I finally got around to a little proof of concept for a 2D platform type game. This PoC is really part tool and part test. The idea was to test out a design for a 2D platformer that uses the dynamics engine and to make a tool to tweak physics parameters to dial-in the correct feel. In the end I don’t think I’ll go forward with this particular implementation. This project has brought to mind several issues that one might encounter when using the dynamics system for platformer physics.
I now think that using the dynamics system for a serious 2D platformer is probably the wrong approach. The first problem is that you don’t have fine-grain control over jump-mechanics. For instance it isn’t possible to easily define a way to make your hero jump exactly 3 game units high. I still haven’t entirely solved the (working perfectly/not working at all) moving platform problem either.