Posted by Andy in Cortex Command - September 28th, 2009

balloon_crabNew feature alert! On Mondays I hope to answer a few burning questions for the fans. If you have a question for the Dev team that you really want answered, drop me a line: .

This week’s mailbag is full of  incredibly interesting questions from a wide variety of people!

Q: What is up with the Digging AI? It was working a build or two ago but the AI seems hopelessly lost again. – Andy

A: Digging AI hasn’t been touched in a long time, since we are looking at making it LUA-based instead of hard-coded in the C++.  That way, you could make AI modes that did exactly as you wanted and modify the existing ones. – Datacrabtank

Q: Though realtime multiplayer has been a discarded idea for years now, what are your thoughts on a turn-based multiplayer setup being included in the game? – Andy

A: You’ll have to wait and see what we’re doing with the campaign metagame (hint: it’s turn-based) 🙂 – Data

What?? Not a flat-out “no” for multi?!! zomfg

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48 Responses to “Monday Mailbag: AI & Multiplayer”

  1. Kallemort - # September 28th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Righto, turn based campaign screen multiplayer is apparently a possibility. I guess the actual battles will be simulated or played against the computer though.

  2. Will - # September 28th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    My name is Will and i approve of these updates.

  3. Footkerchief - # September 28th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    that’s what I’m tolkien about

  4. trolleydude - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    fuck yeah, the devlog’s worth watching now!

  5. Phatmonkey - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Custom AI, glad to know thats still being worked on.

  6. Tomaster - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Good God, it’s weird to check this and see a new post.

  7. Allen - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    you only answer questions posed by people with whom you share a name.


  8. JakeLoustone - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:34 pm


    I’m really excited for the next upcomming devlogs.

  9. Moth - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Turn Based? -.-‘ If I wanted to I could just play Worms, but mabey through this I could acctualy get a little overview of the battlefield ^^ lets just see have things end up xD

  10. Serj - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    OMG, three posts within a month! I’m freaked out now.

  11. glonbock - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I’m not saying that weasel will rape us all, I’m just saying he has to prove he won’t.

  12. Yay - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Yay! Moar good news! Its a odd feeling to have so many news in such a short time 😮

  13. Andy - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I asked for questions from folks in the forum and in IRC and got no response. I still haven’t gotten any questions since I posted this article. So I guess I’ll just have to keep asking them myself. 😛

  14. HyperKUltra - # September 28th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Yay, a reason to be semi excited!

  15. Tomaster - # September 28th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Lies Andy! You were just too well prepared for my question.

  16. Captain Kicktar - # September 28th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    You’re spewing things out like crazy! Keep it up, Weasel, keep it up.

  17. pieman - # September 28th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Another update? Unbelievable! It’s good to know the dig ai is being worked on… but what about sentry. Everytime they spot an enemy, they pounce, and either fall out the window, fall into enemy fire, or fall behind an object, and don’t shoot while the enemy passes unharmed. Guards are very unreliable right now.

  18. pieman - # September 28th, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Wait… does custom AI mean everything is custom. Nevermind what I said about the sentry AI then.

  19. Wiffles - # September 28th, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    God errrr Data be praised!!!!! digging AI that works,
    now i dont have to pay attention to the miners!

  20. CrazyMLC - # September 28th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    You said multiplayer not online multiplayer.

  21. Mooseral - # September 28th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    “realtime multiplayer has been a discarded idea for years now”


    Hee hee hee.

    Good stuff though. Just keep the regular updates regular and all will be well!

  22. Lord Tim - # September 28th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Cool idea for multiplayer would be a territory system where a whole planet is being fought over. Something like this was done in Chromehounds. Each player would be part of a faction, and then they’d fight a battle on the disputed territory.
    CC would have to do it in more of an offline way, where you’re not actually fighting another player directly, but the CPU takes on the role of the enemy faction. If you win, the win is recorded on some master server, and updated for everyone to see. This pushes your faction’s territory a little farther.

  23. zalo - # September 28th, 2009 at 8:45 pm


  24. Tap - # September 28th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    finally a new post. and multiplayer?!? coolbeans
    but turnbased?????? better off buying xbox wireless adapter

  25. Nzen - # September 28th, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I know as much as you guys, but turn-based campaigns sounds like the Rise of Nations system. In that case, the meta-game plays like Risk somewhat but battles are played out, rather than left to the dice.
    At least, that’s a comparison drawing from the above and the thumbnails on the “under heavy construction” post.

  26. Geti - # September 28th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    this is definately good news, loving the small doodles from prom and the comments from data.
    lua based AI sounds like amazing fun, as long as it doesnt get laggy (optimised raycasts please).
    also, multiplayer possibilies are awesome.
    keep up the good work andy, i’m liking what im seeing. give my regards to data.

    @zalo – the metagame is assumably very, very different to the main game, with the “campaign” map screen having a turn based structure to it. im all for this, tbh.

  27. Mooseral - # September 28th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I do believe that I concur with everything Geti said.

    I would think that the Lua AI would interface with an underlying AI framework, which would handle most things other than higher-level AI decision and behaviour stuff.

  28. war_man333 - # September 29th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Devlog just got 50 times more awesome I believe

  29. carriontrooper - # September 29th, 2009 at 4:41 am

    This may be the first time I ever saw the light of the devlog, but hey, good things are on the horizon. And about dem wildlife… more crab descendants? HMMMMMM

  30. Ch33n - # September 29th, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Devlog just made me ejaculate.

  31. Skiv - # September 29th, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Thats all i have to say. Finally some more info 😛

  32. Ghost Bear - # September 29th, 2009 at 8:02 am

    No multiplayer == Game will die as soon as updates will stop.

  33. ZevN47 - # September 29th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Not true. However I think this game will just not live up to its potential without some type of multiplayer… also I want to be able to send someone a message saying “all your base are blong to us!” just to sound like a complete idiot… multiplayer should be hardcoded though… otherwise I’ll just bring down a tech bomb/Yplosion Cannon on their arses and laugh my head off.

    I am 100% behind the idea of turn based multiplayer and I await the day(hopefully this month) that the new build is released! DATA DON’T HARDCODE THE CAMPAIGN OR I WILL EXPLODE! Please for the sake of everything holy don’t hardcode the campaign…

  34. YUZ - # September 29th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Ghost Bear +1!
    Cortex Command requires the multiplayer. In Russia and all over the world fans of game wait for the multiplayer. Battles with the computer quickly bother. Without multiplayer game soon will be die. And the multiplayer completely will open potential of COrtex Command. How you think why game SOLDAT became such popular? Good gameplay and the multiplayer. At Cortex Command there is a one big lack – in it there is no multiplayer!!!

  35. YUZ - # September 29th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    And when there will be a new build?

  36. Captain Kicktar - # September 29th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Ummm… He’ll probably keep the campaign the way it is now, but make it so hat you can say that you have to have completeed X mission.

  37. StapledP - # September 29th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    So yeah, this is awesome!

    More updates, questions being answered. I think I’m gonna re-download CC after my crunched hard drive now 🙂

    Great to hear things are moving along too!

  38. washaa - # September 29th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Wah, hold up! Not sure I can keep up with the speed you’re updating this thing. I have a life besides hitting refresh on this devlog, you know!

  39. Lenny - # September 29th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I like multiplayer options same as the next guy, but this game does´nt require it in my opinion: It´s charming and addictive on it´s own! Just add a wickedly long campaign.
    (remembers Tyrian fondly)

    And what about when your dropship tips over and crushes a bunch of your guys eh? That’s funny as freckles normally, but if that happens in a player v player, a lot of us would burst a blood vessel.

    However, being true to the arcade feel of the game, it WOULD be appropriate with a webpage where you could automaticly upload your highscores. 🙂

  40. Yaddy1 - # September 29th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Updates!? From Datarealms! It’s like a dream come true!

  41. Dragon239 - # September 29th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    “A: You’ll have to wait and see what we’re doing with the campaign metagame (hint: it’s turn-based) 🙂 – Data”

    So was I perhaps right about my

    “Will this be some sort of “all factions fighting for planet and take turns to buy units/fortify territories/stuff in turn-based form and then can fight over places in real time and if you win you take that area with events happening?”

    Guess :D?
    I love games like that. I like how you were like “zomfg” too <_<.
    How about optimization? Any improvements being done in that area?

  42. tons0phun - # September 29th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I’d give up terrain destruction if it meant being able to play with my CC buddy that moved across the US. ;_;

    But honestly, I think the lack of multiplayer has been the only thing from keeping CC from exploding everywhere across the internet. If it is implemented, Data will be raking in so much dough he could hire a team to make the game FOR him, and retire in the same year.

    However I am overly-enthusiastic that steps are being taken to pioneer such possibilities.

    And AI improvements. Especially once folks like Zalo and Grif sink their teeth into it.

  43. Foa - # September 29th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Hawt crabs, really hawt crabs, but we need something other than crabs next time!

  44. zalo - # September 29th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    If CC was just deterministic,
    we wouldn’t have to deal with
    the stupid turn-based-ness.

    When fixing the Time-Step in
    B14 he should have also done this too.

  45. Tomaster - # September 29th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Would you really give up the main selling point of the game to play a now diminished game with your buddy?

  46. Dragon239 - # September 30th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    They said CAMPAIGN metagame. That doesn’t mean there can’t be real time battles. Ever played the Total War series? Could be something like that. Turn-based campaign, real time battles.

  47. GaGrin - # September 30th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    What Dragon239 said.

    If the campaign missions are more objective/script based than the skirmish mode then you might even be able to have it player vs AI in the battles, but still have player vs player in the campaign (depending on exactly how the meta-game and main-game link together).

  48. Tima - # October 23rd, 2009 at 11:50 am

    how to download a mod?