Blender Physics Game


The Physics Game lets you conduct a variety of mechanical physics experiments in a virtual world. This game is based on the Blender 3D computer program. Blender is a free program that will run on PC, Mac, Linux and a few other operating systems as well.

There are two ways to run the physics game. If you want to modify the game, you will need to download Blender and Python. Blender is available at www.blender.org/download/get-blender/ but you'll also need Python as well. Python is available at www.python.org/download/. If you're using Blender 2.49 or below, you'll need Python 2. If you're using Blender 2.5 or above, you'll need Python 3. You may want to install Python before Blender.
Once you've installed Blender, you can run the Physics Game by clicking on the .blend file, mouse over the car and then hit the "P" key to play the game. To quit the game, hit the ESC key.

If you are using a Windows system and don't want to modify the game, then e-mail me: dsherman@cornellcollege.edu and I'll send you a runtime version of the game that doesn't require Blender. The runtime version will only work under Windows, and while it seems to run fine under Windows 7, I've had some problems with it running under WinXP. However, I've had no problems at all with this game when it is run from the .blend file, so I would encourage you to install Blender if you want to run this game.



Once you're running the game, the control keys are:






Here are some physics parameters that you may find useful when using the Physics Game.

The car has a mass of 200 kilograms and a length of about 5 meters.
The car's center of mass is located at an unphysically low point to help stabilize it when it lands. The car's coefficient of friction is also unphysically high to help the car make it around the loops. (Without significant friction, it's very hard to steer the car as you're going around the top of the loop.)

Each ramp has a departure point that is located 10 meters above the ground.
Each departure point is located directly above the first black stripe.
The departure angles for each ramp are:
Each ramp is make from a series of straight segments that approximate a curve, so if you hit the ramp at very high speed (greater than 40 m/s) you may find the tires bouncing off the straight segments.

Each pendulum bob has a mass of 50 kilograms.
The red pendulum has a length of 5 meters.
The green pendulum has a length of 10 meters.
The blue pendulum has a length of 20 meters.
The double pendulum has two bobs separated by 5 meters: the red bob is 5 meters away from the yellow pivot, and the green bob is 5 meters away from the red bob.

The loops all have the same coefficient of friction.
The magenta loop has a diameter of 12.5 meters.
The cyan loop has a diameter of 25 meters.
The orange loop has a diameter of 50 meters.

The speedometer reads the speed of the car in meters per second.
The stopwatch reads time in seconds.


There is also an updated version of this game that includes a wall of bricks that can be used to simulate a car crash. Load the saved game using the L key to view the crash scene and then try to figure out how fast the car was moving when it crashed into the wall.

I have a tutorial showing how to create a gyroscope in blender. This may prove useful if you are interested in modifying this game.

If you want to design your own game, here are some other useful parameters.

One "Blender unit" of distance is exactly 0.5 meters.
One Blender time-step is 1/60 second.





Creative Commons Attribution:

Clark Thames (www.tutorialsforblender3d.com) created the car model and it's texture along with a very helpful tutorial explaining how to use the model effectively. He released them under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. He also created a number of very useful Blender Game Engine tutorials availabe at http://www.tutorialsforblender3d.com/Game_Engine/Tutorials_index.html

Derin Sherman created the physics game based on Clark Thames' vehicle wrapper tutorial. Tony Mullen's book Bounce, Tumble, and Splash was helpful, as were several other Clark Thames tutorials, and other Blender tutorials found online. Derin Sherman releases this game under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
You are free: Under the following conditions:




Revision history:
v0.7 - 30 July 2010
Designed using Blender 2.49b
Basic functionality: ramps, loops, pendula, speedometer, stopwatch.
Runtime version has stability problems under WinXP.


v0.8a - 15 August 2011
Designed using Blender 2.49b
Basic functionality: ramps, loops, pendula, wall of bricks, speedometer, load saved game

v0.82a - 18 August 2012
Designed using Blender 2.63b
Basic functionality: ramps, loops, pendula, wall of bricks, speedometer, load saved game, multiple camera perspectives