[Home] [Buy] [News] [Family Trees] [Update Log] [Forums] [Tech Tree] [Wiki]
Update: Internal Combustion
December 14, 2018


Sheesh, an internal combustion engine has a lot of moving parts. I should know, because I just drew them all. There was so much detail that I had to lay out the whole thing in CAD software first, as printed a tracing guide. It's all still hand-drawn. Call it Computer Aided Human Drawing.


So I drew it, and now it's up to you to put the damn thing together.

The internal combustion engine was actually a major sticking-point in the design of the game: how do we get over the very steep hump that leads into industrialization? Like I mentioned in a previous update, the actual history here is far from clear. We went from very crude machines that were mostly made out of wood and powered by animals, water, or humans to finely crafted clockwork contraptions that could literally pump like well oiled machines. My guess is that it was a process of micro-refinements over about five hundred years.

So, I kinda just winged it here, assuming that if we had something spinning fast enough, that would be enough to bootstrap the whole thing via the magic of the lathe. And here we are, a week later, with a pretty accurate model of a four-stroke, two-cylinder diesel engine, complete with all major parts.

If you're interested in more details about how this works, this video explains the working of a single cylinder:


And this weirdly-narrated video explains how the camshaft ties the whole thing together in terms of timing:


My gosh, humans are clever!

The major thought experiment in this game is this:

"It took us 4000 years to advance from stone-aged tech to the iPhone the first time around. If we had to start over from scratch, naked in the wilderness, with nothing but rocks and sticks, but we retained all knowledge, how long would it take the second time?"

The more closely I study this stuff, the more baffled I am about how we ever did it in the first place. How long would it take the second time? My current best guess: Forever.

As in, never.
[Link][12 Comments]

[Home] [Buy] [Food Stats] [Fail Stats] [Artwork] [Credits]