Posted 10/07/10 By: Ross Przybylski, Manager of D20Studios, LLC
Growing strong with nearly 5,000 members and achieving Semi-Finalist status in the IndiePub 2010 Developer Competition, D20Studios’ multiplayer strategy game, Hero Mages, adds computer opponents to its features list.
Computer opponents will be included in the v1.5 Hero Mages client which launches on Monday, October 11th, 2010. In recognition of being a featured game on IndiePub, access to the new client will be exclusive to the IndiePub portal at for the first week of its release.
The new “AI” feature will allow players to add computer controlled opponents via drop down menus in the game setup room and play single player or cooperatively with other online players. As an added bonus, players can also pit the bots against themselves and watch them battle to learn new gameplay strategies.
Developer Ross Przybylski will be online Monday, October 11th from 7:00PM-11:00PM CDT to play games and discuss the new changes with the community.
A complete list of the changes is available at: www.heromages.com/news/versionInfo.html.
About the Hero Mages AI:
Dynamic elements that set Hero Mages apart from other strategy games presented unique development challenges for indie game creator, Ross Przybylski. Unlike chess which focuses on making the best decisions with known outcomes , Hero Mages embraces the real-world uncertainty of combat, encouraging players to develop strategies that not only maximize their forces' effectiveness, but that are also flexible enough to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. So much can happen in a turn: multiple units can attack in various orders, plans can succeed or fail on the basis of dice rolls, and new cards drawn can change your strategy entirely.
In order to play Hero Mages effectively, the AI considers its options on both strategic and tactical levels. An over-arching thought process is responsible for deciding overall turn goals and coordinating forces. “Heal my units. Summon more minions. Engage the enemy!” Meanwhile, each action has its own tactical intelligence, allowing it to improvise new targets and positions on the basis of whether or not individual phases of the master plan fail or succeed.
“There is still so much more I want to do to improve and enhance the AI, but since the demand for the feature is so high, I decided, why not release it now? That’s the beauty of an online game- it never has a final release, it just keeps getting better!” – Ross Przybylski, D20Studios, LLC
Despite plenty of potential for improvement, the AI is already strong enough to provide players a great challenge, particularly in team games of two players vs. two computers. The speed and ability of the AI to calculate its moves on the basis of probability and statistics lends additional strength when two computer forces fight together.
For further information about Hero Mages AI, visit the Hero Mages forums at: http://www.heromages.com/forums/index.php?topic=355.0
Future additions planned for the AI include smarter decision making skills, difficulty settings, and the ability to customize the AI’s personality traits (for example, a “vengeance” bot that always goes after the last player who attacked it). The AI also opens the door for single-player campaign missions.
Hero Mages is a free-to-play turn-based strategy game that combines the best elements of miniature, collectible card, and fantasy roleplaying games, and it’s available at www.heromages.com.