The Physics Game
lets you conduct a variety of mechanical physics experiments in a virtual world.
This game is based on the
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
forward = Up Arrow key
brake/reverse = Down Arrow key
turn left = Left Arrow key
turn right = Right Arrow key
reverse = Down Arrow key
emergency brake = Space bar
reset stopwatch = R key
hold stopwatch = H key (toggle)
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:
15 degrees for the red ramp
30 degrees for the green ramp
45 degrees for the blue ramp
60 degrees for the violet ramp
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
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:
to copy, distribute and transmit the work
to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
You must attribute the work in the manner
specified by the author or licensor (but
not in any way that suggests that they
endorse you or your use of the work).
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