Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

“You Are Upside Down in China.”

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 27, 2010

Here is a recent conversation here at my office. I was Engineer 3 not participating in this particular exchange, which gave me a fun perspective:

Engineer 1: Let’s go to Africa and see how you look.

Engineer 2: Okay, we’re in Africa.

Engineer 1: Straight and level, heading north. Looking good.

Engineer 2: We’re now turning west.

Engineer 1: Yes, that looks right. Okay, let’s go to China and see how you look there.

Engineer 2: Okay, we’re in China.

Engineer 1: You are upside-down in China. Why is that?

Have I mentioned lately how much happier I am working in the simulator industry than I often was in the mainstream video game biz?

Filed Under: Geek Life - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • (name here) said,


    Sounds like an intermittent fault of the sort that leads to Dwarf Fortress ‘fun’

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    But the lack of context is what makes it funny!

    Actually, the problem is that in a naval simulation, you have to worry about things like the curvature of the earth. In fact, you have to worry about which mathematical model of the Earth you are using, as there are different ones. The Earth isn’t really a sphere, and so things like distance-from center at sea level changes, etc. And “straight-and-level, heading north” doesn’t mean zeroing out your Euler angles anymore (except in one spot). So there’s a lot of math that has to go into figuring our your orientation relative to the planet, and a math error (which we had) will result in weird orientations.