The AI in this game as any game of this nature, need to be able to make decisions that allow them to progress in the game.
Not only this, but they also need to challenge the player. We currently have most of the algorithms for this already in the game. So, with the goal of making sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently, we need to test each facet of this process, step by step. This has been the bulk of our work over the past 3 months. I want to share just three items in this process that I wish to discuss:
– Decisions on when to create a product – The AI need to have an awareness of the game world in which it exist. This has been a very interesting portion of development. We have experienced success with this and are still actively testing certain scenarios to ensure sound logic. Without spoiling any key details, the AI will have a product philosophy that will dictate what their reputation is and/or what they may want it to be regarding the products that they create. On top of this, they will want to evaluate their stance in technology against that of their competition in the game world. To continue to add to this, they will also keep an eye on what their customers and customers in general really want to own in a product. Part of what feeds into this is what complementary products (e.g. what computers and consoles are to video games and vice versa) are being released that rely on their product or products on which theirs rely on. So, this leads to the AI’s possible dynamic reevaluating of priorities as the game progresses. In this regard, we have been making great strides in testing the accuracy and correct functionality of this gameplay element.
– AI competitive market analysis – As mentioned above, the AI need to be able to have their marketing teams analyze the market and provide essential data to help them make decisions regarding more than just when to create a product, but how to adjust to other events in the game that may take place. Part of this is when new product is released by a competing company. The AI will need to wrestle with the idea that they may need to create their next product in a way that better competes with this new product. What also goes into this is getting an idea of what the customers really want, so the marketing teams are able to go to those cities and conduct market research to get a better idea of what a demographic may be interested in now or in the future.
– AI hiring philosophies and implementation – The hiring mechanism in the game has been optimized to include a global grading system that the AI uses (as well as you the player). The AI uses this when determining how good their workforce actually is and when it may be time to hire better talent or simply train the current staff. This is not a number based system that you will see in the UI, however it will fuel the data displayed to help you and in this regard. This will go a long way to helping the AI understand how their company talent measures up to the global expectation for each position and can serve as a data trigger to take whatever necessary action it deems appropriate.
This is just one piece of the ongoing testing efforts and progress that we are making. To go along with this, we are fine tuning the game flow (game speed, notification systems and data flow, among other things). So, much of this will be for closed and open testing to make sure the overall flow of the game feels right.
Lastly, some other things we are working on is the product ecosystem in the game. We mentioned this in previous updates. However, each product really feeds off each other in addition to the demand and desires of the world populace. Balancing this is another involved process as we hope to have a very dynamic system when all is said and done. For this goal, we do not have any predefined or pre-planned AI systems that would dictate things. Instead, every AI decision will play off of what is currently available in the game world and/or what has already been achieved at least once. In addition to this, they will also make decisions based on what technologies are currently available in the game world. So, what this means is that if company A creates a very progressive product, then that will begin to set the expectations of customer’s who are interested in the latest technology. As technology progresses in the game, so does customer expectations. As time goes on, other companies will notice this and either follow suit (compete) or attempt to leap over the competition.
This is just a small portion of what we are testing and fine tuning. We need to have a few more things finalized before closed and open testing begins. Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding of the ebbs and flows of development as we work to finish the game as soon as possible. We look forward to moving forward to the next phase.