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Character movement, physics in games

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Hi!(just to be short) I was wondering how to make my characters movement in a sideview platformer game? Should I use the physics engine or should I do by simply altering their position? I was also wondering how big studios do stuff? When do they use physics to be more precise and when the "other"? Depends...ok...then how do action games like God of War do it you think? And if they don't use physics for moving characters then what do they use it for? For special events like crumbling houses? Stuff on the stage like crates? As you see I'm kinda confused here so even the least information is a big help and appreciated. Thanks in advance! p.s.: I don't intend on making something like big studios do(eg. God of War) it's just I'm curious

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If you move your character outside of the physics engine, your collision detection doesn't kick in.

Each game does what it needs to do to achieve a good balance of realism and speed. If you can take shortcuts to reduce the strain on the physics engine without too much pain, you take them.

For a simple platform game, like Mario, you don't even really need a physics engine at all. You can do simplistic bounding box collision detection for nearly everything. If you have objects that roll or bounce in very limited ways, you might use bounding boxes for *most* things, but then call upon the physics engine to do the hard stuff for you. If you are working on a fast enough platform (like a desktop platformer), you can make your life easy by using the engine for everything.

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