With the additional crops implemented it was time to jump back into GE and get back to work on the roads and terrain. In a way starting over again was fortunate as I changed my road layout significantly and came up with a layout that I much preferred. This section of the Nagce valley is to be honest a bit light on paved roads. A single ‘backbone’ road runs east to west roughly cutting the map into two equal halves. On the eastern side of the map a branch road runs north to the BGA and Vehicle Dealership. On the western side of the map another branch road runs south to the Mill/Grain Store. The remainder of the roads will be unpaved dirt roads connecting the fields to the farm.
What next? Well my thinking is why not move on to the next thing I’m most likely to screw up, so it was on to the animal yards and navmeshes. I started with the cows and the navmesh was surprisingly cooperative, setting up the straw plane however proved to be more of a challenge. I just couldn’t seem to get the Y coordinate at the right height. I’d dump a load of straw, get the message that the cows had enough for 6 days but there was not a lick of straw to been seen in the yard. I’d tweak the straw plane up a bit to the point it was visible but now it wouldn’t drop away when the cows were out of straw. I eventually hit a sweet spot but it was frustrating work. I’ve since found a good tutorial on modcentral that explains how to use the strawPlaneMinMaxY setting in the attributes panel.
Pigs were next, and I spent a bit of time battling the navmesh to convince the swine that they did not belong on the roof of their shed. Once the piggies had been grounded it was time to move onto the sheep. The sheep were less inclined to flight but developed an annoying tendency to become frozen in time. These are both fairly common problems when painting navmeshes and can usually be overcome by rearranging the animal yard and repainting the navmesh.
All was well on the animal farm until I changed out the shed on the pig yard for one I liked better than the one Giants provides and then decided what’s good for the pigs is good for the sheep and gave them a new home as well. Each change led to a navmesh repaint, followed by further changes and more navmesh repaints until I got it all to my liking.
Side note – Testing, I highly recommend jumping out of GE (or Notepad++ if your editing xml) and jumping into FS17 to see how your changes are really working out in game. It’s easy to get on a roll and switching back and forth between editing and going in game is tedious but it sure beats discovering what you’ve been working on for the last two hours isn’t working out like you had hoped.
Side Note 2 – Backups, I tend to back up my work on a fairly regular basis, certainty before implementing any major changes. Remember the Giants Editor is not your friend. She is a cold hearted bitch who delights in seeing you fail and your hard work squandered, and when you think you’ve won her over and she’s being a team player, just be sure to steel yourself for the impending swift kicks in the nuts that’s surely headed your way.