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Some Guy

How do I start programming physics?

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I would like to know if there''s an open source physics library out there I can get used to. I know a lot about programming, don''t take me wrong, but when it comes to physics modelling... I''ve never done it before. I don''t know what I want. When I''m programming something I know all too well, like a vector class I just made recently, I know what to code and I know the interface I want to be able to use it with. I know physics as well, and I''m studying a great deal of calculus, but I''ve never programmed a physics system-- never even seen the code for one-- so I don''t know how to code a good interface for it that I can use in demos. Therefore, I would appreciate someone pointing me to a physics library and showing me a few pointers on the subject.

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Just create a base object class and implement a function that tests for collisions, acceleration, etc. Then call that function every frame. Also after testing for the effects you''ll want to implement functions that are called if the test returns true.

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Fundamentals. That''s what you''re looking for, no? Chris Hecker wrote a few articles for Game Developer Magazine a few years ago, and you can find them as PDF files on his web site,


Also, there have been several other introductory articles (by Jeff Lander and others) in Game Developer Magazine, now available for free at:


You''ll have to register with gamasutra, but its free.

Hell, you might even find some useful articles here on gamedev.net:


Some of the examples from these articles could possibly be used like an open source toolkit to help you get started.

Hope this helps!

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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