I'm looking for a good beginners' book on the subject of physics in game development. Something that focuses on 2D games would be preferable.


3 Answers 3


I am going to make a recommendation based on what I have read and how I started. Now I am assuming that when you say beginner you mean a beginner in physics engines and not programming. I won't write details as you can get that from the Amazon reviews.

Game Physics Engine Development

This book was a very good introductory book for me. Although like every book, it has shortcomings (some code does not work as expected but that's fine, forces you to think even more!)

Real-Time Collision Detection

Absolutely wonderful book/reference but a little more advanced. You can start with this book if you like. It depends on what your beginner level really is.

Game Physics

This is not for beginners, but it is something to keep in mind. All of Eberly's book's are math heavy but once you understand the full subject, his books, in my opinion become indispensable simply because there are a rare few people knowledgeable enough to delve into that much detail.

It is not going to be an easy ride. Physics is one of the tougher topics in game development. Good luck!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yep, I've heard very good things about Real-Time Collision Detection. \$\endgroup\$
    – Engineer
    Aug 24, 2011 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ordered the first book on the list today, thanks for the suggestions \$\endgroup\$
    – dbomb101
    Aug 26, 2011 at 8:40

Okay, so I found a couple books all with more that 2d physics but, the physics of 2d as well so I don't think it would hurt anything to have more than you need to just in case.

Physics for Game Programmers(java examples) which looks to be the best balance of the bunch. amounts to something like physics 101 and has java code examples

Game Physics (c++ examples) This seems to be even more geared towards some hardcore 3d development than anything else and uses OpenGL (bonus)

Physics for Game Developers (c++ windows api) This book while apparently a bit more easily accessible is the most error prone of the bunch. But its like $5 so with that in mind I don't think you would be too much of a bad investment.


http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Physics-Programmers-Charles-Development/dp/1584503300 The Game Development program at my college uses this book for the first year of math/physics. There are a great deal of books on the subject, but this one is quite good IMHO.


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