I root for Yellow
May 27, 2016 7:13 PM   Subscribe

The free physics simulator Algodoo is used to create (among many other things) soothing marble race videos. But once you've got colored balls racing each other, why not take things to the next level? Introducing the Algodecathlon and the Algicosathlon
posted by bq (21 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I chose poorly in the Algodecathlon, although my stick figure made it to Day 3 at least.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 7:35 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Go Black!
posted by adept256 at 7:52 PM on May 27, 2016

Goddammit, Purple.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:53 PM on May 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh man, that was so much fun! I am ethical opposed to gambling of any kind, but if the lotto draw was was more like this instead of balls in a barrel, I'd play every week and host lotto night at my house where we'll watch the two hour coverage. Every week.

I also now understand the appeal of pachinko. Someone please make this real!
posted by adept256 at 8:08 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I also now understand the appeal of pachinko.

Is it the ear-shattering noise or the billowing clouds of cigarette smoke?
posted by oheso at 8:16 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

'Soothing'? What kind of monster are you?
posted by es_de_bah at 8:19 PM on May 27, 2016

Funny. I used to fool around with Pinball Construction Set on the Apple ][ to make similar kinds of weirdness. Good to know the internet has not completely destroyed low-grade entertainment.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:40 PM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

This is so engrossing. It was so exciting when Brown went last in gymnastics and needed at least a 2.0 to avoid elimination—and then came in first! My person Green went into the next event, hurdles, in last place with more than a 50% chance of being eliminated, but came in first!

Diving back in to see what happens next!
posted by not that girl at 9:53 PM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

[spoiler alert]
posted by not that girl at 10:13 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

My person won! In the final event my person kept swapping the lead with another runner but was ultimately triumphant. Go Team My Person!
posted by not that girl at 10:14 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is like the most enthralling thing I have seen on the internet. THANK YOU
posted by threeants at 11:17 PM on May 27, 2016

Btw be aware that the algodecathlon contains a major spoiler for the marble race

I can't believe that is a real thing I wrote
posted by threeants at 11:21 PM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by rebent at 7:32 AM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Perfect Saturday morning cartoon, thanks for posting!
posted by wires at 8:00 AM on May 28, 2016

You never go too far wrong backing MRRRPHHFFST* in this kind of contest.

*Spoiler muffled on legal advice
posted by flabdablet at 8:44 AM on May 28, 2016

Things you won't see in Rio.
posted by lharmon at 10:38 AM on May 28, 2016

I was rooting for yellow, too, after coming from behind in the first heat.

But for physics simulators, I prefer Fantastic Contraption.
The best parts are members-only, so I can't link designs from there. The Mean and Green thread has some of the most amazing work.
posted by MtDewd at 11:29 AM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is exactly like Interactive Physics. So back in highschool we had that program installed in a lot of the computer labs for the science department, and even in the school library. The physics teachers used them to have us create models and simulations that were practical applications of the theories you learn from textbooks. For every object you can set a ton of values like mass, friction, bounciness, etc. And they had presets like rubber, metal, wood, etc. There's the basic motor that will spin any object in place if you give it an anchor, or you can combine that and some pistons and springs to create a car. One of the projects I did for fun to show off how well I knew the program was to simulate how a car's shocks move as it drives over speed bumps.

Anyway my favorite thing to do that my friends got a real kick out of was to create like these death machines, usually with spinning blades just like in those videos and throwing stick figures into them and see them get pounded and tossed around. The program actually calculates what every frame of action will be based on all current properties. When you see the videos suddenly speeding up it's because things are simpler to calculate, not unlike how videogames get slowed down when there are too many objects on screen.

I remember trying to buy that program to play with it at home but it was more expensive than what my allowance could afford. But there were many days where I would finish lunch early and go to the library to play with it. You could save a set up to a floppy (the 3" kind) and then just load it into any computer with the program. But the simulation usually generates a huge file if it has a ton of frames. So to show off my creation I usually had to load the set up and then we'd have to wait for it to start initial calculations, which could take forever if I made something too complicated.

From the link to the software now, looks like there's a lot of updates to it, but I still recognize a lot of little details!

Sorry, didn't mean to write that huge comment but i was just hit with the biggest nostalgia wave. Now I gotta download Algodoo and play with it!
posted by numaner at 12:01 AM on May 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

That was way more entertaining than I expected, crushing to get second place though
posted by Shikantaza at 5:03 AM on May 29, 2016

I want to know how/why mine goes from moments of brilliance to a full on QWOP simulation just before the victory line...
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:37 AM on May 29, 2016

That discus methodology is completely unacceptable. You score where it lands, and you flippin' pick the discus up!
posted by lumensimus at 7:05 PM on May 29, 2016

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