Best way to simulate medieval vehicles like horses and carts?

I have been working on a medieval cart that gets pulled by another NPC, and now I’m looking for the best and simplest way to handle the physics for something that rolls on 4 wheels but isn’t a motorized vehicle. Currently my cart is just using my standard NPC code with a basic follow behavior/goal when its being “driven” by another NPC.

Would it make sense to use a vehicle library like the MoreAdvancedVehicles project, or would I be better off writing something specific to non-motorized vehicles?

For something like a horse I think it would be best to just handle it like a standard NPC and use inverse kinematics to position all 4 feet smoothly on the ground when traveling on sloped surfaces.

But for a 4-wheeled cart it seems like I will need some type of code to simulate a suspension system so the cart can roll along sloped surfaces and rotate itself without the wheels raising up or passing down through the ground.

Any input on this topic is greatly appreciated! :slightly_smiling_face:


I would model a cart as a PhysicsVehicle with 4 wheels and no engine. That way you get a suspension for free.

Assuming this is for The Afflicted Forest, then your project is already pretty far along, so I don’t think “More Advanced Vehicles” will buy you much.


If you are doing a simple thing, then i think stock jme VehicleControl shipped with Minie or bullet API will save you a lot of time from using something huge like the AdvancedVehicles (as it adds a lot like Gears, Speeds, Brakes) and deep inside they are just object wrappers of physics for motor vehicles mainly, so i think a wood old cart will never use gears or transmissions or speeds.

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medieval, horse, cart, inverse kinematic. Reminds me something… some… popular issues… i hope it gonna work for u

i wish you make it without issues ;p


LOL, I have a hack for oldrim that I wrote to get SLI to work right. And it causes the entire cart to cartwheel through the whole scene. Never did figure out why, but it has something to do with rendering two frames at once messed up the CPU side fps counter and havok physics engine was not happy about it.

Also, it is not an issue, it is a Todd Howard Feature!