Rigs of Rods - Vehicle simulator based on soft-body physics

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Today's wild Wednesday project is one that's a little hard to characterize yet is just pretty darn cool. Who doesn't want to build trucks, planes, ships, then drive and even crash them?

Rigs of Rods

Rigs of Rods is an open source vehicle simulator licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3. What makes Rigs of Rods different to most simulators is its unique soft-body physics: vehicles, machines, objects, etc. are simulated in real-time as flexible soft-body objects, giving the simulation an extremely accurate behavior which entirely depends on the physical construction of the vehicles or objects you create.

  • Soft-body physics. Objects according to their weight distribution, construction, and/or suspension (in the case of vehicles).
  • Advanced flight model based on blade element theory. It allows the accurate simulation of any airplane, based entirely on its physical dimensions and wing airfoils, similar to X-Plane.
  • Accurate buoyancy model based on elemental pressure gradients, enabling boats with complex hulls to move realistically in the swell.
  • Basic support for dual-core processing. More multithreading and CUDA support is planned.
  • Basic support for scripting using AngelScript.
  • Based on the OGRE Graphics Engine.

What is RoR? (from the Doc/Things you can do in Rigs of Rods.pdf)

Rigs of Rods is a realistic multi-simulator.

Primarily a truck simulator, it can also simulate cars, cranes, airplanes, boats, bridges, and any arbitrary construction.

Vehicles chassis and wheels are simulated in real-time as flexible objects, giving the simulation an extremely accurate behavior, while allowing the vehicles to be simply specified structurally.

Gameplay is emergent and takes place in a virtual 9km² sandbox environment.

Rigs of Rods is a two-year, one man hobby project, still ongoing.







While there's binaries you can get to play with this, it wouldn't be Coding4Fun post if we didn't look at the source behind those binaries.

Compiling Sources under Windows

You can download and compile the Rigs of Rods sources completely with tools that are available for free.


This page does an outstanding job of walking you through getting the tools, source and getting it to compile. Following along I was able to get it to compile with no problems.


Given the size of this project it will take a number of minutes to compile...

If all you want to do is play and build something, make sure you check out the RoR Book which is a very in-depth guide for creating vehicles;

  1. RoRBook/Introduction What is a truck in RoR. What are beams, nodes and stuff. Also, where to look for errors
  2. RoRBook/Setup a working environment Requirements for creating trucks: (notepad, setup working environment)
  3. Land-based Vehicles and Basics
    1. RoRBook/Basic Truck Requirements - Basic requirements for getting the game to accept a truck.
    2. RoRBook/First beams and nodes - The basics of creating a truck for RoR.
    3. RoRBook/Rigidity
    4. RoRBook/Wheels
    5. RoRBook/Engine
    6. RoRBook/Suspension
    7. RoRBook/Steering
    8. RoRBook/Commands
    9. RoRBook/Hooks
    10. RoRBook/Submeshes
    11. RoRBook/Flares
    12. RoRBook/Props - A tutorial on how to get a basic prop working on your truck/load.
    13. RoRBook/Set_beam_defaults
    14. RoRBook/Cinecam/Cameras
    15. RoRBook/Details (exhausts, custom dashboard, etc)
  4. Objects and Texturing
    1. RoRBook/Meshes
      1. RoRBook/Meshes/Tools
      2. RoRBook/Meshes/Basic rules
    2. RoRBook/Materials
    3. RoRBook/Flexbodies - An introduction to flexbodies and how to get them working properly.
  5. Aircraft and Winged Vehicles
    1. RoRBook/Simple airplane body construction
    2. RoRBook/Wings
    3. RoRBook/Fusedrag
    4. RoRBook/Airplane engines
      1. RoRBook/Propeller engines
      2. RoRBook/Jetengines
  6. Nautical Vehicles and Boats
    1. RoRBook/Simple boat body construction Building a boat with a functional hull
    2. RoRBook/Boat engines
  7. Packaging Guides on how to properly package your vehicle for upload to the repository.
  8. Sections.

The Discussion

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