Increase the number of AI karts in story mode challenges

Increase the number of AI karts in story mode challenges

Postby Alayan » 19 Mar 2018, 17:21

I figured out it would be better to make the suggestion here rather than directly creating a new issue.

We all know that the story mode is outdated and would greatly benefit from a general revamp, but this would need a lot of work which is dedicated to other things (like networking).

Currently, most story mode races are with 4-5 karts (including the player's kart). The fun of such races is lesser than for races with more karts, because there is less interactions

I think it would be more fun if most challenges were with 8-12 karts ; with maybe some first easier ones at 6.

I remember long long ago (5-6 years at least) where Auria, I think, wrote that more karts would make things difficult for those with low-end computers.

But after all those years, the oldest and less efficient CPU which couldn't handle well 8-12 karts are mostly retired ; and the game requirements states the game needs at least an intel core i3 (though a 2018 pentium would also certainly make the cut). i3 are in production since 2010 only. The graphics requirement have also significantly augmented.

So today, this argument seems obsolete.

Of course, this bring the question "but what about balancing" ?

Because changing the specific times for each challenge can be time consuming. This is in fact one of the main burden which blocks the creation of new challenges (like reverse-track challenges) ; as even the story mode could be tweaked to allow two challenges per track and bubble in a worst case scenario.

Except for a few time trials/ghost karts challenges, balancing should not rely on beating a specified time but on beating the AI opponents. This would make the challenge creation/validation process much less time-consuming.

See this (lightly edited) discussion we had on the IRC the other day, which was about SuperTux challenges but touch this same topic :

16:30 < Alayan> "I don't think we're going to have more than one challenge type per track" - I think what would be cool would be that each track would be raced at least once normally, and once in reverse.
(...)
16:31 < Arthur_D> Alayan, well that would widen the scope and indeed make more work
(...)
16:36 < Arthur_D> I've been contemplating making challenges for the SuperTux difficulty
16:36 < Arthur_D> haven't gotten around to it yet though
16:36 < Arthur_D> heh
16:36 < Arthur_D> solid guidelines for something relatively subjective isn't easy to make
(...)
16:37 < Alayan> Arthur_D : I think we can base it on the AI driving ability
16:37 < Alayan> Record the time the AI by itself does on average in 5 races ; apply some modificator, round it, and put this as the race time
16:37 < Alayan> Or simply ask to beat the AI
16:37 < Arthur_D> well then the SuperTux difficulty challenges will not be any harder than the Expert ones, possibly even easier
(...)
16:38 < Arthur_D> because the AI is not that good
16:38 < Alayan> There isn't a huge gap between expert and supertux, but you can still feel it
(...)
16:39 < Stragus> I like challenges that involve "just beating the AI"
16:40 < Arthur_D> it's the speed (which is the same for players and AI) and it not slowing down if it gets too far ahead. That's the current difference IIRC
16:40 < Stragus> A timing challenging is annoying when the AIs just keep throwing cupcakes at you
16:40 < Alayan> Stragus : agreed
16:41 < Alayan> The advantage is that it makes balancing much easier
16:41 < Arthur_D> some challenges have both time and placement as requirements
16:41 < Alayan> Yes, and that's annoying
16:41 < Alayan> "You are first, but you are two second late because of that basket ball 5 seconds before the end"
16:41 < Alayan> "Try again"
16:42 < Stragus> Cupcakes are worst, your momentum drops to zero
(...)
16:42 < Arthur_D> well the AI performs quite different from one race to the next one, even with the same track, and that's also because of the semi-random nature of the game
(...)
16:43 < Arthur_D> so having a time requirement makes it more difficult than just beating an AI which isn't too hard to beat
16:43 < Alayan> That's dumb, at least for the lesser difficulties
16:44 < Arthur_D> most time requirements are really roomy though, especially at lower difficulties
16:44 < Alayan> Because if it's not difficult enough for the player at novice or medium ; he just has to choose expert
16:44 < Alayan> The "roomy" time requirements are completely redundant there
16:44 < Stragus> There's an expert challenge I had to start over 20 times until I could finish a race without 2-3 cupcakes.
Alayan
 
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Re: Increase the number of AI karts in story mode challenges

Postby DatTuxBoi » 08 Apr 2018, 04:29

It would be certainly better.
But remember. 6 year-old's couldn't even play the game, and kids are the target audience.
Also, I own a EeePC-901, and, like many, we use Linux because our machines suck ballz and we can't afford a nearly acceptable machine. Mine has 4GB of SPACE, and 512 MB OF RAM! Even with OpenGl 3.1, it's laggy af.
You still have the custom races, try to get some achievements on 9 AI karts race (well, you'll get all the cupcake achievements)
If God gives you lemons, don't make anything. Just put them down, and buy ice cream.
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Re: Increase the number of AI karts in story mode challenges

Postby Alayan » 12 Apr 2018, 22:39

Are 6-years old so dumb that they can understand a race with 4 karts and not one with 8 karts ? Also, it's perfectly possible having less karts in the first challenges/in easier difficulties.

As for your machine, well, I hope you will in the future be able to get a better one. But is it worth having a much worse story mode for most players to slightly improve its framerate for a tiny subset of players who barely can play it at a decent framerate on low settings ? I don't think so.
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