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Nothing else to add. Is there a specific library to handle the collision system of a big game world like WoW, or any physics library like ODE will work?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

An alternative is not to use any physics library at all:

  • Collisions with the environment can be handled directly by the underlying navigation mesh.
  • Collisions with dynamic objects could be as simple as bounding sphere collision checks using some sort of space partitioning to limit the amount of checks necessary.
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I don't see how a navigation mesh solves collision detection, you still need a collision mesh and just stating that doesn't say much of anything, because the actual collision checking is complicated. –  dreta Mar 10 '12 at 21:56
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@dreta The navigaton mesh defines where you may walk, so by excluding obstacles from the mesh you can no longer walk over them. It's not collision detection but serves the same purpose. It works especially well for games where regular movement requires pathfinding anyay, like graphic adventures and many mmorpgs such as ragnarok online. Hence stating it was an alternative, not a fit for every game. –  David Gouveia Mar 10 '12 at 22:08
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Yeah, Ragnarok online's .GAT are a great example. Here's one SS of a Map editor I made once with a .GAT opened: img705.imageshack.us/img705/9672/20330729.png A .gat file stores the altitude of the cells in the map, and the walkable/unwalkable cells of the map. (in the image, red is unwalkable, green is walkable) –  Gustavo Maciel Mar 11 '12 at 1:05
    
@Gustavo-Gtoknu That's interesting, I only mentioned Ragnarok Online as an example intuitively from what I still remember of the game, but had no idea how map navigation data was actually stored. :) –  David Gouveia Mar 11 '12 at 1:18
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Any physics library like ODE will work. Most, if not all, physics libraries will offer a way to divide objects into different 'subspaces', where only objects in the same subspace will collide. How exactly you handle things will mostly depend on how you do all the other 'large world handling'.

Let's put this differently: unless you want to do some extreme world-spanning physics effects, physics are going to be the least of your troubles in doing a big game world.

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