The sincerest form of flattery

Vector Physics Shot 2I have a bad habit of doing this; A game is coming out that I’m really looking forward to playing. And whereas others gush excitedly on forums or conduct interviews about the upcoming game, I usually say, “Well gosh, I could write that myself.”

It’s what happened with StarShot (loosely based upon Boom Boom Rocket, which had suffered well over six months delay in its Australian release, compared to the rest of the world), it happened with my original GemStorm (based upon the then-brand-new Bejeweled, which wasn’t available for my operating system), and it had happened many other times in the past.

And now it’s happened with Petri Purho’s brilliant Crayon Physics. Yes, everyone’s making blatant clones of Crayon Physics these days, and now I’m just as guilty of it as everyone else. So instead of finishing off the Space Maze Express testbed today, I instead spent a few hours putting together this little prototype, to really put some pressure onto my physics library translation layer. And I think it was totally worthwhile; Space Maze Express wouldn’t have forced me to add nearly this many features to the VectorStorm collision/physics system, or put nearly as much strain onto the Box2D engine.

Strictly speaking, Vector Physics (as the new game is called) isn’t really a game; it’s just a desktop toy. You can create static objects, dynamic objects, and ropes just by drawing with your mouse. You can delete unwanted objects by right-clicking on them (or just letting them fall off the bottom of the screen).

I’ll confess that it’s still a little bit glitchy (in that objects will sometimes interpenetrate), but I’m not planning to work on Vector Physics any longer; it has served its development purpose.

And I can honestly say that after doing this basic physics implementation, I can now totally understand why Crayon Physics Deluxe is taking so much time to complete! And I’m still anxiously waiting to be able to pre-order. :)

If you’d like to have a play with Vector Physics, there are updated builds of the VectorStorm test harness games available from the “VectorStorm Test Games” link in the column on the right. You want build 168 or later.