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Go Stand By the Stairs, So I Can Protect You 263

ewhac writes "It seems a programmer named Jetro Lauha, for his submission to the Assembly 2002 competition, decided to explore the realm of solid body physics simulations. So he wrote Porrasturvat -- 'Stair Dismount'. The game involves the application of force vectors to solid bodies connected by links with constrained range of motion, and observing their impact forces against other objects in the environment. ...Or, more colloquially, you push a guy down the stairs and see how much damage he takes. Apparently, any similarity between this game and the Terrible Secret of Space is entirely coincidental."
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Go Stand By the Stairs, So I Can Protect You

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:31AM (#4615627)
    two people for this experiment - 1 man plus alcohol can deliver all your falling down stairs needs - reports may take longer to compile
    • by Anonymous Coward
      reports may take longer to compile

      I would venture to guess that they'd probably be rather instant.
  • by Leon da Costa ( 225027 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:33AM (#4615632)
    You can get really high scores in this game by finding the "bug": I'll keep the hint minimal, but if you push hard on his foot, and try to push it down and back into the stairs, there's a chance he'll get stuck for a few seconds... resulting in very high scores.
  • by zeendr ( 621380 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:40AM (#4615650)
    Madeline: Ernest! My ass. I can see my ass. ERNEST: Yeah, and there's something really wrong with your neck too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:41AM (#4615652)
    And Sim-WifeBeater is also an acccident.
  • by GnomeKing ( 564248 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:51AM (#4615679)
    It seems a programmer named Jetro Lauha, for his submission to the Assembly 2002 competition, decided to explore the realm of solid body physics simulations

    thats what HE wants us to believe....

    Its quite interesting that the stairs were based on his local library and that he recently had an big argument with the librarian (who was, coincidently, sleeping with Jetro's partner)

    But, of course, last sundays accident was a horrible coincidence and he honestly didnt mean to stumble and push the librarian on the upper left arm at a 37.6 degree angle or anything...

    Which is another amazing coincidence because thats precisely how the highest (non-buggy) score submitted to his website was achieved!
    • by jjl ( 514061 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:03AM (#4615710) Homepage
      Lol :-)

      Anyway, the true story is that the idea for the game came when one work day I personally almost did a stair dismount, and we started joking with colleagues about making a game out of that..

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Having fallen off my roof (10 feet) onto the ladder that was supposed to be there about three weeks ago - it is chilling to see the slow motion man fall down those stairs.

        It happens much faster - but the physics that impact tendons and bones are fascinating to ponder (and then my foot bent way back and put stress on this little bone, causing it to ...)

        Maybe the game creator could add a little deal where you can go in an x-ray the bones on stair man ...

      • This is right up there with a phone conversation which included the phrase "Where did I leave my pants?" and the other fellow said that sounded like one of those games from that outfit that does the really-dumb-but-fun-once games :)

    • I bet Stewie the baby would have loved this simulation...

      If only he didn't try knocking his Mum down the stairs on the day that Death was incapacitated due to a twisted ankle. Although sawing the leg off the Armoir (making it fall on top of her) and the grenade to finish things off would have been another simulation in itself!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:52AM (#4615683)
    If you can wait 6 months there is an expansion pack,Banana Peels and Rollerskate.
  • Damn you (Score:5, Funny)

    by jukal ( 523582 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:52AM (#4615684) Journal
    Or, more colloquially, you push a guy down the stairs and see how much damage he takes

    I actually have played that game a couple of times, and now you pushed the website down the stairs with the /. effect! What do you expect I will do with my obsession to push people, when I next take the stair down to leave the office :)

    ** Ohh, this is the perfect chance to plug the analysis of the slashdot effect [openchallenge.org] once more.

    • now you pushed the website down the stairs with the /. effect!

      On side note, the taat.fi server seems to have survived the effect very well. But I guess that's no wonder with Apache and the network-delay between US-Finland working as the final saviour.

    • more colloquially, you push a guy down the stairs and see how much damage he takes

      Are they looking for any new people? I would not mind pushing people as a full time job. I can already image the job. Some dipshit says "Please do not push me down the stairs again, I fell 6 times already today and I am bleeding." My response "Shutup" *PUSH* .... *boom* *bang* *ding-dang*...
  • Teehee (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    From this bot... [iniaes.org]

    You: Will you push me down the stairs?
    Iniaes: Twice, if you manage to get back up.
  • by grahamsz ( 150076 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:54AM (#4615687) Homepage Journal
    sadly the database seems to have gone down - but look at http://db.cs.helsinki.fi/~jlauha/taat/porrasturvat /score/webscores.cgi tommorrow :)
    • by jjl ( 514061 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:10AM (#4615723) Homepage
      The game score was hacked pretty quickly after release of the game.. easiest way being to fiddle with the values straight to the memory when the game is running (trying to change the saved scores or online submit data should be a bit harder).

      If I get around taking time for the project, I'll be adding some more obfuscation for those things (as if that would help any ;-). Checking the hit on server side takes a LOT of cpu time but I guess some system for validating top entries could be viable.
      • I am achieving scores >60K just by pushing the guy with full force with the initial settings (0,0). I once got >70K but at exactly that time i figured this bug... if you run the prog from a schortcut placed say on the desktop the internal scores tables aren't updated :(

        anyway it wouldn't be hard to make the online score database bullet proof. just have the initial conditions uploaded together with the score :))

        Great game!!!
  • by flippet ( 582344 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:58AM (#4615694) Homepage
    Was anyone else dissappointed when they found out it was just a computer game?

    Phil, just me

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:02AM (#4615704)
    It uses the free (or to be specific LGPL) Open Dynamics Engine [q12.org]. A quite nice physics SDK, check it out if you are interested in physics engines.
    • Having played with the ODE...

      The parent article is quite correct. If you're doing any solid-body physics based stuff, ODE rocks. Combine it with SDL [libsdl.org] and OSG [openscenegraph.org] and you have the basic tools to produce some really cool stuff. Throw in the Demeter Terrain Engine [terrainengine.com] if you want a bit of scenery to go with it. I've tied all four together for experimenting with what makes a good driver interface for a hovertank. :)

      The Stair-dismount makes good use of joints, and collision detection features of ODE - but even if you don't need these, the force model of ODE is a lot of fun to play with on its own. But if you *are* ambitious, it has specialised joint and suspension-spring models for doing things like wheeled vehicles pretty easily.

      With all these tools available under LGPL, those of you like me - who don't like writing a graphics/physics engine so much as actually writing cool simulations with said engines - have a much better point to start from than even 2 years ago.
    • Aw. I thought this guy had written his own dynamics engine, in assembler, which would be a major achievement.
  • by AndrewHowe ( 60826 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:04AM (#4615711)
    Anyone got a mirror?
  • Similar Programme... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DreddUK ( 255582 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:09AM (#4615720) Homepage
    ...Pontifex. You try and build bridges which stay up when you run trains over them. Really cool.

    Go Here -> http://www.chroniclogic.com/ [chroniclogic.com]
  • Hrmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    Is it just me or does anyone else wonder if you can make this thing kick itself in the head?
  • by oniony ( 228405 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:25AM (#4615752)
    Now I've read the license, all is clear:

    COPYRIGHT LICENSE - KOPIO-OIKEUS LISENSSI

    "This material" (hereafter D6y893) is not freeware. It is owned by "the
    author" (hereafter L6kld8j4). "You" (hereafter 8q39ys) are allowed to copy
    it without restrictions for non-commercial use.

    No payment of any kind may be charged for D6y893 or any combination
    of products or services including D6y893 without L6kld8j4's authorization
    and official written license.

    Commercial use, especially the industrial manufacturing on any data
    storage media and their distribution without the expressed permission of
    the producer, is strictly prohibited.

    D6y893 or the data files contained therein may not be altered or
    modified without the permission of L6kld8j4.

    8q39ys take full responsibility for the operation of D6y893 and any
    consequences thereof. L6kld8j4 can not accept liability for damages
    or failures arising from the use of D6y893.

    In case of dispute arbitration the place of arbitration shall be Helsinki,
    Finland. The language of arbitration shall be Finnish.


    I'm sure it must L6kld8j4's ability to come up with a novel slant in D6y893 that makes it so appealing to 8q39ys.

    8q39ys.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Funny, I was just on my way to go buy this [amazon.com] book.

    Posting anonymously because this is off topic. I had to say it. It was too weird.
  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:47AM (#4615812) Homepage Journal
    i was hoping this would be like a stairwell, where you had to angle the guy around the corner to get to the next set of stairs.... or maybe knock him upwards so he "grinds" on the hand rail.... that'd be pretty sweet. still, a really fun game, even if it does render horrendously slowly on a meager K6-2 300. the slow mo sure is entertaining, though.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You mean similarities with the ICQ Prank at Something Awful :

    http://www.somethingawful.com/article.php?id=285
  • How long... (Score:2, Funny)

    by GeckoFood ( 585211 )
    ...before this can be added as a plug-in to Grand Theft Auto III?
  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:53AM (#4615834)
    Jetro/Jethro? :)
  • Escalator (Score:4, Funny)

    by Bohnanza ( 523456 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @08:13AM (#4615885)
    Push him down an up escalator and the program will never stop running.
  • by Zech Harvey ( 604609 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @08:16AM (#4615894)

    He has gone down the stairs.
    Pak Chooie uNF.
  • Uh oh.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Quixote ( 154172 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @08:30AM (#4615934) Homepage Journal
    Or, more colloquially, you push a guy down the stairs

    I think we just pushed his webserver down the stairs.

  • by Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @08:36AM (#4615960) Homepage Journal
    .... I'd love to be able to push my ex-girlfriend down the stairs, you know, with out all the legal hassle that would arise from her injuries.

    Jaysyn
  • Animats.com [animats.com] claims a patent [animats.com] on "falling bodies". As they say, "If it falls, it has joints, it looks right, and it works right, it's probably covered by our patent." Gotta love that patent system...
  • If you push him backwards on his head so that he lands on the platform, you can get him to land on his neck and the rest of his body to hinge over him, while pressing on his neck (camera "1" is good for this).

    It seems the score is derived mainly from how hard the body part initially hits, not the strain and angle to which the body part is pressed while it's in contact with the ground? One would think a pleasing neck-snap should yield the highest scores...

  • by Sarin ( 112173 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @08:57AM (#4616054) Homepage Journal
    Apparently, any similarity between this game and the Terrible Secret of Space is entirely coincidental

    Is the similarity that they both are unavailable due to massive slashdotting?
  • ...that isn't /.'ed.

    http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/secretofsp ac e.html
  • Mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by RudeDude ( 672 )
    The Porrasturvat download page [mrhostbot.com]

    Download game ZIP [mrhostbot.com]

    Download EXE installer [mrhostbot.com]

    Mirror provided by Mr HOSTBOT [mrhostbot.com]

  • by back_pages ( 600753 ) <back_pages@cox . n et> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @09:27AM (#4616221) Journal
    This is the best game ever. This is the best game ever. EVAR!!!11 I would happily pay money for future versions. Make it more sporting. Include different geography. Level 1, the simple residential flight of stairs. Level 10, the stairwell of a three story office building. The method for determining injuries is good, but it could be better. Others pointed out that its all impact; include strain and compression. Limit the joints range of motion a little bit. (Oh no, boss is coming!)

    (He's gone, shew.) Handrails and doorknobs would be a plus. You could include some quirky plot, make it like Thief. You have to sneak around the office, driven by some unexplainable urge to shove people down stairs. Leave it unexplainable and focus on gameplay. If there's a witness, you get caught, game over. If the victim isn't hit hard enough in the head, he can tell people what happened, game over. And of course, powerups!

  • Current high score here: 126994

    Force: 6 bars
    Heading: 37.24
    Pitch: 48.41

    Almost fell out of my chair when I saw his head pop off for a second, after he hit the side of the stairs!
  • I like it. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Unknown Poltroon ( 31628 ) <unknown_poltroon1sp@myahoo.com> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:14AM (#4617053)
    It kinda reminds me of watching my 401k plan for the past year.
  • by serutan ( 259622 ) <snoopdoug@NoSPAM.geekazon.com> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @12:59PM (#4618017) Homepage
    Object: Application of network traffic vectors to physical web servers connected by links with constrained bandwidth resources, and observing their impact against response time. Or, more colloquially... you push a million /. readers at a website and see how much damage it takes.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @01:24PM (#4618234) Homepage
    I was the first to simulate falling downstairs. I first showed "Falling Bodies" at the Softimage user convention in 1997. The technology inside Falling Bodies is now licensed for some major games.

    Here's my simulation of someone falling down a circular staircase. [.avi, 1.5MB] [animats.com]. Note that there's less "boink" than with impulse/constraint simulators; the bounces take several frames, rather than being instantaneous. That's because Falling Bodies is a spring/damper system, which produces better results. Takes more cycles, though.

    Now everybody does falling downstairs as a demo for physics engines. I've created a cliche, like the old "teapot" graphics test.

    More videos. [animats.com]

    (Most of these videos are encoded with the Intel Indeo codec, which Intel discontinued, but you can still get it from Ligos. [ligos.com] I should convert that material to another codec. What would you suggest that will work five years from now?)

    • I was the first to simulate falling downstairs. I first showed "Falling Bodies" at the Softimage user convention in 1997. [ ... ]

      It's unclear whether you're laying claim to human forms falling down stairs, or any object falling down stairs, but I was watching stuff fall down stairs at SIGGRAPH in 1987, ten years earlier.

      I'm pretty sure the research was peformed by MIT. I saw renderings of a vase, a toy car, and a park bench fall down stairs. I also saw a bunch of rigid soccer balls bouncing against each other and the environment. The techniques were published in the proceedings that year.

      Schwab

    • Did you try to patent Newton law as well? Or maybe kick in the butt? People like you who make this patent system absurd. Fuck you.
  • Those little demos are so neat, based on former years.

    I especially like the 'cram as much cool stuff in as few bytes as possible' sections, like 4k or 256B.

  • And if you like it.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by golrien ( 528571 )
    You might want to look at its page on pouët [pouet.net], the group's other work [pouet.net], other games from the demoscene [pouet.net] and some other stuff [pouet.net].

    But be nice, don't slashdot the scene.org [scene.org] servers that pouët is hosted on :)
  • I have made a couple of the more popular mixes made of the Terrible Secret of Space (Down the Stairs Mix [kilna.com], Protected Mix [kilna.com]). The guy who did the original song truly is the Laziest Man on Mars, I've been pestering him since Terrible's heyday to add me to his MP3.com page [mp3.com]. If he thought my stuff sucked all that bad, he could at least compose a two word "fuck off" email. :) In other news, my my sig is eerily on-topic today.

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