While fine-tuning the character movement and other related stuff I found some very nonsense code related to ragdolls. I replaced it with something not so stupid and suddenly there could be at least 4x more ragdolls on the screen with no frame skipping. The slowest part of the code is actually the ragdoll creation which is pretty hard to optimize.
To simplify things the alive characters are currently simulated as rectangles which obviously makes some things unrealistic. Realism isn’t my main goal but sometimes it can make games much more enjoyable. At the moment I’m seriously thinking about making characters *completely* physics based (read: animated ragdolls). That would be something really cool but also very time consuming and hard to create. It could also probably turn out completely hilarious:
Another concern is the fact that as long as our computers are what they are there’s no way to ensure that a complex physical simulation runs the same way every time it’s being run, even on the same computer. That would be a big problem in multiplayer and likely to make it totally unplayable. There are techniques to sync physical simulations over network but.. http://gafferongames.com/game-physics/networked-physics/ ..For multiplayer I’d probably stay with the old movement/animation system.
Animated ragdolls are something I got to try. Just my words of warning: don’t expect anything yet..