Ragdoll physics - part one

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May 12th, 2009

Ragdolls are in Overgrowth now! For those who have pre-ordered, you can summon any number of ragdolls by pressing 'r', and you can throw them around with right-click. They have some pretty cool features, such as smooth sleep transitions, static and dynamic joint friction, aggregated impact detection, and efficient subspace hashing. I can talk about these in a technical post later -- for now I would like to just show you a cool video I made while stress testing ragdolls. Click here to watch it in HD!

We haven't created the physics editor yet, so I had to manually code all of the body parts and constraints. Once we have the editor, I can make these ragdolls a lot more realistic, and attach them to our character models! For now I've also started working on ways to create 'active' ragdolls -- characters that are physically simulated, but not totally passive.

Do you guys have any other ideas on how we can improve our passive ragdoll simulation? Physics objects in games often feel floaty and insubstantial, and I would like to do whatever I can to make Overgrowth physics feel heavy and substantial.