USC GamePipe Laboratory Seminar Series

Title: How Do Physics Engines Work?
Thursday, 24 January 2019, 4:00pm
Speaker: Erin Catto & Andrew Muchmore, Blizzard Entertainment
Location: USC GamePipe Laboratory, EGG-108

Game physics is a huge topic and has a big impact on modern gaming. This presentation focuses on a narrow but fundamental aspect of game physics: the simulation of rigid bodies with collision in 2D. The viewer will learn the about the inner workings of the 2D mini-engine called Box2D-Lite. This engine evolved into the Box2D open source project that has been used in many successful games, including Angry Birds and Crayon Physics. Source code and samples will be available on GitHub. Note: Roughly 30-45 minutes of presentation followed by Q&A time as needed.


Erin Catto, Principal Software Engineer II – Blizzard, Shared Game Engine
Erin got his start in the game industry at Crystal Dynamics, where he wrote the physics engine for Tomb Raider: Legend. He is currently at Blizzard Entertainment working on the Domino physics engine used by Diablo 3, StarCraft, Overwatch, World of WarCraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Call of Duty. He is the author of the Box2D open source physics engine, used to create Crayon Physics, Limbo, and several mobile games. Erin holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University.

Andrew Muchmore, Senior Producer – Blizzard, Shared Game Engine
Andrew has worked professionally in the IT/Software Development industry since 1996. He joined Blizzard Entertainment in early 2015 as a Program Manager on the Team, where he helped deliver platform-wide applications and solutions in support of several high-profile game launches, including Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. For the past year, Andrew has filled the role of Senior Producer on Blizzard’s Shared Game Engine team, where he helps create company-wide shared technology designed to power the next generation of Blizzard games across multiple platforms.