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Walkabout: the release looms!

by Daniel Buckmaster · 09/21/2012 (2:03 am) · 14 comments

Only a month or two late, I'm nearly ready to release Walkabout! Let's celebrate with some video tutorials!

You man remember that about two months ago, I announced a new navigation pack for T3D, based on the Recast/Detour library: the Walkabout navigation Toolkit. Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm around the corner from actually releasing the kit!

I didn't read your earlier blogs - what's going on?

Recast/Detour is a popular library for automatically generating navigation meshes for AI pathfinding. Navmeshes are the current industry standard in pathfinding, used by all the giants from Crytek to Bungie.
They're of course not only applicable to action games, but do well in almost any genre that features NPCs that need to wander around and not run into the walls!

Recast/Detour is an open-source library, written by Mikko Mononen, who has been the lead AI programmer at Crytek. Walkabout is an integration of Recast/Detour with T3D, which provides not only Recast's automatic navmesh generation and Detour's super-fast pathfinding, but an editor plugin to make it easy for you to set up navigation in your missions, and automatic integration with the AIPlayer class.

So what does 'looms' imply?

Basically, I'm nearly set to start selling this product, so you can start making cool stuff! I've decided to go the independent route. While I'd really like to have sold Walkabout via the GG store, rolling my own storefront has turned out to be more viable - and it's also been a fantastic learning experience!* In case you can't wait for the release to get your fix of navigational goodness, you can check out Walkabout's new home, where you can do exciting things like read the EULA.

*If that worries you, send me an email and I'll do what I can to allay your concerns about the security of my system!

Where are the videos?

Since you asked - right here! Watch in HD for maximum impact ;).

Also, I will take this opportunity to plug FRAPS. Seriously, it's really good. Combined with Blender to render out the video to a reasonable filesize, I'm in screen-resording heaven.

I always wanted to make sure the documentation with Walkabout was strong, so I'll be providing offline tutorials, as well as a short video series of which this is the first. You can catch up with the rest of the series (when they're done) here.

About the author

Studying mechatronic engineering and computer science at the University of Sydney. Game development is probably my most time-consuming hobby!

09/21/2012 (2:20 am)
Would just like to mention that, having been able to help do some beta testing with this code, I'd say it's some of the best pathfinding I've gotten to use. Fast, efficient, and doesn't allow itself to get hung up on the usual screw-ups and bugs I've seen in other games' AI solutions.
09/21/2012 (2:33 am)
That's looking very nice. Can't wait to try out the latest version.
09/21/2012 (3:04 am)
Looking great! Daniel, please, hurry with that release! :)
09/21/2012 (6:53 am)
Ok.... I want to buy it right now!!!!!! :)
+1 on Konrad´s request..
09/21/2012 (6:58 am)
What Konrad said. Hurry up already! :P

Also, the site looks very clean and tidy. Very nicely presented. Can I have one of your bow ties?

Edit: I forgot to mention that this is how annotations should be used!
09/21/2012 (7:43 am)
Brilliant work, Daniel. And brilliant use of youTube annotations for a tutorial.
09/21/2012 (11:19 am)
Looks and sounds great! My only quibble would be the "Full integration with the UAISK" feature. That hopefully would not interfere in anyway with a more custom AI solution, correct?
09/21/2012 (12:34 pm)
Looks great, I like the jump settings in the second video.
Can't wait to try it out when you release it.
09/21/2012 (1:15 pm)
Cool - also can't wait to try this out Daniel, nice work!
09/21/2012 (2:36 pm)
Well done Daniel!
09/21/2012 (4:15 pm)
I can't wait either!
09/22/2012 (12:09 am)
Thanks for the responses, everyone! I'm overwhelmed. Working hard on getting it to you ASAP :).

Quote:My only quibble would be the "Full integration with the UAISK" feature. That hopefully would not interfere in anyway with a more custom AI solution, correct?
No, not at all! I just meant that Walkabout is able to be plugged into the UAISK almost painlessly. Maybe I should be more specific. Walkabout's basic features require nothing more than a NavMesh in your level and then calling the setPathDestination instead of setMoveDestination. So any high-level AI solution can make use of this.

Quote:Can I have one of your bow ties?
Bow-ties will be in the first update ;).
09/23/2012 (1:02 pm)
Looking good Daniel

Question: About those areas where the NavMesh gets a bit under the terrain. Does it affect the character movement in anyway (like character thinking the walkable are is a bit lower and thus getting stuck under some more extreme situations)?
09/23/2012 (3:50 pm)
Luis: those areas don't affect navigation, and are a natural result of Recast simplifying the navmesh. There's no reason for the navmesh to be as detailed as the level geometry in large open areas, so some vertical detail is lost. This generally doesn't happen in flatter areas, or indoors.

You'll also find that typically, large flat areas like this have no path nodes in them in any case - the path is generated straight across this area, so the height of the navmesh doesn't affect the final path at all.