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Physics for Game Developers Paperback – 23 Nov 2001

2.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (23 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596000065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596000066
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Aimed at the game developer or student/hobbyist interested in physics, Physics for Game Developers reviews all the maths for creating realistic motion and collisions for cars, airplanes, boats, projectiles, and other objects along with C/C++ code for Windows. While this authoritative guide isn't for the "mathphobe", the author's clear presentation and obvious enthusiasm for his subject help makes this book a compelling choice for anyone faced with adding realistic motion to computer games or simulations.

It's the clear, mathematical presentation here that makes this title a winner. Starting with the basics of Newtonian mechanics, the author covers all the equations needed to understand velocity, acceleration, kinematics and kinetics, among other concepts. A knowledge of college maths (including calculus) is assumed. (Appendices review the basics of matrix and quaternion mathematics for those needing a refresher.)

Central to this book is its presentation of modelling projectiles, airplanes, ships and cars. The author first presents essential mathematical concepts for each kind of object. (For instance, pitch, yaw and roll, and lift for airplanes, modelling fluid drag for ships and braking behaviour for cars.) For many chapters, Bourg then presents Windows-based DirectX programs in C++ to illustrate key concepts. For example, you can experiment with different parameters to view a cannonball's path. (On their own, these programs make this book a great companion text to any advanced high-school or college physics course since students can see the effect of each variable on the behaviour of each body in motion for a variety of equations.)

Modelling collisions is a central concern here (a necessity, of course, for action games). To this end, the author provides collision detection and the mathematics of 3-D rigid bodies for simulating when bodies collide. As the sample programs get more involved, the author discusses techniques of tuning parameters for performance. A standout chapter here models a fluttering flag using particle systems.

In all, this text proves that physics and computers are a perfect match. The author's patient and clear mathematical investigations of common formulas and concepts can add realistic motion to any computer game, as well as help teach essential concepts to any student or hobbyist who's interested in physics and doesn't mind a little college-level maths. --Richard Dragan


"....If you are a game designer who wants to improve the fundamental physics underpinning your virtual world, this book is for you." -- Keith-Schengili-Roberts, Computer Paper

"....While it is definitely not for the math averse (the first integral sign appears on page 6), PGD is clear, concise, and beautifully produced." -- Gregory V. Wilson, Dr Dobbs Journal, June 2002

An excellent book…After reading this book, you won’t think about classical mechanics or translating a model into executable code as a dry subject. -- Bill Schweber, EDN Magazine, April 18, 2002

Clear, concise, and beautifully produced -- Gregory V. Wilson, Dr Dobbs Journal, June 2002

Do not let the basic calculus and vector algebra scare you away the explanations are clear and down to earth. -- Brian D Foy, The Perl Review, April 2002

For the experienced game developer who is looking to learn about physical simulation... -- Jeff Lander, Game Developer, March 2001

It's really good seeing all this stuff put together in
one relatively concise volume, and I think that Bourg
has done a bang-up job with it. -- Martin Heller,, March 11, 2002

Teachers in secondary school physics courses should finds it a useful resource for the way it explains and presents mechanics and physics. -- Major Kerry, Book News, March 2002

This book is highly recommended to both game programmers and physics teachers. -- Computer Shopper, April 2002

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