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Developer Diary: Game Physics - Part 3

Posted by Michael Bitton on Jan 29, 2010  | Comments

Developer Diary: Game Physics - Part 3 -

Black Prophecy's Technical Director Cyrus Preuss continues his game physics themed dev diary series with this latest entry, which examines interactions with the physics engine. Preuss also discusses the popular topic of realism vs. fun when it comes to game physics, and how physics play into ship movement throughout the game world.

Preuss on spaceship physics:

Space ship physics

It is easy to divine that there is a special implementation of a simulation object for space ships. Next to the specialized space ship physics implementation this includes a so-called controlling agent.

Alien NPC drones chasing a Genide fighterThe controlling agent is being used by the AI for NPCs to generate input parameters for the simulation. On the other hand it serves to override player input if the player decides to execute a tactic. Tactics are preprogrammed movements, respectively trajectories that a player can trigger to confuse enemies, escape from them or simply to have fun. During the execution of a tactic, the player has no influence on the form of the tactic. The controlling agent completely takes control. I will go into detail about the input methodology at a later point when covering the network physics.

In the end the simulation processes three input variables each for intended linear, respectively angular target velocities. In principle this means that forces are available for forward, backward, sideward, up and downward flight.

The player cannot control the upward and downward flight. Possible forces there are rather being used for trajectory corrections, e.g. during a looping. Rotation torques are generally possible on all three axes.

Read more at Black Prophecy's Game Physics: Interaction with the Game Engine.

Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB