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QWOP creator shares physics engine tips at GDC Indie Games Summit

Don't miss QWOP creator Bennett Foddy's talk on bending physics engines to your will; it's just one of many insightful talks from experts in the GDC 2015 Independent Games Summit.

December 4, 2014

2 Min Read

Modern indie-friendly frameworks like Unity use physics engines (like Box2D or PhysX) to simulate the game world. That makes it easy to prototype your game -- except that when you want hard collisions between heavy objects, everything tends to glitch out and/or explode. You can't tune it to feel tight or realistic, and you wind up with a game that feels 'floaty'. You don't want to get a degree in advanced physics, you just want to know how to make your game feel solid without writing your own physics engine. NYU Game Center professor and independent developer Bennett Foddy (QWOP, Sportsfriends, GIRP) figured out how to stop making floaty games, and in his GDC 2015 talk "Designing with Physics: Bend the Physics Engine to Your Will" he'll show you how to do the same. Check it out and you'll likely walk away understanding some of the basic affordances and limitations of modern 2D and 3D physics engines for games, as well as basic strategies for tuning your game's physics to make it stable, solid and realistic. You'll also learn strategies for eliminating those dreaded 'floaty physics' without generating instabilities -- along with some weird tricks for abusing physics engines. Foddy's talk will be part of the conference's Independent Games Summit, a series of cutting-edge talks on the topic from leading experts in the industry. It's just one of eight Summits that will take place Monday, March 2nd and Tuesday, March 3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco during the first two days of GDC 2015. A list of all announced talks is available in the online GDC 2015 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon. Also, conference officials look forward to announcing more GDC 2015 sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues in the months ahead. For now, don't miss the opportunity to save money by registering early -- the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is January 21, 2015. GDC 2015 itself will take place March 2-6 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information on GDC 2015, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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