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    the boat has no bottom..., 2008-11-25 11:30:22 | Main | "new" country hits about rapid technological change sound like they were written in the backwaters of some dark historical epoch, example one..., 2008-12-01 19:05:10

    relativistic dog fight simulators:

    Something that's been bugging me for a while: outside this very neat proof of concept I just discovered while checking to make sure this complaint hadn't been invalidated - I don't think I can find a single example of a video game that incorporates the concept of interstellar Naval battle at fractional (c) into their physics engines or game mechanics, which is rather perplexing considering our vast surplus of space games over the past 30 odd years that have all been pseudo-Newtonian, while the sci-fi depths of relativistic warfare were already about plumbed out by the time the first arcade games were showing up at family pizza joints.

    Here you have an entertainment industry run by and catering to what must be the largest single union of nerds, geeks, and other such physics-semi-literate sci-fi junky riffraff, and there's not one fully developed game of galactic conquest that doesn't shove relativity into a ditch with some hyper-dimensional warp jump engine-gate that runs on all-natural mystic gemstones.

    Kids still play Battleship! and Go Fish! don't they? Before graduating to card-counting and contract bridge? A little predictive flight path support from the ship's on-board computer ought to be enough to make it at least that tactical a game, and with various technology trees through the first centuries of warfare there's more strategy. That is until you make it back to planetary civilization and find someone has invented that hyper-dimensional warp jump engine-gate that runs on mystic gemstones while you were away. Extra points for surviving long enough in your old .9c unicorn-drive jalopy to make it back to land after the enemy introduces their destroyer class Paradox, turning your interstellar strategy game back into a typical arcade shoot-em up for the final stage of mutual FTL annihilation. Fine, whatever.

    But all I'm asking for is that the inevitable game tie-in to the Ridley Scott adaption of The Forever War include some Lorentz transforms as you battle your way through whatever virtual approximation of Minkowski space optimizes your frame rate. I mean, the math is only 111 years old, and it feels like it's been longer than that since I had to do anything with it, but you'd think this would be the perfect opportunity for hands-on education to masquerade as interactive entertainment.


:: posted by buermann @ 2008-11-29 04:44:36 CST | link





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