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The Path Test executable tests the pathing algorithm against different terrain by plotting a path from the Start Icon to the End Icon.  The Path Test program allows you to:


Create, save, and load maps with terrain with varying costs


Execute two pathing algorithms once or multiple times


Watch the path execution (A* only) using the debug parameters

Quick Start:

  1. Start the program

  2. Load a .MAP file (File->Open)

  3. Click the "Randomize" button to randomize the Start and Stop Locations 

  4. Click the "Find (A*)" Button and see the generated path.  The numbers in the path tell the cost to get to that square on the path.

  5. To turn on debugging, select Debug->Show Searches and then click the "Find (A*)" Button again.  Debugging shows the nodes searched by A* and in what order.

Notes:  The "Find Path" Button does NOT use A* and does not consider the cost of terrain, it finds the shortest distance path avoiding walls.

Programming Notes:  This implementation of A* uses a TStringList to implement the priority queue (by setting the string to the priority).  Changing the priority queue to use a heap speeds up the algorithms significantly and makes it usable for large maps (such as using image maps on the Bitmap tab).  Generalizing the heap priority queue A* algorithm to use interfaces (such as an IMap and ILocation) makes it a 6 times slower.  Finally, using LOTS of walls or other impassable terrain makes A* MUCH faster (it is understandable why Age of Empires has impassable forests :)  ).


Version History for Path Planning

October 18, 2000 Version 1.1 

- General Code cleanup - still needs a LOT of work though
- Added Delphi Package and Registration file
- Added Design-time icons (.dcr file)
- Added TSimplePathPlanner component, which descends from
TCustomPathPlanner. Renamed all references to TSimplePathPlanner
- Published some properties and events
- Modified Demo to use design-time components


May, 2000 Initial Release

Source OnlyExe Only.

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Last modified: September 20, 2010