You've been logged out of GDC Vault since the maximum users allowed for this account has been reached. To access Members Only content on GDC Vault, please log out of GDC Vault from the computer which last accessed this account.

Click here to find out about GDC Vault Membership options for more users.

Session Name Physics for Game Programmers
Speaker(s) Erin Catto, Erwin Coumans, Stephen Frye, Takahiro Harada, Richard Tonge, Gino van den Bergen
Company Name(s) Blizzard Entertainment, Advanced Micro Devices, Electronic Arts, AMD, NVIDIA Corporation, DTECTA
Track / Format Programming

As the visual quality of games has improved, more attention has been given to other aspects of a game to increase the feeling of reality during gameplay and distinguish it from its competitors. One of the most rapidly growing fields is physical simulation, as shown by many of the latest games, from those on mobile platforms to AAA console games. Creating such a simulation may appear to be a daunting task, but given the right background it is not too difficult, and can add a great deal of realism to animation systems, and interactions between avatars and the world.

This tutorial continues the tradition of the "Physics for Programmers" tutorial by bringing together some of the best presenters in both gaming physics. Over the course of a day they will deepen programmers' knowledge by focusing in on the topic of physical simulation and providing a toolbox of techniques for programmers interested in creating and using physics engines, with references and links for those looking for more information. The focus of the course is to study various pieces of the simulation pipeline and show how problems along the way can be solved and optimized using standard 3D mathematical concepts and engineering know-how. Topics include integration of a physics engine into a game, rigid body solvers, collision detection and contact resolution, physics on mixed CPU-GPU systems, rigid body destruction and networking for physics programmers. Sample code libraries and examples are provided.




10:00-11:00am- Collision Detection
Speaker: Gino van den Bergen


11:00am-12:00pm- Solving Rigid Body Contacts
Speaker: Richard Tonge

12:00-1:30pm- Lunch break

1:30-2:30pm- Diablo 3 Ragdolls
Speaker: Erin Catto


2:30-3:30pm- Tackling Physics
Speaker: Stephen Frye


3:30-4:00pm- Fluid Techniques
Speaker: Jim Van Verth

4:00-4:30- Coffee break

4:30-5:15pm- Destruction
Speaker: Erwin Coumans

5:15-6:00pm- Towards a Large Scale Simulation

Speaker: Takahiro Harada

GDC 2012

Erin Catto

Blizzard Entertainment

Erwin Coumans

Advanced Micro Devices

Stephen Frye

Electronic Arts

Takahiro Harada


Richard Tonge

NVIDIA Corporation

Gino van den Bergen


free content



UBM Tech