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RTS engine, what?

Disclaimer: This is a work in progress. Most of the code is badly structured, use it at your own risk.

This is an RTS engine project on which I work very occasionally. It is a testing sandbox and has no design or focus whatsoever. Maybe it'll grow into a proper game in the future. I started playing with the idea as a time killer some years ago, kicking off the development with a fast version of the A* pathfinding algorithm backed not by a grid (as usual) but by a quadtree. Quadtrees make pathfinding super-fast because of their hierarchical division of space and their adaptive partition sizes. Even though I used visibility graphs to store the navigable nodes from one given point, quadtrees are also fast for checking the properties/elements of a position's surroundings, for child nodes are always spatially contained in parent nodes.

Once I got this pathfinding on quadtree thing up and running, It was time to implement the movement of my entities. I dove a bit into the topic and stumbled upon Craig Reynolds steering behaviours. They turned out to be an excellent method of implementing movement. I found these steering behaviours very powerful at producing organic-like movements that do not look forced at all. However, they are usually hard to implement and need A LOT of tweaking to really get them rolling. If you are interested in the topic you can check out Reynolds' original paper or have a look at the book "Programming game AI by example" by Mat Buckland.

Currently libgdx itself provides an implementation of steering behaviours, wihch is probably neater than this one.

Current features

  • 2D graphics.
  • Real time selection and movement of units.
  • Unit life bars.
  • Steering behaviours that work (with a lot of param tweaking).
  • Tiled tile map integration.
  • Quadtree and grid for spatial awareness.
  • Some basic graphic effects.


In order to run the RTS engine, first clone the repository:

$ git clone
$ cd rts-engine

Then, just run the following command:

$ gradlew desktop:run


Here a video demonstrating a few of the features available as of now.

RTS Engine demo YouTube


This software is distributed under the GPLv3 license.