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Theoretical physics anyone? New idea for a game

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Rick L
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I've been building up some ideas of mechanics and story to form a game that would combine experiments in quantum physics, some metaphysical theories, mixed into an epic adventure moving through spacetime in 3 phases. Modern earth, 1920's earth, and a semi-lovecraftian alien world.

I'm NOT going to do Lovecraft tho! I love that stuff, but there's so much already out there. Just want the feel of something similar looming throughout the game.

I'm brushing up on my lay-physics studies, but I'm thinking of going in the direction of M-theories with shadow braneworlds.

If anyone out there is knowledgeable about this stuff, or even just intrigued by the science, I'm hoping to bounce some of my ideas around, looking to keep my "fiction" rooted closely to science.

Rick L
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To try to give some examples,

To try to give some examples, maybe think of the movie "Interstellar" mixed with Nicolai Tesla in "the Prestige". Then, imagine "Event Horizon" done HP Lovecraft style, and a team of modern scientists trying to fit into the past a la Michael Cricton's "Timeline"!

FrankM
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The cat is alive and dead... um, undead?

Sounds like an interesting topic to try to bring to a moderately cerebral game. I mean any sci-fi game can just build their theme out of Quantum Handwavium, but it sounds like you have higher ambitions than that. I'm moving very slowly on a game set in the vicinity of a black hole and trying to incorporate what I can from general relativity without ruining playability.

For your game, I suppose you could manipulate quantum states by making changes to a dice pool, and only roll the dice when the wave function has to collapse.

By the way, Hawking and Penrose have a difference of opinion about when that happens. Hawking is perfectly fine with the cat being in a superposition of alive and dead until observed by the experimenter. Penrose believes objects can only maintain superposition for a limited time (with large objects like a cat collapsing their wave functions in a tiny fraction of a second).

Not a physicist myself, but I think they're both wrong. The wave function collapses when it is "measured" which basically means a "hard" interaction with something else. Though difficult, it's plausible to construct a macroscopic object that avoids "hard" interactions and displays quantum behavior... but that a living cat has too many chemical reactions going on continuously to behave this way. In short, the wave function collapses when the event is witnessed and the cat counts as an observer.

Now, there's no reason that a hypothetical trans-dimensional tentacle beast can't exist in superposition just to make it a more interesting foe...

Rick L
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If a tree falls on Schrodinger's cat and there's no one around..

Great thoughts Frank! I do remember your black hole game too - hope it's coming along!

I love the "quantum handwavium" term! And I'm kind of on the fence about that - here's why:

I have a big idea for cooperative experiments using a dice-pool- building mechanic, which basically means each turn you can customize the pool of dice you use to generate results. Different custom dice would be weighted differently (as in 3 sides giving one result) to improve your chance at certain outcomes.

Different pieces of equipment would allow you to add the various dice, replacing "generic" dice. I'm wanting to include things such as entanglement, antimatter generators, Waveform "reconstructors" to "uncollapse" a wave function, maybe a cyclotron or some lepton gun thingy, hadron beam, etc. Here it could get off track from pure science.

I think I could do a really fun game all by itself using this, but what would be the goal? Not sure if I can come up with a win condition that would be all that exciting for people in general.

I also had another idea that could be a game in itself with the lovecraftian beings existing on a parallel shadow braneworld at a lower energy symmetry, who want to collapse our universe to their lower energy state, obliterating all organized matter in the process.

Also, there would be another shadow brane of a higher energy symmetry - more of a higher spiritual or "soul-brane" where special abilities could come into play as that braneworld is occasionally accessed.

So naturally, I thought that the second game could be the goal/purpose for the first game, and merge them into one!

FrankM
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One universe collapse can ruin your whole day.

Rick L wrote:
I also had another idea that could be a game in itself with the lovecraftian beings existing on a parallel shadow braneworld at a lower energy symmetry, who want to collapse our universe to their lower energy state, obliterating all organized matter in the process.

This is an actual possibility that keeps some physicists up at night!

Rick L wrote:
Also, there would be another shadow brane of a higher energy symmetry - more of a higher spiritual or "soul-brane" where special abilities could come into play as that braneworld is occasionally accessed.

Yes, those self-centered humans with their silly science collapsing the Spirit World down to their level. This is why we can't have nice things ;-)

Rick L
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Pure science or sci-fi fantasy?

So I might just leave those as 2 separate games, but I'm just stumped on what an exciting end-goal outcome would be for a pure science based game would be.

Discover a grand unified theory, or unified field theory, or whatever we're currently calling it? Discover the most exotic particles?

It could be a competitive game, with different points for creating mesons or magnetic monopoles or tachyons, or gravitons...

If it's cooperative though, as most experiments are, not sure if that end goal would fit.

Rick L
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Great link Frank! Yes that's

Great link Frank! Yes that's what I was considering, and it could make a great "save the universe" scenario (which I kind of have already in my other nearly finished game).

But I'm not sure I can use that "fireballs of doom" threat for a science experiment game - seems like a better fit for the sci-fi fantasy idea.

So that's why I'm considering combining them!

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