A Slower Speed of Light is a first-person game prototype in which players navigate a 3D space while picking up orbs that reduce the speed of light in increments. Custom-built, open-source relativistic graphics code allows the speed of light in the game to approach the player’s own maximum walking speed. Visual effects of special relativity gradually become apparent to the player, increasing the challenge of gameplay. These effects, rendered in realtime to vertex accuracy, include the Doppler effect (red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum); the searchlight effect (increased brightness in the direction of travel); time dilation (differences in the perceived passage of time from the player and the outside world); Lorentz transformation (warping of space at near-light speeds); and the runtime effect (the ability to see objects as they were in the past, due to the travel time of light). Players can choose to share their mastery and experience of the game through Twitter. A Slower Speed of Light combines accessible gameplay and a fantasy setting with theoretical and computational physics research to deliver an engaging and pedagogically rich experience.
IN PROGRESS OpenRelativity is a set of tools for simulating the effects of traveling near the speed of light in the Unity3D game engine. The team is currently refining the documentation, usability and features in OpenRelativity, targeted for release as a free, open-source package in 2013, to allow others to produce more simulations and games about traveling near the speed of light.
A Slower Speed of Light has been tested on computers with the configurations listed below.
- Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 or Core i7 (2.8GHz clock speed)
- Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or higher
- AMD Radeon HD 6970M/AMD Mobility Radeon HD 4850/Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT
- 8GB RAM
Some users have reported that the game may run on Windows XP and 2GB RAM. A known bug will crash the game on computers with some Intel graphics chipsets.
To run the game, Windows users with multiple graphics processors may need to right-click the game’s application icon, select ‘Run with graphics processor,’ and choose the option that is not marked as the default.
Gerd Kortemeyer Product Owner
Philip Tan Staff Liaison
Ryan Cheu Programmer
Ebae Kim Artist, Designer
Zach Sherin Programmer, QA Lead
Sonny Sidhu Producer, Designer
Abe Stein Audio Design, Music
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