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Bounce me up, Scotty!
June 15, 2007 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Do you want to fly? Really fly? Not at the controls of a cockpit simulation, but just you ... flying ... your motion through space controlled by the gentlest of nudges of your mouse. Tranquility. Not a game; but an environment in which to 'travel'. View a short QT video clip of a typical Tranquility level. Download the 'game browser' (versions for all common computers) in which the game operates, work through the short training levels, and prepare to lose yourself in flight. (Don't be put off by the 'Buy the Game' links on the website; Tranquility is perfectly functional in demo mode, with the demo landscape changing daily. I've been playing it that way for more than five years.)
posted by woodblock100 (29 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was listening to bugbread at the MeFi Tokyo Meetup this evening talk about 'playing' GTA while not 'playing' it ... choosing a car, a location, a time ... and just cruising. It reminded me instantly of Tranquility, where the pleasure is in the journey. I frequently play it while deliberately avoiding the links that move to the next level; it's that much fun just to fly ...
posted by woodblock100 at 9:17 AM on June 15, 2007


Do you want to fly?

Yes.

Really fly?

Yes!

Not at the controls of a cockpit simulation, but just you ... flying

omg this is going to be great!

... your motion through space controlled by the gentlest of nudges

OMGOMGOMG

of your mouse.

*sound of record scratching* ....wha?
posted by DU at 9:22 AM on June 15, 2007 [24 favorites]


There's a really cool game out there called Cloud which I deleted last night in interests of making room on my disc drive for other projects, and now that i see this thread I already regret having done that. Can't recall the link offhand right now, but it was a fun game. Just flying around and moving moisture around in the air. Silly fun.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:24 AM on June 15, 2007


Cloud was posted to Metafilter some time ago.
posted by brownpau at 9:26 AM on June 15, 2007


Looks cool, but can you hack the Gibson?
posted by foot at 9:28 AM on June 15, 2007


Oh.. Well that's probably where I heard about it from. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 9:44 AM on June 15, 2007


Wow, reminds me of Rainbow Road, that evil "I just took acid and I'm behind the wheel of a small automobile" level in Mario Kart. Pretty to look at, but eek - I have trouble staying on the normal roads as it is...
posted by rmm at 9:52 AM on June 15, 2007


Tranquility is perfectly functional in demo mode, with the demo landscape changing daily. I've been playing it that way for more than five years.

Full Membership is available for just $6.00 for a Lifetime

Dude, that's just cheap. If you've been using a free program for half a decade you really ought to send along a few bucks to the creators, even if the added functionality isn't that interesting to you.
posted by nanojath at 9:52 AM on June 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


versions for all common computers

Except for us Linux users, who really aren't all THAT uncommon. *grumbles*
posted by LeeJay at 10:31 AM on June 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


There was a short story I read years ago (I think it was in one of those "Year's Best" collections edited by Gardner Dozois) that described a program just like this, that people fire up just to chill. I remember wanting something like that, so I'll definitely try this out.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:33 AM on June 15, 2007


Welcome to the blue, David. (woodblock100's website/journal was the subject of my first fpp here).

Playing Tranquility all day while waiting for Jaguar to ship is what got me fired from Apple, so thanks for dredging up awful memories.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:47 AM on June 15, 2007


For a game called "tranquility," it sure is frustrating.
posted by jorbs at 10:49 AM on June 15, 2007


jorbs: you're playing too fast. Relax and do tiny, suggestive mouse movements.
posted by lostburner at 10:58 AM on June 15, 2007


Playing Tranquility all day while waiting for Jaguar to ship is what got me fired from Apple, so thanks for dredging up awful memories.

I guess it makes me a terrible person but something about that just really made me laugh. So, uh, thanks, Heywood, I really needed the soothing balm of your misfortune today.
posted by nanojath at 11:30 AM on June 15, 2007


I feel like I just took a trip into Brian Eno's brain.
posted by treepour at 11:39 AM on June 15, 2007


Crashes in my Vista. Anyone with the same problem?
posted by darkripper at 12:12 PM on June 15, 2007


I'm a huge fan of Tranquilty, and am embarrassed to confess I have completed the whole damn game. Yes, I am a "Master of Programming". *cough*bigdamngeek*cough*
posted by browse at 1:17 PM on June 15, 2007


Dude, that's just cheap. If you've been using a free program for half a decade you really ought to send along a few bucks to the creators, even if the added functionality isn't that interesting to you.

I couldn't agree more ... All I can say is that when I first became familiar with this game, maybe it was around 2002 or so, it wasn't that cheap (I seem to remember). Now that I see this, I will definitely contribute.

Welcome to the blue, David.

Thanks Heywood; after lurking for five years, I figured it was time to jump into the pool ...
posted by woodblock100 at 3:56 PM on June 15, 2007


Quick update ... I just received an email from one of the people behind the scenes over there:

Tell them to please be gentle, we're seeing quite an increase in traffic

And he too (rightly) chided me (gently) for the freeloading, adding a bit of info about what you get for registration:

BTW... since you have enjoyed demo mode for so many years, you might REALLY enjoy the true progressive game - as demo mode only picks from the lowest of levels and contains no magic levels.
posted by woodblock100 at 4:12 PM on June 15, 2007


If I remember correctly, each card in tranquility has 7 levels.

Since I purchased my account in August 2002, I've completed 5 cards containing 7 levels each, for a total of 35 unique levels.

Tranquility currently offers 21 sets of 7 cards containing 7 levels each, for a total of 1029 unique levels.

I play a few times a year. This year, I discovered the joy of reducing the gravity so that it's more "float" and less "fall". It's still tough to find the spinners sometimes, but now it's a lot more fun.

I'm a huge fan of Tranquilty, and am embarrassed to confess I have completed the whole damn game. Yes, I am a "Master of Programming". *cough*bigdamngeek*cough*

Wow.
posted by crysflame at 6:18 PM on June 15, 2007


Supposedly it will work in Linux (Fedora) under Wine, but I'm yet to figure out how to get it running under Ubuntu.
posted by Ritchie at 6:41 PM on June 15, 2007


try the shiny pretty computer game....
you can just play it once or twice. it won't become a habit....
i just want to see the neat graphics...
i...i want to fly...


Hmm, probably best for my academic career if i favorite this one and set it aside for later.
posted by SBMike at 8:29 PM on June 15, 2007


Ooh, I remember this game! I used to zone out for big chunks of my night shift with it. Thanks for the reminder, time to download it again.
posted by Bugbread at 9:08 AM on June 16, 2007


I love games like this, but I have to say that after 15 minutes of playing it I find it totally stressful. I get that I'm supposed to go gently on the mouse, and relax and float and slowly drift over to a platform to bounce off of. Instead what I find myself doing is jumping 180 degree turns like I'm playing some first person shooter.
posted by Nelson at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2007


Me too, Nelson. It also makes me feel just the teensiest bit queasy. That turned into full on airsickness when I figured out that by screwing with the scroll wheel you can adjust the perspective. Have to go barf now.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:21 PM on June 16, 2007


you can adjust the perspective. Have to go barf now.

But that's the best part! (Not the barfing ... the perspective!)

Fly over until you are directly under one of the cascading fountains, then adjust the viewpoint until you are looking straight down, with the shooting stars streaming around you; hit the space bar to massively increase the gravity, tweak the mouse slightly to put on some spin ... and down you go!

Then of course, try and pull out of it before you hit the bottom, so that you just gently bounce ...
posted by woodblock100 at 12:44 AM on June 17, 2007


The sense of movement/flying stays with me long after I've stopped playing. For a few hours after I play, I see those floating rectangles and feel myself zooming through vast spaces every time I close my eyes.
posted by treepour at 2:18 AM on June 17, 2007


It just bloody crashes for me, and I *really* wanna play. :( No tech support that I could find on the page either. :(

I'm running Windows Vista on a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop.
posted by Vamier at 7:49 PM on June 30, 2007


Ok, so I guess I didn't look hard enough, contacting them now. :D
posted by Vamier at 7:51 PM on June 30, 2007


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