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SECTION 2 - DESIGNING A CYBERTANK

SECTION BRIEF - Designing a cybertank consists of two steps: designing the chassis and designing the Artificial Intelligence (AI). The term chassis refers to the cybertank’s mechanical components. AI refers to commands which control the cybertank’s actions via an on-board computer. This section details both aspects of cybertank design.

2.1 CHASSIS DESIGN AND AI DESIGN

Designing a cybertank chassis requires the selection of mechanical components from various equipment categories. These choices define the specifications for your cybertank. Designing cybertank AI involves creating a sequence of commands for the cybertank’s on-board computer. AI can be created rapidly using semi-custom or full custom design techniques. Full custom design fully exploits the capabilities of the on-board computer.

2.2 BEGINNING THE CYBERTANK DESIGN PROCESS

To begin, select DESIGN CYBERTANK from the DESIGN menu. The OSI/CACD transfers you to the Design Control Module (DCM). Your name, your clearance level, and the name of your cybertank (currently <NONE>) are displayed on the screen (see Diagram 2.2)

Diagram 2.2 - Design Control Module (DCM)

2.2.1 The Design Control Module

The DCM is the heart of OSI/CACD System 2. As a Cybertank Engineer, you must become very familiar with this module. The DCM includes the chassis and AI design facilities.

2.2.2 Creating a New Cybertank

To create a new cybertank, select NEW from the CYBERTANK menu. This allows you to name your new cybertank, and initiate its design. Every cybertank is given a code name of the designer’s choosing. To maintain consistency with the Training Guide, name your initial cybertank design "ALPHA.”
Your cybertank’s name is entered using the File Storage Panel (FSP) now displayed on your screen (see Diagram 2.2.2). Type ‘in "ALPHA", and click on the Save button (for keyboard control of the FSP, please refer to the OSI/CACD System 2 Reference Card). A place on your ID Disc is now reserved for a new cybertank design named "ALPHA."

NOTE: The FSP is described in detail in Part 2, Section 9.1

Diagram 2.2.2 - File Storage Panel (FSP)

2.3 DESIGNING THE CYBERTANK’S CHASSIS

After reserving a place for ALPHA, the OSI/CACD transfers you to the Chassis Design Module (CDM). Here, you will design the chassis of your cybertank.

2.3.1 The Chassis Design Module Display Panel

The COM display panel is divided into three parts (see Diagram 2.3.1): the main display area, the component buttons, and the credits display area.
The main display area, located below the cybertank name plague, displays information selected by using the component buttons at the right. Currently, ALPHA's Specifications are displayed.
To get a feel for using the COM panel, try selecting each of the component buttons. Note each button’s effect as it appears on the main display area.
The Specifications button shows a summary of equipment selected for the cybertank. The other component buttons display lists of equipment for each specific component.
Each piece of equipment has an associated cost. As a new engineer with STANDARD Clearance you are allotted an initial budget of 1,000 credits. The credits display area shows the remaining balance as you choose equipment.

Diagram 2.3.1 - Chassis Design Module (CDM)

2.3.2 Selecting Equipment

To see how equipment is chosen, select the Drive System button. The various drive systems appear in the main display area. NOW, select Light as if it were a button. The small, circular button directly to the left of Light becomes highlighted and the credits area is updated accordingly.
Now select Heavy. Notice that selecting Heavy “deselects” Light. This occurs because your cybertank can have only one drive system. Try choosing other drive systems. The five primary equipment components are Tank Class, Fuel Cells, Drive System, Weapon Type, and Scanner. To authorize a cybertank, the cybertank must include one (and only one) choice for each component. In Special Items, you may include as marry items as your budget allows (or none). Special items are optional.

2.3.3 Choosing ALPHA’s Equipment

You are now ready to choose ALPHA's equipment. Display the various equipment by selecting the appropriate component (specified below in bold print). Then choose the item, specified in outline print, by selecting it in the main display area as if it were a button.
Tank Class determines the weight of the cybertank, the thickness of its armor, and other attributes (see Part 2, Section 2.3.3 for details). For ALPHA, choose the Sherman M7 Tank Class.
Fuel Cells provide energy for the drive system, weapon system, and scanner system. If a cybertank runs out of fuel, its mechanical functions cease operation. For ALPHA, choose 300 units of fuel.
The Drive System is the power plant of the cybertank. The cost (in credits) of a drive system indicates the amount of energy it cart produce. For more information regarding drive systems, see Part 2, Section 2.3.5. For ALPHA, choose the Light Drive System.
Weapon Type determines the weapon type to be installed on the cybertank. For a discussion of Weapon Types, see Part 2, Section 2.3.6. For ALPHA, choose Explosive.

Diagram 2.3.3 - Shape of the Scanner

The Scanner is the eyes and ears of the cybertank. It detects enemy cybertanks and other objects in a wedge-shaped area emanating from the cybertank (see Diagram 2.3.3). The length of the wedge is called the range of the scanner and is measured in hectometers (hm). The width of the wedge is called the sweep angle and is measured in degrees (°). For ALPHA, choose the 20 hm - 45° scanner.
Special Items provide advanced battle capabilities. They will be discussed later when you have a large enough budget to use them.

2.3.4 Viewing ALPHA's Specifications

Select the Specifications button to view ALPHA's specifications. The main display area should look like Diagram 2.3.4. Notice that the items you have chosen exhaust your budget of 1,000 credits.

Diagram 2.3.4 - ALPHA specifications in the CDM

2.4 DESIGNING THE CYBERTANK'S AI

With the chassis complete, you can now design the cybertank’s Al. Select AI from the CYBERTANK menu. The OSI/CACD transfers you to the Artificial Intelligence Module (AI Module). Your screen should now look like Diagram 2.4.

NOTE: The CDM and AI Module are both parts of the Design Control Module (DCM). You can transfer back and forth between the two by selecting CHASSIS or AI from the CYBERTANK menu.

Diagram 2.4 - AI Module

The main viewing area of the screen is called the edit window. The Scroll-Bar directly to the right of the edit window is used to scroll through the lines of AI.
Below the edit window is the CCL Construction Panel (CP). The CP is comprised of various plaques.

2.4.1 Cybertank Command Language (CCL)

Cybertank AI is comprised of commands written in the Cybertank Command Language (CCL), a special language developed by OSI Engineers. CCL is easily understood because it resembles the English language.

2.4.2 Semicustom versus Full Custom Design

There are two basic methods available for designing AI, Semicustom Design and Full Custom Design. When using semicustom design, the designer forms the AI by piecing together predefined sequences of commands, called AI library Capsules. In full custom design, the designer enters each CCL command individually.
You will be using semicustom design for your first cybertank (ALPHA). Full custom design is discussed later in this Training Guide.

2.4.3 The AI Module

The AI Module is used to enter and change AI commands. Commands can be entered by typing, or by selecting the CCL Construction Panel (CP) plaques below the edit window.
Notice the thin vertical bar in the upper left-hand corner of the edit window. It is called the Insertion Cursor (IC). It indicates where text will be inserted when you start typing.

2.4.4 Entering ALPHA's AI

Type in the following lines, ending each with a RETURN:
Start
   Do Seek
   Do Destroy
   Branch to Start

NOTE: AI commands can be in UPPER CASE (CAPITAL) letters, lower case letters, or both.

NOTE: The AI Module has a built-in feature which automatically indents the next line when you press RETURN. DELETE returns the cursor to the left margin.

2.4.5 Examining ALPHA's AI

The four lines entered for ALPHA's AI embody the logic of a simple but effective AI. When ALPHA is battle activated, its on-board computer processes the AI, beginning with Start.
The first line, Start, is called a Label. A Label simply names a segment of AI. Labels always appear on a line by themselves, and always begin in the leftmost column of the edit window.
The second line, Do Seek, instructs the on-board computer to perform a routine called Seek.
Similarly, the third line, Do Destroy, instructs the on-board computer to perform a routine called Destroy.
The last line, Branch to Start, instructs the on-board computer to branch back to the label Start before processing additional commands.
These four lines make up a common structure called a "loop." The on-board computer will “loop back” to Start after it performs Destroy, such that the on-board computer alternately performs the Seek and Destroy routines.

2.4.6 Routines

A routine is a sequence of CCL commands which instruct the cybertank to Perform a particular task.
ALPHA's AI incorporates two routines: Seek and Destroy. Seek causes the cybertank to seek out an enemy. Destroy causes the cybertank to fire at the enemy until it either runs away or is destroyed.
The routines Seek and Destroy are not yet defined in your AI. Fortunately, they are both available as Library Capsules. To use these library Capsules, press RETURN and type the following two lines:
Include Seek
Include Destroy

NOTE: Press RETURN at the end of each line.

2.4.7 Library Capsules

Library Capsules are prewritten segments of AI. A library Capsule can contain one or more routines composed of CCL commands and are often named after the first routine they contain. This is the case with both Seek and Destroy.
The line Include Seek represents the contents of the library Capsule named Seek. You could replace Include Seek with the CCL commends from the Library Capsule “Seek” without changing the meaning of the Al.
Later in this Training Guide you are shown how to view, edit, and create Library Capsules. Part 4, “Capsule Reference,” describes the Capsules available in the OSI Library.

2.4.8 Saving the Cybertank Design

Your cybertank design is now ready to be saved onto your ID Disc. Before proceeding, make sure that your AI is identical to the following (no distinction is made between upper and lower case letters):
Start
   Do Seek
   Do Destroy
   Branch to Start

   Include Seek
   Include Destroy
To save your cybertank design, select SAVE from the CYBERTANK menu. ALPHA’s chassis and AI designs are now stored on your ID Disc.

2.5 AUTHORIZING A CYBERTANK

Your cybertank design must be authorized before it can be submitted to the Combat Simulation Module (CSM). Your design will be checked by the Cybertank Authorization Module (CAM) for any flaws; such as missing chassis components and incorrect CCL commands, as well as missing Library Capsules.

2.5.1 Activating the Cybertank Authorization Module

By selecting AUTHORIZE from the CYBERTANK menu, the OSI/CACD transfers you to the CRM and automatically begins the authorization Process. If there are no problems with your design, the CRM will display the message "AUTHORIZATION COMPLETE.”
At this point, Select AUTHORIZE from the CYBERTANK menu to Authorize ALPHA.

2.5.2 Successful Authorization

After the CRM has successfully authorized your cybertank, the ECM and Design buttons appear at the bottom of your screen. The ECM button transfers you to the External Command Module (ECM). The Design button transfers you to the Design Control Module (DCM). For now, select the E CM button. When the OSI/CACD System 2 asks if you want to save the changes made to ALPHA, select “YES”.

2.5.3 Unsuccessful Authorization

If the CAM identifies a problem with your design, a message is displayed explaining the problem. If the problem is in your chassis design, press any key. You will be transferred to the Chassis Design Module (CDM) where you can fix the cybertank’s chassis.
If the Problem is in your AI design, the buttons Continue and Cancel appear at the bottom of the screen. Select the Cancel button to return to the AI Module, or select the Continue button to allow the CRM to continue searching for problems. When the CRM is finished, the OSI/CACD transfers you to the AI Module where you can fix your cybertank’s AI. Some problems with AI designs discontinue the authorization of your design. If this happens, press any key and you will be transferred back to the AI Module.

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