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Game Physics Engine Development: How to Build a Robust Commercial-Grade Physics Engine for your Game. [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Ian Millington

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26. September 2010
Physics is really important to game programmers who need to know how to add physical realism to their games. They need to take into account the laws of physics when creating a simulation or game engine, particularly in 3D computer graphics, for the purpose of making the effects appear more real to the observer or player.The game engine needs to recognize the physical properties of objects that artists create, and combine them with realistic motion. The physics ENGINE is a computer program that you work into your game that simulates Newtonian physics and predict effects under different conditions. In video games, the physics engine uses real-time physics to improve realism. This is the only book in its category to take readers through the process of building a complete game-ready physics engine from scratch. The Cyclone game engine featured in the book was written specifically for this book and has been utilized in iPhone application development and Adobe Flash projects. There is a good deal of master-class level information available, but almost nothing in any format that teaches the basics in a practical way. The second edition includes NEW and/or revised material on collision detection, 2D physics, casual game physics for Flash games, more references, a glossary, and end-of-chapter exercises. The companion website will include the full source code of the Cyclone physics engine, along with example applications that show the physics system in operation.

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Game Physics Engine Development: How to Build a Robust Commercial-Grade Physics Engine for your Game. + Artificial Intelligence for Games + Game Coding Complete, Fourth Edition
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Praise for 1st edition: "The first game physics book to emphasize building an actual engine...his book fills a gap by demonstrating how you actually build a physics engine." - Dave Eberly, President, Geometric Tools. "A competent programmer with sufficient mathematical sophistication could build a physics engine just from the text and equations--even without the accompanying source code. You can't say this about a lot of books!" - Philip J. Schneider, Industrial Light & Magic.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  13 Rezensionen
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A book to get you a real, working physics engine. 14. April 2011
Von Daniel Greenheck - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Let's first say that I've seen my fair share of physics literature. I've pored over papers, tutorials, etc. with little to show beyond some simple collisions between spheres. What I really wanted to implement was something ideally "not" much more difficult: a rigid body simulation with simple primitives (spheres, boxes, planes) that collide and interact with each other, giving a realistic enough feel to build a game around.

Unfortunately, even this idea is extremely complex and difficult to implement. You would think the math and code would be fairly easy, and it actually is (depending on your math background. A few semesters of college calculus and physics is very helpful, but not required). But programming a physics engine is 40% math and physics and 60% being clever enough to get the computer to do what you want. Floating point errors, inaccuracies in integration and bugs you can't even imagine from the start all mess with your beautiful equations.

And this is where the author, Ian Millington, saves the day with this great book. All throughout, he lays down the challenges of building a physics engine and gives you realistic solutions that are explained very well. You build from the ground up: from a simple particle engine, to a mass aggregate physics engine, all the way to a full blown physics engine. Each chapter he describes what algorithms you need to implement and variations on those algorithms, providing pros and cons for each. I cannot TELL you how fantastic it feels to have an author tell you in an honest tone: here's where this works, here's where it doesn't. Never at any time do you feel that things are being hid behind a curtain of intellect and egomania. And if the author does hide any details, he tells you and with good reason.

In the end, if you plow through all 20 chapters with diligence and fortitude, you're going to end up with a working physics engine. It will be a physics engine capable of a lot of very cool things, but it isn't a finished product. And the author makes it very clear throughout the book that you will not end up with a spit polished physics engine to compete with the likes of Havok. It will be rough on the edges with plenty of room for improvement, but it gets the job done. The author helps you create a working model and leaves you with many options on how to improvement. However, those options require much more advanced coding.

This book provided me with exactly what I was looking for: the know-how and experience to create a physics engine for the everyday game designer. I highly recommend it. If you want to create something commercial, this is a great start, but you're going to have to buy some heavier books on top of this one if you want a very robust, optimized engine.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book to get a basic physics engine off the ground 3. Oktober 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Overall a great book that enabled me to easily understand the basics of getting a physics engine off the ground. Obviously the physics engine you end up with will be no Source or CryEngine, but it will be enough to produce an indie game. One thing I love about this author is he focuses on code rather than math. This book isn't a college course in physics, it's all about applying the most important laws of physics for simulations in games and it's all about code. Overall, I was satisfied with the physics engine I got out of it. The one thing I will say to potential buyers is that this is NOT the only book you will need if you want to make a physics engine. You will also need a book on collision detection, bounding volume construction, and spacial partitioning algorithms. This book gives a brief overview, but it only touches the surface. I would recommend "Real Time collision detection" by Ericson and "Mathematics for 3D game programming" by Lengyel as supplemental references.
7 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Clear, practical and up-to-date 26. August 2010
Von Spencer Grey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I will keep this review short and sweet.

I have been programming games of one sort or another for 25+ years. On my shelf are 10 books on game physics and a foot-high stack of magazine articles. This book is the best, most clear, practical treatment I have ever come across. It makes the mathematics and concepts digestible, and examines and weighs the trade-offs that go into any engine. The sample code is simple and ready for implementation in languages besides C++.

The author clearly discusses issues around implementing a physics engine on everything from a console system to mobile devices.

A fine resource for medium to advanced programmers.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen excellent, practical game physics introduction 27. Januar 2013
Von techno hermit - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is an excellent, practical introduction to game physics engine developers. The goals is to take a good programmer [and 3D engine/game developer] with little or no physics experience, and help him upgrade his 3D engine from "no physics" to "modest physics". Thus the book covers the most fundamental and important types of physics for most games, but omits most niche or highly advanced [special purpose] physics.

The great strength of this book is the near absense of "arm waving". The types of physics this book covers are covered more-or-less completely, and implemented in the code that can be downloaded and inspected.

In most 3D books, and especially "physics engine" books, the author discusses each issue more-or-less independently, and in varying levels of detail (for his convenience), then leaves the reader to figure out how to effectively implement the details of the technique, and worse, to encounter and deal with the many practical tradeoffs and gotchas on his own.

In contrast, this author discusses each issue in exactly as much depth and detail as necessary to implement code that works, and deals with practical tradeoffs, gotchas, and integration with the rest of the engine. This makes the book far more helpful for programmers who are not scientists or not very familiar with newtonian-style physics.

Frankly, I'd love for this book to have a "second half" that revisits each level at a higher, more advanced and/or more abstract level, plus discusses many niche/specialty types of physics for game engines. However, the author and publisher leave the Eberly "game physics" book to satisfy that desire. The Eberly game physics book is also excellent, but suffers from the common "weaknesses" that I mention this book does not suffer from. On the other hand, "weakness" is a relative term --- the Eberly book may be written in a perfectly fine manner for scientists, physicists, and especially math wizards (or at least highly comfortable with advanced mathematics).

This book does have a few weaknesses.

It fills far too many lines and pages with same source-code. The problem is not that he includes source-code, that much is fine. The problem is, most of the source-code he includes in the text of the book contains lengthy comments that simply repeat what we just read in the body of the text. This wastes a LOT of space, pushes related paragraphs onto separate pages where they are more difficult to glance back and forth to compare, and makes the few lines of actual code difficult to locate visually between the lengthy comment blocks. He should omit most if not all these comments, then the source-code would make a substantial contribution to the book, rather than mostly just be annoying.

I found a few errors in the book, but so far have not found errata anywhere (for example, on the [...] website).

I also have not yet found a forum dedicated to this book and the physics engine it implements. This would make it a lot easier for readers to get quick, easy answers to questions, confusions, errata, etc.

While the author carefully explained his notation, he would have been better served to adopt the simplest notation possible for this book aimed at the minimally math-savvy audience the book is otherwise so perfectly written for. I mean, is there any reason we must read f = mp (with two dots over the p) instead of f = ma ??? It is as-if "v" for "velocity" and "a" for "acceleration" are x-rated words, and this is a PG book... or something. Elsewhere the author wisely adopted the most clear, simple ways to express his ideas and the math. He should have stuck to that principle. Alternatively, almost everywhere he had plenty of room to state each equation in both forms. This would have been a great service to less math-savvy readers, as seeing equivalent forms side-by-side repeatly is a great way to become comfortable with more advanced symbology and formulation.

Bottom line: The strengths of this book are far greater and more precious and rare than the weaknesses. Everyone trying to implement a physics engine should buy this book. However, physics engines are chock full of subtle issues, niche fields, gotchas and quirks, anyone who actually implements one should get every recent (less than ~7 years old) book and PDF, and read everything, and keep them around for reference, comparisions, and varied presentation.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Clear & Practical, Looks Great On Kindle Tablets, Highly Recommended. 27. Juni 2014
Von A. M. Hernandez - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
In this review, I will discuss my experience with Game Physics Engine Development: How to Build a Robust Commercial-Grade Physics Engine for your Game by Ian Millington. This is actually the first book I’ve ever read solely on game physics and I think I made the right choice here. Although I have developed several physics engines previously, they were only in 2D and the extra dimension complicates matters significantly. Game Physics Engine Development is a book specifically about 3D game physics, though the author does make a short reference to 2D physics at the end. I felt like the book had just enough math to explain the concepts, without getting bogged down in technical minutia. I also enjoyed the friendly writing style, the approachable implementations, and a rational coding standard.

Ian Millington’s book covers a lot of ground, and each chapter builds up a single aspect of the engine. Many chapters could stand alone in one aspect or another, though they do come together at the end. Some of the topics covered include: basic 3D math (vectors, matrices, quaternions), laws of motion, particles, rigid bodies, mass aggregate physics, springs, collision, contact resolution, velocity and acceleration, torque, friction, broad-phase collision detection, bounding volumes, and more. While the book is “only” 552 pages, there are a ton of things packed into those pages. I found the coverage to be fairly in-depth, without getting lost of mathematical proofs or anything like that. The book is very practical in that way, and a lot of the code samples could easily be the basis of a real implementation.

Overall I enjoyed the book at lot, and breezed through it within a week, eagerly anticipating each new chapter. Being the only physics book I’ve read so far, I don’t feel 100% confidant creating a physics engine myself just yet. However, I do feel it has explained a lot of key concepts necessary in physics development. The book was everything I was hoping for, and gets my recommendation.
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