[Research] Magic: a scientific approach

Hi everyone,

These days, I’m working on how to bring magic to fantasy games in VR, and I mean literally “working” on it as part of a human computer interaction research lab.

The crazy idea is to one day develop a full VR (MMORPG) simulation of a fantasy world with a magic system as rich as the rules of physics.

We recently saw a few innovations on magical systems such as codespell (which is a really fun way to learn coding with children).
But nothing has reached the state of what I call a realistic magical simulation.

I’ve been thinking about such a game for the last 10years. I ended up filling dozens of notebooks with ideas, suggestions, comments…, even going to college to learn how we translated physics into equations, equations to code and how to interact with it.

Now it’s time to build!

The first step I’m working on is on how to use the state of the art in computer science to emulate magic in a fantasy game, especially in term of inputs to replace the old button scheme.
I’ve been defining “magical interactions”, the categories of interactions magic users can use to interact with the world. The next step will be to experiment the main magical interactions types with different input paradigms and gather quantitative and qualitative data to ■■■■■ the enjoyment and engagement of the player.

I will post an update as soon as I can compile all the data I’ve gathered into a short summary.
But feel free to drop by and share your thoughts. :slight_smile:

Wow! It seems that if properly executed, research of this scale could change the fantasy genre (not just in terms of video games) dramatically! How is your data compilation going?

Hey Jdbener,
Glad you share the excitement!

I’m moving forward, one line at a time, but as all scientific work it is a long and often frustrating experience. (I might already have deleted and rewrote/reformulate the same pages a dozen times…
I don’t wanna rush it, I already made that mistake in the past.
So it might take me a year or 10, but I wanna do it properly!

Will post back as soon as I have something tangible to share with the community. :slight_smile:

But feel free to post anything that pops to your mind.
Magic, although it can be codified is still highly subjective, so every input is appreciated.

Magic under scientific approach is called chemistry;
If you want to emulate that in full fidelity, you’ll have to get a masters bachelor degree in chemistry for that.
Is easier to do it like hollywood, use some therms from the field and insert a lot of wrong ideas of how the thing is supposed to work lol.

Games from the Full Metal Alchemist anime have few nice mechanics designers created for the PS2 and 3DS machines.

Chemistry is part of it, you’re right. :wink:
From what I’ve gathered, I would even go deeper and say that particle physics is necessary to emulate or just explain a “scientific” magic, or more commonly called “magic realism”.
So far I’ve tried to integrate classical mechanics, thermodynamics and next should be general relativity.

100% agreeing on the easy way used by Hollywood movies! But even them are starting to up their standards in term of scientific accuracy.

Thanks for bringing up the FMA games, gonna have to borrow a ps2/3ds. :slight_smile:

I would like to ask, however: what do you mean by magic? Standard everyday run-of-the-mill Arcana? Alchemy? Chi or Daoism magic? Supernatural based Cleric or Necromantic magics? Elemental Genesis? Summoning? or some mixture of all of the above? (not even getting into the Quantum Physics stuff which science is currently theorizing, like linking to String Theory) From my personal musings, each one would have different properties and affect the world and the target (whatsoever it may be) in a variety of different ways.

Interesting question!
Although I have episodic research on different styles of magic, I recently decided to use a more abstract definition of magic, allowing the study of “magical interactions”.

Here is an excerpt of the current draft:

But in term of simulation of the effects of magic, I so far have been focused on elemental magic, a combination of invokation and elemental-bending (which is essentially a telekinesis based skill).

Dreams I want to know how your project is going. Me and a friend have been discussing how to make a “realistic” magic system and I’ve been doing some research on different ways to do so. first i came up with a basic concept on how the magic would work and thought its a lot like a program being re-written in a sense (i’m a novice programmer). so i thought the best way to interact with the system would be along the lines of something like the code spells blueprint system other than a lot more in-depth more like a dumbed down version of only the physics interaction of the UE bluprints system. and instead of using different types of energy just using one and having the energy usage be based on not only on how much energy a component uses but then also the effects most basic laws of physics work. so to create a fireball i would have the component of fire which would use oxygen (and other gasses if added) and the component of add x amount of heat/ molecular vibration. another component of shape which includes the variables of density and mass. then a movment component which could alternate through an x,y,z position or a get entity player viewing position. is any of this similar to you current system.