# Earthquake simulation

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello,
I want to write an earthquake simulation for one of my programming classes and wanted to know where to look to get started understanding some of the forces and other properties of earthquakes. This is for a video game physics class so it doesn't have to be super accurate the class is more about learning how to incorporate physics into your games but I would like it to look somewhat realistic. I'm planning on using opengl to render some buildings made of blocks and having them crumble when someone shakes an iPad. Any help on how to get started from the physics side would be very helpful. Thanks!

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Hi dear,
Earthquake simulation applies a real or simulated vibrational input to a structure that possesses the essential features of a real seismic event. Earthquake simulations are generally performed to study the effects of earthquakes on man-made engineered structures, or on natural features which may present a hazard during an earthquake.

Yeah i understand, but I'm making it for a video games physics class and I'm by no means an expert in physics, I was just hoping for some advice to write a basic one that is visually interesting more than realistic. I wrote a basic physics engine which can apply forces to particles and rigid bodies, I was hoping to use that knowledge to make something cool.

Basic Advice: start off with a flat surface. Use the input from the ipad to shake this flat surface in x,y,z directions. On the flat surface, construct "buildings" which are comprised of rigid body blocks of different sizes. Give each of these rigid bodies a mass - you need inertia for the earthquake to do its work. Use large blocks for things like columns, window frames, etc. Then make the rest of the building out of small blocks. If opengl allows you to apply friction or stickiness between bodies, use this to keep the buildings together. Then try giving your model a shake, and see how it looks. If it looks too much like a toddler's block house falling down, decrease the scale of your components. If it looks like a sandcastle collapsing, add more big structural elements.

For fun, make some of the smaller rigid bodies in the buildings people shaped.