Physics for Game Developers
By David M Bourg
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: November 2001
Pages: 344

Colliding billiard balls. Missile trajectories. Cornering dynamics in speeding cars. By applying the laws of physics, you can realistically model nearly everything in games that bounces around, flies, rolls, slides, or isn't sitting still, to create compelling, believable content for computer games, simulations, and animation. Physics for Game Developers serves as the starting point for those who want to enrich games with physics-based realism.Part one is a mechanics primer that reviews basic concepts and addresses aspects of rigid body dynamics, including kinematics, force, and kinetics. Part two applies these concepts to specific real-world problems, such as projectiles, boats, airplanes, and cars. Part three introduces real-time simulations and shows how they apply to computer games. Many specific game elements stand to benefit from the use of real physics, including:

  • The trajectory of rockets and missiles, including the effects of fuel burn off
  • The collision of objects such as billiard balls
  • The stability of cars racing around tight curves
  • The dynamics of boats and other waterborne vehicles
  • The flight path of a baseball after being struck by a bat
  • The flight characteristics of airplanes
You don't need to be a physics expert to learn from Physics for Game Developers, but the author does assume you know basic college-level classical physics. You should also be proficient in trigonometry, vector and matrix math (reference formulas and identities are included in the appendixes), and college-level calculus, including integration and differentiation of explicit functions. Although the thrust of the book involves physics principles and algorithms, it should be noted that the examples are written in standard C and use Windows API functions.
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oreillyPhysics for Game Developers
 
3.9

(based on 15 reviews)

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

ggod game physics intro book

By KHRONOS

from ORLANDO,FL

Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

This is a good book that shows how to implement real time physics simulation.It is a good starting point.
To the reviewer Jarred Nomak, I want to let you know that a velocity is a vector, therefore no confusion here. This book is not for primary students .It is not about learning Physics(Dynamics,..) but how to programm it. There is a big difference between being a physics programmer and physicist. If you want to be physicist stay with college physics books

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great

By mbr

from Wieliczka, Poland

About Me Developer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    This book is really great for beginning. All programs are available on this page in upper left section EXAMPLE link.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Physics for Game Developers

    By Charlie Tree

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    Excellent book. The author made physics and c++ very straightforward given my background is math/stats and visual basic.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Physics for Game Developers Review

    By David Rysdam

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    There is a lot of good information in here. Anyone who has the requisite physics to understand the book could probably do a lot of this stuff already, particularly the particle mechanics, but it's good to have some of these things derived for you, laid out and put together for clarity and ease of use.

    Like some others, I was disappointed to find that the example code uses Windows APIs. True, it doesn't affect the physics code, which is all on its own. But it keeps anyone but a Windows user from running and messing with the downloaded examples. This means that I have to program the example from the ground up just to see it running under Linux.

    To the person who says that Runge-Kutta isn't mentioned: Check pages 181-182.

    (5 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Physics for Game Developers Review

    By Jarred Nomak

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    Be really careful buying this book. Although its contents cover pretty nice bunch of things we would like to know more about, the book style is VERY SIMPLE and rather addressed to people from elementary school. Moreover, the Author is inconsequent in many things, for example, he uses very inconsistent name's convention, for instance: velocity is defined as a vector sometimes, but sometimes not (which is a bug for me) and result is one - mess in the book.

    I would not disqualify this book, but it is definitely not for people who have some physics background. Better take your old school books and read them again if you want to do something really working.

    Too bad also that the Author did not cover really interesting topic like Runge-Kutta fourth order integration method.

    Five stars - in contrary - for O'Reilly's for publishing the samples rather than putting them on CD. It definitely lowers the book price, very good move.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Physics for Game Developers Review

    By mike insanantone

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    Actually, I would give this book 3.5 critters. I do have the math and physics background to follow the author. A more comprehensive book on mechanics is

    "Vector Mechanics for Engineers" by Beer and Johnson. Io, or moment of inertia, is explained in great length as are all of the authors topics and much more.

    What would be really nice if all of the programs were made available, either with an accompanying CD or at the web-site. For no better reason, than to show how the program works. If the author doesn't explain what is left out, I have to figure it out. I would rather be experimenting with the code. This is sort of like bying a mini-van, without an engine. Sure you have a vehical that can haul half of a softball team, but until you get the engine, nobody plays any ball.

    I'm not a Mac guy, but I agree with their gripe and then some. It should be clearly stated which language and platforms this code is intended for.

    In summary, the basic algorithms are good if you understand mechanics. The code needs to be more verbosely documented. And why not have all the code available?

     
    5.0

    Physics for Game Developers Review

    By Koji Sato

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    A wonderful book. Well layed out, a simple and practical framework of basic principals which provide a sufficient foundation for most readers to apply real-world behaviours to just about any simulated event.

    The techniques and formulas provided in this book are applicable to any platform. Any reader who complains about not being able to cut/paste and compile the sample initialization code into their OpenGL application is missing the point.

     
    5.0

    Physics for Game Developers Review

    By TrickyFishy

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    I'm thrilled with this book. It covers the topics I want it to cover and I'm particularly glad I didn't have to pay for paper that covers too much introductory information.

    The appendicies cover just enough background information to shake the rust off but isn't a complete lesson on basic math. I think more books should be written like this.

    The examples are clear and easy to understand and the text is in the classic O'Reilly quality: the meat without the fluff. The $40 price point is an excellent value. Bravo! More like this please!

     
    4.0

    Physics for Game Developers Review

    By Mike Ethetton

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    I find this book a great resource for the game developer. As stated in another review, this book really covers mechanics, and not many other fields of physics. Fortunately, the book covers exactly what I purchased it for. I've had to brush up quite a bit on my rusty math skills, but I think that could be considered an occupational hazard.

    While I sometimes write for Windows, most of my game coding is actually done on another platform, yet I did not find the Windows-based C code included to be a hinderance. If anything, through translating it to my platform, I found I understood it better than if I had just "thrown it in" someplace.

    I was searching for a book with just this information, and just this depth about two years ago, and could find nothing close in my research. Overall, an excellent book! Now, if only there were a "Collision Detection for Game Developers" (hint,hint}

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Physics for Game Developers Review

    By Einstein

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Physics for Game Developers:

    Unfortunately, this book appears to only cover mechanics, not physics. Where, for example, is the subscience of optics (reflections, refractions of light) for game developers covered?

    The boastful title is exaggerated.

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