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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

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, yet vague and imprecise
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...
Published on May 19 2002 by Justin E Rogers


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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book to get you started..., Dec 21 2001
This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
If you're a physicist or aspiring to be one, then this book is not for you. If you are a game programmer then get it. The book cuts right to the chase and specifically focuses on rigid body mechanics, which is what you need to know in order to write realtime simulations for games, without pontificating on too much theoretical stuff.
The book reads easily and all the example code is well documented. While the examples use Windows Direct3D, all the physics/simulation code is separate from the GUI code so it's easy to follow.
I'd have given this book 5 stars instead of 4 if it weren't for two things:
1) the example code uses Windows (I'm a Mac developer and would, of course, rather see Mac examples); however, like I said, the physics part of the code is standard (c++).
2) the chapters are ordered strangely. I suggest you read the first few chapters (1 - 5) and then skip right to chapters 11-17 to get into the realtime sim. examples. The other chapters are interesting, but can wait until after you've finished chapters 11 - 17.
Maybe a future edition will include Mac examples and reorgainze the chapters, but, all in all, this is a good book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappoints on the physics, lots of examples., Dec 12 2001
By 
Stephen Lepp (Las Vegas, NV USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
It would probably not be impossible to learn the physics you need for your game simulation from this book, but it would be difficult. The presentation often lacks much physical insight. This may be intentional as to make the book read easier to a non-specialist, but I think it is a mistake.
As an example, the simple trajectory problem, launch a particle in constant acceleration with no friction, is presented here as four separate problems; launch a particle with target at same height, launch a particle with target higher, launch a particle with target lower and launch a particle horizontally with target lower. No physicist would approach the problem this way, it is absolutely trivial to present them all as the same problem with the same general solution.
Occasionally the book lapses with just outright errors. The most serious so far I've seen is the cylinder rolling down a plane without slipping is solved by assuming the frictional force is the static coefficient of friction times the normal force. In fact, the force can be any amount less then this. As a result the solution given has the funny property that it will roll up the plane for small angles.
The book isn't all bad, and may well serve it's primary purpose, which I assume, is to give a litany of examples that game developers may paste into their games. It certainly has lots of examples, and most are correct physics, still, perhaps with my bias as a physics professor, I was hoping for a bit more physical insight into the problems.
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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 Not what I expected, Jan. 18 2002
By 
Mr. J. Pile (Fairbanks, Alaska United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
I only give book a three because it's not exactly what I expected. I'm sure there is a group of consumers that need brushing up on their physics, but what I guess I really wanted was a book entitled, "Game Programming for Physicists".
This book does have some valubable and interesting ways of dealing with programming game physics, but to me, much of it seemed to be common sense.
If you didn't pay attention or can't remember your freshman level physics class and now want to brush up on basic mechanics for a computer game you're writing... this may be the book for you.
But you don't have to take my word for it... (buh-dah--bump)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Puts the Reality in Virtual Reality, March 25 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Physics for Game Developers (Paperback)
"Physics for Game Developers" is a fun-filled adventure through
the how-to's of simulating the relationships of everyday objects
in mathematical terms, including projectiles, balls, cars, boats,
planes, and hovercraft. David Bourg does an excellent job in
laying down a solid framework of building blocks, from the 2- and
3-d coordinate system to Newton's Second Law of Motion, to give
the reader a sound foundation to properly construct their universe
inside the computer. I highly recommend "Physics for Game
Developers" to anyone who needs to portray real things in an
often unreal place
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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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Physics for Game Developers
Physics for Game Developers by David M Bourg (Paperback - Nov. 23 2001)
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