Jun 27 2013

Free games!

These will distract you from getting into mischief while I’m airborne: the Royal Society has released some free science games. I’m heading out the door, no time to play, you tell me if they’re any good.


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  1. 1
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)


    (Worse actually, the games don’t seem to open.)

  2. 2

    Sea Glider and Quantum revolution were a bit poor. No idea what science they were trying to teach at all. Cell invaders was quite good, but I definitely liked Out both Ends the best. No good at it, but at least it seemed to have some science teaching behind it.

  3. 3

    @1 You need to press enter to start some of them.

  4. 4
    Brianne Bilyeu

    You fiend! As if I wasn’t busy enough already!

  5. 5

    They look kind of cute, but it also looks like I’d have to reboot into Microsoft Windows to run them. Maybe later.

  6. 6
    Bernard Bumner

    I have to declare an Interest in these games.

    They were produced as part of the games jam for the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, which is open from the 2nd-7th of July. Scientists from selected exhibits worked with games developers to quickly and inexpensively produce fun games which hopefully encourage people to take an interest in the science of the exhibits.

    The exhibition is put together and staffed (in collaboration with the RS) by hard-working researchers and is an opportunity for everyone to come along and meet real scientists, hopefully to have some fun with science games and demonstrations, and maybe learn something about fresh, cutting-edge projects. There will be lots of young researchers, as well as the established leaders, who would really appreciate your interest in and support of their work.

    There will be some really interesting exhibits across a very broad range of research areas.

    The Exhibition is free to attend in the magnificent halls of the Royal Society on Carlton House Terrace (just off the Mall) in London. Please come along if you are in the area.

  7. 7

    Windows or OSX, Score one for ignorance

  8. 8

    I never had Chrome freeze on me like that. Well played, PZ. Well played. But as you see, I’m already back online, so obviously your insidious plan failed. Ha!

  9. 9
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    According to the Unity player website, they have a Linux version too, although I can’t be arsed installing it right now.

  10. 10
    Rich Woods

    Yeah, I’m not bothering with another installer right now. You’d think they could manage to write their games in Flash or HTML5.

  11. 11
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Just an opinion: Unity has been quite good to me. Way better than the craptastic platform that is Flash and it’s majority of half-arsed game developers. (Which is sad, as this is exactly what Flash was originally designed for. But that’s what you get from growth-by-acquisition companies.)

  12. 12

    Speaking of free games, some of the folks here might find this project interesting:

    Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution

    Short version: it’s a a first-principles evolution simulator: it generates imperfectly-replicating 3d ‘organisms’ in a simulated ecosystem. From there, evolutionary mechanisms like natural selection and genetic drift emerge naturally from the game mechanics.

    Unfortunately we developed it in XNA, which means for now Species is Windows only. We hope to eventually port it to Monogame for Mac and Linux support, though.


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