Supreme Commander 2 has something called flow field path finding. How does it work? Is there some article available I can read up on how it works?

up vote 27 down vote accepted

I wrote flow fields for sup com 2, and I wrote an article explaining the details. It can be found in the upcoming book "Game AI Pro: Collected Wisdom of Game AI Professionals".

Also, I recently did a video stream talking about flow fields for Planetary Annihilation. I show some debug views and explain how it works at a high level. http://youtu.be/5Qyl7h7D1Q8?t=24m24s

Hope this helps

I've been looking for this term as well, and this paper is the only major one I could find that references flow fields directly: http://www.aaai.org/Papers/AIIDE/2008/AIIDE08-031.pdf

This approach involves each pathfinding agent being influenced by a global vector field, and in turn influencing that field with their resulting path. You still need some basic object avoidance code to kick things off, so is only really applicable for swarms crossing paths, rather than individual agents.

However, the SupComm2 guys mention research from the University of Washington directly, and this is the most applicable paper that I could find from that institution: http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/crowd-flows/

This approach seems more promising but I need to read more about it.

The official specs of the pathfinding algorithm in Supreme Commander 2 refer to the Crowd Continuum Study at University of Washington.

There are several papers and demonstrations at that link.

I wrote an explanation of how to implement Continuum Crowds here, if anyone is still looking for specifics.

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