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5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done
For really, really small objects, Newton's laws of motion don't apply (that's why we have Quantum mechanics and the like.) For everything else, we follow Sir Issac. If you're a game developer, you'll need more than a rudimentary understanding of physics if your aim is realism. David M. Bourg's most recent book covers the theory you'll need to polish your game while...
Published on Jan. 5 2004

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3.0 out of 5 stars KNOW YOUR CALCULUS!
While I did find this book informative, I must warn potential readers that very advanced math is required to make any sense at all of this book. I'm not talking matrices and trig, here, folks. This book assumes knowledge of Integral calculus and differential equations. My integral calculus is rusty, having never used it since college, and I never did take differential...
Published on May 19 2003 by Christopher Millsap


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2.0 out of 5 stars Archaic units and sparse context saps potential, May 4 2004
By 
A. M. Lovell "regular guy" (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
While the book has some value (primarily owing to its choice of topic and introductory level), the impact it might have is greatly reduced by its examples reliance on non-metric units -- and a variety of dissimilar choices at that. It makes as much sense as using EBCDIC in your examples in a work on text processing. The result is that the examples suffer a loss of literal value if you wanted to quickly transplant them into a project that has the good sense to use metric measures to avoid confusion over unit conversions.
Secondly, the code examples are sparsely documented. This causes trouble if one wants to transcode one into another language (as I did in taking the flag simulation to Java). One is reduced to blinking and trying to figure out whether the first or second dimension of an array in the author's example corresponds to the flag's height along the pole or its "fly". He's presented a lot in this code, and there are so few comments in it to clarify the arbitrary choices within that a great benefit would have been realized had he added a few. Even had they been taken from the text of the chapter, they would have produced a more valuable result.
I would love to see Mr Bourg attempt a second edition that attended to some of these needless editorial choices.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Jan. 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
For really, really small objects, Newton's laws of motion don't apply (that's why we have Quantum mechanics and the like.) For everything else, we follow Sir Issac. If you're a game developer, you'll need more than a rudimentary understanding of physics if your aim is realism. David M. Bourg's most recent book covers the theory you'll need to polish your game while keeping it "real."
Inside the covers, you'll discover a review of Newton's laws accompanied by a hearty dose of explanatory graphics. Warning: as a prerequisite, he assumes solid math and basic intro college physics skills. Next, he segues into Kinematics, you know, the underlying mechanics of motion of objects.) He teaches linear and angular displacement, velocity and acceleration. Don't worry, it's not all equations and graphs, he includes helpful sample code (in C) too.
The final chapters cover advanced topics like 3D rigid body simulators and rotations, collision response and particle systems. Before you reach those chapters however, Bourg covers specific examples for projectiles, aircraft, ships, hovercraft and cars.
With the advancement in speed and power of today's microcomputers, achieving reality in games is certainly possible. Bourg's book helps you achieve that without having to spend days in the library pouring over college physics texts. This book is a sound physics review and very well written for the gaming professional.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice refresher with basic application in games, July 24 2003
By 
Gianfranco Berardi (Melrose Park, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
Even if you haven't taken physics, this does give you a nice overview of the science. Everything is covered with the idea that it can be used in games. Naturally there is math involved, but nothing overwhelming. Overall, I found that this can be pretty helpful as a side reference, but it doesn't offer anything ground breaking. Naturally, there isn't much in physics that you can't learn from school...but a lot of people have problems learning physics from school anyway.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Physics De-ruster, June 25 2003
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This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
If you're a Computer Science major you most likely were forced feed physics in college, and totally forgot about now days. Basically this book gets the rust off your math and physics gears and provides a great deal of formulas for many vehicle models. This book is great for programmers tackling real physics for game engines and simulation models. When I was working on an aircraft lift model this book cut my development time in half, it feed me formulas, examples and code. It saved me time in researching and allowed me to have more time to program and design.
Basically if you look at this book as a reference guide for physics this book is prefect. It's a great resource to have in an engine programmer's library.
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3.0 out of 5 stars KNOW YOUR CALCULUS!, May 19 2003
By 
Christopher Millsap (Manchester, Vermont) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
While I did find this book informative, I must warn potential readers that very advanced math is required to make any sense at all of this book. I'm not talking matrices and trig, here, folks. This book assumes knowledge of Integral calculus and differential equations. My integral calculus is rusty, having never used it since college, and I never did take differential equations. Luckily, I used my trusty college calculus book to review so that I could interpret this book. I have read dozens of books on 3D graphics and game design, including Math of Game Programmers, and this book is the most mathematically involved.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I could be stoopid, but..., Dec 6 2002
By 
K. Baum (Clearfield, UT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
I've been trying for over an hour to get the flight simulator sample provided with this book to do anything remotely realistic; so far, no dice (unless you consider weird wobbles, wild oscillation and almost immediate stalling a good thing.) If the author's example doesn't demonstrate a realistic flight model, how is an ignorant sap like me supposed to develop one?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, Sept. 4 2002
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This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
This book is impressive, close every other book!!
All physics formulas and theory that a software engineer developing games or simulators ought to know. However, if you don't have a good math background then you're probably better off buying another more comprehensive book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent game physics for beginners, June 21 2002
By 
J. Everett (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
I read this book to bone up on the basis principles of physics, and to understand how they applied in a general sense to computer games. An excellent primer, but as other reviewers here have noted, it will not sufice as a complete tool kit for experienced programmers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, yet vague and imprecise, May 19 2002
By 
Justin E Rogers (Redmond, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
The book does a startlingly good job of covering many areas of game programming that benefit from physics including projectiles, vehicles, and other solid bodies. Some more advanced concepts like fuel burnoff, body shape, and simulation in real time add to the usability of the book.
One of the biggest problems with the text is that if your going to jump into a single chapter and code up a sample of just the object being talked about your going to be okay. However, if your going to be deriving your own code and objects based on the material in the book your going to find yourself having a hard time.
A great example lies in the first chapter which derives formulas for working with a car, with a fuel tank and driver. Now, first off, the author implements 0 source code for the functions shown in the book. This leaves you as the reader to develop your own functions and test things out, possibly by adding another driver, or implementing a generic method for defining composite bodies. If your technically proficient enough to do this, you'll use the numbers provided to test your code. What do you find? Well, that the numbers the author put in the book are wrong.
Since the book is based on precise math and physics, this type of slip-up, especially in a prime example (its the major example for the first chapter), is killer in terms of my trust in the books content.
Still, I do recommend buying the book, just prepare yourself for the technical inconsistencies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start, April 5 2002
By 
Dave Astle (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
This book provides a good starting point for anyone looking to introduce more realistic physics into their game. It provides an overview of the laws of mechanics, focusing on rigid body and particle dynamics. It then takes these principles and applies them to specific simulations which often come up in games, such as projectiles, cars, airplanes, and hovercraft. The math is simplified, so the results are not always completely accurate, but they should be good enough for many games.
The book does have several shortcomings which prevent it from being a great book, the most important of which is that the content is fairly limited. It's less than 300 pages, and a significant amount of space (especially in the later chapters) is taken by source code listings. Of course, this is somewhat offset by the book's relatively low price.
If you buy this expecting it to be the ultimate guide to physics in games, you'll be disappointed. However, if you buy it as an introduction to physics in games (which how it's intended to be used), I think you'll be happy with it.
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Physics for Game Developers
Physics for Game Developers by David M Bourg (Paperback - Nov. 23 2001)
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