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Making ZK More Active

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CArankTacoMan
12 days ago
How long will ZK be deserted for NA players? Currently it is a sunday evening for those in North America, and 0 people are actually in-game in ZK.


I understand that it's been greenlit by STEAM but its been quite a few months now I believe; when will it come to STEAM? Is there any other way to making ZK more populated? What are the devs approach to this?


ZK is a very fun game and I'm a bit dissapointed that I have no one to play with. I realize that its mostly frequented by adults and older people who don't have a lot of free time as me (I'm just a HS student) but it is sad knowing that half the time my favorite RTS will be dead.



+4 / -0


USrankFealthas
12 days ago
I feel your pain man :(

I feel that unless we hit some sort of critical mass of players so that there is always someone on to play with, our current population will remain fairly constant. When there is always someone to play with I feel like we would do alot better job at retaining new players.
+1 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
12 days ago
Improving the vs AI and Coop experiences will help bring new players in on a smoother learning curve, where nobody gets called a crustation and leaves in tears. The AI is there now, just need more interesting lobby. Unlocking harder matches etc.
+1 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
12 days ago
crust crust!
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
12 days ago
GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng on that note, very easy circuit needs to be much easier.
+5 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
12 days ago
Will change it after the unit renames are done.
+2 / -0

CArankTacoMan
11 days ago
Feel like the AI in ZK is insanely good for an RTS game. It's handled very well and it actually provides a challenge en masse to even the highest-level players.
+0 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
11 days ago
(edited 11 days ago)

As far as I'm aware it's literally the best non-cheating RTS AI scene outside the StarCraft 1 University AI project tournaments! And it's only getting stronger :D
+1 / -0

CNrankqwerty3w
11 days ago
AOE2 used to have a great AI scene, a lot of RTS games have fan made AIs, the most of them ignore fog of war, though.
+0 / -0

USrankPowerGuy
11 days ago
The AI in this game, if I take my eyes off it for a second, it goes from having 2 factories to having like 20 factories haha.
Production never seems to slow down.

I rarely play because I feel like I'm going to disapoint the ~3 players the play every day haha
+0 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
11 days ago
(edited 11 days ago)

AOE2 AIs were cool but even the best were much less sophisticated than our sweet ZK AIs - they were just scripts. They focused on achieving perfect macro and build timings (both of which are relatively simple for AI) since unit control, map parsing and lots of other functions were hardcoded.

To emphasise:

ZK has the 2nd most challenging and sophisticated non-cheating AI opponents in the entire RTS genre. In terms of usability they also thrash the starcraft BW AIs, which are prohibitively difficult to set up for anything besides a 1v1 vs player (requires multiple copies of Starcraft 1 be run in a virutal lan).

Not sure how relevant this is to making ZK More Active, although pulling people into a single player experience certainly cant hurt (and then the multiplayer COOP matchmaking is looming...).
+0 / -0

FRrankThornEel
8 days ago
What is the level of the current AIs compared to active players?
Having left for a few years, I am still playing against the AI to get back, but still often can't beat Medium in 1v1.
+0 / -0


CHrankAdminDeinFreund
8 days ago
ZKGBAI, what I would call the current best AI (a notch better than what you get when playing "hard" which is CircuitAI), has a 1v1 elo of around 1500. This was done as a blind test by randomly replacing MatchMaker opponents with the AI.
+1 / -0


USrankaeonios
8 days ago
quote:
ZKGBAI, what I would call the current best AI (a notch better than what you get when playing "hard" which is CircuitAI), has a 1v1 elo of around 1500. This was done as a blind test by randomly replacing MatchMaker opponents with the AI.


Did that really happen?
+1 / -0

CArankTacoMan
8 days ago
Think we're getting too interested in the AI here, however awesome they might be. (Spoiler: They're pretty gud)


But what are the dev's plans for making ZK more active other than the steam release? Do you guys have a time estimate for the steam release? ZK is a well-developed and interesting game so I'd expect the steam release to make the playerbase explode. I wouldn't be surprised if we had 300-500 players at all times. How will you guys deal with the server load?
+1 / -0



GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
8 days ago
Shame the different AIs aren't running different accounts so the elos are comparable, but that's really awesome!

Is there a simply way I can search the replay database for vs AI games of a particular bot?
+0 / -0


USrankCrazyEddie
8 days ago
I can't speak for the devs, but my personal view is that ZK still needs a lot of work on the new user experience before we start pushing hard for new users (i.e. releasing on Steam and - hopefully - having an accompanying PR campaign). It's come a long way recently, much better than it was even just a year ago, but more is still needed.

I'd break that work down into three areas:
- User interface (both in-game and lobby)
- Tutorials / guides / learn-how-to-play
- Single-player campaign

People are hard at work on all of these areas.

The game itself, including the AI, is more than ready for an official release and a PR campaign.

+0 / -0