[ODE] help please

Dave Grundgeiger dave.grundgeiger at codenouveau.com
Sun Sep 2 08:16:11 MST 2007

Martin Peniak wrote:
> I am new to ODE and to programming in C++ too. I have done Delphi and Java
> before and learn new thing quite quickly but I am struggling with learning
> ODE.
> I am last year student of computing ...
> Could you guys recommend me what I need to start learning first so I can
> start using ODE later please?

Hi Martin. I too found that ODE has a bit of a learning curve, even though 
I've been a software developer for 18 years (not in game software, though).

I think that the best way to learn ODE is to build the demos that come with 
it and start making small changes to them to see how they work. For my first 
project I modified the boxstack demo to create a spinning gyroscope. (I 
wanted to see if it precessed like real-world gyroscopes. It did.) You 
didn't mention what your background is in math and physics. I recommend that 
you get a book on math for 3D graphics programming and one on physics for 
game programming. A lot of things will make more sense when you have that 

I've seen it pointed out on this list that ODE is strictly a physics 
engine--it has no support for other things one usually wants in a game or 
simulation, such as graphics and sound. That's intentional--ODE's specific 
goal is to model physical interactions, without making any assumptions about 
how or where that model will be used. To create an application, additional 
code has to be written that reads from ODE data structures and then creates 
3D output using some other library (such as OpenGL or Ogre3D). (The ODE 
demos use a component called DrawStuff, which is just meant for 
quick-and-dirty testing, not for real applications.) Some people on this 
list have suggested to other posters that they look for a game engine, 
rather than a physics engine. Game engines have support for all of the 
things you'll need to do in your simulation. One that is often recommended 
is Irrlicht (http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/).

When you finish your application, it would be nice if you would post a link 
to it here as an example for future newbies.

Have fun!


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