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Grave Bot Artificially deadly intelligence for S&I by Ghoul Science & IndustryHLDM

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Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request
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BuMHeD
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Default Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request - 01-12-2004

Hello everyone!

I know I'm kinda new around here, but let me be one of the first to repeat: CONGRATULATIONS GHOUL!! I've been following your progress for a few weeks now, and I must say, I'm impressed with the outcome. I have only had a chance to test your bots out on a listen server, but they are DEFINITELY what I had hoped they would become. I don't like coming off as a stalker, so let me introduce myself. My name is Jay, or BuM to my friends, and I am one of the leaders of clan [AP] of Half-Life Bubblemod. I have spent the last month searching dilligently for a suitable bot to run on our most-popular server, Amateurs' Practice - NOVICES ONLY!! (3). Bots provide an excellent means for drawing attention to an otherwise empty server, and are an excellent means for practicing aim. We have tested the HPB bot released by the infamous and ever-respectable Botman, and have been disappointed only by the simplicity of their design and a few minor problems that have been encounted because of their presence. I promise you that I'm not saying all of this just because I like the to talk, lol.

The reason I have posted here today is because my clan is rather interested in seeking solutions to our bot problems, and we think your bot may just be what we are looking for. However, since our mod, Bubblemod, (details can be found at www.bubblemod.org) by Eggplant, is a metamod plug-in with an awkward dll setup, we are unable to run your bot live without a metamod compatibility. I have read that you are working on this feature, and I don't want to put you under any pressure, but we are eagerly awaiting the fruits of your labor. As soon as you have had time to complete your metamod version (and pass all your exam I hope!! I'm in school myself and I know I'm barely ready as it is lol...) we will be putting your ghoul-bot to the test full-time. There were just a few things I wanted to bring to your attention in hopes that you could provide some foresight on them.

First and foremost, I have been having a rather irritating problem with the HPB bot plug-in. Namely, it causes my server to crash atleast once every 2 days or so, sometimes as much as twice daily. This, of course, is a MAJOR concern, and I have pinpointed (I think) to a specific feature. Our goal over at AP3 (our server) is to have 2 bots in the server when the server is empty, then, when a client joins, one bot leaves (1bot vs 1human), and for the 2nd bot to leave as soon as 2 clients are connect (only humans). This intention is achieved by HPB bot's built in bot_max/bot_min variables (set to 2 and 0 respectively). However, when this variable is set (and subsequently fulfilled), there is the occassional error, listed below in verbatum:

FATAL ERROR: Sz_getspace tried to write to an uninitialized sizebuf_t???

That error is logged, followed by the immediate crash of the server. I have done countless hours of research on the error, and have only been able to deduce that it seems to have SOMETHING to do with "the bot code and the hl code not jiving" when a bot is added or removed from the server. Now, I don't know if this is something you would have any way of tracking down, but since you are one of the only bot coders that is still currently busy with an open-source project for HLDM, I think you're probably the best candidate to eliminate it. I have approximately 13 metamod plugins, including adminmod, and up to 10 adminmod plugins running on the server right now, so there are obviously many variables that could come into play, but I can tell your for certain that the error ONLY occurs when bots are activated AND present in the server while the min/max_bot variables are set to a value. If you have any ideas, or need any information about our server, feel free to ask and I will share.

Secondly, regarding that same min/max_bot feature, I have had some troubles making it work to it's specification. Whenever I activate the server with those settings, the bots will be added/removed normally. That is, until we have several human clients connected and win a map. When the map rotates and is processed, even though there are 2+ clients connected, the bots are added again as if the server were empty, and the HPB bot plugin doesn't seem to fulfill the check_client loop (or whatever it does to check if it should or should not have bots in the server), thus, bots are added that have to be manually removed elsewise they remain no matter how many people enter or leave. There is a "pause" feature that is included in HPB bot that I believe is meant to delay how long after the server (or round) starts before adding bots... but even after I set this value rather high (about 15 seconds) the bots were still added almost immediately when the new round began. Perhaps you will have better luck coding this feature to prevent bots from being added to a server that is already full with clients when they aren't desired. This has, on more than one occassion, crashed the server because it attemped to add the bot clients while we had 9 human clients connected and overloaded it. Please take this into account while modifying the code.

*takes a breath*. I'm sorry to take up so much of your time and forum space with all of this. By now, I must sound rather demanding for a new-comer, lol. I do apologize if I come off as presumptuous, but I think these are some valuable red flags to be of which to be aware. I also have one more reason why I am asking so much of you. As it stands, if your bot turns out to be as well-built and useful as it sounds like it's going to be, then my organization may very well be willing to compensate you if you would be willing to take on a project of creating a bubblemod version of your bot. Recently, I have stumbled upon a version of HPB bot called HPB_Bubble_bot, but have been unable to obtain a copy of it for testing. All I know about it for certain is that it seems to allow bubblemod users to run it full-time, and without crashing issues. The only server I know that you may be able to obtain it from is for the K9 server (www.k9kennelclub.com). It's metamod compatible. That notwithstanding, what we are interested in is the production and implementation of a bot that takes into account the various gameplay changes provided with bubblemod, including but not limited to: new weapons, modified weapons, altered weapon rates, weapon priority changes, certain weapons eliminated, weapon runes, and any number of clan-created event themes. Obviously this is alot to consider, and would probably incorporate a great deal of extra code (perhaps even a new project.) I would like to get a chance to talk to you about what it would take to get something like this put together. I'm fairly certain that I can make it worth your while, and could probably offer the support of the creator of bubblemod, Eggplant, as well as up to 30 Bubblemod regulars who are very familiar with the mod. Please visit www.bubblemod.com for more details regarding the mod and what it includes (visit the 'documentation' link on the right-hand side).

I know that may be alot to digest all at once, so please, take your time and think about it. I for one can tell you that I understand that school comes first, and many other things in life demand priority, so don't be hasty in your decision. There is no deadline or quota to meet. I am speaking alone, but representing the interests of my peers in asking this of you. For this reason, I welcome you to visit our forums and our website to get to know us, but please keep the details of this proposed project quiet, atleast until we can get the details worked out. You can reach me by various means. AIM: xxXBuMHeDXxxx, ICQ: 327650276, MSN: spooky2jr@aol.com, AOL: JayJay64, or good ol' email at BuMHeD@apclan.us. I will try to check these boards regularly, so feel free to respond to my post as well or PM me. Once again, I thank you for reading all of this, and apologize for hijacking your attention for so long. I promise I won't post this long everytime! :-P

*~BuM~* a.k.a. Jay
   
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Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request
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hiyahin
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Default Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request - 01-12-2004

Pretty strange. I've seen many servers that works properly using HPB based bots.I don't know exact answers for either of your answers, but I'll have to ask you the general question:

Have you tried uninstalling/reinstalling and then customizing it again?
Does this happen when you play HLDM without Bubblemod?
If not, have you tried without any other plugins?

Try having a look around bots-united forums and do searches. Sometimes they have the answers to the strangest bot problems.

Problem One: SZ_GetSpace "Tried to write to an uninitialized sizebuf_t: ???
Solution: http://forums.bots-united.com/showth...ized+sizebuf_t
http://forums.bots-united.com/showth...ht=min+max+bot

Last edited by hiyahin; 01-12-2004 at 20:02..
   
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Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request
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BuMHeD
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Default Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request - 02-12-2004

Well, I did do alot of searching, but I never came up with those threads, so thank you for showing those to me. That notwithstanding, I have tried both of those solutions with no luck... bot_protection has always been on with our server, and I have alot of plugins, but none that send any 'glowy text.' The only thing mentioned in those threads that I haven't experimented with is the urldownload feature. I have not tried exchanging it for trickle download... but I wouldnt want to either. Our server is meant to be a fast-download server, and I know a few HPB bot servers with 99% uptime that use the urldownload feature... so it can't be that. I have tried starting from scratch, but I have not tried it without bubblemod. Since we run a popular dedicated server, I can't really remove bubblemod and give it a 24 hour duration test like I would prefer. This would kill our traffic and raise the eyebrows of my associates, which wouldn't be good. I don't mean to loop all your suggestions back at you... I just have a not-so-ideal testing situation. That is why I was hoping that bringing these up to the designer of this bot could possible prevent them before they became prevalent. *shrug*. I'll see if I can get my hands on a test machine and run a dedicated copy of our server w/o bubblemod and step down the plugins.
   
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Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request
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Ghoul
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Default Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request - 02-12-2004

Thank you for your comments. I'm going to try to get Grave Bot ported to metamod next week. I should have a lot more freetime then.

I'll investigate min_bots and max_bots. I'm sure Grave Bot inherited the problem since it's based off HPB Bot.

I'll also begin working on Source plugins, which will eventually lead to Grave Bot: Source. Hopefully anyway.
   
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Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request
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BuMHeD
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Default Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request - 02-12-2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghoul
Thank you for your comments. I'm going to try to get Grave Bot ported to metamod next week. I should have a lot more freetime then.

I'll investigate min_bots and max_bots. I'm sure Grave Bot inherited the problem since it's based off HPB Bot.

I'll also begin working on Source plugins, which will eventually lead to Grave Bot: Source. Hopefully anyway.
That's certainly good news. If you would like any details regarding our server, feel free to ask and I'll provide. Definitely take your time when it comes to school... Don't fail any classes over this project! LoL. Let me know what you think about possibly picking up a bubblemod project when you finish with your Main release. Perhaps you can squeeze it in before you get to work on a source project, as I assume there is alot more coding involved in the source SDK than the original. Let me know ... Thanks.

*~BuM~*

PS. I gave you a bad link in my first post. You can find information on bubblemod at www.bubblemod.ORG

Last edited by BuMHeD; 02-12-2004 at 08:13..
   
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Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request
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BuMHeD
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Default Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request - 08-12-2004

Just a quick bump to this topic and all. Any luck with the metamod porting? Also, I had a suggestion and possible solution to one of the problems I raised. To combat the concerns of bots being added after map changes, you may want to make it so that dedicated servers will check the player count after the 'pause' variable upon each map change before adding bots. As it stands, you can set the "pause" to a number of seconds so that when you start the server it is supposed to wait before adding bots each round... but for some reason, it fails to make that check on map changes. Perhaps this suggestion will help you narrow down that particular issue.

Also, let me know if you have some time where we could chat live about the possibility of a bubblemod version of Gravebot. Once again... no pressure. I know exams are upon you, and you won't have alot of time to deal with this, so just let me know when you can. Thanks.

Cheers,

*~BuM~*
   
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Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request
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Pierre-Marie Baty
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Default Re: Congrats!! ...and a few ideas/request - 08-12-2004

@Ghoul: if ever you need help with the metamod port, never hesitate to PM me. I'm starting to be used to those things



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