29 April 2012

What I'd Do If Only ...

Like most any other person, I have materialistic dreams. They range from being spectacularly costly to hardly costing anything. My passions change as I age. When I was younger, I dreamed of creating movies in 3D (not dependent on glasses; with a 180 degree field of vision). So, I've decided to document what I'd love to make happen lately -- because they may get no further to becoming reality than appearing in my blog. Also, numbered lists are very, very fashionable with blogs.

I'll list going from the most far-fetched and manic dreams to the relatively simple.

Replace the automobile.

I imagine a system of personal or utility cars on rails. You walk up to a booth and call for a car (family, utility, single transport, etc.). An empty car arrives. You get in. There is only a seat and a display. You select your destination using the display. If you are uncertain, you can use the display as a resource, doing searches for a particular store, or retrieve a list of stores having sales for that day. You also have saved locations particular to yourself -- thus, you can simply select "work" and off you go. The cars are controlled by a computer, eliminating human inefficiency and ineptitude. Also, transportation is no longer dependent on fossil fuels. Air pollution is reduced.

The I-5 construction blitz nearing completion here in Utah was projected to cost taxpayers $1 billion. I don't know how much it would cost to construct this new means of transportation. Would it cost more than the combined resources that go into automobile production and unkeep? I doubt it.

Restoration of Utah Lake.

I've heard stories that when the pioneers arrived in the valley, Utah Lake was so clear you could see to the bottom. It was all white-sand. Soil runoff and sewage have made it muddy. Carp was introduced. In some years, when the carp attempt to swim up the river, they choke the river and it takes numerous dump trucks to haul their carcasses off. There probably isn't a square foot of shoreline you can't snag yourself in fishing line. It's filthy. Imagine it restored. Imagine the land value around it if it had white sand beaches again.

Again, achieving this would be enormously expensive. If you can filter the lakebed and seperate the muck from the sand, what do you do with the muck? Rebuild the Point of the Mountain? What do you do with the megatons of carp?

Hyper-enhanced recycling and waste management.

I want to apply human ingenuity and genius into methods of more quickly sorting trash while efficiently extracting valuable resources. I imagine highly-advanced mechanization for sorting and reclaiming, as well as advanced methods of accelerated decomposition. A system that makes it possible for our landfills to shrink more and more every year.

I hear of the island of floating plastic somewhere on the ocean. I can't imagine all the consumer junk thrown out every year. I think it's more than simply prudent to, not only, remove this junk, but to harvest it. Ideally, the process would be so efficient it would turn a profit.

Accessible, quality virtual reality.

It already exists, but I mean in an accessible and advanced form. Why have a giant IMAX screen when you can surround your field of vision more easily with goggles? LCD screens are better and cheaper, and thinner, so why haven't we seen any goggles with super high-res screens? Also, somehow the issue of virtual sound needs to be effected. I have 5.1 headphones. They're tricky, but they're not as good as a set of speakers -- and I'm concerned that they may harm hearing and confuse the brain (the rear-channel speakers trick the mind into thinking a sound is coming from behind, rather than the side; I have had instances after listening to the headphones where I would incorrectly place the location of real-world sounds).

It not only costs to create, but to compete, and to be viable on the capricious market.

The Flight of Dragons for 2012.

I'd use the same voice actors (meaning I'd use the original 1982 recording) but completely redo the animation, perhaps in 3D. The voice acting in this movie is superb for what it is; the story is good, too. I think it would be nice to be able to give it to the contemporary generation in sublime form.

Don't know how much movies cost. Don't know the red tape for rights and the like. Would cost a lot -- it better cost a lot: I want quality.

The Bird Sim.

For consoles and PC. This is an idea at the top of my list. I feel I must see it done. A serious bird simulator that painstakingly models bird flight. It would have a steep learning curve, because I would want the experience to be intricate. Perhaps there would be graded levels of difficulty chooseable for the flight model. Controllers have right and left trigger buttons and right and left bumpers. Triggers could be used for wing extension, bumpers for quick right or left thrust. Use the A button for synchronized thrust. This means the flight model would have to be detailed enough to simulate flight for variable wing sizes and positions.

You could perhaps start off as an American robin hatchling in a suburban yard. You'd need to learn how to fly enough. Hide in the bushes. Pay heed to the parent robins when they make calls warning of a cat or dog. Survive. Learn to fly. Then maybe there would be scenarious with different species. I'm not sure what the list of flyable species would be, but it would definitely be expanded, as would the list of scenarios and missions. Multiplayer might consist of either being part of a covey of quail, or the hawk hunting them.

I've played a lot of games in my life. What I yearn for more than anything is a game that allows me to fly as a bird -- a game with a flight model that is challenging and deep, that would allow for mastery attempting to put human skill at the same skill as birds at times display, those incredible acrobatic feats. There's nothing more fun than testing your mastery of flight, and for me there's no more compelling mode of flight than the bird.

The cost would be in the tens of millions, I think. The flight model is extremely daunting. Assuring the quality of all the many parts of the game would require top-notch talent and skill at every level. I'd definitely also hire ornithologists and engineers. It has to be good. In any case, I don't care how much it costs -- it must be!


With illustrations. I have many projects, but they're all unfinished. I've been working on the skillset, yet it may be time to turn more attention toward putting it all together, and not being slow about it. This is an old dream of mine, and I think I'd regret it if I never did it.


Peter McCombs said...

It seems that people are always working on #1, either with some sort of computer automation or a track-based system. I think there might be a town somewhere in Europe that has a little track-based system.

#2 and #3 are in the realm of the activist. Maybe there's a little more hope for Utah Lake now that Geneva is gone. With the right entrepreneurial credentials, might elicit a grant to research #3, especially if you can claim some sort of profit from the venture.

#4 is another one for the entrepreneur type. You could team up with somebody who has the business savvy if you could convince them that your idea might make money.

I think it would be tough to get a producer to be interested in #5. You could take a crack at a low-budget version if you could get permission from the copyright holder.

I've always thought your fascination with birds a bit curious. #6 is an ambitious project that would need to find the right niche for development, though it could perhaps have a general appeal if it worked. You could try starting with a simplified model to see how it might go.

Although you're in a unique position that is ideal for entrepreneurial efforts (no family to support, etc.), I think you could at least do #7 without much trouble.

Dave McCombs said...

Thank you for your assessment. :)

For whatever reason, I feel like "activism" is a lot of talk but no walk. I'd definitely want to make #2 and #3 profitable.

I think #3 presents a lot of interesting technical challenges for a wide array of highly-skilled specialists to work out.

#3, #6, #7 are at the top of my list as far as desire goes. I'm aiming on accomplishing #7 in some fashion or another end-of-summer.