Wanted: Good idea for a physics based game.

Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #1
For a while I've been working on a 2D physics system. It's pretty standard, simulating networks of nodes with different types of constraints and collisions.

I started it for a top down off road racer. I decided that a more generalized system would be a little more rewarding to make than a car specific one. However, in the meantime, I made plenty of simple examples to help test features. A lot of the time it seemed like spent more time playing with the examples than programing it.

For instance, my first demo was simply two linked points. I thought, "Hmm... you could make a pretty wacky pong game with this." Later demos were things like dangling strings, clouds of particles, destroying buildings by disabling linkages, ect.

Does anyone have any interesting ideas that could be implemented fairly easily that requires little more than simple vector graphics.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #2
If you added simple lighting effects (brighten or darken areas falling within simple geometry; like a cone of light under a lamp), you could create some neat lighting effects by attaching "lightbulbs" at the end of strings, and such.
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Post: #3
Im doing a 2d vector-graphics physics-based side-view driving game. So dont do that Wink I have springs, friction, gravity, torque, acceleration and collision all working pretty well. Now its (mostly) a matter of designing levels.
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Post: #4
What is it with everyone using vector graphics over traditional png/tif sprites? Can you create images on par with something you could create in a graphics program? Any screenshots?
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Post: #5
I'd like to see that wacky pong game if it is what I am picturing ... instead of a single ball, there are two balls close together but "tied" by a string? That would do all kinds of interesting things as it hits the paddle (and hits the paddle again)... or so I would imagine. Might be even more interesting if the paddle were oddly shaped or if somehow the player could alter the shape of the paddle in certain ways to force certain rebounds.
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Post: #6
An obvious source of inspiration would be Thrust (aka Gravitar, I believe), where you have a little rotating spaceship which has to carry around a heavy weight attached to it by a fixed-length tractor beam. To add some originality, you could have an elastic tractor beam, the ability to carry multiple objects at once, or even the ability to connect your payloads together in a chain.

Another thought I had, based upon the same idea, would be a platform game where your character can drag weights around with a chain or swing them around to throw them. Grappling hooks would also fit in nicely with this idea.

Hmm... I don't suppose you'd be interested in making your engine open source, would you? I'd like to see your code! Smile

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Sage
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Joined: 2002.09
Post: #7
I like the grappling hook platformer idea. I'll probably try the pong game as well simply because it's so simple to implement.

Justin, in answer to your question, I'm currently working on an isometric tiling engine to tie this in with. Right now I just want a simple distraction, doing vector graphics from a vector based representation of a model is really easy. Fitting a bitmap to a vector based model of it isn't all that hard, but you need a snippet of code for each different model/image.

Open Source? Definitely, but right now the code is a mess. I'd be kind of embarrassed to show it off in it's current state. I'm going to clean it up and tighten the bolts first. I still need to implement springs, frictional coefficients, and a better way to do line - line collisions.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Sage
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Joined: 2002.09
Post: #8
Here's a demo that I did a couple of weeks ago for particle collisions. I have newer ones, but this is best.

Phys.zip It's kinda' big, I included the SDL framework.

A couple of notes:
1) The string isn't supposed to be stretchy, but It's made up of 200 segments so it becomes unavoidable.

2) The mouse is an immovable particle, so you can have it do things that it shouldn't be able to like stretch the string way out. Also it's not updated every frame (or subframe for that matter). If you move it to fast it will really make things screwy because it will move to much in a single step.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #9
That's really good! Wow

In fact, it's almost a game in its own right! I pushed the ends of the line together to make a sort of 'bag', knocked all the balls out of it, then played around trying to ping individual balls back into the bag without knocking out the ones I had already put in. It was a lot of fun! Just needs scoring, bonuses and so on and it would make a very respectable game.

I'm not joking.... Sneaky

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Sage
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Post: #10
Yeah, I sent it to a friend and he said he fiddled around with it for an hour. You can see then why I have so much trouble actually working on it when the examples are so much fun.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #11
That is pretty cool! I was playing around with it yesterday. My younger brother saw it and said "Wow, that is one weird pong clone." Huh
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Post: #12
very cool demo. I had a lot of fun playing with it - and its not even a game yet! Maybe you could think of something along the lines of Pangea's Enigmo?
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Post: #13
Ack, I just spent 45 minutes of my life playing with this tech demo :-) Yes, I can see how it would become difficult to get any work done with such a cool toy. I had fun creating interesting designs by twisting the string around balls and also had fun creating baskets and trying to "popcorn" the balls into them... I'd love to see it with a bitmap for the balls and with some of the little "defects" you mentioned gone (like being able to pass through the string)
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Sage
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Post: #14
Well this is pretty inspiring. I've never had so many people impressed with something that I've made.

I think I should finish my physics routines by the time christmas break is over. Or at least make them usable but not necessarily feature complete.

Speaking of Physics games. Check this out.
Soda Play

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #15
...or check out Sproing at http://www.lorenb.com/software/sproing/. I would of done the gui a little differently - but its real easy to set up a bunch of springs and fling them around. It doesnt have sodaplay's animation features tho.

For your physics demo how about putting some bounce in to those balls? So I can hit the sides of the screen and they will bounce back instead of 100% slide the way you have it now?
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