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Game Physics Engine Development: How to Build a Robust Commercial-Grade Physics Engine for your Game Paperback – July 23, 2010

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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 Engine Architecture, Second Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.

About the Author

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 2 edition (July 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123819768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123819765
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Greenheck on April 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By techno hermit on January 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
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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