I took a break from Past Infinity development to work on the GPU-accelerated “Qrack” quantum computer simulator framework, available at https://github.com/vm6502q/qrack, but now I’m back with finishing touches on the physics module, and an announcement about a new team member!
Something really cool came out of the player acceleration code! Here’s a brief (1:15) video:
Past Infinity has gravity waves! And they’re running on mobile, too!
I’m going to start posting VR (360) YouTube videos as well, by the way. Pick up a Cardboard for a few dollars, and enjoy relativity in VR!
Here’s a video/audio update on new functionality. (I’ve been pulling my hair out with this for two weeks! ) The OpenRelativity engine now has handling for acceleration as well as velocity. I explain in depth why this is important and what it means for the game in the video, as well as physics features likely to appear in the game:
That was exhausting, but well worth it! We’ll have an update on “Physics Exploration Mode,” next week.
Past Infinity is a puzzle game, based around a time travel mechanic. You could consider it a sole-developer, indie project homage to another very well known property, Portal. That series defined its own genre, but here’s a distinct addition with a unique mechanic. I’ve thought about how gravity would work with portals, but I realized you could get a subtly different set of mechanics out of faster-than-light travel. I’ve enjoyed playing the two games in the series, and designing Portal II levels that try to use the physics in novel ways, but here’s a totally new physical mechanic! I don’t have the budget for the level of production of Portal, (with maybe over an hour of voice acting, and minutely detailed props and environments,) but I can achieve relativity and faster-than-light travel in first-person mobile VR, basically by myself, with a little help from the open source community.
The puzzle elements I have in my library already, and those which I plan to add, leverage the time travel mechanic in a cohesive way, to produce an indie game that adds new things to the genre and presents a totally different experience, rather than an attempt at a clone. I can’t do “triple A” perfectly detailed environments and voice acting. However I can give you a game that has totally new physics to explore, using a platform you already have in your pocket to the fullest of its unique capabilities. I can give you a singular sensory VR experience that’s rich in ways besides polygon count, with a widely available accessory that might cost less than your lunch.
That’s the concept. I also want it to be accessible to the casual player, with the mobile phone hardware you already have–“Just add Cardboard.”
(By the way, for the physics sticklers, I mention in the video that relativity is a “second order theory.” Those who study physics might know that this is usually referring to two orders of partial derivatives of the “metric,” including the spatial derivatives as well as the time derivatives. However, for a video game, and in general, we have to introduce these concepts to people via things they already have direct experience with, and my explanation, while simplistic, is not essentially wrong, at a pedagogical level.)