Posts Tagged ‘physics’

How Little Nightmares’ horrible characters were animated

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Little Nightmares [official site].

The figures you encounter in Little Nightmares are grotesque. Disproportioned and baggy in places they shouldn’t be, the way they look is one thing, but it’s the way they move that really clinches the deal. Their staggering, shuffling and lumbering captures the flavour of the Czech stop-motion cartoons I spent a great deal of my childhood feeling unnerved by. They’re great.

It wasn’t easy to reach that special state of uncanniness, especially for a small team working on its first original game, but developer Tarsier Studios started in just the right place:

THE MECHANIC: Avoiding Pixar

Spoilers lie ahead, obv! No story secrets as such, though, just showing several scenes from throughout the game.

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Killing Floor 2 Demonstrates PhysX Flex Tech Using Guts

PHYSICS!

Demos for new physics technologies usually look like Bodyform commercials, with gentle blue water sloshing around and lots of smooth rippling fabric. That’s how Nvidia have shown their new unified particle-based physics tech PhysX Flex so far – lots of rubbery water balloons flopping about and leaking blue wet. Pssh, it won’t look like that in the games we actually play.

Killing Floor 2 [official site] will be the first Flex-using game to ship, and a new look at how it uses the tech is more how Bodyform ads should be: scattering gutfuls of fluids, globs, and guts.

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Freeware Garden: Impulse

This picture could be a metaphor for all sorts of things.

Deck 16’s Impulse is a deceptively simple game on paper. All it asks of you is to guide a little neon circle (a.k.a. “your craft”) from point A to point B and notice how gloriously fun those ancient, physics-based propulsion mechanics still are. Intriguingly it does consider itself a mash-up of Super Meat Boy and Lunar Lander too.

The fact that it starts off with fourteen levels worth of tutorials should of course be indication enough that Impulse is not as straightforward as one would expect. Simple to grasp, yes, that it definitely is and its controls are as intuitive as these things get, but even coming close to mastering the little devil requires efforts of herculean proportions.

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BeamNG.drive Wants Some Greenlight Lovin’

BeamNG.drive reads like someone is attempting to talk after a visit to the dentist, though I’ve no idea what they’d be saying or what the context would be. “Brian, Drive!”, maybe? Now that Brian has the wheel, I can pay more attention to what BeamNG.drive actually is: a game about the joy of realistically crumpling cars. It’s been out for a while, though it still remains an alpha with some big plans rather than a fully-formed game. I think the devs need to sell more to realise that dream, so they’re taking to Greenlight in the hopes of grabbing that Steam bump. Trailer is below.
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Carsplat! Drive’s Vehicle Physics Are Awesome

When Cars Attack! Or Kiss.
Strangely named car-smashers Beam.ng have been teasing us for years with their awesome car destruction physics engine. Each video has been the torque of RPS, showing cars colliding with mountains and other cars. The crumpled the hoods, the torn off wheels, the cool slow-motion smaaaaassssshhhheees. I had to clutch my girlfriend each time I realised I couldn’t yet play it. Well there some things you auto know: it is called Drive, there is a new trailer, you can buy early access, and there’s even a demo for you to play right now.
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Pulling Shades: Colour Bind

Well, those sure are colours.

Don’t be fooled by the punning title, Colour Bind looks like a game that will be pretty much impossible for the colour blind to play. It’s a physics puzzlers where gravity is not defined by weight, but rather by colour. For instance, if that level has green set to up, and red to down, those are the directions in which such objects will fall. Driving a car-thing around levels with three different colours all pulled in three different directions looks, well, it looks like the trailer below.

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CryEngine 3 / Beam Physics: Soft Body, Hard Metal

The shaders aren't finished yet, don't look at that. JUST LOOK AT THE PHYSICS

In response to our various sightings of Crysis 3, the RPS stronghold is currently flying these flags: blue with green braiding, taupe with a cyan crucifix and burple with vibrant lavender thistle emblems. And we all know what that says about our opinions on Crytek’s next shooter. Even as we debate the openy worlidiness or lack thereof of Prophet’s latest alien-hectoring rampage, it’s worth keeping in mind that Crytek have, by and large, been good for game technology. Crysis 3 brings assorted updates to Cryengine 3, but it’s the Rig of Rods team that are demonstrating some rather tasty soft body (missus) physics that they’ve pulled off in the new version of the engine. The below is unfinished footage of an unnamed vehicular game, and it’s just about the best pretend car-crumpling and wobbly suspension I believe I’ve ever seen.
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Castles Made Of Sand: Stronghold 3

weakhold

After peasant-pleasing and/or poking comes castle crashing. Firefly promised to show more of the militant aspect of Stronghold 3 and here’s a video which does just that. See castle walls crumble and tiny men topple from them, reduced to nothing more than ragdolls. Hear a polite British man explain that the medieval era is an ideal showcase for physics. I was hoping they’d be using a Buridanian impetus model but they’ve gone for Havok. I’m more interested in the castle building than the castle destruction, some of which is briefly shown at the end. Have a gander.

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Vessel: Fanciful Fluids

cogs are essential, more cogs please

It’s been a long time since we had any coverage of Vessel, Strange Loop Games’ intriguing 2D puzzle-adventure. That all changes right now. With the game due for release this winter, the team have released a new trailer to show how far things have come in the last eighteen months. Already a finalist in IGF’s technical excellence category for 2010, the game’s artwork and complex fluid physics look superb. Open your ears as well as your eyes because the music is delightful too.

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IncrediBots!

Wheeeeeeeeee!

The joy of Flash games is so often their simplicity. Simple concepts delivered in a quick-n-fun way, to offer a twenty minute lunchtime distraction. Not a word of this applies to IncrediBots. (Apart from “Flash”, “fun” and “a” – so okay, three words apply). This is hardcore.

It’s a remarkably complex mix of mechanics and physics, currently in beta, letting you build and play with vehicles of your own devising, to complete a series of challenges. And it’s capable of so much more than that. It’s too much for my puny brain, but I’m utterly certain that those inclined are going to love it.

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Boombot

There aren’t enough games in which you’re indestructible. Even in Superman games and Hulk games you’re kept Earthly by health and energy bars. Madness! There’s nothing wrong with a good old power fantasy, but developers seem determined not to indulge us. This webgame does. In Boombot, you can fall down a hole and have to restart the level, but that’s more error than death as such. More importantly, you can’t be killed even by all the explosions in the world. See this?

Ka-SPLODE

This does not hurt the Boombot, not one bit. For he is INDESTRUCTIBLE. Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Smart Enough For Fantastic Contraption

I made this

I hated physics more than any other class at school. And not just because of the time my teacher slammed me in the side of the neck with an exercise book, causing me to black out for 3 seconds. It was mostly because my brain seems to have some inherent inability to accommodate the kind of thinking necessary to understand forces and elasticity and so on. Which is annoying, as thanks largely to videogames I now tend to think not ‘physics’ but PHYSICS!

So I recognise that Fantastic Contraption is a thing of brilliance (awful, awful music aside), and I get enormously excited when I manage to bodge together something that works. What I can’t seem to do is plan what should work. Apart from level 5, where my ever-destructive brain correctly surmised that a battering ram was in order. Knocking stuff over is something I do understand.
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Totem Destroyer

Sorry about the crappy quality here.

Everyone I know who tips me off for great Flash games has been nagging me to play Totem Destroyer. I did, and you know, it just wasn’t for me. I finished it quite quickly, and never really felt the love. However, wiser people did, so I pass it on to you.

It’s from the reliable Armor Games, made by Gabriel Ochsenhofer, and using Erin Catto’s Box2D physics engine, and involves removing blocks from a wobbly tower such that a golden idol doesn’t hit the ground. Remove the required number of blocks and win the level. For me it felt more about quick luck than any great application of skill in a world of physics. But perhaps you will enthuse – play it in your browser here.

Eco-Sperm Physics: Polluted Planet


It’s interesting (and occasionally horrifying) what you can dig up by typing random things into YouTube. I just discovered the beta test of a physics game, Polluted Planet (danger – initially noisy website), which is about cleaning up a level using oil-on-water type particle interactions. It’s a pretty clever piece of design, even though it locked up my browser a couple of times during play. Everything requires physics to defeat, and the terrain itself has a rubbery, flexible quality to it.

After the jump, the video that led me to it.
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Walaber Wobbles Less, Leaps More

Mr Walaber has recently come to some fame. His gorgeously wobbly JellyCar physics game is now available on the Xbox Live, as part of the XNA doodah (this stands for “XNA’s Not Acronymed”, in a peculiar moment of Microsoft doing a Free Software gag). (Head here and you can play it on your PC). But we’re here today to look at his next game, Gymnast.

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Would You Like To Have Some Phun?

Emil Ernerfeldt is studying at Umeå University in Sweden. For his masters’ thesis project, he’s developed a 2D physics engine, Phun, that’s part toy, part educational medium. He describes it thusly:

Phun1

“Phun is an educational, entertaining and somewhat addictive piece of software for designing and exploring 2D multi-physics simulations in a cartoony fashion. It is part of our long term mission to bring visual physics based simulation to the masses. The application is developed for Umevatoriet, Umeås new science center, where it will run on a large interactive display, but you can also download it and run it on your own pc.”

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Splume

I feel blessed to have uncovered the perfect salve for my worsening hangover, just as the right time. Splume, a beautiful little puzzle game that I found thanks to the perpetually high-quality bloggery over at IndyGamer, is just the right mixture of increasing challenge and neat design to soothe my poisoned body. It was designed for some game design competition and you have to install their web-browser plug in to play. I have it on reasonable authority that this is an okay thing to do.

So it’s a kind of Tetris-Peggle physics ‘n’ matching game. Eyeballs watch, music plays, things drop and squish. You’ll like it. There’s even a level editor and a bunch of exquisite user-made levels. And there goes my afternoon/evening.

Should note, this is the work of Matthew Wegner who runs the excellent Fun Motion blog, dedicated to physics games. – John