Book Summary : Physics for Game Developers

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Posts: 40
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #1
A few people have asked about the book "Physics for Game Developers" by David M. Bourg, published by O'reilly.

Here is my summary of the contents:

1. Basic Concepts (Newtons laws, coordinates, vectors, mass, moments, inertia)

2. Kinematics (velocity, particles, explosions, rigid body introduction, angular velocity)

3. Force (force fields, friction, fluids drag, pressure, buoyancy, springs, torque)

4. Kinetics (2D and 3D Particles, Rigid Body kinetics)

5. Collisions (impulse-momentum, friction)

6. Projectiles (Everything imaginable INLCUDING spinning balls! eg. baseball!)

7. Aircraft (Everything needed for a flight-sim.)

8. Ships (Everything necassary.)

9. Hovercraft (Again, everything you will ever need)

10. Cars (This section is probably the least-indepth. Starting, stopping, banked corners. Nothing about drift or power-sliding )

11. Real Time Simulations (Integration, Euler's method, other methods)

12. 2D Rigid body simulation ( Example of a bumper-hovercraft type game )

13. Implementing Collision Response ( Linear and angular response )

14. Rigid Body Rotation ( rotation matrices, quaternions )

15. 3D Rigid Body Sim ( Flight sim.)

16. Multiple bodies in 3D ( Example: Stack of boxes and a car hits them )

17. Particle Systems ( Cloth/ Flag simulation )

Appendix A - Vector Operations
Appendix B - Matrix Ops
Appendix C - Quaternion Ops

To summarize, this book is extremely helpful for those who are looking to implement realistic physics in real-time gaming situations. In my opinion it is worth the money, and my only gripe is that the book is a paperback, and not a binder. If any of the above topics interest you, the book should be high on your christmas wish-list.
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Member
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Post: #2
Don't forget to read a full book review at iDevGames.com

If you do choose to buy the book from Amazon.com, be sure to support this site by buying it from the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20
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Member
Posts: 304
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Post: #3
I might buy this book. I was waiting for Dave Eberly's Game Physics book to come out - but it keeps getting delayed. The issue I have with Bourg's book is that all the code is for Windows/Direct-X. Many feel that it isnt a big deal - that it forces them to rewrite everything in OpenGL - which forces them to learn the code better. But I dont want to support with my $$ authors who arent cross-platform. If its a book about physics then use GLUT or some cross-platform library, dont tie it to windows. But I still might break down and buy it.
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henryj
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Post: #4
I didn't like this book. Mainly because I'm writing a car racing game and it had almost no relevant info. From memory it didn't cover articulated bodies either.

Plus it uses some really weird units and formulas that make it difficult to cross reference with other texts.
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Post: #5
Quote:Originally posted by henryj
I didn't like this book. Mainly because I'm writing a car racing game and it had almost no relevant info. From memory it didn't cover articulated bodies either.

Plus it uses some really weird units and formulas that make it difficult to cross reference with other texts.


I tend to agree. But don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book, it has some useful stuff. It's just that it gives the impression of being a quick hack. It's like the formulas are made for the examples instead of the opposite. They are kind of strange and don't really fit in with anything else.
It's hard to explain but somehow the book and examples don't "feel" right.

KenD
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tod_baudais
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Post: #6
Also, there are a bunch of errors in it. I wrestled with the section on collisions and friction (page 90 something) and realized his logic is totally wrong. A while later it was mentioned in the errata page.

I'd suggest waiting for the next revision. Too bad there probably won't be a metric only version Smile
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henryj
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Post: #7
I just read the idevgames review of this book and I totally disagree with it. Particularly the bit that said...

Quote:You could spend weeks searching the Internet, or your local college libraries compiling this information, but why bother?

It look me about 10 minutes to find the same info on the net using standard units with good platform independent source code and without having to read stuff I wasn't interested in.

As for the units the book uses, imperial is OK (metric is better) but what is a 'slug'?

I agree that reading a book is usually better than stuff on the net but this book isn't a good example...in my opinion.

On a related note has anyone else noticed the decline in O'Reilly's standards in recent years? They have released some shockers lately. Especially Mac books.
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #8
Some new titles related to the book in the first post to check out:

Physics Modeling for Game Programmers
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20

Physics For Games Programmers
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20

Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

Game Physics (Interactive 3d Technology Series)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20

The Game Programming Gems Series also has a good deal on Physics:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20

3D Game Physics
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20

Real-Time Collision Detection
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20


Nothing to do with game dev, but physics I hope people will learn to make more sports games! Grin (hint hint)

Soccer
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

Golf
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

Hockey
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

Football (US)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20

Baseball
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

Sports Science Projects: The Physics of Balls in Motion
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

The Physics of Sports
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

I didn't bother with vehicles since there is so much on the Internet Smile

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,256
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #9
I kinda didn't like it.
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Moderator
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Joined: 2002.10
Post: #10
thanks for the book links carlos
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #11
You are very welcomed. I hope someone can suggest a good "general book" on physics that could be helpful for game dev -- I was hesitant to recommend any. BTW, that baseball book is cool. I bought it some time ago (edition 1) when I dreamnt of making a baseball game for the Mac.

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Superpig
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Post: #12
The problem with game physics is that it's a particular area of physics that is mostly mathematics, and so many "physics texts" omit it because they feel it's not their topic. So it might be worth looking it up under it's mathematical name - "Mechanics."
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #13
Superpig,

I did the search you recommended...

Which of these books would be appropriate?

Analytical Mechanics
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

Classical Mechanics (2nd Ed)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

Classical Mechanics (5th Edition)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...evgames-20

Classical Mechanics (3rd Edition)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...evgames-20

The above books are by different authors (same title Wink )

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Superpig
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Post: #14
The first and third of those links look quite good, but not having read them, I can't really say much about them. My mechanics texts are A-level maths textbooks Wink
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