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A Slower Speed of Light
November 2, 2012 12:50 PM   Subscribe

A Slower Speed of Light is a first-person game prototype, built by the MIT Game Lab, that emulates the visual effects of special relativity.
posted by brundlefly (32 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
If it can't make my graphics card render octarine I'm not interested.
posted by howfar at 12:59 PM on November 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


See also Real Time Relativity and Velocity Raptor.
posted by Jpfed at 12:59 PM on November 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


So, not a ship management simulation roguelike that gives your more fuel in each sector then.
posted by BeeDo at 1:02 PM on November 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wonder if they used grant money for this and if that means they have to release the source. For one thing, that would let someone make it run on other Unixen than OSX.
posted by DU at 1:09 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Velocity Raptor is pretty awesome so far.
posted by DU at 1:14 PM on November 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


For one thing, that would let someone make it run on other Unixen than OSX.
Or, an OSX lower than 10.7. Like, y'know, 10.6?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:15 PM on November 2, 2012


I want someone to build a first person 2D game, that emulates the effects of actually being a 2D character in a 2D world. Preferably based on Flatland. The render perspective would look like gradients, colors and gradient edges defining distinct objects, and you would learn how to correlate gradient changes to your 2D mapspace.

I'm not sure if this game would actually be fun.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 1:16 PM on November 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I wonder if they used grant money for this and if that means they have to release the source.

The guy in the video says "ve are developing the game open source". So eventually, yeah. He also said they want to keep the engine cleanly separated, so that others can plug-in their own games.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:16 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if they used grant money for this and if that means they have to release the source.

Well, the second sentence of the link, under the video, says it's open source, and one of the guys in the ~3 minute video emphasizes that it is open source and hopes people will play with it.

So.
posted by curious nu at 1:16 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


DU: "I wonder if they used grant money for this and if that means they have to release the source. For one thing, that would let someone make it run on other Unixen than OSX."

From the link:
IN PROGRESS OpenRelativity is a set of tools for simulating the effects of traveling near the speed of light in the Unity3D game engine. The team is currently refining the documentation, usability and features in OpenRelativity, targeted for release as a free, open-source package in 2013, to allow others to produce more simulations and games about traveling near the speed of light.
I believe the next version of Unity will export for Linux.
posted by brundlefly at 1:17 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if they used grant money for this and if that means they have to release the source. For one thing, that would let someone make it run on other Unixen than OSX.

Click on the link in the post. It's worth it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:17 PM on November 2, 2012


I actually did read this via waxy.org earlier. Maybe they added that stuff later? Dunno.
posted by DU at 1:21 PM on November 2, 2012


I want someone to build a first person 2D game, that emulates the effects of actually being a 2D character in a 2D world.

This is a really cool idea. It's probably been done already, but I'd give it a shot. I imagine it would just use raycasting like Wolfenstein 3D. Raycasting tells you "what wall did you hit" and "how far is that wall from you"; instead of representing that information with a texture and the length of a vertical slice of wall like Wolf3D, we would represent it with a wall color and some amount of "fog color" for depth.
posted by Jpfed at 1:23 PM on November 2, 2012


Velocity Raptor is pretty awesome so far.

Velocity Raptor is pretty cool. And it's already twisted my brain so much that I expected my browser window to skew when I hit page down.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:23 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having just played this, and collected 80 out of the 100 orbs, I conclude:
1) That this is a kinda cool experiment but a blah game, and one where the story weirdly mixes spirituality and hard core physics
2) FTL travel makes me sick from the weird colors
3) The choice of demonstrating mass increases by making the character have more inertia as the game progresses might be cool, but makes the game really painful to win
Still, worth trying
posted by blahblahblah at 1:25 PM on November 2, 2012


I want someone to build a first person 2D game, that emulates the effects of actually being a 2D character in a 2D world.

It's been discussed before: Flatland: The Video Game. Would love to see it, though it sounds like something that might work better on 2D paper than in 3D real life.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:26 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad

This will run on OS X 10.5 and presumably 10.6. It is slightly jerky on a 6 year old MBP, but I was able to play it. It made me vaguely motion sick which I think would not have happened with a smoother rendering.

I had the graphics set at "fast" not "fastest"
posted by Hactar at 1:29 PM on November 2, 2012


I spoke too soon. It does run on OSX 10.6.8.
Protip: Turn the Look Sensitivity wayyyyyyy down. At least for me, it's crazy touchy.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:30 PM on November 2, 2012


I imagine it would just use raycasting like Wolfenstein 3D. Raycasting tells you "what wall did you hit" and "how far is that wall from you"; instead of representing that information with a texture and the length of a vertical slice of wall like Wolf3D, we would represent it with a wall color and some amount of "fog color" for depth.

I imagine that each raycast pixel would, instead, just represent a perfect vertical line. Because in the 2nd dimension, you could perceive Width and Depth, but there is no Height. Or, to make it work on our 2D monitors, Height is always infinite.

So if you were to walk sideways, past a circle, (with infinity in the distance) what you would see would be a sudden gradient appear as if you were floating past an infinitely tall pilar.

Color would be used to denote characters, sex, non-living objects, etc. So, for example, Males might have the red faces (red for animate) with blue edges (blue for male). A wall might have grey faces (grey for inanimate) with black edges (black for wall).

So if you walked sideways, past a male triangle, you would see blue color bars denoting edges, with red gradients in between the bars, the gradient corresponding to each pixel's distance from you.

The game would really look like a bunch of rainbow gradients, but there might be moments where you the human player could look at a top-down view of this 2D world, and begin to make sense of which gradients correlate to which objects.

Like this relativistic game, the whole point of a flatland game would just be a mind exercise in conceptualizing existence, this time in a different dimension. If you really want to experience the second dimension, you have to make the game utterly convincing that you actually are in the second dimension.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 1:45 PM on November 2, 2012


I was ready to get my mind blown to pieces until I read the word "game." Sincerely. That was a really strange adrenaline jerk.

not to diss the game or games in general
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:47 PM on November 2, 2012


"A known bug will crash the game on computers with some Intel graphics chipsets."
Including mine... sadface.
posted by clockwork at 1:56 PM on November 2, 2012


I was ready to get my mind blown to pieces until I read the word "game." Sincerely. That was a really strange adrenaline jerk.

Ummmm....
posted by howfar at 2:02 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I imagine that each raycast pixel would, instead, just represent a perfect vertical line.

I agree- that's why I mentioned using color mixing instead of the Wolf3d approach of using different line heights.
posted by Jpfed at 2:10 PM on November 2, 2012


Ummmm....

Oh geez! Good deal. Carry on.
posted by herbplarfegan at 3:12 PM on November 2, 2012


nausea inducing...
posted by roboton666 at 5:30 PM on November 2, 2012


Downloaded, and played to completion. This was pretty fun and educational. If you are reasonably skilled at FPS games you can go at a speed just fast enough to see the game's actual textures instead of weird colors.

Once you get 100 orbs you can travel at near the speed of light, which is pretty triptacular. It took me a little over 5 minutes to complete this task. :D
posted by PipRuss at 5:37 PM on November 2, 2012


If you position yourself directly in front of one of the hut doors, you can block the next ghost creature from floating into it. If you then start pushing the ghost to the right, you can eventually slide it far enough over that it will miss the hut entirely. Step to the side and let it continue, and it will sail on past the hut, through the rock wall, and off to the end of the universe.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:01 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll have to check out Velocity Raptor, as SSoL crashes my win 8 box, but the video was cool.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:58 AM on November 3, 2012


It would also be very neat to see this game engine applied to a real world setting with which people are familiar; such as some famous landmarks or ubiquitous worldwide pop-culture frames of reference (Pyramids, McDonalds).
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:02 AM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want someone to build a first person 2D game, that emulates the effects of actually being a 2D character in a 2D world.

These two games aren't doing exactly what you're all talking about, but are worth checking out for how they intersect with the concept:

7 Dimensions by Marries van de Hoef is downloadable for Windows or Mac.

Thirteen Gates by Ian Snyder is playable online (Flash).

Both were made for the 7 Day FPS game Jam this summer.
posted by nobody at 6:09 AM on November 3, 2012


You know, I'm going to post a slight spoiler for Thirteen Gates, because when I first played it I remember getting through the first four or five levels without understanding the win condition (having focused so much on figuring out the geometry).

Don't read this if you'd like to figure it out completely on your own, but (rot-13'd): rnpu yriry'f rkvg vf ercerfragrq ol n fcvaavat zhygv-"pbybe" pbyhza.
posted by nobody at 6:13 AM on November 3, 2012


That game was a little buggy. It screwed up its calculation of my velocity a bunch. For instance if I'm running in place into a wall, relativistic effects are still being applied even though I'm not actually moving. And if I'm being pushed around by the floaty guys then I see no such effects even though I am moving.

Nonetheless, it was a fun game to play while drunk.
posted by aubilenon at 4:38 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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