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jonpatch

AI boats - their fate

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Folks,I've modified Larry Silsbee's Grand Coulee AI setup (he gives credit to Holger for the ideas) for Victoria, BC Harbour. It works great. I have them dodging static boats, and it's great fun when seaplanes take off on the same watercourse from my busy SPB. The fun part comes when the boats reach the runway, after their long scenic taxi. I have a 300' runway, which seems to be just enough for the boat to rotate, and it flies off the runway into an endless spraying cartwheel. Quite entertaining really. I'm aware that if I shorten the runway, the boat will probably vanish on takeoff.I want to implement ferries. The question is: what happens to the boat at the end of its journey? How can it be convinced it has "landed" and needs to park? Is it possible to have two short runways end to end, with two "airports"? Anybody tried that? And why am I doing this?Jon

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UPDATE: I've now got cruise ships travelling from Victoria to Port Angeles and back. Dry run for the Black Ball Ferry. However my cruise ships don't vanish or spin when they get to the runway at the end of the route, they just keep on going, eventually plowing into land and disappearing under it!Jon

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Hi Jon,the fact that the default ships (static visual objects) can actually be used as AI was quite the "duh!" for me; Larry came up with this idea.Anyway, there are several limitations when using ships as AI and making them stop at a specific place is one of them. If you haven't already done this I suggest you read the document that comes with my ai_ships.zip. Our Victoria Falls package (vicfalls.zip) includes a version of the aircraft.cfg that you can use instead; it'll make an AI ship stop on the runway (due to "clipped wings" and a very weak engine). However, the remaining issue is that the ship will pick the runway end according to the wind direction, which makes a correct head-on approach into a ferry terminal weather-dependent.Don't know how familiar you are with AFCAD2 design but looking at Larry's AFCADs as well as the ones that come with ai_ships, vicfalls, and Leon Louis' mtrl9_ai.zip might help you with ideas for your own AFACDs. Finally, it's a bit tedious but fun to add various effects to different AI ships, such as lights, smoke, spray, etc. (see the two images below).Good luck!Cheers, Holger http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/83918.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/83919.jpg

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Hi Holger,I suggest you read the document>that comes with my ai_ships.zip. Yup, that was useful, thanks. I'll look at it again.>Our Victoria Falls package (vicfalls.zip) includes a version>of the aircraft.cfg that you can use instead; it'll make an AI>ship stop on the runway (due to "clipped wings" and a very>weak engine).I tried that, it indeed brought the cruise ship to a halt. But it didn't vanish after 5 minutes! Just stayed at Takeoff 2.>Don't know how familiar you are with AFCAD2 design but looking>at Larry's AFCADs as well as the ones that come with ai_ships,>vicfalls, and Leon Louis' mtrl9_ai.zip might help you with>ideas for your own AFACDs. Yup, I've been "borrowing" from a number of AFCADs; that's been the major part of my playing around. Leon's confirmed what I'd been finding out: smooth turning is best when there are many nodes to make a smooth curve.Part of my challenge is getting the ship to dock back where it starts, so that it's doing a loop. Maybe it'd be better to have two "airports," each with parking in one port, and the runway in the other. Placing the runway back on top of parking creates confusion for the poor boat, perhaps it loses track of the apron routes.I added a bunch of stuff of yours to that Japanese cruise ship (lights and contact points from a thread somewhere). At this point I'm only getting a tiny bow wave, and two little aft wakes (screw turbulance, I suppose), but not the major wake I'd like. Wrong FX I suppose.It's really totally silly, but fun. And it helps with the realisim of our local harbour, where we get many cruise ships on their way to Alaska. I've get several smaller boats running around as well, on their exciting journey to spin city. On another note, I saw a comment of yours that if their are multiple seaplanes of the same type active, only one shows a wake. I have 7 a/c leaving W55 simultaneously (quite hysterical to see them pile up on top of each other holding short), and I see two out of seven wakes at a time.Seems to me that it would be very easy for MS to make special AI categories for road and ship traffic. FS10?Thanks for blazing a trail through the wilderness . . .Jon

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