More Reviews
REVIEWS Far Cry 4 Review
The open world of Far Cry 4 is wondrous, but is the beauty of Kyrat only skin-deep?

World of Warcraft: Warlords of D Review
Does Blizzard's latest expansion breathe new life into the 10 year-old franchise, or is this MMO finally starting to show its age?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Silence: The Whispered World II Preview
With its absolutely gorgeous sequel, Daedalic aims to create a mid-range difficulty adventure title that will expand the genre to a larger audiences.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Release date: 11/25/14

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix
Release date: 12/02/14

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
Release date: 12/16/14

Kalimba
Release date: 12/17/14


LATEST FEATURES With Two Paths to Walk This Fall, I Recommend Assassins Play AC Unity Over AC Rogue
For fans of this series, it'll be a decision based on hardware. For enthusiasts, returning to the brand's roots will prove enticing.

Nintendo Download November 2014 - Updating Each Week
If you've got credit on Nintendo's digital eShop service or expect to receive a gift card this holiday season, start making your list with our weekly updates.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Xbox Downloads October 2014 - Updating Each Week
Microsoft's Xbox One console continues an Xbox Live revolution started over a decade ago. Here's hoping Summer of Arcade makes it to the platform next year.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Master_Craig
Welcome Home - PAX AUS 2014
By Master_Craig
Posted on 11/18/14
Last night I returned home from PAX AUS 2014. Long story short, it wasn't perfect, but it was quite possibly the best weekend I've had this year. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like to continue reading, the long story is just below. Buckle up. This is gonna be...

MEMBER BLOG

DocMoc DocMoc's Blog
PROFILE
Average Blog Rating:
[ Back to All Posts ]
Havok-ood time with the Force
Posted on Sunday, February 17 2008 @ 16:39:07 Eastern

Physics is the elusive foundation that our reality is built upon.  Every interaction in nature whether it be a sub-atomic collision, wind blowing leaves of trees, or something as large as a star exploding, physics is everywhere.  It's a very structured science, very mathematical, and it's one that I have spent the last four years getting to know better.  Being a gamer as well (which can be at odds with school) I have often pondered the nature of physics in video games.

When it comes down to it, isn't a video game simply a simulation of our own existence?  An often stretched and fictional simulation but a simulation all the same.  Even from the early days of arcade side scrollers, these games had to be based on certain physical rules.  When Mario jumped into the air, he must come down.  When you would play Doom and point your BFG at a demon Imp, the blast would follow a straight trajectory and blow that mother up right?  Grand Turismo needs to know the basics of Newtons laws when your car speeds through a corner.  It's not a hidden secret to know that our games rely on physical parameters to operate, we simply ignore those facts and enjoy our entertainment.

What I am interested in is seeing the evolution of physics in games.  As computer capabilities become more and more sophisticated, our simulations get better and better.  I mean, take Portal for example.  Here is a game that takes Newton's laws to the extreme.  Impassible obstacles?  No problem!  The programming involved in keeping the physics straight would have been heavy.  I wrote a program for an N-body problem in normal gravity and I thought that was challenging!  I suppose that is why I am a physicist and not a computer scientist. 

As Star Wars: The Force Unleashed draws near, I am constantly reminded and amazed at what we can do to make our games, our entertainment simulations very close to the real deal.  LucasArts in combining three robust software engines to make it feel like you are a master force user.  I was overly impressed with the Havok when it was introduced in Half-Life 2 but it combined with Digital Molecular Matter and Euphoria AI is going to be, in my opinion, a treat.  It does not come without flaws but that's okay with me.  This game and games like it that demonstrate what the capabilities of our games can be only shows that we are no where near the upper limit of our imaginations.  How can game producers produce a better experience when what have now is so good? 

Are the possibilities endless?  Perhaps not but what has been developed thus far is something to be proud of.  The never-satisfied taste for bigger and better will always push the limits of the industry to bring a better "simulation" of our reality.  Those who look at the current best, unimpressed are the ones who, hopefully, will push our limits, however;  they should also look back to gaming's early and humble beginnings to appreciate what we have now so they can diligently push forward and bring better games.
comments powered by Disqus