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Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

(OP)
I make FEA models of most things structural; bridges, tunnels, larger buildings etc. These models are not meant to be eye candy but strictly for calculational reasons, to find stress concentrations, displacement and so on. I also want to get into game development on the side, and I was wondering if anyone here has an idea of how I could combine these two?

Making video game is not easy, also its not very profitable if you look at the numbers. But still, I would like to try my hands at it and was wondering if there are any clever/profitable ways I could combine the two? I dont have family or girlfriend or anything else so I have a lot of free time after work.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

check the Humble Bundle - Book Bundles: Link
every couple bundle cycles they get a set related to game development.

On the 3D modeling front get familiar with Blender, it's free and can do just about everything 3D Studio Max can do: Link

From my own limited research Unity seemed to be a good jumping in point: Link

My Personal Open Source Structural Applications:
https://github.com/buddyd16/Structural-Engineering

Open Source Structural GitHub Group:
https://github.com/open-struct-engineer

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

I'm actually doing the same thing, though I'm not trying to combine the two.

Are you looking for structural engineering themed game ideas, or ways to incorporate engineering into video game development or vice versa?

If you're trying to incorporate them, I think you'd be limited to building interactive models of your designs. The Autodesk App store has a utility to export Revit models to Unity. You could do that and then build a scene into a game style interface and walk clients or contractors through it during pre-construction meetings to highlight complicated areas and other things. Really, this has more use on the architecture side where you publish it as a VR program and you do a VR walk through of the building with the owner.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

To add onto Celt's comments, if you need to do any 2d vector art, I can recommend Inkscape. Takes some getting used to, but free software is free software.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

I could see game developers valuing someone who can realistically model a building collapse/partial collapse/explosion sequence. There is software out there for this type of thing (https://www.extremeloading.com/els-applications/pr...) and perhaps that type of Applied Element Analysis could be integrated into a video game.

This may already be the case though. I’m not very up to date on video games... I think the last one I played was Super Mario.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

It's not just video games though, it's also FEA type models for CG effects in Hollywood. When the car or building blows up, you want it to look real.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Is there a video game version of jenga? That might be a option.

Maybe one (similar to jenga) where a building is comprised completely of moment frames and you start taking stuff out until failure.

Maybe a boxing type game where you beat Project Managers & architects senseless? wink

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Keep in mind, any game you go at solo is niche at best and will take years without a team (and no guarantee anyone even learns of its existence). Really it's the triple A big budget game where I think you could make the greatest impact and a boatload of cash. If you have played any triple A game over the last few years, it's apparent that large videogame companies have very talented architects working for them, either as consultants or CG artists, but who also likely double as structural consultants. And it shows (and not in a good way). Considering that most major films have structural consultants nowadays, and considering that many AAA games cost as much or more than AAA movies, you'd think they should have someone on-call to QA/QC their levels or tell them that not all structures blow up like they're made of legos.

Take the last of us 2 for example... that game has an entire level centered around the structural capacity of a partially collapsed trussed crane, bridging two skyscrapers. I get creative licenses blah blah and all that, but couldn't they at least make sure the load path was continuous. And why anyone would design a hospital with steel deck ribs at a 45 degree angle to beam flanges is beyond me (I think I saw something similar in the carnegie pocket companion from the 1920s - with speed tile instead of deck ribs). In fact, the only recent game I've played that at least pretends it's buildings are engineering marvels is cyberpunk 2077 - and one could argue that they get a pass for including almost no damage modeling, and for being able to use the excuse "bro, it's the future... glass is totally a building material"

But I digress - the need is definitely there. Once youtubers start breaking down structural systems in games like they did for movies, change will happen quick. If I enjoyed coding at all, I'd be looking into this, for sure.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

videogame jenga would be sick af too. especially if you make players give consideration to collapse method/direction - like if you were to get a multiplier based on the importance cat of any adjacent buildings your opponent accidentally destroys... elementary school with 250+ students? = x3 bonus! plus your opponent's license is suspended for that state

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

To put things into perspective, the video games that you will probably be developing are more in the realm of app games for phones, correct?

There actually are a handful of video games out there based on kinetics/kinematics that grab people's attention (think Angry Birds, Bubble Shooter, etc.) and I think there really are probably some real ideas you could come up with that could get a particular group interested. If it's too heavy on the engineering/math/FEA side you are going to ostracize a large portion of the public. People like things that are intuitive.

I have an idea... You are a demolition expert as part of a WW2 military battalion and your job is to place charges on key parts of the bridge to cause collapse right as the enemy forces are traversing it. The bridge type changes each level and so does the amount of charges, charge size, and bridge material and member size type. It would take a certain charge size to take out a member. Members would have lots of redundancy so as not to make it too easy. Focus on the player strategically having to place their charges. Each charge could even have a cost associated with it or a point deduction so that they can focus on being as economical as possible. There certainly would be lots of opportunity for you to incorporate structural analysis (not sure how much FEA would be needed) and you can make it as simple or as complicated behind the scenes as you would like, i.e. Simple Statics, or more detailed capacity analysis using material properties, compression buckling, progressive collapse analysis, etc. Collapses should look as real as possible of course.

I've also thought at other times of video games that could be more educational... Trying to raise or lower an object with a series of ropes or pulleys. I also feel like there could be so many educational things you could do with machine elements such as gears.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Are you trying to make something like the bridge builder application/game? Just throwing this out here, I have no experience in either of the two (structural nor video games)

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

A while back I saw on Linkedin somebody had managed to convert their Revit model into a Counterstrike map (maybe using Unity?). I thought that was cool...

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

You might want to look into working for either an amusement ride manufacturer or one of the major permanent parks (Disney, Universal, etc.). I have done quite a bit of structural analysis, dynamic strain testing, acceleration testing, modeling and fatigue evaluation of amusement rides for several major parks in the US and a few major ride builders.

Companies such as Sally Amusements combine animatronics, video and structure to create a ride experience that goes way beyond a Tilt-A-Whirl!

There are numerous manufacturers in the US and the major theme parks have their own engineering staffs. The challenges and satisfaction are great! The ride experiences have gotten amazingly complex.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Quote (adamewood)

I get creative licenses blah blah and all that, but couldn't they at least make sure the load path was continuous.

You mean like in the new Godzilla where both of the primary cables on the Golden Gate are snapped and the bridge deck stays there like they were just decorations? I really liked the movie up to that point....

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

there are/were several "nice" bridge building games around ... but I've lost my links.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Godzilla? How about in Batman where the floor slab in the train station was apparently overdesigned to the point where all of the interior columns on the basement level were redundant!

https://youtu.be/EGWfothiSU8?t=107

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

O/T: Weelllll, it's one thing for the fictional component of a movie to have unrealistic properties, but for known features of reality to behave unrealistically is jarring, particularly if that behavior is not critical to the advancement of the story. For example: spaceships making noise as they go by in the vacuum. Clearly, no sound would be heard, but almost every movie producer puts in that sound because otherwise the scene would be less interesting. Except Kubrick, who used the lack of sound to enhance the feeling of isolation in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a plot driver as (spoiler) the astronaut gets into the evacuated air lock with no helmet.

It could be as simple as those tooth-pick bridge challenges or bumped up to that weighted-tower on a shaker table earthquake simulation challenge.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Enable - that's called progressive collapse prevention design. It may have stayed up, but just thinking about the eventual deflection gives me the creeps...

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

The one that always bothered me was the Six million dollar man. (The TV series with Lee Majors.) He had new arms and legs......but he'd lift stuff with his arms and I'd think: what is keeping his rotator cuffs from exploding lifting that much weight? Not to mention the disks in his back and so on. The load has to go somewhere. His non-bionic joints can't take all that.

The Superman movies were always problematic as well. He would put force on stuff that can't possibly take it. Remember (in the third one that came out in '84 or whatever) where he carries that giant ice sheet as basically a cantilever? Must have had a high cracking moment.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

I knew I couldn't be the only gamer here... Check out Unreal Engine, it's used for many mainstream games now days, including architecture.

RE: Combine my passion for video games and structural engineering?

Hi StructuralGamer,

what do you think of doing FEA analysis and simulations for the design of gaming accessories?

Andrés

annelysis GmbH | Engineering Excellence | https://annelysis.com

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