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Particles and Sparky Collision (Dark GDK)

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I'm having trouble with Planetary Gravity and Collisions in a Zero-G Space Flight game environment. I've done programming in the past and understand many concepts, but I've never made any 3D (well, this is 3D 2D because it's like the New Super Mario) games before. I've chosen Dark GDK for my graphics engine as it's really simple, and SC_Collision (Sparky's Collision) because it's compatible with DarkGDK.

I figured for Planetary Gravity, for efficiency sake I'd use an invisible sphere that represents the Gravity Field, and check for Ships (or RenderableObjects in general) inside of it using something like SC_objectCollision. My problem is, when multiple objects are inside this field, I can't just use SC_objectCollision( object#, 0 ) to give me a list of collisions like I can with SC_multipleRayCast()

I have to do a:

SC_objectCollision (obj, 0) // check if anything is in the gravity field

// then a ...

for (...) {
// check every object in space to see if it collided

Doesn't seem very efficient. Any other ideas?

I also have questions about Particles (Dark GDK specific).

So far I've got a Particle Trail made by moving the dbPositionParticleEmit() position to the player. Problem is that the particles disappear instead of fading out. Any ideas on how to make the particles fade out when they "die"? I'm already using dbSetParticleLife, but it just shortens the time it takes for them to disappear - doesn't change HOW they do.

Thanks in advance for any help,


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