Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Lava Lam

Geology lesson meets OH GOD I'M ON FIRE!
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This game has two modes; it can be played competetively by two players alternating modes, or by one player against a computer, or online against a worldwide pool of users.

In the first part, God Mode, you get to build a volcano. Your tools are a magma hotspot (which you can turn on and off), suspiciously localized plate tectonics, and command over plants and weather. Use a more-or-less-realistic physics engine to go from a bare patch of land to an impressive mountain, complete (if you like) with forest, idyllic meadows, treacherous icy slopes, and glaciers. In real life this would take a few million years, but the game speeds it up for you - go ahead and run the (implied) local plaentary crust around at the speed of a jet airplane and watch it buckle! This portion is also educational, as it teaches about geology and weather patterns. Then - pick a spot, point the magma hotspot at it, and submit your design. Your goal is to make this mountain inescapable. When it blows its top - as it will very shortly - you want nothing to be able to get off the mountain alive.

In the second part, Human Mode, you are set down atop the mountain and view it in a virtual first-person-shooter style. Then the lava comes pouring out. Your goal is to make it to a desginated safe spot without being engulfed in lava and burnt to a crisp.

If playing against the computer, you can either run down predesigned mountains, or build them and let an AI run down them while you watch and cackle.

gisho, Mar 05 2010


       //If playing against the computer//   

       sp: Pele-ing (+)   

       Did you ever play "Populous" back in the day? I'm kind of seeing an updated version of that where the game mechanics are more plate-tectonicy (an occasionall massive asteroid/comet collision might also play a part) I think you could do away with the 1st person running about part altogether. A full geologic simulation, allowing the user to push plates around, toy with sub-mantle hot-spots, watch crust subduction, mountain formation and subsequent sinking back into the core, watch snoball events and warming events oscillate over the planet based on current albedo and other environmental effects, all in action (rather than geologic) time, I think that could be pretty cool. Toy with planets, try to tweak Mars into a life-bearing planet, destroy the Earth, f*ck with the Moon etc - who wouldn't want to play?
zen_tom, Mar 08 2010


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