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Ch9: Brian Beckman on Game Physics

June 11, 2007

 Enjoying the featured video seat today on Channel 9, is an interview with Brian Beckman on simulating realistic physics in a real-time situation.  Most likely if you are using physics like this it would be for a video game, although an OS that used real-time physics would be very interesting.

I am no Physics guru, myself, but Brian and Charles do a fine job of keeping me engaged.  They begin by going into a bit of the history of game physics, starting with flight simulators. 

As shown in the video image, Brian walks through a few visuals explaining formulas and graphs showing how you might explain and calculate the physics of plane flying through the air.  Although it sounds like a bit of work, they then raise the stakes by jumping into the physics of a car on the road.  From two fixed wings flying through the air to four rubber tires attached to hubs which are then attached to a car body via various suspension models on a range of various surfaces.  Lovely.

Towards the end of the interview Brian introduces us to a few simulations/games/works of math that knocked his socks off.  Rigs of Rods and Plasma Pong.  Seriously awesome pieces worth checking out (both are free to download) even if you don’t like games.

Dr. Beckman’s most recent work has contributed to a game which apparently is an awesome driving experience entitled Forza 2.  Everyone I know who has played, and likes driving games, loves it, so I would say “Job well done.”

And if you’re wondering, after watching the video, where you can get his wallpaper, check out the Fractal World Gallery.

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