Author Topic: Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial  (Read 1721 times)

Darkelfguy

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Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial
« on: July 30, 2015, 04:48:58 PM »
So I've noticed a lot of modders, even veteran modders, are having trouble figuring out how to make path grids in the Construction Set, so I thought I'd make a quick picture-based tutorial to try and help everyone out with using this particular feature of the CS.

First things first, what is a path grid and what is it used for? Basically, a path grid tells NPCs and creatures where they can walk, providing paths around an environment where they won't get stuck or run into things. If you've ever played a mod with interiors that lack path-grids, you'll notice that the AI has a tendency to run into objects or walk into walls or get confused and run around in circles. Path grids help prevent this, though given Morrowind's somewhat limited AI, you can still expect some quirks even with path grids in place.

It should be noted that even empty interiors need to have path grids, because the player could potentially have a companion with them, or have their sleep interrupted by the seemingly omnipotent Dark Brotherhood assassins that can track down the player in even the most unlikely of places.

Creating a path grid is very simple, when you open the Construction Set, you'll notice a grid-like icon with red dots next to a light bulb on the menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen.

You can see it in the above screenshot. Click on it and a small pop-up will appear.


Go ahead and checkmark the box that says "Save User Points" since we'll need that for later, but DON'T close the box just yet.


Now, right-click anywhere on the render window to make a little blue node to appear. This node indicates a point on our path grid. You can keep right-clicking to make more nodes appear and you move them around as you would any other object.


See the yellow lines in the above screenshot? That indicates a path between two nodes. To create a path, while selecting one of the blue nodes, hold down the left CTRL button on your keyboard and left-click another node. This will create a path between the nodes that an AI such as an NPC or creature can then use.


Now with any environment, you're going to need a fair number of nodes and paths to paint an area for the AI to traverse. Put path grid nodes in logical positions and then connect them together with paths, allowing for any combination that makes sense. Remember, the AI will use this, so its best to have a semi-spread out path grid with clear-cut paths for them to use.

Also, don't worry about placing NPCs or creatures directly on a path grid in the CS. AI will naturally look for and find a path grid nearby to traverse, so they don't need to be directly on the grid in order to find it later.


Finally, once you're done with your path grid and satisfied you've covered all your bases, hit the save button. And that's it, your interior now has a path grid and the AI probably won't run into walls quite so often anymore.

That concludes the tutorial, but if you have any questions, please post them below!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 04:52:46 PM by Darkelfguy »
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Turelek

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Re: Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 05:17:58 PM »
Thank you very much this is a nice tutorial!
Modding since 2008. Happy to be a part of the Morrowind Modding Commune.

Foyer

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Re: Path Grids - A Quick Tutorial
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 04:18:33 AM »
Great tut, thanks very much!