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- Last updated January 2023
This course is a gentle introduction into the world of 2D game physics! We'll review all the beautiful math that provides the foundation for most physics engines, starting with a strong review of vectors, matrices, basic trigonometry, rigid-body collision, and touching a little bit of calculus as well.
The lectures are designed to teach all concepts from first principles. In our journey, we'll review several topics from physics, like velocity, acceleration, integration, mass, forces, gravity, drag, friction, rigid body dynamics, collision detection, constraints, etc.
We'll also put theory into practice by coding a very simple 2D physics engine from scratch using the C++ programming language.
We'll start by writing a simulation of particle physics, which is a good start for us to address concepts like movement, forces, displacement, and integration.
We'll then proceed to work with rigid bodies by adding shapes to our objects, like circles, rectangles, and polygons. We'll also learn how to code the collision detection and collision resolution between these rigid bodies.
We'll conclude our C++ implementation by adding constraints to our physics engine, which will help us add different types of objects to our engine, like joints and ragdolls. Ultimately, constraints will help us improve the stability of our engine, and they are a great opportunity for us to discuss some interesting ideas from calculus.
All you really need is a simple code editor and a C++ compiler. We'll use a cross-platform library called SDL to display our graphics, and since we can find a C++ compiler for virtually any operating system, you can follow along on either Windows, macOS, or Linux!
Also, make sure you have pen and paper ready for the lectures. This course will probably be a little bit different than other programming courses you took before. We will take our sweet time and make sure we understand every formula we find along the way!
This is a self-contained course with no formal prerequisites. However, you will probably get the most out of it if you already know the basics of coding (if-else, loops, functions).
We will explore some very interesting math along the way, but all you really need is to know some simple algebra. If you know how to solve the equation below for x, then you should be able to follow along and have fun like everyone else!
Gustavo Pezzi is a university lecturer in London, UK. He has won multiple education awards as a teacher and is also the founder of pikuma.com.
Gustavo teaches fundamentals of computer science and mathematics; his academic path includes institutions such as Pittsburg State University, City University of London, and University of Oxford.
This course is not just a simple tutorial on how to use a physics engine like Box2D or Bullet. This course focus on the foundation of what makes physics engines tick, including a comprehensive review of the beautiful math that comes with it.
While you can find other resources on game physics out there, most of them are either too theoretical or overwhelmingly complex. This course is a beginner-friendly introduction to the world of game physics, providing a mix between the theory we'll see in the lectures with the practical examples we'll write using C++.
So, if you ever wanted to understand what happens under the hood of a physics engine, then get ready and buckle up! This is going to be a 35-hour journey of pure nerd fun.
73% of our students come back for another course
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"Absolutely amazing! Just a wonderful course from start to finish. I can't speak highly enough of the content or its delivery. If you've ever pondered what goes into a 2D physics engine, and if you've ever found yourself wishing someone could explain things in the simplest (and best) possible terms, look no further. Gustavo is a remarkable educator, and this course is worth your time and effort. I have loved every moment of it."
"Great course! On average, I would say that everything is good, but what I really liked, is that is very well paced (fast enough to see the improvements and keep the motivation, but still not rushing the explanations)"
"Best! Just great. Gustavo is a great and charismatic teacher. I learned a lot."