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Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Cross Platform and Optimized
Mobile development offers unique performance challenges, and Chipmunk2D is specifically optimized for speed by offering a multi-threaded and vectorized solver. New in Chipmunk 7, everyone has access to an alternative cpSpace type, cpHastySpace, which will automatically use the ARM NEON vector coprocessor available to most Android and iOS mobile devices. Even if you don’t need the extra performance, it will help save your player’s batteries. cpHastySpace also allows you to enable extra threads for the solver to use as well.
Chipmunk is widely used for 2D physics rich games on Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and game consoles. If you have a C or C++ compiler, you can use Chipmunk2D. Some functionality is platform specific, such as the Objective-Chipmunk wrapper (iOS, Mac OS X, or an alternative Obj-C runtime), the NEON optimizations (requires an ARM CPU with a NEON coprocessor), or multi-threading (currently requires pthread support).
Level design and asset creation is a time consuming portion of game development, and Chipmunk2D can significantly aid in creating your physics shapes. Chipmunk2D’s automatic geometry generation can create fitted collision geometry from images. Gone are the days of typing coordinates to generate collision shapes. The Autogeometry generation can create the physics shape for the terrain of your game from an image in milliseconds, allowing rapid iteration with just your graphics tools. This geometry can even be generated on the fly at runtime providing for spectacular techniques, such as deformable objects and terrain (Demo video on youtube). See Scott’s walkthrough of collision shape generation from images.
Accelerate iOS Development
For iOS development, Chipmunk2D includes “Objective-Chipmunk2D”, an Objective-C wrapper around all Chipmunk functionality. This provides greatly simplified memory management (especially when combined with automatic reference counting), an object oriented syntax, convenience classes for multi-touch input, and more. This speeds your development and reduces debugging. Your time is valuable!
Chipmunk2D offers AAA-quality physics features and performance, but it doesn’t come with a AAA price. All versions of Chipmunk2D are open source under the MIT license, and it’s probably already integrated into your favorite engine.