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Mercuna Ground Navigation

Mercuna Ground Navigation is a complete navigation solution for AI characters, vehicles and animals. It allows you to drop people, cars, 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, steering and avoidance for both humanoid and non-humanoid AI.

Mercuna offers both traditional character navigation, as well as advanced movement constrained navigation for animals and vehicles. This allows your games to have all types of agents moving around and freely interacting without having to worry about agents getting in each other’s way.

Mercuna utilises an innovative hybrid navmesh/navgrid for ground-based pathfinding. This high-performance navigation graph combines the advantages of very fast spatial lookup and low memory of a quadtree, with efficient pathfinds through a polymesh.

For turn-rate limited AI such as vehicles and animals, Mercuna uses kinematic pathfinding to generate gently curving, natural looking paths optimised for their turning radius and acceleration capabilities. These paths ensure agents never get stuck trying to make unrealistic turns.

Once a path has been found, Mercuna fits smooth, continuous polynomial curves, giving natural-looking movement for characters, vehicles, and animals. Using a momentum based physical model, Mercuna calculates the optimum path following within the constraints of the AI agent, thus we can make sure they move as quickly as is possible while looking completely realistic.

In addition to pathfinding around static geometry, Mercuna provides multiple dynamic avoidance options, ensuring that collisions with other moving obstacles, such as other agents, never occur.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 5 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.