# A new twist on pong...

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Traditional pong is played in a Euclidean 2-space. What if pong was played in a Poincare hyperbolic disk? This would certainly have some interesting consequences. For those unaware of the Poincare disk, look here for a brief explanation. Any ideas? Edit: For those unaware of the unique nature of hyperbolic geometry, this website I found a while ago has lots of nice Java applets to help visualization of what pong might be like in such a space. [Edited by - nilkn on August 16, 2005 9:15:24 PM]

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Alright, this was very difficult to visualize.. :D

I'd say that any pong clone where the ball does not move in straight lines would be very difficult to play. In the case of the hyperbolic disk, the ball would move straight wihtin the system, but when you try to visualize it to the player, it would have curved movements on the screen. It would be very difficult for the player to figure out where to place the bracket.

Mind-squishing thought yeah, but quite a stupid game - wouldn't you say?
Imagining a completely different coordinate system or dimensions, and trying to visualize them is always fun. Actually, if somebody made a game in 4D I would love ot play it just to see how they visualized the extra dimension.

Now, if you're looking for freaky Pong ideas... why not use something simpler like imagining the ball being tied to a string? That would create some interesting ball movements.
Or create Gravity-Pong. Orbital Pong. Quite Hungry-Pong. Dwarf-Pong. Labyrinth-Pong. Flipper-Pong. Atomic Core-Pong. Wormhole-Pong. Hyperspace-Pong.

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Quote:
 Original post by NQNow, if you're looking for freaky Pong ideas...

Well, honestly I wasn't ever seriously considering making a pong game, I just thought the idea of hyperbolic pong sounded interesting. [smile]

Given that I know very little about the mathematics of hyperbolic geometry, I thought maybe that some of the math-gurus here could take the idea further, or tear it apart. [smile]

Quote:
 Mind-squishing thought yeah, but quite a stupid game - wouldn't you say?

Yes, I agree it would be quite difficult to get used to. It could get pretty chaotic if you have good physics (which would be a challenge in hyperbolic space), a large arena and lots of other obstacles bouncing around!

Quote:
 Gravity-Pong

If you think about it, hyperbolic pong would probably play out a lot like the bounding circle was gravitationally attracting the ball.

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Hyperbolic math isn't too complicated, I remember not having problems with it in highschool and physics wasn't my thing. Mind you it's been a while and my hate for physics has augmented exponentially.

But I don't see how you'd play, would the paddle be a parabole?

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I think a better visualization is playing pong on top of a dome with gravity pulling down. The ball should move slower in the middle and speed up at the sides. I think this would make it very difficult to play. Better would be the inverse of playing in a bowl (I don't know the mathmatical concept but escher certainly drew both scenarios). The ball would then speed up in the center and slow down at the sides making for many amazing saves as you traveled around the outside.

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Well that's kind of intesting. Both paddles hover around the bowl and try to shove the ball out of the bowl. There are no restrictions as to where the paddle can go (all around the bowl) so whoever touched the ball last gets the point when it goes out of bound.

Definatly a game I'd play at a party :D

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What might be more interesting (in a playable kind of way) would be to have a standard rectangular playing field, with a grid superimposed, and distort it when displaying it. This way, you would use the grid to evaluate the board shape. If you have it slowly flowing from one distortion to another, it would be quite dynamic =-)
It might be a good idea to project a line from the ball to each player's side, so you can see where it is currently going to hit (if it were traveling straight at your side, not taking into account the ball's motion).

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Quote:
 Gravity-Pong

Isn't this tennis?

Anyways, as for the different types of pong, I'd play any type of em at least once. They sound fun :)

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Quote:
 Original post by ThermodynamicsI think a better visualization is playing pong on top of a dome with gravity pulling down. The ball should move slower in the middle and speed up at the sides. I think this would make it very difficult to play. Better would be the inverse of playing in a bowl (I don't know the mathmatical concept but escher certainly drew both scenarios). The ball would then speed up in the center and slow down at the sides making for many amazing saves as you traveled around the outside.

Given that the Poincare disk is essentially the projection of a sphere, I think showing the game played on a dome is a great idea. I would think it would help the player predict more easily where the ball will go next -- having that vertical dimension would help explain the parabolic curves the ball makes when it would normally go straight.

Quote:
 Original post by Extrarius What might be more interesting (in a playable kind of way) would be to have a standard rectangular playing field, with a grid superimposed, and distort it when displaying it. This way, you would use the grid to evaluate the board shape. If you have it slowly flowing from one distortion to another, it would be quite dynamic =-)It might be a good idea to project a line from the ball to each player's side, so you can see where it is currently going to hit (if it were traveling straight at your side, not taking into account the ball's motion).

I think this is an even better idea. The compactness of the grid in any given area would contribute a sort of pull on the ball, as if that piece of the arena were dented in into the next dimension and the ball was "rolling" around it. This would let the player easily predict where the ball will be going next given sufficiently slow speeds.

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Let's intertwine two ideas...

Superimpose the grid on a rectangular surface. The grid represents the density of gravity over your part of the field, and is affected by each landing, meaning that each time the ball falls on the surface, the grid gets deformed to suit an object which would normally go THROUGH the surface, to some extent, like with a rubber sheet.

This means that from the second stroke, the moves of the ball are affected by the modified gravity through the field, making trajectories go pretty erratic beyond six or seven travels and rebounds...

Would that make it fun, for a while? Or would that be too much?
Black-Hole Pong...

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