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Development system unknown

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#VanLife, by Victoria

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Well coded but underlying physics misunderstood, December 10, 2020
by Denk
Related reviews: Development system unknown

If you found this game difficult it is understandable. Much of the technical information and questions don't make sense. The author (one of them?) clearly has misunderstood one or more basic concepts, especially watts, which the author seems to think is a unit of energy, which it isn't. It is a unit of power, which is energy per time unit. Joule is a unit of energy and 1 watt means 1 joule per second.

The best example in the game to illustrate this is probably:
"Excess Discharge Error: The amount of energy required by the load, 33600 watts, was more than the batteries and inverter could supply, at 4302.7 watts and 90% inverter efficiency."

Here, it becomes clear that the author (one of them?) thinks that watts are energy ("The amount of energy required by the load, 33600 watts, was..."). That wasn't a big deal if watts did not play a big role in the game, but it does. It is at the core of the game, that you shouldn't run out of energy. Most tech questions concerning energy are completely wrong. This is a problem, since many may walk away thinking they learned something. But they learned something wrong, which will confuse them if they later need to learn about watts, joules, power and energy.

One more example:(Spoiler - click to show)"How many watts are required to run the loads of a kettle that uses 26880W per hour for 3 minutes?
-134.4W 1344W -13440W 8064W"

Again, the author thinks that watt is a unit of energy. If the kettle had used 26880 joules per hour, it would make sense to say it used 26880 joules / 20 = 1344 joules after 3 minutes of operation. Best case, this was a trick question (but it isn't), because, if a kettle uses 26880W, it uses 26880W whether you run it for 3 minutes or 10 hours, simply because watts means joules per second. But according to the game, the "right" answer was 1344W.


Most questions seem to hold this misconception. However, I get the impression that more authors might have been working on this game, as parts of the game seem correct, e.g. when looking into the solar panel: "The batteries currently have 1734.9WH of energy" (though it would normally be written Wh, not WH). Here, the author applies an energy unit for energy as she should.

I hope the author will be able to learn from the mistakes and update the game. I think it has the potential to be a good game for people interested in technical stuff, if all the incorrect technical stuff is corrected and the difficulty level is appropriate. Until then I recommend NOT to play it.



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