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to Bullet or not to Bullet?


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#1 ic0de   Members   -  Reputation: 895

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:54 PM

I've been writing a game recently and I've gotten to the point where I need to either choose a physics engine or write one myself. As I was researching I found Bullet physics engine: http://bulletphysics.org/wordpress/.

My question is has anyone used Bullet engine, is it any good? how hard is it to use?

Should I use bullet if all I need it for is Rigid bodies and possibly ragdolls?

If I don't use bullet are there any better free cross platform physics engines I could use?

How hard would it be to do physics myself?

you know you program too much when you start ending sentences with semicolons;


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#2 AllEightUp   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4241

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:41 PM

I've been writing a game recently and I've gotten to the point where I need to either choose a physics engine or write one myself. As I was researching I found Bullet physics engine: http://bulletphysics.org/wordpress/.

My question is has anyone used Bullet engine, is it any good? how hard is it to use?

Should I use bullet if all I need it for is Rigid bodies and possibly ragdolls?

If I don't use bullet are there any better free cross platform physics engines I could use?

How hard would it be to do physics myself?


Bullet is a very good physics engine and I would suggest it over others for a couple reasons. The first is that it is in use in some rather high profile places and is getting considerable support due to that. The second is that if you ever need to use Havok, the API's are similar enough you can go from one to the other fairly well. And third, while Bullet is not always the fastest and/or most memory efficient it is rarely ever notably slower or using very much more memory than other solutions. Overall, I use Bullet for a number of things and have no reasons not to suggest it. The learning curve is not too bad but if you've never done physics before any of the packages will have significant ramp up time.

As to writing your own. I seriously do not suggest it unless just for learning purposes as physics and collision are pretty complicated beasts, even for fairly simple things.

#3 ic0de   Members   -  Reputation: 895

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:07 AM


I've been writing a game recently and I've gotten to the point where I need to either choose a physics engine or write one myself. As I was researching I found Bullet physics engine: http://bulletphysics.org/wordpress/.

My question is has anyone used Bullet engine, is it any good? how hard is it to use?

Should I use bullet if all I need it for is Rigid bodies and possibly ragdolls?

If I don't use bullet are there any better free cross platform physics engines I could use?

How hard would it be to do physics myself?


Bullet is a very good physics engine and I would suggest it over others for a couple reasons. The first is that it is in use in some rather high profile places and is getting considerable support due to that. The second is that if you ever need to use Havok, the API's are similar enough you can go from one to the other fairly well. And third, while Bullet is not always the fastest and/or most memory efficient it is rarely ever notably slower or using very much more memory than other solutions. Overall, I use Bullet for a number of things and have no reasons not to suggest it. The learning curve is not too bad but if you've never done physics before any of the packages will have significant ramp up time.

As to writing your own. I seriously do not suggest it unless just for learning purposes as physics and collision are pretty complicated beasts, even for fairly simple things.


Thanks I'll probably use it then

you know you program too much when you start ending sentences with semicolons;





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