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Math Quickies Entertainment Games

Working Calculator Created in LittleBigPlanet 142

jamie pointed out a really impressive creation from the LittleBigPlanet beta. The game allows the creation of puzzles from a collection of simple objects and tools. A player called upsilandre used 610 magnetic switches, 500 wires, 430 pistons, and a variety of other objects to create a functioning calculator that will do decimal/binary conversions as well as addition and subtraction. The creation does well to illustrate the potential for amazing creativity in level design. Another user recently designed a level to play the Final Fantasy X theme song. LittleBigPlanet is almost finished and set to be released later this month, though the controls may be refined in a future patch. We recently discussed a student level-design event at the Parsons New School for Design and Technology.
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Working Calculator Created in LittleBigPlanet

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  • Re:Two words: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:43PM (#25293199)
    Full adders are really simple to implement.. this really isn't so awesome. But you can do amazing things with wire mod in Garry's Mod.. I've seen autonomous pets, auto-targeting turrets, and chess engines constructed out of physics objects. Also it's extremely powerful because you can write lua scripts that are represented as black-box "chip" objects in the game with inputs and outputs.
  • Dwarf Fortress (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Danny Rathjens ( 8471 ) <slashdot2@ra[ ]ens.org ['thj' in gap]> on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:58PM (#25293347)

    This reminds me of the way you can combine the various elements in Dwarf Fortress to be able to perform computations. The graphics are at a wee bit of a different level, though. :D

    http://www.dwarffortresswiki.net/index.php/Mechanical_logic [dwarffortresswiki.net]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @07:20PM (#25293553)

    As they say, there's no problem which cannot be solved by adding a level of abstraction.

    1. There was a world full of physical objects, with all the interactions between them exactly as they should be.

    2. Someone built an amazingly powerful calculator out of these parts.

    3. Someone else built an amazingly complicated program which could be run by said calculator. The amazingly complicated program would simulate a very small subset of the physical world as described in 1. on the machine.

    4. Someone else built a calculator out of the parts available in the world available in the program running on the powerful calculator. This second calculator was much more simple and less powerful than the first calculator.

  • by JSBiff ( 87824 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @08:06PM (#25293997) Journal

    I've, from time to time, mused about the possibility of trying to create a game with a 'programming' mini-game. This might not obviously be programming to most users - maybe it would use some sort of icon-based programming (which it sounds like LittleBigPlanet sort of has with this parts system). Maybe this could be a system to let users create their own spells in a magic game, or used as a 'hacking' mini-game in a sci-fi game (something like Bioshock or Mass Effect, but replace the simplistic GUI puzzle 'hacking' mini-game with a slightly more robust mini-game which actually encourages people to learn real programming techniques), or maybe the ability to give a ship or other piece of equipment new abilities in a sci-fi game.

    Anyone know to what extent this idea has been tried in the past by any other games? The only thing that comes to my mind is a game I saw a few years ago (can't remember what it was called now), where the player was in some sort of base on Mars or one of the moons of Jupiter or something, and the player created these autonomous vehicles by combining parts (chasis, engine, wheels, breaks, batteries, and various 'logic components') using a wiring system (which is sort of like programming). Then the vehicles would be pitted against each other in a sort of arena. Sometimes you would be racing an obstacle course, other times the vehicles were fighting each other (you could get weapons which you could wire up to the vehicle).

    I imagine that, for the game to gain any popularity, this should be a fairly optional part of the game, since most users might get a little overwhelmed by it, if it were complex enough to be fairly powerful.

  • by Le Marteau ( 206396 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @08:44PM (#25294253) Journal

    Universal Turing Machine. Implemented using Conway's Game of Life. [rendell-attic.org]

    Just amazing. If you know what those words mean, you HAVE to check that pattern out. I could watch in run for days. Just mind blowing.

  • by adavies42 ( 746183 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @09:04PM (#25294379)
    Reminds me of Marathon 2/Marathon Infinity--back before Aleph One and the addition of a scripting language, some people liked to use only standard game elements to create logic effects. One guy designed a half-adder cell using two monsters, a platform, and a switch, and used a bunch to make a ripple-carry adder that triggered as you ran down a hallway, displaying its results on a bank of lights at the end. Another guy won a Bungie contest by reimplementing most of Myst Island's puzzles in Marathon.
  • by bentcd ( 690786 ) <bcd@pvv.org> on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @05:16AM (#25297185) Homepage

    Kind of makes you wonder what happens once we design a computer fast enough to accurately simulate physics exactly as in our universe.

    Some would say that the only computer capable of accurately simulating physics exactly as in our universe /is/ our universe. And, further, that our universe is already doing these calculations at the maximum possible speed. If this conjecture is correct then in order to make accurate predictions of future events you would need a computer even bigger than our universe to do so. Implementing this is left as an exercise for the reader :-)

  • Re:PS3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DikSeaCup ( 767041 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:37AM (#25298159) Homepage
    I got my PS3 originally for the BlueRay ... and the fact that it had be eons since I had had a game console (that SuperNintendo is currently gathering dust in a closet right now). My first two games were "Ratchet and Clank Future" and "Resistance: Fall of Man".

    I liked the "story" of Resistance, but hated the gameplay (and FPS style, since it was story driven ... the "maps" were very linear in order to make sure you went the right way). FPSs are so much better with a keyboard and mouse.

    "R&CF:ToD" was very fun. But the real fun began with "Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga". There's just something to be said for being able to run around with a lightsaber and slashing Storm Troopers. And the puzzles were okay.

    "Lego Indiana Jones" was kinda cool. The puzzles were a little more involved, but there was something lacking in the game ... something about the feel that just wasn't right.

    "Lego Batman" has been great so far. I like the fact that you play both Batman through "Story"s as well as the "Villans".

    My biggest issue with all of the "Lego" games has been the "Story" and "Free Play" options. You really can't do all of the "Free Play" stuff until you've gone through enough of the "Story"s to unlock key characters (or in the case of Batman, special Batsuits) (IE, in "Star Wars", there are things you just can't do in the first three movies - six stories each - until you've come across Tie Fighters in "A New Hope). It's kind of a "forced delayed replayability" thing. But once you have those extra characters, it's very cool.

    All PS3 games so far have been able to play 720P. However, the game animation quality of "The Simpsons" just flat out sucked [youtube.com] (cutscenes were cool, but there was some "blockiness" to the edges of characters during the game). There are reviews on my MySpace blog [myspace.com] for most of the games I've played.
  • Re:Two words: (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:09PM (#25304017)

    Hypothetically, almost any basic electronic system could be replicated with hydraulics. Just replace diodes with gate valves, transistors with regulator valves, resistors with orifices, and have other types of valves perform input or logical switching functions. Capacitors can be done with pressure tanks, and of course you have pumps or other sources of hydraulic head as power supplies. Replace voltage with line pressure and amperes with volumetric flow rates (or is it mass flow? It's been a while.) Even the math behind it is pretty damn similar.

    Sure, it wouldn't be practical in reality. But there's not much to keep it from working in simulation. I suppose it's an interesting challenge for someone who considers themselves a bonafide steam-punk.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito