I'm trying to make a simple physics platformer. I know how it could be done but I don't know the best method. There is an obviously brutish way to create a platformer, and that's to check if the player is touching any and every platform, check what side, and determine which direction you cannot move. Like so-



But that seems primitive and a waste of processor time. It also would seem to bog the system down if you had many objects and many players to make a hittest. A good example of where I think this would fall flat on its face is the massive game minecraft or Oblivion.

http://allyourgameguides.com/wp-cont...-picture-1.png
(I'm estimating a possible 250 million blocks to calculate hittest for each person if it were full. Perhaps 30-50 million in this image; some y-depth not seen)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7.../landscape.jpg
(Not as easy to visualize. But probably more complex then minecraft)

So these games obviously aren't using my method. Are they using a smarter version of my method? Like trimming the area down to around your person? In a tile system like minecraft it might be easy to pinpoint any tile are over pretty easily. But that doesn't apply to oblivion. Anyway, this is more of a general programming question.