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Video Game Uses Real-Time Fluid Dynamics
Posted Thu October 19, 2006 @09:17PM
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Application A classic video game has been refreshed using CFD to create Plasma Pong.

In the game you can inject plasma fluid into the environment, create a vacuum from your paddle, and blast shockwaves into the playing area. All these abilities have fluid-based kinetic effects on the ball, making Plasma Pong a fast-paced and exciting game.

A Gamasutra interview with game author Stephen Taylor reveals that Taylor was inspired by a research paper on real-time fluid dynamics.

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Jos Stam's research paper, titled "Real-time Fluid Dynamics for Games" [pdf], was really a breakthrough because it introduced a new way to have a stable fluid simulation that the user could interact with. I also stumbled on a number of other helpful papers written by some of the top researchers in computational fluid dynamics. Mark Harris wrote an outstanding paper for NVIDIA’s GPU Gems on how to calculate fluid dynamics by using pixel shaders on the GPU. Some other useful papers were written by Ron Fedkiw.

One of my favorite features in the game is a separate play mode called the Sandbox. This is the place where you can simply play with every aspect of the fluid simulation. The Sandbox has a graphical toolbar that lets you manipulate the dynamics and rendering of the fluid. You can slosh around the fluid, add dyes, walls, particles, swirls, explosions, jets, even turn the entire simulation into a big bowl of Jello.

Plasma Pong
Plasma Pong allows you to inject plasma fluid into the environment, create a vacuum from your paddle, and blast shockwaves into the playing area.


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Related Links
  • "Real-time Fluid Dynamics for Games" [pdf]
  • Gamasutra interview
  • Jos Stam
  • Plasma Pong
  • More on Application
  • Also by nwyman
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