Game Physics Engine Development

Game Physics Engine Development

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Simulating physics helps cutting-edge games distinguish themselves by making virtual objects behave as we expect them to in the real world. Physics engines are the software programs that run these simulations. Building an engine is difficult, however. There are a large number of new developers (and hobbyists) coming into this market who need help through this complex process. Current introductory books are inadequate; they don't bring enough real-world programming experience to the task. There is a need for an introductory book on game physics with solid coding guidance but which limits the math content. Ian Millington brings his extensive professional programming experience to this problem. He has developed games since 1987, has studied AI and mathematics at the PhD level, and founded Mindlathe Ltd., a company that designed and built commercial physics engines. Physics Engine Development carefully describes each step in the creation of a robust, usable physics engine. It introduces the mathematical concepts in a clear and simple manner, keeping to high school level topics and building a physics code library as it goes. Each new concept is explained in diagrams and code to make sure that even the most novice of game programmers understands. The companion CD-ROM includes the source code for a complete physics engine of commercial quality. This book will serve as a introduction to more mathematically advanced books on game physics, such as Dave Eberly's Game Physics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 190.5 x 236.2 x 30.5mm | 657.72g
  • Focal Press US
  • Burlington, United States
  • English
  • 012369471X
  • 9780123694713
  • 680,399

Table of contents


About the Author

About the CD-ROM

1 Introduction

1.1 What is Game Physics

1.2 What is a Physics Engine

1.2.1 Advantages of a Physics Engine

1.2.2 Weaknessess of a Physics Engine

1.3 Approaches to Physics Engines

1.3.1 Types of Object

1.3.2 Contact Resolution

1.3.3 Impulses and Forces

1.3.4 What We're Building

1.4 The Mathematics of Physics Engines

1.4.1 The Math You Need to Know

1.4.2 The Math We'll Review

1.4.3 The Mathematics We'll Introduce

1.5 The Source Code in the Book

1.6 How the Book is Structured

I Particle Physics

2 The Mathematics of Particles

2.1 Vectors

2.1.1 The Handedness of Space

2.1.2 Vectors and Directions

2.1.3 Scalar and Vector Multiplication

2.1.4 Vector Addition and Subtraction

2.1.5 Multiplying Vectors

2.1.6 The Component Product

2.1.7 The Scalar Product

2.1.8 The Vector Product

2.1.9 The Orthonormal Basis

2.2 Calculus

2.2.1 Differential Calculus

2.2.2 Integral Calculus

3 The Laws of Motion

3.1 A Particle

3.2 The First Two Laws

3.2.1 The Force Equations

3.2.2 Adding Mass to Particles

3.2.3 Momentum and Velocity

3.2.4 The Force of Gravity

3.3 The Integrator

3.3.1 The Update Equations

3.3.2 The Complete Integrator

4 The Particle Physics Engine

4.1 Ballistics

4.1.1 Setting Projectile Properties

4.1.2 Implementation

4.2 Fireworks

4.2.1 The Firework Data

4.2.2 Firework Rules

4.2.3 The Implementation

II Mass Aggregate Physics

5 Adding General Forces

5.1 D'Alembert's Principle

5.2 Force Generators

5.2.1 Interfaces and Polymorphism

5.2.2 Implementation

5.2.3 A Gravity Force Generator

5.2.4 A Drag Force Generator

5.3 Built-In Gravity and Damping

6 Springs and Spring-like Things

6.1 Hook's Law

6.2 Spring-Like Force Generators

6.2.1 A Basic Spring Generator

6.2.2 An Anchored Spring Generator

6.2.3 An Elastic Bungee Generator

6.2.4 A Buoyancy Force Generator

6.3 Stiff Springs

6.3.1 The Problem of Stiff Springs

6.3.2 Faking Stiff Springs

7 Hard Constraints

7.1 Simple Collision Resolution

7.1.1 The Closing Velocity

7.1.2 The Coefficient of Restitution

7.1.3 The Collision Direction and the Contact Normal

7.1.4 Impulses

7.2 Collision Processing

7.2.1 Collision Detection

7.2.2 Resolving Interpenetration

7.2.3 Resting Contacts

7.3 The Contact Resolver Algorithm

7.3.1 Resolution Order

7.3.2 Time-Division Engines

7.4 Collision-Like Things

7.4.1 Cables

7.4.2 Rods

8 The Mass Aggregate Physics Engine

8.1 Overview of the Engine

8.2 Using the Physics Engine

8.2.1 Rope Bridges and Cables

8.2.2 Friction

III Rigid Body Physics

9 The Mathematics of Rotations

9.1 Rotating Objects in 2D

9.1.1 The Mathematics of Angles

9.1.2 Angular Speed

9.1.3 The Origin and the Centre of Mass

9.2 Orientation in 3D

9.2.1 Euler Angles

9.2.2 Axis-Angle

9.2.3 Rotation Matrices

9.2.4 Quaternions

9.3 Angular Velocity and Acceleration

9.3.1 Velocity of a Point

9.3.2 Angular Acceleration

9.4 Implementing the Mathematics

9.4.1 The Matrix Classes

9.4.2 Matrix Multiplication

9.4.3 Matrix Inverse and Transpose

9.4.4 Converting a Quaternion to a Matrix

9.4.5 Transforming Vectors

9.4.6 Changing the Basis of a Matrix

9.4.7 The Quaternion Class

9.4.8 Normalising Quaternions

9.4.9 Combining Quaternions

9.4.10 Rotating

9.4.11 Updating by The Angular Velocity

10 Laws of Motion for Rigid Bodies

10.1 The Rigid Body

10.2 Newton 2 for Rotation

10.2.1 Torque

10.2.2 The Moment of Inertia

10.2.3 Inertia Tensor in World-Coordinates

10.3 D'Alembert for Rotation

10.3.1 Force Generators

10.4 The Rigid Body Integration

11 The Rigid Body Physics Engine

11.1 Overview of the Engine

11.2 Using the Physics Engine

11.2.1 A Flight Simulator

11.2.2 A Sailing Simulator

IV Collision Detection

12 Collision Detection

12.1 Collision Detection Pipeline

12.2 Coarse Collision Detection

12.3 Bounding Volumes

12.3.1 Hierarchies

12.3.2 Building the Hierarchy

12.3.3 Sub-object Hierarchies

12.4 Spatial Data Structures

12.4.1 Binary Space Partitioning (BSP)

12.4.2 Oct-Trees and Quad-Trees

12.4.3 Grids

12.4.4 Multi-Resolution Maps

12.5 Summary

13 Generating Contacts

13.1 Collision Geometry

13.1.1 Primitive Assemblies

13.1.2 Generating Collision Geometry

13.2 Contact Generation

13.2.1 Contact Data

13.2.2 Point-Face Contacts

13.2.3 Edge-Edge Contacts

13.2.4 Edge-Face Contacts

13.2.5 Face-Face Contacts

13.2.6 Early Outs

13.3 Primitive Collision Algorithms

13.3.1 Colliding two Spheres

13.3.2 Colliding a Sphere and a Plane

13.3.3 Colliding a Box and a Plane

13.3.4 Colliding a Sphere and a Box

13.3.5 Colliding two Boxes

V Contact Physics

14 Collision Resolution

14.1 Impulses and Implusive Torques

14.1.1 Impulsive Torque

14.1.2 Rotating Collisions

14.1.3 Handling Rotating Collisions

14.2 Collision Impluses

14.2.1 Change to Contact-coordinates

14.2.2 Velocity change by Impulse

14.2.3 Impulse change by Velocity

14.2.4 Calculating the Desired Velocity Change

14.2.5 Calculating the Impulse

14.2.6 Applying the Impulse

14.3 Resolving Interpenetration

14.3.1 Choosing a Resolution Method

14.3.2 Implementing Non-linear Projection

14.3.3 Avoiding Over-Rotation

14.4 The Collision Resolution Process

14.4.1 The Collision Resolution Pipeline

14.4.2 Preparing Contact Data

14.4.3 Resolving Penetration

14.4.4 Resolving Velocity

14.4.5 Alternative Update Algorithms

14.4.6 Summary

15 Resting Contacts and Friction

15.1 Resting Forces

15.1.1 Force Calculations

15.2 Micro-Collisions

15.2.1 Removing Accelerated Velocity

15.2.2 Lowering the Restitution

15.2.3 The New Velocity Calculation

15.3 Types of Friction

15.3.1 Static and Dynamic Friction

15.3.2 Isotropic and Anisotropic Friction

15.4 Implementing Friction

15.4.1 Friction as Impulses

15.4.2 Modifying the Velocity Resolution Algorithm

15.4.3 Putting it All Together

15.5 Friction and Sequential Contact Resolution

16 Stability and Optimization

16.1 Stability

16.1.1 Quaternion Drift

16.1.2 Interpenetration on Slopes

16.1.3 Integration Stability

16.1.4 The Benefit of Pessimistic Collision Detection

16.1.5 Changing Mathematical Accuracy

16.2 Optimizations

16.2.1 Sleep

16.2.2 Margins of Error for Penetration and Velocity

16.2.3 Contact Grouping

16.2.4 Code Optimisations

16.2.5 Optimisation Summary

17 Putting It All Together

17.1 Overview of the Engine

17.2 Using the Physics Engine

17.2.1 Ragdolls

17.2.2 Fracture Physics

17.2.3 Explosive Physics

17.3 Limitations of the Engine

17.3.1 Stacks

17.3.2 Reaction Force Friction

17.3.3 Joint Assemblies

17.3.4 Stiff Springs

VI Horizons

18 Other Types of Physics

18.1 Simultaneous Contact Resolution

18.1.1 The Jacobian

18.1.2 The Linear Complimentary Problem

18.2 Reduced Coordinate Approaches

18.3 Where to Look for More Information

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About Ian Millington

Ian Millington is a partner of IPR Ventures, a consulting company developing next-generation AI technologies for entertainment, modeling, and simulation. Previously he founded Mindlathe Ltd, the largest specialist AI middleware company in computer games, working with on a huge range of game genres and technologies. He has a long background in AI, including PhD research in complexity theory and natural computing. He has published academic and professional papers and articles on topics ranging from paleontology to hypertext.
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