Friday, October 28, 2011

The first capstone draft is out!

Alex has done some analysis of the Osmos video game - his capstone paper draft is linked here.  Take a look, let him know what you think.  After revision, this will be posted at capstonelearning.org , a capstone aggregation site so cutting-edge that there hasn't even been a post yet!

1. Alex i thought it was very good. I especially liked how you tested to determine which measurement would yield the best results. As far as criticism is concerned i think you should add a part in your momentum equations showing why the "M(before impact) * (v before )" equals 0, just as a clarification point. On the whole though well done.

2. Good work. I was able to follow what you did easily and the pictures and graphs helped out with the overall presentation. You have set the bar pretty high for what a capstone should look like.

3. This is a great idea. You supported it well with organized pics and graphs. Using conservation of momentum was a great way to find the velocity of the particles. Looking at the "mass" portion of your work, it looks like the percentages are pretty clean. It makes sense that "you", the main mass, gets a little "boost" in the numbers velocity-wise. After all, it is a video game.

4. Pretty good... i liked it. You proved the answer well. It could be interesting if you give us other hypothetical results if we had a variables. Like how the velocity would change if the splitting ratio was diffferent.

5. Hey Alex,

Eddy Boxerman here, lead designer and physics programmer on Osmos. Someone just pointed me to this -- and I have to admit it was really interesting & entertaining for me to read over your analysis. For the record: your reasoning is flawless:

- The spatial-mass relationship is indeed 2D. (ie. mass is proportional to radius squared.) That said, there are exceptions. Try some measurements on an "Impasse" level for instance. ;-)

- Momentum is indeed conserved through collisions. However, as you correctly deduced, propulsion was too sluggish/difficult with momentum conserved; so it gives the player an artificial "boost". I named the associated variable "fShootMassCheat", and it's set to 5.0 in the shipped version of the game.

Thanks again for delving into the details and your thoughtful analysis. Fun stuff!

Cheers,
Eddy