Mekkit University 034 Path Layering (Pathfinding Errors)
Path layering is the process of placing multiple paths on the same tile. This has many different effects that alter the aesthetic and the guests' behavior! This is the third and final part, taken from Mekkit's Path Layering Compendium.
There are a number of observed cases that will damage guests pathfinding abilities. Additionally, as the path layering and layouts throughout the park become more complicated, pathfinding may break such that guests may start disobeying the observed rules, getting trapped, lost, or even jumping between path layers. Look for these common complications.
Open Ended Paths:
Like a black hole, guests will be drawn to, and prefer these junctions to normal junctions, even though the paths do not lead anywhere. Guests may get lost or trapped in random sections of path that aren’t even near an Open Ended Path.
Odd Height Transitions:
Treated much like two Open Ended Paths, guests will be drawn to these transitions and although they may walk across the gap, the guests will not be able to pathfind to anything on the other side of the transition, meaning the only way for a guest to find a ride on the other side of the gap is by accidentally wandering through. Additionally, the pathfinding troubles of Open Ended Paths may occur. (This little path shown below has been raised up ever so slightly and is poised to get a lot of people lost)
The High Ground:
Guests can jump down between level paths that are only 2 Tile Inspector units height difference, but they can only jump up 1 Tile Inspector unit height difference. Similarly, guests can jump up 2 Tile Inspector units to reach a path sloping downwards, but they can only jump up 1 Tile Inspector unit to reach a path sloping upwards. Because of this, be careful with the Tile Inspector order when placing paths at slightly lower and higher heights than the path guests are supposed to use.
Layering normal paths over queue paths to make cool ride queues is good and fine, but using queue path in place of normal path may lead to lost guests. Similarly to Open Ended Paths, guests share a fascination for and are drawn towards Queue Paths. Additionally, the pathfinding troubles of Open Ended Paths may occur.
It is possible to build a forked or branching queue, with 3 point queues. Unfortunately, the guests will struggle to pathfind to either ride, complaining that they cannot find the rides in question. This is similar behaviour to Odd Height Transitions. This might be worth using, but there is a good chance it breaks pathfinding.
Path over Park Entrance:
This is an odd and difficult bug to replicate. In some parks, placing a path over a park entrance will keep guests from leaving the park. Guests will wander the park, unable to find the park exit, even though new guests can still enter the park. Correct TI order does not help. (The best workaround is to corrupt the entrance as usual, and then use a scenery block as a footpath, as shown below.) In extremely rare cases, even simply corrupting the park entrance still results in lost guests.
Path with Ride Entrance/Exit:
Adding a level path into the same space as a ride entrance or exit hut will usually break pathfinding around the park. Guests will get trapped in random sections of path across the park and complain they can’t find rides and shops. Adjusting TI order does not help. (Use a base block or similar object for the floor. Do not use paths under entrance/exit huts as shown below!)
Sloped Path with Level Path:
In some cases, layering a sloped path with a level path will break pathfinding around the park and trap guests in random sections of path. The conditions for this bug are unclear.
The guests may wander on to upper layers of path in extremely complicated parks, ignoring the boundaries set by the lowest path.
(Here, on the green tile, some guests are disobeying the laws of layering, leaving the Footpath to instead using the fulltile Queue Line above to wander off of the main path and into the coaster area)
Ignored Layers after Exiting:
Guests leaving a ride exit hut may ignore the path layering rules and walk out onto a higher order path.