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Mercuna Ground Navigation

Put your AI in the driving seat

Mercuna Ground Navigation is a complete 2D navigation solution for AI, characters, vehicles and animals. It allows you to drop people, cars, motorbikes, tanks, horses and dinosaurs into your game levels and have them seamlessly navigate complex environments.

Designed to handle all types of terrain the Mercuna Ground Navigation middleware provides pathfinding and steering for both humaniod and non-humanoid AI. Whether you’re walking characters around buildings, racing horses through a forest, driving tanks up mountains or sending a motorbike through a cave, Mercuna has got you covered.

Existing navigation solutions aimed at just characters quickly break when applied to vehicles and animals, as they fail to take into account their fundamental movement constraints. Unlike characters, vehicles and animals can only change speed slowly and may have extremely limited turning rates. They require smooth, gently curving paths, optimised for their turning radius and acceleration capabilities, not the shortest, often sharply turning routes that traditional navigation systems focus on. In addition, the asymmetric shapes of vehicles and animals cannot be ignored when determining whether they can traverse narrow corridors and gaps.

Mercuna Ground Navigation has been designed from the start to include these constraints in its pathfinding, so a single system can be used for characters as well as vehicles and animals. Our navigation grid contains information both about obstacles and orientations, allowing scenarios such as motorbikes slipping into tight gaps that tanks can’t reach. Using kinematic pathfinding, the speed and turn rate limitations are deeply integrated into our path generation so you won’t be waiting for your cars to squeeze between two trees in a 5-point turn when they could have raced through the nearby clearing.

What can Mercuna Ground Navigation do?

  • Humans – Whether walking around a city or running through a forest, characters are able to find their way to wherever they need to go.
  • Cars and Trucks – Take the action off road, as cars race across the plains and desert. Have trucks manoeuvring around tight loading yards, ensuring they never clip the warehouse walls.
  • Motorbikes and Tanks – Watch motorbikes swiftly weave through traffic, squeezing through narrow gaps. In contrast slow moving tanks will stop and turn on the spot as they navigate crowded warzones.
  • Horses and Dinosaurs – Help cavalry charge and change direction realistically during battle sequences. Replicate the slow turning circles of larger animals such as elephants and dinosaurs.
  • Skiers and Snowboarders – Skiers can slalom smoothly downhill or go snowboarding off-piste through moguls and forests. Hoverboards are able to bank around the corners of buildings or thread through traffic.
  • Ships and Boats – While the open seas harbour fewer obstacles that could be hit, Mercuna can provide natural looking turns for your ships, while ensuring they stay clear of islands or the coast.

Our deep integration with Unreal Engine 4 means that it is extremely easy to get Mercuna Ground Navigation running in your game. The provided custom Actors and Components allow users to quickly add navigation functionality to agents. Both Blueprint and C++ interfaces are offered, along with full set of EQS tests and BT nodes.