Getting around a map as a player can be difficult enough. Imagine trying to do it without a real brain.
The AI worker pathing in Savage is pretty good, but it does have some limitations. This section should give you a quick rundown of how to get your maps up and running the way you want.
You want players to be able to get around your map in an orderly fashion. You want them to have easy access to all the right places, and keep them out of everything else.
If you hit "5" while in the editor, you will see the terrain normals. These pink and white ribbons tell you what terrain tiles players will be able to stand/walk on(White) versus slide down, (Pink) which helps you find exploitable hills and whatnot. If you want to fix that pesky exploit hill that players are climbing up, this is the best way to find it. If you have a spot that is too difficult to reach, then smooth out a trail of white joy to your area and hope for the best.
Working the System Edit
The Savage nav system serves two purposes. First, to guide the commanders' workers around the map, and second, to determine for the game what areas on the map are buildable and what areas aren't.
In the editor, go to the console and type "nav" then hit the Tab key. You'll get a lovely list of commands. The two you are going to need are "navrep_render" and "navrep_process". On a related note, using the Tab key while in the console is a godsend if you've never heard of doing that before. It brings up any possible commands that start with what you have entered thus far and is also somewhat of an auto-complete if there is only one option to finish what you are typing.
When you think you have your map all set and you want to check what areas are buildable, go to the console and type "navrep_render 0". The default is -1, and you have to set it to 0, not 1, to make this show. Then type "navrep_process" and the game will run through your map and place all the pathing lines that the AI workers can follow. You should see yellow and white lines running all over your map. If a spot is not pathable by the AI, (no lines) you can't place buildings there. It is also a good idea to check without your terrain textures showing, because it is easier to see if you flip back and forth. The 1-4 keys on your keyboard toggle the various layers of terrain texture. (Not the keypad number keys, but the ones above your letters) 1 and 2 toggle the first two texture layers individually, 3 turns both on, 4 turns both off.
These paths are calculated beginning with one of two objects.
- A Command Center (Stronghold/Lair)
- The Navfloodfill Object. (objects>reference objects>navfloodfillpoint)
Find any places that have bad/no pathing where you want some, (i.e. a bridge you want crossable by workers... workers can cross some bridges btw..., or an object *AHEM* RUINS FRONTGATE *AHEM* that you want workers to be able to go under/through) and start adding in navfloodfills one at a time in likely locations that it will fill in the pathing gaps.
Another quick way to check this for less-detailed work is the "colorreachable" command, commonly used for minimap making. In the console, type in "colorreachable" and you will see all areas considered reachable in GREEN, and those not reachable in RED. This is processed using the aforementioned nav mesh, so this should also be considered buildable terrain. Similarly, placing Navflags will have an effect on this as well. *REMEMBER TO SAVE YOUR MAP BEFORE YOU USE THE COLORREACHABLE COMMAND, AS IT USES THE PAINT FUNCTION AND WILL RUIN YOUR MAP!* You can "undo" after a colorreachable, but it will undo whatever the last action you performed was as well, because colorreachable does not count as an action. Either way, be careful, and saving the map before using it really is the best.
Why this is Important for workers Edit
Sometimes placing one Navflood Flag next to a stone mine or next to some tightly-packed props can make a world of difference for commanders trying to play on your map without spending 5 minutes getting workers through. As far as I know, you would have a hard time making a map with too many of these, but try to be frugal, as you never know, and the almighty FPS count should always be in the back of your mind while making a map.
"'AFTER YOU MOVE OR ADD ANYTHING ON YOUR MAP"' you must re-enter the "navrep_process" command in the console to have the editor recalculate your pathing. It will not update automatically. Also keep in mind that buildings placed in-game will similarly alter pathing, thus the extra points by mines and tight spaces I mentioned above.
In Practice Edit
As an example, here I have a raised platform of terrain. Even though it shows white lines for the terrain normal check on top, there is no pathing calculated yet, so you can't build there without a nav flood. If you connect the white lines of the normal check it might path, but hey, this is EXACTLY what I want it to look like!
Note in the second screen shot the added Navflag, and voila!!