Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Stuff Simple Games are Made Of

Me Via Twitter: I've been studying relativity! I'd forgotten that it's quite mad. Quantum physics is only a bit more mad. All tutorials skip the hard stuff.

On GChat:
John: What possible use could you have for relativity?

me: I thought maybe the time dilation effects could be an interesting mechanic.
Imagine a chess match where the various parts of the board have different internal clocks.

John: OK, I can see that.
I remember modeling games with non-zero communication propagation times, but never tried tracking local age of units.

me: Well, think about it: the faster you go (the more you advance), the fewer turns you get to take.
It's a built-in negative feedback loop. Choosing the best point will always be a tradeoff.

John: Interesting.
I guess I'm having a hard time imagining the metaphor for a game in which it was so important that you do something on a ship (or conveyance of your choosing) that the tradeoff would become relevant.

me: Yeah, I'm having a bit of a time with that, too.
I'm thinking of throwing in the mass distortion effect, and having some kind of cosmic gravity-ball.
Relativistic pong, maybe.

John: Hmm.
Does relativity guarantee that inertial mass is alway equal to gravitational mass after distortion?

me: I was thinking of ignoring reality just a little.

John: That was actually a legitimate question, not a narrow insinuation, but I will take your answer as I choose.

me: :)

John: I suppose anything with RKV's might benefit from being able to calculate their physical properties.

me: Only to some extent. After about 0.7c, there's not much point. Everything is dead.
Nonviolent relativistic games are all I can come up with.

John: Perhaps interstellar wine shipping?

me: Radioactive material shipping...
Same idea.

John: You need the wine to age a certain number of years before it comes to market, but you want it to be sold as soon as possible?

me: "It was a very good year. Before their sun exploded."

John: Actually, never mind. The math works out that you would always age it locally and then send it as fast as you could.

me: Ah-ah, you're assuming relativistic travel has no effect on the wine.

John: Its true!

me: Winefolk will certainly be able to taste that "space aged" flavor.
Or think they can, at any rate.
"My, did you fly this through a nebula? Excellent nose on it..."

John: Why do I get the impression you'd have a lot more fun writing the NPC's for that game than the game itself?

me: I'm gonna do it.
I'm gonna build a relavitistic wine-merchant game.
And I'm gonna post this conversation to my blog, 'cause I'm a nerd.

John: hehe
Go for it.


Maria V. said...

*slow, stunned applause* wow. that was indeed fabulously nerdy, well done!

i'd play that game. seriously. if only for S&Gs. john's right, the NPC dialogue for that game would no doubt be the best part.

get cracking, i say. :P

Ellipsis said...

Yes, I approve of this entire post.

Craig Perko said...

Now all I need is a slew of really terrible voice actors!

Patrick said...

I´d like to volunteer my voice acting talents.

Oiy that´s geeky! (Think of an imitation professor Frink voice).

Craig Perko said...

What I think I'll do is program it and then VO everything myself. Once complete, I'll take VO "replacements" to replace my camp baritone with other, more applicable, but equally camp voices.

perkos said...

I do a pretty good, "No parking in the red zone. Pick-ups and drop-offs in the white zone only." and "At the beep, the time is now...."