OK before we get to the big announcement today, let me just say that I’ve made a small change to the gameplay of Goners. Zombified players no longer get 8 AP at the start of their turn. Instead, at the start of each of their turns, they earn +3 AP. In this way, undead players have to save up to use more expensive cards. It makes killing undead players more worthwhile I think, because it will wipe their AP clean, and make them start from scratch. It also prevents undead players from just hammering power cards on you one after the other. OK, on to the big news!
Today, I give you AI. Yes, the new AI for Goners has just now been released. I’m calling it S.T.E.V.E.N. (Strategic Tactical Environment and Virtual Engagement Network) because hey, why not? S.T.E.V.E.N. will now automatically take control of any empty player slots in Goners. Even if someone is playing with you and they drop out, S.T.E.V.E.N. will take over that player too! He is aware of the goals of each player he controls, and develops wants and preferences based on those goals. He will try to keep each player alive (assuming that works with their goals), and also try to sabotage other players. S.T.E.V.E.N. plays each player independently of the other, so there are no alliances between bots or anything like that here.
S.T.E.V.E.N. is already implemented in Goners. In order to activate him, simply
download the new EXE or play directly via the new Play Now link (Linux and Mac only) and leave a player slot open when you start the game (UPDATE: These links are now obsolete. S.T.E.V.E.N. is integrated into the newest version of Goners accessible from the main page). The main page’s links have also been updated but do make sure that you reload the main page before you click on the EXE or “Play Now” links. Make sure that the file you are using is called “zwgoners014x”. (The X indicates “Experimental”, mostly because although S.T.E.V.E.N. can and will play the game with you, there are a few things I still want to improve before I’ll consider him “done”.)
So give S.T.E.V.E.N. a try, see how you like him. Again, he’s still in his early days so there may very well be small bugs. Remember to let me know if you encounter any. And finally, here is a list of things I know that need to be fixed in S.T.E.V.E.N.
Things to Fix in S.T.E.V.E.N.
* Currently S.T.E.V.E.N. disregards all barricades when controlling undead players
* When S.T.E.V.E.N. uses a card, sometimes it says he used it on someone, when it is just a positional card
* Rarely, S.T.E.V.E.N. disobeys weapon ranges and attacks from a longer range than should be allowed