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Ai Building and Waypointing
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Author Post
Mon Jun 18 2012, 04:08pm

Registered Member #1
Joined: Wed Nov 10 2010, 06:11am

Posts: 220
This is the AI or Waypoint process in a nut shell after you have cell_grouped your map with no errors (with and without objects.)

Tips before you start.
For Large maps:
1. Create a visgroup called Cells-Waypointed, to place the cells of the rooms you have waypointed, this is great for
testing your waypoints (and lighting if you decide to do preliminary lighting) as you go. Remember
to turn off "Build using Visible objects" in your Build obtions (F9). This is very important because you will
not be able to test AI if rooms(cells) don't have any waypoints. [ai build] will not work.
For Small Maps
1. If it is your first time waypointing a map, I suggest you go with the large map tip, otherwise continue without creating a
visgroup for you cells.

Start by placing a waypoint in the cell where the swat team will start.
1. Waypoints cannot be touching Solid brushes (Objects) Place waypoints in your map with all visible objects to avoid
placing a waypoint where it might be touching a wall or other object or entity. Doors and Portals are the
exceptions here because of the matter in which we create overlapping waypoints for them.
1. Place waypoint high enough so any bottom door sills throught the floor of the map will not interfear with the path.
2. This is a good time to do preliminary lighting since you will be testing each rooms AI
3. Waypoints can be placed anywhere in a small room doesn't necessaryly have to be the center of the room.
4. A key number of 3 Waypoints to a room. You can add more for getting around large objects, takes more time to build ai.

5. Here are the settings from the Swat3 FAQ documentation as to what every waypoint setting does.

Parameter Name      Default Value      Description 
Name                       Descriptive name for the entity. 
Stop When Clearing     No         Set to "Yes" if you want characters to stop at this node if clearing an area. 
Stop Radius                   The number of inches away from this node that characters stop. 
Can Escape Here          No         Set to "Yes" if characters can escape at this area. 
Good Cover Here       No         Set to "Yes" if characters can take cover here. 
Visible Nodes                   Enter the names of the visible nodes from this node. 
Ignored Nodes                   Enter the names of ignored nodes from this node. 

To move into the next room, create a set of portal waypoints to put into doorways, or other portals you might have seperating your rooms.
1. This waypoint must be apporxamately no more than 2 units height difference from your room portals, so it is best to move your
waypoints from the top(x,y) view of Worldcraft to ensure you have the proper bottom door sill clearance.
2. Intercect your portal waypoints so that they are touching 50% of each ent. See fig.3
3. At this point you wont be able to test your waypoints, until you have finished waypointing your map. On the other hand,
if you decided to go with vis_grouping waypoints cells(Room), you will have to at least waypoint 2 rooms.

To move up stairs, ramps, hills and inclines your cell must be set to "Yes" in the Cell Attribute - Multiple Levels for AI pathing -.
1. Place a waypoint at the bottom of the stairs, and at the top of the stairs, making sure that the waypoints are visible from within each other.
2. If you are using a ramp for your stairs, make sure there are no gaps between where the floor ends and where the ramp starts. (see fig)

Throught the process you can choose from the waypoint attributes to give extra meaning to the waypoint, some of common atts are
1. Good cover - so my team can find cover in a hostile situation, likewise terrorists can seek cover; usually used in small rooms with no windows
and a door, such as a Storage room, or changing room.
2. Stop when clearing, seems logicall in certain situation when a decicsion has to be made when multiple paths are present.
3. Stop radius use with the Stop when clearing, to provide extra cover to a team in a multiple path situation. (See 2. above)

Common errors When Building AI [build ai] in game.
1. Game crashes on loading map. If you are rebuilding Ai, and you have made changes to your cellgroups or Waypoints
you will need to delete your .CCM "cube cell map" FILE from your mission's "/mission/ folder.

1. Waypoint ( X , X, X) is in an invalid location -
This means that the waypoint has no visible nodes to follow, and or, the way point is touching a solid brush.
2. Cell XXX has no usable waypoints, add a waypoint or mark as uncuppiable, usually means you have a cell you dont have a
waypoint in, if you are using vis_groups to organize your waypoints for testing, check to make sure your
Ents-Waypoints vis-group containing remaining cells to be waypointed is off in the visgroups box.
3. Ai Build stalls or appears to be frozen, several things can cause your ai build to stall,
In all cases of a frozen ai build check the cell that it is frozen at, most likely the problem is within that cell
Scenario#1 if you are using Multiple levels for AI pathing AKA: STairs or ramps, check for gaps in ramps and steps,
see Tip #2 in "To Move up stairs, ramps hills and inclines"
Scenario#2 Look to see if you have a waypoint in a room with no cell or visible waypoints.
**********If all else fails*****************
Revert back to a point in your Waypointing that worked, moving problematic Cells back to non visible
cell visgroup and deleting waypoints in problematic rooms. Again I stress that if you are
working on a large map, it is best to waypoint room to room and test until you've completed
the waypoint process.

Keep this guide and tips, handy while you waypoint and any suggestions will be appended when seen relevant.

[ Edited Mon Jun 18 2012, 04:20pm ]
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Sun Jul 15 2012, 11:32pm

Registered Member #30
Joined: Wed Nov 24 2010, 06:40pm

Posts: 159
Just wanted to make a few additional points.

I think it is important to remember that waypoints need to have a clear view of each other. They only can see in straight lines. If you have a piece of the map's geometry in the "line of sight" from one waypoint to the next they won't work properly.

A good example is a kitchen with an island in the middle. To make it so the AI can walk all around your kitchen the best thing to do is add 4 waypoints at each corner.

[ Edited Sun Jul 15 2012, 11:33pm ]
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