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Chapter 5. Collision Detection > What Is a Collision?

What Is a Collision?

Before learning how to program collision-detection scripts, it is important to understand what a collision is. I know what it sounds like—something big and crashy. And of course in a lot of cases that's true, but for our purposes, we need to get down to a more basic definition than that. Put simply, a collision happens when two separate shapes share one or more points in space. For instance, imagine two circles touching at their edges, such as two billiard balls resting against each other. These two circles share one point; hence, in physics terms they are colliding. Some collisions are simple, such as when the mouse pointer overlaps a movie clip or a button. Other collisions are complicated, such as when a ball bounces off an angled line.


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