Take control by implementing exactly what you need.
Simplicity & Control
Physics engines can be complex, so it’s often sensible to use an existing library. However, this can lead to a loss of control. It can be more beneficial to design a basic engine that only solves necessary tasks.
In my case, I wanted to have deterministic physics with lockstep netcode. Going through the process helped me understand what physics engines do. It also made me realize that keeping things simple gives you control. Ask yourself if you really need all the fancy features.
From a design perspective, it’s easy to overlook physics as game rules. But they are actually very powerful: they are both predictable, allowing for anticipation of motion and collisions, and uncertain, which creates an element of surprise. Finding the right balance between the two is crucial. Make sure you can easily control it.
- The problem is the problem.
- Learn how things really work.
- Everything seems hard or even impossible until you try it.
- You don’t need all the features.
- Favor control over fanciness.