Physics Engines

devingprice 101 Jan 05, 2012 at 02:46

I’m looking at the destruction features in the different Physics Engines and need help figuring out which is the best.

I need to be able to knock holes in the walls, and if the supporting walls and pillars are destroyed I want the building to collapse. This type of full building destruction would very rarely happen in the game, but if the supports are knocked out I want it to be realistic. Windows breaking and breaking through a wall with an axe or a car would be more likely.

I’d also like the terrain/ground to be destructible, kinda like [url=”http://”]http://[/url]. I’d like concrete to crack, and to blow apart dirt, maybe even the ability to spear posts in the dirt. Possibly even breaking down trees? Although this would just be an extra feature, it’s in no way necessary.

Havok, Physx, DMM, Geo-mod, Bullet, frostbite,and etc all have similar features to one another. I like Havok’s Destruction package however the pricing will probably be above what I can pay for (I’m actually waiting for their reply). PhysX is free, but it’s main feature is the graphics acceleration that requires a special graphics card which my user base probably doesn’t have (I’m a little hazy on whether or not the features would work well without the acceleration). And Geomod/frostbite are not usable by indie developers. I’m unfamiliar with Bullet’s capabilities.

What physics engine would work best for my destruction needs? Thanks in advance

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geon 101 Jan 05, 2012 at 16:37

This is really at the bleeding edge of game physics. You won’t find a finished solution that does everything you want from it.

If you are ready to build a specialized “destruction engine”, you could probably start out with any physics engine (bullet is supposedly good), and just build on top of that.

A building could be composed of a few breakable parts (floors, pillars, wall segments), that can take damage. If a pillar is destroyed, the physics simulation could determine if the stress on the floors and walls would be enough to break them too, and how the building should topple over or collapse.

To simulate breaking walls, you could use several versions of the same wall in different states of damage, ending with a set of “shards” that are simulated individually by the physics engine.

I have no idea if that makes sense.

devingprice 101 Jan 07, 2012 at 22:18

It made sense. I’m experimenting with Bullet already. I

Red Faction’s Geomod used Booleans to enable digging and breakage. Most breakage in Havok and Phsyx is done with Voronoi. Both aren’t replying to my inquiries…

Physics in games isn’t my strong point, but I’m attempting to make Bullet doing. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks