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davideq

Path file tools

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Hello everyone, This is my first post here. I describe myself as a game AI enthusiast. I bought the book "Artificial Intelligence for Games" by Ian Millington, and it was quite a read. I am ready to start putting what I learned into practice. Now onto my problem. Right now the biggest challenge that I face is making map files. I'm not talking about designing something in 3D Max or anything. I am only referring to making a text file with a list of pathfinding nodes. I can easily run through and make a list of points and supply coordinates. The problem is trying to visualize the nodes. Does anyone know of a generic tool that I can use to visually display points against a background perhaps, so that I can easily link nodes together and add weights to them? Being able to interface with it via .NET or something would be even better, but not mandatory. Thanks for reading.

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I can't give you an help on the tool you're asking for.

One suggestion, however, is that you could try taking a game, such as UT2004, and try out your new AI knowledge with it. It comes with maps for you to play with and so instead of having to spend a bunch of time building maps, you can instead just focus on restructuring their AI code and paths.

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Thanks for the reply. I did consider toying with UT and quake, but I decided to make it funner and work inside my favorite MMO. Too bad there's nothing to work with the map files there.

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FPS games provides debug drawing functionality. You aren't going to get that kind of support from an MMO or other type of game because that type of modding isn't supported. A potential way around that however is to use render to the games screen using fraps style hooking of the games 3d device(I believe this is easiest in D3D). Presumably if you can hook their directx device, or using overlays you can render your own 3d primitives(like lines, points, etc) into the game window.

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That's an awesome idea. Not sure why I didn't think of it. I could make a diablo like overlay. just maybe not as detailed. I could use innerspace and not even have to worry about the hooking part. Here is a kind of example of the direction I'm talking about heading in: (mine would be more involved)

http://www.ismods.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=642

Although, I might still consider doing my own hooking if it would give me some type of access to the geometry of the level (at least in he immediate area). This isn't the type of programming that I was originally intending to do, and I'm not too familiar with it yet, of course, but I'm certainly not afraid of challenges. I've already downloaded a copy of Special Effects Game Programming to learn a little. Thanks for the tip.

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