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Applied Time Dilation and Hyper Realistic Space Simulation Part 1:

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Applied Time Dilation and Hyper Realistic Space Simulation Part 1: Each body (planets and ships) in motion would have a dilated sense of time relative to the velocity of the body in motion. Time dilation should be calculated relative to a zero velocity clock for simplicities sake. RT ... time indicated by the spaceship clock t ... time already elapsed on the 0 Velocity clock v ... Speed of the body in motion relative to 0 velocity c ... speed of light = 1 (we are working in units of light years) RT = t * (1- (v^2 / c^2)) ^ .5 Game Application of Time Dilation A light year is the distance that light travels over a period of a single earth year. Production and resource gathering would be most effective at locations with little or no velocity because in these locations time would elapse substantially faster relative to locations where velocity is greater such as in a very fast low orbit like the core of the galaxy or around a massive black hole or even traveling at incredible speeds (IE don’t conduct time sensitive activities in locations traveling at high speeds unless of course you want them to occur slowly.) As a spaceship increases it velocity it also increases the dilation of time. For example a spaceship traveling near the speed of light would take millions of years relative to earth time to travel to another galaxy, yet for the crew aboard the spaceship the trip would be nearly instantaneous. What kind of unique situations would removing a time constant impose on a game? For the sake of playability a year will be compressed to a minute. 1. Instant communication could be made impossible. Instead, a chat message being sent to a player must travel at the speed of light. For example a player located 20 light years away would not receive the message for 20 minutes. Or your spaceship crews would not receive orders for 20 minutes assuming they are not moving, and if they are moving away from you the messages may take much longer. 2. The characters and equipment in the game ages relative to its time dilation. Say a spaceship and crew has an effective life span of 40 years (40 minutes at 0 velocity). That spaceship moving at 75% the speed of light would be viable for 160 years relative to the 0 velocity environment. So that space ship would in effect have an effective range of 160 light years (various game modifiers and ship upgrades could substantially increase the viability window, such as crew hibernation facilities and ship preservation methods). For example, say an Enemy fleet is coming to attack earth; the fleet departs Alpha Centari (4 light years distance from earth) the fleet is traveling at 75% the speed of light, the fleet will arrive in 5 years (5 minutes) your long range passive sensors (telescopes) detect the fleet leaving Alpha Centari 4 minutes after they have already left, they will arrive in 1 minute. The attackers will have only aged 1 year. 3. Combat in a realistic space combat environment would be vary alien and vary dry in comparison to an arcade space shooter. Because time has been compressed from 1 year to 1 minute for playabilities sake an hour in a 0 velocity state would be only 0.00684 seconds long. There for combat must be automated, as it would be in a real space war. Because of CPU limitations we must fake the combat with some sort of combat simulator algorithm. The weapons of space combat would most likely be Energy weapons such as lasers and nuclear weapons which can be used at incredible range. Things like bullets and conventional explosives are uneconomical. 4. An argument for faster then light speeds can be made. There are a number of conflicting issues with the speed of light. Say our above mentioned spaceship shoots a laser beam at a spaceship that is on an interception course, both spaceships will measure the speed of the laser beam to be traveling at light speed. Instead of vA + vB + C = velocity. Logically it would appear that space is warping to compensate the speed at which light travels. 5. War would nearly always be fought with obsolete equipment. Military operations must also be conducted under a total commitment policy. Enemy ships traveling at less then the speed of light can be detected long before there arrival especially at if they are moving great distances, entire fleets of ships may be constructed after detection and before arrival to combat the invasion force. Nuclear weapons appear to be the only viable weapon. Any Feedback would be greatly appreciated. www.SquareDanceStudios.com

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Nathan Baum    1027
Relativity and computer games don't play well together.

You sound like you're talking about a multiplayer game. Since you can't actually make time flow at different rates for different players, if a player starts moving at 0.99999c his client would have to run 223 times slower than everyone else. Nobody is going to enjoy that.

Even in a single-player game, AI would have to run 223 times faster when you're moving at 0.99999c relative to them. And supposing the game world is a light year in diameter, you'd have to record nearly every event that occured in the last year in case an AI will see it later on. It's a processing and storage nightmare.

Even after all that, I think that the Twins Paradox would genuinely be a paradox when simulated on a computer, which could put paid to the entire notion of simulating multiple relativistic frames of reference anyway.

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Applied Time Dilation and Hyper Realistic Space Simulation Part 2:

The application of time dilation could not be applied as time would be applied to games normally. A relativistic game could never be an action game. For the application of the game to work the player must “transcend time”, or in other words not be bound to a clock. Only the players ships and in game characters would be affected by time dilation but the player can only be notified of occurrences through notification by his employed personnel (ship captains, planetary outposts, space stations…) but the player must be at an in game location otherwise there would be no way to calculate out how the player receives information.
An attacking force must travel as close to the speed of light as possible. As described in my above post the attack force on rout from Alpha Centari to earth will be detected an earth year before the force arrives, giving the earthlings an entire year to construct a comparable military force. Assuming the Earthlings and the residents of alpha Centari have mirrored rate of technological development and are on par with one another, an attacking force from either star system will be obsolete by the time of its arrival. At greater distances the situation will only get worse for the attacking force. The player who dispatched the attacking force from Alpha Centari will not even know of the results of the battle for 9 years after dispatching his task force. Assuming that the attack force wins the battle for earth, they must wait for 8 years after the battle before receiving instructions from Alpha Centari. 14 years have now elapsed before that task force receives new orders or 14 minutes as applied in my above post, we must also not forget that the task force is also 14 years obsolete and that in most instances the ships if damaged could not come home for repair nor would we want to repair 14 year old ships that by the time they could get home they would be 21 years old.
As for defensive operations it would be uneconomical to maintain a defensive fleet or any sort of defensive systems at all. It could be hundreds if not thousands of years between fleet engagements at a particular location, what is a thousand year old battle cruiser good for, even if maintained, maintenance is expensive and the cruiser remains obsolete. A player must instead hope that an enemy fleet is detected prior to its arrival. This makes attack trajectories from deep space or remote locations very appealing, players only have limited observation capabilities.
For the application of time dilation to the game engine, every observable event must be transmitted to every player. That event must then have a predicted elapse time for ship and planet. If any of the spaceships change their frame of reference (direction or velocity) the prediction must be updated and then the already elapsed time subtracted from the end notification result. We must also not forget that the number of observable star system is very limited in a galaxy of over a million stars; a player may change the systems and stars that he is tracking, the player will only be able to track what he can with available resources. This creates a variable definition of observable; the player must be looking at the star system in question at exactly the time the results of the battle will be received. It may still be a processing and storage nightmare but it very manageable, and in fact the only nightmare could be the resources required by the server if the server wish’s to fight cheaters by managing all notifications. Even then, 2048mb’s of ram is an incredible amount of ram and hard drive space is virtually unlimited.
Application of the simulation could not be an inch for inch simulation it would instead have to be an event driven engine. Once a ship is launched it will go into sleep mode until it has achieved its designated time elapse (relative to the 0 velocity clock) required for it to reach its destination. So that ship would not have any processing until its wake up event was triggered from say a master list of time elapse triggers or unless it was intercepted or received a message from a player, and any of those events would also be listed in the time elapse event trigger. The applied process would be entirely automated and a tad resource hungry, but hard drive speed is more then acceptable for its storage. Events approaching the trigger point could even be moved into ram.
This situation leaves us with one kind of game, a unique strategy game where fleets are designed and constructed for a single battle. The fuel required to accelerate the above fleet to 75% the speed of light is mirrored by the amount of fuel required to slow the fleet down and then the total is doubled if fleet wishes to return home. So a fleet is essentially a fire and forget weapon. So why not just use nuclear projectiles they don’t need to slow down or return home

The Twin Paradox is unfounded.
http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module4_twin_paradox.htm



Any Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

www.SquareDanceStudios.com

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rmsgrey    153
I still don't see why you insist on using nuclear weapons - particularly if you don't intend to decelerate them. The rough energy yield of a nuclear reaction is at best 0.7% of the rest mass of reacting material. The kinetic energy of an object travelling at 75% of light speed is around 28% of relativistic mass, or a little over 42% of rest mass. When you consider the additional difficulties involved in triggering a nuclear explosion, and the fact that only a relatively small proportion of the mass will actually react before the explosion scatters it, it hardly seems worth the effort since replacing the explosive with an equivalent mass of feathers will give at least 98% of the same effect (rather more when you consider the mass of the non-reacting parts) - if you insist on having radioacive fallout, then I'd suggest sending equivalent quantities of nuclear waste instead - a far better solution than deep sea burial!

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Accelerating a something heavy (like a small asteroid) to 75% the speed of light would be an ideal world destroyer (thank you that idea hadn’t occurred to me), you couldn’t destroy space ships, but that wouldn’t matter because the location of space ships in 5 years would be unpredictable, unless the ship had already been deployed and reached its maximum cruise velocity. What about using nuclear weapons traveling at incredible speeds to intercept oncoming fleets? Also keep in mind that something large like an asteroid could be easily detectable in comparison to ships running silent (no radio communication).

Here is a study the air force conducted on asteroid impacts, http://www.au.af.mil/au/2025/volume3/chap16/v3c16-1.htm#Contents

Here is an article on missile interception with nuclear weapons
http://www.thebulletin.org/article.php?art_ofn=nd03zimmerman

For you space war game guys, check this out
http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Science/

It is clear that a war game taking place in a hyper realistic space environment would require new tactics, new extreme range capabilities and total war doctrine

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I too have thought of incorporating concepts of General Relativity into my sci-fi game concepts, but alas, for most game-types they don't mix well. For a macro-management civilization strategy game though, I can think of a few possible ways it might work, but I don't think it would be very fun. No offense. It might appeal to small percentage of sci-fi enthusiasts, but without having character development or micro-management I don't know how well it would be received by the general gaming audience. I'd like to be proved wrong, but I just don't think you could create a game with time dilation where you felt personally invested in the outcome of the characters lives, since most of them would only exist for minutes or slightly over an hour. I think there would have to be more to the game than simply calculating long range planetary assaults.

These are just my thoughts.

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Wavinator    2017
Quote:
Original post by SquareDanceSteve
Applied Time Dilation and Hyper Realistic Space Simulation Part 1:


Hah! I've finally met my match in post length! [lol] (I've learned that it's better to summarize and break this kind of post up into sections with headers if you want more than just a handful of responses-- otherwise it's a grind to read through, and most won't).

Quote:

1. Instant communication could be made impossible. Instead, a chat message being sent to a player must travel at the speed of light. For example a player located 20 light years away would not receive the message for 20 minutes. Or your spaceship crews would not receive orders for 20 minutes assuming they are not moving, and if they are moving away from you the messages may take much longer.


Two problems: Players will always have an out of game means of communicating (ICQ, MSN, etc.); and for realistic galactic distances (say averaging 200 - 500 light years, depending on if your galaxy is realistic or not) communication would be ridiculous. At worst, communicating from one side of the galaxy to the other would take over two real-time months.

Quote:

5. War would nearly always be fought with obsolete equipment. Military operations must also be conducted under a total commitment policy. Enemy ships traveling at less then the speed of light can be detected long before there arrival especially at if they are moving great distances, entire fleets of ships may be constructed after detection and before arrival to combat the invasion force.


As this would be a very real practical problem, I'd think warring empires would communicate via laser with their respective fleets. Each packet would have information and technology updates. Engineers onboard would be skilled at modifying equipment, and emphasis in fleet construction likely would be placed on modularity (redesigning the ship as it flies).

Assuming either nanotechnology or biotechnology (or both) and some percentage of payload allocated to construction materials, I can see ships arriving only as old as their distance from the research transmission source. (Furthermore, why can't the fleet, assuming ample size, be a center of research itself?)

Quote:

Nuclear weapons appear to be the only viable weapon.


What about anti-matter, based on a stable solar collection / production infrastructure? It would take time to produce, and be very nasty in comparison.

Or what about simply accelerating fine grains of debris to nearly 100% c against the incoming fleet? A grain of sand could hit a ship like a nuclear bomb, and you could send huge clouds against your enemy.

Or maybe you could have nanite disassembling clouds as a kind of picket defense.

Above all, I'd be deeply concerned about the time it takes to resolve disputes with this idea.

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Applied Time Dilation and Hyper Realistic Space Simulation Part 3:

I completely agree, especially since a player would have to script all foreseen contingencies because after the ships have departed you will no longer be able to control your task force in real time unless you accompany them.

Crew hibernation technologies would allow your crew and characters to sleep when not in use, thus extending their life spans to hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. A million years in a year to minute scale is nearly 12 days. For example say, you checked out the available crew recruits at every planet you visited you could over a series of weeks or months select a premium crew from the virtually unlimited worlds available for you to travel to. A better crew could supply bonuses to the speed and efficiency of the various actives conducted by the ship in question.

I have also been rethinking the issue of obsolesces. There are a number of ways that could be invented (at least for the games sake) so that a ship could be preserved over incredibly long periods. With a ship capable of reaching 75% of the speed of light it would be capable of throwing projectiles through planets, in itself becoming a world destroyer. Planetary defense could also become viable with preservation technology.

The resources required to build ships capable of these extreme speeds would be immense. The facilities and elements required to build a ship of this type immense. A massive technology trade for manufactured equipment could also evolve. The ship building system could require hundreds of different items that your macro controlled crew members would scrounge the galaxy for.

Players would also have the viable option of running. A galaxy containing a million star systems would allow players to disappear.


What would the game play of an MMO of this type be like?

1. Encountering an individual player once and only once.
2. Players chasing each other from star system to star system in an endless cat and mouse game.
3. Empire building.
4. Empire destroying.
5. Stagnant technology for players who reach the peak.
6. Stagnant military tactics
7. Heavy use of the macro system included with the game, creating automated war and automated empire building.
8. Many server operated AI players bent on single activities.
9. Massive fleet engagements being resolved instantly or no fleets at all.
10. Some location where people conduct crew ship and resource trading.
11. Very deliberate and calculated game play, mistakes could take hours to resolve.



Wavinator Response:

You are correct; they would have an out of game method of communication. But their crews can not communicated with out of game.

Massive ships containing all the capabilities to be remodeled on the fly is a desirable idea, but I fear an awake crew over a 100 light year journey may realistically be more of a problem then an the benefits gained by on the fly ship upgrades. (moral plummeting, internal power struggles saboteurs, you name it) A crew that awakes exactly as it was 125 years earlier, will have its original effectiveness and chances are the ship will have not suffered any sort of mechanical failure.

Your are right about super high velocity weapons. The destructive power of one of these fleets is virtually unimaginable; players can destroy the galaxy as they see fit.

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Wavinator    2017
Oh, yeah, I forgot to ask: Since we're being realistic, what the heck do people who are years or decades away from each other have to fight about anyway?

It can't be territory. If you take our solar system as near average, we've got plenty of planets to terraform, and a practically unlimited amount of space in which to build comparatively cheaper artificial habitats. You would even have to assume that advanced civilizations would have to control their birthrate or risk having so much devoted to welfare that they couldn't afford much else.

It can't be for resources: Assuming a decent level of nanotech, every civilization would be a closed system. Recycling would be expected to be near 100%, with all waste transformed back to usable material. Energy would be near-infinite, as well, given the expected level of solar collection you'd expect a society to be able to achieve.

It certainly can't be for trade: Because it takes years to port something around at ridiculously expensive fuel costs, almost anything you could think to trade would instead be made locally with less energy/material. If there's something you couldn't make, you'd likely do without unless you're uber-rich. And with nanotech, once you get the item, it's likely you could just copy it. (After all, if it's worth it, you'll devote enough processing power to analyzing it.)

This leaves ideology, which means you'd have lots of religious and ideological zealots slinging hyperkenetic and photon weapons at each other. But they're years isolated. Depending on the lifespans and level of zealotry, you'd be looking at societies somehow supporting wars over generations. That has to be some pretty twisted ideology to make active aggression (and concommitant suffering at home due to rationing or what have you) last for centuries.

Of course, all war in the galaxy could be caused by one ultra-massive crusading empire that's either genociding or force-converting others.

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Gyrthok    412
Interesting idea, sounds along the simulation lines of B17-Flying Fortress and Silent Hunter III.

Anyway, communication over vast interstellar distances isn't that inconcievable if you decide to use Quantum Entanglement as a means of communication, since distance is irrelevant to bonded particles. If you decide to make communication dilated for ingame effect, then as Wavinator said you'll end up with people using 3rd party communication systems to circumvent it.

Quote:
Nuclear weapons appear to be the only viable weapon.


Have you considered Railgun Technology?

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swiftcoder    18432
Apart from the previous issues raised, my main concern is player lifetime. For the scale of gameplay you are suggesting the player would have to exist for tens of millions of years, only viable if the player is considered to be a massive AI network, or we regard that every ruler in the galaxy has achieved immortality.

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Wavinator    2017
Quote:
Original post by SquareDanceSteve
What would the game play of an MMO of this type be like?

1. Encountering an individual player once and only once.


So what of friends, who like to play against others together. Or clans?

Quote:

2. Players chasing each other from star system to star system in an endless cat and mouse game.


This sounds VERY annoying. We tend to like to know we can win.

Quote:

11. Very deliberate and calculated game play, mistakes could take hours to resolve.


I have strong feelings against this, as well. When you do something wrong, it's good to know it soon. The old Civilization is a great example of this problem, where you can play for days not knowing that you've already lost. This leads to some very formulaic powermaxing (build barracks, produce units, ad infinitum... it kills the spirit of the game).

Quote:

Massive ships containing all the capabilities to be remodeled on the fly is a desirable idea, but I fear an awake crew over a 100 light year journey may realistically be more of a problem then an the benefits gained by on the fly ship upgrades. (moral plummeting, internal power struggles saboteurs, you name it) A crew that awakes exactly as it was 125 years earlier, will have its original effectiveness and chances are the ship will have not suffered any sort of mechanical failure.


When you're as far out on a fictional limb as expected here, many of your conclusions will be based on what you want to have happen.

Consider:

How psychologically stable is the military society? Anti-depressants and mood control substances could be a regular part of managing morale. Furthermore, what about mind-machine interfaces connected to nearly frozen crew which direct robots aboard ship? We have the beginnings of mind-machine interfaces now. And what about AI?

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Interstellar war is pointless, and I doubt any zealotry would be powerful enough hold sway over the people for 1000’s of years. Zealotry can last a life time, and for a crew that is in hibernation between targets, zealotry can last a million years.

Two kinds of people fight interstellar war, the first kind are timeless people who are only awake during ship refits, resource collection and during battle, and these people could either be fleeing other timeless people in and endless war of cat and mouse. The second kind are the kind of people who are playing for glory and mmo rankings.

Resources are not unlimited in a situation where your ship is massive and in a game where the economics system requires incredibly complex equipment to build your ship. If equipment is relatively timeless then trade is all right.

Nano’s can only do so much, I find it difficult to believe nano’s could make atoms. If they could resource market economics would be void and only technology would be traded.

People on planets will have no need for interstellar war, but in time of desperate need such as the detection of an incoming fleet, they will militarize very quickly, they horrible weapons will be built and crews will be trained to control this equipment. The war ends, and you win. Dismantle the fleet and risk having to build another? Keep the fleet orbiting your planet and risk a military coup that could end in the destruction of your planet? Or send your victorious fleet where the enemy came from and make sure you never have to deal with them again.

Remember a military can take whatever it needs from their defeated enemys.

Any civilian society would not want to be tangled with a military project spanning thousands of years, they would make the mission a fire and forget mission. When the warrior aboard awake they will be fighting for the world they left behind not the world of the present.

Your military personnel will remain stable by virtue of remaining frozen during the time between deployment and combat, they will awake in the state the were deployed in.

The subject of errors taking hours to resolve, I am at a lost to resolve the impulsiveness of people. Instead players should attempt to take advantage of the inaccurate deployment.



Before posting in this thread please read all of posts since your last visit to this thread.

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Raghar    96
You might look there for a little article about realistic wars.

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.science/browse_frm/thread/5e2d3f1512703238/48c0ea55c26a324b?q=raghar&rnum=15&hl=en#48c0ea55c26a324b

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rmsgrey    153
As an aside, the problem of effective force projection already exists in current RTS games - anyone who's tried a zergling rush against a prepared opponent in StarCraft has discovered that the defending force has always had more time to build, so almost always outnumbers the attacking force...

The solution is either to build an overwhelming force before attacking so that, by the time your victim knows you're coming, it's far too late to start building good enough defenses, or to send out a "mothership" capable of building an attack fleet on arrival - allowing you to react meaningfully to the course of events.

********************

"Footfall" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle is a fairly realistic account of alien invasion - a generation ship arrives in the solar system, spends a couple of decades lurking in Saturn's rings, converting one of Saturn's moons into a weapon, and then come and drop it on late 20th-century Earth.

If you think parking as close as Saturn is too risky, there's plenty of material out in the cometary belt that could be used to build stuff with - or you could just sit out there and throw snowballs...

The motivation for the invasion? The alien equivalent of Jehovah's Witnesses, come to save our souls...


Another Niven/Pournelle concept - for the spin-off novel that just deals with asteroid (actually comet) impact - "Lucifer's Hammer" - written first but arising from a first draft outline for what would become Footfall - was hitting the Earth with a hot fudge sundae - 1 cubic mile in size... energy yield calculated at roughy 2/3 of a teraton - 640,000 megatons - and that's just at typical cometary velocities...

***********************************

It's just as well that the logistics of interstellar warfare give such a large advantage to the defending force - the chances of any invaders happening to be at exactly the defenders level of technology are pretty poor whether you allow for the century or so (at most) of lag between launch and arrival. Look at what happened in South America - and consider that an invading force is more likely to be technologically superior than inferior - they have the technology for interstellar travel.

************************************

Interstellar warfare, by what we think we know about the universe is impractical rather than impossible. We have the technology today to build manned spacecraft capable of reaching nearby stars in a couple of centuries, and there are several plausible candidates for near future technology capable of bringing that time down significantly - sufficiently many that there are experts who believe we shouldn't launch anything with a flight time over about a century, simply because it would probably get overtaken en route...

Anyway, it's almost certainly possible to launch an interstellar attack fleet, even if we consider that it would be too expensive, too unlikely to succeed, and too unlikely to offer any form of profit, for any reasonable being to do so - the problem is that there are plenty of unreasonable beings on Earth, and no reason to believe that high-technology aliens will be any more reasonable, so it's quite plausible that someone will launch an invasion fleet at some point...

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ops    104
ops has considered the effects of einstein on a tactical lvl where the battleSpace isa stellar system.

to our knowledge the most significant tactical element is the uncertainty inna targets position induced by the light speed limit. bettr than any ionizd field to hide in.

one can also imagine difficulties in actually detecting a silent running needle inna very big black haystack.

thus, while no amount of armour will survive a strike, to our targeting is the real problem.

our, fleet0ps, solution is a spacially distributed cloud of semi intelligent drones, missiles nd sensors. for the romantics their ai's are modeled after earth animals such as vultures, sharks, eagles or killer whales.

regarding the motives for such interstellar conficts.

ops does not believe that military action will be a substantial part of an interstellar environment.

to our opinion intellectual property is the only tradeable interstellar good. the more happy engaged sentients innan empire the more i.p. it has to trade.

further, ops assumes a very limited ability to support life in space. w the consequent low space bourne populations scatterd through cosmological volumes sheer scarcity would demand going to extreme lengths not to blow stuff up.

in such an environment ops can imagine the monkeys need to socialise will make the control nd organising of assets in the political, ideological, economic dimensions the true victory conditions.

p.s. unless of course some homicidal xenophobic aliens show up.

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ops    104
asan educational resource has anybody mentioned the Atomic Rocket cite ? having just spent an enjoyable indeed nostalgic while in that place we discovered that, for instance, it may not be as hard to detect spacecraft in the void as our previous post asserted.

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Daerax    1207
Hello SquareDanceSteve, I am actually working on something similar as well. I also take more effects than just "time dilation" into account. This should be published along with 2 papers on special relativity (one for lay and another for those who have atleast an understanding of Calculus) some time in September (although not through a game development venue) for the einstein year celebration.

Im thinking of writing a paper on the engine as well for the game development community. Ill begin chronicling this in my journal next week, incase you are interested.

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