Monday, February 21, 2011

Does the flapping help?

Pack of Mutalisks
Flying swiftly on bat-wings
How's that work in space?

Starcraft, being science fiction, and a video game, has to take a few liberties with technical details. For example all the flying units kind of just float there by default, and move across the map at maybe 2x or 3x walking speed when you order them around. This is because the game would be less fun and balanced if your marines and tanks could be suddenly obliterated by enemy Banshees screaming by at Mach 6.

In game, we can try to explain it with some technobabble. Perhaps anti-gravity devices exist, but only work at slow speeds? Of course, this doesn't work for Mutalisks. They actually flap their wings to stay airborne and move around. The great blog Science of Starcraft tries to explain the wings as solar sails, but in the end the math doesn't work out. They conclude that the explanation for flying Mutalisks is: magic. I don't know about that... surely there must be a way they can fly, maybe it has to do with neutrinos?

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