Archive for the ‘Simulation’ Category

Zombies among us

Posted: August 7, 2012 in Simulation, Zombies

Haha, just a quick youtube video “about” whether zombies could be living among us 🙂 a New York City experiment

Geez, the zombie apocalypse is tough shit…how do I know? … I’ve been there, and died…quite often actually. If you want to find out yourself how tough surviving the zombie apocalypse is you need to get the free mod for Armed Assault2: Combined Operations called “DayZ”. Yes, it’s free (if you already own ArmA2 + Arma2: Operation Arrowhead= ArmA2: Combined Operations).

You’ll start the game somewhere along the coast of fictional Chernanus, 225 km² of open world post-soviet territory, with basically nothing but some painkillers, a bandage and an empty backpack.

Right now you are pretty save, there’s no one around and you are well fed, but problems will start soon enough and then it is all about survival. For example if it starts to rain, you’ll get wet. Being exposed to rain for too long causes your body temperature to drop and results in a cold or an infection. With a cold your body will shake and with an infection you will sneeze & cough and lose health. The best thing to do is get somewhere inside and don’t get wet at all. Next problem 🙂 to get inside you’ll have to find a house which is likely to find in a populated area. Thing with populated areas in Chernanus is, you won’t find a living soul there…but many infected roaming the streets.
So you got wet and need to heat up. How do you accomplish this task with no materials to e.g. start a fire. You get the drift 🙂 And this is only staying warm. Your character needs to eat and drink regularly. Your only choice is to carefully head into the villages & towns to search for loot that might keep you alive for another day…if your lucky. Because there are two different enemies that try to prevent you to make it another day.

First, the obious ones. As soon as you approach houses you’ll notice all kinds of walking deads nearby. Depending on how careful you move you’ll get noticed or not. You can lay low and crawl without making a noise or you can run and be seen like a lighthouse in pitch black night. The zombies make nasty sounds that really freak you out, especially when you crawled all the way into a building, hoping to find useful loot (being frustrated because there were only empty tin cans) and you hear loads of zombies growling and moaning as they pass the only door. Once zombies discovered you have three options: run, die or fight. Usually it’s one of the first two 🙂 because if you’re lucky to have a gun already, every gunshot will attract more zombies and is more of a last resort option.

Second, other players. You are not the only one trying to survive, so eventually you will meet other players. “Oh great, other players…one is always stronger in a team than alone” That might be the truth, but first of all you’ll have to figure out if that player you met is a Mr Nice Guy or a so called bandit. Bandits are player who have murdered other players for loot…or fun. I mean, this is the freakin zombie apocalypse, anything can happen. I experienced that a “Shoot first, ask later” mentality has established on the servers and after being shot several times although being unarmed and approaching as friendly as possible, the next player I see gets some lead 🙂 Sorry bro!

“So why is it so important to stay alive? Can’t you respawn?” – No, you can’t! And that makes this game so thrilling, realistic and frustrating at the same time. Once you’re dead you’ve got to start all over again. So many times I felt like deleting this game because I had a great character with lots of supplies and “boom” – you’re dead. And as it is still an Alpha there are bugs that sometimes make you lose your stuff or life, but hey…it’s an alpha and already awesome! So I can’t wait until it is finished! And no, I’m not deleting the game, because each time you die you also want to know: can I do better this time? And make experiences like this one

After 4 days of surviving on my last character, i finally died. I thought that i would be searching for weapons and supplies for hours. But i had quite a good start. I started at one of the spawns and instead of running across the coast like i usually do, i decided to run over a hill. I spotted a fire station and ran straight into it. I found an AKM (i think that’s what it’s called) and a nice amount of ammo. Within 5 minutes i found a town and looted the supermarket for binoculars, a watch, an ALICE pack, and some food and water.

When i found a cafe, i walked upstairs and to my horror, i found a dead player. This instantly made me think to get out of the town ASAP, but i had not searched any of the other buildings yet. Determined to find items but worried at the same time, i slowly moved into each building expecting to get a clip emptied into my face. I went back to the supermarket to double check if i had missed anything. As soon as i looked out the back of the supermarket…. Another dead body. It was now time for me to leave this town, seeing as it was the luckiest start i have had while playing this game!

For those who haven’t played ArmA2. Not only that there’s a huge open world with 30% accessible buildings, mountains and forests…there is also a weather and day/night cycle. It’s being used by militaries all over the world as simulator software and now, your first zombie apocalypse simulator 😀 you can shoot, loot, kill, die, make fire, set traps, hunt & gut animals, set up tents, use maps, repair vehicles, drive, fly…you name it!

Horde Mode-Zombie Survival

Posted: April 9, 2012 in Simulation, Zombies

Who’s been thinking watching a Zombie movie “I could do better than that” when one of the protagonists was overrun by a group of zombies? To be honest I did 🙂 although I should know better from playing Left 4 Dead…but those are fast zombies, right? What about slow ones? It should be easy when they are of the slow zombie kind…luckily we don’t have to try ourselves. Checkout this YouTube video 😉

Population Zero Interactive

Posted: March 5, 2012 in Simulation

While researching for a blogpost I came across a nice interactive showcase called Aftermath: Population Zero Interactive. Like the tv show Life after People the reasons for mankind’s disappearance are left in the dark. The showcase allows you to browse from 60 seconds to 230 years in a world without people, providing useful information accordingly with texts, photos and videos for those who prepare for whatever SHTF scenario. What will happen to nuclear power plants, building structures or farm animals (and many more topics) and especially when and in what stages after people disappeared.

I just saw the german tv show “Quarks & Co” (don’t laugh at the title 😉 ) which always is very informative. This time it delt with the german/european power grid and it’s challenges for the upcoming years. Very interesting was the part where they hypothetically showed the effects of a Germany wide blackout. Since it is in german I would like to translate the facts*.

It could be a normal day when all of a sudden everything turns silent; no phones ringing, no public announcements, no vacuum cleaner, no tvs etc…then from silent to dark. No traffic lights, no trains and no elevators. Dozens of people get injured in traffic accidents, thousands of people trapped in trains, subways and elevators.

The landline would fail immediately. Without electricity no computer or server is able to run, hence no email, no google, no twitter and no world wide web. The cell phones might continue to work for a few hours as the  radio towers have backup generators but soon they would be on overload. Shortly after a major blackout all communication would fail. No phone, no internet, no emergency calls.

All over Germany only 15(!) out of 14.000 gas stations have a backup generator so a power failure means no fuel immediatly. First trams & trains would stop and without fuel cars, buses and trucks. Our society would be immobilized within few days.

Due to lack of power cooling systems in supermarkets will shut down and deep frozen & fresh food will perish very soon. Some goods will be sold at discounted prizes and in general people will have the tendency to buy large amounts of supplies. This is a huge problem since cash registers and ATMs won’t work. The long queues and frustration will leed to an aggressive tension.

After 24h without electricity the functional capability of Germany’s health care system is considerably affected. Hospitals may be able to provide a certain amount of help due to their emergency generators, but  retirement homes and medical practices are forced to close or evacuate.  The blackout will also cause a shortage in pharmaceutical supplies such as medication, insulin, blood preservations etc.

No electricity also means no productivity. Assembly lines, machinery, whole factories…everything will be still. While this means immediate breakdown of our carefully scheduled just-in-time production it will also mean painful death to thousands of  farm animals. Thousands of dairy cows that can’t get milked, thousands of pigs & chickens that will suffocate or starve. Most animals wouldn’t survive a power failure of more than 48 hours.

Since water works and water treatment plants need electricity our water supply would dry up. Personal hygiene & preparation of food is only possible on a smaller scale. Soon hygienic state of things would become worse. Human waste removal and clean clothing are not warranted anymore. Some skyscrapers and appartment blocks need to be evacuated because of danger of epidemics, which results in a lack of emergency accomodations.

People would try to heat their appartments with camping stoves, cook a meal on them or use candles for light. This means a higher risk of  fires, which once out of control are almost impossible to extinguish. No water supply might mean to leave fires to themselves and to watch & burn.

While the situation in the cities escalates the clock is ticking for a way bigger catastrophe. Due to the blackout cooling & controlling systems of nuclear power plants and other industrial complexes would fail. Without permanent cooling reactors might overheat and eventually melt. Within a week a nuclear catastrophe is to be expected.

As a result of all above mentioned a civil unrest and chaos are imminent. In some places it might lead to more cooperation and helpfulness among people, but somewhere else people would get more ruthless and aggressive.
A major blackout would not only engulf Germany, it would also mean a threat to it’s society.

*Sorry I might have switched tense a lot 🙂 Not a native speaker.

This coud be the way the last two minutes of peace in Britian would look!

Someone recently recommended I should checkout the BBC documentary “The War Game” and so I did last night. As we all know during the Cold War nuclear conflict was an imminent danger and so Peter Watkins decided to hypothetically nuke the british city of Rochester. The film was made as a fictional news report and shows a little of the preparation against a nuclear strike. More important it shows the effects of a nuclear strike to structures and people during and after it happend. Although everything is fictional “The War Game” is so well made I found it very interesting and also a little upsetting. Check it out on Google Video*

*no liability taken for the link and it’s content!

Wow, what a busy week. Finally I find some time to write & share about what I stumbled upon last week.

The Colony is a Discovery Channel reality tv show.  The scenario is a virus has whiped out most of Los Angeles’ population leaving 10 volunteers in a post-pandemic  industrial part of the city, close to the L.A. River. They reach an abandoned warehouse (full of useful stuff) where they have to survive for 10 weeks, providing for their own food, water, electricity, security and well-being. During those 10 weeks several events occur such as a marauder attack, trading nomads or help seeking wanderers. So far, so good.

A few aspects I found a little disturbing. It says the people chosen are a spectrum of society, but most of them are highly educated engineers or experienced handymen, a doctor and a nurse are there aswell. The ideas the group comes up with are great and very smart e.g. to sanitize water with ozon produced by a tesla coil or running a generator with a wood gasifier…..”WHAT THE…?” is probably your first thought here and I agree. As smart as the ideas are, as unrealistic are they in most survival situations. So sometimes it drifts off into a mythbuster sort of feel where they just have to build fancy stuff.

Also the attacks by hostile groups seem a little staged. The voice from the off says “The actors are instructed not to harm the survivors, but the survivors don’t know that”…I mean how can you forget your in an experiment when several camera crews are around you 24/7. On the other hand, who knows, people who are living for 10 weeks in these extreme conditions might find it hard to distinguish between a simulation and reality. In many situations the volunteers just lose it and freak out over little things cabin fever style and these seemed quite real.

So all in all, if you can see over the fact that it’s a commercial program which needs a little drama & action, The Colony is good fun to watch. I watched the 10 Episodes of the first season in one week and just ordered the second season. The third one is in the making.

In most endtime scenarios most of humanity has fled, is dead or roams the streets as zombies 😉 History Channel’s documentary Life After People doesn’t speculate on what may have caused the human exodus, all they did was to predict/document the impact if humanity disappears all of a sudden. The show is very cleverly done (well they obviusly asked experts and scientists) and it’s prediction starts from one minute to several thousand years after the disappearance. Wheras a prediction of more than 50 to 100 years is not that interesting from a post-apocalyptic point of view the information provided for the first 50 years is great and of massive value.

The makers of Life After People ran through every possible scenario. What will happen to supermarkets, (nuclear) power plants, sewage and subway systems, cities and buildings, pets and other animals? Although the tv show acts on the assumption that there are absolutely no people left, you can adapt it’s predictions to many other post-apocalyptic world scenarios. Actually not all their predictions are based on speculation, quite a few are based on actual events such as the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl.
Back in April 1986 when the reactor exploded the 50.000 citizen city of Pripyat (and an overall of 350.000 people) was evacuated within three days and has been left exposed to weather conditions and without maintenance for over 35 years now. Now this is an involuntarily large scale experiment of what might happen when mankind vanishes.

After the movie was such a success, History Channel aired two more seasons. An absolute must see!