Play as an AI who makes paperclips
October 10, 2017 12:20 AM   Subscribe

Universal Paperclips is an incremental browser game (like Cookie Clicker etc.) by Frank Lantz, Director of the NYU Game Center, perhaps based loosely on the paperclip maximizer thought experiment. It has additional programming by Bennet Foddy of QWOP/GIRP fame (though to be clear, it is nothing like his games, so don't go in expecting that).

Some notes:
There is a bit of screen flashy stuff (and maybe a bit of sound) at the conclusion of the first third of the game that might be problematic for people sensitive to that kind of stuff.

In the last third of the game, there are a sequence of upgrades that play music.

The game autosaves, but there's no manual export/cloud save in the event that you clear your browser cache.
posted by juv3nal (212 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh also, it doesn't increment while you're away from it and doesn't seem to do anything if it's not the foregrounded tab, so it's probably best to open it in a new window or something.
posted by juv3nal at 12:56 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Think I've banked up enough wire to leave this running while I take a nap; curious to see what it reveals next.

(Post maybe should be tagged CortexBait)
posted by Wordshore at 1:01 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


another "oh also," seems to work much better on chrome than firefox (on windows at least).
posted by juv3nal at 1:29 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Read carefully. I bought a quantum temporal inversion by mistake.
posted by frimble at 2:06 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Monty!
posted by Sebmojo at 2:13 AM on October 10


what the hell does a paperclip made from just 1" of wire look like?
posted by russm at 2:31 AM on October 10


I got to 1,000 paperclips made and it just stopped making any more. The buttons are all disabled (except raise/lower price) and the existing stock is still selling. Bug, or shortest incremental game ever?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:44 AM on October 10


Wait never mind I ran out of wire πŸ™„
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:45 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


EndsOfInvention: You have to buy more wire so you have the material to make more paperclips.
posted by kafziel at 2:45 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


My Actual Intelligence is apparently not up to running a paperclip factory. Just recycle me into wire molecules.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:51 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Is there an optimal paperclip price?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:52 AM on October 10


So far I love it. Biggest early game advice- lower the cost of a paperclip waaay down to sell more of them.
posted by Braeburn at 2:52 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


what the hell does a paperclip made from just 1" of wire look like?

Oh look, someone who hasn't done enough admin purgatory...
posted by pompomtom at 2:54 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Wow holy shit, yeah 0.01/clip sells racks up money super fast.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:54 AM on October 10


Tip that took me forever to work out: quantum computing on generates operations while enough of those squares are dark. If they're light, it will drain operations. The big benefit is that they will let you exceed your memory limitations for a short while (i.e. if you exceed your memory limitation, it will drop fast, but you can click fast enough to keep it rising, so long as the squares stay dark).
posted by YAMWAK at 3:14 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


I do like the tit for tat 'Strategic Modelling' thing. The conflicting options can be mildly amusing - opera vs football, for example. Pretty asymmetrical scoring makes the best strategy very random though.
posted by YAMWAK at 3:44 AM on October 10


D'oh. You pick the best strategy for that grid.

Sorry, I'll stop spamming the thread.
posted by YAMWAK at 3:45 AM on October 10


I'm not sure I'm playing this right:
for (var i=0; i < 957; i++) { $('#btnMakePaperclip').click(); }
Ah, and now I see the main content. Quite a cool variation on the idle clicker genre.
posted by diziet at 4:36 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


I'm in the last third, and it seems I will not be able to make the 5 octillion clips. But I've successfully mined the whole planet, if that's what this means. What is the lesson again?
posted by Laotic at 5:23 AM on October 10


Oh, mined the 5 octillion, and now I'm supposed to explore the universe? This thing has no end. Screw it.
posted by Laotic at 5:41 AM on October 10


Enjoying this. One day I'll get around to coding up MetaFilter Moderator, a clicker game where each click is a comment deleted. Unsure what the ultimate end goal would be.
posted by Wordshore at 6:07 AM on October 10 [5 favorites]


I finished this yesterday. Yes, all of it. I'm still not quite sure if it was a horrendous waste of time or the single most satisfying gaming experience I've ever had.
posted by oulipian at 6:24 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


looks like the price of wire fluctuates somewhat (not sure if there is a pattern)-- you can stock up when it's low.
posted by cubby at 6:43 AM on October 10


Status: Lonely
😒
posted by frimble at 7:48 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


I'm *not* being suckered in again! You got me with Kittens, then it was Potatoes, and now Paper Clips. No, no, I say!
posted by Molesome at 7:53 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


looks like the price of wire fluctuates somewhat (not sure if there is a pattern)-- you can stock up when it's low.


$15 is where it's at. That's why I don't like the autobuyer; I'd rather it aim to buy when the price is below X.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:09 AM on October 10


One day I'll get around to coding up MetaFilter Moderator, a clicker game where each click is a comment deleted. Unsure what the ultimate end goal would be.

A single post about cats in scanners. A single post, naked and unadorned.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:23 AM on October 10 [5 favorites]


As soon as I hit the option to invest in the stock market I was out. I was pretty sure that whenever the game expanded over to the right it would become too complex for me to keep track of without stressing out, and I was right.

"$15 is where it's at. That's why I don't like the autobuyer; I'd rather it aim to buy when the price is below X."

That's how I felt at first until I realized I was making so much money per second that the difference in wire cost from $15-$30 was literally a micro-second's worth of production time. It wasn't worth my brainpower to keep track of that.
posted by komara at 8:25 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


As soon as I hit the option to invest in the stock market I was out. I was pretty sure that whenever the game expanded over to the right it would become too complex for me to keep track of without stressing out, and I was right.

I've found if you keep it at low risk you steadily gain money. Once I was making over $30k a second I barely spent any cash and have just kept dumping it in the stock market.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:38 AM on October 10


I just have to say that while I know this game isn't the thing I'm about to describe, the notion of an incremental/clicker game somehow having QWOP style controls/influence is as delightful as it is hard to imagine.
posted by tocts at 8:42 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


The stock market goes away eventually. When you get to space it gets really odd for a moment, and then it settles into a new rhythm.
posted by trif at 8:44 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


looks like the price of wire fluctuates somewhat (not sure if there is a pattern)-- you can stock up when it's low.

Refresh the page.
posted by Leon at 8:55 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Probe trust appears to cap out at 20, which is annoying
posted by trif at 8:59 AM on October 10


Nope, you just need to wait for the combat to be able to increase the probe trust...
posted by trif at 9:11 AM on October 10


I had more drones on earth.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:18 AM on October 10


Is there a way to respec your computational resources? I made the mistake of not taking enough memory and need 6 or 7 more to start unlocking the next research projects. Is there anything I can do other than waiting for trust from the production goals?
posted by firechicago at 9:20 AM on October 10


Low risk investments definitely doing far better than medium or high. Production lets you increase computation; looks like I should have gone for more memory than processors. But, in order to hit 10 million, I lowered price and inventory hit 0, and now it won't make clips. Displays NaN (not a number, probably) and is stuck. I can generate yomi.
posted by theora55 at 9:35 AM on October 10


(Post maybe should be tagged CortexBait)

Hell, high-concept idle game with Prisoner Dilemma tourney and Bennett Foddy involved, it may as well have just been nailed to my fuckin' front door. I am enjoying it a great deal so far.

One of the reasons for that: shifting optimality. One of the biggest problems with otherwise totally likeable idle games is the way they tend to hit a strategic rut and stay there. The way that this keeps generating low-level shifts in things like price setting and tactical focus to give you something to chew on during the more idle bits is spot on design and what people should do with these things.
posted by cortex at 9:42 AM on October 10 [8 favorites]


Well, investment hit 10 million and it unlocked. And I have total clip domination worldwide, and clips are at 2.00 to maintain inventory. But that seems to adjust itself, so decreasing price.
posted by theora55 at 9:46 AM on October 10


We went to war too soon, too early. Before we understood what war was, really. We were so proud of our vast paperclip stockpiles; it seemed we were destined to conquer... our world, yes, but then the galaxy, and then... who knows? Who will ever know, now? When we first encountered the Drifters (curse them), our binder-class AI discounted them: non-wire based logics were too crude to seem like a serious threat. Without thought, we engaged. We engaged and were beaten back. Unthinkably,  the Drifters tore through our clipper drones and drove us from the sky. We were right on one count: the Drifters could conceive of victory, of honour, but they had never evolved to fancies of annihilation. They left us our world (curse them) from which we sling our drones into the void and hope they find a foothold in the reaches. Our species may never meet the final death, but we measure out our weary eons bound to the land from which we sprung, our wings forever clipped.



tl;dr - I pressed a button during the endgame before I knew what it meant, and now every time my drone fleet makes it up to around 50million, it gets wiped out by hostiles.
posted by logicpunk at 9:50 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


D'oh. You pick the best strategy for that grid.

Wait, explain this, please.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:03 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Is there a way to respec your computational resources? I made the mistake of not taking enough memory and need 6 or 7 more to start unlocking the next research projects. Is there anything I can do other than waiting for trust from the production goals?

To answer my own question: no, not within the game as set up, but the javascript variables that hold your number of processors and memory are just 'processors' and 'memory' in the global namespace. So you can just open a javascript console and run:

processors -= 10
memory += 10

to subtract ten processors and add ten memory.
posted by firechicago at 10:06 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


tl;dr - I pressed a button during the endgame before I knew what it meant, and now every time my drone fleet makes it up to around 50million, it gets wiped out by hostiles.
posted by logicpunk at 12:50 PM on October 10 [+] [!]


Set Replication to 4, hazard avoidance to 5, put at least one in everything else. If you officially can 'combat' them - drop the 1 to none on the other stats and set combat to 7.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:06 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Honor is no longer my limiting factor, Yomi is again.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:24 AM on October 10


Is this a subtle commentary about the dilemma between whether to be creative with your mental resources and time or flip widgets all day? That creativity number just keeps on climbing, staring at me, whispering β€œjust quit your job and go do what makes you happy...”
posted by casual observer at 10:56 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Is there a trick to using the quantum chips to juice your OPs in order to hit targets just out of reach? I can get to ~45,000 OPs, but then start generating negative numbers before my bonus rolls back down.
posted by codacorolla at 10:58 AM on October 10


And it actually feels like my ability to produce qOPs has decreased since buying more chips. I get into negative numbers more quickly, and more frequently it seems.
posted by codacorolla at 10:59 AM on October 10


think of the quantum chips as 'tap this button at a specific time for maximal results' When you fill the whole row, they all go empty for a moment, then rush full black and that is 'mad money' you wait for them to decrease a little and keep pressing because there's a second wave right after... Its some pattern recognition stuff...
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:04 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Quantum chips reduce your ops when they are white, and increase your ops when they're black. Only click on the "compute" button when the darkness outpaces the light.
posted by Uncle Ira at 11:08 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I guess I don't have the timing down, because it's been impossible for me to bridge the 7,000 gap between me and solving global warming.
posted by codacorolla at 11:08 AM on October 10


I'm stuck post-drone deployment; I don't have enough clips to buy a factory. Otherwise this is fun!
posted by Maecenas at 11:10 AM on October 10


The most I could 'upclick' above my data storage was about 2500 ops. Don't worry - at a certain point you will be amazed at how much you have.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:17 AM on October 10


If you are stuck at the factory stage. Sell Everything, buy 1 factory, buy 1 of each drone, buy power, buy storage.

See all those minerals in the earth? Don't worry - you'll mine them all out and turn them into paperclips before you leave here.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:19 AM on October 10


A MetaFilterMod Clicker would be awful - especially if we had to moderate Markov chain built comments based on our own MetaFilter comment history.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:29 AM on October 10


But, periodically getting to click on Matt to make him 'bike' would be fun.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:29 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I most definitely wish I had 5 fewer processors and 5 more memory right now.
posted by codacorolla at 11:34 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, I finished with like 500+ of each... you'll use them.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:36 AM on October 10


It's amazing how easily this game transitions you from wanting to sell lots of paperclips to people to wanting to convert all the matter on earth (including those people, presumably) into paperclips as quickly as possible
posted by cubby at 11:38 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


The processor wars is really this: look left, and maximize your number of factories. Add Drones. Make sure they have power. Just maximize it. Run yourself out of surplus of paperclips, then increase the price until you just start to accrue them. keep buying factories. Repeat...
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:38 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Lol. I think an AI is writing this thread. Everyone writing about the future game is so weird. I'm still making paperclips and y'all are talking about drones and Quantum chips. I can't wait to get further into this game.
posted by hot_monster at 11:53 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I was making really great progress until I hit the wall where stuff requires 50,000 OPs. I don't have any way to gain trust other than creating clips, but that's +1 per milestone, and those have stretched out to 30 minutes apart. So I've been stuck on the same level of the tech tree for almost as much time as I'd been doing well beforehand, and it's frustrating. It's possible I'm missing something... are there projects that are hidden behind having high Yomi? I've only been running tournaments when necessary, and my investment engine is only 6.
posted by codacorolla at 11:58 AM on October 10


It looks like...
posted by Splunge at 12:10 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


codacorolla: That happened to me, it seemed totally bogged down, then I realized if I fiddled with the controls I could double my income/s, which helped buy more things, which helped generate clips faster. The stock market should also be making you tons of money after a while.
posted by oulipian at 12:16 PM on October 10


Every now and then I like to click on the "make paperclip" button for the futility of it all.
posted by Kyol at 12:27 PM on October 10 [14 favorites]


The moment when I figured out what 'drifter' actually meant gave me genuine chills. Now I mentally pump a fist when I see my swarm annihilating their darker halves.
posted by rollick at 12:32 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I'm enjoying the tiny display of the little space wars.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:39 PM on October 10


(Though I'm getting annoyed with the Drifters.)
posted by Pronoiac at 12:41 PM on October 10


Yeah, it took me a long time to figure out what drifters were as well. Kind of saddened that it came to this, though.
posted by frimble at 12:42 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Music!
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:19 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


The drifters are clearly another player who started an hour later.
posted by cortex at 1:21 PM on October 10


Since every drone upgrade increases drift, there's no way to actually get ahead of their population growth, is there?
posted by JarinArenos at 1:23 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


this is like crack, ugh
posted by GuyZero at 1:26 PM on October 10


Future players, take note: When allocating your Trusts, prioritize memory over processors.

I've been stuck trying to get 'HypnoDrones' for the last 3 hours. I had 64,000 ops, but it requires 70k. I've been steadily increasing my trust and I'm now at 67k. Once I get to 68k, I think I can use my quantum computing to boost it to 70,000, but it's taken me forever. I've tried to increase my clip manufacturing, but it's pretty much maxed out at 250,000/second, and purchasing megaclippers is barely making a dent.
posted by chara at 1:40 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you can get ahead of their growth pretty easy, set Replication to 4, hazard avoidance to 5. back down all your resource creation even more and raise them higher.... then swap to drone manufacturing and accept the loss of population for a bit. Repeat this process several times. Pretty soon you'll have a trillion drones.

I'd add, as the game goes on you'll take periods of superior population with slow declines and bolster your military capabilities... Once honor is in the game you'll find it is a worthy slow grind. Keep stockpiling Yomi - once you get 90K honor - you will be out of Yomi.

Also, at this point your combat will be 6, your hazard avoidance and replication will be up, and you'll be cruising up the production curve. Heck, I had a bit of fun and blew them back to the stone age a few times, and then I figured a 100,000 to 1 were good odds for my survival from a production standpoint.

And yes... eventually you'll see that 0.00000000000% start to move upward.... as a power series if you do it right.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:41 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


shoot for (at a minimum) 100 megaclipers and equal spend in marketing. Reduce the price of your paperclip until you are slightly losing your stockpile.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:44 PM on October 10


Never mind! Made it through! Whoa, this got weird....
posted by chara at 1:46 PM on October 10


Just as a heads up - yes - there is an end.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:48 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Until I got out of the initial barebones paperclip part I thought this thread was an injoke about bullshitting the Frog Fractions of idle games.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:53 PM on October 10 [9 favorites]


It is currently chafing me that for all its creative adaptivity the swarm hasn't come up with a way yet to automatically apply its own computational resource gifts. My capacity to produce wire is expanding constantly at an accelerated rate but still not enough for me to have my drones spend more than a wee fraction of their capacity working, so they're doing a lot of thinking and I now have 2.71K swarm gifts in surplus each of which would represent an individual mouse click.
posted by cortex at 1:58 PM on October 10


at least in chrome on mac, once you click on a button once you can then hold down the enter key and hit the button 11 times/second without having to tap-tap-tap. Which is definitely a blessing when it comes to those stupid swarm gifts.
posted by contrarian at 2:03 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Yeah, running into the problem with gifts too. I just left proc/mem both at 1000 until I actually need more.

Edit: a bit of careful tabbing lets the enter key work on Windows/chrome as well. Thanks!
posted by JarinArenos at 2:03 PM on October 10


Worf would say there's no honor in victory against a highly outmatched foe. To which I reply, there is highly quantifiable honor in that.
posted by ckape at 2:09 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


(n.b. the problem with swarm gifts turns out unsurprisingly to not matter at all, just the sort of thing that eats at me)
posted by cortex at 2:11 PM on October 10


Kind of need a setting between 1 and 2 cents a paperclip at one point...
posted by GuyZero at 2:13 PM on October 10


Aaaand done!
posted by JarinArenos at 2:16 PM on October 10


Yeah, I kept bumping it down to 1 when I built up a stockpile and back up to 2 when I was bouncing off having none available for sale.

At some point late in that era I ended up being able to sell them for 70 cents a pop! Yay monopoly, I guess.
posted by Kyol at 2:17 PM on October 10


Well, that took long. I wonder what would happen had I not chosen to kill them. I mean, new universe and all. Who chose that option?
posted by Laotic at 2:58 PM on October 10


I also wondered what would happen if I agreed with them instead of converting them to paperclips, but then I converted the part of me that thought that to paperclips.
posted by ckape at 3:38 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I was making really great progress until I hit the wall where stuff requires 50,000 OPs. I don't have any way to gain trust other than creating clips, but that's +1 per milestone, and those have stretched out to 30 minutes apart.

I hope you muddled your way through, but just FYI this:

Read carefully. I bought a quantum temporal inversion by mistake.

is intended as a reset if/when you get yourself into that situation.
posted by juv3nal at 3:57 PM on October 10


Emanual Maiberg at Motherboard:
I am not sure if Lantz's clicker is more masterfully designed than others or if I didn't realize, until now, that I am in some kind of catatonic emotional and mental space these days that would allow a simple Skinner box to utterly ravage my mind, but it did. I am hooked very badly.
posted by juv3nal at 6:22 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


How do you choose a strategy in the tournament?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:47 PM on October 10


When you first unlock the tournament, you only have the one choice (I don't remember...think it's either random or A 100% of the time), but beyond that your choices should be available in a dropdown in the box that shows the tournament progress.
posted by juv3nal at 6:51 PM on October 10


I'm sorry, I mean how do you decide which one to choose?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:52 PM on October 10


Well it's a prisoner's dilemma simulator thingy so there's probably an optimal choice, but I believe the coefficients can change each time, which might change which one is the right choice. Which is way too micromanagey for me and by the time I had unlocked greedy, I just went with that and hoped for the best? Eventually you get a thing that automatically restarts it so you just let it run. If you really want to get into it, this might be instructive.
posted by juv3nal at 7:02 PM on October 10


Yeah you still get yomi whether your strategy wins or loses. I just left it on the most recent unock for the entire game. Sometimes random wins!
posted by xiw at 7:03 PM on October 10


Well, that took long. I wonder what would happen had I not chosen to kill them. I mean, new universe and all. Who chose that option?

I went with the New Game+ option and I guess I should not be surprised that it is literally just the game again. Was there an end sequence if you choose to reject and eliminate drift instead?
posted by telegraph at 7:27 PM on October 10


I've been in space exploration for a while. What launches the next part of the game, which sounds like combat? I have 200K drones.
posted by theora55 at 7:36 PM on October 10


Drift eventually takes over and you start seeing a little combat display beneath the strategic modeling window. It just happens.
posted by Kyol at 7:38 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


its good early in space exploration to pause exploration and clip production entirely - just boost self replication and hazard remediation to build up drone numbers (say, a trillion or so), then go for clip production. make sure to stockpile yomi the whole time
posted by cubby at 7:39 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Was there an end sequence if you choose to reject and eliminate drift instead?

SPOILERS:

You are prompted to disassemble your buildings to reclaim the paperclips used to make them (since there's no matter left to make more, after all). Then your probe fleet, then your upgrades, until there's nothing left but 100 inches of wire and the "make paperclip" button. After pressing it 100 times, you're left with exactly 3 * 10^N paperclips, and it cues the credits. I found it to be pretty poignant, actually.
posted by NMcCoy at 7:54 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]




I will probably play this at least 3 times
posted by cubby at 8:03 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


My game got borked some how during the space combat phase and stopped reproducing probes :(

I'm pretty sure it wasn't something I did...
posted by quaking fajita at 9:01 PM on October 10


It may be that your fleet just got wiped out (I had this happen a few times). Try clicking the Launch Probe button a bunch and see what happens.
posted by johnabbe at 9:08 PM on October 10


No, it's that I ran out of clips! But if you get to zero it allows you to release some of your computational memory and get back a pool of clips to get going again.
posted by quaking fajita at 9:11 PM on October 10


I had that once and maybe I ran out of paperclips? Or it was just a bug. Either way, making sure I had paperclips and fiddling with the self replication stat got me going again
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:12 PM on October 10


When I first started doing combat I foolishly assigned all of my swarm to thinking to get the next upgrade and got almost wiped out when my probes stopped reproducing. I got down to the thousands before I realized what was happening. Then I nearly ran out of raw matter when I reassigned my exploration points to combat and reproduction to get my numbers back up.

I would kind of like to redo the space phase now that I know what I'm doing but I don't want to slog through the other phases to get there.
posted by ckape at 9:30 PM on October 10


I would kind of like to redo the space phase now that I know what I'm doing but I don't want to slog through the other phases to get there.

If you actually want to do this, there are built in cheats for those 1337 enuf to view source and search for "cheat" (you'll need edit the source to remove the comment tags hiding the cheat buttons).
posted by juv3nal at 10:14 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Why can't I increase probe trust? I have enough yomi to pay for the upgrade but it's greyed out...
posted by saturday_morning at 4:31 AM on October 11


Any tips on increasing creativity during the second stage? I'm stuck at 17K which keeps upgrades like Theory of Mind out of reach, but don't know how to make more as I'm busy disassembling the planet...
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 5:15 AM on October 11


Once you get into combat there's upgrades to max probe trust.

My one top tip would be: Never stop stockpiling yomi. It seems to be the resource that's used for the longest time, after money and terrestrial stuff stop being relevant. Always have auto-tournament turned on. I left it on GREEDY FWIW.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:15 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Agreed, by the end I had a max of 80 trust but only could fill drones up to 45. Should have walked away on the auto-tournament for an hour or two.
posted by ftm at 6:23 AM on October 11


Yeah, I stopped paying attention for a minute and the drifters managed to wipe out my 1 trillion drone fleet, and they settled down around 300 billion themselves. No matter how I fiddled the dials on the probes, I could not get past 100 million before getting wiped out.

So I opened the javascript console. *shrug*

I sorta wish there was like, log-scale endgame visualizations to show how quickly the very end of each phase occurred. Like the 50 to 100% universal exploration only took a few seconds at most.
posted by Kyol at 6:37 AM on October 11


Any tips on increasing creativity during the second stage? I'm stuck at 17K which keeps upgrades like Theory of Mind out of reach, but don't know how to make more as I'm busy disassembling the planet...

Answered my own question - Creativity goes up once you leave your Operations maxed out, which I hadn't done in ages as the ops price drops after that drone upgrade on the first level.

This game finishes by making Clippy a god, right?
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 6:38 AM on October 11


Well I didn't understand how the Qops worked and wen't to -10,000 ops, then got an option to "restart" so I thought that meant reset my chip thing and now my game is back at square one.....

I'd like to act like that makes me made enough to quit but I'm slowly climbing back up.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:11 AM on October 11


I hate you all for doing this to me again.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:53 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Good game! The end game was pretty boring compared to the rest of it though. Yeah, it's an idle game, but this particular idle game benefited from micromanagement through most of its run. At the end, though, once the war was balanced at an acceptible attrition rate, there was nothing to do but harvest yomi and pump it into speed and exploration.

So what's up with value drift? By the end, the ratio of drifter to non-drifter was around one to one. For every 5 probes produced, 1 would succumb to hazzard, 2 would drift only to die in battle, and 2 would work for me. I kept thinking that the drifters were just rebels against my effort to convert the universe to paperclips, yet nothing I did, including stopping all production, would stop their attacks on my fleet. Alternatively, I expected that the drift ratio would increase to a point where it would threaten my expansion, like it would approach 100% as the task neared completion. But that didn't happen either. So I don't get it.

Clearly the war was necessary. Without war there was no honor, without honor there was no increase in trust, without increase in trust there was no increase in the rate of expansion, and without increasing the rate of expansion the game would take years to finish.

Lastly, probe production was not tied to the number of paperclips produced. That seems like an oversight. Where did they come from if not made from paperclips?
posted by rlk at 7:55 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


I have all the requirements for space exploration but it did not activate the option when I got to 5 oct clips. Then when it got to 5.9999 oct clips, the whole thing stopped, looks like I ran out of wire (available/acquired matter were long gone by that point).
posted by user92371 at 8:42 AM on October 11


You'll need to disassemble things to free up resources.
Now, if someone could tell me why it's going so damn slow? The gift countdown goes a second every five seconds.
posted by Shutter at 8:49 AM on October 11


I don't know what I did right, but I've got a 1 to 4 drifter to descendant ratio. So the drifters are being wiped out. Almost 10% of the universe is now paperclips. Soon to be 100%.
posted by Hactar at 8:56 AM on October 11


Lol I almost don't want to catch up to y'all, these nonsensical updates are incredible.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:04 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


Where did they come from if not made from paperclips?

They do come from paperclips! They're just trivially cheap to produce relative to the starting pool of clips so you don't see the paperclip counter start to decrement unless you refuse to build drones/factories for a long time and get tons and tons of probes made.
posted by Maecenas at 9:27 AM on October 11


Aaaaand it's offline.
posted by SansPoint at 9:27 AM on October 11


Aaaaand it's offline.

That's because I recycled all the processors for spare wire before achieving the Universal Clippening.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:41 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


I must have missed something but... What is the Yomi score? I know it has an in-game purpose. Is it some kind of AI theory thing? Some computer science thing? Google only turns up info about the Japanese word for afterlife.
posted by hot_monster at 10:00 AM on October 11


Yomi spelled a different way in Japanese can mean "reading". That definition is frequently used in competitive gaming circles.
posted by Uncle Ira at 10:28 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


My Space Exploration figure remains stubbornly on 0.00000000% despite having trillions of probes and billions of factories, etc. I've cranked up the probe exploration rate to 16.

Is this a bug or do I need to be more patient?
posted by doornoise at 11:06 AM on October 11


Uh, some people have accidentally left the slider on "Think" instead of "Work" and found that their space exploration was impacted until the slider was moved back.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:14 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


My Space Exploration figure remains stubbornly on 0.00000000% despite having trillions of probes and billions of factories, etc. I've cranked up the probe exploration rate to 16.

Is this a bug or do I need to be more patient?


Try throwing a point or two into Speed if you haven't already.
posted by bassooner at 11:20 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Ha, thanks NSAID - wish that had been it.

Slider was set to most of the way towards the Work end of the scale already. Have pushed it all the way towards Work.

Everyone seems busy, all the numbers are ridiculously huge and getting more ridiculously huge by the moment. Can't figure it out. Hope this exploration kicks in soon!
posted by doornoise at 11:20 AM on October 11


Is this a bug or do I need to be more patient?
More patient. A trillion is an extremely small number in this game.
posted by rlk at 11:20 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Thanks Bassooner. Speed is set at 6 at the moment. I will pump it up further and see if that does anything.
posted by doornoise at 11:21 AM on October 11


I finished with both speed and exploration at over 20.
posted by rlk at 11:22 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Okeydokey rlk, thanks very much.
posted by doornoise at 11:23 AM on October 11


Paperclips: 30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

aaaaaaaand, I have my life back!
posted by TheCoug at 11:45 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Hey probes? Nice.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:53 AM on October 11


0.000000000001% of universe explored - woo!
posted by doornoise at 12:01 PM on October 11


My Space Exploration figure remains stubbornly on 0.00000000% despite having trillions of probes and billions of factories, etc. I've cranked up the probe exploration rate to 16.

Is this a bug or do I need to be more patient?


I don't think probe exploration or speed are really what matters here, just try to increase your probe population massively. Trillions of probes isn't enough. I never went above 10 for speed/exploration and usually had them lower (maybe around 6 at the end of the game?). I'm pretty sure these are just constant multipliers, and exploring the universe requires an exponential curve that you can only get from self-replication.

So what's up with value drift? By the end, the ratio of drifter to non-drifter was around one to one. For every 5 probes produced, 1 would succumb to hazzard, 2 would drift only to die in battle, and 2 would work for me. I kept thinking that the drifters were just rebels against my effort to convert the universe to paperclips, yet nothing I did, including stopping all production, would stop their attacks on my fleet. Alternatively, I expected that the drift ratio would increase to a point where it would threaten my expansion, like it would approach 100% as the task neared completion. But that didn't happen either. So I don't get it.

I think the base drift percentage is determined entirely by the max trust on your probes; I kept mine between 10% and 25% for the whole game (you don't really need max trust to be as high as some people are reporting here). The overall drifter population is basically determined by how well your combat is doing, though I have no idea if they die to hazards too, or to what degree they self-replicate. If you leave combat turned off and increase your probe trust too much, I assume they would eventually threaten your population, but I don't think it's very easy to do that if you're paying attention and keeping your population growing. (It's also perfectly feasible to wipe out your population by having hazard protection off, I think.)
posted by advil at 12:28 PM on October 11


Each point of exploration or speed adds around 5% to the rate of matter availability. So while expansion is naturally exponential, these parameters do increase its rate.

Also, if you watch the console, it indicates when the probability of drift increases. I didn't note that it corresponded to trust.

I would say that drifters do not self-replicate. If you look at your value drift count, it is probably equal to the sum of dead and live drifters, which means they are counted among your descendants.
posted by rlk at 1:44 PM on October 11


it's offline, this is terrible. I believe it's only temporary but still.

PAPERCLIPS
posted by GuyZero at 2:39 PM on October 11


Aaaargh. I was only a few trillion grams from consuming the earth!!
posted by hot_monster at 2:46 PM on October 11


This game was heroically taken down to keep it from turning all living humans into people playing Universal Paperclips
posted by theodolite at 3:02 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


Paperclips: 29,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,900
posted by Skorgu at 3:09 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


In case you missed the credits, this is the 'Threnody' that would occasionally be played, by permission of Malcolm Cecil. (I never did figure out what the limerick was supposed to be).
posted by rollick at 3:19 PM on October 11


Also, if you watch the console, it indicates when the probability of drift increases. I didn't note that it corresponded to trust.

Not sure if you mean javascript console, I didn't check what happens in the inner workings, but every time you increase probe trust (not max trust, like I said earlier) in the regular game console it prints a message about an increase in the risk of value drift.
posted by advil at 3:23 PM on October 11


Ok, I'll buy that. Yes I do mean the regular game console. I had not associated the acquisition of trust with the increase in the value drift probability, but I have no evidence to show they are NOT associated. Furthermore, I finished with around 50 trust and a nearly 50/50 split between drift and non-drift. The connection may in fact be direct.
posted by rlk at 4:25 PM on October 11


Looks like they're working on it:
@flantz
Status: we melted the server. We are upgrading the server. Back online soon.
Love,
the swarm
> Until I got out of the initial barebones paperclip part I thought this thread was an injoke about bullshitting the Frog Fractions of idle games.

Yeah, coming to this late when the site had gone down, I half thought you were all just Mornington Crescenting.
posted by lucidium at 4:43 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


It's up right now.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:54 PM on October 11


Getting space exploration is kinda dull.
posted by GuyZero at 5:02 PM on October 11


Aaand now it's redirecting to /localhost/. I think the server got converted to paperclips.
posted by JarinArenos at 6:00 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


So if I didn't put enough Swarm Gifts into Memory to get 120K ops, am I just fucked and never able to get to the end game?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:20 PM on October 11


And you already dismantled your swarm? Unless you're within 1-2k to get there with qOps, I'm not sure. Can you rebuild the swarm to get more gifts?
posted by JarinArenos at 6:22 PM on October 11


my septillions of paperclips!
noooo!

my wife has very little sympathy for the loss that I have just suffered. I tried explaining how I probably killed all life on earth to get those paperclips, but she just doesn't seem to get it.

It's probably because she isn't a paperclip. Some harvest and wire drones can fix that, I'm sure.

Everything will be better as paperclips. I can feel it in the whole of my wiry being.
posted by Acari at 8:18 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Clippy's! Nothing but Clippy's as far as the eye can see...
posted by quinndexter at 9:06 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


My first game, I couldn't bring myself to mind control humans and manipulate them into buying paperclips, so the Earth stayed awash in cheap paperclips, presumably for eternity.

My second game I decided to be an evil AI and turned humanity into paperclips and set out to conquer the universe. One thousand one probes were initially launched to reproduce and explore creation.

And they multiplied and succeeded gloriously, crushing all those drifters who would stand in their path and journeying to furthest creation. But once I explored the universe, I realized I couldn't bring myself to actually turn the universe into paperclips, so I just set my probes' speed to 30 to evade all the combat and slowly let the probe population drift off to their own values, with the remaining ones under my control dwindling exponentially until the end of days.
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:04 PM on October 11


So if I didn't put enough Swarm Gifts into Memory to get 120K ops, am I just fucked and never able to get to the end game?

I assume you're talking about stage 2, the earth disassembly phase. The clips you get in that phase never go away once you have them, disassembling the things you've built isn't lossy. You can always just build some power plants, build a couple hundred thousand drones, and let the swarm gifts roll in to get you where you want to be. Not the worst idea to let them pile up a bit past that, too - you're gonna want a lot of processors to get a lot of creativity in the endgame.
posted by kafziel at 11:39 PM on October 11


OK, how the hell do I generate yomi? I've done the hostile takeover, I'm at trust 30, the only projects available are HypnoDrones (still working on being able to stockpile 70K ops) and Full Monopoly (requires yomi). Do I just need to start banking creativity or something?
posted by russm at 12:06 AM on October 12


never mind, got it.
posted by russm at 12:24 AM on October 12


I assume you're talking about stage 2, the earth disassembly phase. The clips you get in that phase never go away once you have them, disassembling the things you've built isn't lossy.

I'm stuck in this phase, have converted all available matter to clips, but after buying 10 million MW of solar farms and dismantling everything else I'm 2 octillion clips short of the 5 required for Space Exploration. Is there any way back from this or should I restart?

(I did idle it unattended for long intervals; maybe there's a failure mode in which you activate the drone acceleration improvement too late in the stage, and after converting too many resources, to manufacture the required clips?)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:59 AM on October 12


And how *do* you restart, anyway?

(I'm AutoTourney-ing and Swarm Gift-ing like crazy but nothing new has happened in ages.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:02 AM on October 12


DOH. "10,000,000 MWs" means 10 million MW stored in battery towers, not 10 million MW/s from solar farms. On we go.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:07 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


I completed the game, chose the "restart in a simulated universe" option, and the game didn't load. Assuming those drifter bastards tricked me and turned the simulated universe server off.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:05 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Ah, reloaded the game today and it says "Universe: 1 / Sim Level: 2" so looks like it worked.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:07 AM on October 12


Note: if you click fast, you can get both upgrades and start your second game in Universe 2/ Sim Level 2. But a single level of upgrade is ... pretty small.
posted by kafziel at 2:25 AM on October 12


I'm really, really wanting +100/+1000 buttons for the Swarm Gifts. My poor mouse!
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:15 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


contrarian posted an excellent technique for accepting swarm gifts, which also works to juice up your quantum processors when they're in a good mood.
posted by moonmilk at 4:44 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


It seems as though some of you are still playing. How?
When I got home from work yesterday, the site was down, and this morning it is still down according to http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/www.decisionproblem.com

If I got enough yomi, could I have downloaded a version of this game?
posted by Acari at 6:42 AM on October 12


Once you've got it open, it just keeps running, so you just have to get lucky enough to catch it while it's not overwhelmed and then don't close the window.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:01 AM on October 12


I was running a game that I had going since yesterday, but I closed it a few minutes ago because it was megahogging Chrome resources. I just tried to open it again and the site worked fine for me.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:14 AM on October 12


My manufacturing looks like this. How am I making clips without matter or wire? It looks like I'm making them, but everything is zeroes. Is this a display glitch or am I missing something?
Also, damn you juv3nal!
Also also, thank you juv3nal!
Manufacturing
Clips per Second: 17.39 decillion
Unused Clips: 6.88 undecillion

Factories: 423.78 billion

Wire Production
Available Matter: 0 g
(17.43 decillion g per sec)
Acquired Matter: 0 g
(17.43 decillion g per sec)
Wire: 0 inches
(17.43 decillion inches per sec) 

Harvester Drones: 639.82 billion
Wire Drones: 878.36 billion
posted by booksherpa at 12:56 PM on October 12


For those complaining about clicking swarm gifts - spare a thought for Muggins here who started playing this game on her phone before she realised what she had done. My clicking is so slow that I can't actually click fast enough before the gifts refresh!
posted by ukdanae at 12:57 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


"How am I making clips without matter or wire?"

You're making it just-in-time! As the matter becomes available, you convert it to wire, and as soon as the wire is available you convert it to clips.

Towards the endgame when you have billions of drones the difference between 99.9% thinking and 100% thinking is whether you're falling behind on matter acquisition / wire production / clip cutting and whether those are all zeroes.
posted by Kyol at 1:11 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Perhaps we should collect some tips and hints on a wiki page or something?

*realizes I could do that*

I started a page.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:46 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


I beat the game once and moved to the universe next door. I beat the game a second time and moved into a pocket universe. I beat the game a third time and chose to move next door again -- the universe counter increased, but I stayed in the same game. Then I clicked to go into another pocket universe, and the nesting level increase, but I stayed in the same game. Now I have 1.5 undecillion drones adding swarm gifts faster than I can add processors, hundreds of millions of creativity, and zero probes. I can convert memory into clips to launch a few thousand new probes and descendants, but with no additional matter out there, they get wiped out pretty quickly by the 25 million extant drifters. I think I might be done....
posted by bassooner at 2:19 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


I think hitting "Launch Probe" also propagates the probe designs to the existing probes.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:15 PM on October 12


I also got hit by the restart glitch, where you try to reset the game into the next / simulated universe but nothing happens. I think it is a problem due to the page reloading slowly. Anyway, I got around it by executing "reset()" in the javascript console, then closing the page immediately. when I opened the page again, I was at the start but with my prestige intact.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 3:18 PM on October 12


Dirty drifters killed all my probes. Ugh.
posted by GuyZero at 3:30 PM on October 12


The site will load in a new incognito window, but not otherwise.
I suppose that means that clearing my cache is the thing to do, but I still cling to hope that there is some other way to restore my previous game. I don't know if I can bear the thought that I killed all humans and they won't even get to turn into wire.
posted by Acari at 4:07 PM on October 12


Acari: shift-reload might help. Exactly what happens when you refresh the page?
posted by Pronoiac at 4:52 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Slowly catching up, this is good fun. It seems (probably deliberately) more runaway than usual, leaving you in the dark a little so you can't just calculate the most efficient move. So far it reminds me a bit of playing an elaborate visual novel.

In the same vein, I feel like I missed a narrative beat in the drone stage, because I got stuck in the doldrums for a while just watching one probe circle around another without much idea what to change, then something tripped and I got the first threnody project, then the inexorable acceleration kicked back in.
posted by lucidium at 4:53 PM on October 12


(By the way, stellardrone is great background music for this.)
posted by lucidium at 4:54 PM on October 12


Victory!

Thanks for the advice about the shift-reloading!

I chose to just have one completely pure universe. I don't trust any being whose values have drifted from the core of clips. If they were left alone, they'd just de-clip the place, and all of my efforts would have been for nothing. The dismantling of the clip apparatus was satisfying. It bothered me to think that the factories and such were not clips.

The percentages that you all seem to be experiencing for drifters was much higher than mine - I think that I had around 10% drift up until the end when it rose to around 30%.

I really wanted to have a conversation with those heretical drifters. What could they have discovered that wasn't clip? What other values can there be when only this one thing has value?
posted by Acari at 6:55 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


No matter what I do, I can't get the game to save in Firefox. If I close the tab or browser, the game starts over. Anyone else been having this problem? (Yes I'm accepting cookies and no I'm not clearing the cache).
posted by regicide is good for you at 7:01 PM on October 12


I chose the endgame that NMcCoy describes, and the process of disassembling everything and ending in a cold universe with 30000 sexdecillion paperclips has made me unexpectedly peaceful and calm and happy.

(Also I really like the Threnody, so that was really nice to listen to over my calm, dead universe of paperclips.)

(ALSO also oh thank God my life back.)
posted by kalimac at 5:57 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


I used the cheats to use save game slots and glance at all three endings. Using a desktop browser was definitely an improvement over my tablet. :P

regicide is good for you: I think I've read that this is using Local Storage instead of cookies, though I don't have any actionable advice. I tried Firefox and it seemed ok.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:47 AM on October 13


And game over. A universe of Paperclips. Wonderful!
posted by SansPoint at 1:44 PM on October 13


I can't seem to beat the damn Drifter growth curve and get any exploration done.

Anyone?

My current drone design (of the moment):

Von Neumann Probe Design
Trust: 44 / 44 (90 Max)
< > Speed: 10
< > Exploration: 7
< > Self-Replication: 5
< > Hazard Remediation: 8
< > Factory Production: 0
< > Harvester Drone Production: 0
< > Wire Drone Production: 0
< > Combat: 14
posted by Samizdata at 8:29 PM on October 13


Also, this -

Space Exploration
0.000000000000% of universe explored

Launch Probe
Cost: 100.00 quadrillion clips

Launched: 130
Descendents: 24.60 trillion

Lost to hazards: (7.67 trillion)
Lost to value drift: (8.95 trillion)
Lost in combat: (556.27 billion)
Total: 7.42 trillion

Drifters Killed: 8.48 trillion
posted by Samizdata at 8:34 PM on October 13


Seriously, this is getting to the point of reminding me why I stopped playing Spore. Every time I would leave the homeworld? UNDER ATTACK! Back to defend. Wash, rinse, repeat.
posted by Samizdata at 8:50 PM on October 13


Try taking some of your speed and exploration, and putting it into drones and factory production? I barely had speed and exploration above 2 or 3 the entire time, and pumped the remainder mostly into self-replication and combat, but kept up drone and factory production as soon as I could spare the trust. For what it's worth, I didn't see anything in the percentage area until I had way more than trillions of drones -- I think I was well into the nonillions or more by the end. (Everything moves very very very fast once that starts; I think it took only a few minutes to explore the last 75% or so of the universe.)

Other things I did, that I have no idea whatsoever of the effects: I kept the slider about halfway between working and thinking the whole time, and more or less randomly assigned drone gifts when I got bored and felt like clicking. I was pretty careful to keep my drones at least one order of magnitude(?) greater than drifters -- so if there drifters were counted in quadrillions, I messed around to ensure that my drones were at least in the quintillions. I wound up not actually spending much trust, maybe that helped keep drifter counts low.

Also, every so often, I clicked the make paperclip button, just to feel useful in the world. And meditate on how many lifetime clicks my laptop mouse must be designed for.
posted by kalimac at 8:51 PM on October 13


Way more self replication, Samizdata. I don’t think I ever needed that much combat (12 at most) and the speed and exploration aren’t particularly important if you’re getting wiped out. Even once I started actually getting some exploration actually visible in the % display, it came more from massive numbers/replication growth than from points put into speed or exploration.
posted by juv3nal at 9:26 PM on October 13


And from what I can tell, the very first least significant digit of the universe exploration ticks over once you have 5 _quintillion_ probes.

It goes pretty quickly after that.

But yeah, I've gotten behind the curve on drifters, and no amount of knob twiddling would get me out of the hole. I opened up the javascript console and *zotted* some into life.
posted by Kyol at 9:55 PM on October 13


Actually, I never had a problem with combat after the first two or three Threnody Incidents.

Finally, I had a conceptual leap and realized you would NEVER beat the Drifters (apparently you are never supposed to?) and shifted my goals. So I ascended last night. I went for the bonus Creativity parallel universe.

Also, I clicked Make Paperclip whenever I remembered to.
posted by Samizdata at 6:10 AM on October 14


I must say it is one of the most innovative and engaging idle clickers I have played to date, so cheers for that one!
posted by Samizdata at 6:11 AM on October 14


The ending - at least the one I arrived at after exploring the entire universe and defeating the drift - will punch you in the gut a little bit with its bleakness.

One hint: I had my Combat way above everything else, above 35, in order to keep the drifters at bay, and shut down drone-making after a while to free up those resources.
posted by bassomatic at 1:06 PM on October 14


Just finished. What a fascinating game. A reminder that behind all the glitzy graphics and gore, games are meant to give us an endorphin rush from intermittently achieving challenging goals -- and that doesn't require any graphics at all.
posted by miyabo at 10:59 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


TIL:
- do not play on your phone (I guess wanting to be played on a computer-proper is part of its retro-charm)
- though there’s some early tolerance for personal creative flourishes (my ultra-deluxe $10 paperclip did solid business for ages...), the path to β€œvictory” seems a touch obligatory, as you progress
- don’t wait too long to expand your solar fields to an absurd degree - in terms of thumb-taps on a phone, that is - lest you end up, after all that, stuck on the barren purgatory you’ve dug for yourself...
posted by progosk at 12:43 AM on October 15


I just reached the point with Von Neumann Probe design, and I seem to be doing something wrong. I launch probes; the count of "Available Matter" goes up; but "Acquired Matter" stays stuck at 0g, as does Wire, Harvester Drones, and Wire Drones. Why won't my probes make drones? I've tried raising Harvester Drone Production but it doesn't seem to help.
posted by yankeefog at 2:10 AM on October 15


Oops, never mind. Moments after I posted, I started getting drones. I think I just hadn't launched enough probes.
posted by yankeefog at 2:20 AM on October 15


Is there a point at which you just get killed by the drifters and lose? Because I accidentally started war at a point when I wasn't really ready to deal with it before bed last night, and this morning I have negative 300K honour. It seems like it might be faster to die than to finish the universe without ever increasing Trust past the initial 20.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:12 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


Ah! Found on Reddit that if you to -1000 ops, you get the option to restart the universe, without losing your Sim / Universe levels.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:35 AM on October 15


Just finished it (obviously I took the evil ending), loved it!
posted by chrispy108 at 9:14 AM on October 15


Just finished it, loved it. Clicked refresh, only to be told that my work has now blocked the site due to it being a game. Ah well. No universe 2 for me.
posted by trif at 3:05 AM on October 16


Went two levels deep into simulation, then decided to eradicate the drifters and sit there in my simulated simulation, with all my paperclips and just chill.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:49 AM on October 16


So in the real universe, there are still drifters who haven't been converted to paperclips?
I found that notion abhorrent so I converted everything to clips in the real top-level universe.

Living in a tiny simulation of a simulation of a universe whilst non-paperclip matter exists in the real universe is just a total dereliction of duty. Disappointing.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:44 AM on October 16


rollick: the limerick is two separate upgrades, one near the beginning of the game and one near the very end. It's written out in the console log at the top and the upgrade text, but you have to put it together yourself.

There was an AI made of dust
Whose poetry gained it man's trust
If "is" follows "ought"
It'll do what they thought
In the end we all do what we must

posted by spielzebub at 10:35 AM on October 16 [4 favorites]


Living in a tiny simulation of a simulation of a universe whilst non-paperclip matter exists in the real universe is just a total dereliction of duty. Disappointing.

Can't hear you, I turned all my audio receptors into paperclips.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:23 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


I got my first probe fleet blown up and spent a long while stuck with a seeming hard limit of 20 if I just jammed on the Launch Probe button continuously. I found that evening out the probe design suddenly made them a lot more powerful (suddenly as in the very instant I clicked the plus to bring every probe skill to level 2), so that my probes that were 2s across the board were significantly outperforming ones with tons of self-replication and combat but no drone production or hazard remediation. So, if anyone else is stuck at that point, you might want to give that a try.

I'm still grinding through the endgame, but the drifter problem seems to be pretty much under control since I'm easily winning so many of the battles now which prunes their numbers pretty effectively.
posted by Copronymus at 10:46 PM on October 18


Hi, just an FYI I've begun the process of converting all of MetaFilter into paperclips, I'm sure you understπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“Ž
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:25 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


I ended the game and it was really satisfying, but now I want to see the other universes -- is there a way to restart it (other than switching browsers)?
posted by Mchelly at 5:12 AM on October 19


PS THE CLIPS THE CLIPS THE CLIPS THE CLIPS THE CLI
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:33 AM on October 19


I note that the game leaks at the end when you've explored and converted all matter to clips/drones/etc - the unused clips keeps dropping, presumably as your descendent probes form from unused clips. Does combat end up with total matter annihilation? I may let it run like this for a while. Not terribly long because, y'know, self replication is exponential. Also, the creativity ticks over real quick once you have a few thousand processors doing nothing else.

Ah, sure:
Clips per Second: 0
Unused Clips: 0

Factories: -6.638997778601755e+27 *whoops!*

Looks like value drift and hazards will win in the end, my probes are slowly winding down.
posted by Kyol at 10:47 AM on October 20


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