Thought I'd submit another IOTD, since this is actually fairly game related.
Here is a screenshot of the new version of A* Explorer. For those of your
that check Generation5, you'll know that A* Explorer allowed you to create
maps and step through them using the A*, among other things.
The new version of A* Explorer has a huge range of new features. Most
importantly though, it supports extensions through the use of DLLs. All the
A* heuristics are stored in a DLL and loaded in at runtime. In addition, A*
Explorer supports its own map extensions! You can create your own additions
to the maps to make the maps more interesting, or to emulate your game for
The screenshot shows the following: a bitmap imported and converted into an
A* Explorer map, then a custom plug-in is used to add water to the map (it's
toolbar is the one on the right). The plugin then dictates how the A* should
treat the water. In this case, if its too deep it doesn't allow a path
through it, otherwise the depth affects the cost of the node.
Check out A* Explorer at http://www.generation5.org/ase.shtml