21 April 2009

Everybody Should Love Physics

I hated physics.

Well, I loved conceptual physics then I got into practical physics and that love curdled into a seething pit of despair.

It all started after one assignment took 12 hours of tedious formula solving, 21 pages of my little blue project book and enough caffeine to resurrect the dinosaurs only to result in me knowing how high the 14th brick up the wall in the lobby was within a plus or minus 1 degree of deviation. WTf!>?

Ok, so I got through the rest of school without touching physics again and the lingering depression of those equations just sat and smoldered until one day it happened, I fell in love with physics again!

You see, when you can light a barrel on fire, launch it into the air, have it bounce off a wall, explode causing a stack of crates to break and send shards out that knock over all the bottles you set up with a satisfying shattering of glass...then physics is once again fun.

The physics in Half Life 2 are incredible. Pick something up, drop it, toss it, fling...it will do exactly what you expect it to do.

Play through the entire story of Half Life 2 and notice how you spend time just messing around with stuff along the way not to help you through the story but just because you can and because it is fun.

Physics are a natural part of our world and often ground breaking and boundary pushing technologies result from those who dedicate time to further study in the field.

Machinima can also be pushed to great heights when great physics engines are combined with ambitious set design and scene development.

Accessing Half Life 2 through Garry's Mod offers a robust environment where simply tossing 40 melons down a hill will result in a spectacular shot. How far we push it beyond this depends on how creative and motivated machinima makers are able to become.

So let's go have some fun with physics!