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Mercuna Off-Road Navigation

Put your AI in the driving seat

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

Designed to handle rugged, off-road terrain the Mercuna Off-Road Navigation middleware provides pathfinding and steering for non-humanoid AI. Whether you’re 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 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 Off-Road Navigation has been designed from the start to include these constraints in its pathfinding. 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 Off-Road Navigation do?

  • 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 Off-Road 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.

Mercuna Off-Road Navigation will be available for licencing from summer 2020