PSE Game Physics - Summer 11

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SS 11
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Bungartz,
Martin Schreiber,
Atanas Atanasov,
Philipp Neumann
Time and Place
Friday, 1 pm, 02.07.023
Studenten der Informatik (Bachelor)
Semesterwochenstunden / ECTS Credits
6 SWS (6P) / 10 Credits

Course is held in German, the slides are in English.


  • preliminary session: 10.02.2011, 10:00, room: 02.07.023


A simple game physics engine is developed in this lab. Starting with simple time steps for moving rigid body objects you will successively extend your developments by collision detection, rotations, friction, etc. to obtain a game physics engine.


  • Introduction to game engines (Visualization, physics, scripting, ...)
  • Game-Physics (Force, momentum, torque, ...)
  • Game-Math (Numerical approximations, accuracy, time-steps, ...)
  • Modelling of springs, Ropes
  • Collision detection
  • Resolving of interpenetrations
  • Friction
  • ...


  • Preliminary knowledge in C++ is advantageous, but it's no prerequisite. However, you should have experiences in object-oriented programming - e.g. Java programming.
  • No prior knowledge about visualization is necessary: A framework for visualization, interactivity and the interface for the physics is given. Thus you'll only have to implement the physics part.
  • Also no prior knowledge about physics is necessary. We'll give a short introduction to physics.


The class takes place every Friday at 1 pm in room 02.07.023. This timetable is only preliminary! NEXT SESSION WILL TAKE PLACE ON THURSDAY, JUNE 9, at 16:00!

Number Topic Worksheet Presentation Slides Date
1 Warmup: Explicit Euler, Physics I, Falling Sphere Worksheet 1 Presentation 6.5.
2 Convergence, Stability, Analytical solutions, Collisions I, Resolving interpenetrations Worksheet 2 Presentation (Update: collision points) 13.5.
3 Springs/Ropes, Linear momentum, Quaternions Worksheet 3 (updated, 26. May) Presentation 20.5.
4 Collisions: Sphere-box, plane-box Worksheet 4 Presentation 27.5.
5 Collisions: Box-box, separating axes Worksheet 5 Presentation (updated, 21. Juni: Intersection points, 11. Aug.: Vertex-Face Collision Point) 27.5.
6 Angular momentum, micro-collisions, damping Worksheet 6 Presentation (updated, 21. Juni: `t`) 9.6., 16:00
7 Friction Worksheet 7 Presentation (updated, 14. Juli: planar velocity) 17.6.
- - 24.6.
- Question session / Project proposal 1.7.
8 Project 8.7.
9 Project 15.7.
- - 22.7.
10 Project Presentation 29.7.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question, first take a look at our FAQ Website: PSE Game Physics - Summer 11 - FAQs


The Engine Skeleton is available for download:

When compiling SBNDEngine, don't forget to install freeglut3-dev

Recommended Literature

  • Game Physics Engine Development, Ian Millington
  • Real-Time Collision Detection, Christer Ericson
  • Game Physics, David E. Eberly

SBND Engine

The following keysettings are preset by our engine. The keys which are for debugging should be the most important for you to hunt bugs ;-)

  • Default mode:
Key Function
[a] Go left
[s] Go back
[w] Go forward
[d] Go right
[g/G] activate/deactivate gravity
[space] Switch between '1st person mode' and 'free mouse mode'
[1]-[0], [F1]-[F12] Switch to other scene and reset
[r] Total reset
[e] Reset objects only
  • Debug mode:

You can use this mode to get some information about objects. An output is created for object which is currently under the mouse cursor.

Key Function
[backspace] Activate/Deactivate Debug mode
[mouse wheel up],[+] Go one timestep forward + record current state
[mouse wheel down],[-] Go one timestep back (restore recorded state)


  • Hanging Bridge simulated with ropes:


  • Falling objects (Cubes, Spheres):


  • Many balls:



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