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.
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.