[Bf-committers] BGE Proposal: "Character" physics object type

Nathaniel Lane carbon.based.life.form.from.earth at gmail.com
Tue Aug 23 14:47:36 CEST 2011

+1 from me.

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 23, 2011, at 2:33 AM, Denis Washington <denisw at online.de> wrote:

> Hello,
> This is the first time I am trying to get in touch with the Blender 
> developer community, so please forgive me if this is the wrong 
> communication channel for the following proposal. Also, let me tell you 
> that I really love Blender, and would like to thank everyone who has 
> contributed to it and made it what it is! You're my heroes. :)
> I recently investigated the Blender Game Engine for a hobby game project 
> - a 2.5D platformer - and as a first exercise,  I tried to get basic 
> player character movement going. I expected this to be fairly easy to 
> do, but I found out that it is actually pretty difficult to get right.
> The reason is that none of the currently available physics object types 
> in the game engine are really appropriate for this task. "Dynamic" is 
> the closest match, but leads to several weird problems due to doing more 
> sophisticated physics simulation than is actually needed - you see 
> effects such as the player character sliding a bit after releasing a 
> movement key, or bouncing when hitting the ground after jump or walking 
> into walls. Playing around with physics and material settings (mass, 
> friction etc.) reduce these issues, but don't completely remove them; it 
> all still feels unsatisfactory and not very professional.
> The point is that for this use case, there are actually no "real" 
> physics needed at all; applying gravity and doing collision detection 
> would actually be enough, and much more desirable as it provides the 
> precision that the sophisticated physics types lack. In addition, such 
> an implementation would be much more efficient.
> Unfortunately, such a solution would currently have to be implemented 
> manually by writing a Python script which applies gravity and handles 
> collisions manually. This is a shame, because I believe that the need 
> for such behavior is very, very common - almost every first-person 
> shooter and platform game uses such reduced physics for player 
> characters and enemies, for instance - and should not have to be 
> implemented by every game developer needing it individually. Also, the 
> current situation is frustrating for newcomers: about the first thing 
> almost any beginner will try to do is to make some kind of object move 
> like in an FPS / jump'n'run game, and being confronted with weird 
> bouncing and sliding behavior in these first steps is not exactly 
> encouraging.
> Therefore, I propose the addition of a new physics object type named 
> "Character" which applies the described basic means of physics to the 
> object. This would provide BGE users with a simple way to get player 
> character movement working as expected. Its implementation could use 
> Bullet's "kinematic character controller" [1], which is exactly meant 
> for this use case and has useful parameters such as step height (so that 
> the character can walk over small steps, such as stairs, automatically).
> What do you think?
> Regards,
> Denis
> [1] 
> http://bulletphysics.com/Bullet/BulletFull/classbtKinematicCharacterController.html
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