I had some hours to spare recently, so I decided to put in some new features into my NewtonPlayGround. Some of you know that tool, it’s an app for showing off what the Newton Game Dynamics engine is capable off. It allows the user to create it’s own scene (even very complex ones) and play around with them, save them and even pass them around. The version currently in the makings will be released shortly after NGD 1.35 is released (which isn’t too far off) and is almost a totally new program compared to the last release you can currently download (so it may be better to wait before trying out the outdated version of the playground).
So on to the new features I’m working on : The first one let’s you connect already existing bodies into a compound. This is a feature I wanted to have in for a long time, as it allows you to create complex collision shapes out of existing primitives and then e.g. use them with the next feature. It’s rather easy to use : You fire up the context menu of the first body you want to connect and select “connect” and then you select all the other bodies you want to be connected with this body. After pressing enter, the application will create a compound based on the selected objects. In the above screenshot I used this to create the legs of a walker.
The second recently added feature goes hand-in-hand with the above on (or better said : To use this feature for complexer stuff, you actually need to above feature). It’s joint motors. And it allows you to create motors for different joint types (right now only for hinges, but others will follow) which can be used to animate stuff without user interaction. So you create a joint, and then you can open up a new dialog that let’s you enable/disable a motor for this joint and set different motor parameters like the omega that’s applied to it and the limits of the motor.
Those two features together give up a great set of new possibilites to do stuff with the NewtonPlayground and I can’t wait to see my walker walking around. But what I’m far more interested is what other users will come up when this new version is finally released.
And those are just the recent features I added. As already told much stuff changed since the last public release and the changelog already contains over 50 more or less big changes.