NewtonPlayGround

Introduction

The NewtonPlayGround is a tool to show off the features of the Newton Game Dynamics Engine, a physics engine for real-time applications without having to actually write any code yourself. It let’s you create fully physics backed-up worlds where all objects interact with each other and also let’s the user interact with these objects. It also allows for saving those scenes to XML so that they can be given away to other users of the PlayGround or be used in your own projects. Included are over 40 prebuilt scenes that let you jumpstart into the physics world of the Newton Game Dynamics Engine without first having to create your own stuff.

Download

Installer Win32 Installer for NewtonPlayGround 1.53

Note : If you want to link to the NewtonPlayGround, please don’t directly link to the file above, but to this page instead. This will ensure that people always get the latest version. And also please inform me if you link to the NewtonPlayGround from a page with bigger exposure, as I have only a certain amount of free traffic per month.

System requirements

The system requirements depend heavily on the complexity of the scenes you want to create. But usually a modern PC with 1.5 Ghz, 256 MBytes of memory and a graphics card that supports OpenGL (at least with 64 MBytes VRAM) should be enough. The application was only tested under Windows XP but also should at least work on Windows 2000 too. Other requirements : Please bear in mind that this tool is aimed at people that at least know the basics of how physics work (stuff like inertia is something you should at least know what it means) and that you also should be aware of the features/limitations of the Newton Game Dynamics Engine.

Features

Objects

Create all types of dynamic objects. Simple objects like boxes, spheres and cylinders (and many more), which also can later on be connected together (connected compounds) into more complex objects. Even more complex objects can be created in an external 3D modelling application and can be loaded into the NewtonPlayGround as either convex hulls (which is a collision hull „wrapped“ around the object like thin foil) or a compound collision (which is made up of several convex hulls, so that multiple-mesh objects have a more detailed collision shape). In addition there are also ragdolls (a humanoid model whose parts bend like a real corpse) and vehicles, which are imported from 3D models and which can also be driven around. You can even attach trailers and other stuff to those vehicles for even complexer vehicle configurations. Convex hulls and compound collisions can be imported from either DirectX .X files (preferred, newer fileformat with better lighting and so on) or 3D Studio .3DS files. Almost all 3D modelling applications can at least export their objects to one of these formats.

New in 1.53 : Skinned ragdolls (using Milkshape 3D files) for even more realistic humanoid or even animal models that bent over like in reality. And you can now make most objects magnetic, so that they attract (or distract) other objects in the scene, which makes for nice dynamic effects.

Materials

One of Newton’s outstanding features is it’s unique material interface. Unlike other engines it allows you to set a material’s parameter on a material pair base. So you can have one material have a different friction setting when it interacts with material A to when it interacts with material B. To expose that functionality,
NewtonPlayGround incorporates a materialmanager which let’s you create different materials and set up their values for interaction with other materials in the scene.

Joints

To restrict the movement of (a) body(s), the NewtonPlayGround offers 9 different types of joints, most of which are based upon Newton’s custom joint interface that allows you to create every joint you need (and therefore doesn’t restrict you to a given set of joints like most other physics engines do). So you can choose between a selection of joints ranging from simple sliders to gear and even pulley joints. And moreover most of those joints can also be motorized to create automatically moving/acting machinery.

New in 1.51 : Slider and hinge joints can now be equipped with configurable dampers, so you can now even build complex suspensions, may it be vehicles or other stuff.

Springs

Another way to restrict movement of a body is to add one or more springs to a body. NewtonPlayGround let’s you add unlimited (which means they can be stretched to infinity, as long as enough force is applied) springs and allows you to change their tightness and damping.

New in 1.53 : You can now attach springs to all kind of objects that can be spawned, including vehicles and (skinned) ragdolls. For ragdolls you can even attach them freely to the different bones.

Interaction

There are several ways of interacting with the dynamic objects in your scene and/or the whole scene itself. You can pick and drag the bodies around in the default camera mode, fly around freely and pick and drag bodies in free flight mode or even create a character controller that let’s you move around your scene like in a real ego-shooter with collisions, sliding on slopes and so on. The character controller even allows you to pick up objects and carry them around like the gravity gun known from Half-Life 2. But that’s not all : vehicles can be driven like in a real game so you can drive your more or less complex vehicle configurations around your physics world, and it’s even possible to follow the movement of any of your objects. You always wanted to know how a rock that get’s thrown from a catapult „feels“? No problem, just follow that rock and zoom in to be live in there.

XML Ex- and Import

The scenes you create inside of the NewtonPlayGround can be exported to the (human-readable) XML (eXtensible markup language) file format. This not only enables you to pass the scenes to other users of the NewtonPlayGround for them to see what you’ve made, but you can also import them into your own applications and/or games. This makes the NewtonPlayGround (to a certain extend) also useable as an editor for external applications.

Now put it all together…

So with all those features it’s up to you, the user, what to create. The possibilities are almost endless and even complex machinery can be created within the NewtonPlayGround.

…and pass it to others

And when you’re finished and have created something you think is worth showing up, just upload it to the internet and tell other users of what you’ve done. They just need to download your exported scene (unless you’re using custom models, then you need to include them too) and can then see what you did on their own computers.

Screenshots

This is the eyecandy to shorten your time while downloading the NewtonPlayGround. Click on any of the below images to get a bigger view (in a new window). All shots were taken from samples included with the NewtonPlayGround.

 

   

   

   

   

62 thoughts on “NewtonPlayGround

  1. I need more information. Please tell me what you did before it locked up. Also please remember that the physics engine used here may stall when doing e.g. huge box stacks, so it’s often not the Playground itself that locks up but the fact that people put too much stress on the physics engine.

  2. You need recent drivers from your graphics card’s vendor (NVidia, ATI, Intel, etc.) for OpenGL support, so depending on your graphics card go to your vendor’s page and download and install recent drivers.

  3. stuntman021 says:

    Please make this for Mac? I would appreciate it since the physics engine itself is for Mac.

  4. There won’t be a mac version, out of the same reasons as there will be no linux version (I asked about this last year and not a single person responded).
    First is that the PlayGround relies heavily on the VCL of Delphi, and as there is no Delphi for the Mac I would have to change a lot of stuff and seek a replacement for the VCL (there is the LCL from Lazarus, but that’s still far behind the VCL).
    Second I have no Mac to test, and actually Macs are very rare over here in germany. So I would have to switch to a different compiler and try to get it working on a platform I don’t own, so there won’t be a mac version, sorry.

  5. Samuel says:

    Hello Sascha, my friend own a mac, i will be very happy to compile Newton Dynamics in Mac

  6. Hi Sascha,
    i responded to your email but haven’t heard back so included it below.

    My new query is – it would be great if, when one has ‘picked’ an object in the scene and then pressed the L&R mouse buttons to roll the scene and then carefully let go of the r mouse button while keeping the left down, the object followed the cursor the whole time. This would mean that one would have 6 degrees of freedom in the space!

    Is this possible?

    Thanks, Theodor.

    Hi Sascha,
    thanks for the prompt response. The “u” toggle works well, but you’re right, if one right clicks one is still able to trigger one of the properties there. It would be good if the toolbox toggle can be called in the xml file so that I can set up the experiment remotely by simply launching the appropriate file.

    So far i have found newton’s playground to be very stable!

    Once I have completed the test I want to do i am happy for you to take a look.

    Cheers from downunder, Theodor:)

    Hello Theodor,

    your work sounds very interesting and it’s always great to see what
    people use it for (often for things I never thought about 😉 ).
    And actually there is a way to turn the toolbar “off”. You can toggle
    it’s visibility by pressing “u”. But note that I only quickly
    implemented this to disable the UI for screenshots so this is only a
    visual thing. The toolbar won’t be visible but it’s still possible to
    trigger actions by blindly clicking around.
    If disabling it visually is not sufficent please tell me and I’ll see if
    I can quickly put together a release that also disables the
    functionality of the user interface.

    Regards,
    Sascha

    Theodor Wyeld schrieb:
    > Hello Sascha,
    > I am a Psychology PhD student and your newtonPlayground is a fantastic
    > tool for my studies on how people interact with virtual environments.
    > However, for my tests I need to be able to turn the toolbar off so my
    > participants do not interfere with the world I have created for them to
    > study. How can I turn the toolbar off?
    >
    > Thanks, Theodor.
    >
    >

  7. @Samuel :
    The NewtonPlayGround has some OS-dependencies and also makes heavy use of Delphi’s VCL. This means it’s not possible to just recompile it for a different OS, I would have to change a lot of code to at least get it to compile with FPC under Mac or Linux.

    @Thedor :
    Sorry for not responding, I guess your mail went down in those hundreds of spam mails I receive day by day. The toolbox toggle should be easy to implement, and the thing with the object following the cursor is already partially implemented. You can click on the object and hold it while moving around with the cursor keys, though not on all axex in space. Is that what you need just with one additional axis? If yes, then I could implement it. But there would be no release of a new version until the next Newton version is ready, as the code for the playground is already using a beta of newton 2.00 and going back to an older version to add stuff is something I don’t want to do right now, especially as I’m working on a different project right now.

  8. J23 says:

    Hey Sascha, amazing physics sandbox. GMOD for free, basically. It might be pretty slow on some peoples computers though, so is there a way to window the game? Like minimize it to a smaller windowned, less CPU eating state. Also, is there a way to freeze objects in place?

    1. Just untick the “fullscreen”-checkbox in the setting window, this will run it windowed. But please note that the graphics are rather basic and optimized, and it’s the physics that put most stress on the CPU. When Newton 2.00 is released, I’ll update the Playground with the new Newton library that’s much faster than the one used in the Playground 1.53.
      And freezing an object : Just set it’s mass to zero, objects with zero mass are treated as static objects by the physics engine.

  9. Zaladjan Behomet says:

    Very nice work, amazing engine. My question is about butons description (text over butons) thats don´t show for me.

    1. That’s very odd, they’re enabled by default. Please make sure that you have the “Show user interface hints”-checkbox ticked in the settings dialog.

  10. Richard says:

    This is really nice work.

    I have one question about video drivers. I have an Nvidia 6800. It worked fine with Newtonplayground. Then I downloaded the latest drivers from Nvidia. When I run Newton Playground, all of the graphics for the button icons and the background scene are scrambled. The outline of the button icons are barely visible and still work. I rolled back my driver to the previous version, 6.14.11.6218, and everything is fine again. Does anyone know what I need to do to get the latest drivers to work correctly. They are better for some of the other software I run.

    Thanks.

    1. I’m not using an NVidia graphics board anymore, so I can only guess that there is a bug with their most recent drivers (are those WHQL-drivers, or just beta)? Since I’m not doing anything special in terms of OpenGL with the playground I think this is a bug on NVidia’s side. So either wait and see if a newer driver fixes this or file a bug-ticket with NVidia.

  11. Mason Whitaker says:

    I downloaded and have been playing it for a while, and I really love it!
    I’ve imported a bunch of stuff (junk) from my Garry’s Mod folders, and they work fine.

    Great Job!

  12. Frenchie says:

    Hi Sascha

    I’ve got a little problem with NPG:

    I C’ANT CREATE ANYTHING !!!

    Simply, when I open the “new object” menu, the window opens, but without the bottom. So I haven’t access to buttons “Create” “Close”.
    Please help me with that.

    1. The bottom of the window actually is always there, but I guess you use a different theme for windows with bigger frames, buttons or just bigger fonts. That’ll cause the bottom stuff to be moved out of the windows borders so you can’t see this. Please switch to the default theme of windows and try again. I’m using a custom theme for Windows XP too, but it’s using the same dimensions as the default one so it works without problems here.

  13. Frenchie says:

    Dear Sascha…

    I m sorry but your idea didn’t work.I changed twice theme but the matter is always here (putain de merde!).Little precision: I’m using Vista.

    I ll send you a photo of the window

    Thanks

  14. Rac koon says:

    @frenchie

    Windows Vista doesn’t run good with online games. It’s something not everyone has, most people dont want it because it crash’s countlessly etc.

    It looks good though.

    Sorry if this dosen’t help

    Just trying to throw a light into a corner

  15. Cheeree says:

    Hello

    This game, is brilliant 🙂 good thing and everything

    But one thing

    Could you make it a bit more simple please 😛 or give a in – game tutorial, on how to make some fun things. I got this game because my friend said it was like Garry’s Mod. I have played Garry’s Mod, and its really easy to understand… Boosters…Rope…Rails…Its just really easy to understand. But with Newton’s Playground. I am very confuzzled. Err…Like, with garry’s mod, its easy to understand straight away, and you can have fun straight away. Sorry :/

    Just yea, maybe a guide / Tutorial please?

    Thank you

    1. Please read the description of the Playground. It’s mainly aimed at physics and game developers to give them an environment where they can prototype their ideas, or even create whole scenarios for their games/tools.
      It’s not a game or something to play around with if you don’t understand the functionality behind the used physics engine. Therefore it’s user interface is designed to give the user all available possibilities instsead of having an easy-to-use interface for “just” playing around with this.

      And for the guide/tutorial : There is a manual that shows how to use the playground. As with the playground itself, it’s written so that people that know how to use the Newton Engine (or at least know the basics behind that engine) can easily get used to working with the playground.

  16. Cheeree says:

    Ugh – Hi again – sorry for double posting…

    But Can i post a suggestion?

    I was saying before..rope, boosters,… Well… Have you played The Incredible Machine? It’s a old, fun game… anyways..You should have “pre-made” objects, Such as springs, rope’s etc.. Which could be edited via the normal way. Also, You know the default text which appears over the buttons when you hold your mouse over them, You should do the same for the buttons under right click, Also, A help button, which will turn the curser into a question mark, and when ever clicked on a button, will be told how that button is used / could be used.

    Just trying to help 😛

    Thanks

  17. bob says:

    i would enjoy it if newton had breakable joints, so that you could create a bridge that collapses if too much wight is put on it, or you could mangle ragdolls

  18. Jeffrey F says:

    Um How do you actually add the stuff I open up the window and get it to right size , color, Etc. but I
    don’t know how to actually Add The Stuff Plz Help / Send An Eail To halo3.mania@yahoo.com with answer plz

  19. Dark says:

    Sorry for the double and triple posts here is the little log

    NewtonPlayGround 1.51
    Build 10_02_06

    Scene information :
    Filename = noname
    Number of primitives = 0
    Number of ragdolls = 0
    Number of vehicles = 0
    Number of joints = 0

    Description of the occured exception :
    Type = EAccessViolation
    Message = Zugriffsverletzung bei Adresse 00000000. Lesen von Adresse 00000000

    1. An access violatio at adress zero usually means OpenGL could not be initialized. Please update your graphics’ card drivers and make sure OpenGL works.

    1. The Intel 82810E is a very slow and old integrated graphics chipset. As far as I can see it doesn’t even have support for OpenGL 1.3 (even 5 year old cards like the Rdeon 9×00 series can do OpenGL 2.0). And as the playground needs at least OpenGL 1.3 it just won’t work with that Intel integrated graphics chip.

  20. Does this has support for a Nvidia FX 5200? I cannot update to the latest drivers because it locks my PC in 640×340 resolution and it also locks it up in 8 bits…

    Thanks in advance.

    -Alfred

    1. As long as your current driver supports at least OpenGL 1.3 then yes. The playground doesn’t need a fast graphics card, so if the drivers you have installed support OpenGL 1.3 or higher it should work.

  21. Dark says:

    Does anybody knows where to get OPenGL drivers? [Intel 82810E] Latest drivers are OLD OPENGL DRIVERS.

    man i want it worked in this computer D:

  22. guy says:

    umm , when i try to freeze objects with the propertys menu it doesn freeze, and is there a way to weld things?

  23. Miguel says:

    You know people who created the game phun have been trying their best to create phun into 3d but here it is already!! 🙂 congratz~~~ you did this pretty well:)

    1. No, this has nothing to do with gmod. And as far as I know I released the NewtonPlayGround before gMod came out. gMod is for Half-Life 2, the PlayGround is a standalone application mostly aimed at developers.

  24. Max says:

    I just downloaded this and got this error messege

    NewtonPlayGround 1.51
    Build 22_10_06
    OS is Windows XP Service Pack 2

    Scene information :
    Filename = noname

    I uninstalled it, then downloaded and installed it again and I get the same messege. Is there anything you can think that I can do to solve the problem?

    1. Well, you need to post more details. Just telling that it crashes isn’t helpfull. So what are your system specs? What graphics card driver is installed, what error is the blue screen showing an what have you done that caused it?

  25. Justin G. says:

    blue screen ( some of text ) = dumping physical memory

    graphics card = Nvidia Geforce 6150SE nForce 430

    processor = AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5000+ 2.60 GHz

    installed ram: 2.00 GB

    tell me if you need more k?

  26. Justin G. says:

    i did mnothing that caused it i installed opened it and the blue screen came up once it went of the computer shut off.

    1. Well, it’s pretty odd that you get a blue screen. There is nothing special with your hardware (do you have current OpenGL-drivers installed)?

      And the playground itself does nothing on a hardware-level that could cause a BSOD. So sadly I can’t tell you where the problem is coming from. And since you’re the only one that reported such a bluesscreen with the playground since it’s release years ago I don’t really have a clue what could cause this.

    1. Only OpenGL. But if you wouldn’t have drivers with OpenGL support installed it shouldn’t cause a bluescreen but instead show an access violation dialog with an address of 0000… at startup.

  27. I now know why the program crashed:
    The newtonplayground logfile shows:
    [2:39:50 PM] An access violation occured during run-time :
    NewtonPlayGround 1.51
    Build 22_10_06
    OS is Windows XP

    Description of the occured exception :
    Type = EAccessViolation
    Message = Zugriffsverletzung bei Adresse 00000000. Lesen von Adresse 00000000

    I’m using an integrated graphics card, which probably doesn’t support opengl.

  28. datiel says:

    Ok was newtons playground made for what you can do with newton engine without having to code it oh and how do you make 3d models like a computer for an example

  29. Richard Copperwaite says:

    Hi!

    I’m trying to integrate Newton Game Dynamics into my own engine, and so far it’s taken about a month longer than I hoped it would, and I’m still struggling to figure out features like springs and magnetism.

    To help myself and others along, is there any chance you could release the source code for the NewtonPlayGround? Despite being written in Delphi, it’s still one of the only unofficial examples of Newton Game Dynamics available. The tool’s XML format also looks pretty robust – perhaps it could be used to import scenes into other engines?

    1. Hi Richard, since I’m not doing any active development with Delphi and Newton it may be a good idea to release the source to the playground to the public after all.

      Though I’m pretty busy right now, so please give me some time to prepare the source before I’ll upload it to my repository.

      1. Hi, I would like to ask, if could you release your source? I’m struggling with OgreNewt and magnetism too and would like to have an advice.
        Regards

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