I learned a ton while doing this, notably what it feels to actually get near to completing a game. I learned about basic platforming physics (how to tell if a character is on an uneven but jumpable surface, removing wall friction, player-adjustable jump height), but I also learned a lot about some advanced physical modeling concepts; notably Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics and Metaballs. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics is a non-mapped modeling and simulation based entirely on individual particle calculation, and is aimed at producing very fast framerates. This presentation, by the developers of PixelJunk Shooter, was extremely helpful in understanding the calculations at work. Metaballs, on the other hand, are aimed specifically at rendering large quantities of particles without having it look like a dust cloud. By converting the particle locations into a texture and applying a gaussian shading to each particle, you can take the threshold and come out with some very "blobby" looking particles. This article was very helpful in helping me understand what was going on. While I was unable to implement metaballs in time for the week deadline, it's definitely something I want to continue to work with.