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Relativity Wars - A Science Space RTS
nathangeldner 13 jan 2014 om 8:50nm
How exactly does relativity come into play?
Ive taken two courses on special rel, and I've got to say i have no idea how relativity will make this game more fun or even add a meaningful level of complexity, and I have a number of questions as to how you will even display relativistic effects.

In relativity, the rate at which you experience time and at which those around you appear to experience time is entirely dependent on your inertial reference frame, and two different inertial reference frames will see these things in completely different ways. Not only is this true of time, it is also true of distance (length contraction).

The order in which events take place even changes depending on your reference frame.

So tell me, what relativity is actually going into this game, and why should i care?

The concept is seriously cool, but i don't get how it makes any sense. Please explain.
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nathangeldner 13 jan 2014 om 9:02nm 
I've looked more closely at the trailer, and now I'm frustrated as well as confused.

a "space-time wave" is not a meaningful thing in relativity. if you're trying to go for some bizarre adulturation of gravity or dark energy, you're simply misguided.

I saw a single universal reference frame used in the trailer, which in terms of relativity is garbage since the whole point is that position, motion, etc. are relative. I did not see a single instance of meaningful length contraction or time dilation. In fact, it looks like the only physicsy thing you added was that weird grid that is often used as a metaphor in educational videos for how spacetime is not flat and how gravity may be a warping thereof due to the presence of matter, but i didn't see serious gravitational effects either.

And why are your suns so small compared to your planets, and your planets so small compared to your ships?

This is starting to sound a lot like the science based dragon rpg garbage that reddit still hasn't gotten over. Please, please, please tell me that I'm wrong and why.
nathangeldner 13 jan 2014 om 9:06nm 
and by the way, if this is a game based on relativity, why do the ships in the trailer appear to outrun laser beams? That being impossible (light going at the speed of light compared to you no matter how fast you are going, therefore no speeding past it) is literally the entire foundation of relativity.
DarklyKitten 18 mrt 2014 om 2:00vm 
I would be interested in the answer to this question too. What I saw was incredibly unsatisfying compared to the claims being made, and I simply need more before I'm willing to press 'yes' to Greenlight this.
fungameco  [ontwikkelaar] 7 apr om 2:38vm 
Hi all FunGameCo here. In order to answer your points / concerns. First let me explain where the origins of this game. This game started life after a physics lecture back when I was a student after visualizing the 3D universe as the 2D surface of balloon. I set out to see if I could set up a computer model demonstrating this and having all the objects in it obey relativistic principles. This existed for a couple of years before it even thought about becoming a game.
Later I wanted to create a space strategy game and decide to set it in the universe / setup I'd created while at uni. From this point on the game is aiming to be a fun game, relativity cmes into play at times but often the game is not ABOUT the relativity (this is not a science lecture) it is just going on in the background. The game is pretty lighthearted and silly really.
But as far as I'm concerned there is nothing *wrong* with the physics that is going on (and I've had a few lecturers play it). To answer a few points directly.

Referential frames. Yes, there is no particular fixed referential frame in the universe. But there is always the frame in which you currently are. You the mighty 3 dimensional overlord happen to be at a particular referential frame and are not accelerating. Therefore everything else you see happening in in relation to you.

It is early on started that the scales of everything are wrong. this includes the speed of light, the speed you see the lazers moving at is the universal speed limit for the game. You will see ships getting close to this but never past it. As they get faster they will age slower (early on you need to worry about the lifespan of your crew) and bend the spacetime continuum further. In early versions they also squashed up, but unfortunately as they spend so much of their time closer to the speed of light that compared tot he observer they would be paper thin. This meant that most ships spent most of their time invisible so we removed this feature and see the ship as more a "counter" representing the position of the ship than a representation of what it would look like.

A few direct points

"single universal reference frame used in the trailer, which in terms of relativity is garbage since the whole point is that position, motion, etc. are relative. I did not see a single instance of meaningful length contraction or time dilation. "

Answered most of this above. There is not a single referential frame, there is the frame YOU are observing from. The game does NOT (as some nice little demos do) attempt to show what happens to the rest of the universe when you accelerate to large speeds.
time dilation, is happening. As above length contraction is not being shown in order to keep everything visible.

"a "space-time wave" is not a meaningful thing in relativity."

It is my opinion that there is nothing wrong with the theoretical basis of spacetime waves

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_wave

"why do the ships in the trailer appear to outrun laser beams? "

This is not the case. The highly upgraded ships you see spend a lot of time very close to the speed of light. Compared to you the observer they will be moving a very similar speed to the laser beams (and therefore able to slip past them). But never faster.

"And why are your suns so small compared to your planets, and your planets so small compared to your ships?"

Very early on we declare that our universe is NOT to scale. (sizes , distances, speed of light). This would make for a lot of scrolling about ;)

At the end of the day I hope you guys enjoy the game. As its developed there have been various pulls between the science and making the game fun and visually appealing. For instance from a science pov the ships and planets started life as flat counters to make it more clear that A - they are 2D and B- they are representations of positions on a 2D world rather than existing in a 3D reality. In the end when our art guys showed me how it would look to use 3D models I was sold and decided to move to this - but the game still tries to make it clear that you are not actually looking at a 3D reality.

In the end hope what is there is science, albeit limited, rather than sudo-science and I hope you can enjoy the game for what it intends to be, which is a bit of fun.

Thanks


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