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The incremental to surpass all incrementals
August 25, 2014 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Kittens Game
posted by oceanjesse (633 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

Helpful hint: if your cats run out of catnip, they die.
Another helpful hint: there is an official wiki page.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:26 PM on August 25

why did I click.... whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?
posted by sparklemotion at 7:26 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

It is like the Hotel California of games. Don't click.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:28 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]

The only winning move is not to click.
posted by Evilspork at 7:29 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]

I have fallen deep into this one since it was linked from the Particle Clicker thread; repurposing my comment there contrasting to Cookie Clicker's broken endgame:
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.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:33 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]

I've also been playing this since it was linked in that thread, and it's RUINED MY LIFE. Don't click!
posted by lookoutbelow at 7:35 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

I had FINALLY stopped playing, you jerk.
posted by jeather at 7:39 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

I really don't get the attraction of these games but I find how attracted people are to them fascinating.
posted by rtha at 7:43 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

I really don't get the attraction of these games but I find how attracted people are to them fascinating, including myself.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:47 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]


Well it's something to do when cookie clicker gets slow.

Catnip. I see what they did there.
posted by edheil at 7:52 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

They aren't really attractive, they're just addictive.
posted by jeather at 8:00 PM on August 25

For me it's the constant adjustment trying to find the right balance to put everything into a nice smooth path. Of course, if the game is designed right, there is no right balance.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:02 PM on August 25

I'm a kitten killing machine.
posted by codacorolla at 8:03 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

Oh good, it's not just me.

I am pleased with this one! I've been through a lot of other clickers in the last year, and a lot of them unfortunately stop not much farther along the conceptual path than Incrementing + A Theme Of Some Sort. The sort of thing that's a bit charming temporarily but wears thin before any kind of sense of investment in the long haul.

This one keeps swerving a bit, which I like. Reminds me more than anything of CivClicker, which had some more interesting mechanical things going on than a lot of quick clickers, though ultimately I didn't stick with it after my first playthrough and that didn't involve as much complication as I'd hoped for.

So far, Kittens Game is putting up more of a fight, which I like. The lack of a simple balance, the lack of a "oh, the next step along the upgrade path is just the same step again with a bigger number" routine, makes for a more engaging overall process.

We'll see what I think of it in a week, but hey.
posted by cortex at 8:27 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]

The seasonality aspect is a very simple but very nice touch as it means I keep adjusting my workforce allocation. Removes a lot of the static sameness that tends to settle into these games once you figure out the exchange rate for things.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:32 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

No matter how it ends, I'm just tickled to death right now over having my own kitten scientist.
posted by mochapickle at 8:41 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

posted by mochapickle at 8:44 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

You've got to get your science going (refining wood, and then building a library) to research agriculture before you get too many kittens. And then you can make them kitten farmers and save them from starvation.
posted by lookoutbelow at 8:49 PM on August 25

just like regular kittens
posted by shakespeherian at 8:50 PM on August 25 [17 favorites]

Wait...when do I get to see the kittens?
posted by redsparkler at 8:59 PM on August 25

they are slave kittens
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:07 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]

Food advisor: "Your catnip supply is too low!"
posted by Team of Scientists at 9:14 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

The food advisor isn't fully reliable, I find.

The wiki is useful for the trade high/low seasons; and to know when it's worth sending out an expedition to find new trade partners. (Also: the Zebras are assholes.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:17 PM on August 25

I also was a kitten killer: carefully set the catnip production rate to keep them going overnight, but then they consumed all the luxuries, got unhappy, slacked off and starved half of themselves to death. Oh god, heartbreaking.

I have erred on the side of overproduction ever since.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:24 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

this is baffling, are there instructions? what are you supposed to do?
posted by desjardins at 9:30 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

@we had a deal, kyle: I saw '2 kittens starved to death' and it's nearly midnight and OMG, NO, I'm so sorry, I was trying to get food as fast as I could, how did that even happen! I will never click another game link again. That is a rotten, terrible thing to do to me--not to mention my poor kittens!
posted by Anitanola at 9:39 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

Oh my god, winter comes and my kittens died and everything is terrible, what generates catnip in the winter, please help, cats are junkies, do not know how to hunt mice
posted by NoraReed at 10:00 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

Two things you need to do ASAP:

1) build catnip fields;
2) unlock the Library (I forget how you do this but it's likely related to either having a certain population or a certain amount of wood) and research calendar and agriculture.

2 is the important one; it allows you to turn kittens into farmers, who will then increase your catnip production by +1, As far as I can tell, this doesn't scale with the seasons, so you won't get the 50% bonus in spring, but you also won't get the 75% decrease in winter. Basically, farmers pay for themselves, so if you convert your entire population to farmers during the winter they won't starve.
posted by chrominance at 10:08 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed kittens game until I discovered that it wanted me to do crafting to build things, and nooooooope to that. I really like Adventure Capitalist, which a) is based on a model of resetting daily or so and b) keeps generating money even when you're not actually running it, so you can forget about it, then come back a week later to a ton of cash to spend on upgrades (or reset for prestige).
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:30 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]

Oh no, winter.
posted by Phssthpok at 10:30 PM on August 25

You had to post this just as I was about to go to bed, didn't you?
posted by tavella at 10:59 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]

Start game, research agriculture, go to bed, wake up with a full barn.
posted by Phssthpok at 11:05 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

Oh no, a cold winter?!
posted by bink at 11:07 PM on August 25

In the early game: don't build huts too fast. More huts = more hungry kittens; make sure you have catnip fields to support them first.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:09 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]

Oh my god this is so much worse than candy box because THE KITTENS DIE!!!!
posted by destructive cactus at 11:12 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

don't worry, they grow back in the spring.
posted by MillMan at 11:20 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]

This is pretty much a reskinning of A Dark Room. I'm not sure if the endgame is the same because I got bored before I got that far, but they're both fun for a while.
posted by shelleycat at 11:40 PM on August 25

I am sorry if it ruins it for anyone, but the Order Of The Sun religion is pretty much a big MLP reference.
posted by JHarris at 1:24 AM on August 26

Oh no. No no. Not clicking that nooo. [click] Dammit.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:34 AM on August 26

Needs 'Spawn wolf' button.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:42 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I have also gotten a bit obsessed with this since the link from the Particle Clicker thread.

My kittens are now deep in the industrial revolution and every new bit of research brings more automation and optimisation. I have both the "Winter is coming" and "You Monster" Achievements, indicating the death of over 100 kittens.

I have also Sacrificed a LOT of unicorns.

I think I need to stay away from this kind of game. It is genuinely damaging to my life, but on the other hand I'm really close to building a Sky Palace and maybe the next round of automation research will smooth out that process just a bit more and a few more ships and I think I'll be able to trade with the Spiders, which as I understand it should fix some of my coal shortage (or rather Iron oversupply) problems.....
Maybe just a little more playing.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:18 AM on August 26 [5 favorites]

Yeah, this is the most 'emotional' of these games I've ever seen. Especially when I realised that I was losing food and winter was coming.
posted by Braeburn at 2:27 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Clicker games really trigger my sunken-cost-fallacy center big time. I don't really enjoy them that much but I just spent 2 hours getting here and am I willing to just give that progress up?

This time the answer is yes, apparently.
posted by aubilenon at 2:30 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I played this when it showed up in the last clicker thread.

After killing off my entire set of kittens in the second or third winter, I played much more conservatively. I got to a point where I could have started building towards mining coal but instead I saved up my materials and built a MEGALITH. It had no game effect unlocked yet. It was just this huge expensive thing I could build. It was surrounded by unicorn pastures and happy kittens. Some of whom were like 120 years old, as I'd avoided ever killing any kittens.

Then I hit the wrong thing and turned a huge quantity of my catnip into wood in the middle of winter, and all my kittens died pretty much immediately. I choose to believe that they actually used a mysterious mystical secret within their megalith to transcend their earthly bodies, becoming Ethereal Magical Kittens.

I like this ending a lot better than "I fucked up and all my kittens starved quickly". Mostly because it means I can stop fucking playing Kittens Game.
posted by egypturnash at 2:54 AM on August 26 [15 favorites]

The greatest thing? Click like a madman for about 30 seconds, glance at the large-looking pile of whatnot that you'd accumulated, then immediately close the tab.

You'll suffer a moment of, "Oh shit, I just threw that away," followed but an immense feeling of relief and newfound freedom.
posted by ardgedee at 5:10 AM on August 26 [4 favorites]

NoraReed: "Oh my god, winter comes and my kittens died and everything is terrible, what generates catnip in the winter, please help, cats are junkies, do not know how to hunt mice"

Wait until the Kitten White Walkers show up...

I think I'm kidding about that, but I wouldn't be that surprised if they actually do show up at some point.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:00 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

So for all my kittens to survive winter without my manual intervention, I need 3 farmers to every 1 non-farmer, is that correct?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:19 AM on August 26

Oh, I guess the number of catnip fields I have factors in, too. I have 20.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:22 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

A lot of things factor in. You can invest in various researches and buildings that improve food production and reduce food consumption. As your population grows, crowding reduces efficiency, which you can offset by having your hunters bring in luxury goods.
posted by Phssthpok at 6:24 AM on August 26

How do I get catpower to send hunters?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:26 AM on August 26

When you assign kittens to the "Hunter" job, they gradually build up catpower the way other workers accumulate physical resources.
posted by Phssthpok at 6:27 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Oh, I guess I haven't unlocked that tech yet.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:28 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Why does happiness go down 2 percent for every new kitten? Can this be offset somehow?
posted by leesh at 7:01 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I also started playing this when it was linked in the particle clicker thread. I played for a day or two and then I was like, "No! No more!". Then this thread comes up and I start reading about industry and sacrificing unicorns!?

Damn you all. *boots his game back up*
posted by mayonnaises at 7:01 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Happiness goes down because of overpopulation. You can mitigate that later.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:02 AM on August 26

When you send out your hunters, they bring back luxuries that boost your happiness until they are completely consumed.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:09 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Ha, take THAT, any work I was going to do today!
posted by phunniemee at 7:20 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

When you send out your hunters, they bring back luxuries that boost your happiness until they are completely consumed

UNLESS they find ZERO furs and you've just wasted 100 catpower!

I realize being angry about that is silly, but I am anyway.
posted by leesh at 7:23 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

Once you can reliably get as many furs as you need, you can get angry about sending out all your cats and not finding any ivory.
posted by Phssthpok at 7:31 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

I'm mostly amazed that these are kittens hunting elephants.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:48 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

oh my god what is this sticky thing fuck i need more kittens and science ow fuck my carpals
posted by loquacious at 7:51 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I'm mostly amazed that these are kittens hunting elephants.

They're just REALLY tall and fat mice.

Kittens hunt mice.

You just gotta BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by eriko at 7:53 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

How do I get culture?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:56 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

In context, I have no idea. Out of context, that's a very profound question.
posted by NoraReed at 8:07 AM on August 26 [15 favorites]

Both in and out of context: read a book, go to the theatre, get in touch with your spiritual side.

How do I build a warehouse with no housing? I got a workshop but there are no beams and slabs on my workshop tab.
posted by Phssthpok at 8:07 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

The first building that will give you culture is the Amphitheatre.

I'm wondering, is there a way to automatically send out hunters when catpower is above 100? It's the only thing you really need to babysit, and it's a bit annoying.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:33 AM on August 26

Rock Steady

Go to a bar where the drinks are at least $12 each. Order a mint julep. If they serve it in a silver cup then congratulations: you have acquired culture. If they serve it in pewter or (shudder) glass, go find a different bar.
posted by The Confessor at 8:37 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

Well, I have no idea what that's about or what I'm supposed to do, so it's back to doge2048 for me.
posted by Decani at 8:56 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Joakim Ziegler what you want is a Mint.
Mints turn Catpower (and some gold) into luxuries.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:56 AM on August 26

Just this guy, y'know: "Joakim Ziegler what you want is a Mint.
Mints turn Catpower (and some gold) into luxuries

Ah, excellent, thanks.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:57 AM on August 26

Wait, a Mint, or a Mint Julep? I'm confused now.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:01 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

How the heck do you get iron? I've got 5 smelters and have researched Construction ages ago.
posted by bink at 9:03 AM on August 26

You gotta click the little + on the smelter button and it will start converting your minerals and wood into iron.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:05 AM on August 26

I've got 5 smelters and have researched Construction ages ago.

Turn the smelters on with the "+" sign -- they consume wood and minerals, so they're switchable.
posted by eriko at 9:05 AM on August 26

Ohhhhhh! Thank you! That is so not obvious!
posted by bink at 9:07 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

yeah, a lot of things about this game aren't obvious -- you just gotta try clicking around on things to figure it out and hope you don't kill any kittens in the process
posted by Jacqueline at 9:08 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Jacqueline: "yeah, a lot of things about this game aren't obvious -- you just gotta try clicking around on things to figure it out and hope you don't kill any kittens in the process"

Much like my apartment.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:09 AM on August 26 [14 favorites]

I think I must be doing something wrong. I'm stuck at 10 kittens. Getting the wood to build another hut is going to take ages, and it seems like getting more kittens is the primary way to add manpower. Everything else that I do doesn't seem to really have much of an effect. Am I missing something?
posted by Rhomboid at 9:10 AM on August 26

Well, once you have a Workshop you can upgrade your chopping tools, and if you research Brewery you can get more wood from refining catnip. Those are two ways you can get more wood faster.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:11 AM on August 26

No, it's kind of the opposite, you need to do as much as possible with as few kittens as possible. Get upgrades to make them more efficient, basically.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:12 AM on August 26 [5 favorites]

Yes, I think the steep ramp on the price of housing is intended to drive you towards exploring upgrades. (1500 years, 82 kittens here.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:18 AM on August 26

I'm not anywhere close to having a workshop or brewery. I guess what I'm hearing is that I should pour more into science. I've got one kitten on science, the rest are doing either farming or woodcutting depending on the time of year. I've gotten past the point where I have to worry about starving during winter, but that's about it.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:19 AM on August 26

If I ever become a dictator who needs to suppress their populace from struggling against oppression, this thread has given me an idea...
posted by Pyrogenesis at 9:20 AM on August 26

This game ruined my life for a couple of days. Cookie Clicker has been my methadone.
posted by zscore at 10:39 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I have ten well-fed but homeless genius kittens.
posted by phunniemee at 11:09 AM on August 26 [3 favorites]

We should make members of congress play games like this. For two reasons

1) Maybe they'll start putting money into science and research, because it's the only way to get ahead

2) It'll keep them distracted from doing all the stupid shit they do now.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:51 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

how do i keep my kittens from consuming furs before i have enough to make into parchment? just save up my catpower and send all my hunters out at once and then buy up parchment as fast as i can before it disappears? or...?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:57 AM on August 26

and am i supposed to do anything with unicorns besides build pastures to breed more unicorns?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:02 PM on August 26

That's how I handled it when I first needed a supply of parchment/manuscripts for some upgrades that were a reach at the time, yeah.

At some point I got stuff upgraded enough that between maybe 20 kittens I could have just four farming, and then rest doing stuff, and I went on a serious hunter run where I put every non-farmer on hunting and then sent out a large party every few minutes to rake in furs and ivory. Doing that as a distractible background task for a while while doing other stuff on the computer got me a few hours worth of backlogged luxuries to boost happiness (and by linear relationship overall production) and then I switched everything back over to material production stuff so I could get more things build with more-quickly-generated wood and minerals.
posted by cortex at 12:03 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

just save up my catpower and send all my hunters out at once and then buy up parchment as fast as i can before it disappears?

For a while: Pretty much, yes.

I haven't found anything else to do with unicorns yet; there may be something later in the game. But haven't looked at the wiki because I don't want to spoil myself.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:05 PM on August 26

Put as much as you can, as fast as you can, into catnip fields and pastures to lower the need for farmers. This gives kitten surplus for other labour. Fewer than 10% of the kittens should be farmers.

There are benefits to leaving kittens in the same job for as long as you can. Kittens have skills! you can see this once you get the Census.

Things like parchments and manuscripts seem crazy click intensive when you first get access to them. Workshop upgrades eventually solve many of these problems. If you're blocked on the main tech tree, check the workshop one. That's likely where you'll solve your problems.

Religion is a nice bonus, but not super developed yet. If you don't know what to do with unicorns, build ziggurats.

A critical boundary is getting catpower over 1000. That allows you to explore for new civilizations. Trade is really, really useful. I abuse the hell out of the iron for catnip trade to speed up wood generation. It's actually better than the minerals for wood trade anyway.
posted by bonehead at 12:11 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]

how do i keep my kittens from consuming furs before i have enough to make into parchment?

Mints and trade posts, eventually. Until then, yeah, just do all your hunts at once.
posted by jeather at 12:13 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I abuse the hell out of the iron for catnip trade to speed up wood generation.

Me too! Always have a surplus of iron, and the Sharks are reliable trade partners. Trade in winter for the best exchange rate. (Also, Zebras for ivory-to-minerals in spring.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:18 PM on August 26

well this game is certainly something to do in between popping wrinklers a few times per day in cookie clicker
posted by Jacqueline at 12:24 PM on August 26

Put as much as you can, as fast as you can, into catnip fields and pastures to lower the need for farmers. This gives kitten surplus for other labour. Fewer than 10% of the kittens should be farmers.

Wow, I currently have to have 30% of my kittens (3 out of 10) as farmers to make it through winter. What do you recommend for a ratio of fields to kittens and pastures to kittens?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:33 PM on August 26

Ok, so kittens eat 1 food per turn, right? And fields grow 0.1 food per turn, with a 50% bonus in spring and 75% penalty in winter? And each season represents 25% of the year?

So spring + summer + fall + winter would be
0.1X*(1+0.5)*0.25 + 0.1X*1*0.25 + 0.1X*1*0.25 + 0.1X*(1-0.75)*0.25 = 1

Does that seem right? So if I buy 11 fields per kitten, I should be able to support all my kittens from fields alone? (If we assume that cold vs. warm seasons balance out...)
posted by Jacqueline at 12:43 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

(The above equation assumes you start at the beginning of spring so that you have a buffer built up before winter comes around...)
posted by Jacqueline at 12:45 PM on August 26

Yes, that's accurate, but if I'm not mistaken there are some things around the bend that will totally screw with said equation.
posted by good day merlock at 12:46 PM on August 26

Like what? I'm currently at 100% happiness even without luxuries...
posted by Jacqueline at 12:48 PM on August 26

Weather seems to fuck me over randomly depending on how hot or cold a particular season is
posted by good day merlock at 12:49 PM on August 26

I just want to set my game up so I can walk away for a while and not come back to a barn that's been maxed-out on catnip for hours.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:49 PM on August 26

Under 10 kittens, I doubt 1 farmer would be possible, but I was certainly down to two farmers by the time I was at twenty. You do this by maxing out fields and pastures at your catnip storage level (which caps at around 8 barns for a while). Aqueducts help too, but minerals are a bit scarcer at this point. This was walk-away safe.

You run a bit of a deficit in the winter, but should be in surplus for all the other seasons. As you get more kittens/storage etc... things improve. At 50 kittens, I was running in surplus even in cold winters with five farmers.
posted by bonehead at 12:50 PM on August 26

OK, does anyone know if cold is -15% for every season or just summer or...? (I guess I can just play through a few more years to see if it varies, then rewrite my equation assuming the worst-case scenario of all seasons being cold?)
posted by Jacqueline at 12:51 PM on August 26

Well I don't want to walk away until I've got Reinforced Barns so I guess I have several years left in which to tweak my fields-only support equation.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:52 PM on August 26

I think that's right. Worst case is cold in every season.
posted by bonehead at 12:53 PM on August 26

OK, so assuming a worst-case scenario in which every season is cold (-15%):
0.1X*(1+0.5-0.15)*0.25 + 0.1X*(1-0.15)*0.25 + 0.1X*(1-0.15)1*0.25 + 0.1X*(1-0.75-0.15)*0.25 = 1

So, ceteris paribus, 13 fields per kitten should obviate the need for farmers if you start the year in spring?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:57 PM on August 26

That's a lot of fields... expensive, given the increasing marginal cost per field. I wonder what the opportunity cost in wood is for each step, given that the marginal cost to refine wood doesn't increase?
posted by Jacqueline at 1:01 PM on August 26

Also, looking at the numbers after dropping farmers to 0, it seems that kittens actually eat more than 1 food per turn? So that means that side of the equation is wrong.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:02 PM on August 26

Oh wait forget that last comment -- I was looking at the wrong season to get an accurate base.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:03 PM on August 26

There's a tech that cuts the refine wood cost dramatically.

What's wrong with pastures? I'm not certain you can buy enough fields, given the storage limitations.
posted by bonehead at 1:05 PM on August 26

Well, right now I'm saving wood to get beams to get Reinforced Barns so I don't want to spend wood. Once I've got my barns, I'll play with pastures and see what a good balance is between them and fields.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:06 PM on August 26

I feel like this game takes a huge leap all at once. Everything was going along, manageable, manageable, everything getting marginally more expensive as you go along, and then BOOM suddenly the next science thing costs like 12K science and I need parchments which can only be bought with furs and etc.

Right now my game is upgrading my libraries/academies as my woodcutters slowly harvest more woods so that I can even get close to saving up enough science. Grrr...

That said, my 12 kittens are well fed even in cold winters. I have 30K catnip storage with 50 fields, 11 pastures, and 3 aqueducts. I assign 1 farmer full time and 4 farmers during the spring to re-stock. Seems to be working well.
posted by phunniemee at 1:09 PM on August 26

I just want to set my game up so I can walk away for a while and not come back to a barn that's been maxed-out on catnip for hours.

There's not really a way to get there at least in the first few real-time days of gameplay, short of deliberately vastly limiting your kitten population just for the sake of avoiding wasted potential resources vs. never sleeping, always clicking, always be cliiiiicking, etc.

Expanding your kitten population is an all around good (while building out infrastructure to support the population), and means you can produce more stuff per second, but the cost of increasing storage is prohibitive to the point where you'll likely be filling most of your resource coffers within 20-30 minutes of away time no matter how evenly you spread stuff out. Which is okay! You just have to let yourself be okay with the game topping off and effectively idling for a while.

I personally have trouble being totally okay with that—I like to monetize my idling, as it were—and so was pleased last night to finally crack into the tech area that starts converting idle full resources into useful additional materials. It's not super productive but it's better than nothing and that turns out to make all the difference for me, psychologically.

But, yes. Don't make perfect idle-state food management your main goal, or it'll get in the way of being able to sanely step away. Accept a rubric that you can walk away from and find your food storage full at the start of winter and tune a little bit from there as you grow by watching food supplies during the periods where you are being semi-attentive.
posted by cortex at 1:14 PM on August 26

I'm just gonna have to make a spreadsheet for this because on the calculator I can't get my math to match their math even when I think I'm plugging in all the fractional amounts and percentage modifiers and whatnot correctly. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 1:15 PM on August 26

Wait. I'm confused. I workshopped gold and nothing happened, except for being replaced with geodesy... which requires materials I haven't even seen yet! Where did it go, what do I do? I want to trade!!
posted by good day merlock at 1:16 PM on August 26

any opinions on how many unicorn pastures i should build before i should start saving up additional unicorns for later-game purposes?
posted by Jacqueline at 1:17 PM on August 26

also, i'm having a hard time counting how many ticks per day -- 3? 4? 5?
posted by Jacqueline at 1:18 PM on August 26

maybe i should just start a second game in a different browser and experiment
posted by Jacqueline at 1:19 PM on August 26

Early game question - How do the smelters work? I show something like 3/0, and I assume the "0" has to be replaced with some positive number before iron production starts. Correct? And what is that thing?
posted by rtimmel at 1:21 PM on August 26

To smelt, you click the little + on the lower right corner of the Smelter button. Then it starts converting wood and minerals to iron (and later gold, after you unlock that Workshop upgrade).
posted by Jacqueline at 1:23 PM on August 26

Ha! Gold! Thanks, Jacqueline.
posted by good day merlock at 1:24 PM on August 26

I also bought "Mathematics" and that seemed to do nothing. Why don't investments in basis science pay off? What are we teaching the children?
posted by rtimmel at 1:25 PM on August 26

Ooooo, there's a Kittens Game subreddit! Unfortunately, it looks like the creator hasn't been very active lately.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:25 PM on August 26

fan art
posted by Jacqueline at 1:26 PM on August 26 [4 favorites]

tech tree (SPOILERS!)
posted by Jacqueline at 1:27 PM on August 26

Jacqueline, don't forget that the farmers have professional skill levels too. I don't know numerically how those work, but that's certainly one of the complications with your formula.
posted by bonehead at 1:30 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I stopped making pastures once I finally unlocked religion. I have 16 of them. I'm at the point where I am considering just maxing out kittens and getting to 200k faith and resetting, though there are still things to research. I'll see.
posted by jeather at 1:30 PM on August 26

I'm having one hell of a time getting more than 10 kittens. Huts are damned expensive. Balancing all of the other needs and still gathering a decent amount of wood is the big challenge for me.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:32 PM on August 26

Well, you can switch to log cabins (which house 1 kitten each), although I'm not sure at what point that makes sense given that they also have a minerals cost.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:40 PM on August 26

The growth curve on prices for log structures is so very much slower than that for huts that you're going to end up building a lot more of the former than the latter.
posted by cortex at 1:42 PM on August 26

I'm just gonna have to make a spreadsheet for this because

First thing I did at work this morning, after making my breakfast, was sit down and open up metafilter, and of course I clicked on "kittens game" first. I forwarded it to my coworker friend based on its name alone, before I even really looked at it.

When I got back from my post-breakfast mosey around the office and say hello to the 3 coworkers I don't hate adventure I found about 15 IMs from the coworker friend along the lines of "jesus i need to get more catnip production going" and "oh i got some science now bitches" and I responded "how are you doing this?" since I had walked away basically right after opening it.

Anyway, within about 20 minutes of me sending him the link to the game he had already read the wiki and made himself a spreadsheet and was berating me for my not taking the game seriously enough.
posted by phunniemee at 1:43 PM on August 26 [9 favorites]

kittens are SRS BUSINESS
posted by Jacqueline at 1:45 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I don't have a log cabin option. Does it require a tech I haven't unlocked yet?
posted by mudpuppie at 1:45 PM on August 26

Maybe Construction? I don't remember...
posted by Jacqueline at 1:49 PM on August 26

so was pleased last night to finally crack into the tech area that starts converting idle full resources into useful additional materials

This, yes -- although it doesn't automate the coal --> steel production path (unless there's another upgrade I haven't got to yet) so steel production still needs babysitting to empty out the coal now and then.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:03 PM on August 26

Don't do too many huts, there are a few workshop techs that significantly reduce the price of huts.
posted by jeather at 2:04 PM on August 26

By the time you are building log cabins, I found that a 2:1 minerals:wood production ratio worked pretty well. Use the sharks to get more wood from iron. Later on, you are so short of wood (for beams), I moved the ratio closer to 1:1.
posted by bonehead at 2:24 PM on August 26

I left my good kitten community at work and now have to mess with the subpar one on my laptop at home. :(
posted by leesh at 3:06 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

leesh: You can Export under Options (upper right corner of screen), email it to yourself, play at home, then export and email it back to yourself before you go to work.

Unless you like to leave both computers on so that they keep building while you're away?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:09 PM on August 26

UGHHHH why didn't I comment on that while I was still at work!

Nah, both computers have sleep modes and whatnot, I'm not expecting too much to have happened when I return to work (I stockpiled like 15K catnip for my 10 kittens just in case! I haven't lost one yet! Knock on wood).
posted by leesh at 3:12 PM on August 26

Don't forget to check your census. Adequate vs. Novice vs. Dabbler makes more of a difference than you would think. (There are levels above Adequate, I just haven't hit them yet.)
posted by Hactar at 3:21 PM on August 26

Well, you can do it going forward, at least -- this seems like the sort of game that one can have running in the background for weeks and weeks (my current Cookie Clicker legacy is 1,095 hours old).
posted by Jacqueline at 3:22 PM on August 26

I have also exported this so I can take it home with me. I'm hoping that tonight I can unlock the "kittens fold my laundry" technology and the "kittens make my dinner" achievement.
posted by phunniemee at 3:24 PM on August 26 [3 favorites]

Does anyone else find that woodcutters just suck? I made the workshop and did all the woodcutting upgrades. My woodcutters are all rated adequate. I have 7 lumber mills. (And why are lumber mills so damn expensive compared to, say, mines?) And yet, even with all that work, they are just painfully slow. I've invested so much on making my farmers efficient that it's far quicker for me to make wood via crafting it from catnip than actually using woodcutters, especially with the improved 50:1 ratio that one of those workshop upgrades provided. I feel like my resources are wasted even having woodcutters -- I'd have a far better return if I switched them over to farming, but then I'd have to constantly be there to do the crafting.

Has anyone else experienced this or am I just doing it wrong? Wood seems to be a primary resource, and it just feels wrong that I don't seem to be getting much of it through the conventional means. How does everyone else obtain wood? (I'm far from being able to trade.)
posted by Rhomboid at 3:37 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

my woodcutters suck too :(
posted by Jacqueline at 3:40 PM on August 26

My kitten woodcutters spend more time using the trees as scratching posts than they do chopping them down.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:42 PM on August 26 [5 favorites]

Eventually the woodcutters improved and the geologists began to be terrible.
posted by jeather at 3:49 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

It's so hard to find good halp these days.
posted by phunniemee at 3:52 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]

It is amazing because when I think of useful and productive animals, I think of kittens.
posted by jeather at 3:53 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


posted by Jacqueline at 3:54 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Noooo Jacqueline I'm so sorry! Did you unlock a secret kitty plague or something?
posted by phunniemee at 3:57 PM on August 26

i was in the middle of switching more kittens to farmers at the beginning of winter and before i could do anything they all starved to death!


should i ragequit, y/n?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:57 PM on August 26

Oh hey, here's another question. On the trade screen, it says it costs 15 gold and 50 catpower (in addition to the traded items) to send a caravan. Is that really what happens? I lose 15 gold to just sending them? That sounds like an incredible ripoff -- I've made like 10 gold my entire game. Why would I do that just to trade 1000 minerals or whatever.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:59 PM on August 26

well at least everything i built is still there. a new crop of opportunistic kittens are now moving into my dead village and taking the deceased's jobs and homes and whatnot...
posted by Jacqueline at 4:00 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Rhomboid: yes, it really costs 15 gold just to send a caravan. so far i have not found caravans to be worth it but i only have one trading partner so maybe i'll change my mind after i send out explorers to find more who offer different goods for trade.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:00 PM on August 26

Trading is very useful, but perhaps not yet.
As well as the stated materials you can get various luxuries, blueprints (which are useful later on for a lot of research) and also is the early source for titanium. Which you annoyingly need to build the building which makes titanium.

I've only so far found a use for gold in religious buildings and trade.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:05 PM on August 26

i don't understand why they all starve at once. you'd think that they'd just starve one at a time until the population was back in balance for the food supply? the survivors could stay alive by eating the dead ones (real cats will totally do this).

i'm gonna send a strongly-worded email to the developer. because all of them starving to death at once when i was in the middle of rebalancing my workers is fucking bullshit.

(there should also be an "undo X turns" button -- i tried quickly refreshing hoping that it hadn't saved yet, but no luck.)
posted by Jacqueline at 4:07 PM on August 26

Trading is very useful, essentially necessary to move forward. Gold is useful for a few buildings but mostly to trade.
posted by jeather at 4:07 PM on August 26

oh yeah, i did get a ton of spice as a bonus when i traded wood for iron -- enough to provide luxuries for a few years!
posted by Jacqueline at 4:07 PM on August 26

ok, apparently the bonus luxuries aren't a given -- i just did another trade and only got the resource listed in the trade box :(
posted by Jacqueline at 4:10 PM on August 26

I built several new paddocks last night... well, early this morning... without paying attention to what season it was, and couldn't get to the village page in time. So there was a tragic winter, though interestingly three of my farmers were claimed as 'dead' but came back with the same names all their experience intact. So I figure they were the ones smart enough to go to the next village for supplies. But then my browser crashed and I have carefully not restarted from save because I needed to actually get work today.
posted by tavella at 4:16 PM on August 26

do homeless kittens eventually leave the village? i'm trying to substitute from huts to log cabins to maximize my catpower:population ratio.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:22 PM on August 26

apparently not. oh well, at least it let me buy my huts back for super cheap.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:26 PM on August 26

Hactar: "Don't forget to check your census. Adequate vs. Novice vs. Dabbler makes more of a difference than you would think. (There are levels above Adequate, I just haven't hit them yet."

"Competent" and "Skilled", at least.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:30 PM on August 26

where the hell did my day go

and fuck you lazy wood-cutting kittens
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:46 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

at least it kept me awake all day, which is better than i'm doing on most days lately
posted by Jacqueline at 4:50 PM on August 26

I fired all my woodcutters and turned them into farmers. Made enough megatons of wood for the stupid reinforced barn, which it turns out doesn't increase the storage space of catnip, only wood and iron... fuuuuuuuu
posted by Rhomboid at 4:51 PM on August 26

Also I wish there were a standalone version of this because my computer is old and crotchety and Chrome likes to eat all the available memory and then complain.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:53 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed playing one of these games in what I called "hermit mode", where I clicked just enough resources to build one one-person dwelling, and then let him do all the work without me clicking any other resources. Till he died of wolf attack, which he did often, at which time another hermit would take over the hermitage. I'm starting something similar here - started with clicking enough catnip to plant one field, and slowly building more fields from the fields' produce. Eventually I guess I'll build a dwelling to attract a kitten. But I'm not sure if it's possible to do a real hermit kitten playthrough - the hut holds two kittens. Is it possible to build another type of dwelling, holding only a single kitten, without having ever had a kitten before?
posted by Flunkie at 4:57 PM on August 26 [4 favorites]

Seems from the wiki like I'll have to get minerals, which requires mining, which requires science. Can you get science without kittens?
posted by Flunkie at 5:01 PM on August 26

Log Cabins only hold a single kitten, but I don't think it's possible to unlock that part of the tech tree without actual kittens doing work.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:02 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Yeah you need scholar kittens to get science.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:03 PM on August 26

Science is generated via scholars, which you get after building a library. There are also random phenomena that will, if you're paying attention to the window and click 'observe' give you 20-60 (or maybe more, I guess) Science depending on how deep into the game you are.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:04 PM on August 26

I remember from my brief non-hermit playing last night that there was an occasional chance to observe an astronomical event, which gives you science. Does that only happen if you have scholar kittens, or might it happen just with a library?
posted by Flunkie at 5:05 PM on August 26

(but I think those only show up after you've built a library? I dunno, this game basically put me in a trance all day so addictive so very very addictive)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:05 PM on August 26

midway through researching philosophy the thought struck me that I could hit the reset button, and after about 5 seconds or so of trying to think of reasons not to, I hit it. And now I'm free, since there is absolutely no way I will ever spend enough time with this bletcherous thing to ever get back up to the level I was at before the reset.

Anyway, reset button. Consider it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:06 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]

my kittens starving to death while leaving all my structures intact was traumatic enough. i don't think i could handle pushing the reset button.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:08 PM on August 26

Flunkie, I believe there is an actual mode available to play (post reset possibly) which involves playing with zero kittens. (It features a free zebra to do hunting for you)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:08 PM on August 26

jeather, I see what you mean now about the geologists being terrible. I'm constantly maxing out my iron whilst waiting to grind up to 15 gold so I can trade iron away again. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 5:12 PM on August 26

Woohoo! You can get science with just a library, via the astronomical event.
posted by Flunkie at 5:15 PM on August 26

I am endeavoring to not even having one kitten death but this thing is becoming stressful in the winter.
posted by lizarrd at 5:25 PM on August 26

I had been seeing astronomical events constantly and never did anything about it, because I thought it was just fluff (I had gotten the mine, so I was also getting meteors). Then I read about the "Observe" button here.

So OF COURSE the astronomical event doesn't show up now.
posted by CancerMan at 5:34 PM on August 26

yeah i was endeavoring to not have one kitten death either and then i got screwed

total bullshit
posted by Jacqueline at 5:34 PM on August 26

ok, it said i got a blueprint from trading but clicking through the tabs i don't see anything new??? where should i be looking?
posted by Jacqueline at 5:51 PM on August 26

Oh man! Stockpiled a bunch of catnip, and assigned kittens appropriate gathering jobs, went for a nap, and came back to find I'd gotten the Winter is coming achievement. So sad.
posted by calamari kid at 6:07 PM on August 26


yeah, once you set things up you gotta sit and watch it until you go through at least 1 cold winter to make sure that your kittens can survive even under the worst case scenario
posted by Jacqueline at 6:17 PM on August 26

I've done a buttload of trading (mostly with sharks) but have not seen a single scrap of titanium yet. Which is concerning since I'm at a point in the tech tree where almost everything in the workshop seems to want titanium.
posted by cortex at 6:54 PM on August 26

Only the Zebras have titanium. You have to discover them by (1) crafting 1+ trade ships (which also has a bunch of science prerequisites I'm forgetting) and then (2) sending out an Expedition.

And even then there's only a small chance of getting a titanium drop on each trade (it gets better with more trade ships, but not very quickly). And often they'll simply steal the slab and give nothing in return except "Zebras hate you for no reason".

Zebras are assholes, man.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:05 PM on August 26

Cheat codes.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:05 PM on August 26

So, in my preparation of the hermitage, I'm getting pretty close to getting Mining, which I'll need to get minerals, which I'll need to make a single solitary log cabin for my hermit kitten. The wiki says that "Minerals are generated by miners or by random events". I don't want a miner, because that would mean making a hut, which would mean having more than one kitten.

So, that leaves "random events" - I'm imagining that there's something similar to "rare astronomical event", except unlocked by building a mine rather than a library, and yielding minerals rather than science. Is that true?
posted by Flunkie at 7:09 PM on August 26

ok, it said i got a blueprint from trading but clicking through the tabs i don't see anything new???

Do you have the Workshop yet? Workshop tab has a list of resources + buttons for crafting them; it also adds a list of craftable resources at the left, below the catnip/wood/minerals etc.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:10 PM on August 26

Is that true?

Yes. Imagine, if you will, big hunks of minerals falling from the sky.
posted by eriko at 7:10 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]

yeah, i got a tech that unlocked workshop items that use blueprints now
posted by Jacqueline at 7:13 PM on August 26

Also I've had Cat Power's weird cover of "Satisfaction" stuck in my head for three days now.
posted by cortex at 7:14 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]

posted by eriko at 7:18 PM on August 26

C'mon. It's a cat game on the Internet. I had to do that.
posted by eriko at 7:19 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Does anyone know where the saves are stored? I'm concerned that when I close my browser window, one of the bazillion of paranoid privacy-related addons that I have installed will wipe it out.
posted by Flunkie at 7:21 PM on August 26

you should probably export, then
posted by Jacqueline at 7:22 PM on August 26

Flunkie, you have to click Options >> Export and c/p the text there to a text file. Then, when you open the game again you click Options >> Import and c/p the text from your file.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:23 PM on August 26

Oh, great, I didn't know about that. Thanks!
posted by Flunkie at 7:25 PM on August 26

"Competent" and "Skilled"

Master seems to be the top. I have a village of ancient kitten masters.
posted by bonehead at 8:33 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]


posted by eriko at 8:45 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I have a village of ancient kitten masters.

Ahh, so you seek the ancient art of purr-fu. And yet, how shall you prove you are worthy of such knowledge?
posted by eriko at 8:46 PM on August 26

Damn you hunters, bring back enough furs for me to spend all my culture!
posted by Phssthpok at 8:46 PM on August 26

Damn you hunters, bring back enough furs for me to spend all my culture!

posted by eriko at 8:47 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]

But serious, Phssthpok, did you buy Hunting Armor? Because that turns those little fsckers into lean mean fur getting machines.
posted by eriko at 8:50 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Almost full up on cat power.


"Your hunters have returned from 10 hunts. +1218 furs, +221 ivory"
posted by eriko at 8:57 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

My hunters are pretty well equipped, and I have about 15 of them, but I'm producing 0.795 culture per tick, and it takes a ton of parchment to convert it all into manuscripts.

And I will probably spend all my iron and gold on even more temples before I get enough max science to move any further in the game.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:05 PM on August 26

Why don't you just wait and get Printing Press to automatically make manuscripts for you?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:07 PM on August 26

I don't think the printing press actually consumes culture, it just produces manuscripts out of thin air.

Which is nice, especially for leaving running all night, but it still seems like a senseless waste of culture.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:11 PM on August 26

Anyone know what the coal cap is controlled by? Mine is annoyingly low at 600.
posted by tavella at 9:15 PM on August 26

The tooltips on the "V2" tab show exactly how much storage you get from each building. Barn: 60, Warehouse: 30 (before upgrades).
posted by Phssthpok at 9:17 PM on August 26

I don't think the printing press actually consumes culture, it just produces manuscripts out of thin air.

Which is nice, especially for leaving running all night, but it still seems like a senseless waste of culture.

Wow. You've completely condemned western culture completely in two sentences.

Well done!

Sensless waste of culture is the name of my next band.
posted by eriko at 9:17 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Right, going to check on Cookie Clicker. BRB.
posted by eriko at 9:20 PM on August 26

OK, Back.
posted by eriko at 9:20 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Awwwwwww. I finally got 250 minerals, which are required to build the log house for my kitten hermitage so I can finally attract my first and only kitten. But it wouldn't let me build it, so I checked the wiki again and I now see that I need "Construction" in order to build it.

But I can't get science anymore, since getting Mining turned the "rare astronomical event" (+science) into "a meteor fell" (+minerals)! I hoped that selling off my mines would turn it back into "rare astronomical event", but no such luck - it's still meteors.

Looks like I have to start over. Or is there some other way to get science, not involving having any kittens, other than the rare astronomical event which I apparently can no longer get?
posted by Flunkie at 9:20 PM on August 26

I think you still get the rare astronomical events after Mining. At least, I have been. Maybe they are just rarer?
posted by eruonna at 9:22 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

you still get rare astronomical events even after meteors begin falling -- but you need to keep an eye on the screen and notice them before they go away
posted by Jacqueline at 9:22 PM on August 26

Oooooh, I spoke too soon, I just got a rare astronomical event again! Woohoo! This was after five straight meteors, which started immediately after having gotten mining and a mine.
posted by Flunkie at 9:23 PM on August 26

Well, obviously the meteors aren't rare astronomical events if you got five in a row.

posted by eriko at 9:24 PM on August 26

There's a whole "iron will" challenge mode, where you don't build any housing at all, and get all your science from astronomical events, and all your minerals from meteors. And you recruit zebras to do your hunting and trading.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:25 PM on August 26

Yeah, you get both, the meteor fall doesn't exclude the other one, but it's possible that it becomes a bit more rare.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:28 PM on August 26

I got an "iron will" achievement, but I thought it was just for building a mine. Looking at the wiki now, yeah, it says building a mine without having built housing. Then there are several "do such-and-such without having built housing" beyond that. I'm not really interested, though; I want a kitten.
posted by Flunkie at 9:29 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

When you get a bit further up the tech tree, you can increase the rate of astronomical events.

Of course, then they become a limiting resource.
posted by bonehead at 9:30 PM on August 26

Flunkie you can build huts for kittens to live in unless you are specifically going for iron will. They are much cheaper than log houses at first.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:34 PM on August 26

I understand that, but I want *a* kitten. A single kitten. I'm building a kitten hermitage for a kitten hermit.
posted by Flunkie at 9:36 PM on August 26 [7 favorites]

Ah, well then you're on the right track. Build as many libraries as you can so that you can get the most science out of each event.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:38 PM on August 26

goodnight, all... i emailed myself an export just in case my kittens starve to death while i sleep
posted by Jacqueline at 10:05 PM on August 26

When you get the opportunity you should destroy y our log Cabin and build a mansion.
Then you can have your single kitten living alone in a great big mansion, possibly wearing a wedding dress. A mouldering kitten wedding dress.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:03 AM on August 27 [7 favorites]

I'm a little concerned about the frequency of meteors. I fear my kittens may be in a late heavy bombardment period and it is only a matter of time before doom.
posted by tavella at 1:11 AM on August 27

Year 39, Spring, Day 37.

A cold winter and a cold spring have nearly depleted our catnip. Moral is low at 82%.

The hunters went out and returned with 41 ivory, which for some reason has been immediately carved into small, wobbly bits which raised happiness to 102% for about three days before they were all batted under the furniture and immediately forgotten about.

I want to train more scholars to acquire more science, but for some reason these ivory trinkets are more important than learning writing or literacy.

I'm beginning to think we should farm something besides catnip, or maybe that eating the meat from the animals we hunt for ivory and furs might be more nutritious.

But, no, the only thing anyone wants to eat is catnip. I find myself hallucinating all day, every day and batting at bits of ivory. I foam at the mouth and roll around on the floor.

I know there is more than this. I also know I shouldn't have built that stupid barn, as it's just full of catnip.

Year 39, Summer, Day 31.

The cold has finally broken, but not soon enough to make up for the weak catnip harvest.

I am refining it as often as I can into wood. The woodcutters are apparently useless.

The hunters went out and returned with a unicorn. We can't eat it, but apparently keeping one or two in a paddock makes the rest of the cats eat less catnip. There are days that I am ashamed to be a cat.

Studying continues. I wish to build more libraries and… some kind of place to teach and share knowledge, but the other cats are clamoring for more ivory to carve into shiny bits and bat around.

Once again they get their way, and the baubles are lost in mere hours. I have no idea where all the furs are going, either. Neither I nor the other cats seem to wear or use them. I suspect they are also toyed with until destroyed, or used as litter boxes.

Year 39, Autumn, Day 94.

It is bitterly cold. Most of the cats are dragging in the last of the catnip harvest. Not much scientific work is being done. The woodcutters are still useless.

A giant rock fell from the sky. Many cats were startled, much ivory was lost. But it left a sizable mound of minerals.

I have taken to secretly refining catnip into wood, and wood into beams and hiding them. We'll see if the reinforced barn is any better than the plain barn.

Year 40, Winter, Day 50.

It is bitterly cold. All cats save for one scholar are busy toiling in the fields for catnip. They're mainly rolling around in it and making strange chittering noises and sleeping.

Year 40, Spring, Day 12.

It is a warm spring. I hope that the harvest is good this year.

Year 40, Spring, Day 87.

I have built something called an academy. None of the other cats seem to care.

I swear they're using furs as toilet paper or litter box liner. They have their own fur coats. We should have depleted the entire countryside of any ivory-producing animal by now. This is ridiculous.

Year 40, Autumn, Day 25.

The hunters went out five times in a row. No ivory. Moral is low at 50% happiness. Production is at it's lowest in years.

A rare astronomical event occurs in the sky but no one notices but me. I notice, but I still have no idea what it is. The 92 point science bonus is nice, but baffling.

Year 40, Winter, Day 75.

So cold. Too many unicorns. Hungry. Want to eat unicorn. I am going mad from catnip.

Year 41, Spring, Day 25.


I can't remember what I was doing, so I'll eat some more catnip, maybe roll around on the floor and foam at the mouth for a while.

Year 41, Summer, Day 17.

I still can't figure out why it takes so much longer and so many more materials to make more huts or log cabins.

I have learned enough science that it seems logical that it should be easier to build more after learning from the first few structures, but each one takes more and more materials, and yet it is the same size and it can only house the same number of kittens. They should be massive structures.

Something is fishy.

Speaking of fishy, some sharks came through and offered to trade, but I wasn't here so they left. The other cats say we should go visit them, but I don't think selling our iron for more catnip is a good trade.

Year 41, Summer, Day 87.

Finally made and scrimped enough gold to go trading. The sharks think we're cute. I think we're depraved. They gave us spices, which the other kittens seem to enjoy more than ivory. Damn, it's already gone now.

Year 42, Spring, Day 79.

Calamity. I accidentally fell asleep and woke up to 800 unicorns. I also suddenly realized I haven't actually slept in almost a decade. Thankfully no kittens have starved.

Year 42, Summer, Day 21.

It's never enough. We're producing and consuming absurd amounts of catnip per season. Thanks to the new aqueducts it springs up in the field and is mown down so fast that the farming kittens are a vague supersonic blur, frothing at their mouths and making strange chittering noises as they whir through the acres and hectares.

The landscape around us is an endless, desolate waste with smoking open pit mines and smelters everywhere. I lust for gold and catnip.

Year 42, Winter, Day 3.

A trading party was sent out, which returned with 35K catnip. We only had room for 2k catnip in the stores.

The entire kitten population shrugged and devoured the entire surplus so fast that it was… unlikely.

I'm beginning to think that we have some kind of problem. It's a wonder that anything gets built. Everyone is so incredibly high on catnip all the time, all day and night every day that our eyes are giant saucers and we speak in tongues and leap from place to place all fluffed up and foaming.

Year 43, Spring, Day 2

Fifteen trading explorations expeditions, zero contacts with new civilization. I'm beginning to suspect our explorers and traders are simply going out to the farthest catnip fields and having a romp.

Year 43, Summer, Day 17.

A couple of years ago we discovered philosophy. Apparently it's main usefulness is in producing more catnip and consuming vast quantities of ivory in more and more ironic or dissatisfied ways.

Year 52, Spring, Day 42.

I don't know what happened to the last few years. I was mining and smelting gold for trading trips.

The forests are all gone. Our small city is surrounded by catnip fields that recede over the horizon. It takes several days of long, fast walking to reach the far lands, yet paradoxically they can be harvested and replanted in mere seconds. This happens so quickly now that the ground appears to be barren all the time because it grows and is harvested so fast.

If I was questioning the purpose and point of this years and years ago, today I doubt I even knew what questioning was.

I distract myself by mowing down several acres of catnip at a time with my face and body, rolling in it and foaming and crazed.

Year 59, Summer, Day 2.

Apparently we've discovered Theology, which makes us all hungry for more catnip.

Between Theology and Philosophy I'm beginning to suspect that we kittens are the subject of an elaborate joke or mind-bogglingly cruel experiment, but this may be due to the kilotons of catnip I consume day in and day out.

I am beginning to feel strange urges to make some kind of… structure… an edifice or plinth to stand upon, to issue my commands to the other kittens. They're all fools, all of them.

But I am the only sane one. They listen to me, which is just and true and right, but they should… worship me. The should worship me as their savior and creator as I am obviously much better than them, and I need and easily consume more catnip than any of them. If it wasn't for me there would be no catnip, no kittens.

Year 60, Spring, day 46.

I have made long, flowing robes of gold and catnip. This is fitting and should end well.

Year 62, Winter, Day 73.

There has been some mild unpleasantness. The kittens that questioned my natural place in the world - most of them, really - have been starved out and replaced with more loyal subjects. They are meeker and not as smart or strong, but they consume less catnip and they are more numerous.

They are kitten, and I am Cat.

Every day at dawn the lesser kittens worship me in my golden, flaxen robes and bring tributes. Once a week there is an orgy of catnip intoxication, and entertainment in the form of captured griffins or sharks fighting to their inevitable deaths in an amphitheater.

I have taken many wives.

My appetite for all things is insatiable, which is only fitting for a living God.

Year 70, Summer, Day 1.

It is Caturday. My subjects have assembled before me and constructed the tribute of catnip, a mountain of some 40k of catnip. Behind me is the pyre, upon which the carefully selected kittens will be sacrificed in fire, in the coals of which will be forged a throne of titanium and gold.

I have new, finer robes woven entirely of gold and titanium.

Before the sacrifice I dive into the pile, consuming it all at once, a mere instant. My mouth foams, creating a river. My claws furrow the land, making mountains. The very earth quakes and trembles for days before the sacrifice, and the kittens wail and beat themselves upon the ground before me in submission.

I can see everything, and I am everything, a living god-Cat among mere kittens.

This is as it has always been, and as it will always be.
posted by loquacious at 3:17 AM on August 27 [45 favorites]

That was the Boatmurdered of Kitten Game.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:34 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

For best effect, read in the voice of Ze Frank.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:51 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

He is the sandcat. The catnip must flow for he sees all things he is Muad'Kit.
posted by lizarrd at 4:17 AM on August 27 [2 favorites]

When you get the opportunity you should destroy y our log Cabin and build a mansion.
Then you can have your single kitten living alone in a great big mansion, possibly wearing a wedding dress. A mouldering kitten wedding dress.
I've actually been thinking about doing this, but I'm concerned that if I build the mansion then destroy the cabin, I might get a second kitten so quick that it's before being able to destroy the cabin, and on the other hand if I destroy the cabin then build the mansion, my hermit kitten might die so quick that it's before I can build the mansion.

I'm also considering going straight to mansion - i.e. never build any housing except for a single mansion (as opposed to my current plan of never building any housing except for a single log cabin).

I haven't yet closely looked at this alternate plan to see if it's at all feasible, but I've got a while to decide yet. I'll need two more rare astronomical events to get Animal Husbandry, then like another 17 or so to get Construction, before I'd be able to actually build a log cabin. It seems like rare astronomical events slowed down after meteors started (perhaps there are different types of "rare astronomical events", some of which are meteors, so when you start noticing meteors as meteors you no longer notice them as rare astronomical events?), so that will be about 20 years if they have slowed down or a lot longer if I'm right.

In the meantime, in year 30 of its construction, the kitten hermitage is shaping up nicely in preparation for receiving the kitten hermit. It's got 65 catnip fields, 23 libraries, 9 mines, 2 barns, and 4 workshops, plus two unicorns and a zebra. And a big pile of furs and ivory, plus the ability to trade with griffins.

My basic strategy has been:

(1) If I have enough minerals such that one more meteor would bring me to the maximum I can store, build a workshop just so as to not waste further meteors.

(2) Build as many catnip fields as my barns will allow.

(3) If I can't build any more catnip fields, build as many libraries as my barns will allow.

(4) If I can't build any more libraries, build as many mines as my barns will allow. I've also occasionally built more mines before maxing out barns, but this is the general rule.

(5) If I can't build any more mines, build another barn.
posted by Flunkie at 5:37 AM on August 27

Ooooh, I just got two rare astronomical events pretty quickly (both in a single season)! But then I found that I misremembered the amount of Science I'd need to get Animal Husbandry; I'll actually need another two on top of those two I just got.

C'mon, supernovas!
posted by Flunkie at 5:44 AM on August 27

Hmmm... at current rates of learning science, a mansion will require approximately 2000 rare astronomical events.
posted by Flunkie at 5:52 AM on August 27

Oops, no, even more I think; 2000 is based on the tech needed to build a mansion assuming you have the components, but other techs will also be needed to build the components themselves.

I think Hermit Kitten will be fine in a log cabin instead of a mansion.
posted by Flunkie at 5:55 AM on August 27

Flunkie, you can sell your cabin and have a homeless kitten for a while if you're concerned about doubling up on kittens.

Back in the Dark Times I had to sell all of my kittens' homes to afford to feed them; when I finally bought their houses back I didn't get new kitties until all of my homeless cats had lodging.
posted by phunniemee at 5:59 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Woooooo, two rare astronomical events within maybe a week! Animal Husbandry achieved. The Kitten Hermitage now has a nice pleasant unicorn pasture.
posted by Flunkie at 6:07 AM on August 27

I believe that when your kitten moves in the zebra will leave.

Also Observatories will significantly increase your spotting of astronomical events.
Even later on a SETI program will completely automate it, but that is many millions of science points away, I am nearing the research required to get one and I have about 90 kittens.

I would be intrigued to see how far your hermit can get.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:12 AM on August 27

I'm pretty sure you can sell a cabin after it is occupied, and the kitten remains unless you run out of food. At which point you can move him into a mansion.
posted by Phssthpok at 7:01 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Planning ahead for the far future: It seems like maximum catpower will be a limiting factor. If I'm understanding correctly, I'll only ever be able to spend catpower on things that cost 150 catpower or less (100 base max and +50 max for the log cabin or mansion), unless I upgrade a temple with "templars" (+75 max, presumably per upgraded temple?). But I don't see anything about how I would upgrade a temple with templars.
posted by Flunkie at 7:46 AM on August 27

Templars is a Religion upgrade. You get that by banking accumulated faith to unlock and then buying it with a combination of faith and gold.
You could in theory get it with just one temple.
(and yes, it's +75 catpower per temple)

What things cost catpower? I am thinking just trade (50), sending an expedition (1000) and having a festival.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:20 AM on August 27

Thanks. There's also sending out hunters (which is currently the only thing I can actually do with catpower). To be clear, I'm not saying that's the only other thing - it's only the only other thing that I know of.

The "send an expedition" thing was actually what prompted me to ask about the templars. I won't ever be able to do it without templars.
posted by Flunkie at 8:24 AM on August 27

The mint needs CP too. But if you don't have a population, you don't need luxuries either.
posted by bonehead at 8:44 AM on August 27

Trade is going to be a problem. How do you get titanium without sending a trade mission? You need at least 1000 cp to unlock Zebras, then to trade for 15 Ti to get the Calcifer.
posted by bonehead at 8:46 AM on August 27

How the heck are you people so far ahead of me. I feel like my little kitten civilization is still so far behind.

I've got nearly all my cats on catnip production so I can turn them into wood so I can buy beams so I can unlock deep mining so I can get some coal so I can finally get some goddamned steel. You people all mansion this and titanium that.

I do finally have a unicorn now, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.
posted by phunniemee at 8:56 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

I've been grinding for the steel axe apparently for longer than I'm comfortable admitting.

But on balance my system is pretty much stable and well balanced. I can just let it churn right through winter and all assets stay positive save happiness, which just needs minimal checking to keep the stats up and resources coming in.
posted by loquacious at 9:05 AM on August 27

Tragedy strikes! I had a cold winter (-90%) when I wasn't paying attention and lost 15 of my 17 kittens.

Year 31, Winter: Achievement unlocked: Winter Is Coming!

Yes, winter has indeed came.
posted by mayonnaises at 9:08 AM on August 27

I'm kind of in the same place -- I've been trying to get enough steel to unlock stuff and it's taking forever. One thing that I found very helpful is to load up on the workshops, because the bonuses give you more than a 1:1 conversion when you craft steel. (And this applies also to making beams from wood, or any of the other crafting options.) All these things that require 'n' gears are just killing me.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:08 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Also, I didn't really understand before when people warned of these games. This stupid little kitten farm has gotten into my system now and it won't let go.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:13 AM on August 27

has anyone got workshop automation working for them? i left my kittens running unattended and they didn't automatically build anything. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 9:14 AM on August 27

I went for the steel axe as well, but it's much less effective than I was expecting. I think it might only work on base kitten production, and not include the bonuses from buildings like the lumber mill?

Everything I want to build needs steel or gears, too, and coal is so slow even with the Coal Furnace. I'm having to throw my wood/minerals into beams/slabs just to have something to do with them before they max out.
posted by Georgina at 9:15 AM on August 27

instead of building beams and slabs you don't have a use for, i would be putting all extra wood and minerals into workshops, even if they are expensive, because that will make your steel and gears cost less.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:17 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the tip! I have been doing that, but my Workshop requires more minerals to upgrade (13.17k) than I can store at once now.

Perhaps I should be upgrading the storage space, hmm.
posted by Georgina at 9:22 AM on August 27

has anyone got workshop automation working for them?

It's really not obvious how this works, but here's what I know:

Automation will craft beams and slabs only if the resource is at max storage. It will craft once a year (spring I think).

There's a later upgrade to make plates from iron as well.

Later still, there's a second upgrade which will craft in both spring and fall, doubling your effective speed.

It's not fast, or nearly as efficient as doing it yourself, but does give a good bit of second tier resources if left overnight.
posted by bonehead at 9:23 AM on August 27

I have workshop automation and many of the upgrades.
Basically I've found as you tech up you get more and more ability to automate the lower level things, which is a smart way of doing it. It means the player can set and forget some of the more basic tasks.

Like the mint it's less efficient than hands on production, but you can leave it running in the background without needing to interfere and it means that when you reach your resource cap some of the excess will be used instead of wasted.

The new V2 tab has a nice Togglable screen, which is my go to "get everything ready for idling" check list, to make sure my mints are on and my steamworks are... steaming.

I don't think there is anything which automatically uses coal or faith or culture (or food?)
So it's just Minerals, Iron and Wood (from the cappable resources) which can be auto crafted.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:35 AM on August 27

OK, I have lost interest in incremental progress (read: should probably do my job so I don't get fired) but want to see the endgame.

How do I cheat code? Got the console opened up but that reddit thread just says to paste it? Paste it...where? There is no place to paste. :(
posted by phunniemee at 9:45 AM on August 27

Click on options, then import.
posted by lookoutbelow at 9:53 AM on August 27

For the cheat code?
posted by phunniemee at 10:06 AM on August 27

How do you guys decide when to expand the population? I have a feeling I need to do that soon so that I can get up to 1000 catpower to go exploring, but assuming that that wasn't an issue, how do you decide when to make more kittens?
posted by Rhomboid at 10:09 AM on August 27

When the mommy-kitten likes a special daddy kitten very much and they have a special snuggle....

Also, when I'm running a healthy surplus of 'nip through the year, with a small enough dip in the winter to add another mouth. If you're dropping much below 5k doing nothing on an annual cycle, work on fields, pastures and aqueducts first.
posted by bonehead at 10:16 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Actually work on them anyway. They all really pay off as the kitten population climbs.
posted by bonehead at 10:18 AM on August 27

My attempt at a cheatcode for it, this will give you 999,999 of each item.

for(var i = 0; i < gamePage.resPool.resources.length; i++) { gamePage.resPool.resources[i].value = 999999 }
posted by pixie at 10:19 AM on August 27

I think I'm okay in the food production area, though I suppose I could always improve. I'm a little scared about the happiness factor and becoming more dependent on trading or hunting to keep workers efficient. I've got some amphitheaters, and my baseline happiness is 91%. But I can certainly tell a difference when they get spices or whatever, and I don't want to erode that. Does anyone know if the happiness factor is just directly applied to worker output? Are 50% happy kittens 50% as productive a 100% happy kittens? And do you lose a point for each new kitten (modulo boosters)?
posted by Rhomboid at 10:35 AM on August 27

And do you lose a point for each new kitten (modulo boosters)?

My 10 kittens held steady at 100% for hours yesterday, and then I made a log house just to have one on my balance sheet and now my 11 kittens are steady at 98%.
posted by phatkitten at 10:39 AM on August 27

I cleared my last game, and started over. I'm doing OK, but it's taking so long to get enough science to do stuff, and I'm not sure how much I can expand over 8 kittens (this is at year 4). I'm not very good at this kind of thing.
posted by codacorolla at 10:45 AM on August 27

Wtf, I spent ages getting the prerequisites for a steamworks and it doesn't even do anything? I have to upgrade it? What a ripoff...
posted by Rhomboid at 10:55 AM on August 27

FWIW, the author of the game has stated that s/he meant for the game to be slow. So don't feel bad that you're not seeing rapid results; it's not part of the game mechanic.
posted by CancerMan at 10:56 AM on August 27

FWIW, the author of the game has stated that s/he meant for the game to be slow. So don't feel bad that you're not seeing rapid results; it's not part of the game mechanic.


This game ends by crashing the world's economy and over 50% of the developed world hunting bloodrizer down in the streets and tearing him into bits of confetti.
posted by loquacious at 11:01 AM on August 27 [3 favorites]

(First, my belated apologies for the Mint Julep ~= Culture joke above; I had no idea when I made it that this game was expansive enough that currencies like "mint" were a part of it.)

I love the multiple currencies in this game, as well as the currency caps. The former really tickles the OCD part of my brain, and the latter provides just a bit of focus for my efforts.

For example, since I've yet to purchase the Expanded Barns upgrade from the workshop my wood resource total is capped at 1400, which means my hut total is capped at 7, which (lacking any alternative population sources) caps my kitten population at 14 even as I continue to amass catnip-gaining and consumption-mitigating upgrades and buildings. With 73 catnip fields, 36 pastures, and Mineral and Iron Hoes, I need to use only 6 kittens to maintain catnip growth in even a cold winter.

I'm accumulating resources right now for my 24th and last-for-now Academy, and will then research construction and move on from there.
posted by The Confessor at 11:04 AM on August 27

My attempt at a cheatcode for it, this will give you 999,999 of each item.

pixie! Where do I enter the cheatcode? how?
posted by phunniemee at 11:17 AM on August 27

When you get to the Javascript console there should be a (small, single row) space for text entry at the bottom. Copy/paste pixie's code there and press enter. If you have any trouble, tell me what browser you are using and I'll try to be more specific.
posted by The Confessor at 11:19 AM on August 27

Yessssss, thank you! I couldn't find it in firefox so I opened the bastard in chrome and NOW I AM THE LORD OF ALL CREATION MUAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I currently have 1000168% happiness.
posted by phunniemee at 11:30 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: 1000168% happiness.
posted by loquacious at 11:38 AM on August 27 [5 favorites]

The real 1000168% happiness level is inside me, since now that I've seen all of the kitten world I can walk away.
posted by phunniemee at 11:40 AM on August 27 [2 favorites]

Oof, I've gotten to trade with a very small population. Now I need a lot of catpower. Bummer.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:42 AM on August 27

Does anyone know what "flavor text" means?
posted by Rhomboid at 11:57 AM on August 27

Wait, I remember seeing that. Maybe? Remind me what is the context?
posted by phunniemee at 12:00 PM on August 27

It means text that's irrelevant to game play but adds to the game world.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:00 PM on August 27

Flavor text is in the tool-tip for various buildings if you go to V2 mode. I would guess it's unimplemented, since typically flavor text refers to cosmetic text inserted into a board game to make the theme or the world seem more alive. Like the bits of lore and exposition on most Magic Cards.
posted by codacorolla at 12:02 PM on August 27

The spots where you see the literal words "flavor text" you're presumably just seeing placeholder for where the actual flavorful text will go once the dude writes it. Or he has a very dry sense of humor.
posted by cortex at 12:03 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

I've been trading a lot with the lizards recently. This is what pops into my head when I think of those negotiations.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:13 PM on August 27

The whole thing makes me feel like I'm playing a really long-term game of Gamma World.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:54 PM on August 27

> Now I need a lot of catpower.

Hope this helps.
posted by ardgedee at 2:38 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

After 51 years of work building the Kitten Hermitage, Hermit Kitten has arrived!
posted by Flunkie at 5:08 PM on August 27 [10 favorites]

I have no idea how you did this and that's amazing.
posted by lizarrd at 5:23 PM on August 27

Flunkie, you gotta post that on the game's subreddit for the creator to see.

loquacious, you should post your fanfic there too.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:49 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Help? Cannot figure out how to get iron. I have unlocked metalworking and construction. I have smelting showing up as an industry, so theoretically, I should be making iron, but I'm not. In fact it says I've upgraded 2/0. Two of zero times? Should I have a job available for the kittens to do this? I don't seem to have one. I only have woodcutter, scholar, hunter, farmer & miner (all of which are happily working but not getting me any iron.)I even built a warehouse to hold the iron. Still no iron. Thanks!
posted by greermahoney at 6:50 PM on August 27

You have to click the + on the Smelting button to get it to start smeling iron. "2/0" means that you currently own 2 smelters (is that even a word?) but 0 of them are currently in operation.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:04 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

greermahoney, notice that most of the buttons like "Catnip field" and "Barn" have "sell" on their right side, but the "Smelter" button additionally has a "+"? Click on the + to turn one of your smelters on.
posted by Flunkie at 7:05 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Thank you Jacqueline & Flunkie! I love you both! I was getting pretty frustrated!
posted by greermahoney at 7:08 PM on August 27

If you don't know what to do with unicorns, build ziggurats.

OH GOD well now I feel dirty.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:11 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]




learn from my grief... Options --> Export, then copy/paste into an email sent to yourself FREQUENTLY
posted by Jacqueline at 7:21 PM on August 27

I was very upset when I accidentally killed all my kittens, but they come back in about 15 seconds each. It's annoying when you've killed 80 or so of them, but not disastrous. (Now I just keep way too many farmers so it's never a risk.)
posted by jeather at 7:37 PM on August 27

[:3] Molly Chalk - woodcutter
age: 33
Skilled (6%) woodcutter
Adequate (18%) scholar

OMG the kittens have names and ages. How did I miss this??
posted by greermahoney at 7:39 PM on August 27

...but they come back in about 15 seconds each.

Yeah, but don't the new kittens lack job experience? New hires have lower skill levels than kittens who have been working in the same job for a long time and that affects their overall productivity.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:44 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

My last comment was 100% serious, BTW. That is actually a factor in the game.

You can see the skill levels of your kittens in various professions under Village --> Census (click + to expand).
posted by Jacqueline at 7:58 PM on August 27

OMG. I never saw that before! I thought all that talk about named kittens was this elaborate in-joke that I was missing out on.

They are all named Molly!
posted by mochapickle at 8:12 PM on August 27

I know it's a factor in the game, but they gain skill very fast. (Mine are all masters at whatever they are doing now, with the exception of 3 kittens who I switched over recently.)
posted by jeather at 8:19 PM on August 27

So I bought the Printing Press, but as far as I can tell, nothing is happening. (I already have the Steamworks.) Any ideas?
posted by Georgina at 8:20 PM on August 27

Is your steamworks on?
posted by jeather at 8:21 PM on August 27

I have one named Oscar Paws and he is, by far, my favorite.
posted by greermahoney at 8:22 PM on August 27

Ahh, that's it. Thanks, jeather!
posted by Georgina at 8:28 PM on August 27

Hmm. I must have misclicked. I suddenly have 1000 ships.
posted by jeather at 8:33 PM on August 27

Is one of your kittens named Helen?
posted by Flunkie at 8:36 PM on August 27 [12 favorites]

Yeah, I don't want to be that guy who gets grim about the notion of not having dead kittens but take a look at what year it is in your game and then take a look at the highest age any of your kittens are and then take a look around and notice that among the many buildings you have none of them is called "graveyard" or "mausoleum" and then stop and take a long hard think about where all that "ivory" is coming from. Is all.
posted by cortex at 9:43 PM on August 27 [12 favorites]

not sure if you're suggesting that the ivory is actually dead kitten bones or if the kittens themselves are actually undead vampire/zombie/lich kittens and that's why they can take on full-grown elephants?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:53 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

"Theo Sand" and now I'm wondering if all the kitten surnames are Game-of-Thronesey bastard names.

I still haven't forgiven it for the ziggurat incident; and looking at the Religion tab things are NOT going to be good for unicorns, are they?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:55 PM on August 27


fucking slut-shaming unicorns.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:57 PM on August 27 [4 favorites]

I am embarassed by how long it took me to notice and verify this, but just in case there are any other tards like me in this thread:

The kittens work ~5 times faster (in real time) when you keep them on your screen.

I timed it and a year takes ~13 minutes when I have the Kittens Game as my focus window whereas it takes ~60 minutes if I just have it running in the background (even when I'm just in another tab in the same browser).

Ironically, this discovery has motivated me to spend LESS time screwing around on the internet tonight, because I REALLY don't want to sacrifice any kitten productivity. So I've set things up so my kittens only need my attention once per kitten-year and meanwhile I am cleaning my kitchen* in 11-minute increments, then spending a couple minutes frantically trading, refining, and building before repeating the cycle.

*In related news, the worst part about cleaning your long-neglected kitchen while drunk is that you have to defend your wine from the fucking fruit flies. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 10:43 PM on August 27 [4 favorites]

The kittens work ~5 times faster (in real time) when you keep them on your screen.

That makes perfect sense, really: When the mouse is away, the cats will play.
posted by mochapickle at 10:48 PM on August 27 [8 favorites]

cortex, I am dancing around my kitchen singing "kittens, kittens, kittens!" to your tribbles song and it's all your fault

just so you know
posted by Jacqueline at 10:55 PM on August 27

ok maybe only 80% your fault and 20% the fault of the franzia boxed wine
posted by Jacqueline at 10:56 PM on August 27

posted by Jacqueline at 10:59 PM on August 27 [3 favorites]

pro tip: if some of your kittens starve to death during a wintertime shark-trading misclick, if you hit the browser refresh button IMMEDI-FUCKING-ATELY then you can save them.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:08 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

The kittens work ~5 times faster (in real time) when you keep them on your screen.

I have the kitten window up on half my screen, and other windows up on the other half. Doesn't seem to be a difference in production. Yay for cheaty work-arounds!
posted by greermahoney at 11:21 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

posted by Jacqueline at 11:26 PM on August 27

ok, i have theology. when do i get to start sacrificing unicorns?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:58 PM on August 27

and now my husband is awake and complaining about my singing



ok probably 60% the fault of the franzia boxed wine, but still 40% your fault



meanwhile, i am baking

pray for my muffins
posted by Jacqueline at 12:08 AM on August 28

Jacqueline, there's an option to "use worker thread", which might prevent that problem. I haven't tested, but it's possible.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:16 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

Whereas I am awake again for thirty minutes or so to let painkillers set in vs. the jawache from hell and I don't even get box wine out of the deal.

The kittens work ~5 times faster (in real time) when you keep them on your screen.

Yes, so! This. Is a thing in general with javascript executing in a browser; most browsers will automatically clamp down the framerate for the common JS loop control handler setInterval(function, framerate) such that it becomes a one-frame-per-second operation. Idea being, I guess, that you're less likely to accidentally melt your computer (or, more reasonably, render your browsing experience sluggish and unhappy) if multiple different tabs can't all try to eat up max cpu independently even when you're only looking at one at a time.

Which has some interesting implications on game design! Because as soon as you have independent quantities interacting in a dependent way on each other multiple times a second, you run into this problem where even though those interactions may seem pretty simple to calculate, the fact that they suddenly only have one opportunity per second to interact can produce a big slowdown in the emergent effects of that system of interactions.

I discovered this problem for myself with my own experimental clicker I was working on a while back (and that I really need to get into at least serviceable "well, here's the basic idea" shape at some point), when I noticed my game output suffered from being out of focus in the exact same way. Very short version: I have little dudes walking from place to place and Doing Things. And it turned out that the faster they got at walking and at doing, the more I had work slowdown when out of focus. Finally read up, found out about the framerate limiting, and figured out the issue: if there's only 1 FPS, and my guy would normally walk somewhere in 0.5 seconds and do a thing in 0.2 seconds, what would normally be a combined time of 0.7 seconds suddenly has to be a combined time of 1.0 + 1.0 = 2.0 seconds because each subtask couldn't take less than a full second-long single frame. Tab away, work slowdown.

Note that this is an implicit issue with any system that relies on multiple chain-of-event interactions between independent agents/components in a system, nothing particular really to the kittens or my own clicker experiment. And there are ways around it. One is to use Web Workers, a way to spin off some of those systems as sort of independent bits of JS code that operate at full speed independent of browser focus stuff (but also means possibly being a less-visible resource hog on a computer); another is to push calculations to the server side and have the game instance act literally as a client that just displays info calculated elsewhere rather than as a self-contained javascript entity running in your browser (bonus, means anti-cheating measures are more doable if for some reason you actually care; downside, this makes game dependent on an internet connection); another is to rewrite the core game logic to account for the possibility of very slow framerate so that losing focus doesn't have as much of or any effect on the player's progress (e.g. instead of each frame checking to see what job a dude is doing and letting him do work on it until finished, add some extra code that says "if you just finished that job, pick a new one and start working on *it* now" so that he doesn't waste the extra cycles waiting for a new frame); another apparently is to use requestAnimFrame() instead of setInverval() to handle some of the game loop stuff to get away from some of the automatic framerate clamping stuff, something I've seen mentioned several places but haven't looked into enough to understand its viability yet.

These all have pros and cons. The most obvious con for all of them is that it gets at least a bit and maybe a lot more complicated to code vs. the naive approach, and as most clickers are being done for kicks on zero budget by one person and pretty often as a learning-to-code-in-Javascript exercise there's not necessarily gonna be a big budget for excess code complexity. But it looks like bloodrizer has at least implemented web workers as an option, so, awesome.

For my part the thing that I found with Chrome on my Mac is that the framerate is clamped for every out-of-focus tab per browser window, not just for every single browser tab other than the focused one on the main window you're using. So if you pull the game off into a separate tab in its own window, it'll keep running merrily along at full speed. I keep the game in its own window lurking behind whatever I'm actually doing and just pull it forward when I want to tinker or click "Observe" re: an astronomical event, etc. But you can also just straight up minimize this has-focus-in-its-personal-browser-window window and still get full-speed chugalug.

Results may vary there a bit from browser to browser on different OSes.
posted by cortex at 3:31 AM on August 28 [7 favorites]

Yeah, that's just standard JS/browser behavior, not something the game imposes. Put it in its own window or enable the web workers option and the issue goes away.

(BTW, I don't think you'd want to use requestAnimationFrame for a game like this. When you do that, you get called 60 times a second (or whatever your monitor's refresh rate is) when the tab is in the foreground and zero times per second when your tab is in the background, on the assumption that performing animation that nobody can possibly see is pointless. It's a great feature if you're doing animation, because it locks your draw code to the browser's draw cycle, providing for the slickest and jank-free-est experience, but it's probably not a good idea if you're doing simulations, at least not if you want them to occur in the background.)
posted by Rhomboid at 4:21 AM on August 28

the kittens themselves are actually undead vampire/zombie/lich kittens and that's why they can take on full-grown elephants?
Kittens > Mice. Mice > Elephants. Exercise in transitivity left for the reader.

posted by Flunkie at 6:06 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Rhomboid, that's my impression with requestAnimFrame too, based on what little I've understood about it, and in a case like this it's really not so much relevant. Just ended up on the laundry list of approaches depending. My clicker experiment actually has a graphical/animation component beyond just numbers changing so it was more relevant there, but probably only as part of a question of ways to streamline things if I were to thoroughly decouple my animation from my game logic vs. my current murkier implementation.

Cookie Clicker notably avoids this on the code side by being able to basically do a "catchup" function over a large delta time—since it's systemically less complicated in terms of chaining behaviors, it can just say "oh it's been how long? okay, let's do some math and then recheck cheevos" in a way that's less possible once the system dynamics crank up a bit.
posted by cortex at 7:48 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

Suddenly realized I'm ignoring my own kitten to play Kitten Game. Must rectify.
posted by greermahoney at 7:49 AM on August 28 [4 favorites]

I'm pretty behind all you guys (only have it running during work hours), so I will continue to ask dumb questions. Is there any way to increase catpower storage besides building huts/cabins/whatever? Like, how am I supposed to get 1000 catpower to send out explorers when the max is 600? Will this come in time or do I need a bunch more kittens?
posted by leesh at 8:00 AM on August 28

No, you need more kittens. Cabins are the most efficient early game.
posted by tavella at 8:18 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

but UGH, I am hoarding all my minerals so I can finally start trading! SO MANY HARD KITTEN-RELATED DECISIONS.
posted by leesh at 8:19 AM on August 28

There's an upgrade later that reduces the price of huts, but I'm not there yet. I too am under the 1000 required to explore as I've been putting off building more living structures. The advantage is that it's given me enough time to build a strong base, such that I haven't had to worry about food in a long time, even with one farmer kitten allocated. The downside is that I know I'm missing out on things like titanium that come from trading with species other than the Lizards.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:43 AM on August 28

The shark trade is really nice to have. Really nice. There are only three tribes at first, so don't waste more expeditions. There's a long dry patch technologically between starting with trade and the industrial revolution when only a few trades matter.

More come later, but only when trade-appropriate things open up. I think you have to build the things first too in order for the explorers to succeed, but I'm not certain of that. Initially titanium is only available through trading, so when you start needing it (really needing it), think about exploring again.
posted by bonehead at 10:02 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

I discovered this problem for myself with my own experimental clicker I was working on a while back (and that I really need to get into at least serviceable "well, here's the basic idea" shape at some point)

does your clicker game involve giant donuts and favorites please say yes
posted by phatkitten at 10:05 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]

Farmers seem to be a waste of time. I just brought catnip fields until the cost was more than my catnip cap, and harvest nip to wood when it goes orange if it's spring or summer. Plus a bunch of aqueducts, pastures, and unicorns. I have a hunter, a scholar, and everyone else is a mining or woodcutting specialist with secondary skills in something else when I want to push science, catpower, or tweak the wood/mineral balance. Switching kittens to farmers in winter just seems to asking for starvation when you miss switching over, and experienced kittens are valuable.
posted by tavella at 10:11 AM on August 28

I restarted yesterday to better explore the effects of constraining various resources.

What I found is that it's possible to advance your science cap to 8750 before advancing your wood cap beyond the initial 200, but doing so will eventually prevent you from buying a workshop, even after the building is otherwise unlocked, because the initial purchase price includes 400 minerals, which is greater than the initial minerals cap of 250. The Barn building, by the way, will increase the mineral cap by 250 in addition to increasing the catnip and wood caps by 5K and 200, respectively, although this is not reflected on the button's tooltip.

I also discovered that while you can *sell* your Hut after attracting your resident kittens to reduce your catpower cap from 175 to 100, doing so will remove the "Small Village" tab on page refresh, hence preventing reassignment of kittens. The Log House is no replacement for the Hut in this respect, by the way, so a Hut must be considered a necessity even if you're trying to play a "hermit" game, as described above.

Having purchased a single barn this morning, and subsequently purchased all other (non-cap-raising) buildings up to the new catnip/wood/minerals caps, I'm now purchasing all possible Workshop upgrades (since iron is still capped @ the initial 50, there are many visible that I don't qualify for) and crafting beams, slabs, and at least one scaffold, just because I can.

In what I assume to be some sort of error in program logic, the "Send hunters (all)" link is visible in the left panel, but there is no corresponding section in the "Small Village" tab. So while it might be possible to gather furs for parchment (although I kind of doubt my two kittens would be efficient enough to overcome the automatic drain) using that link, I have decided not to attempt doing so.
posted by The Confessor at 11:01 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]

Barns seem to increase your caps for everything. Including Culture. Because that's where I keep mine in real life.
posted by charred husk at 11:11 AM on August 28

I also discovered that while you can *sell* your Hut after attracting your resident kittens to reduce your catpower cap from 175 to 100, doing so will remove the "Small Village" tab on page refresh, hence preventing reassignment of kittens. The Log House is no replacement for the Hut in this respect, by the way, so a Hut must be considered a necessity even if you're trying to play a "hermit" game, as described above.
During my hermit game, wherein I've only ever had a single log house and no huts (or mansions), I've always had a "Small Village" tab (or an "Outpost" tab, which seems to be effectively the same thing. I could use it to assign my hermit kitten to different jobs. I've used it to do so many times. You can see it (as "Outpost") in my screenshot.

However, after reading this comment of yours, I noticed that I no longer have it!

This definitely wasn't associated with selling anything, which I haven't done (except once I sold my mines a long time ago); it was there last night when I exported, but it wasn't there today when I imported.

This sucks! My kitten is going to be digging minerals for the rest of eternity!
posted by Flunkie at 11:18 AM on August 28

Might you have started that hermit game by purchasing a hut, then selling it after you had acquired a single kitten? Because so long as you don't refresh the page afterward, the Small Village tab will remain.
posted by The Confessor at 11:26 AM on August 28

Has anyone worked out the actual timing? From my measurements, it seems like there's 10 game ticks in a game day, and 2 real time seconds in a game day. I'm sure this is detailed on the game wiki, but I don't want to go there because spoilers.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:27 AM on August 28

No, I never purchased a hut. The only housing unit I have ever purchased is one single solitary log house.
posted by Flunkie at 11:29 AM on August 28

I'm almost certain the "Send Hunters (all)" option will use up all catpower, while the "Send Hunters" option on the Village tab will only use up 100 catpower.

True, you would expect there to be a list of options, similar to refining catnip (+, 25, 100, all).
posted by CancerMan at 11:29 AM on August 28

I'm almost certain the "Send Hunters (all)" option will use up all catpower, while the "Send Hunters" option on the Village tab will only use up 100 catpower.
That's not the way it worked for me. I had exactly 100 max catpower for 51 years, till I built my log house, which brought me up to 150. I then brought my catpower up to the max, and did a "Send Hunters (all)" from the "V2"tab, and it brought me down to 50.

Of course, now I can't reassign my hermit kitten to be a hunter, so I can't gain catpower, so I can't double check.

posted by Flunkie at 11:33 AM on August 28

I tested it myself and found the same as Flunkie, CancerMan... and I suspect that the reason I'm not seeing the "Send Hunters" part of the Small Village tab is because it will only show up when one's "natural" Happiness (i.e. before being augmented by luxury goods) is degraded by overpopulation.

Flunkie, have you considered buying a Hut and then quickly selling it to try to reenable the Small Village tab? In my experience, kittens don't take up residence in a new dwelling immediately, so if you sell it fast enough you won't break your "hermit" rule.
posted by The Confessor at 11:39 AM on August 28

Thanks for the suggestion; I really don't want to build a hut, but I'll think about doing it if I can't find another way.
posted by Flunkie at 11:41 AM on August 28

I'm almost certain the "Send Hunters (all)" option will use up all catpower, while the "Send Hunters" option on the Village tab will only use up 100 catpower.

That's not the way it worked for me.

You're both right. The send all hunters thingy sends all to the nearest 100 of your catpowers off to hunt. A hunt costs 100 catpowers, so if you have 849.32 catpowers sending all hunters will cost 800 catpowers and leave you with 49.32.

I've started the game up again from scratch. I have pretty much 0 interest in growing my civilization. I'm focusing on having a large stockpile of food and science and just a small number of well educated cats, relegating this to a mildly amusing background game instead of the all-consuming army of hungry kitten slaves, forever toiling in the mines.
posted by phunniemee at 11:47 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]

You can't send hunters until you unlock archery and have at least 100 catpowers. You don't get a happiness count until you unlock a census. You can hunt and bring home furs before Happiness is even a game metric.
posted by phunniemee at 11:49 AM on August 28

I think might have found the issue with me lacking a "Small Village"/"Outpost"/whatever tab:

I haven't investigated the source code closely, but this part of function "update" in village.js has earned my notice:
if (this.statisticsPanel){
    this.statisticsPanel.setVisible( >= 5 ||"zebras").value > 0);
Is "statisticsPanel" this "Small Village"/etc. panel? If so, then maybe what happened was:

(1) I had a zebra, therefore I had the panel;

(2) I built a log cabin, so got a kitten, and my zebra left;

(3) But the panel didn't stop being visible, because presumably this check doesn't cause that to happen;

(4) When I later imported, the game saw I had no zebra and less than five kittens.

This sucks.
posted by Flunkie at 11:50 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

does your clicker game involve giant donuts and favorites please say yes

It involves neither of those at this time though given the nature of clicker games it's not impossible that both would show up eventually. I actually thought about doing a Mefi clicker at one point but didn't have a specific inspiration yet for anything more than a generic knockoff of CC.
posted by cortex at 11:59 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]

If you restart, it's useful to get to at least 31 kittens first. Anything over 70 is even better. A restart from 90 or so gives a big enough bonus to feel kinda cheaty though.
posted by bonehead at 12:17 PM on August 28

I have avoided looking at wiki stuff entirely because most of the charm of a game like this for me is the process of discovery, but I have been wondering about where the reset balance should be; I'm going out of town for the weekend and it's hard to guess if I'm better off resetting now and seeing what I get with my 76-kitten civ or just letting it cook up a giant batch of materials over the weekend.

Probably should just let it cook.
posted by cortex at 12:20 PM on August 28

You could export your current save and email it to yourself, reset and see what you get, and if you don't like what you get just re-import your save.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:22 PM on August 28

That's just way too practical.
posted by cortex at 12:24 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]

Honestly, I'd love to see a Bible-inspired clicker, just to highlight the absurdity of the Genesis narrative and the disinterested bloodthirst of the biblical (and particularly the Old Testament) God.

Call it "A New Earth" (from Revelations 21:1).

It'll start off as a relatively straight reading of the bible. You start with one male individual (optionally named "Adam"), with options to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Pray. When you pray, you'll get a female individual (i.e. Eve) along with the relevant ("It is not good for man to be alone.") Bible quote.

After the expulsion from Eden, you'll need to start making sacrifices to gain Faith in order to successfully Pray. Pray hard enough (meeting a high enough faith threshold), and God will deem Noah and his family worth saving from the flood.

By the time you get to Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac (a story that, in my mind, is only surpassed by that of Job in illustrating how shallow and petty the OT God could be) you'd get paraphrases rather than quotes:

"Stop! The Lᴏʀᴅ wasn't being serious! He just wanted to see if you would do it for him!"

Eventually, as you reach modernity, it becomes impossible to gather sufficient Faith for an effective Prayer, and the world will inevitably perish in a thermonuclear war as God watches impassively.

Then, you'll get two bible quotes in succession: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.", and finally the titular quote: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away."

Then, of course, in the manner of all incremental games, you start over again from the beginning.
posted by The Confessor at 1:00 PM on August 28 [2 favorites]

I finally decided to up the manpower to explore, and it's as if the races were all designed to sell me the exact things I don't want or need.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:12 PM on August 28

That reminds me of Civ IV trade.
posted by CancerMan at 1:12 PM on August 28

Ugh why do manuscripts need so much parchment! And why does culture increment so slowly! I'm never going to get a temple
posted by junco at 1:12 PM on August 28

The Sharks become pretty useful trading partners, as you'll end up with a lot of surplus iron. So you trade the extra iron to them for catnip, which you then refine into wood. There's never enough wood!
posted by Jacqueline at 1:15 PM on August 28

Yeah, I just discovered that pathway as I am in fact full up on iron most of the time, so I suppose it's not totally useless. Still, it's awkward because I have to dump my whole supply first to make room or else I'm just wasting gold and catpower. And that means I have to keep track of the season to make sure I don't accidentally dump everything right before it turns to winter. If they could just trade wood directly it would be so much easier, but I've learned that this game is not interested in easy. (If it was, someone would be interested in trading me steel, or failing that, coal.)
posted by Rhomboid at 1:23 PM on August 28

One thing about this game is that it's exceptionally well balanced for all its multitude of moving parts. I'm constantly shifting between needing more wood (for beams and scaffolds) or iron (for steel or plates), while worrying about having enough gold.

Most clickers give up on balance after a certain point and progress becomes more about how long you can leave the game running. This one continues to reward attention.
posted by bonehead at 1:32 PM on August 28

Then, of course, in the manner of all incremental games, you start over again from the beginning.

I like. I think a good way to go would be to have several different apocalypse/reset points each of which would provide a different kind of reset bonus; so if you e.g. reset at the expulsion from Eden, you get a Knowledge bump; if you reset at the Flood you get a Navigation bump; if you reset at Babel, you get a Culture bump; at Exodus, a Leadership bump, at Sinai a Law bump, and so on. All the way up through Jesus, new covenant, earthly apocalypse, rapture, biblical end-times apocalypse, eventually maybe even managing that whole new kingdom of heaven on earth bit.

And that means I have to keep track of the season to make sure I don't accidentally dump everything right before it turns to winter.

Yeah, always make sure it's not the last few days of Autumn when you're pumping catnip for wood. Though as a small kindness, the game does throw up a popup warning if you try to do an "all" conversion of catnip to wood if you're doing so when the current food production value is negative.
posted by cortex at 1:58 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]

A couple people on Reddit have shown me an easy way to turn the "Small Village" tab on, so Hermit Kitten is no longer consigned to a dreary life without escape in the mines!

For anyone else who might have this problem, entering the following line in your browser's javascript console will enable the panel:

gamePage.villageTab.visible = true;
posted by Flunkie at 2:09 PM on August 28 [3 favorites]

Is there a way to know (other than trying it) how many beams you'll make via 175 wood, or how many slabs via 250 minerals, or various similar things?
posted by Flunkie at 3:21 PM on August 28

Maybe I'm missing something. How do you get titanium?
posted by CancerMan at 3:29 PM on August 28

Flunkie: It's affected, so far as I can tell, by your Workshop Building total.

CancerMan: From what I've gathered reading this thread, it's available through trade long before it becomes craftable.
posted by The Confessor at 3:33 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]

You craft (1 + number_of_workshops * 0.06) units. Example: I have 31 workshops. I make 2.86 beams from 175 wood.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:38 PM on August 28

Yeah, you need titanium to craft titanium. So trade is the only way.
Also, zebra's (who sell it) are jerks.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:51 PM on August 28

How the heck do you meet the zebras? I've met 4 other societies and now my explorer parties come back empty handed.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:09 PM on August 28

You need to build a trade ship, and then send out another exploration party. Nothing tells you this, and when I'd finally managed to build my first trade ship (or my first 2.92 I guess, given my workshops at that point), I was expecting a Launch Voyage option or something to show up to note the change. Nope, just go exploring, implicitly on a ship this time.

Also, zebra's (who sell it) are jerks.

The good news is things are balanced such that by the time you've got everything else up to the point where titanium will start to be practically useful in any large amount, you'll be able to get your gold and mineral production up enough that you can come back to the game after an hour or so and craft a bunch of slabs and then hammer on that zebral "Send caravan" button real fast and just watch for a few titanium announcements to fly by instead of fixating on what a bunch of fuckers the zebras are on a per-caravan basis.
posted by cortex at 4:14 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]

Just got Civil Service. Hermit Kitten's name is revealed to be Maddie Sand!

Question about the census: She shows up as:
Adequate (15%) miner
Novice (52%) scholar
She's done other jobs besides those; at the very least woodcutter and hunter, and possibly farmer too (but I don't think so). Do kittens forget skills after not using them for a while? Or has she just not accumulated enough experience in the other skills for them to show up on the list? Or does the list only show the top two skills? Or something else?
posted by Flunkie at 4:34 PM on August 28

They only ever show two skills at a time -- not sure if that's just for display purposes or if that's really their only retained skills.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:37 PM on August 28

junco, a Printing Press will really help you there.
posted by Georgina at 4:37 PM on August 28

I haven't even been presented with the option of a trade ship yet. My library only has a single item left in it (astronomy) and my workshop only has three upgrades left, of which only one is even remotely possible. I'm assuming one of those two things must unlock other things.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:44 PM on August 28

Ships are created down at the bottom of the workshop page, near beams and slabs and stuff.
posted by jeather at 4:47 PM on August 28

Just in case anyone else is interested in the answer to one of my questions:
Do kittens forget skills after not using them for a while?
Yes, it seems they do. Hermit Kitten got up to Adequate 15 miner and Novice 100 scholar. Then I switched her to mining. She is now Adequate 16 miner and Novice 99 scholar.
posted by Flunkie at 5:20 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]

I don't have that.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:25 PM on August 28

If I remember right, Astronomy leads to Navigation which leads to ships.
posted by cortex at 5:40 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Rhomboid, you're a couple of techs down yet. Ships appear under the workshop tab (like a craftable resource) when you get Navigation.
posted by bonehead at 6:11 PM on August 28

The effective Science cap @ 1X Barn (400 Wood/500 Minerals) was 12.5, by the way. At 2X Barns I suspect it becomes a bit more complicated, since the Expanded and Reinforced Barn upgrades should both become available, applying their own multipliers to the Wood cap.
posted by The Confessor at 6:12 PM on August 28

Just following up a little more on skill increase/decrease: I've kept Hermit Kitten in mining the whole time since my last comment, and that whole time, she has increased from Adequate 16 to Competent 18 (i.e. an increase of 102) in mining while decreasing from Novice 99 to Novice 90 in scholar. So it seems a kitten's current skill increases a lot faster than other skills decrease. At least in some situations; maybe higher skill levels decrease faster with disuse, or something.

I intend to just keep mining until she becomes a transcendently awesome miner, then switch to something else, hopefully building up awesomeness in all skills. We'll see.
posted by Flunkie at 7:31 PM on August 28

Poking around in the Javascript console, it looks like the "two skills" thing is only a display issue; they really seem to have more the ability to have more than two skills:
> gamePage.resPool.village.sim.kittens[0]
Object { name: "Maddie", surname: "Sand", age: 43, skills: Object, job: "miner" }

> gamePage.resPool.village.sim.kittens[0].skills
Object { scholar: 448.06100000035417, miner: 1604.4425000004587, hunter: 160.9274999997025, woodcutter: 35.636999999625004 }
posted by Flunkie at 8:05 PM on August 28

As soon as I build this fifth Ziggurat, so many unicorns are going back to the unicorn dimension.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:00 PM on August 28 [3 favorites]

Unicorn Rift!
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:16 PM on August 28

Also I have SO MUCH PLATE stockpiled.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:26 PM on August 28

I finally got a trade ship this morning and now I understand all the bitching about zebras being assholes. :( :( :(

Do you ever eventually get a tech that allows you to craft titanium yourself? Or are you forever dependent on asshole zebras?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:48 AM on August 29

How much does Caravanseri help with the zebras? Because that seems like a worthwhile investment if it makes trading for titanium less depressing.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:52 AM on August 29

Do you ever eventually get a tech that allows you to craft titanium yourself?

Yeah, it'll come along. Just keep plugging away at those science goals.

How much does Caravanseri help with the zebras?

Not a whole lot so far; I've got it and 36 Tradeposts and the dicks are still "hostile".
posted by cortex at 7:01 AM on August 29

Yeah, it seems to help. It says they're still "hostile" but they're only stealing 10-20% of my shipments instead of ~50% like they were before I built Caravanseri.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:16 AM on August 29

ugh, need more gooooooooooooooooooold
posted by Jacqueline at 10:01 AM on August 29

What's the little bouncing icon at top-level, during the day? And I just realized I'm in the wrong thread.
posted by CancerMan at 11:28 AM on August 29

I have a feeling I'm nearing the endgame. And it seems to involve a lot of unicorn genocide.

("Ivory Meteor" what is this even IVORY RAINS FROM THE SKY? That might explain why the hunters are able to find so much of it.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:46 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]

And now my bottleneck is max science. I've got 1 farmer and 39 woodcutters trying to make enough scaffolding to build enough observatories. It's taking forever -- maybe this is a good time to leave the house?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:53 AM on August 29

or maybe i'll just start a second kittens game on the other laptop
posted by Jacqueline at 12:03 PM on August 29

And now my bottleneck is max science.

Yeah, that's happening to me a lot too. Bio Labs are better for a while but also end up costing a lot of alloy -- and the Steamworks doesn't automate the coal->steel->alloy pathway so you have to babysit it. It's a grind.

It's worth stockpiling Compendiums (via furs->parchment->manuscript->compendium, and with the Steamworks manufacturing manuscripts) as they do give a minor bump to max science.

(Although then I accidentally hit "all" on Blueprints instead of Compendiums and pissed away a whole bunch of science and compendiums GODDAMNIT.)

I had to grind for a long time to ramp up max Titanium, too.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:06 PM on August 29

When do BioLabs get unlocked?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:08 PM on August 29

Biology tech.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:12 PM on August 29

Also, a gripe: I ground to research the Rocketry tech and it's a dead-end that unlocks nothing. Maybe it's a hook to hang a later Nuclear Fission -> Rocketry -> nuke-the-crap-out-of-those-asshole Zebras expansion on.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:15 PM on August 29

the last tech i unlocked was navigation so i'm probably a long ways off from biology
posted by Jacqueline at 12:16 PM on August 29

Much of the top-end stuff isn't done yet apparently. After a certain point, it's all just placeholders.
posted by bonehead at 12:31 PM on August 29

I just imported the data from my work game and somehow lost 15K (FIFTEEN K!!!!) of catnip!! Uncool.
posted by leesh at 2:40 PM on August 29




posted by Jacqueline at 2:57 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]

i really need to remember to export my saves more frequently -- last one was almost 6 hours ago :(
posted by Jacqueline at 3:00 PM on August 29

just set up an alarm on my phone to go off every hour to remind me
posted by Jacqueline at 3:02 PM on August 29

Are you sure that wasn't you? It's happened to me several times: clicking down the line of "all" to craft accumulated iron, steel, alloy and now scaff---and JUST NOW the layout shifts and NOW MY CLICK IS OFF BY ONE LINE GODDAMNIT.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:16 PM on August 29 [3 favorites]

OK, so where it says "Total faith: 6276 (3% bonus, 8% progress)" -- what does the "8% progress" part mean?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:17 PM on August 29

I believe it's that you're 8% of the way to bumping the bonus up to 4%. But I don't really understand the Order Of The Sun stuff much beyond "dump Faith into it occasionally".
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:21 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]

Ugh, it might have been me. They are one line apart and I am playing while lying on my side.

stupid clumsy fingers (they killed my first batch of kittens, too)
posted by Jacqueline at 3:21 PM on August 29

yeah it was probably me, unless anyone else has had steamworks autobuild ships?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:22 PM on August 29

when do i get the unicorn genocide religion? i'm really looking forward to that.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:25 PM on August 29

I got it by building a Ziggurat, but didn't get around to it until quite late in the game. Which maybe helped because I had accumulated quite a lot of Unicorn Pastures before it came to sacrificin' time.

(I still find the sacrificing quite disturbing; so many. So many.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:29 PM on August 29

My theory is that the zigurats are why the Zebras hate the kittens so much.
posted by bonehead at 3:48 PM on August 29 [2 favorites]

Does the following sequence of events happen to anyone else?
  1. Study the current state of things, analyzing the numbers for a few minutes, forming a plan of attack that will result in the most efficient use of resources.
  2. Set up the necessary conditions and let the game simmer.
  3. Come back after 20 or 30 minutes, stare at a screen full of tantalizingly gold figures and have no idea what to do, having completely forgotten the previous plan.
  4. Study everything again, maybe remembering the old plan, maybe getting distracted on a completely new plan. Repeat.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:55 PM on August 29 [8 favorites]

yes that is how i play too. that's one reason i started a second game on another laptop, to experiment with a less complicated strategy.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:58 PM on August 29

Jacqueline, I thought I had a ship made automatically as well, but perhaps we're both just mis-clickers.

I'm up to the endless grinding compendiums for science part. If I upgrade the Steamworks, will it cause the Printing Press to make manuscripts faster?
posted by Georgina at 7:10 PM on August 29

Yes. I don't know the actual tick rate but it's linear with the number of steamworks. If your rate is X with 1 steamworks, it will be 2X with 2 steamworks.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:32 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]

And holy shit I finally got my first unit of titanium. That was quite a slog.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:41 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Rhomboid! That would've been a lot of resources to spend on a hunch.

It's funny, I'm at the point where Huts seem like good value again. 40k wood for two kittens? Sure! Better than spending a titanium.
posted by Georgina at 10:23 PM on August 29

Having trouble keeping my kittens happy. They're down to 69%. Should I be worried about kitty suicide? Kitty depression? I try to send my hunters out for stuff, but it doesn't work for long enough. Will building a temple help? I'm working on that, but it's sure taking a long time to get there. Thanks in advance!
posted by greermahoney at 12:43 AM on August 30

With 15-20 hunters, you can have a constant supply of furs, ivory, and spice, for +30% happiness. (Once you get currency, you can also bring in some luxuries while AFK.)

Having at least one unicorn tear in reserve is good for +10% happiness. Karma works similarly.

But temples are the biggest single factor in happiness, especially once you get the Sun Altar.
posted by Phssthpok at 1:39 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]

I dealt with it by stocking up on amphitheaters which are available much earlier in the game than temples. Also, having lots of tradeposts allows your spice to last virtually forever, especially after you get to the stage where you start spamming trades with Sharks to build up wood supplies. My kittens are at a constant 113% all the time which does boost their productivity.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:09 AM on August 30 [2 favorites]

And BTW I've only ever allocated 1 kitten to hunting, and I more or less stopped sending out hunting parties altogether after parchment became mostly irrelevant due to the printing press. It just goes to show that there are a variety of approaches.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:15 AM on August 30 [2 favorites]

Does the following sequence of events happen to anyone else?

My desk at work has a bunch of post-its covered with my sequence of plans (e.g., trade for iron -> make steel -> make gears, etc), all hidden just out of eyesight of anyone that stops by.

You've just reminded me to plan out my current strategy, since I caved and imported my save to keep it running over the long weekend -- I had been letting things max out overnight, but I couldn't bear the thought of losing three whole days of Kittens Game productivity!
posted by phatkitten at 5:38 AM on August 30

I think the problem with low happiness isn't kitten suicide (ack), but that supplies are generated more slowly. So it's probably worth getting as many Amphitheatres as you can, at least until you get access to Temples.

Now that I have more buildings that can impact each other (Steamworks, Mint, etc) it's quite an interesting puzzle to work out the best way to allocate everything. The Mint is great, but it requires so much catpower to keep it going that I only turn it on overnight.
posted by Georgina at 6:58 AM on August 30 [2 favorites]

The omnipresent message "You are a kitten in a catnip forest", present even when the statistics say that there are no kittens, leads me to believe that this is all the figment of the imagination of a single kitten who is totally stoned.
posted by Flunkie at 7:27 AM on August 30 [6 favorites]

There is always at least one kitten. You are a kitten. Who else do you think is assigning the workers and sending the trading parties and sacrificing the unicorns?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:43 AM on August 30

Right, and that kitten is surrounded by unimaginable amounts of catnip. And sees griffins, and constant meteor strikes, and knows how to turn catnip into wood.
posted by Flunkie at 7:47 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]

I had some sort of kitten massacre last night. Dunno what happened or how many I lost in total, but I now have the "Winter is Coming" and "You Monster" achievements. :-(
posted by greermahoney at 9:21 AM on August 30

Slowly but surely advancing my society! Not one dead kitten here yet. Though I'm really tired of when it slows down to a crawl because it takes forever to make manuscripts or get a Temple or dear god when am I gonna get to steel or something!?
posted by lizarrd at 11:36 AM on August 30

I got up to nuclear fission and reset... and then removed the bookmark.
I probably shouldn't play this game.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:25 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]

I just noticed from the tooltip of Geology that the planet is named Cat. Ha.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:16 PM on August 30

I wish there was a culture dump mid-game. Even when I was making parchment from furs, that wasn't enough to soak my culture, and now that I just let the press do most of that I've had culture pinned to the top number for kitten-decades.
posted by tavella at 7:58 PM on August 30 [2 favorites]

So the Chronophysics tech requires 5 timeCrystals. What the hell are those and where do they come from? The wiki isn't saying.

(At the moment I'm guessing: sacrifice LOTS of unicorns. I haven't got enough tears to unlock Sky Palace yet. Maybe something happens when I do?)

tavella -- me too. But if you have a couple of Mints you end up generating enough surplus furs that you can just periodically drain culture by crafting fur to parchment. (My take on that tree is that you can NEVER have too many compendiums because they incrementally boost max science; also late in the game blueprints start becoming more useful.)

(The Festival is also a culture + parchment + catpower dump, but it's unclear to me if it's actually worth it.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:19 PM on August 31

I'm also butting up against a desire to dump culture somewhere so as not to waste it. The only thing I can currently spend it on is making manuscripts, but that also requires parchment, which requires furs, which requires assigning my single Hermit Kitten to hunt. A single manuscript takes 400 culture. In the time it takes Hermit Kitten to get enough catpower to find enough furs to make enough parchments to make a single manuscript to use that 400 culture, I've built up another 200 culture or so. So unless I waste culture, I'm spending like half my time just to spend it.
posted by Flunkie at 1:34 PM on August 31

Hmmm... upon closer inspection, it's worse than I thought. In the time it takes Hermit Kitten to spend 400 culture, she's built up an additional 330 culture.
posted by Flunkie at 2:11 PM on August 31

I'd quite like to know how many tradeposts I need to make the zebras like me.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:16 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]

I never had serious problems with the zebras, and I had caravanserai and 30 or so tradeposts when I started trading with them. They'll still occasionally hate you, but not enough to get in the way of trade flow.
posted by tavella at 4:33 PM on August 31

They traded with me just fine, not a major detriment I just want them to officially like the kittens. I guess the trade screen doesn't work that way?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:41 PM on August 31

I think the Zebras are perpetual assholes.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:57 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]

So, I just started playing CivClicker to pass time while I wait for my kittens to do stuff, and I originally started playing Kittens Game to pass time on the long slog to Bicentennial in Cookie Clicker.

I think I need an intervention.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:03 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]

Be careful with importing!

I've noticed many times that my catpower, which is max 150 and which I typically have maxed out, imported as 100. I figured it was just a quirk where catpower in particular gets rounded down to 100 on import, so I didn't really worry about it. But then I noticed that it didn't always get imported as 100; sometimes it gets imported as 150.

And then just a moment ago, I imported and saw that catpower was 100 (not unexpected), but also culture was very low - I had built it up to about 1000 before exporting, and now it was like 100 or something. That made me look closer, and I then noticed that various other things were unexpectedly low too.

Curious to see what would happen, I imported again (from the exact same export)... this time everything imported as I would expect (e.g. catpower 150, culture like 1000).

I am guessing that there's a race condition bug where sometimes the import happens as:

(1) Resources imported;

(2) Normal game timer goes off and the game notices that you have too many resources for your buildings, and so throws a bunch of resources away;

(3) Buildings imported.

Next time I export, I'm going to pause before doing so; hopefully the "pause" will be imported, and moreover imported before data, so that this race condition can't affect things.
posted by Flunkie at 11:15 PM on August 31

Pausing after export does not help (and does not cause the game to be paused when you import it). Pausing before import might, though.
posted by Flunkie at 5:55 AM on September 1

I think I may have hit the "still under construction" phase of the endgame. I got the Sky Palace, but nothing happened when I got it; I need time crystals but have no idea how to get them.

Is it time to reset? And does the reset mechanic reward replays? (Cookie Clicker is like *crack* for this: resets get you Heavenly Chips which unlock multipliers.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:08 AM on September 1

ARRGH. I realized that, despite having no upgrades, I had my Steamworks on all this time, meaning I was getting shit for coal for no reason. ARRGH. (See, when I saw the word "off", I didn't realize it was a toggle.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:23 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]

Rev, yup. I had mine in the wrong toggle position for a good long while, too. Not intuitive.
posted by greermahoney at 11:07 AM on September 1

I still occasionally have to check by toggling the Steamworks a few times to see which is the "less coal, more manuscripts" setting. (The V2 tab is better for visibility of the togglable buildings: green bar = on.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:20 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]

I was trying to figure out how I got my coal higher, and I'm buying smelters left-and-right to get the Coal output above .01. I finally got it up to about .08, before I realized the steamworks was on.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:25 AM on September 1

V2 tab waaaaaaaay better for toggles.
posted by greermahoney at 11:54 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]

Ugh, not even pausing before import stops the problem where some of your resources get thrown away upon import.
posted by Flunkie at 1:05 PM on September 1

You can turn off observatories. Is there a purpose to this? I don't notice that observatories are consuming anything.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 6:40 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]

Hey, for those complaining that the game runs more slowly in the background, there's a fix for that. Go to options and click on "web worker."
posted by greermahoney at 6:55 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]

The tooltip says turning off Observatories stops the bonus to rare astronomical events.

I think I'm done with the game. I spent two days doing basically nothing but building Observatories (for the science) and making compendiums (to spend the science on research), and the results were underwhelming. I guess I need more variety in my mindless clickers or something.

I'm curious, though: as somebody who's not really played a clicker before, what's the point of resetting?
posted by Georgina at 6:58 AM on September 2

I guess I need more variety in my mindless clickers or something.

Try CivClicker. Much faster-paced.

what's the point of resetting?

Some clickers give you bonuses for your next game. I don't know what Kittens Game gives, but Cookie Clicker gives you Heavenly Chips, which provide big bonuses to cookie production.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:11 AM on September 2

As far as I can tell, turning off observatories is only bad. I think it's strange that they give it as an option, then. They don't let you turn off academies, for example.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 7:13 AM on September 2

For aesthetic (and possibly eventually mechanical?) reasons, being able to turn off Observatories means being able to stop the relentless flow of stellar event news that a big pile of upgraded Obs. provide, is all I can figure so far.
posted by cortex at 7:56 AM on September 2

Resetting is sometime a prestige option in incremental game design.

I would confirm prestige mechanics for this game before proceeding however.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:47 AM on September 2

There are two: karma kicks in at 30+ kittens, paragon at around 70+.

Karma gives a happiness bump of 10% (just for getting karma) + 1% for every kitten over 30 when resetting.

Paragon gives a 1% production bonus per kitten over 70(?).
posted by bonehead at 12:20 PM on September 2

Hmm. So it's worth going all-out on housing before resetting. (Also on dumping faith into the persistent bonus in the Religion tab.)

Not sure I'm up for doing it all over again; maybe if the endgame got fleshed out more? As it is I feel like I'm stuck at the end slaughtering unicorns by the thousands and not really making any progress. Are alicorns just really, really rare?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:27 PM on September 2

I've reset once at 90-odd population. The successive game is much, much easier.

IMO, you've reached the end of the major content by the "information age" techs. After that mostly seems to be placeholders. Religion also doesn't seem to be very interesting---it repeats the workshop mechanic in a number of ways.
posted by bonehead at 12:59 PM on September 2

Just out of curiosity, what was everyone's catnip storage max (which I must assume is going to be the biggest of all the values) when you quit or reset or whatever?
posted by Rhomboid at 3:36 PM on September 2

Mine was about 1.4M. I turned it off for a couple of days, then reset. Things are visibly faster.
posted by jeather at 3:46 PM on September 2


FUCK YOU, ZEBRAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Jacqueline at 8:25 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]

Science is the bane of my kitten existence. Also, my friend says that the creator missed a huge opportunity in not naming this game "Sim Kitty."
posted by greermahoney at 5:50 AM on September 3 [5 favorites]

Question: Why isn't my mint making ivory? It's cranking out furs just fine. Thanks!
posted by greermahoney at 6:16 AM on September 3

Maybe your kittens are consuming your ivory too fast for a stockpile to develop?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:26 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: I feel like I'm stuck at the end slaughtering unicorns by the thousands and not really making any progress.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:47 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]

I'm stuck in what I guess is the mid-game. It's taking forever to grind gears (see what I did there?) to develop steamworks upgrades and manuscripts for new technology steps. Any tips?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:07 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]

Get printing press as soon as possible and then just leave it running unattened for a while with steamworks turned on so it automakes manuscripts and other stuff for you.

I took that lull in the game as an opportunity to finally sleep after playing like a crack addict for a couple days straight.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:10 AM on September 3

As soon as you're done grinding gears, you get to start grinding scaffolds! Yay!
posted by Jacqueline at 7:42 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]

Make sure you do all the workshop upgrades humanly (felinely?) possible until it would require more than your max minerals, and even then consider upgrading your storage capacity to to bring it over the edge. It's great on its own, but it really pays off on multi-step conversions like coal-steel-gear because it gets applied twice. Example:
  number of    coal:gear
  workshops      ratio
      0        1500.0:1
     10         585.9:1
     20         309.9:1
     30         191.3:1
     40         129.8:1
     50          93.8:1
There's effectively a 1/n² factor at work.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:00 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]

And fuck, I just realized I went to bed last night without leaving the steamworks on. You kittens are so useless by yourselves, must I do everything?!
posted by Rhomboid at 8:05 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]

posted by Jacqueline at 8:28 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]

So when I have enough resources to buy ironwood huts...

Can I sell all my huts (or sell them up to my storage limits), upgrade to ironwood huts, and then buy them back for cheaper than I sold them?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:29 AM on September 3

Export your save game, find out, and tell us! You can import your save if it doesn't work the way you want.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:38 AM on September 3

Oof, I really got myself into a hole re: coal production. It's going to take forever to get a steamworks.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:16 AM on September 3

This is absurd.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls' game-changing 2.1 patch has been out for more than a week and I've barely even played it.
posted by The Confessor at 12:30 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]

Hmmm.... Steel Saw or Cargo Ships first?
posted by bink at 4:29 PM on September 3

Cargo Ships let you trade with 2 more civilizations.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:06 PM on September 3

@jacqueline - "Maybe your kittens are consuming your ivory too fast for a stockpile to develop?"
I guess so. I upgraded workshop from 31 to 32, and suddenly....ivory is stockpiling! Yay! Thanks.
posted by greermahoney at 9:02 PM on September 3

Is Acoustics a worthwhile upgrade? Seems like a lot of compendia... I'm thinking of skipping it & going straight to Geology.
posted by rd45 at 1:30 AM on September 4

I suspect that by early next week, Hermit Kitten will have figured out this whole "Machinery" thing. Machinery enables steamworks. So, I've been reading about it in the wiki, and I have a couple questions:

(1) From the wiki, it looks like steamworks does nothing (except perhaps consume coal) until you get upgrades for it. Is that true?

(2) The first upgrade Hermit Kitten will likely be able to build for it is the printing press. The wiki says that the printing press causes the steamworks to "automatically prints manuscripts". Does it consume parchment when doing so? I ask because other upgrades say things like "Steamwork converts wood to beams". Also the part of the steamworks description mentioning the printing press doesn't say anything about parchments either.
posted by Flunkie at 5:49 AM on September 4

1) I do not remember it taking any coal before I upgraded, even though I had it on. I was concerned about that, too.
2) It seems to create the manuscripts out of thin air! Glorious! No parchment needed!
posted by greermahoney at 5:56 AM on September 4

Flunkie: " I have a couple questions:"

(1) Correct.

(2) It does not consume parchment in making the manuscripts. Presumably the printing press tech also includes paper.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:56 AM on September 4

Thank you!
posted by Flunkie at 6:03 AM on September 4

I should add, once you build the steamworks, you can toggle it off (like the smelter) and it will not consume any coal.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:06 AM on September 4

Flunkie, pls to be writing a blog or something about the adventures of Hermit Kitty
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:26 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]

OK, so alicorns appear to be rare random drops enabled by the Sky Palace; and now I have two of them. Now what? Is there any use for them?

I think I'm just procrastinating on resetting -- or walking away -- at this point.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:52 AM on September 4

Is Acoustics a worthwhile upgrade? Seems like a lot of compendia... I'm thinking of skipping it & going straight to Geology.

I wish I had skipped acoustics and gotten geology earlier. It unlocks a new job which increases your coal output, and everything at this point in the game depends on coal.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:32 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]

Am I the only one who wishes "Genealogy" was a technology you could unlock, so that I could get a ancestral chart of all my kitten families, dating back to the foundation of my census? I think right now the Chalks are the pre-eminent clan, with 19 year old Lily already the 99% proficient High Priestess of the Order of the Sun.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:08 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]

I wish I had skipped acoustics and gotten geology earlier. It unlocks a new job which increases your coal output

OK thanks, I'm going to do that. Coal supply is definitely a bottleneck for me.
posted by rd45 at 2:06 AM on September 5

ROU_Xenophobe: " Can I sell all my huts (or sell them up to my storage limits), upgrade to ironwood huts, and then buy them back for cheaper than I sold them?"

Did you ever try this, Xenophobe?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:24 AM on September 5

Yeah; I didn't end up with a great big pile of resources. But I also didn't compare it to just buying the upgrade as soon as I could and continuing on.

Anyway, I sold all my huts (I think 6?), bought the upgrade, and then bought I think 7 or 8 huts. So maybe a small net benefit?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:30 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]

I grew tired of having to guesstimate how many kittens I could safely have before I'd need to assign one or more temporarily or permanently as a farmer to survive the seasons, so I programmed a simple web application to make the calculations for me.

All necessary information (with the exception of the obvious "number of kittens", which is used with Catnip Demand to calculate a current demand-per-kitten) can be found by "mousing over" the rate of catnip gain or depletion in the left column of the Kittens Game.

I forgot to sleep again last night, so the assumptions I've made in coding it may be faulty. Source code is available here if you want to check it over for yourself. Most notably, I'm uncertain if directly comparing the summed augment/depletion rate of a Cold Spring/Summer/Autumn with that of a Cold Winter is a valid route to the data I seek.

Currently this tool is not equipped to handle numbers of kittens greater than 99.
posted by The Confessor at 10:20 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]

...found by "mousing over" the rate of catnip gain or depletion in the left column of the Kittens Game.

Oh shit, I never tried mousing over those columns before! Thanks for cluing me into this source of information!
posted by Jacqueline at 1:31 PM on September 5

Hey, for those of us with "Use high precision for resource values" toggled in Options, you might want to make it accept up to 3 decimal places.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:33 PM on September 5

Also, either I'm misunderstanding the tool or something's buggy -- it says that "Cold Winter vs. Cold Spring" is 31 kittens whereas "Cold Winter vs. Cold Seasons" is 34 kittens. Shouldn't the latter always be lower than the former?
posted by Jacqueline at 1:35 PM on September 5

Just posting quickly before I go off to edit in support for three decimal places.

The first comparison is how many kittens (without using any as farmers) you can have before the dip in resources from a Cold Winter will not be remedied by a following Cold Spring.

The second comparison (which is obviously more dangerous to rely upon) is how many kittens you can have before the dip in resources from a Cold Winter may not be fully remedied when the next winter comes around.

Since the latter takes into account two extra seasons (Summer and Autumn) it includes "room" for more kittens.

If you read the phrasing carefully, you'll see that for both, you'll want to keep your kitten population at one below the listed number.

I hope this is clear enough. Like I said, I forgot to sleep last night.
posted by The Confessor at 1:43 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]

Got it, thanks!

You should post this over in /r/kittensgame, too!
posted by Jacqueline at 1:44 PM on September 5

Ooh, and this assumes (perhaps wrongly) that you'll have enough catnip in your stores that you won't run out entirely in the middle of winter. Which is why I suggest that you keep your Catnip cap as high as possible, and switch your kittens to farmers when making catnip purchases.
posted by The Confessor at 1:46 PM on September 5

It's not really matching reality for me. At the moment, I'm at 0% => +12.978, +50% => +33.226. Fitting a line to that, for a cold winter, I'd be at -23.472, and a cold spring +27.153. Thus, a cold spring will still outsupply a cold winter. These numbers are with 65 kittens, but when I plug the numbers into the web form, it says that the threshold is 42 kittens.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:47 PM on September 5

For anyone else who never noticed that mousing over the right-hand resource columns gives additional info: it also tells you how long until a particular resource maxes out! (Although it seems inaccurate for catnip, due the seasonal variance.)

So you can set things up, set a timer, and walk away until the timer goes off.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:49 PM on September 5

(This is assuming that you don't have Steamworks automatically converting some of your resources as they approach max.)
posted by Jacqueline at 1:51 PM on September 5

Also, I'm almost completely sure that each season is 1000 ticks, so when you see a figure like +1.250, you can mentally estimate the number of units going up by 1250.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:58 PM on September 5

I dunno, just eyeballing the rates at which the numbers go up it appears there is more than one tick per day?
posted by Jacqueline at 2:00 PM on September 5

(And a day seems to be 2s, so a season is 3m20s in real time.)
posted by Rhomboid at 2:01 PM on September 5

Yes — 10 ticks per day, 100 days per season equals 1000 ticks per season.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:02 PM on September 5

Oh, gotcha, thanks. So, 4000 ticks per year then?
posted by Jacqueline at 2:03 PM on September 5

There are probably some relevant mechanics in the game that I haven't arrived at, and therefore don't fully understand, Rhomboid. That might account for the discrepancy. Would you mind copying down your Base Catnip, Demand, and Building Bonus numbers for me, as well as any other relevant information in that panel?

Also, as I've stated before, the calculations currently assume that no kittens are assigned to a farming job.

It's all incredibly preliminary, of course, which is one reason I haven't posted it on Reddit. What it does now seems to suffice for my needs -- I haven't lost a Kitten yet, and the difference between the first and second calculations seems to operate as expected when put to practical trial -- but before I introduce it to an audience larger than this thread I'll need to make it a bit prettier and more functional. I'll also need to get some sleep.
posted by The Confessor at 2:17 PM on September 5

Yeah. There may be some slop and the numbers might not match up exactly, but I arrived at that by pausing and writing down a resource amount at the beginning and end of a season and then dividing by the listed rate, and it was something like 996 which I can chalk up to not pausing exactly at the precise moments.

Frustratingly, the upper half of the resources display does in fact seem to update at a rate of about 5 times per second, which is right in line with the estimation of 2s per game day and 10 ticks per day = 5 ticks per second. However, the bottom half seems up update at a rate of about twice per second which means it doesn't quite line up with ticks, so for example if I wanted to get a tick rate for manuscript production from the steamworks I'm not sure I'd be able to because the delta between values is for the 500ms update rate not the 200ms tick.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:20 PM on September 5

Argh. I've been sloooooowly churning out scaffolds for the last couple of days to make observatories so I can get my science cap up, but I realized only 30 minutes ago that my academy costs are still comparatively low enough that building those instead for a while will increase my science just a wee bit faster.

Now I'm wondering if I should refocus my attention on building categories I've been ignoring so as to not eat up resources for other things. Maybe in the long run I'll be able to get my upgrades faster if I start maxing out some of those buildings?

math strategy makes my head hurt
posted by phatkitten at 2:22 PM on September 5

The tooltip for my catnip production currently says:

Base: +11.625
Structure: +186% 0
Season: 0%
Job output: +1.700
Demand: -38.178

The stated output rate is +12.978. The rates I've seen recently are:


Those are all a straight line, so I was able to infer:


And I do have one farmer kitty. I just leave him be, I don't rearrange the jobs once assigned.

Oh, I do have two Magnetos. Maybe that has some effect. The tooltip says that it's 2% to production.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:28 PM on September 5

phatkitten: Temples also add to your max science once you get the Scholasticism upgrade to your Religion. And since they don't need wood/beams/scaffolds to construct, they're good to build while you're otherwise grinding scaffolds.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:29 PM on September 5

Oh hey, I didn't know that! Thanks! Do you know how much each temple bumps max science? The wiki is nonspecific about it.
posted by phatkitten at 2:33 PM on September 5

If you click on the V2 tab, mousing over each thing tells you the effects. Temples add 500 to max science.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:34 PM on September 5

Do you know how much each temple bumps max science? The wiki is nonspecific about it.

The tooltip says 500. I've learned to not place a lot of trust in them because sometimes they don't reflect upgrades. But it should be at least 500.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:36 PM on September 5

Holy crap, I had no idea V2's mouseovers were so informative! Apparently I've been living in the dark ages with my 2-row bonfire and collapsible menus...
posted by phatkitten at 2:38 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]

Thank you, Rhomboid. Unfortunately, I'm too tired to actually contend with things and figure out what's going wrong, but I will certainly try to do so tomorrow. One of the first things I plan to do is add tabular (rather than message-based) output, which will expose additional information that will help diagnose what's wrong.
posted by The Confessor at 2:42 PM on September 5

The new village/settlement/town tab is the same too. Try mousing over the various professions.
posted by bonehead at 2:42 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]

I just built a workshop that cost 433K minerals. I'm now picturing these poor kittens carving out this giant workshop in the middle of a mountain or something, like that dwarf palace in the Hobbit movies.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:50 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]

New settlement tab? Whuh? Mine looks the same as it always has...

*imports save into incognito window to check for alleged "new settlement tab"*



When did this happen???? The only time I closed my window was over the long weekend, so I've had the same session going since Tuesday...
posted by phatkitten at 2:51 PM on September 5

Interesting. I too was still on The old version had tooltips telling you how much each job contributed, but not the total.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:04 PM on September 5

Despite these fancy V2-style buttons on the settlement tab, I can't bring myself to start using the V2 tab as well. It looks too different.
posted by phatkitten at 3:10 PM on September 5

well i guess the upside of my browser crashing so often is that i'm almost always playing the latest version!
posted by Jacqueline at 3:11 PM on September 5

I run the game in a separate Firefox profile such that I have two completely isolated Firefox instances, and I don't have to worry about anything in my regular session affecting the game or vice versa.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:23 PM on September 5

Flunkie, pls to be writing a blog or something about the adventures of Hermit Kitty
Sorry, no blog, but I'll give a little update:

Hermit Kitten, having arrived at her hermitage at age 43 in the year 51, is now 43 years old in the year 326. She assumes that this is a benefit of her life of quiet contemplation.

She is now a master miner. Generally speaking, her goal is to become a master at all jobs, so as she practices one job and loses skill in others, she'll occasionally switch back to recover skill at the ones she's already mastered, if necessary. It may not often be necessary, though, because she does occasionally switch temporarily away from her main job due to some specific short-term goal requiring her to do a different job.

Her current personal improvement project is to become a master hunter; she's getting very close, and I think she will likely make it there tonight. After that, she intends to start working on her science skills (currently adequate). She has no other skills yet; the only other ones available for her at the moment are woodcutting and farming, neither of which she's ever had much of a need for, mostly due to her 76 catnip fields and 35 aqueducts pumping out catnip (and thus wood) for her and her alone.

As she is currently spending her time practicing hunting, her catpower is always going up, but it has a very limited maximum (150) since she only has her one log house (no huts or mansions and no temples/templars). Whenever her catpower gets high enough, she searches the catnip forest for furs and whatnot, and when possible makes parchment from the furs.

Her culture also gradually increases due to her four ampitheatres. When it gets high enough, she makes manuscripts from the parchments. She's up to about 45 manuscripts now. She brings in furs fast enough that parchment builds up faster than it's used to make manuscripts, so she's stockpiled about 130 parchment too.

Science-wise, she's currently figured out everything up to but not including machinery and theology. Her next goal is machinery, at which point she'll work on building a steamworks and then a printing press.

From her 16 workshops, she's upgraded to mineral hoes, iron hoes, mineral axe, iron axe, expanded barns, reinforced barns, reinforced warehouses, composite bow, bolas, hunting armor, catnip enrichment, gold ore, coal furnace, and deep mining. She's not really aiming for another upgrade at this time, but theoretically the next one will be a high pressure engine (unless printing press becomes available to her first) - the others available to her either involve titanium (which she doesn't have and won't likely have for quite a while), or don't seem terribly useful to her at the moment (steel axe), or even worse are contrary to her hermit nature (ironwood huts).

She's also not specifically going for any buildings at the moment, but will build any wood-only buildings as they become available (libraries, mines, and barns, of which she has 40, 30, and 9, respectively). Other buildings either take resources that she's currently stockpiling, or else she simply doesn't want at the moment (e.g. temple, which would increase culture, which in turn would decrease parchment or else waste culture) or ever (e.g. huts, which would lead to her no longer being a hermit).

The only other civilization that she currently has contact with is the griffins. They sometimes hate her for no reason, but they're not so bad. They're likely to stay the only civilization for quite some time, since the only way she has to increase catpower (other than inviting other kittens to her hermitage, which is of course out of the question) is to build temples with the templars upgrade. That's quite a ways off. Hermit Kitten is patient, though.

All in all, she's got the following buildings so far: She doesn't quite understand how, for example, having 30 mines with at least 29 of them uninhabited at any given time makes her a more prolific miner, but she's not complaining.
posted by Flunkie at 4:13 PM on September 5 [31 favorites]

MetaFilter: Hermit Kitten is patient
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:02 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]

Cycle 3, Year 778, Summer: An Alicorn has descended from the sky!

Ahh, finally.
posted by Phssthpok at 7:03 PM on September 5

Holy shit, I've been wringing my hands for a while about how to get more storage and suddenly I realize that trade ships contribute to storage and are super cheap, comparatively. Kicking myself...
posted by Rhomboid at 9:59 PM on September 5

Phssthpok: let me know when you figure out what the damn alicorn is good for. I've got 7 of them and still don't have a clue.

trade ships contribute to storage

Wait what? Harbors do, but ships?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:28 PM on September 5

Whoa, so they do. I WISH I'D KNOWN THIS EARLIER.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:29 PM on September 5

The in-game description isn't written very well, but the Nuclear Fission upgrade makes reactors improve the amount of storage per ship, even when those reactors aren't running.

Each Sky Palace gives you about 1 alicorn per 125 years. You can sacrifice 25 alicorns to get a Time Crystal. 5 Time Crystals are needed to research Chronophysics (although a typo in the source code prevents you from actually researching it). Chronophysics doesn't currently do anything.
posted by Phssthpok at 10:34 PM on September 5

It was mentioned in one of the tooltips of some upgrade, but I can't find it now.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:38 PM on September 5

OK, so definitely time to reset. Unless I push on to 25 alicorns out of sheer "found a wonderful new species, slaughtered it" imp-of-the-perversity. (And the Achievement.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:42 PM on September 5

Yeah, I reckon that's reset time. Don't forget to reset your accumulated faith before resetting the game.

And if you go for iron will, every time you reset with at least one zebra, it adds to the total number of zebras you can have in the next game. So it's more focused on consecutive games than the regular resetting mechanics.
posted by Phssthpok at 10:45 PM on September 5

OK, so I reset: how does Iron Will work then? I'm maxed out on catnip and wood; have built fields and libraries; have not built any housing. Do I just have to wait for a zebra to turn up?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:34 AM on September 6

Ah -- in the absence of any workers, gotta collect science by observing astronomical events, right?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:35 AM on September 6

Heh; I clearly lack the patience for Iron Will right now.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:05 PM on September 6

I've been updating my web app today. Its function should be a lot clearer or at least better documented now.

I also exposed the result of the preliminary calculations I make to determine rate of gain/depletion per season. It seems to match what I observe from the game client, but I am still very early in the game after my most recent wipe. If nothing else, you can use the "Show Rate" option to figure out if those preliminary calculations are even in the same ballpark as what you observe.

Is that even coherent? I think I should probably sleep again tonight.
posted by The Confessor at 12:42 PM on September 6

Oooh, there's another update. This gets rid of the old Bonfire interface and makes the V2 interface the only option. I never liked the old one and always used V2 so that's not really a change as far as I'm concerned. More importantly, the tooltips for an unavailable item give an ETA on when they will become available based on the current production rates. It seems to only want to estimate for primary resources like wood and minerals, and not those that you get through crafting, but it's still cool and something that I'd wished for.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:12 PM on September 6

Oooh, there's another update. This gets rid of the old Bonfire interface and makes the V2 interface the only option.

posted by phatkitten at 5:20 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]

phatkitten, the change log says you can get Bonfire back by typing the following into your browser's javascript console:

gamePage.bonfireTab.visible = true;
posted by Flunkie at 7:27 AM on September 7

Thanks! I've never messed around with the javascript console, though, so I have no idea what I'm doing with it. I think I'm just going to learn to like the V2 tab when I load it up at work tomorrow.
posted by phatkitten at 9:39 AM on September 7

I just took a quick look at the source code, and it appears that the Small Village tab is now tied directly to the presence of Kittens or Zebras. Huts no longer play a role, so you can now sell all huts when Log Houses become available to maximize your Catpower-per-Kitten in the early game.
posted by The Confessor at 9:55 AM on September 7

This thread keeps popping up in my recent activity, so against my better judgement I'm doing an Iron Will run with my small amount of karma and paragon points from last run.

I have just got my zebra and am struggling with getting science.
I do have a lot of catnip fields (72), libraries(23) and barns(6) though, since it's all I can make so far.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 11:51 AM on September 7

I'm at the point where the game wants me to grind out blueprints and it's just ugh. I can leave it overnight to produce plenty of manuscripts, but then there's this two step conversion to compendia and then blueprints and they all cost a buttload of science. I'm having better luck spamming trade parties to get blueprints by chance than actually making them. (And I never thought I'd be at the point where I'd have too much titanium to know what to do with.)
posted by Rhomboid at 12:02 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Hm. Sacrificing 2500 Unicorns for one Unicorn Tear seems awfully inefficient. Wouldn't it be better to put them in Unicorn Torture Farms? MANY tears that way.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 12:08 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]

I have some more questions about the steamworks and its upgrades.

The wiki says it causes "Coal Production -80%". That's not per steamworks, is it? It's just an 80% penalty for turning your steamworks on, regardless of how many you have, right?

And things like printing press -> +0.0005 parchment per tick, that is per steamworks, right?

"Workshop automation" and "advanced automation" are not clear to me. Workshop automation "converts wood to beams and minerals to slabs when limited" - i.e. when they hit max storage, it converts some? What if I don't want it to, but I do want my steamworks on for some other reason? How much is converted? Does that vary based on how many steamworks? And I guess "pneumatic press" works basically the same way but for iron to plates?

Advanced automation "Reduce Steamworks maintenance cycle by 50%". What's the "steamworks maintenance cycle"?

They also say (on the Buildings page rather than the Workshop page of the wiki) "Steamworks Production: Spring" and "Steamworks Production: Fall" (for workshop automation and advanced automation, respectively), which are basically inscrutable to me.
posted by Flunkie at 12:12 PM on September 7

Yes, the 80% is flat. There's an upgrade somewhere to reduce it to 60%.

Yes, parchment production is linear with the number of steamworks you have.

The automation will kick in when the amount is nearing the max, but it doesn't necessarily wait until it gets there. If there is something you want to buy whose cost is near the max, you may have to temporarily disable the steamworks because the automatic crafting will never allow the amount to rise high enough. I don't know what controls how much is converted or how often it will convert. Somewhere in this thread someone mentioned that it kicks in once a year, so the maintenance cycle upgrade might mean that it kicks in twice year. I haven't really paid much attention to how often it fires, because my log is spammed to death with stupid BS about astronomical events. (I wish I could filter that out.)

And it's all or nothing — if you want the printing press creating manuscripts then you also have to deal with the automation. And unlike the other industrial units, you can't decide how many units of steamworks you want running. (I'm almost a little thankful of that; there've been times when I've wanted to disable all my smelters to get max mineral output for a while and having to click 50+ times to disable and later re-enable them individually is a pain.)
posted by Rhomboid at 12:22 PM on September 7

Rhomboid, you need to get the SETI upgrade, which automatically handles astronomical events for you (and doesn't report it to you)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:34 PM on September 7

Sounds handy. I'm nor far enough along in the game to have been offered that yet.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:29 PM on September 7

The storage with ships is from the "cargo ships" tech in the workshop.

Cargo Ships

55K Science
15 Blueprint
Every ship will give 2% bonus to the Harbor capacity

Electricity is my next tech to be researched...the fact that some of you seemingly reached the endgame in under a week disturbingly implies that you've all been nursing the game 24/7.
posted by MillMan at 12:20 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]

Rhomboid, I turn my observatory off just for that reason when I have enough star charts and I don't get spammed with astronomical events.
posted by localhuman at 6:31 AM on September 8

Rhomboid: I made it far enough in my game to manage a practical test of Structure bonuses to food production in my web app, and results are as expected. So I can at least be certain that whatever is throwing the results off for your game is a mechanic that I haven't encountered yet, rather than one that I have missed.
posted by The Confessor at 10:02 AM on September 8

In the current version of the game it seems the tooltips that outlined the requirements for the religion tasks have been removed. Grumble. Can anyone tell me what the requirements are for Apocrypha?

I just got the SETI upgrade, and boy does it feel nice to have a clean log.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:23 PM on September 9

I noticed that too, Rhomboid -- it's annoying. The Religion page of the kittens game wiki has it (but note it does list all the religion tasks and their effects, so maybe spoilery).

Total faith required: 100K
6000 Faith
5000 Gold

My replay has just hit the "asshole Zebras" phase.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:33 PM on September 9

Thanks. I have avoided the wiki so as not to be spoiled.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:06 PM on September 9

It's interesting how the game changes after resetting. Some resources like coal and unicorns are produced faster due to paragon points, but others like iron are not.

So instead of coal being a bottleneck, iron becomes a bottleneck. It took me a while to figure out I should update my craft order from "steel then plates" to "plates then steel", or I would never be able to afford many harbors or ships.

I've just reached 340 paragon points, so maybe this cycle a time crystal won't seem so impossibly out of reach.
posted by Phssthpok at 11:37 PM on September 9

Oh, FFS! I had steamworks turned off for two days! I couldn't figure out why compendiums were such a slog lately. ARGH!!
posted by greermahoney at 11:55 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]

OK, I revise my statement. Things keep turning themselves off. I can maybe see clicking something like Steamworks off, when it has an on/off switch. But things that require multiple clicks to turn off - like 6 clicks for magneto, or 52 for smelter?? I don't see how I'm turning those off by mistake.
posted by greermahoney at 9:02 AM on September 10

The tool tip says the Astrolabe "Improves Observatory effectiveness by 50%". Does that include their "capacity" for Science, or just the output?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:44 AM on September 10

I think my science cap did go up slightly when I got Astrolabes.
posted by phatkitten at 10:49 AM on September 10

I can now confirm that, in case anyone else is wondering.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:22 PM on September 10

I think things will turn themselves off if you run out of the resources they require as inputs. Are you sure you didn't bottom out of coal or minerals overnight or something like that?
posted by Rhomboid at 2:56 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]

Rhomboid, that's possible.

If they're going to do that, they should turn themselves back on when I have resources again :-)

What, do I have to do everything myself on this kitten farm?
posted by greermahoney at 11:02 PM on September 10

So. Much. Science. My upcoming research goals require tens of thousands of Science more than I currently have capacity for. Is there a method for rapidly building up my Science capacity that I'm not seeing, or do I just have to spam Observatories for the next couple centuries?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:42 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]

When I was having this problem upthread, Jacqueline and Rhomboid (thanks!) clued me into each temple upping the science cap by 500.

Compendiums also help slightly, but your science cap will then lower again when you spend them on something, so be careful.

Other than that, I spend some time focusing on libraries and academies when observatories seem too expensive and time-consuming.
posted by phatkitten at 9:52 AM on September 11

When you get Biology, you can build Bio labs, which increase the science cap by 1.5K. They require alloy, so that becomes the problem instead of scaffolds.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 9:55 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]

Really, Kittens Game?


Is that how you're gonna play me?
posted by charred husk at 12:03 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]

Just be glad you don't need a Brotherhood of Mutant Kittens to operate it.
posted by NoraReed at 12:23 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]

It's one of these, not one of these, though that would be pretty cool too.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 12:39 PM on September 11

Science, schmience. It's the gd blueprints that are killing me.
posted by greermahoney at 10:01 PM on September 11

In my experience, the blueprints were limited only by the amount of science. Generating manuscripts by the thousand was not hard, it was converting them to compendia and then blueprints that requires waiting for science to recharge constantly.

I finally got a reactor online and boy is it sweet, but it churns through uranium. The latest update has Enriched Uranium as an upgrade which reduces the rate by 25%, so I'm currently grinding on that. (And how weird is it that a small village of kittens is enriching uranium?)
posted by Rhomboid at 1:39 AM on September 12

I think it's more often culture that has been slowing me down. I have plenty of parchment, but few manuscripts. I never invested too much into culture, so I'm rectifying it now.

Didn't know about the reactor, so looking forward to that!
posted by greermahoney at 8:06 AM on September 12

You're crafting manuscripts from parchment? Don't you have a printing press?
posted by Rhomboid at 8:21 AM on September 12

I do, but it doesn't make enough. It's sooooo slow. I supplement with parchment.
posted by greermahoney at 8:40 AM on September 12

Make sure you do all the upgrades. I find myself with far more manuscripts than I can process.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:07 AM on September 12

I'm also bottlenecked on blueprints. I'm grinding them out by dumping a load of ivory on the Nagas. Seems like one blueprint in every ten trades, or so. Still slow, but quicker for me than waiting for the science to replenish.

Rhomboid, what did you do to speed up your printing press? My manuscripts are just ticking over super-slowly like greermahoney's.
posted by rd45 at 10:01 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]

The main one is the Offset Press. There might be others, I'm not sure — it's sometimes hard to tell what affects what. For example, the Magneto description reads, "Improves your total resource production by 2%" and the Reactor says "Provides a 5% boost to production while active." I don't know if either of those apply to manuscript printing. I just timed it and I seem to be producing roughly 9 to 10 manuscripts per minute while idling. There's also a bunch of ways to make crafting blueprints more efficient. At the moment I get 7.19 blueprints for every 25 compendia. That's due to the CAD System upgrade, plus Factories and Workshops.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:19 AM on September 12

Oh, and the manuscript rate depends on how many Steamworks you have, too. Each Steamworks also adds an additional boost to the Magneto, so by the point where you start having Oil Wells it certainly pays to load up on more Steamworks and Magnetos.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:23 AM on September 12

OK, thanks. I have 12 oil wells but only just built my first factory - at which point I suddenly got a lot less smug about my titanium production. No sign yet even of a CAD system as a possible upgrade in the workshop.

Looks like I still have quite a way to go. That's either good or bad...
posted by rd45 at 10:59 AM on September 12

Thanks for the advice, Rhomboid! I don't have something called an offset press, I don't think. I'll keep upgrading steamworks tho. I think that's only at 7. Because, of course, it requires blueprints. Le sigh. It's a stupid cycle.
posted by greermahoney at 9:07 PM on September 12

Oh! Ha! Offset Press comes from Combustion, which is what I've been grinding out my blueprints for!!
posted by greermahoney at 9:11 PM on September 12

I've started playing this. I've only just studied astronomy and built a steamworks, but it's at the point where I can't build (or study) a lot of things because I don't have enough storage space to hold the amount of wood, minerals, and/or iron required, and I can't build any more barns so I'm constantly having to stock up beams and slabs to build another warehouse.

It sounds like there are a fair amount of bottlenecks in the game someone might stumble into. I'm curious if there's any certain way to play to avoid most of them.
posted by johnofjack at 7:54 AM on September 13

Yeah, there are certain points in the game where you're presented with a large menu of things that you have no hope of being able to achieve for quite a while. But the alternative is actually worse. In the end game there are long stretches where you've gotten everything attainable except for one certain thing that you just have to chip away at. And the bottlenecks do vary. I remember being frustrated by wood early on, then coal / gears, then blueprints, etc. In my game at the moment it's ivory; it's kind of a cosmic middle finger that this thing that didn't really matter at all for most of the game is suddenly crucial. But that's just how the game likes to toy with you. It wouldn't be any fun if you didn't have to work for it.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:27 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]

Kittens Game: "it's kind of a cosmic middle finger that this thing that didn't really matter at all for most of the game is suddenly crucial."
posted by Jacqueline at 10:33 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]

Y'all need to be in charge of Kittens Game marketing.
posted by greermahoney at 4:06 PM on September 13

I need like 5K more Cosmic Middle Fingers to build another Observatory.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:17 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]

Make a beeline for Biology so you can get Bio Labs.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:19 PM on September 13

I don't think Kittens Game needs marketing, in the same way that crack doesn't need marketing.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:40 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]

posted by greermahoney at 10:59 PM on September 13

Yay, finally got an alicorn. It's going to be a long slog to get time crystals. But it's okay, because my happiness level is at 165%. These kittens don't mind the slog, apparently.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:49 AM on September 14

It's spring 1965, and the kittens are about to unlock nuclear fission. They kittens seem to be a little slow on the uptake, but it's probably the lack of opposable thumbs. I'm still damn proud of them.
posted by greermahoney at 10:33 AM on September 14

Am I missing something? What crafts uranium? I can only get it by trading now, and that price is steep, man.
posted by greermahoney at 11:41 AM on September 14

You're not missing anything, you can't craft it (as far as I know.) I'm assuming the intention is to eventually add a technology that you could research to be able to craft it, but that doesn't exist yet. There's only the Enriched Uranium upgrade which lowers the drain.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:49 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

Kittenstan is under embargo, the United States thinks cats shouldn't be allowed to refine uranium or they might decide to nuke the dogs.
posted by JHarris at 11:50 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]

I'm already considering a pre-emptive strike against the zebras.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:18 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]

I just noticed that my coal production rate with the Steamworks enabled is much higher than with it disabled, despite the fact that the Steamworks ostensibly reduces coal output by 40%, which seems to imply that the Magneto production bonus is applied after the Steamworks reduction, which is nice. I disabled Magnetos until I found the cutoff point, which is 8. If you have 8 or more Magnetos, then you make up the difference and you'd never want to turn off the Steamworks unless you're trying to buy something that costs nearly your storage limit, and you don't want the automation kicking in. Oh, I guess it also depends on how many Steamworks you have too, as that figures into the Magneto bonus, so that 8 figure won't be universal. FWIW, I have 23 Steamworks and 15 Magnetos at the moment and my coal rate is about 41% higher with Steamworks on compared to off. They seem like a potent combination.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:02 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]

I think I've found a solution to the uranium problem. I built a buttload of Trade Ships (more than 5k of them) and now a single trade caravan to the Zebras yields 153.386 titanium, with them very rarely hating me for no reason. On the one hand, this means I have to manually spam the individual trade caravan button, as using the "all" button resulted in my idiot traders bringing back 10k more titanium than I had storage space for. I guess there's a landfill somewhere with a giant pile of titanium and lots of little kitty paw prints in the dirt leading away from it. But on the other hand now I can pump and dump between the Zebras and Dragons to stockpile uranium. Strangely, the trade ships didn't seem to effect the rate of uranium that I get from trading with the Dragons, which seems to be consistently 1.492 every time. I'll have to see whether building even more Trade Ships eventually changes that. I originally went on a shipbuilding tear because they were a cheap way to get more storage, but it turns out they can be helpful in other ways.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:07 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]

There appears to be no limit to how far you can take this idea. I built another few thousand ships and now I'm getting about 220 titanium from the Zebras per trade. At that price I don't even have to bother producing any. I've shut down all my Calciners and I plan to use the excess oil capacity to build more Magnetos. And I've managed to stockpile around 1k uranium.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:22 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]

OK, I'm building ships.....You've convinced me ;-)
posted by greermahoney at 8:20 PM on September 15

I've been playing this game for about a week or so and just reached the point where I got my first Calciner up and running, with a second one not too far off, enabling me to produce titanium. I also built my first Ziggurat and sacced a bunch of unicorns, mainly as a 'fuck you' to the Zebras, as they must be related to the unicorns, right?

Is there a way to speed up the production of star charts? I need a metric fuckton of them to build trade ships but they accumulate so damn slowly.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:26 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]

Building more Observatories will increase the rate of astronomical events, and it will also increase the chance that they are handled automatically, although some will continue to require manual handling until you get the SETI upgrade. Observatories are also the quickest way to increase the max science and there are a lot of upgrades that require seemingly huge amounts of science, so you'll probably be building them naturally.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:43 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]

Ok, observatory spam it is, then.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:48 AM on September 16

Holy crap, Rhomboid's scheme is brilliant. I'm on my second run-through and just hit the big run where all the technologies and upgrades need boatloads of titanium. Spamming ships has really cranked up both the chance of getting titanium from the Zebras, and the quantity.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:37 AM on September 16

I find it funny that I have storage for only 60k coal, yet somehow have found a place to put 1.29 million slabs.
posted by greermahoney at 7:22 AM on September 17

Mints: are they good, or are they wack?
posted by daniel_charms at 8:06 AM on September 17

When you need a bajillion parchments (OK, only 5,000 -- but this is my current bottleneck and it feels like a bajillion) for drama/poetry research, converting minted furs into parchments is a lot easier than doing hunts all day. Also, eventually you're gonna need a bunch of ivory and letting mints run all night takes care of that easily.
posted by phatkitten at 8:42 AM on September 17

Ivory seems to be the least of my problems at present - I've got something like 273k ivory stockpiled somewhere, from all the hunting I've done. I still have no idea what I'm going to do with all this - probably glue it together with unicorn tears to build some spires or something like that?
posted by daniel_charms at 9:52 AM on September 17

However you arrange it, you want to be sure that your kittens always have non-zero amounts of fur, ivory, and spice, as those each give happiness bonuses, and the happiness level applies an across-the-board multiplier to all production. (I've recently come to appreciate the cultural festival — it gets my guys to over 200% happiness for a year which is a noticeable boost.) For most of the game, I had a single Mint unit simmering along, which was more than enough,  in conjunction with sufficient Tradeposts to keep the pile of spice from expiring. Towards the end-game, however, ivory starts to become essential and I've really built out the Mints (currently at 16) to crank it out while idling. (I'm determined to get those 5 time crystals and Chronophysics before resetting, dammit.) You can also pump out ivory by continuously sending hunting parties, but it requires manual baby-sitting of the game.

Furs are also a secondary way to get manuscripts during the middle period of the game. I can't remember how much I relied on minting them vs. hunting vs. using the Printing Press, but I don't think the Mints were a major factor.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:57 AM on September 17

I feel like I'm missing something in the early game. I've unlocked several sciences (Brewery, Construction, Engineering) but I'm not getting new buildings around my campfire. I've tried resetting the tab but that doesn't bring anything up. Is there some further trigger I'm missing? Population maybe? I only have 6 kittens.
posted by muddgirl at 8:49 AM on September 18

Oh snap, the power of posting. The answer was "minerals."
posted by muddgirl at 8:53 AM on September 18

Is increasing the number of sky palaces the only thing to increase alicorns? I only have one thing left to unlock - chronophysics. Seems like a *ton* of waiting to get hundreds of alicorns for 5 time crystals just to unlock that last thing that doesn't do anything yet. Wondering if this is when I bail? :-( Maybe come back in a month and see if anything new has been added to make it worthwhile...?
posted by greermahoney at 9:36 AM on September 18

Whenever I reach the unfinished endgame, I'm going to reset for prestige bonuses and just keep playing/resetting until there is a definite endpoint. This game satisfies my progress itches like nothing else.
posted by phatkitten at 9:46 AM on September 18

Is increasing the number of sky palaces the only thing to increase alicorns?

That's my understanding, yes. I'm currently at 9 alicorns. It's gonna be a while. On the other hand, when new items are added (like the Rotary Kiln the other day) it means I can pretty much buy them right away since I've been slowly adding to my production while waiting for alicorns.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:22 AM on September 18

OK, I don't have rotary kiln! Do I need to refresh to see when things are added?
posted by greermahoney at 10:42 AM on September 18

Yes, you need to refresh. There's a link to the changelog from the version dialog, which you can refresh to see if anything's been added if you don't want to refresh the main game page.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:52 AM on September 18

Thanks! I have scripts in place, so I try to refresh as little as possible.
posted by greermahoney at 11:00 AM on September 18

I love how, five hours ago, I was like OMG A UNICORN!!!!

And now when I see the message "Year 37, Spring: You got a unicorn!" my reaction is, "great, just get in the damn pasture with your 280.63 buddies..."
posted by muddgirl at 3:01 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

I somehow got a unicorn on my very! first! hunting expedition, but then spent the next couple of weeks wondering what the heck unicorns were even for.

And now I know and I am so, so sorry
posted by phatkitten at 3:18 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

So, has anyone else glanced at game's save string?

I unlocked "Year 183, Spring: Achievement unlocked: Super Unethical Climax!" (base64decoding, changing 'cheatmode' to true, base64encoding).
posted by el io at 11:10 PM on September 18

Anyone know what the # sign is in between reset and wipe?
posted by greermahoney at 12:11 AM on September 19

It's for entering the developer mode, which is allowed only if running from a file:// URL.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:41 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

Thank you!
posted by greermahoney at 7:30 AM on September 19

I've got to learn to be more careful about pressing a button vs. pressing the ALL option. Just spent like 45 gold, 150 manpower, and 300 iron for way too much catnip I can't even store. Dammit.
posted by muddgirl at 9:06 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

I had to learn to watch what I was creating, while waiting for something else to accumulate. Like, I'd be waiting for my science to build up so I could unlock a new tech, and while waiting, I'd make some blueprints. ARGH!!
posted by greermahoney at 9:30 AM on September 19

Damn you game with your exponentially increasing prices! Just when I was getting complacent you tempt me with all these purchases that cost 500+ blueprints and now I'm out of manuscripts again. I could have sworn I was sitting on a pile of tens of thousands of those just earlier today. For once I have excess steel (!) while I wait for more manuscripts. I don't want to dip into the parchment reserves as those are for festivaling.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:49 AM on September 19

I had to delete. It was ruining my life.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:59 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

Once I get Chronophysics I will be free. My chains will disintegrate, and my soul will escape from this dungeon. My body is ready. O lord, deliver me from — oh hey, lumber mill. click
posted by Rhomboid at 11:08 AM on September 19 [4 favorites]

Did they tweak rare resources consumption? I'm fairly sure that when I left this morning, furs consumption was around .8/sec; now it's at .36/sec.
posted by johnofjack at 2:54 PM on September 19

I just refreshed and things did change - instead of counting in "ticks" it is now counting in seconds, which is probably why you're seeing a difference.
posted by muddgirl at 3:07 PM on September 19

Also shit definitely changed, like now I need manuscripts for Theology.
posted by muddgirl at 3:20 PM on September 19

You can revert back to the old per tick measurement under Options.

I'm pretty sure you always needed manuscripts for Theology.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:28 PM on September 19

The workshop changed too. Instead of +, 25, 100, and all, I have +5, +131, +522, and all. So it shows the amount created for crafting once, twenty-five times, and one hundred times with all of the crafting bonuses.
posted by Dojie at 3:48 PM on September 19

OMG, it's been like 3 real life days and I only have 6 alicorns! This whole time crystal thing is looking less and less likely to manifest.
posted by greermahoney at 9:06 PM on September 19

I'm quite enjoying the fact that they fixed the "time to zero" thing in one of the recent updates. Now I can see how much time I have before running out of uranium. And the asterisk on the purchase price tooltip that tells you that the requirement exceeds your storage capacity is something that I've long wished for, although I would have implemented it differently, such as making the greyed out button a different color so that you don't have to hover to see what's attainable. But I'm quite happy with what they gave us.

Also, if you're still in the middle-game, you might want to reload to take advantage of these two changes in the most recent update:
Slightly reduced gear prices of Steamworks and SW upgrades.
Sligtly reduced blueprint prices of pre-electronics technologies.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:57 AM on September 20

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