OpenRelativity: free toolkit from MIT Game Lab lets Unity developers play with time and space

Phil Savage at

"The world described by Einstein's theory of special relativity is one not explored by many game designers," says Steven Schirra of MIT Game Lab. Which is a pretty strong opener for an email. Not only is it true, but Schirra's pointing us in the direction of OpenRelativity, MIT's solution to this alarming design void. It's a new open-source Unity toolkit, designed to let developers easily integrate time/space-bending madness into their games.

PC AI sucks at Civilization, reads manual, starts kicking ass

Owen Hill at

The Massachusetts institute of technology have been experimenting with their computers' AI. Specifically the way they deal with the meaning of words. You might think that the best way to analyse this kind of thing would be with a human to PC conversation, like in Short Circuit. That's not the case.

Instead, the boffins handed over PC classic, Civilization, and let the AI get on with it. They sucked - winning a mere 46 per cent of the time. The difficulty setting the machines were playing on has not been specified.

Then the researchers handed over the instructions and taught the PCs a "machine-learning system so it could use a player's manual to guide the development of a game-playing strategy." They didn't teach the PC how to play Civ, but they taught them how to read about it. The system had no pre-programmed notion of turn-based strategy or even what the objects in the world represented. The system was a noob.