Battlefield 42 Pathmapping Part 3-B
There is a tree in the backyard of this base, lets trundle over and have a look. Size up the tree's position with in the grid square, ... the damn thing is sitting right in the middle of four pixels ... so we shall have paint them all to be sure.
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There are also a few crates around, tho' these pose very little trouble
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Don't forget to path the Control Point flag. Because this not a standard static object, the mesh is not displayed, even i tend miss the rotten things. I like to line the camera above the centre of the flag and other thin objects, then turn off the object display to better see the position. If such an object is placed in the right spot, a single pixel would be sufficient, in this case it is like the tree and dead smack in the middle of four pixels ... so path em' all.
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Now on to something tricker, well ... the Guard tower looks trickier, but don't bother trying to get fancy here. Bots will climb ladders if they are given a reason, but are unable to get down. So while you can path the ladder and the upper level for Bot access, they may even go up there and use a machine gun if available, they will probably stay up there till death do they part.
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I'll be taking the easy way out this time ... the whole tower is an obstacle and gets pathed out.
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The next object we'll attack is the bunker, and after a quick look around the outside you'll notice it is positioned rather well, in respect to the gird, so we shall be able to path the building inside & out. This is easier than its sounds as all you are really doing is pathing out the walls of the building. Two things i find handy for this step is, positioning the camera inside the bunker and lowering the object slightly into the ground.
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Don't forget the chunk of concrete off the side of the building, and carefully path the doorway, and you have a building fully pathed for Bot access. Now they just need a reason to go in there ... or leave.
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Last building in this section is a repair pad, this building has a few things to make things interesting for us. First up, go around the outside of the building, path the Walls and edges Bot may get stuck on. The stairway is no harder than a doorway, albeit with a small passageway extending from it. Path the railing of the stairway as you would any other object.
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Then lower the building and get in close to find all the nasty bits like the handrail and doors. Make sure you also check inside the building, some buildings include “attachments” that may need to be pathed out, and level makers may also place separate objects inside for “decoration” like tables, chairs and such.
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I guess you have the idea, but i will bore you with a few more examples. I'll move in to the middle to path a couple of houses. This first house is placed on a very slight angle, but is reasonably in-line with the grid. Note that a single pixel gap is enough to path a Bot though a doorway. Check inside for any further obstacles, in this case there is an internal wall and a doorway, not much of a problem. Then there's the staircase ... remember that Pathmaps are only Two-dimensional, so it is not possible to Path the lower and upper level. It is unlikely a Bot will even use this building let alone want to go upstairs, so just path out the staircase entirely. Also note the tree in the first image. On this occasion i have used what could be considered the “Standard Pattern” for a object of this size. When i say “standard” i mean this is what Dice uses. (revisit Part1 and look at Kursk's Infantry pathmaps) This has advantages and disadvantages; the extra width around the object ensures a Bot will not even bump into the object, and if the object does not have pixel perfect positioning it allows for some leeway – the downside is it leaves excess pathing outside the object that a bot can get stuck on. On a flat surface such as this, that will rarely happen, but on sloped surfaces a Bot may “slip” and yes, i have seen it happen ... this one Bot, dunno he must've had grease on his shoes, but every time it walked past this one tree .... hmmmm.
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The next building is on an angle that couldn't get any worse, lucky the building is closed so we don't even have to think about pathing the inside. The finished job looks a bit messy, but at least it is easy.
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Now here is a ripper! If you can path this building you can path anything. The Omaha bunker would be one of the most complicated buildings to path, and just to make life more interesting Aberdeen uses two of em'. Due to the way this bunker must be embedded into the terrain, the pathing we created in the previous tutorial is on the slopes, around the edges of the bunker.
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Our first task will be to remove this unwanted pathing, so go to the texture dialog, choose a non-white colour, and liberally apply the colour, removing all traces of white. Also, since this a copy of the map, your free to make changes to the terrain. Here i have leveled the terrain in the trenches so it is easier to see where i am painting.
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Then its time to bring out the road tool again, following around the edges of the walls, create the pathing that will keep the bots on the straight and narrow.
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For the insides of the bunkers, you may need some tricky camera work to see where you are going.
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The lines of the pathing look a little weird on the bumpy terrain, but its the Bunker that is pathed and not the slopes.
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There are thousands of possible combinations of objects, and positions they could be placed in. There is absolutely no way i can give you examples of every possibility. Each combination will require its own solution, just evaluate the position of the object with the grid, and ensure your pathing is sufficient to stop a bot getting stuck on an edge of an object, but not too liberal that there is pathed out area that a bot can get stuck on. So get on with the job and path all those statics ... and any flags you don't see. Its a bit of a juggling act at times, i hope i have given you a head start, but only in practice will you really learn what works best.
Tricky Terrain Once you have finished pathing all the static objects, you should further investigate the terrain for any problems or opportunities. One problem to keep yours eyes out for is the “jaggies” Sharp rises in the terrain don't always get pathed out by the terrain process. I had to look high & low in Aberdeen, just to find this example, and a poor one at that ... but i am sure you have seen worse. A bot probably wouldn't get stuck on these kind of edges, but if the “bump” there way along it could make things awkward for them. So all i am going to do is run a brush along the bottom edge of the slope, to provide a small buffer.
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Back to our old patch of turf, here i am going to clean up the edges around the bottom of the slope again, and also, i will add a buffer along the top of the slope, hoping to prevent any bots taking a slippery-dip ride down the slope.
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Now you may be thinking, if i am pathing out extra slopes now ... why didn't i just path out more slopes in the previous tutorial ? Well ... on other occasions, this one being a different level that has more hills, you may find parts that should have Bot access but were pathed out last tutorial. It is a balance, a little bit to add & a little bit to remove. You may want to find a setting that better suits the level you are working on, if you have to too much of either to do ie: find a balance for your map. Anyway, getting to the point, in this level i believed the slope here was not too steep for a Bot to walk up, so grabbing my green brush again, i have removed the pathing so the Bots may travel through.
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Continue to the next part here: