Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Not a good day to be driving a Hotshot…

I’ve been milling around Harshman Memorial during the special gala celebration of Car Wars’s 25th anniversary.  The crowds have been absolutely tremendous here– this could be a sign that autodueling is returning as the top televised sport in America.  Many of them are here to see such relics as Crazy Joe Harshman’s Chevy and what’s left of Mike Montgomery’s Navigator. 

I had particularly good seats during a demonstration match this afternoon.  Here’s a close-up of a Hotshot just after getting nailed by three Laser shots from a team consisting of an Intimidator and a Security Six: 

Note the piles of debris in the Hotshot’s wake…. 

The driver of the Intimidator kindly gave me this read-out from his targeting computer: 

 Finally, here’s a shot from the helicopter cam of the entire furball:

 I’ll stick around the arena here for the full slate of events and keep you posted on any news of note!  Adios for now….

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3 responses to “Not a good day to be driving a Hotshot…

  1. Chris Goodwin August 15, 2007 at 12:45 am

    What in the name of Crazy Joe Harshman is that software?

  2. jeffro August 15, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Just a little code in C# to implement the original pocket box rules for Car Wars. I got as far as movement, handling, the crash tables, weapons fire, and damage tracking. Collisions are the killer thing to code that I got hung up on.

    While it’s nifty to be able to get your car to do an exact 15 degree bend, that exactness makes it easy to just barely hit walls on accident. My hacked up routines for detecting and resolving collisions generated some unusual behavior as well. I’m not sure I can fake my way through the correct algorithms for dealing with this. What we do and what we gloss over when we play Car Wars with a turning key and how we handle collisions is actually pretty difficult to articulate in terms a computer could understand.

    I almost want to write up some simplified maneuver/collision rules that use a hex map, but it wouldn’t be the same. I thought I’d be mostly done once I had movement and fire… but it turns out the collision rules are the heart and soul of the game. Without them, you just don’t have the game I grew up with….

    (But it’s pretty darn cool to have the handling track for all vehicles up-to-date and with no “accidental” fudging there. In testing, we crash and burn a lot more because we aren’t paying attention to every last mark on the control table to plan our moves.)

  3. Chris Goodwin August 15, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Ahhh, collisions.

    I’ve realized lately why, I think, none of the iterations of the collision rules really ever felt right. The way they always went, IIRC, a vehicle did damage in a collision based on its weight and speed. Which, counterintuivitely, apparently doesn’t match with the real world; in the real world, an object takes damage based on its *own* mass and its delta-vee. High school physics was over 15 years ago, and I don’t have the time at the moment to relearn enough to work this part out, but I’m considering trying to work up something based on this, using the old one-half-m-v-squared we learned back then.

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