Using a physics simulation to drive important parts of the game can have some unexpected consequences. Caromble! levels often start small, and the size increases throughout the level. Initially we had the ‘bug’ that at large scales, the physics felt very slow. Almost like buildings would collapse in slow motion.

Easily fixed I thought, if the buildings don’t fall fast enough, I’ll just make ‘m really really heavy. Simple!

Except that it didn’t work. After a good afternoon blaming the physics engine, I finally sat down and did some thinking.

What if we take two imaginary, identical balls, and a 100m tower on a wind-still day. We fill the first ball with lead, and leave the second ball empty. At the exact same time you drop both balls.

Now the question is, which one will hit the ground first?

Quite unlike I expected, they will hit the ground at the exact same time.  Why? Because of Newton of course.

The formula for the speed of a falling object (on Earth) is v = gt . So the velocity is the amount of gravity, times the time the object has been falling. The mass of the object doesn’t come into it at all.

So to come back to Caromble! Heavy buildings don’t fall any faster than light buildings. But increasing gravity will do the trick.

Proof:

Q.E.D.

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