BeamNG has their own little proprietary physics setup that latches onto existing engines and allows for some of the most realistic soft-body deformations available on the market. No, scratch that... BeamNG's soft-body physics is the most realistic deformation simulation in the interactive entertainment industry and you can see it in action with a new test video.
The name of the video is simply called the “Cliff Tumble” and it's accompanied by some simple instrumental music that fits nicely with all the destructive tumbling that the cars go through while scaling down the side of the cliff.
BeamNG's tech is labeled as being very similar to the soft-body physics of other games like Rigs of Rods or Rockstar's own RAGE soft-body physics deformation available in the PC version of GTA IV when you install the realistic damage mod.
Basically, soft-body physics deformation means that the 3D structure of the object is susceptible to bending, twisting, morphing or breaking based on physical impact or collision with another solid object. Despite how cool soft-body deformation is, it requires some really slick engineering skills to get things looking as realistic and dynamic as the crashes and morphing featured in BeamNG's videos.
Hopefully during this next generation of console gaming we'll see a lot more physics effects that change and alter the outcome of various in-game properties.
For instance, imagine getting into a huge multi-car pile-up while trying to escape from a city filled with zombie hordes and the only vehicle you can find that works has its rear axles all bent out of shape, it would create a whole new kind of intensity for a scenario like that. Even better yet, just imagine when procedurally destructible environments are made with this sort of tech. How exciting would that be, crashing a truck through the front face of a building and wrecking everything?
The possibilities are quite endless once we start talking potentialities with technology like this and I'm glad BeamNG is pursuing this avenue diligently. Could you imagine if they managed to mount this sort of technology into the Brigade Engine? Path tracing, soft-body deformation? Count me in.
You can check out one other video of BeamNG's vehicular physics at work in the Torque3D Engine. The team is currently hard at work on their very own racing game and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. For more information be sure to pay a visit to the official website.