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Games Science

Transform Any Unity Project Into a Relativistic Playground With OpenRelativity 40

Posted by Soulskill
from the aim,-calculate-lorentz-transform,-fire dept.
schirra writes "The MIT Game Lab has just released the graphics/physics engine from its popular game A Slower Speed of Light as an open-source project, allowing anyone to play around with the effects of special relativity using Unity3D. While the hope is that game developers and educators will use OpenRelativity to develop new kinds of relativistic games and simulations, that shouldn't stop those with a casual interest from playing around with these wicked cool effects. For the physics inclined, these effects include Lorentz contraction, time dilation, Doppler shift, and the searchlight effect--though a PhD in theoretical physics isn't required to enjoy or use the project."
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Transform Any Unity Project Into a Relativistic Playground With OpenRelativity

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  • What about (Score:3, Funny)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:54PM (#43843879)

    spaghettification? What good isa physics engine if it can't turn every day objects into noodles?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ArcadeMan (2766669)

      Screw your spaghetti. I want a physics engine that turns every day objects pink and invisible.

    • spaghettification? What good isa physics engine if it can't turn every day objects into noodles?

      Spaghettification is classical tidal forces, you don't need a special relativity engine for that, just a compact heavy object. What I would like to know is whether the engine also considers general relativity? Probably too complicated though, deforming space and so forth.

      • From playing with the demo last time it was mentioned, their implementation simulates the optical effects of varying the speed of light(getting massive doppler shifts at walking pace made me want to puke); but doesn't simulate(beyond a very rudimentary 'running and jumping on a plane with some scattered scenery) changes in mass, deformation of either objects or space or both. The new release may be more comprehensive, haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

      • I just wanted an excuse to mention spaghettification.

      • What I would like to know is whether the engine also considers general relativity?

        Apparently it considers quantum effects, too - at high speeds I was able to tunnel through the fence, but then I didn't have enough room get to back up to speed to tunnel out!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      From what I can tell (I just played their example game), its not a physics engine, just some tweaked shaders (and likely tweaked culling to match). The only stuff of real interest here are the rendering changes. There may be some physics in there, but the dynamics type physics wasn't very interesting/apparent.

      It looks like the distortions are done in the vertex shader, which means you need high vertex densities for high distortions to look reasonable (geometry shader based tessellation would resolve this).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        After playing a bit more, some more bugs:

        Mushrooms, and a couple other things glow really bright in the far UV. Much brighter than any place in the sky, so it can't be scattered light, they are just powerful UV lightbulbs.

        If you just hold "s" to move backwards, even if up against a wall and thus not moving, the relativistic effects are out in full force, as if you were moving.

        Also, the complete lack of any directional lighting is kinda strange. No sun, no shadows. Everything is just kinda lit, and some thin

        • by Anonymous Coward
          The developers had to make a few considerations w/r/t user experience that are not physically accurate. You can move when colliding with objects because testers found jarring halts when colliding with objects disorienting, especially given how intense the relativistic effects can be at particular speeds of light. Also, you can have the trivial demo world—it comes packaged with OpenRelativity!
  • ..for those wondering if this was a cyclic time thing from slashdot.

    • world was created 5 seconds before this post as it is.

      This hypothesis is constantly disproven. Search for Boltzmann brains for research, or this neat talk [youtube.com]:

      • This hypothesis is constantly disproven.

        Surely the whole point of that hypothesis is that it can't be disproven? You can declare it as unlikely as you want, but can you really prove it can't have happened?

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        world was created 5 seconds before this post as it is.

        This hypothesis is constantly disproven. Search for Boltzmann brains for research, or this neat talk [youtube.com]:

        it doesn't disprove the possibility nor does it have anything to do with the idea that everything was kickstarted five seconds ago with everything in place. though I admit that I don't like the idea that world was created so that it already had my signature written ready for me and that I would have already an intention to press submit at creation, it's kind of a kick in the nuts since if it was so then I was kickstarted with the idea that I have some kind of free will as well - fucking pranksters whoever d

  • KSP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goertzenator (878548) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:57PM (#43843917)
    Would go great with Kerbal Space Program.
    • I second the motion. Can't wait to see Kerbal Interstellar Program.
      Devs: Holler if you need help.
      OTOH, OpenRelativity is open source. Can an API to KSP be worked out to work with OpenRelativity? We'll take care of the rest.

  • Link to the game (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @04:13PM (#43844041)
    OK, so there is a game called A Slower Speed of Light...
    How about linking to it [mit.edu]?
  • I'd see about making a game based on Redshift Rendezvous [amazon.com] by John E. Stith.
    • I bought that book based on a recommendation the last time I saw a story about this project. It was definitely a fun book, and Stith did a good job extrapolating the effects of his new physics.
  • http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/11/07/1559210/mit-slows-down-speed-of-light-in-new-game [slashdot.org]

    Well, sort of. I'm going to guess that the difference is now they've released their code.

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