Talk:2061: Tectonics Game

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Please never move discussions to other sections; the chronological order has to be respected. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:51, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

Wrote my first transcript. Hopefully it isn't terrible, haha. IYN (talk) 17:13, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Not bad, but please do not remove the incomplete tag too soon. Even my smaller changes don't convince me right now that it's complete. --Dgbrt (talk) 17:34, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
There's no explanation OR transcript for the Title-text, yet. Sooo...
ProphetZarquon (talk) 18:41, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

I know very little about stars. Can anyone explain what the type in the title text is? 18:23, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

The nice thing about this game is you could represent the Earth by a 1000-pixel wide map, and it would take over a decade before anyone could tell whether you'd actually implemented anything. -- Dtgriscom (talk) 20:53, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

In Panel 2, there is a box with the following information

      Single    Multi
LT    80 GT     440 T
LM    15 GT       3 GT
LA     2 MT       0 T
LL   580 GT       0 T

What does this mean? The measurements seem to be in gigatonnes, hence a measure of mass. CO2 releases are often measured in Gigatonnes. The geochemical carbon cycle is a significant long term negative feedback loop, so I guess these relate to CO2, but I can't guess the specifics. Zeimusu (talk) 15:00, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

Just a guess, but I think it could be the amount of life, as a goal is to "keep your biosphere rich". Single and multi then mean single- and multicelled, and the terms on the left could be "Life-Terrestrial", "-Marine", "Aerial" and "Littoral" Emil (talk) 11:29, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
And if you look at the high-DPI image you can see that the second row of achievements in the last panel, underneath the stages of mountain, is not "achievements in the formation of an atoll" but evolutionary stages of life: (1) non-cellular (or cellular but prokaryotic?), (2) cellular with a nucleus (eukaryotic), (3) multicellular, and (4) what looks like a side-view of a mammalian eye. 17:22, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

An Actual Game

Here is a section for people who are looking into actually developing a game. (With time warp obviously.)

Seriously though, this could actually be a fun (and educational) simulator, similar to KSP. -- 02:31, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

My wife is trying to physically restrain me from immediately starting to write this main ( int arggggg...ow...get off SteveBaker (talk) 16:52, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

If the comment section of this comic is anything to go by, you could sell it for a buck a pop and get...I dunno...$12 at least? GreatWyrmGold (talk) 19:01, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Who wants to help me make this? Blacksilver (talk) 17:24, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

With a sufficiently large time warp, this actually sounds like it would be pretty fun. Ahiijny (talk) 18:20, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Hey, guys reading your comments I can see several people, including myself, might be interested in making a game like this. Perhaps we should coordinate efforts to make one? 23:15, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

I can’t make a game if I could I would. I really want to see some xkcd fan group release this as a game.

I came here specifically to see if this game existed and I'm irritated it doesn't yet. People with better coding and geological skills than me, you have an interested party. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm fully on board. If and when this thing hypothetically gets popular, I'll be like, "Hey, I was there!" 04:12, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

I have a feeling that making this game would be an awful like No Man's Sky, all the physics would be extremely difficult to manage and take years to iron out fully. 15:03, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

I would love to help. I'm thinking something like But just with planetary modification abilities. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

If anyone's interested I made a discord server where we can talk about making this: MutedAjar (talk) 05:18, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm surprised no one's brought up SimEarth, which you start out by terraforming a barren planet, making sure life forms, evolves to sentience, and watch it leave for the stars 00:30, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

It's going to happen! Working title is "Tectonica" (yeah - in the cartoon it's "Tectonics!" but you can't have a '!' in a URL and we liked "tectonica" better). Nothing to see YET but we have registered and active technical discussion and the promise of some minimal "getting started" code. Plan is to have it run in-browser for portability and to be written in C++/wasm and WebGL for speed. And, yes, we'll add an "accelerated realtime" button for those more impatient players <sight>. SteveBaker (talk) 19:04, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

This doesn't explain the comic, I've moved it to the trivia section. And if the provided link there will be not much more than a single picture it's even NOT valid for the trivia section. --Dgbrt (talk) 18:42, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh good god no! It shouldn't even be in the trivia section at all until something is actually running and looking somewhat like a playable game. I didn't intend this to be something to go into the "explain" at all. Just that anyone else who thinks this might make a pretty decent game MIGHT come here - see this in the Talk and head over to make it happen. SteveBaker (talk) 01:53, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, it's removed from the trivia section. You could have done this too. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:27, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Unity version!

A (currently) small splinter group has formed that would rather use Unity to create the game. While I respect the decision to build the game in C++/wasm, I feel that the barrier to entry is slightly too high for most people to begin contribution. In contrast, Unity is well-documented and there are many tutorials available online already for those who wish to contribute. We have a discord server available here: 22:07, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Other Real Time Games

This is for discussion of other real time games. (I.E. Desert Bus) -- 02:34, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

I have this horrible urge to find the Desert Bus source code and mod it to make "Desert Bus 2: Walt Disney Land to Walt Disney World" 21:53, 19 October 2018 (UTC)SiliconWolf

From what I gather, part of the "magic" of Desert Bus is the whole lotta hours of repetitive nothing, and I seriously doubt the trip between Disneys is filled with nothing to see. :) Otheriwse I find this to be an awesome idea, LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:45, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

It's like playing Desert Bus for the rest of your life...  :) 18:23, 19 October 2018 (UTC) Scott

As soon as I saw the headline that this was about other real time games, first and only thought was Desert Bus, LOL! Which I've only heard of (primarily from Angry Video Game Nerd). :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:45, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I thought it appropriate to add Desert Bus to the main description as a real world example of a tedious real-time game that goes to a ridiculous extreme... though much less extreme and ridiculous than the one in the comic. -boB (talk) 21:17, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Does anyone else remember the old DOS game: 688 Attack Sub? Where it felt like you were waiting forever for your torpedo to hit? I liked that they told you that, in the real world, it's much slower than it is in the game. 18:46, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Back then I had a demo (I believe I recall it was on 1 disk and ran off the disk, so I could play on any computer I encountered). Been a while, but I believe it was one specific scenario with a bit of randomness thrown in (like the decisions other ships made), and I played it many, many times. Since it was the demo either the part about not-real-time torpedoes wasn't in there or I always jumped straight to the gameplay, LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:45, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Not really sure where to put this, so posting it here: Too bad the comic wasn't a bit longer. Could have had Ponytail respond to "It's real time" with "Of course not. It's a million times faster." "Whew." "Yeah, just 400 more years until your first mountain achievement." -- Trlkly (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Actually, at 1 million times faster, it would only take 0.4 years, or about 5 months. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Are you sure the second row of achievements is about atolls? It looked more like evolution of life to me (single celled, multicellular, something, fish). -- 11:35, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

I was immediately reminded of Wobbler's (or Pratchett's, depending on which side of the 4th wall you look from) "Journey to Alpha Centauri" - and it turns out it was actually made into a "real" game too. 09:03, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Didn't / doesn't have the MS Flight Simulator a real time mode? I think I somewhere read something about that some time ago. Dunno if true, wikipedia doesn't say anything about that. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 10:23, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

@Elektrizikekswerk: yes, it did. I recall one of the challenges on Message Boards at the time was to complete Sydney-LAX in real time (~12 hours continuous flying) in poor weather. I'm searching for evidence of this and will update once I can link it together. 14:03, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Some facts: MS Flight Simulator (MSFS) is dead since 2009, MS closed it and they sold something to someone but not much happened since than. AND it wasn't really a game, it was a realistic simulator you couldn't use it without some general knowledge about aviation. Fifteen years ago I've flown many legs about two up to four hours, in real-time. Besides the starting and landing phase it was boring, just because the autopilot does nearly everything - the only important thing was interacting with ATC (Air Traffic Control) and following their instructions along your flight path. Four hours monitoring the radio, adjusting your flight level slightly, drinking coffee or getting a meal - just as the real thing is for a professional pilot (assisted by the autopilot). --Dgbrt (talk) 19:37, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

I think it's important to note that the 10k final achievement requires the player to "Out do" Everest (8,848m) which might not be possible under Earths gravity. Unless the achievement for mountains isn't measured from Sea-Level (in which case, Hawaii's Mauna Kea would've JUST made this achievemnt at 10,203M) or if it doesn't take place on Earth. 18:05, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Other than the aforementioned Desert Bus, the only real-time thing I can think of is part of the The Simpsons Freemium game Tapped Out. Cletus has a farm that can grow various crops which are generally silly and many related to the show, but one is titled "Corn. Actual corn", which takes 90 days to complete (most of the longest things are 24 hours, with only a handful of items being longer), the gag being that in real life corn apparently takes 90 days to grow. NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:45, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

It already exists as software!!![edit]

This kind of program already (sort of) exists and is used by professional geologists. In general it's called section balancing (Wikipedia calls it section restoration). The objective of the programs is normally to move backwards through time to see how the earth looked in the distant past, but they can either animate starting from the past up to the present day or could move into the future. Some examples are 3D Kinematic from Midland Valley, KronosFlow from Beicip-FranLab or their older product LOCACE, Kine3D from Paradigm, and Dynel3D from iGeoss (now Schlumberger). Jlhollin (talk) 17:24, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

I wondered about this! I'm a geologist, and as far as I know our modeling software for the mantle is not that fantastic, but it would be a place to start for anyone looking to make the game irl. I love my field but it constantly astounds me how much we still don't know. I remember my Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology profs getting into a heated debate over what mechanism drives plate tectonics: slab-pull or ridge-push, with no resolution either way. And LiDAR, so important for the surveying we do, wasn't available until the 80s or later. Even our foundational theory of plate tectonics has only been accepted since the 50s. Anyway this is my favorite xkcd comic because if this was a real game geologists would probably be using it for research, and I would play it nonstop even though petrology isn't my specialty. Curiouscat (talk) 05:02, 9 August 2021 (UTC)