The singularity of academic geek clickers
August 7, 2014 5:48 AM   Subscribe

You are a particle physics researcher. Particle Clicker is a resource accumulation game in the same mould as Cookie Clicker - but this time with particle physics research, academics, and funding. Click repeatedly on the Collider to generate data. Turn data into research to gain funding and increase your reputation. Spend your funding on Human Resources and Upgrades - don't forget to buy beer to keep your research students happy, and coffee to keep them awake!

Can you find the Higgs Boson?

The game was made at the CERN Summer Student Webfest. Previously on MetaFilter:

Derivative Clicker
Click here to seize the means of production
Merry Clickmas
Cow Clicker

Disclaimer: Tenure IRL is not awarded through this game. Tenure IRL may be lost through obsessive playing of this game.
posted by Wordshore (33 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

Data 0
Reputation 0
Funding JTN 0

...and that's the way it's gonna stay!
posted by cincinnatus c at 5:56 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]

Dammit! I just started playing Bitcoiner, and now this?

(I love these things. I have no idea why they're so satisfying. BRB, have to press the lever that gives me my pellet.)
posted by jbickers at 6:06 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]

Ph. D. students never graduate, heh.
posted by penguinicity at 6:12 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]

Little warning: You will not be the first, or the last, to call it the Large Hard-on Collider.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:12 AM on August 7

Oh goodness, when will I have time to teach?
posted by unknowncommand at 6:15 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]

A cool rare event would be if there was a .1% chance a click would create a black hole that then uses Box2D to swallow up all the UI buttons and your mouse pointer.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:16 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]

Hmm, beer for a room full of PhD students costs about as much as upgrading a particle accelerator.

I'm not saying craft beer pricing is out of control, but the data is right there...
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:19 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]

There is something inordinately depressing about procrastinating by fake doing the things that I should be real doing.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:43 AM on August 7 [26 favorites]

posted by uberchet at 6:51 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]

So, after doing the smallest bit of research, I now just leave my staff to it and check in every now and then?
posted by Thing at 7:03 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]

I can't let this thread continue without mentioning Kittens Game.

"You are a kitten in a catnip forest."

My 103 kittens are currently working towards learning nuclear fission. Ever since they researched drama and poetry, they can hold festivals that provide a boost to their happiness level, thus making them more effective. They have 32 observatories, 55 warehouses, and 16 calciners, among dozens of other buildings.

posted by DulcineaX at 7:04 AM on August 7 [14 favorites]

psst, here
posted by hat_eater at 7:20 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]

There is no other name possible than Large Hardon Collider mccarty.tim. Game crashes if you try to be clever.
posted by Carillon at 8:40 AM on August 7

hat_eater, seriously? Cheating just to save yourself a few clicks? How awful. Shame on you for linking to it. Shame.

Also I can't get it to work on Mac.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:45 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]

Welcome back, Wordshore. Enjoy the Cricket?
posted by marienbad at 9:11 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]

It's typically helpful, if you're going to play one of these games, to play six of them at a time so you have multiple skinner boxes to click on while you wait for the other one to give you your reward. So in the same theme as this one, please enjoy Rebuild the Universe, a recent incremental game that is inspired by Powers of 10.

(tips: save your upgrades until you need them; buy specials as soon as you can afford to)
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:58 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]

Cheating just to save yourself a few clicks?

I did it for science! And for my mouse. And wrist. Also, it quickly stops being overpowered - when your data hits 8k/s, it adds perhaps 1/4 to it.
posted by hat_eater at 10:48 AM on August 7

I've really enjoyed this one. I think it's one of the best examples of this genre that I've tried.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:03 AM on August 7

Oh god. I managed to give up Cookie Clicker, and you bring this into my life. Why, MetaFilter, why?
posted by pharm at 1:27 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]

Nice! Thanks for the post.

I started playing this (fairly unremarkable) take on the genre last night.

Then I had the idea to make a game called MetaClicker (no relation to MetaFilter). It's your standard clicker game, with various upgrades and something you can click on to earn MetaBucks. Here's the gimmick: you link it to your accounts for Cookie Clicker, Clicking Bad, etc. And the upgrades are things like "automatically click on golden cookies in Cookie Clicker 10% of the time", or "automatically click ten times in Clicking Bad whenever a trade caravan shows up in CivClicker".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:07 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]

My partner - academic librarian - has had this running on the background of a PC for the last day or so. From yesterday, a screenshot.

I did read somewhere (can't find the link now) that the physics stuff that appears in the left hand column as you play the game is technically accurate. Can any particle physics people confirm or refute that, out of curiosity?
posted by Wordshore at 6:08 AM on August 8

Then I had the idea to make a game called MetaClicker (no relation to MetaFilter).

Really? I was thinking of a MetaClicker game where you click to earn effort, which lets you buy FPPs and comments, which generate favorites (but also GRAR), which can be used to buy upgrades, including schmoopy, which can reduce GRAR, without which you will flameout.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:03 AM on August 8

I did read somewhere (can't find the link now) that the physics stuff that appears in the left hand column as you play the game is technically accurate.

All real things! You can click the !-buttons to see real graphs and stuff, too—plus links to the original papers!
posted by Maecenas at 8:44 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]

Yes it's all accurate. I have a bunch of physicists sitting around this game right now having a lot of fun. I think it makes them feel successful.
posted by lollusc at 9:35 PM on August 8

I can't let this thread continue without mentioning Kittens Game.

Oh dear. Year 30; saving up science for Steel.

(It's CivClicker with cats, basically? But the "with cats" bit sways me quite a lot towards it.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:19 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]

So I've been leaving this running in the background with netflix in another tab going to inspire them - mostly the Hunger Games - and while I now have 10 Nobel Prize winners working for me I've yet to win the Nobel Prize myself and I'm a little upset at this.
posted by barchan at 10:41 AM on August 11

Okay, I enjoy Cookie Clicker, Civ Clicker, I've played and liked A Dark Room and many other clicker games.

Kittens Game leaves me cold. It's so glacially SLOW. And frustrating! "Oh look! That library thing you were saving up science for? Yay, you achieved it! Of course, you can't do anything with it until you have steel, and you won't have steel until you have coal, and you won't have coal until you can collect 750 iron at one time, and you can only have up to 275 right now, and the warehouses only increase that in increments of 25 and take a while to save up for. But have fun!"

Slow is fine. But don't make me save up for achievements and then when I finally get them, they do me absolutely no good at all. This game is a slow, frustrating slog.

Is there something about this game I'm just got getting?

Ahhhh.... that's better. Closed the tab, moving on.
posted by booksherpa at 1:55 PM on August 11

I don't understand these games. Everyone in my classes last fall were playing cookie clicker and it just looked interminably boring.
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:51 PM on August 11

Here's another new one, in case medieval adventuring is more your thing than science or cats.
posted by jbickers at 7:58 AM on August 12

Pizza Clicker.
Goomy Clicker.
Kitten Clicker and Puppy Clicker.
Conspiracy Clicker (turn the sound off, and put your tinfoil hat on, first).
Choppin' Wood.
Poop Clicker.

You're clicking on an icon of poop. Repeatedly. Why? Just... why?
posted by Wordshore at 10:32 AM on August 13

Meanwhile, back at my partner's particle clicker...
posted by Wordshore at 10:49 AM on August 13

...and she's finally shut it down. Particle clicker screenshots here, here and here.
posted by Wordshore at 3:45 AM on August 15

Kittens Game leaves me cold. It's so glacially SLOW. And frustrating!

I am LOVING Kittens Game for exactly this reason: it's paced so that there's always a progression of things to do, none of which are instant. At each point, I can see forward and OK, I'll get *that* and then that'll let me do *that* and *that* and then it'll unlock something new and then... It's a slow well-balanced burn.

And that makes it a big welcome change from Cookie Clicker which, much as I love it, is terribly balanced in the end-game. Once you've baked enough all-time cookies to rack up a decent amount of Heavenly Chips, each reset of Cookie Clicker is about 30 minutes of frenetic building followed by a long, slow slog towards the Bicentennial achievement. (And then a longer, slower slog towards 400 cursors, which really smacks of a fuck-you achievement.) Orteil's overdue for the anniversary update, but I think the game has kinda got away from him.

My 103 kittens are currently working towards learning nuclear fission.

Nuclear Fission has just appeared as an unlockable in my kittens' Library, too. I have a feeling this is not going to go well for them. (I've been tweeting their progress under #kittensgame, FWIW.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:25 PM on August 24

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