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CodaKiller

How should I store physics engine collision data?

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I need to store collision data for a rag doll object with joints and stuff. I have a pretty good understanding of how bones and joints work but I'm not sure how to save the shape of each bone. I believe the source engine just uses boxes for this and it seems to be acceptable but the objects I will be using are not limited to props or actors. I need to save the data for buildings, people, vehicles and props. I think the way Oblivion or Fallout 3 saves collision data would be a little closer to what I need, also should I save the collision data in a separate file or inside the mesh it's self. I will also need an idea of how I should save such data, I'm currently using a max plugin I wrote to save meshes. So whats your thoughts on how this should work?

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So I've been thinking hard and I can't think of a way to unify this into a class, logic or data structure. So should the creation of the rigged actors in a physics scene be handled though a script?

Basic concept would be commands that create an actor from a mesh for things like buildings or you can create boxes and rig them together then bind them to the bones of a mesh to create things like ragdolls, basically give the functionality of the physics engine to a script.

Is that the standard way game engines do it? Can anyone explain how game engines like the source engine, Oblivion/ Fallout 3 engine, Cry engine and all those other game engine normally handle the storing / construction of collision data?

Has anyone modded any of those engines and have an idea how they store and construct collision data?

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Seems like most game engines are using the quake logic though I was hoping there was a slightly more unified way instead of having a prop file format and a map file format.

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