0 Date posted: April 20th, 2011 • Author Maroje Ljutić

History of physics in games

We all love physics games. It’s almost magical watching boxes slam to the ground, bouncing happily for a few moments and finally stopping. You just want to pick it up, and throw it into the air again!

And the best thing is that when the game presents you with a physics sandbox, no tutorial is needed – people are inherently familiar with physics. Perhaps that’s why physics-based games are so popular. No learning curve, no tutorials, just instant fun.

Physics in games.

When people say “Game with physics” they usually mean physically believable movement of game objects and collision detection and response. The development of both has its roots deep in the computer games industry. Since their earliest days, physics played a big role in games. Let me give you a few examples.

Pong, year 1972. Pong is one of the oldest games you can find. And it was a physics based one – the ball bounced off the walls and the paddles in a believable way.

Asteroids, year 1979. The game that spawned hundreds of clones and variations featured realistic movement and collision detection.

There are hundreds of examples like these, and chances are that physics played a vital role in your favorite game.

It was the start of a genre now known as Physics Based games. As you can see physics evolved since its earliest days and we can now move, collide and bounce thousands of objects which opens doors to a bunch of game ideas. I’m sure you had an idea for a great physics game at one point in your life. Feel free to share it in the comments, on our Facebook or Twitter!

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