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In Starcraft 2, unit formations are created when a "group" is generated from a command. Generally, the rules for a group are:

  • All units in the group are in the same spatial "clump".
  • All units in the group were given the same move command.
  • If any unit in the move command is not in the clump, the group is broken and units move towards the destination individually.

How do I define a clump programmatically and detect in a unit is not in the clump?

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I read about this algorithm a few years back for finding groups of units: http://lab.polygonal.de/?p=120

It's called recursive dimensional clustering and also appears in game programming gems 2, and was written by Steve Rabin from Nintendo.

There are probably other algorithms but I personally haven't come across any formally described.

In a nutshell, how it works is that you have a list of objects that each have a min and max x and y (and z if needed). You sort the list across each axis and find groups of objects that overlap on at least one axis.

That might get weird with a large map, but you could limit it to a couple nearest grid cells or something.

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