Pikmin style following


So, a question for all of your beautiful people. There's a mechanic that I think would be neato to add to my game. I aim to have four characters travel in a tight party as directed by the player, accept that I do not want them to follow one character in a chain like yee ol' JRPG's. But rather I would like to see them travel naturally as a group. The only suitable example I can think of is in the Pikmin games when you use the right analog stick to move your group of Pikmin around. Only instead of dozens of little characters, I only need it to work with four. the whole point of this mechanic would be to visually show that no one character is the "hero" of the story. I hope that I am presenting my idea well enough here. Any help to point me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

Phil Strahl

Personally, I'd have an invisible square or rhombus where each character follows one corner, so players move this invisible shape around and the characters try to stay in their formation.

If they can't (e.g. because their corner-point lies within an unreachable area, blocked by collision, they just stop and at each frame (or each other frame, or once a second) they check, whether their destination is reachable again. Once it is (meaning, the player moves the group again), they will linearly translate towards their corner point or, preferably, path-find towards it.
E.g. Chrono here stops, because his corner point is unreachable.

I don't know about the intricacies of implementation but at least it should get you started. Hope that helps :)