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> Renee's Modding Thread
post Jul 26 2020, 06:07 PM
Post #61

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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland

Making a Patrol package. Game: Fallout 3

Good day. Today I am going to discuss how to make an NPC patrol a fixed area, without just having them Wander or Sandbox aimlessly. This sort of package comes in handy when we want this NPC to do anything more specific than just move aimlessly.

When trying to add a patrol to a new cell (or any sort of area where an NPC will walk in an area without navmesh), it is important to add navmeshes to this cell. This sort of thing is rather complicated to describe, but this tutorial can help. Here is Beth's official tutorial on navmesh.


Now, for the Patrol AI part.

Firstly, there are two types of NPC patrols. Generic NPCs (such as raiders) have a different method than named NPCs. To see a well-detailed video on generic patrols, click here.

And here is the video link for named NPCs, narrated by a modder with a British accent.


But I am also going to describe how these work step-by-step.


1). Create or edit an NPC, unless an NPC who's going to patrol has already been added into the game. It is possible to make vanilla Bethesda NPCs patrol as well, though this can get risky of course.

Note: for best results with named NPCs, where it says Template Data, make sure that ActorBase's scroll-down menu is set to NONE.

2). OBJECT window
Go into World Objects > Static, find Xmarker. Drag an Xmarker into the same cell as the NPC. Put this Xmarker onto the FIRST point you'd like the NPC to walk to.

3). RENDER window
Ctrl + D to duplicate this X-marker, and move it to some other area which will be the second point of the NPC's patrol. We can keep duplicating as many patrol points as we'd like.

4). Give each Xmarker its own Ref ID. Though this is not fully necessary (Beth sometimes uses generic markers with no references) it helps to know where the NPC is going to go more specifically, by naming these references and numbering them (aaaPoint1, aaaPoint2, aaaPoint3... etc.). Later on when the patrol package is being made, we can view these Xmarker points in a window.

5). Double left-click on the first X-marker. Go to its Linked Ref tab (this tab might be hidden in the row which starts with 3D Data, so use the < arrow to move to the left until the Linked Ref tab can be seen).

6). Click the "Select Reference in Render Window" button. Now the cursor gets moved into the Render window again, it will turn into a red circle with a + in its middle. Move the cursor until it is over the second patrol point, and it should turn white. Once it is white, click (maybe double-click) on the X-marker which will become the second patrol point.

7). Click OK. There should now be a green colored line going from the first patrol point to the second.

8). Repeat steps 5 through 7 with any other X-marker patrol points. If the patrol path is to go around and around in a loop, click the final X-marker and link it to the first one.

9). Double left-click on the NPC who will patrol, opening up its Reference panel, and click Edit Base. Go into the AI Packages tab. Right-click > New in the Editor ID box.

10). Give this package a unique ID.

Package Type: Patrol

. Starting Location: there is a button under these words which says "[none] n [none]". Click on this and choose Near Reference, and then specifically find the first Xmarker by selecting Select Reference in Render Window. Notice how in the Patrol Point List it will actually list all the different points of the patrol.

Click OK.

11b). Make sure Radius stays at 0, and "Repeatable" stays toggled on if the NPC is supposed to repeat this patrol.

11c). Flags tab-- Toggle Must Complete on. "Continue if PC is near" can also be toggled on if the Patrol is not working for some reason. I also like toggling Enable Fallout Behavior off, but Hellos to Player, Reactions to Player Actions, and Allow Idle Chatter on.

Click OK and close everything. SAVE all work.

12). Double left-click the NPC again, Find the Linked Ref tab. Click on the "Select Reference in Render Window" button, and link the NPC to the first X-marker patrol point. Click OK. There should now be a yellowish-green line going from the NPC to the first Xmarker.

That is the basic patrol path. Once we're back in-game, the NPC will move from point to point in a rather nervous fashion. Thankfully this can be slowed down. It is possible to modify how long the NPC stays at various patrol points, and other fun stuff.

13). RENDER window
Click on one of the X-markers which has been linked. Let's say we want the NPC to stay here for awhile. Click on the Patrol Data tab.

Idle Time defaults to 0.000, with that first digit being minutes. Change this to whatever is desired. It is not exactly accurate, but if 10.000 goes in this slot, the NPC will move after roughly 10 in-game minutes. 60 = an hour, 360 = 6 hours, and so on.

Topic scroll-bar: if we've already created a specific dialog topic in the Topics tab, and wish to use this topic AT this particular patrol point, scroll down and find it. The NPC will say this when standing at this point. This can also be triggered via quest topics too, of course.

This post has been edited by Renee: Aug 1 2020, 07:45 PM
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