Physics for Game Developers

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Overview

Colliding billiard balls. Missile trajectories. Cornering dynamics in speeding cars. By applying the laws of physics, you can realistically model nearly everything in games that bounces around, flies, rolls, slides, or isn't sitting still, to create compelling, believable content for computer games, simulations, and animation. Physics for Game Developers serves as the starting point for those who want to enrich games with physics-based realism.Part one is a mechanics primer that reviews basic concepts and ...

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Overview

Colliding billiard balls. Missile trajectories. Cornering dynamics in speeding cars. By applying the laws of physics, you can realistically model nearly everything in games that bounces around, flies, rolls, slides, or isn't sitting still, to create compelling, believable content for computer games, simulations, and animation. Physics for Game Developers serves as the starting point for those who want to enrich games with physics-based realism.Part one is a mechanics primer that reviews basic concepts and addresses aspects of rigid body dynamics, including kinematics, force, and kinetics. Part two applies these concepts to specific real-world problems, such as projectiles, boats, airplanes, and cars. Part three introduces real-time simulations and shows how they apply to computer games. Many specific game elements stand to benefit from the use of real physics, including:

  • The trajectory of rockets and missiles, including the effects of fuel burn off
  • The collision of objects such as billiard balls
  • The stability of cars racing around tight curves
  • The dynamics of boats and other waterborne vehicles
  • The flight path of a baseball after being struck by a bat
  • The flight characteristics of airplanes
You don't need to be a physics expert to learn from Physics for Game Developers, but the author does assume you know basic college-level classical physics. You should also be proficient in trigonometry, vector and matrix math (reference formulas and identities are included in the appendixes), and college-level calculus, including integration and differentiation of explicit functions. Although the thrust of the book involves physics principles and algorithms, it should be noted that the examples are written in standard C and use Windows API functions.

Colliding billiard balls. Missile trajectories. Cornering dynamics in speeding cars. By helping game developers create compelling, believable content for computer games, simulations, and animation, "Physics for Game Developers" serves as the starting point for those who want to enrich games with physics-based realism.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Galileo, Newton, and their descendants toiled their lives away so that you could create incredibly realistic computer games, sims, and animations. Don't waste their life's work: Use it in your games, with Physics for Game Developers.

Imagine you're writing the next great baseball simulation: Here are principles for modeling every pitch, based on the release speed, spin, even whether you're playing at sea level or up high at Coors Field. Your next first-person-shooter could reflect the realities of long-distance marksmanship (e.g., wind speed and muzzle velocity.) Planets. Race cars. Missiles. You want to make them realistic, what are you gonna use -- astrology? Nope. The physics in this book.

Author David Bourg starts with a basic primer on "mechanics": kinematics, force, kinetics, and other areas of physics that impact game design. You'll walk through applying these ideas to typical game design problems; then build real-time simulations -- learning what to model, what to leave out; how to create the model; how to account for collisions; how to tune your model, and more. Bourg does this stuff for a living (modeling real-world hovercraft performance, for example). Folks could die if he gets it wrong. He's the guy to learn it from. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jersey┬ľbased marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies┬«, Second Edition.

From The Critics
This book shows how to create believable content in computer games, simulation, and animation by applying the laws of physics to moving objects in the game. Early chapters review basic concepts of rigid body dynamics, covering kinematics, force, and kinetics, and later chapters apply these concepts to real-world problems with projectiles, boats, airplanes, and cars. Final chapters introduce real-time simulations and show how they apply to computer games. A college level understanding of physics is assumed, plus proficiency in trigonometry, vector and matrix math, and calculus. Bourg is professionally involved in computer game development and consulting. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596000066
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/20/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,322,742
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

As a naval architect and marine engineer, David M. Bourg performs computer simulations and develops analysis tools that measure such things as hovercraft performance and the effect of waves on the motion of ships and boats. He teaches at the college level in the areas of ship design, construction and analysis. On occasion, David also lectures at high schools on topics such as naval architecture and software development. In addition to David's practical engineering background, he's professionally involved in computer game development and consulting through his company, Crescent Vision Interactive. Current projects include a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, several Java-based multiplayer games, and the porting of Hasbro's "Breakout" to the Macintosh.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Basic Concepts 1
2 Kinematics 25
3 Force 57
4 Kinetics 69
5 Collisions 87
6 Projectiles 101
7 Aircraft 121
8 Ships 146
9 Hovercraft 163
10 Cars 168
11 Real-Time Simulations 172
12 2D Rigid Body Simulator 184
13 Implementing Collision Response 205
14 Rigid Body Rotation 223
15 3D Rigid Body Simulator 230
16 Multiple Bodies in 3D 249
17 Particle Systems 271
App. A Vector Operations 285
App. B Matrix Operations 295
App. C Quaternion Operations 303
Bibliography 313
Index 319
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2004

    Well Done

    For really, really small objects, Newton's laws of motion don't apply (that's why we have Quantum mechanics and the like.) For everything else, we follow Sir Issac. If you're a game developer, you'll need more than a rudimentary understanding of physics if your aim is realism. David M. Bourg's most recent book covers the theory you'll need to polish your game while keeping it 'real.' Inside the covers, you'll discover a review of Newton's laws accompanied by a hearty dose of explanatory graphics. Warning: as a prerequisite, he assumes solid math and basic intro college physics skills. Next, he segues into Kinematics, you know, the underlying mechanics of motion of objects.) He teaches linear and angular displacement, velocity and acceleration. Don't worry, it's not all equations and graphs, he includes helpful sample code (in C) too. The final chapters cover advanced topics like 3D rigid body simulators and rotations, collision response and particle systems. Before you reach those chapters however, Bourg covers specific examples for projectiles, aircraft, ships, hovercraft and cars. With the advancement in speed and power of today's microcomputers, achieving reality in games is certainly possible. Bourg's book helps you achieve that without having to spend days in the library pouring over college physics texts. This book is a sound physics review and very well written for the gaming professional.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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