This chapter focuses on what has to be my favorite part of the game engine: the particle system. As mentioned in Chapter 2, “The Three Ts: Terminology, Technology, and Tools,” a particle system in the world of games does not involve expensive particle accelerators or the collision of exotic particles at the speed of light. Particle systems are actually used in games to generate very dynamic, and almost organic, visual effects for things such as the following:
Each of these visual effects is made up from a number of individual particles (images) moving independently of each other but following the same set of basic rules. This is the basis for any particle system.