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International Journal of Computer Games Technology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 485019, 12 pages
Research Article

Unifying Rigid and Soft Bodies Representation: The Sulfur Physics Engine

Department of Computer Science, University of Milan, Via Comelico 39, 20135 Milan, Italy

Received 29 January 2014; Accepted 28 March 2014; Published 29 May 2014

Academic Editor: Ali Arya

Copyright © 2014 Dario Maggiorini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Video games are (also) real-time interactive graphic simulations: hence, providing a convincing physics simulation for each specific game environment is of paramount importance in the process of achieving a satisfying player experience. While the existing game engines appropriately address many aspects of physics simulation, some others are still in need of improvements. In particular, several specific physics properties of bodies not usually involved in the main game mechanics (e.g., properties useful to represent systems composed by soft bodies), are often poorly rendered by general-purpose engines. This issue may limit game designers when imagining innovative and compelling video games and game mechanics. For this reason, we dug into the problem of appropriately representing soft bodies. Subsequently, we have extended the approach developed for soft bodies to rigid ones, proposing and developing a unified approach in a game engine: Sulfur. To test the engine, we have also designed and developed “Escape from Quaoar,” a prototypal video game whose main game mechanic exploits an elastic rope, and a level editor for the game.