但是这些物理游戏只是一些小杂耍。带有特别物理系统和蜿蜒学习曲线的游戏才能真正激起Wegner的热情。对他来说较为经典的例子（游戏邦注：即激励他创建Fun-Motion）便是《Ski Stunt Simulator》，这是一款非常微妙的游戏，重新创造了人们对现实生活中滑雪技能的需求。
在这款模拟游戏中，鼠标是玩家控制滑雪者的唯一工具：向上移动鼠标，滑雪者将摆正姿势；向下移动的话滑雪者会蹲伏。滑雪者的姿势是取决于真正的近似惯性。就像在现实中滑雪，滑雪者姿势的改变将决定跳跃—-在这种情况下，通过用力推动鼠标向前能够为玩家的蹲伏助力。（备受期待的电子游戏捷径将通过分配按键创造滑雪者的跳跃而呈现出复杂的物理元素。《Ski Stunt SImulator》并未使用任何按键。）
Wegner自己关于ragdoll类型的条目《I Hate Clowns》是一款能在网页浏览器上体验到的游戏。在游戏中你将向飞行的小丑娃娃投掷派盘。为了迎合更高级的ragdoll爱好者，《布偶站在》设置了一对一的竞赛，《Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded》设置了子弹躲闪机制，而受欢迎的《跳楼英雄》也丢下了一个可怜的娃娃让玩家看到之后的暴力场景。
对于Wegner来说，对于电子游戏物理元素的追求只是一种业余爱好。而他真正的工作是Phoenix-based Flashbang Studios（游戏邦注：他与两名大学伙伴共同创建的休闲游戏公司）的开发总监。
他自己的一些基于物理元素的创作也包含于Fun-Motion游戏列表中，包括《Amoeball》的一个版本，但是他的工作室所创造的最出名的游戏还是《Beesly’s Buzzwords》和《Glow Worm》，它们均获得了独立游戏节的提名。这些游戏，就像他们公司最近为Cisco Systems而完成的员工培训测试游戏都未太过注重物理元素。
How Videogames Manage To Turn Physics Into Fun .
By AARON RUTKOFF
Videogame physics is more art than science, a subtle craft that demands game designers square realism with fun. That balancing act doesn’t always work out: Make the in-game physics too real, and your game will be a bore; oversimplify the rules of motion, and gameplay will feel stilted.
“If we had a physics engine that perfectly duplicated reality, then players would need the exact same skills to play a game as they would to act it out in real life,” says 26-year-old game developer Matthew Wegner, the man behind the blog Fun-Motion.com. A Hollywood-style car chase sequence in a game, for example, would require the skills of professional stunt drivers.
“That’s asking a lot for someone who’s looking to escape from reality,” Mr. Wegner says.
At Fun-Motion.com, Mr. Wegner chronicles the best attempts of modern game makers to reinvent Newton. His reviews revolve around one question: What makes in-game physics satisfying?
The crux of Fun-Motion.com is a list of physics-focused games that have been evaluated by Mr. Wegner. His user-friendly assessments include embedded video footage, edited by Mr. Wegner himself, which allows readers to get a sense of the gameplay before committing to a download.
Every game on the site includes download links. Many games are free, with those that require payment offering free sample versions. Mr. Wegner’s list assumes players will use a Windows PC, but he has also created an sub-index of games that work on Macs.
While Mr. Wegner’s write-ups don’t hesitate to expose hiccups in a physics system or disappointing elements of gameplay, the tone is unusually restrained for game reviews: Even when he ultimately sours on a title, his reviews take pains to highlight innovative or successful parts of a game.
As a game designer himself, Mr. Wegner knows firsthand just how tricky it is to create a truly satisfying game, and he hopes his Web site encourages smarter game physics: “I want developers to think of physics at the gameplay level — how the player is actually interacting with and using the physics, rather than thinking of physics merely as a tool for superfluous visual effects.”
What makes something a physics game using Mr. Wegner’s criteria? Some of the entries on his list deploy physics in the most-obvious sense: In “Solid Balance,” for example, the player balances building blocks just like you did in preschool, losing when the in-game force of gravity pulls the tower down.
Or there’s “Zen Bondage,” an oddly named game that involves little more than winding a string around a block of wood. That may sound dull, but Mr. Wegner writes that the implementation “is damn near flawless. I would be hard-pressed to find something to improve.”
But these physics games are a sideshow. It’s games with extraordinary physics systems and steep learning curves that bring out Mr. Wegner’s true passion. The classic example for him — the game that moved him to launch Fun-Motion — is “Ski Stunt Simulator,” an excruciatingly nuanced game meant to recreate the demands of real-life ski acrobatics.
The mouse is the only control over the skier in this simulation: move the mouse up, and the skier straightens his posture; down, the skier crouches. The skier’s body is subject to a very real approximation of inertia. Just as in actual skiing, it is the change in the skier’s posture that sets up a jump — in this case, by thrusting the mouse upward to pop out of a crouch. (The expected videogame shortcut would be to circumvent complicated physics by simply assigning a button to make the skier jump. “Ski Stunt Simulator” uses no buttons.)
“The learning curve is harsh, but the skill ceiling is very, very high,” Mr. Wegner says. “Harsh” may be an understatement — expect to spend at least a few hours mastering the controls on level ground before attempting tricks on the slopes. But mastery brings its privileges: Mr. Wegner became so obsessed with this game that he asked the creators for their source code and developed his own more extreme version.
Still, Mr. Wegner’s physics-boosting blog faces a categorical challenge: nearly every game this side of Sudoku makes use of physics. Even “Super Mario Bros.,” the 8-bit Nintendo classic, has basic rules that govern gravity, inertia and collision. In other words, physics.
But there’s a difference, according to Mr. Wegner: “Mario’s actions are very canned,” he explains. “When you a press a button, he jumps — but in exactly the same way as any other time you press the jump button.”
That’s what separates physics games worthy of Fun-Motion’s consideration from the also-rans, although even the curator admits that his criteria is subjective. Rather than Mario-style shortcuts, Mr. Wegner is interested in games whose physics systems let players explore nearly infinite varieties of motion.
Compare “Gish” — one of Mr. Wegner’s favorites, in which players control a gelatinous blob that can be made sticky, slick or heavy — to the Mario experience. “Where Mario has a single-player verb for jumping, ‘Gish’ has numerous synonyms for jumping,” he explains. “There is a jump button, but the actual result of that jump will vary widely depending on the blob’s state.”
And, true to form for the complex physics games Mr. Wegner admires, experienced “Gish” players develop the ability to jump more ably only by understanding the game’s subtle mechanics.
Other entries represent “physics-up” evolutions of classic games. Remember “Pong” and “Breakout”? At Fun-Motion, Mr. Wegner reviews “Plasma Pong” and “BreakQuest,” remakes of the old genre-defining titles with physics systems on steroids (and possibly psychedelic drugs). The same basic principles of physics remain unchanged — a ball bouncing off a paddle — but the visual textures and physical complexity have been dramatically enhanced. In the “Pong” remake, for instance, players can control the fluid dynamics around their paddle, creating vacuums or plasma slicks to alter the motion of the ball. Try doing that on an Atari.
Then there’s Fun-Motion’s collection of games based on “ragdoll physics,” in which limp-bodied figures are let loose in a game environment. Ragdoll characters typically have the weight and inertia of human bodies but lack muscle control and rigid skeletons, which are hard to design. Because they lack body control, ragdolls make excellent guinea pigs for physics systems.
Mr. Wegner’s own entry in the ragdoll genre — “I Hate Clowns” — can be played inside a Web browser. Basically, you’re throwing metal pie tins at goofy flying clown dolls. For more advanced ragdoll enthusiasts, there’s one-on-one fighting in “Ragdoll Masters,” bullet dodging in “Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded,” and the ever-popular “Stair Dismount,” in which you drop a poor ragdoll down a staircase and watch violence ensue.
Videogame physics is an after-hours hobby for Mr. Wegner. For a day job, he’s the development director of Phoenix-based Flashbang Studios, a casual-gaming company he founded with two college buddies.
Several of his own physics-focused creations are included in the Fun-Motion game list, including a version of volleyball played by rival amoebas, but his studio is best known for “Beesly’s Buzzwords” and “Glow Worm,” both nominated for awards at the Independent Games Festival. These games, like an employee-training-quiz game his company recently completed for Cisco Systems, don’t have a heavy emphasis on physics.
Mr. Wegner’s pedigree is also unorthodox for a game maker and physics hobbyist: He has no training in computer programming or physical science. “I went to an art school with the intention of becoming some kind of level designer in the games industry,” he says. “I was always fairly technical.”
For now, casual games pay the bills, but Mr. Wegner hopes he’ll eventually have the resources to create a fully-formed physics game of his own through his studio.
Would such a game be a hit? All gamers share an intuition for physics based on our real-world experiences — which might help bridge the gap between casual games and physics games.
“I think that’s one of the reasons physics games are compelling,” Mr. Wegner says. “There isn’t much understanding to spread. Physics is really second nature to humans.”(source:wsj)