Engines Fashion

5 Box2D Game Engine Tutorials (Performance Review)

5 Box2D Game Engine Tutorials (Performance Review)

5 Box2D Game Engine Tutorials (Performance Review)
I don’t know in case you are like me, however I beloved the golden age of 2D aspect scrollers again within the day, and the newer resurgence in them. Now, they’re extra artistic, lovely, story-driven, and powerfully resonate with players. It is extremely totally different from obscure tales just like the Castlevania franchise’s ‘Dracula dangerous, kill Dracula’.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night time was certainly one of my favourite video games of the 1990s, and I might love to have the ability to begin to create my very own 2D recreation. Okay, okay, I do know it’s a fairly tall order to need to simply spit out a clone or religious successor to not solely one of the in style video games of each 1997, however of all time.

However I consider I can get there. All I’ve to do is locate the engine that greatest works for me. One the place it consists of the very fundamentals of a 2D engine, naturally. I have to know the ins and outs of 2D collision detection, physics, and different points of 2D video games if I have been to go on with my venture.

Do you end up in the identical boat? Are you making an attempt to place your personal spin on video games like Metroid, Braid, and Castlevania? I’ve excellent news—Box2D simply could also be step one in attaining that aim.

Box2D Engine


If I needed to start out creating a quite simple, naked bones sort of recreation, one which offers with the foundations of such a recreation, I couldn’t discover a extra appropriate engine than Box2D. First launched in 2007 as Box2D Lite, what we now know of Box2D has had a most up-to-date secure launch in April of 2014.

What’s the easiest way to sum up what Box2D is? Right here, let the builders clarify,

“Box2D is an open supply C++ engine for simulating inflexible our bodies in 2D. Box2D is developed by Erin Catto and has the zlib license. Whereas the zlib license doesn’t require acknowledgment, we encourage you to offer credit score to Box2D in your product.”

I like to donate to decided builders so we will hold receiving a candy product with fixed updates. It’s the least you would do, guys! If you end up utilizing Box2D and loving it, undoubtedly drop these guys a couple of bucks.

Collision Detection and Misc.

An enormous situation that Box2D offers with and stresses is collision detection. Collision detection is particularly emphasised in video video games. Very usually, it’s the challenge of two recreation objects, (buildings, characters, and so forth.), colliding with each other.

Have you ever ever been enjoying a recreation and seeing two characters run into one another, morphing into some type of grotesque monster? Nicely, by no means worry, it’s not your worst nightmare, it’s simply that these two fashions encountered a bug and the collision detection was ‘off’.

Box2D engine has been included in some titles on the Nintendo DS, the Wii, and others, and provides cross-platform. This consists of the potential to port to cell phones particularly. Think about you develop a brand new, extra trendy model of the cellphone basic ‘Snake’. I can already hear the cartoonish money registers going ‘KA-CHING’.

It additionally features a loopy laundry listing of requirements of a 2D engine:

  • Contact callbacks: start, finish, pre-solve, post-solve
  • Convex polygons and circles.
  • A number of shapes per physique
  • One-shot contact manifolds
  • Dynamic tree broadphase
  • Environment friendly pair administration
  • Quick broadphase AABB queries
  • Collision teams and classes

That’s simply having to do with collision detection alone. And that’s barely scratching the floor relating to the issues included within the engine like physics, the system, and the testbed. However I digress.

What the consumer can be handled to upon booting up Box2D is a really retro type wanting subject. The objects included within the engine are very rudimentary; assume ‘Asteroids’ and different video games that have been well-liked within the late 1970s and the 1980s.

So now we all know extra about Box2D and what it’s all about. However how can we go about beginning our challenge? The place can we go from right here? It’s nice figuring out the origins, however I can inform you need to get down within the nitty-gritty and begin creating your personal visions and tasks. Properly wait no additional: we now have 5 nice tutorials and results in get you feeling at house utilizing Box2D and assist you get began.


Tutorial #1: The Coding Practice

I really like this man. He provides off a terrific dad/professor vibe. His pleasant method and nice voice inflection are tremendous straightforward to comply with and will certainly assist you to with the intro to Box2D. He’s very animated, and you may inform he cares rather a lot about his area, which is invaluable.

He goes over Box2D particularly intimately, he additionally has tons of movies having to do with coding. These movies begin on the very starting of 1’s coding journey and transfer onto extra superior points of getting into the code.

Undoubtedly take a look at The Coding Practice in case you are occupied with getting probably the most out of the Box2D engine in addition to coding typically. This appeals to me drastically as I’m code-illiterate. To be trustworthy guys, all of it appears like that funky inexperienced textual content featured within the Matrix franchise. Simply gibberish on the display.

Nevertheless, I can inform if I buckled down and watched this man’s movies, I simply may make my solution to a greater understanding of a extra widespread understanding of coding.

I’m positive he’s capable of be contacted in case you have any questions on his theories, classes, or tutorials. Actually, I’d shoot him a line proper now.

Tutorial #2: Sonic Physics Information

This was a cool little tutorial on physics in a 2D area that I discovered when researching the communities of recreation builders. A consumer was not sure how one can make the most of physics correctly and a fellow developer linked him to this web page. It consists of an exhaustive guidelines on physics, not solely having to do with our favourite, speedy hedgehog, however with primary recreation physics.

Once more, the small print are supreme, with in-depth physics and math are utilized that will help you higher perceive the character of the 2D engine and extra particularly mapping 2D characters in a 2D world.

Utilizing an already present 2D recreation and its belongings are an excellent concept. All the topics are pre-existing, so all of the developer has to do is look into the extra specifics of the character mannequin, (which once more, is already there), and research how it’s carried out in its personal recreation, hopefully guiding you towards a extra cohesive recreation expertise with your personal undertaking.

Tutorial #three: The Official Box2D Guide

I really like when builders have a transparent, concise, and detail-oriented guide that’s simply accessible from their website. Box2D engine is not any exception, with the reasonably lengthy, (clocking in at about 68 pages), guide describing every part you’ll want to know to get the engine began.

Within the very starting, they warn potential customers that Box2D in all probability shouldn’t be their first foray into coding. Now, I do know in case you are wanting up recreation engines, you in all probability already know some C++ fundamentals, so proceed.

A standout function of the guide is the extremely useful glossary proper firstly. They actually start on the definition for ‘form’ inside the engine, (FYI, it’s a 2D geometrical object, in case you forgot), and transfer on to the extra superior subjects. I’ve to say that their very first part is so useful.

They principally offer you a bit of geometry primer, (by no means worry, it isn’t 10th-grade math class!), and aid you get a greater gist of what the engine does and what you your self will probably be doing inside its confines. They go from the very first line of code you’ll sort to the debugging course of in your challenge.

Tutorial #four: Stackexchange ‘Recreation Improvement’

This cool little website is devoted to people who find themselves in search of out assist with their tasks, whether or not it’s with the engine itself or recreation improvement theories generally. The primary web page incorporates questions requested by customers and the next solutions that different players are good sufficient to assist with.

Not solely does the location include a useful group, but in addition a group which asks the hard-hitting questions like ‘Why Did Howard Stark Use All of the Vibranium They Had On A Prototype Defend?’. I want to know too, however let’s keep on with recreation design, guys! However significantly, why did he do this although?

An off-topic discussion board may also function a pleasant relaxation in case your mind is fried from an excessive amount of coding. Let this pleasant group each make it easier to out and provide help to unwind with some enjoyable and entertaining conversations.

Tutorial #5: The Box2D Reddit

In all probability my favourite useful resource for almost something I can consider is Reddit. The Reddit for cooking, the Reddit for gaming, the Reddit for DIY house responsibilities—it’s all there. And the Reddit specifically made for Box2D is not any exception. Though it’s a smaller group, (not just like the insanely populated PC Gaming Reddit of tens of millions), it’s a tight-knit one.

One thing about recreation improvement actually will get the artistic juices flowing and it’s a stupendous factor to see individuals serving to one another out of technological jams. If in case you have points with the engine, likelihood is there’s a subject already posted about it, or you would posit the query your self to the Box2D group and it’ll almost certainly be answered in an inexpensive time.

The moderator truly simply reactivated the subreddit after requesting to take action from Reddit. This implies the group continues to be all the time creating, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly getting there after a short while.

Usually, discovering any group like boards on-line is a superb asset for no matter wants or questions you’ll have relating to recreation engines, particularly Box2D.

Execs and Cons


  • Free! It makes use of the zlib license. It’s a free license very similar to the MIT license we’ve got seen earlier than in several engines. Often, when an engine is free they usually use a type of licenses, probably the most that the developer is required to do is simply embrace the copyright of the license of their tasks. Fairly candy deal, huh? What do it’s a must to lose in downloading it? Even should you completely hate it, simply uninstall, foolish!
  • Versatile. The engine is so malleable it’s virtually obscene. It’s capable of be ported to so many various packages like Java and the aforementioned cellular units, even the traditional BlackBerry!
  • Good documentation. The guides included with the engine, particularly, the one on the official website, are chic. They’re very detail-oriented and really complete, permitting the reader no leeway for getting misplaced creatively. This can be a welcome change from engines that make you depend on weblog posts to study the ins and outs.


  • Potential problem curve: because the builders warn originally of the guide, Box2D in all probability shouldn’t be the primary expertise that a developer has with coding or recreation improvement.


I feel it’s fairly clear that the Box2D engine is a singular little engine in case you are taken with extra in-depth ideas of coding like collision detection and different bits of 2D understand how.

In case you are acquainted with C++ and have a penchant for 2D video games, extra particularly one thing that teaches you extra concerning the fundamentals of recreation design, (i.e. physics, collision detection, and so on.), this simply could be the ticket for you.

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