Weekly Update #14

This week we deviated slightly from our aforementioned focus on networking to revisit our physics engine. The two are actually closely intertwined as networking physics is one of the most difficult parts of, well, networking. For the last forever we’ve been using a physics library that is quite old and no longer actively maintained. For a couple of years now we’ve been meaning to replace it and just didn’t have the time to properly evaluate other options.

After looking at Bullet and PhysX along with a number of lesser known physics engines we’ve decided that Bullet will probably serve our needs the best. Over the last week we’ve laid the groundwork for this change but we won’t actually do the Bullet integration until sometime after we finish the current round of improvements to networking.

(Concept art for sections of space station)

On the art side we have a bunch of screen shots that may not make a whole lot of sense but are actually quite important. We don’t have the resources to build a lot of variation into our larger structures such as space stations, land bases, and factories. Instead we’re trying to design a modular system whereby pre-made sections of architecture can be arbitrarily combined to create the perception of multiple unique structures.

(Concept art showing how pieces of architecture can fit together)

These screen shots show how we’re planning on achieving that goal. We’ve also started building the 3d mockups for factories based on the finalized concept art released last week. More screen shots to come as these concepts get realized in (rough) 3d!


Thanks Keith for the update. Looking good. :slightly_smiling:

1 Like

omg I am so hyped!

1 Like

As an AMD graphics card user, thanks for not going with PhysX. I can’t afford an upgrade right now.



Cool. Yeah AMD here too so no physX for me. I wonder if it would be possible (after launch) for mods to be able to supply their own station modules, or at least textures/materials to them. I’d love to see a golden or diamond space station :wink:


PhysX works with AMD just without GPU acceleration which essentially would make it equivalent to all the others since they don’t use GPU acceleration either.


PhysX only does GPU acceleration for special effects, not rigid bodies ( which is the most important ). Besides, we use double precision which means that even if we went for PhysX, we couldn’t use GPU acceleration since it’s most likely only supported on fp32.

Too bad Inovae didn’t have the time and resources to make their own physics engine - sounds like there are some key elements that are needed for next generation engines.

To be honest if I:B succeeds I think we’re going to need to create our own physics engine at some point in the future.


This is exactly why I backed you guys. It’s the attitude that will make you successful regardless of what people say or even how IBS is received. :rocket: :rocket:


Correction: when I:B succeeds. :grin:


When you build your physics engine, please include something like this: