Too insignificant to matter
September 17, 2014 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Rebuild the Universe an incremental game that starts with the smallest unit possible to end with the universe itself. Bonuses, special effects and more await you in this incremental game.
posted by boo_radley (64 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
Noooooooooooo. I've only just recently kicked my Cookie Clicker obsession.
posted by kmz at 10:42 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Other than to click on items as they become available, I'm not really understanding what to do here.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:48 AM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, I guess I'm lucky I have a 12-hour flight ahead of me...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:51 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have to be missing something because so far, this seems to be the equivalent of watching paint dry, but on a quantum level.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:07 AM on September 17, 2014


I like scale-of-the-universe type stuff, but mechanically, there aren't any interactions and the increments are too straight-forward. You basically build 5 of one level, then 5 of the next level, and so on. You might even do better to just build one at each level.
posted by michaelh at 11:12 AM on September 17, 2014


Sets of 5 seem fastest if you want the best combination of clicking and progressing. Sets of 1 fastest if you just want to progress.
posted by michaelh at 11:14 AM on September 17, 2014


I think your guys's is broke, mine shows NUMBERS! GROWING! FASTER!
posted by Cosine at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


All I want to do is make an apple pie from scratch. Do I really have to do this?
posted by The Bellman at 11:21 AM on September 17, 2014 [22 favorites]


Seems to not work quite right on my computer. I think you're supposed to be able to click on the name of a thing to get just one of them, but if I click there all it does is scroll me all the way to the top. I can only use the x10 or 'all' buttons to make things. OS X, tried firefox, safari, and chrome, all to the same result. Anyone else having that problem?
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:25 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Damn it, I'm busy with the kittens.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:26 AM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


vib: working as designed
posted by Cosine at 11:29 AM on September 17, 2014


Seems to not work quite right on my computer. I think you're supposed to be able to click on the name of a thing to get just one of them, but if I click there all it does is scroll me all the way to the top.

Click on the picture of the thing, not it's name.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:30 AM on September 17, 2014


Thanks, this is a lot less frustrating now.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:38 AM on September 17, 2014


This is so great.
posted by corb at 11:52 AM on September 17, 2014


Thorzdad: "Other than to click on items as they become available, I'm not really understanding what to do here."

Incremental Games explained.
posted by boo_radley at 12:08 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


To me Incrementals are typically pretty pointless and just a grindfest, but I appreciate this. It teaches scale of the universe and helps quantify how small the quantum level is and how vast the universe is.
posted by Twain Device at 12:20 PM on September 17, 2014


The "bonus available" pop ups were really confusing, but you actually have to buy those bonuses with the "Bonus" link on the top of the page. "Specials" also increase your rates.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:24 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just fed 30 quintillion atoms into the black hole. I hope it's worth it.
posted by languagehat at 12:33 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've had this one open in my browser for the last week, and today I finally closed it. Once you get about two-thirds of the way to completion, it slows down to an absolute glacial pace, and it was no longer functioning as my Skinner Box du jour. Great concept with fantastic artwork and research/writing, though.
posted by jbickers at 12:34 PM on September 17, 2014


Man, I love games like this. As technology becomes more advanced, I look forward to a day in the future when we can play a game like this in a 3D sandbox (like Space Engine on steroids) with similar mechanics while also giving a visual sense of scale. I want the epic feel of a really good space opera.

By that time, the robot apocolypse may have happened, but if we're lucky, they'll be into this kind of thing.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:40 PM on September 17, 2014


It occasionally says game saved. Does this mean I can close this window and resume at home?
posted by Twain Device at 12:41 PM on September 17, 2014


It occasionally says game saved. Does this mean I can close this window and resume at home?

I haven't checked with this game, but in general, if you want to play on a different computer, you'll have to use the Export/Import functions in the options menu. The saving it does just means that if you close the tab and re-open it on the same computer later, you'll still be at the same place.
posted by Copronymus at 12:45 PM on September 17, 2014


Ah I see that option. Thanks.

I've learned quite a bit about some celestial bodies. Neato
posted by Twain Device at 12:48 PM on September 17, 2014


The tricky part is maintaining a proper ratio of Coffee Beans:Cups and Human Hair:Humans where Cups=Humans.
posted by Woodroar at 12:50 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Uh, I've accumulated a couple thousand atoms since I restarted (fed the black hole) and still haven't gotten an opportunity to buy anything. The Units page just shows "Quantum foam 0" and clicking on it does nothing. Am I doing something wrong, or has the game blown a gasket? (Using Firefox.)
posted by languagehat at 12:51 PM on September 17, 2014


Katamari Damacy meets Cookie Clicker?
posted by etherist at 12:52 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


You need to click on the x10 or Max in the lower right hand corner, Languagehat
posted by corb at 1:04 PM on September 17, 2014


I know that; I've played this game before (see above). It doesn't work.
posted by languagehat at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2014


OK, out of desperation I fed the black hole again and now it's working normally, so I can continue wasting my day on it.
posted by languagehat at 1:10 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was playing for at least 10 seconds and had only a few atoms worth of universe, before remembering what "incremental game" means and deciding that I don't know quantum field theory nearly well enough to try building a universe. The actual creation of the universe probably went a lot faster. At the rate it was going it would have taken more trillions of years than I have to spare, to invent any of the more interesting parts of the universe like binary stars and owls.
posted by sfenders at 1:20 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


possibly. I find that once you have binary stars down, the owls are relatively easy.
posted by boo_radley at 1:38 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


To make an owl, you need to make an apple pie.

Making an apple pie is left as an exercise for the student.
posted by eriko at 1:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've gotta say that in the wake of the Kittens Game, which should now be considered the gold standard for inventiveness and expansiveness in the incremental genre, this one is far too straightforward to hold my interest.

That I am still playing it is irrelevant.
posted by The Confessor at 1:54 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kittens game?
posted by corb at 1:57 PM on September 17, 2014


More like

Catatonicamari Damacy

I'm rolling up hella Eiffel Towers
Roll you up into my life
posted by jake at 2:10 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


corb: Kittens Game, as posted previously on Metafilter.
posted by The Confessor at 2:29 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


languagehat: "OK, out of desperation I fed the black hole again and now it's working normally, so I can continue wasting my day on it."

apparently this is how god jiggles the handle.
posted by boo_radley at 2:50 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't think eukaryotes exists before the universe was 0.0000001 meter but maybe I'm wrong?
posted by Renoroc at 3:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


OH GOD MY KITTENS ARE STARVING WHY WHY WHY.
posted by corb at 4:10 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


I actually quite like this more as an educational tool than a proper incremental game, which gives me the thought that incremental games might be a half-worthwhile solution for revision. You're driven to look at things so with proper formatting the descriptions will all get burned into your brain.
posted by solarion at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


How can you have 100 eiffel towers anyway something is wrong here
posted by solarion at 4:47 PM on September 17, 2014


And, yeah, God went home for the evening and did allow his computer to run overnight. In the morning, he would look upon his bounty of atoms and it would be good.
posted by flyingfox at 5:11 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jesus H. Christ, can we tone down the sacrilege in here?
posted by The Confessor at 5:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the difference between x10 and max.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2014


10 will purchase 10 at a time and max will purchase as many as you can afford. It's easiest to see on the smallest units.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2014


Oh thanks!
posted by joannemerriam at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2014


I feel like I must be missing something here, because I'm seeing the price of each thing I bought and how many I have, but it doesn't say how many extra atoms/second I will get from it.
posted by NoraReed at 1:08 PM on September 18, 2014


NoraReed: Buy all the things!
posted by axismundi at 1:10 PM on September 18, 2014


Well, yes, I get that "buy all the things" is the objective, but I want to know what I am buying!
posted by NoraReed at 1:11 PM on September 18, 2014


Also, while the whole showing-the-size-of-stuff-in-order thing is interesting, it's a shame it's not the actual order that this stuff develops in; white blood sells didn't spontaneously emerge before, say, single-celled life. But I guess if it was happening that way, you'd increase in size, then increase in other things (such as complexity) with size as a less relevant metric.
posted by NoraReed at 1:14 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


For anyone reading this late, you can (I think, I have a few left to go) get through this entire game in 3-5 hours without an insane amount of nursing, unlike the kittens game. All you need to do is focus on the "specials" tab and buy them as soon as you can, and periodically go back and click "max" on all the objects that have come before (this reduces the prices of everything down the line). No need to keep it on overnight really.
posted by MillMan at 1:56 PM on September 18, 2014


Err, that said if you want to get 1000 of the last item, yeah, I assume that will take approximately forever.
posted by MillMan at 2:19 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


So is 1000 of each the maximum?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:45 AM on September 19, 2014


No, you can keep spending on them past that. I don't think there are any bonuses after 1000 though (unless that's what you get if you dump a bunch in the black hole?).
posted by solotoro at 8:15 AM on September 19, 2014


Hmm, so you unlock bonus 19 of 20 for each unit by having 1000 of the unit. How do you get bonus 20 of 20?
posted by Perplexity at 8:45 AM on September 19, 2014


I was wrong! I had only bought 1001 quantum foams when I said that; I was basing it on the fact that the status bar on the main screen only shows progress up to 1000. But you're right, there is a 20th bonus. It's at 1100. You can keep spending past that, too.
posted by solotoro at 8:53 AM on September 19, 2014


Whoops... apparently if you unlock the final bonus, you "create and destroy" all universes and the game ends. Huh.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:28 PM on September 19, 2014


What am I missing that although I've been playing pretty assiduously (given I have a job) for two days and am still only 3/4 of the way through and you guys have finished? How are you speeding up the atom acquisition that quickly?
posted by joannemerriam at 6:10 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Even more than most incrementals, this is a game that rewards babysitting. The unemployed or otherwise idle have a great advantage.

Earning achievements reduces item cost. In aggregate, this reduction can be substantial. Pumping Quantum Foam through Electron Core up to ~1000 may add very little to your APS when you're working on Galactic Superclusters, but those superclusters will come much easier for having done so.

It's likely that the difference in play speed you perceive is because some people have found a more ideal strategy for determining when to buy high-cost objects vs. when to buy specials vs. when to pump legacy objects for achievements. I'm not sure how Bonuses fit in there, except to note that they are so inexpensive compared to objects/specials that you should have no problem just hitting "Buy All" every once in a while.
posted by The Confessor at 9:54 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


If nothing else, this game has taught me what comes after quadrillion (and quintillion, sextillion, septillion, and so on).
posted by A Bad Catholic at 8:16 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I completed it on Sunday morning. It was fun! Thanks for posting, boo_radley. I've never played a game like this before.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:37 AM on September 22, 2014


I sort of broke the limited-after-the-first-blush appeal of the game for me when is started exploring the blackhole feeding mechanic. I wrote at embarrassing length to some friends about it the other day, but to sum up:

When you feed the black hole, it erases everything and gives you a bonus for future playthroughs based on how many atoms you have sitting around.

You get an additional 0.01 added to your global atoms/sec multiplier for every order of magnitude of currently-spendable atoms you feed to the black hole. Feed it a million atoms, you'll get +0.06 to your multiplier, because there's six zeroes in that number. Feed it ten million, you'll get +0.07. A billion? +0.09. And so on, up to big end-game numbers like +0.58.

Your total multiplier over however many feedings you've done is k * atoms/sec in your current game. Multiplier starts at 1.0 for a brand new playthrough; each black hole feeding tacks the new quantity of bonus on to the existing number. So if you play through once, get up to say 10^58 atoms, and feed the black hole, you'll have a fresh start with a multiplier of 1.58: this second game will earn atoms at 158% the rate of normal. Do it again and get up to, say, 10^61 atoms, and feed again, you'll have 1.58 + 0.61 = 2.19 as your multiplier. And so on.

So here's the broken thing: efficient play across the metagame means finding out the cost-effective way to increase your multiplier. And it turns out you can earn yourself a few thousand atoms inside of a minute with a little bit of focused clicking: get yourself 5-10 foam, then 5-10 of the next thing, then 5-10 of the next, iterate out three or four or five times depending on how you feel about the balance of the whole thing, then as soon as you cross the 1,000 or 10,000 atom threshold, go feed the black hole. And repeat.

You're earning +0.03 or +0.04 multiplier bonus for a minute-ish of attentive clicking. Compare that to the +0.60 or so you'll get for semi-attentively making your way to the endgame over a series of hours. No contest, no question: the secret to building your multiplier is to keep rebooting the universe over and over and over again with the same minute or so of very-early-game play. You could earn a full +1.0 in about a half hour, I reckon, and it'll get faster as you go.

So the game as currently structured incentivizes you strongly to basically not play almost any of the game, just keep hashing on that first minute right into oblivion. Hrm.
posted by cortex at 3:07 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


My experience with the game went about like you say: I played the game until I'd bought as much of everything as I could without waiting very long between buying stuff. Fed the black hole rather than "win". Went to the source code to figure out how the bonus was calculated. Did the first minute for a while, then I got bored with that and figured out how to edit the save string to give myself a very large multiplier. Played to get all the awards, but there was a bug that made that actually impossible. Oh well.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:29 PM on September 24, 2014


To illustrate the value of pursuing low-cost/low-APS objects for cost-reducing achievements, I ran the following comparison:

After buying only 4 of each object up to Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower costs 3.06 Quadrillion atoms.

After buying quantities of each object up to Eiffel Tower such that the price of the next purchase of any of those items is greater or equal than 1 Quadrillion atoms, and additionally buying all bonuses, and all specials costing less than or equal to 1 Quadrillion atoms, the Eiffel Tower costs... only 626.4 Trillion atoms.
posted by The Confessor at 6:21 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


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