What's the best way to get these characters walking in a circle?


I hope this is the right place for me to ask my question, and I apologise if the situation/problem is a little convoluted (the game in itself is… based on convoluted things to begin with).

In the game that I’m working on, I’m looking to create a sequence of 35 characters that walk in an anti-clockwise direction according to a path of a circle. This loops infinitely throughout the game’s runtime. Here’s two images for reference:


This was a trial run, though there were several problems that would probably come back to bite me in the future if I didn’t resolve them. In this run, what I did was to animate 1 character constrained to a circular path on Blender. This path was created according to the scale of my level in UE4 so all I had to do was to plop it in and reset the coordinates. Once I animated the character with the walk cycle, I bake the animation, exported it, and imported it into UE4 with no issues at all.

Evidently, what you see in my images is basically a repetition of 35 instances of the same 1 character - to space them out in the way I did, I increased the play time of each instance by 6.4 seconds so as to have them begin at different points of this circular path.

There would be several problems with this:

  1. The characters look too synchronised as they’re all based on the same animation. To resolve this, I did look into doing up a mirrored animation or with a different style of walking, then exporting and alternating instances, though I’m wondering if there might be a more convenient way of working this out.
  2. I (though I’m not sure) believe that it isn’t efficient and it’s really heavy to have 35 instances of the same character placed in the world. I’m wondering if there is a better way I can go about introducing these characters so that I don’t compromise on performance as much (but of course if I’m wrong please correct me!)

There were some things I thought of:

  1. Splines - but I’m really a noob at UE4 so this will likely give me a headache.
  2. Having the instances spawn in a circle - which I probably might do, though it doesn’t solve the issue that their movements are completely synchronised. What I need in this sequence is naturalism… not so much of robotic perfection!

If anyone would like to contribute / ask questions / really just talk it out with me please do! I’m looking for options but also am aware that things like this work best when discussed. Again, I’m sorry for the trouble and just really hope someone could help me out here - and if you need more info / videos / etc. please let me know as well!

Thanks and have a lovely day everyone!

  1. depending on how many characters are moving this may just have to be a dropped in animation that you can then offset for other instances.

  2. animation sharing is a good thing to lessen load…

  3. if using character, default setup gets speed from the movement. So you just need to add movement input and it walks/run

  4. splines are simple, but usually you move an object along it, not exactly the same as adding input. That would be where AI comes in.

  5. AI will walk along a spline if you code it to do so.
    you could simply pre pacpren array of 80 or so points around the circle and the AI would appear to move in a circle, so any basic tutorial would do.
    you could get the points off the spline at a given interval with point along spline. There’s thousands of way to achieve this…