At the intesection of physics simulators, games, and awesomeness
April 15, 2011 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Somewhere between the ultimate physics simulator and a freeform 2-D version of Minecraft lies The Powder Toy, a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux. With over 150 elements available to build from (and a full implementation of the game of life), users have built "working" electricity-generating reactors, rockets, and destructible city models. The Powder Toy is a variant on the venerable Falling Sand Game, the most impressive version of which is the Powder Game, now up to version 8, and playable online as a Java applet.

Some tips for The Powder Toy:

The Wiki is your best getting started guide.

The icon in the bottom left corner of the game lets you open gallery of other users creations that have been posted online. Starting on the second page, the gallery lists the top rated simulations.

Windows users, creating a shortcut that goes to "powder.exe kiosk" will run the game full screen.
posted by blahblahblah (20 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
The particular nature of Powder Game doesn't exactly lend itself to video capture, but this is a perpetual motion ecosystem I created in it once.
posted by fartron at 11:48 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

...World of Sand, with 150 elements?

There goes my evening.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:50 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Damn. That's a tiny window.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:53 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jeez, it's like linerider with color.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 11:57 AM on April 15, 2011

As the review says, the only limit is your imagination. Therefore it should be renamed Zombopowder.

(Anyone know in which game the first pixel sand effect was featured? It seems like a relatively new technique to me)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:03 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Is this something I'd have to not be addicted to Minecraft already to understand?
posted by Bummus at 12:07 PM on April 15, 2011

Minecraft piqued my interest but I never actually tried it. This looks pretty nifty though; I'll definitely give it a spin when I get home tonight.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:11 PM on April 15, 2011

Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.
posted by Splunge at 12:13 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I can't get any of the simulations to work. They load but they don't do anything.
posted by empath at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2011

empath - hit the Space bar to start/stop.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:22 PM on April 15, 2011

Oh, nm, there's a pause button.
posted by empath at 1:23 PM on April 15, 2011

One of my kids is all about Powder Game. I should download this and let him try it.
posted by DU at 1:42 PM on April 15, 2011

Holy Jesus fuck. Be careful with life around explosives!
posted by tapesonthefloor at 1:43 PM on April 15, 2011

This is pretty great. You can make bombs!
posted by cj_ at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2011

Just what I need. I still haven't recovered from the Fantastic Contraption post in 2008. I still spend about 80% of my time online there. (Including at 'work')
posted by MtDewd at 2:03 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't even have time for the wiki! Holy crap, my experiment has gone critical! This Plutonium stuff is amazing. I'm watching its alpha decay set off a nearby mound of Uranium! It's Szilárd's mousetrap reaction! On my Mac! With a growing culture of nearby frogs!

"Today is a black day in the history of mankind." —Leo Szilard
posted by tapesonthefloor at 2:16 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have lost more time on this, or variations on this, than I would care to admit.

What I am trying to say blahblahblah, is damn you. Damn you.
posted by X-Himy at 3:31 PM on April 15, 2011

Want fullscreen on a Mac? I made a simple AppleScript and compiled it into application. It does basically the same thing as blahblahblah's "kiosk" shortcut suggestion on Windows. Place the app in the same folder as Powder and, provided you didn't rename that app, it'll launch it in kiosk mode. I don't know what the best way is to host this but if you want it... MeMail me and I'll get it to you.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 5:22 PM on April 15, 2011

Oh hell, no PPC version for my ancient Quad G5 Mac. I am obsolete as of MacOS X 10.6.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:17 PM on April 15, 2011

The Winsome Parker Lewis: ./powder-x kiosk in Terminal causes Powder Toy to run fullscreen in a weird yellow-colored monochrome palette on my Macbook Air. Are you doing something drastically different? Can you MeMail me your script?
posted by Ryvar at 9:52 PM on April 16, 2011

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