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LittleBIGPhysics: Investigating the Laws of LBP2

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  • LittleBIGPhysics: Investigating the Laws of LBP2


    The Idea
    Since one of the pillars of LBP is creating, I figured that getting back into LBP meant I should try out some kind of creative venture again. I wanted to try out something that might involve actual interaction with people, instead of just spending hours on a level to send out into the aether, so I figured I could put together something of a video series, on the optimistic assumption that videos in LBP2 still have an audience.

    The idea's this: I remember once hearing somebody praise the details of LBP's physics years ago, saying it had some unexpected details. Bad physics can really make a game not worth playing (or worth playing for all the wrong reasons), so I wanted to make something of a tribute to the intricacy of LBP's physics by examining it up close to identify and appreciate its details.

    This would mean taking an experimental approach of some sort, using the in-game logic to create instruments that can produce measurements to model the physical behaviour of objects. I wouldn't clutter it with math, since that'd make it less accessible, but I'd at least be transparent about when I'm using it to let people know what's going on. I'd explain pertinent aspects of logic as they come up, which would mean only getting into really complicated stuff if necessary (and many here know it has no upper bounds on how complicated it can get - this stuff can get into calculus, not that I intend to do that).

    Would a video series of that nature be interesting to anybody? I already have a few ideas for things to investigate (both earlier and later on in the series, maybe even seeking to explain some strange phenomena like the gravity glitch with dark matter and pistons), but I'd love to see any suggestions anybody had first.

  • #2
    i know i'd be interested in seeing something like that. The ins and outs of logic (even when i can't always follow them) have always been interesting to me, and i like the idea of setting it up through experiments. i'm not sure what advice i can give right off hand (it's a bit late and after work, so my brain is a bit off), but at least if there's some hand i can give, let me know.
    Dreams community creations look-ats at FeverdreamS
    LBP community creations look-ats at LittleBite-sizedPlanet
    Come join us for streams on Twitch too!

    Comment


    • #3
      This would be tricky - LBP has physics, but it’s not quite like real world physics. Think of the control you have during jumps to change direction, that’s not realistic. Each game has slightly different physics as well, with regard to jumping/floatiness. What would be the goal of this exercise, to determine, for example, if blocks of different materials fall at the same rate in a Newtonian way?

      Comment


      • #4
        I planned to do something similar a couple of years ago but on a much smaller scale and only for myself. I wanted to test some real laws of physics to see if how they hold up in the LBP engine. But I quickly gave up because I realized it was a waste of time. I look forward to see your go at it and it should be interesting to test different formulas to get some values like the gravitational force in LBP. Just from the thousands of hours that I've spent on LBP I think it's safe to assume that the three laws of Newton holds up fairly well in the game. The problem is that you can't apply the real-world SI units to LBP because the scale is not known. For example how many meters is a medium grid block? I guess you can use the equation for the mathematical pendulum to find the gravitational constant g of LBP, as long as you know the length of the string and the periodic time. But that's only if we assume that the fundamental physics are the same as in the real world. It's always tricky to do these sorta things without having access to the actual code.
        Last edited by blacksackman; 31st January 2018, 07:37 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by katanagirl1 View Post
          This would be tricky - LBP has physics, but it’s not quite like real world physics. Think of the control you have during jumps to change direction, that’s not realistic. Each game has slightly different physics as well, with regard to jumping/floatiness. What would be the goal of this exercise, to determine, for example, if blocks of different materials fall at the same rate in a Newtonian way?
          That's actually part of what makes it ideal for this kind of exploration, so long as you don't accidentally assume it works like the real world. Generally speaking, a simulated version of the real world's physics is going to be simpler, in fact, and departing from the real world's physics will in no way make the model more difficult, just less intuitive. There are going to be different rules, and surprises, which is most of the fun - if it was just like reality, it wouldn't provide anything new or interesting. A distinct model would have to exist, for example, to handle a sack's manoeuvrability in middair.

          The overall goal is just to have some fun discovering things. Learning in its own right.

          Originally posted by blacksackman View Post
          I planned to do something similar a couple of years ago but on a much smaller scale and only for myself. I wanted to test some real laws of physics to see if how they hold up in the LBP engine. But I quickly gave up because I realized it was a waste of time. I look forward to see your go at it and it should be interesting to test different formulas to get some values like the gravitational force in LBP. Just from the thousands of hours that I've spent on LBP I think it's safe to assume that the three laws of Newton holds up fairly well in the game. The problem is that you can't apply the real-world SI units to LBP because the scale is not known. For example how many meters is a medium grid block? I guess you can use the equation for the mathematical pendulum to find the gravitational constant g of LBP, as long as you know the length of the string and the periodic time. But that's only if we assume that the fundamental physics are the same as in the real world. It's always tricky to do these sorta things without having access to the actual code.
          The matter of units will actually be the first thing I tackle. Fortunately enough, the game has a few built-in units of its own for distance, speed, and weight, though I'll have to make the decision whether to use those or define my own, depending on what turns out to be more convenient.

          I ought to be able to show an actual example of what I have in mind rather soon, so the idea's a bit less nebulous. I'll try to make each video a bit more objective-oriented to give it some direction, too.

          Comment


          • #6
            Alright, I got a little ahead of myself and got this done way more quickly than I'll be able to in the future, but this should give a clearer idea of what this series hopes to be:


            It's actually quite a bit longer than I expected it to turn out (heck, I even planned on including more than just finding Sackboy's height), but it just happens that more things needed explaining than I feel would usually be the case. I'd shoot for something shorter in the future unless people specifically liked this length. Given the simplicity of the task at hand, this episode ended up being something of a demo to explore the format of the experimental process, but later episodes will involve creating instruments like the graph seen in the intro to collect data.

            Anyhow, any feedback at all - anything you particularly enjoyed, sure, but definitely anything you think ought to be changed as well - would be incredibly valuable. Whether some parts moved too slowly or quickly, for example. Pointing out any information you think I'm just plain wrong about is helpful, too. I want to have an idea of what I should do differently before I get working on another part. It's always going to be a long while between opportunities to get in-game footage, anyways, so it's going to be some time inbetween episodes in any case.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by blacksackman View Post
              I planned to do something similar a couple of years ago but on a much smaller scale and only for myself. I wanted to test some real laws of physics to see if how they hold up in the LBP engine. But I quickly gave up because I realized it was a waste of time. I look forward to see your go at it and it should be interesting to test different formulas to get some values like the gravitational force in LBP. Just from the thousands of hours that I've spent on LBP I think it's safe to assume that the three laws of Newton holds up fairly well in the game. The problem is that you can't apply the real-world SI units to LBP because the scale is not known. For example how many meters is a medium grid block? I guess you can use the equation for the mathematical pendulum to find the gravitational constant g of LBP, as long as you know the length of the string and the periodic time. But that's only if we assume that the fundamental physics are the same as in the real world. It's always tricky to do these sorta things without having access to the actual code.
              I seem to remember that the large grid size had something to do with Sackboy, but I can’t remember what. Maybe the distance he runs in a second?

              Sorry if you mention this in the video, I have to log off now and will have to watch it later.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by katanagirl1 View Post

                I seem to remember that the large grid size had something to do with Sackboy, but I can’t remember what. Maybe the distance he runs in a second?
                There are known time values concerning the grid, people figured and calculated this stuff back in the early days of LBP2. If I remember correctly, a movenator set to the speed of 100 will move across one medium-sized grid block in 0.2 seconds. I forgot the guys name but there is a video on it. It's also fairly easy to calculate how fast a Sackboy runs, just put a speed sensor on Sackboy using a broadcast microchip and use a text note to see the values. The great thing about the connection between the grid and the speed of 100 is that you can make grid-based movement fairly easy without the need of heavy logic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i probably shouldn't have tried watching this after a day of recording and three glasses of Jameson's, but watch it i did. Let me give it another go once my brain is actually functional. However, i wanted to at least say i enjoyed what you put together (and also how you put it together, nice editing), and i look forward to what you come up with next. Personally, i tend to more quick and dirty approaches to logic (basically hit the problem with enough different hammers until it stops being a problem), so i'm not sure how much nuance i can add to the discussion; but i'm up to learn more.
                  Dreams community creations look-ats at FeverdreamS
                  LBP community creations look-ats at LittleBite-sizedPlanet
                  Come join us for streams on Twitch too!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by blacksackman View Post

                    There are known time values concerning the grid, people figured and calculated this stuff back in the early days of LBP2. If I remember correctly, a movenator set to the speed of 100 will move across one medium-sized grid block in 0.2 seconds. I forgot the guys name but there is a video on it. It's also fairly easy to calculate how fast a Sackboy runs, just put a speed sensor on Sackboy using a broadcast microchip and use a text note to see the values. The great thing about the connection between the grid and the speed of 100 is that you can make grid-based movement fairly easy without the need of heavy logic.
                    I think it was probably comphermc that did some of that physics stuff, he had great tutorials

                    OK, just watched the video, and I admit it was done very well and was more interesting than I expected. I think that logic bit you used was from the Creator’s Toolkit. For some reason, the right hand side of the video is cut off, I assume it is something to do with this site and its display settings, not your video itself.

                    You sound like you come from a mathematics background, in physics we always make “reasonable assumptions” for things that are very small or very large, so 0.1 units for LBP could probably be assumed to be zero in most cases. This video shows the probable tangents one might have to go off on to get to a final goal in these matters, so keep that in mind. It doesn’t seem to have deterred you in the least, though.
                    Last edited by katanagirl1; 1st February 2018, 04:05 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm very pleased that those that have watched it have enjoyed it - I had some concerns about the length and various other aspects being offputting. I'll start working on the next part this weekend, but it'll probably take a good deal longer to make.

                      I'm thinking that I might later on start devoting some much shorter videos to any smaller things that come up, like the lengths of the grid spaces, as was brought up. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to get any new footage beyond what I have for the first three to four episodes (depending on how it breaks up) for a while, so I won't be able to get started on that immediately, but I should be able to keep myself busy until then. Once I can start recording them, those might come inbetween the larger episodes that are upwards of ten minutes or so. I should be able to find a good balance eventually.

                      Originally posted by katanagirl1 View Post

                      I think it was probably comphermc that did some of that physics stuff, he had great tutorials

                      OK, just watched the video, and I admit it was done very well and was more interesting than I expected. I think that logic bit you used was from the Creator’s Toolkit. For some reason, the right hand side of the video is cut off, I assume it is something to do with this site and its display settings, not your video itself.

                      You sound like you come from a mathematics background, in physics we always make “reasonable assumptions” for things that are very small or very large, so 0.1 units for LBP could probably be assumed to be zero in most cases. This video shows the probable tangents one might have to go off on to get to a final goal in these matters, so keep that in mind. It doesn’t seem to have deterred you in the least, though.
                      You're right about the device being from the Creator's Toolkit - I really don't know why that didn't occur to me in editing. Still never had any idea at all how it worked, though, since the only microchip I can see on it contains nothing but a single node.

                      Amusingly enough, I actually do come from a physics background. In this particular video, I was just trying to be as rigorous as I could (since, frankly, I could've just stuck a proximity sensor next to Sackboy's feet and increased its range until it was at its head to get his height), since it was a bit more fun that way with all the extra thought it required. That, and it actually hadn't occurred to me just how short a distance 0.1 units would be, that being one hundredth of Sackboy's height. Being able to have super high confidence in my distance measurements will be nice later on, too, because I'll be using distances to measure a lot of other things later. I will, unfortunately, have to settle for a somewhat less accurate (i.e. less than four decimal places, more than any person could reasonably need) form of measurement next episode, but that'll be something to talk about when I get there.

                      Anyhow, thanks to everyone for all the feedback so far - it's very encouraging. I'll keep at it and link to the next one once it's up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ah, another physics person - splendid!

                        It’s been a long time for me, so forgive me if I say something really stupid, I have forgotten almost as much as I learned in all the years of school.

                        Significant figures FTW!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Alright, got the second one up and running (link).

                          This one is a tad shorter, probably for the better. Unfortunately, I actually don't have much more footage on-hand to use for the time being (enough for one decent-length episode or two short ones), so depending on how quickly I get the next one out, there might be a small gap in uploads. I'm thinking I'll start experimenting with having smaller videos (just a couple minutes) inbetween the longer ones of about ten minutes, too, so I'll try to get some of those recorded as well the next chance I get.

                          As before, any feedback or corrections are greatly appreciated, but in any case, I suppose I'll be off to start working on the next part.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another interesting and well-done video! Since it seems Sackboy is the unit of measure for length and mass, you can’t really quantify that and would have to get his measurement relative to other objects in the game like you did with the banana, so you’re back to your starting position, are you not?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by katanagirl1 View Post
                              Another interesting and well-done video! Since it seems Sackboy is the unit of measure for length and mass, you can’t really quantify that and would have to get his measurement relative to other objects in the game like you did with the banana, so you’re back to your starting position, are you not?
                              In a sense, but it's all a matter of what our end goal really is. If we don't use something (i.e. banana) as a reference point, we can't make any meaningful measurements at all. Choosing a particular object as a reference doesn't necessarily arbitrate that object's measurement if we can compare that to another reference like the banana. One could theoretically encounter the same issue when asking how heavy a kilogram really is - "one kilogram" is entirely redundant, so you'd simply compare it to something else, such as a couple full cans of soda. The video took a similar approach.

                              In the end, though, the question of Sackboy's physical characteristics is really just a way to keep things interesting while I build up my methods and apparati to measure other things. What we really got out of that video wasn't anything related to Sackboy, but a nice spring scale and an understanding of how springs in the game work (obeying Hooke's law, in particular). My current intention is to always use that strategy, using specific questions that require further investigation in order to prevent the experimentation from seeming like it lacks direction.

                              Again, though, thanks for the appreciation. I was originally pretty concerned that the videos would seem boring or just be ignored due to being based in a game that's the better part of a decade old.

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