Bill MacKenty

 
 
 

Quivering Communist Zombie Space Death - Part 1

Posted in Educational Tech Design Games in education Practical Advice Text-based gaming on 06 - May 2011 at 07:58 PM (11 years ago). 14 views.

I'm developing a new game, Quivering Communist Zombie Space Death. It's a text based game with an integrated (hardcoded) space system. What this game means, and why I'm developing it, is what this post is about. Quivering Communist Zombie Space Death (herein qczsd) is a game where players take on the role of humans desperately trying to save the earth from quivering communist zombies in space. The game is deeply educational, deeply funny, satirical, blatantly ribald, and of course most of all, fun. Basic mechanics are all textual! The player creates a persona (over-the-top stereotypical), get's a ship, and flys on different missions to take out the zombies. There is a leveling up mechanism, and "buy better crap for your ship dynamic". The zombies will be AI bots, and there will be all sorts of funny in-space dangers. Here's the website: [url=http://quiveringcommunistzombiespacedeath.com/index.html]http://quiveringcommunistzombiespacedeath.com/index.html[/url] I'll be blogging frequently about qczsd - talking about my journey of learning as I create this new game. Let's start, though, with the first task to make this game. We are using trusty pennmush, which can be found by clicking here and hspace, which can be found by clicking here. Let's start off with the first student assignment. Let's see where they go with this one: We are going to work with an accurate model of our solar system. What does this mean? It means that we are going to try to accurately model the planets, their distance from one another, mass, and even their moons. We of course also need to know their location from each other. What we are NOT modeling is orbits and gravity (I'll write the "difference between fun and realistic" post later). So, finding the names, mass, and distance of our solar-system planets is as easy as a simple google search. It might help to cross-reference them so we know the numbers are right. But we will eventually need to represent the location of the planets on a XYZ grid. Here's where it get's kind of interesting. How do astronomers (you know, the dolts who didn't even see the communist zombies coming) measure and represent distance in space? What scale of measurement do they use? How do they represent mass? Let's start with a simple assumption (that might be wrong). Let's say the very center of the sun is 0,0,0. Where would the center of the sun's closest planet, Mercury, be? Students should answer these questions and have the answers in the comment of this blog post as soon as they can.