Time Dilation

The naively ambitious starting point for this project was the idea for a space farming game, wherein the player must manage an interplanetary farming supply chain at relativistic distances and speeds. The core mechanic would involve deciding when to send off your ships at how fast such that they return from their voyages, time dilation and all, with a full harvest of crops.

Pretty early on I encountered two glaring problems with this idea. To start, a game centered around logistics management combined with astrophysics must have such a small niche that it might not even exist, but more importantly I realised that I hadn’t wrapped my head around time dilation enough to do anything productive with it. I needed to approach the concept in a much smaller way first.

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A Generalisable Astrolabe for a Procedural Universe

Introduction

This is a project for a class on Time. It is also an extension of an ongoing personal project to create a procedural universe. The overarching idea here is to be able to recreate an ancient astronomical timekeeping device (an Astrolabe) for any latitude on any procedurally generated planet.

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Time to look up!

Our first assignment was to GTFOutside and find something in the night sky. I had big plans to use my larger camera and long exposures over the weekend but alas I was struck with a terrible fever and going outside became a very bad idea.

So I resorted to ‘taking a quick snap’ with my phone on the only clear night that was left to me. The first trouble was of course finding something in the sky. With NYC’s light pollution and tall buildings everywhere it was tough to see more than one or two faint spots. The second trouble was when my phone told me to move back to improve focus, which was dumb; how can I move back from the sky?

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