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SFML Game Development by Henrik Vogelius Hansson, Artur Moreira, Jan Haller

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Particle systems

Visual effects such as fire, rain, or smoke have one thing in common: they have a continuously changing nature and cannot be meaningfully described using a single sprite. Even an animated sprite is too limited for many cases, because such effects should come with certain randomness. Fire may have sparks flying in arbitrary directions; smoke may be blown away by the wind.

This is why we need another model to visualize these sorts of effects: particles. A particle is a tiny object that makes up a part of the whole effect; you can imagine it as a small sprite. Each particle by itself looks boring, only in combination do they lead to an emergent visual pattern such as fire.

A particle system is a component that manages the behavior ...

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