Movement in formation without breaking it between start point and destiny

Hi there!

First of all, english is not my main language. I’m sorry if some part of this post seems clunky or are directly wrong written.

I’m a rookie in Unreal Engine, trying to learn the basis of AI and Navigation systems. I followed some of the wonderful tutorials the community has, and familiarized myself with Behaviour Trees and the movement components, and I think I catched the concepts behind both of them.

I’m trying to create the basis of a movement system for a rol game. Each party can have up to 5 characters in it. The player can determine the formations, establishing characters positions in shapes, and they should maintain it while moving and in combat. This is kind of a strong requirement in this project. It’s not a problem if the shape deforms a little, but they shouldn’t mess it letting, for example, a mage get to the frontline.

Right now, I achieved a coordinated movement between the player-controlled character and the AI ones. The main problem I have is that each one of them moves “in their own”. For example, if there’s an obstacle, which separates the road in 2 paths, some of them will choose the right way, and the others the left one, which breaks the formation. Ideally, I would want them to stick together, if it’s possible. Of course, I know that it won’t be feasible in all the situations, but most of the time it will be.

I’m not sure how I could implement that in Unreal. Writing my own navigation system seems overkill. What I want is to create a constraint on the movement, so each agent could use the position of the characters in the formation to decide which path is the right one.

One idea I had was to implement the movement using flocking algorithms, but I’m not sure how can I integrate that with the UE4 navigation system. I also wonder if it would be possible to invoke the navigation functions for the entire (defining a new actor for the entire shape of the crew), and make corrections in the individual AIs taking consideration of that information.

Are any example I could use as reference to implement it in the UE4 navigation system? Or a paper with algorithms that applies to this type of movement? Or just some abstract ideas I could investigate in?

TL;DR: I want the party of my rol game to move in a coordinated way, without going mad between point A and point B.

TL;DR2: I made a diagram in Paint. Red cross situation happens now. Want green tick instead.

Have you managed to solve the issue? I’m looking for something similar…

What a great question, quite detailed. You put a lot of preparatory investigation into learning before asking this question.

I really wish the Unreal folks would answer this question. It deserves a response.

What about invisible “Party” nav pawn (with bigger party-enveloping radius) to calculate best path segments for members to follow? Member pawns can just follow its individual offsets/positions local to that party pawn in this scenario.