Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

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3,000 Strong EVE Battle Slowed Down Time

Last week a major battle unfolded in the massive online game EVE Online that involved about 3,000 players. It was all an accident though. Reddit user Kiresays explains what happened here and you can watch a video of the battle below.

So basically, boat is in his titan getting ready to bridge a full fleet (~250 dudes) onto this small pirate alliance. Except he makes a mistake; he clicks JUMP instead of BRIDGE. That sends his $3,500 ship right into the middle of this pirate corporation with nobody nearby to support him. And then all hell breaks loose.

The Penny Arcade Report talked with CCP (makers of EVE) and found something pretty neat. The way that they deal with server overload from too many players is to alter the speed of time!

“It’s basically a very graceful way of handling ‘lag’ produced in these situations where other games would have their servers melt,” Veritas told us. “It actually slows down time in the system to make sure the server calls and responses are both carried through and done in the correct order. In this case, as people jumped in it slowed down gradually until it hit the cap at 10%, meaning a pretty slow experience, but one that is still meaningful from a game play and ‘tactical’ perspective.”

I love it when the solution to a problem is to alter time. Instead of making it so players experince lag they use time dilation to have that lag essentially happen on the server. It must also help the game experience from a player’s perspective as a battle with 3,000 people and involving almost every alliance in the game can probably get confusing real quick.

That timey wimey stuff can get confusing.

A Slower Speed of Light Lets You Explore Light Speed

A Slower Speed of Light is a game created by the MIT Game Lab that helps people understand the effects of relativity at insanely high velocities. It is a super trippy game all based on reality, check out the trailer:

It’s fun to play through and the complexity of the game does increase. One thing I found pretty neat is once you get going fast enough parts of the world are literally invisible because the light emitting from that area hasn’t caught up with you yet.

It can be played on a Mac or a PC.

A Slower Speed of Light is a first-person game prototype in which players navigate a 3D space while picking up orbs that reduce the speed of light in increments. Custom-built, open-source relativistic graphics code allows the speed of light in the game to approach the player’s own maximum walking speed. Visual effects of special relativity gradually become apparent to the player, increasing the challenge of gameplay. These effects, rendered in realtime to vertex accuracy, include the Doppler effect (red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum); the searchlight effect (increased brightness in the direction of travel); time dilation (differences in the perceived passage of time from the player and the outside world); Lorentz transformation (warping of space at near-light speeds); and the runtime effect (the ability to see objects as they were in the past, due to the travel time of light). Players can choose to share their mastery and experience of the game through Twitter. A Slower Speed of Light combines accessible gameplay and a fantasy setting with theoretical and computational physics research to deliver an engaging and pedagogically rich experience.

Via Rock Paper Shotgun.

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