Pathfinding Update Week 38

Yesterday late in the day Lorca Linden made a post about Pathfinding (PF) in the SL Forum. You can see it here: Pathfinding FAQ.

Pathfinding

Included in the information is the estimate that the Pathfinding Tools will be in the release viewer by the end of September. The release delay has been due to a viewer memory leak issue that has delayed all viewer releases. The leak is not in the PF code. But, the PF code is in the batch of updates with the leaky code. They are currently trying to separate the PF code from the other code and get the PF Tools released.

The first question is about lag: Q: Will Pathfinding cause massive lag on my region/parcel? The answer is: NO. Regions have Pathfinding capped at 4ms per frame and Homesteads at 1ms per frame.

  • Q: Will updating a build to use Pathfinding be time consuming?
  • Q: When will the Pathfinding tools be released in the SL Viewer and where can I get a beta version of the viewer tools?
  • Q: Will I be able to move my objects around once I’ve marked them as static?
  • Q: How can I enable Pathfinding on my house which has scripted doors?
  • Q: Why does terrain editing behave differently now than before?
  • Q: What are those percentages listed in the linkset floater?
  • Q: As a content creator, what character type should I make my pet (or butler or AI car)?
  • Q: What can I do with the View/Test floater if I’m not using Pathfinding?

Check out the article if any of these questions interest you.

Disabling Pathfinding

Disabling Pathfinding in a region does NOT affect performance. All the Pathfinding-Havok code still continues to run. It is sort of like disabling scripting in a region. The script engine in the simulator still runs. But, people are blocked from running scripts that consume CPU cycles. So, the script engine runs at idle.

Disabling Pathfinding blocks people from running PF Characters and using up the 4ms PF character allocation. But, the PF Engine (there really isn’t such a thing, but you get the idea, yes?) runs the same in a Disabled region as it would in a region with no PF Characters.

So, there isn’t any point in disabling Pathfinding, unless you want block PF Characters.

Absolute Minimum

Andrew Linden suggested placing a large Exclusion Volume in a region to minimize any time spent building the Navmesh.

The Simball people have been having a visual update issue since PF was rolled out. I’m not sure this is due to PF Code or time spent updating the Navmesh. There is something in the Simball game that forces Navmesh updates… basically stuff moves around that alters the Navmesh. So, Andrew is looking to see if there is a problem and will likely be running various tests in ADITI to find out whether it is related to something in PF.

Render Problem

I filed PATHBUG-190Beta & Dev Viewers cannot render PF Characters. This bug is due to a change in the render pipeline. It may also be affecting Simball. It is hard to know. With the JIRA Change it is hard to make associations between various issue manifestations that might pinpoint a problem.

Modular Pathfinding Kit

The Lindens have also released the PF Kit: Modular Pathfinding Kit. The kit is just a script. It demonstrates how to write PF character code to simulate more realistic behavior.

Just having a character wonder the grid or follow people is simple but rather boring. Knowing how to change a character from one mode to another is important knowledge to have.

Other PF Articles

Summary

I suspect once the Advanced Creator Tools are released with Experience Permissions we will see more use of PF Characters. I also am guessing we will see some PF Characters this Halloween.

Eventually all breedables will likely be using PF code to be more efficient and reduce script load.

Pathfinding is essentially complete and released. One can access all the PF features using the Beta or Developer viewers. A few Third Party Viewers (TPV) have all the PF Tools except for the Navmesh visualization feature, which just lets you see the Navmesh. There is no editing in the Navmesh render feature. It is for ‘debugging’ character behavior. So, that is not a big omission. It will come later.

The lack of PF Tools in the main viewer and PATHBUG-190 makes using PF a bit more awkward than necessary. But, that should soon resolve.

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