Release Notes‎ > ‎

Bloodhound II Release Notes

posted Sep 3, 2012, 3:44 PM by Sandry Logan   [ updated Nov 16, 2012, 3:16 PM by Rosanna Himmel ]

Bandera española; enlace a la versión española de esta página  Traducción española

As you know, I’ve finally started on the program to rebuild my older “prim” dogs. Those of you who have been around the VKC for a while will know that my first dog was the Bloodhound named Bo that was in the original VKC Dog Park at Caledon. It seemed fitting that Bo should be the first dog to get a makeover or rebuild and, given the RL Bloodhounds’ tracking work, it seemed fitting that he should also be the first VKC Dog to get the new Pathfinding system. So, he truly is the first of the Next Generation VKC Dogs.

Pathfinding will take a bit of getting used to, but you don’t have to worry about the complexities of setting up your home for Pathfinding because this dog will work in “traditional” mode too! You can experiment at your leisure, switching freely between the two modes as you optimize your land in your own time. If your landlord/lady has disabled pathfinding on his/her regions, your dog will be quite happy as you search for a new place to live. (Beginner's guide to preparing your land for pathfinding.)

New Features

  • Pathfinding
    • No bumping into things
    • Up and down the stairs
    • In and out of the house
    • Probably no dogs on the roof!
    • Smoother on heel and better heel positions
  • More Petting — Three petting animations
  • New Commands and behaviors
    • Explore
    • Patrol
    • Hidefrom
  • Hide and Show Dog Names
  • Improved Toy Resizing
  • Collar and bandana
  • Stands on the ground

New Commands

Explore (Pathfinding Mode)

Explore is a pseudo-active mode where the dog wanders around looking at things, greeting people and so on. You need to tell the dog a range within which to explore.

For example:

bo explore 50

This will tell the dog that he may explore within 50 meters* in each direction from where he starts.

Instead of giving a numeric range, you may also say:

bo explore region

This means that the dog uses the entire sim as his exploration area.

* You may find that the dog will move outside of this area when he chooses to greet someone or something, but he will return to the area when he starts to explore again.

Patrol (Pathfinding Mode)

Patrol can be used with a list of marks or a range in meters. The dog will walk to the first mark in the list that you give, then to the second and then the third and so on. Once he has visited each mark, he starts over at the beginning. If you give a range in meters instead of a list of marks, the dog calculates a square area with however many meters you said on each side, and patrols the four corners of that area.

For example, if you teach the dogs marks at your front door, back door, garage and stable, you might say something like this:

bo patrol frontdoor backdoor garage stable

Or using a range, you might say something like this:

bo patrol 50

We know that many of you have taught your dogs patrol tricks at various times and we also know that many less sophisticated pets have had some sort of patrol command for a while, but we thought it was a good time to introduce it as a feature in the VKC Dogs and take advantage of the Pathfinding System to help the dog patrol intelligently and avoid obstacles.

Patrol Speed (Pathfinding Mode)

You can use the patrolspeed command to tell your dog how fast to walk (or even run) between the points that he patrols. For example:

bo patrolspeed 6

Hidefrom (Pathfinding Mode)

This is a really fun thing, but you’ll need to experiment with where it works and where it doesn’t. Our favorite place to do this is in a maze of some sort. When you tell the dog to hidefrom you or another avatar, he runs off looking for someplace where you cannot see him and then he lies down.

You would use the command like this:

bo hidefrom enrico

Showname/Hidename

You can hide the dog’s name text (and display it again) using this command.

bo hidename — makes the text disappear

bo showname — makes it display again

Setpet

This is the command that changes the petting animation. You have three options: stroke, hug and scratch.

For example:

bo setpet hug

I’ll leave you to work out which is which!

Stop

It’s unlikely that this is something that you’ll need to use very often. It was something I used when first developing the dogs and I left it in for the trainers during testing. You can use it if your dog appears to be stuck on a particular pathfinding task and unable to get to where he wants to go. All it does is tell him to stop anything related to pathfinding that he is trying to do. Most people would probably tell their dog to come or sit instead.

pf on/off

Use this command to switch between Pathfinding and Traditional Modes.

bo pf off — switches to traditional mode

bo pf on — switches to pathfinding mode

Updated Commands

Turn

In the previous dogs, turn was used with the compass points (N, S, E, W, NE NW, SE, SW) along with l for left, r for right, toward for turn to face the speaker and back for turn around and face the other way. In the pathfinding dogs, we’ve added some more options — avatars, other dogs, left, right, and angles in degrees!

For example:

bo turn enrico — bo turns to face Enrico

bo turn fido — bo turns to face Fido

bo turn left — bo turns 90 degrees left *

bo turn right — bo turns 90 degrees right *

bo turn 130 — bo turns 130 degrees

bo turn -20 — bo turns -20 degrees

* The original turn l and turn r still work. They turn the dog 45 degrees just as they did before.

Textures for VKC Collars Textures for VKC Bandanas

Collars and Bandanas

Your pathfinding dog has both a collar and a bandana. You can have him wear either, neither, or both! Use the same commands that you would normally use to control them independently of one another.

Example commands:

bo bandana 30 — changes the bandana texture to #30 *

bo b-color 128 0 0 — puts a dark red tint onto the bandana

bo bandana hide

bo bandana show

bo collar 21 — changes the collar texture to #21 *

bo c-color 0 0 128 — puts a dark blue tint onto the collar

bo collar hide

bo collar show

* Click on the contact sheets above to enlarge; Right-click or control-click to download the image to your computer.

Improved Toy Resizing

A number of people had observed that the dogs using VKC Toy System 2 scaled the toys down to fit the dog when a small dog took a large toy, but the toys didn’t scale back up when a large dog took them. I expect we’ve all experienced something similar in RL, where the dog gets hold of something small and you can’t see what he’s got and you’re trying to get your fingers inside his mouth and pry his jaws apart and you’re getting covered in drool and it’s generally unpleasant. Well, the VKC Dogs should now scale their toys back up so that you can always see what they’re carrying.

Other Changes

The major change is that with the new features related to pathfinding, you will find that sometimes settle and/or stay are released when using some commands.

  • go / on / run / come — does not release settle/stay setting. (same as before) 
  • heel — releases settle/stay settings. (changed behavior) 
  • patrol — does not release settle/stay. If any of the points are outside the dog's settle or stay area, the dog does not attempt to patrol. 
  • explore — releases settle/stay settings. (command is owner only) 
  • hidefrom — releases settle/stay settings. (command is owner only)

Features that are not working

Swimming — this still works in Traditional Mode (pf off).  But, the current implementation of the SL Pathfinding system does not support in-water or underwater pathfinding, so the dogs will no longer swim, but will stop at the water’s edge. I’ll be watching the Lindens’ further developments in Pathfinding with regard to this. I think when people start to get the hang of it and see the possibilities for other things, they’ll be asking for volumetric (3D) pathfinding and maybe then the dog’s will be able to swim again.  NOTE:  If your dog happens to fall into the water, you will now have to use the tp command to retrieve your dog or move him out of the water in edit. Telling him to come once he is in the water will not work.

Toy System 1 — I have withdrawn support entirely for the old “follow me” toys in the new pathfinding dogs. Toy System 2 has been successful and seems to work well, so I think that with our new generation of dogs, it is time to move on and leave the old system behind. It served us well for a long time but we all know that we can do better than those funny toys floating in the air trying to keep up with the dogs as they move.

The Toy System 2 toys will remain backwards compatible with the older VKC Dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ll add these as they come up. — Enrico

Q. My landlord has disabled pathfinding on my sim and he won’t turn it back on. Do you have anywhere I can rent where it will be more friendly for my pets?

A. Yes! You can find land at both Turing Estates which is owned by Enrico Genosse, Blu Sparkle and Sandry Logan, and Racer Group Estates which is managed by Aztek Aeon (of Canis Beach). Land at these estates is always pet friendly.

If you own an estate that is pet friendly and pathfinding enabled and would like your estate to be listed here, please send an IM to Enrico Genosse with the details.

Q. Is this an Update to my existing Bloodhound? Do I just go to the clinic and update him to get the new version?

A. This is far more than an update or even an upgrade! Given the amount of time that’s gone into developing this dog, his new looks and his new features, I consider this a brand new dog rather than an update to the old Bloodhound. This is why his breed name is “Bloodhound II”. He will be in the parks for adoption for the usual fee.

However, I am aware that there are a large number of original Bloodhounds out there, many of whom have been with their owners since the early days of the VKC. With this in mind, you can get the Bloodhound II for half the Adoption Fee of the new dog by Regenerating your old Bloodhound into the new dog. You will find a Regeneration Station on the counter of the Clinics. To begin the process, click on the sign and follow the instructions.

Q. All this pathfinding stuff looks terribly complicated. Is there an easy way to get started?

A. Yes, start here with our beginner's guide to preparing your land for pathfinding. When you see how easy it is to get started, you'll be able to do it little by little in your own time and you'll be well equipped to read and learn more from the SL Wiki or other tutorials.

Q. Is it true that Pathfinding is laggy and ruins sim performance?

A. Not in our experience. The Linden Developers tell us that the pathfinding system is carefully tuned so that it won't eat up all the region's processing power and the dogs have been rebuilt to use the latest techniques which vastly reduce the amount of collisions. We haven't noticed any degeneration in performance at all.