Simple Physics vs. Regular Physics
by Ceric (Updated on 2013-04-07)
- Simple Physics
- How to Switch Physics Modes
- Which to use?
- Full Differences
One of the hallmarks of Stencyl is its integration of Box2D, a physics engine used in games like Angry Birds. Thanks to Box2D, objects act much like how they do in real-life. Collision detection and object interactions come “for free.”
If Box2D is working so well, why are we offering an alternative? There are plenty of games that don’t require Box2D, such as puzzle games, turn-based games and RPG's.
Due to the increased adoption of Stencyl and expansion in the kinds of games created, we decided to create an alternative called Simple Physics.
Stencyl 3.0 introduces an alternate physics engine which we dub as “Simple Physics”. This engine addresses the common complaints about Box2D.
- Works well for games with many on-screen objects.
- No physical interactions. Just pure box-to-box collisions.
- Only axis-aligned boxes are supported. That means, no polygons, no circles, no rotated boxes. The same goes for tiles too.
- Don’t expect to turn this on and have the game act identically. It’s a different system, and despite attempts to make some things move around the same, not everything will.
- Debug drawing is automatically disabled when a game uses Simple Physics. Using the debug drawing block will have no effect.
If you can live with these limitations, simple physics may be a fit for your game. Simple Physics works with the exact same blocks and interface. Even collisions are reported the same way.
How to Switch Physics Modes
To switch between Box2D and Simple Physics, go to Game Settings > Settings > Advanced and change the selection for the Physics dropdown.
You can switch between the two modes at will.
Which to use?
|Requirement||Examples||Which to use?|
|Puzzle Game||Tetris, Match 3||Simple Physics|
|Shoot 'em Up||Ikaruga||Simple Physics|
|Simple Platformer||Canabalt, Super Meat Boy||Simple Physics|
|RPG / Adventure||Zelda, Final Fantasy||Simple Physics|
|Strategy / Turn-Based||
Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics,
Angry Birds, Red Remover,
|Modern Platformer||Super Mario World, Sonic||Box2D|
Simple Physics “loses” the following features, relative to Box2D.
- Rotated Boxes
- Continuous Collisions
Motion & Interactions
- Forces / Pushing
- Damping / Rotational Damping
- Mass / Angular Mass
- Custom Terrain
- Tiles only work with full-sized squares
In short, imagine Simple Physics to be a simple engine in which you can move things around and collide as boxes, and pretty much nothing past that. It’s good enough for many games.
- Simple Physics is an alternate engine that provides just box <-> box collisions in exchange for faster performance.
- Use Simple Physics for non-physical games or games with many actors.