Tyler Streeter
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OPAL

Date

Started development Fall 2004

Description

OPAL (Open Physics Abstraction Layer) is a C++ software library which provides a common API for any number of real-time physics engines (collision detection + rigid body dynamics simulation). That was the original goal, anyway. Eventually, it became clear that the real value of OPAL was as a high-level, object-oriented wrapper for ODE. It features a very simple API, smart default parameters, a handful of intuitive objects (e.g., Solids, Joints, Motors, Sensors), and XML-based file storage for complex objects.

OPAL has been used in a few dozen software development projects, mainly in independent video games, grad school class projects, and funded research projects in and around the VRAC. I also used it for my master's thesis experiments on reinforcement-based motor learning.

Website

http://opal.sourceforge.net

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Images

Poster for the 2005 Iowa State HCI Forum Andres Reinot's first-person shooter Ken Kopecky's VR Arkenoid game Physically simulated cabin that collapses when set on fire
Ken Kopecky's Hovercraft Soccer game (written in one night) Infiscape's VR retail application Ken Kopecky's Magic Suit, a VR application involving a full motion capture suit that lets the user move physically simulated objects simply by moving his or her arms through space My own research on motor learning in physically embodied control systems
A simple 'playpen' application for experimenting with OPAL objects (included with the OPAL SDK) Ken Kopecky's Radius, a 2D side-scrolling space shooter game Rhino, a 3D space shooter game (entered into the IGF) A prototype VR application menu system for the VRAC, where each building represents an executable VR application
Oleksandr Lozitskiy's Ukrainian Rumble game