View Full Version : Nanite Detonator

22nd Oct 2003, 20:48
The intro for this sequel is amazing, I cannot wait to play this game.

I loved the first and am quite sure the second will be enjoyable, however some things may be misleeding.

One of the things I hate most is when an intro, or game movie, and elements of an intro or game movie are not in game.

I am mainly wondering if we might see a nanite detonator in game?

Either suicide bombers with smaller nanite detonators, or perhaps an entire level based around outrunning the detonation of a larger nanite detonator.

One of the most challenging levels I have played as of late was a level of max payne where you had to outrun the growing fire behind you.

It would be equally challenging to have to outrun the growing electronanitic force.

22nd Oct 2003, 21:12
I think the nanite detonators will be a returning theme in the game, based on how they established it in the intro movie.

I doubt it will be an item you can stick in your inventory though. (the ultimate suicide mission?)

23rd Oct 2003, 01:05
I'm guessing (you heard it here first haha) that one of the endings with involve you committing suicide and using a nanite detonator to destroy something, like the Dark Age ending of DX1 but cooler.

Dr Strangelove
23rd Oct 2003, 16:14
That would be quite a good ending

I hope they haven't just gone OTT and meesed up any logic of things by inventing a weapon which can level a city just like that, though

Amazon Warrior
26th Oct 2003, 20:32
I suppose its like nukes. Countries that have them don't tend to whip them out at the smallest provocation. They're a 'dooms-day' weapon, used as a last resort, or not used at all except as an implied threat. Eg 'don't mess with us, we can do what we want, cos we've got these, and you're too scared to piss us off in case we decide to deploy them against you'.

Get rid of them. All of them.

(sorry, I've been away for the weekend, then I didn't check in for a few days, and suddenly theres all these threads springing up! The excitement is building...)

29th Oct 2003, 15:19
Yep, the intro sure is exciting. Whenever i feel the urge to play DX2, i have to watch the amazing intro since the game aint even released yet.

on another note.., does anyone actually know what the Nanite Detonator actually does? what is it's effect? and i dont wanna read anything about it turning things into dust that's not a valid answer.

29th Oct 2003, 15:36
my guess is : the nanites are using their environment to build new similar nanites, thus creating an exponential growth.

only problem with my theory : why would the chain reaction stop?

29th Oct 2003, 15:59
Well, if the detonator's creator didnt want to bring about the end of the world then the nanobots might be pre-programmed to shut down at a certain time, or after a fixed number of reproductions.
Or it might be stopped by outside forces, either with anti-nanobots or perhaps with some kind of EMP. However, you would have to get every single nanobot or the whole thing would just start up again. It's quite a scary idea really isnt it?

I've just been reading an article by some scientist who seems to go with the anti-nanobot idea, likening it to white blood cells fighting a virus. I'll put the link even though it's a bit of a long text.

29th Oct 2003, 16:39
my guess is : the nanites are using their environment to build new similar nanites, thus creating an exponential growth.

That's called "grey goo", a theoreticall disaster in which nanites continue reproducing indefinatly untill all matter in the universe is consumed. Fun fun fun.

And yes your guess is correct.

29th Oct 2003, 17:00
my guess is : the nanites are using their environment to build new similar nanites, thus creating an exponential growth.

only problem with my theory : why would the chain reaction stop?
That would be my guess, too. It sounds like a "grey goo" scenario. Each nanite is "eating" the surrounding matter to use it as building material for more nanites, who then destroy more surround matter to make nanites who....

If I were going to program a system like that, I'd just do a simple recursive program. Each nanite starts with a counter for the number of replications it can make before it stops. Each nanite it builds will have the counter decreased by one

So, nanite A has a counter of 100. It then builds 100 nanites that can each build 99 nanites. Those 99 nanites can each build 98 nanites, etc. Eventually all of the counters reach 0, and the reaction just stops. It's exponential growth, so it doesn't take nearly as many starter nanites as you would think, and you could overwhelm a system very rapidly with only a few recursions.

There are other recursive solutions, of course. Instead of building all of the nanites at once, and then deactiviting, you could have the nanites use your counter as a countdown instead: Nanite A starts at 100. It builds a nanite with a countdown of one less than it's own countdown (99 in this case), and the decreases it's own countdown by one to 99. Then it builds a second nanite with a countdown of 98 and decreases it's own countdown to 98, etc., etc. In the meanwhile, each nanite it made is doing exactly the same thing, but it will make one less nanite than its parent, and each of the nanites it builds will be shifted down one relative to the nanites that the original nanite made.

In either case, the process inevitably ends after a pre-determined number of replications. I don't really feel like doing the sums right now, but you could calculate in advance excactly how many nanites would be produced, and (presumably) the amount of feed stock that would be consumed. I think that would offer a more reliable means of controlling the damage than a timed reaction. How far they progress during a certain time interval would be subject to a number of variables like crowding, the suitability of building material in particular regions, etc. You couldn't be very certain of how much damage they would do in a fixed amount of time, and since you're dealing with an exponential growth system, a small mis-step could be a very serious error. Fixing the number of reproductions assures you that they'll never do any more than X amount of damage. You might have underkill of some nanites got stranded in an area without building material before they got to reproduce, but I think overkill is probably a greater concern than underkill with this kind of weapon.

29th Oct 2003, 17:26
Hi, this is my first time posting, but I've read these forums alot... this thread really got me in the mood for talking though... TBone, in your example, the simple math problem to figure out is 100! (100 Factoral)

which I believe is around

Thats not too many in terms of microscopic machines, but Easily modified by your explaination to something higher.

But there was something In watching the movie I noticed... I may just be thinking too hard about it, and It probably dosent matter at all, but... The Terrorist walked out into the middle of an intersection where the potential for him to fail was greater, instead of simply starting the reaction in the ally, where there would be less chance of him being seen... because he was seen It gave them a little bit of extra time.. in which those two doctors had the extra few seconds of time to escape.

This leds me to believe there would have been a problem with using the detonator within an enclosed space...

Theres also the possibility of GPS tracking in use by the nanites, pre-programmed to work in a selected area.. meaning if the detonator were initially used outside that area, It would just fizzle out and not do any damage, they get 'shut down' because they have left the area.

well, now... I'm losing track of what I'm saying, that happens in posts like this to me, what we've got to realize really, is that the technology in the time period there is much greater than even we can imagine. And It's just going to cause more trouble than what its probably worth, to think about it so much. Our technology right now Isnt anywhere close to that stuff, and I doubt we will even realize its possible to work out, for many years..

For a long time, Bill Gates himself said that 640kb of memory is all anyone would ever need in a computer... Now look at what we have.. Forthcoming 64-bit Processors for computers can theoretically use up to around 16 quintillion bytes.. (16 billion billion) 16,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 compared to 640,000

Wow was he way off.. And we probably are too =p

29th Oct 2003, 17:37
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_goo) :

Grey goo refers, usually in a science fictional context, to a hypothetical human extinction event involving nanotechnology, in which out-of-control self-replicating robots (Von Neumann machines) consume the Earth while building more of themselves. In a worst-case scenario, all of the matter in the Galaxy could be turned into goo (with "goo" meaning a large mass of replicating nanomachines lacking large-scale structure, which may or may not actually appear goo-like), killing the Galaxy's residents. The disaster would most likely be due to an accidental mutation in an assembler.

Assuming a nanotechnological replicator is capable of causing a grey goo disaster, safety precautions might include programming them to stop reproducing after a certain number of generations, or designing them to require a rare material that would be sprayed on the construction site before their release. However, it should be noted that it is unlikely that nanotechnology will be capable of creating grey goo at all.

The primary limitation on even arbitrarily sophsiticated nanotechnology which prevents a runaway grey goo reaction is the lack of a sufficient source of energy. A nanomachine wouldn't be able to get much energy out of eating inorganic matter such as rocks because, aside from a few exceptions (coal, for example) it's mostly well-oxidized and sitting in a free-energy minimum.

This means that the nanobots would be competing with natural life forms for organic matter or sunlight, life forms which have been evolving for over four billion years to optimize their ability to compete for these resources. If the nanomachine is itself composed of organic molecules, then it might even find itself being preyed upon by preexisting bacteria and other natural life forms. If they are built of inorganic compounds or make much use of elements that are not generally found in living matter, then they will need to use much of their metabolic output to fighting entropy as they purify (reduce sand to silicon, for instance) and synthesize the necessary building blocks. Grey goo may only be possible in an environment which lacks indigenous life.

A traditional response to the grey goo (or ecophagy) scenario in nanotechnology discussions:

"How likely is it that your car could spontaneously mutate into a wild car, run off road and live in the forest off of tree sap?"

Grey goo has several cousins, differentiated by their colors and raisons d'ĂȘtre. Most of these are not as commonly referred to as grey goo, however, and the definitions are informal:

* Red Goo is goo unleashed intentionally by terrorists, a Doomsday weapon, or a private individual who wishes to commit suicide with a bang.
* Khaki Goo is goo intended by the military to wipe out somebody else's continent, planet, etc.
* Golden Goo is the backfiring of a get-rich-quick scheme to assemble gold or other economically valuable substance. The details are left to the imagination.
* Blue Goo is goo deliberately released in order to stop some other type of grey goo. It might well be the only solution to such a disaster, and would hopefully be better controlled than the original goo.
* Pink Goo refers to humankind. It replicates relatively slowly, but will nevertheless fill any amount of space given enough time. Some people think that allowing the entire Galaxy to get filled with Pink Goo would be the ultimate crime, to be stopped at any cost.
* Green Goo is goo deliberately released, for example by ecoterrorists, in order to stop the spread of Pink Goo, either by sterilization or simply by digesting the pink goo. Some form of this, along with an antidote available to the selected few, has been suggested as a strategy for achieving zero population growth.

29th Oct 2003, 17:52
100! (100 Factoral)

nope it would be 2^100

(approx 10^30)

1 -> 2 ->4 ->8...

each new nanite creates a new one, but stays to produce a new one on the next step

29th Oct 2003, 18:33
I see two other possibilities to explain the fact that the nanite detonator doesn't destroy more than Chicago.

The nanite detonator contains a blue goo that spreads much more rapidly than the grey goo, but it is released after the grey goo. (Half a minute, perhaps. A fuscia goo on the outside of the container would act as the timer, being destroyed by the grey goo, but only slowly.)

Or, the nanite detonator includes a powerful EMP grenade capable of incapacitating the grey goo. Perhaps there's a magenta goo that escapes similar to the blue goo system, but creates an EMP blast somehow.

How large is a nanite, anyway? I'm thinking anywhere from the size of a large protein to the size of a large cell.

29th Oct 2003, 22:04
Well, the nerdy real world reply on why the nano-goo wouldn't spread infinitely is because there isn't enough energy for that to happen. In fact, even the destruction of an entire city would be difficult for this reason. Nanites don't run for free, they use energy, probably a lot of energy. I have seen on the web scientific papers on the "gray goo" scenario (someone should google it, I'm too lazy) that show that it would be virtually impossible to generate the amount of power required to consume everything on the face of the earth.

Also, some things are yummier for nanites to eat than others. No doubt nanites could get lots of useful materials and energy from futuristic materials or human bodies, but they'd run out of steam pretty quick feeding on rock and dirt, or even concrete.

An interesting side note on all this: Let's say that the nanites can convert some of what they "eat" into energy. This would generate heat. And the number of nanites involved in the Chicago detonation would probably generate so much heat that the characters we see escaping on the helicopter would probably be burned to death before being consumed by nanites.

29th Oct 2003, 22:17

BTW, that was said 3 posts higher.

The primary limitation on even arbitrarily sophisticated nanotechnology which prevents a runaway grey goo reaction is the lack of a sufficient source of energy. A nanomachine wouldn't be able to get much energy out of eating inorganic matter such as rocks because, aside from a few exceptions (coal, for example) it's mostly well-oxidized and sitting in a free-energy minimum.