So You Want To Be A Physics Game Programmer ?

In summary, this conversation is discussing the possibility of being a professional physicist in the future. Many students are wondering about the possibilities, and some have found information about the career online. There are some books which may be of interest to those interested in physics and programming, and there is talk of dedicated chips and cards which will allow for more physics processing in games.
  • #1
marlon
3,792
11
Lots of students are wondering about the possibilities of being a physicist in professional life. I have posted an entry on this in my journal ('what is a physicist').



On the following page : https://www.physicsforums.com/journal.php?s=&journalid=13790&action=view

I have written a little intro on "the physics game programmer". The entry has various links to pages on what this is, what are the earnings , where can you do this kind of work and do on...

So, if you are interested in combining programming and physics and you want to create computer games, this might just be it for you... Who ever said that physics is boring ?

regards
marlon
 
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  • #2
Great little journal entry you put together marlon. You included some great information as well as great links. To add a little more to the topic of this thread, I'd like to point out these books to all those interested:

Mathematics For Game Developers
Physics For Game Developers
Game Physics


Now, I only own the Mathematics For Game Developers book and it is a very good reference material. I haven't had a chance to read the other two books yet, but I've been hearing wonderful things about both of them (from friends, reviewers, etc.).
 
  • #3
I didn't have a chance to look through Marlon's stuff yet, so he may have mentioned it already, but they are going to be offering chips and cards that are dedicated to physics processing. Expect to see games that take advantage of this near the end of this year or early next. I don't know what kind of physics knowledge it takes to code for something like this, but it could easily increase the demand for programmers with a strong background in physics, if companies plan to take advantage of this new technology.

I'm starting to wonder if future computers will have a CPU at all. Maybe just a set of 6 or 7 chips that are specialized to handle all the required tasks of running the os, graphics, physics, AI, data IO, sound, ect..
 
  • #4
Cod, Kdinser,

thanks for the replies...i will put the sites in my entry.
as for the programming language, i have read that C++ and Visual C++ are the most common languages that are used

marlon
 
  • #5
marlon said:
as for the programming language, i have read that C++ and Visual C++ are the most common languages that are used

marlon
As far as console and computer games are concerned, yes; however, I've been reading a lot of articles about how the game industry is doing their programming with Java for mobile gaming (phones, PSP, etc.). I'm not sure the entire gaming industry is doing this, but I know of a few that are. I'll see if I can find any more information about this subject later tonight.
 
  • #6
I have always thought this might be an interesting career to pursue, in my high school i have been diligently studying computer sciences and physics so this might be the perfect fit for me. Thanks for the information. As for how the programming languages go, in my opinion Java is the way to go and I hope to see more games being developed with it, but it also need some improvements to be able to compete with C++
 
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  • #7
I think java, or languages like it, are the future of programming, due largely to their ability to run on many operating systems with little to no modification. Of course, there will always be a need for programmers who know how to use c and c++'s low level capabilities.

20 years from now, I picture a world where kids start learning how to program with a high level language when they are 6 or 7 and almost everyone knows how to program at least a little. At the same time, the old programmers who know the low level languages walk around in robs are considered almost like a monk class. Hey, you never know :smile: .
 
  • #8
kdinser said:
20 years from now, I picture a world where kids start learning how to program with a high level language when they are 6 or 7 and almost everyone knows how to program at least a little.

Isn't that already happening right now ?

marlon :smile:
 
  • #9
marlon said:
Isn't that already happening right now ?

marlon :smile:


Actually, yes it is. A good friend of mine has been an oracle developer for 10 years, he works for one of the big 3 auto makers in the states. Just the other day, he was telling me how much things have changed since he started. Coders are now referred to as code monkeys and are looked down upon by management. The feeling is, there are so many people out there with CS degrees (not the same as computer engineers), they are easy to replace. It's only the people who know assembly or other old, rarely used languages that management is afraid to lose. At least that's what's going on at his company.

At the same time, one of my little cousins is learning visual basic in 5th grade, she's 10 years old.

I wouldn't be suprised to see a programming or IT union form in the next 5 years. A lot of programmers are really being driven hard, paid low salaries with ungodly amounts of unpaid over-time.
 
  • #10
kdinser said:
Actually, yes it is. A good friend of mine has been an oracle developer for 10 years, he works for one of the big 3 auto makers in the states. Just the other day, he was telling me how much things have changed since he started. Coders are now referred to as code monkeys and are looked down upon by management. The feeling is, there are so many people out there with CS degrees (not the same as computer engineers), they are easy to replace. It's only the people who know assembly or other old, rarely used languages that management is afraid to lose. At least that's what's going on at his company.

At the same time, one of my little cousins is learning visual basic in 5th grade, she's 10 years old.

I wouldn't be suprised to see a programming or IT union form in the next 5 years. A lot of programmers are really being driven hard, paid low salaries with ungodly amounts of unpaid over-time.

As an unemployed CS major, I can support those observations. Software seems like its dying industry. Most of the infrastructure has been built and things that were once pretty complicated are now trivial to do. And a lot of general purpose software (operating systems, word processors, databases) are now free! Even at the the theory level, it seems like all the important work was done in the 70s and 80s and we are doing more advanced stuff because we have faster hardware, which is primarily because advances in solid state physics (chip design also hasn't really changed much since the mid 80s - and no, increasing the word size is NOT big change, and pipelining has been done since the 60s)

My advice to CS majors is: get out. Maybe not completely out, but combine CS with something more usable like physics or biology. There's really not much need for more than a minor anymore. But as with any field, there will always be room for the exceptional people, so if you want to due pure CS plan on going to grad school because the job market is tough fight nowadays.

BTW CE is not that much harder than CS. Its just more work, and gets more respect from the engineer types. Alot of programs now are switching to having CS and CE as the same major, as is already the case with universities like MIT (they call it EECS). And on another note, programming digital logic or assembly language is really not that much different than programming in a high level language, the principles are generally the same. Those people you mentioned are so 'valuable' probably because they know some archaic architechture really well, and its easier and safer to just higher a person that already knows it than to hire someone who will have to learn fresh.
 
  • #11
I don't know why or how CS became closer to CE and EE. CS began as a subtopic of math and logic, and it should have stayed that way. Now-a-days, it seems like more emphasis is placed on learning the language and dealing with the bs that software has become, rather than learning the math. It's rather worrisome.

In any case, I've been doing some programming in both Java and C++, and I can safely say that any serious physics based game programming is going to stick with C++. Java is just too slow and unweildy.
 
  • #12
Moose352 said:
I don't know why or how CS became closer to CE and EE. CS began as a subtopic of math and logic, and it should have stayed that way. Now-a-days, it seems like more emphasis is placed on learning the language and dealing with the bs that software has become, rather than learning the math. It's rather worrisome.

In any case, I've been doing some programming in both Java and C++, and I can safely say that any serious physics based game programming is going to stick with C++. Java is just too slow and unweildy.


Hey guys, remember this is about a PHYSICS game programmer. the language is no problem but how about the physics. Why aren't we discussing the prerequisites for that?

marlon
 
  • #14
If the player shots a bad guy with an exploding arrow, what level of physics knowledge would the programmer need to accuatly model the resulting explosion?
 
  • #15
kdinser said:
If the player shots a bad guy with an exploding arrow, what level of physics knowledge would the programmer need to accuatly model the resulting explosion?

that is what i am trying to find out.

marlon
 
  • #16
I think there is deffinately Physics knowledge required in game programming, but also, there is a freedom depeding on how accuratly a representaion of an exploding arrow has to be espicially depending on the type of game its being used in. For instance where there may be little actual physics put into the explosion of the arrow, there will be Physics in how the arrow is shot. But more over, I think in other sorts of games such as simulations of sports or driving/flying there is a growing interest and need for people to code the games to be more realistic
 

Related to So You Want To Be A Physics Game Programmer ?

1. What skills do I need to become a physics game programmer?

To become a successful physics game programmer, you need to have a strong foundation in physics and mathematics. You will also need to be proficient in coding languages such as C++, Java, and Python. Knowledge of game engines and programming tools like Unity and Unreal Engine is also essential.

2. What types of games can I work on as a physics game programmer?

As a physics game programmer, you can work on a variety of games, including puzzle games, platformers, racing games, and simulation games. The type of game will depend on the specific project or company you work for.

3. Do I need a degree in physics to become a physics game programmer?

While a degree in physics can be helpful, it is not a requirement to become a physics game programmer. You can learn the necessary skills through self-study, online courses, or bootcamps. However, having a solid understanding of physics principles will give you an advantage in this field.

4. What are the key responsibilities of a physics game programmer?

A physics game programmer is responsible for implementing the physics engine into a game, creating realistic and accurate physics simulations, and debugging any issues that may arise. They also work closely with artists, designers, and other programmers to ensure the physics in the game aligns with the overall vision and gameplay.

5. How can I improve my skills as a physics game programmer?

To improve your skills as a physics game programmer, you can participate in game jams, work on personal projects, and continuously learn new programming techniques and game development tools. Networking with other game developers and seeking feedback on your work can also help you grow as a programmer.

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