What Were the Odds?

What Were the Odds?
Free Fall: Running with Armadillos

Russ Pitts | 6 Feb 2007 07:03
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Euclid came before them all. In the third century B.C., Euclid postulated that a single line could be drawn between any two points. Put a penny on your table. Then another one. Now draw a line between them. Simple. You've just proven Euclid's first postulate, but you didn't have to. He already did. Something so simple we now take it for granted was a radical line of thought in Ptolemaic Egypt, just as the fact that the earth was not flat was a radical departure 2,000 years later, and the idea that men could walk on the moon or that cancer could be cured have been departures in our own time. Theories which, we hope, will some day become so well known and accepted as to be taken for granted by future generations, who will quite possibly be traipsing between dimensions on their way to school. On Mars.

Euclid's first postulate can (and has) been re-written as "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line," making it the central tenant of not only geometry, but almost all modern thought. All game design, too. No one knows this better than Peter Stock, a man who stood on the shoulders of Euclid, Newton and everyone who followed in their footsteps to make one of the smartest, most addictive physics-based games ever created. The natural question then is, "What's next for Peter Stock?"

"I had some ideas about making a totally different type of game, but since I have little experience in playing or making the types of games I was imagining, I've postponed those ideas for the moment, and I'm working on another physics-based game. The gameplay will be quite different from Armadillo Run - this time I'm going to incorporate some element of user control, and it will be more action-based, although there will still be the construction part of the game which encourages experimentation and refinement of design.

"I'm hoping that some improvements to the physics will enable objects to be simulated in greater detail, allowing players to create robots, which will be used to compete in certain challenges. If this is possible, then I'm imagining a 'virtual Olympics' type game with many different events."

Robots ... yes, we are enthusiastic about this idea. Very, very enthusiastic. From Euclid to Asimov, in two easy steps. From point A to point B.

Russ Pitts is an Associate Editor for The Escapist. He has written and produced for television, theatre and film, has been writing on the web since it was invented and claims to have played every console ever made.

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