It is inadvisable to leave your reactor unattended.
September 25, 2015 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Reactor Incremental is a clicker game, but there's little spamming of clicks. Instead, you purchase and place fuel cells and heat mitigation hardware carefully to generate and sell power, building from a single uranium core to a mighty nuclear engine- or else accidentally burn the whole thing down and start again!
posted by Pope Guilty (50 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
why would you do this to me
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

I can't check this out right now but I already suspect you'll not find a negative temperature coefficient of reactivity anywhere in this game. This is a shame because I feel like designing a reactor using real reactor theory would be fun.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I generally "attend to my reactor" every chance I get.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:08 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

Unity says it won't work with chrome :(. Looks like fun.
posted by Carillon at 10:09 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

New clicker game on the same day Pope Francis releases a prog-rock album. I've gotta go lay down now.
posted by jbickers at 10:20 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is good, I was bored.
posted by shelleycat at 10:57 AM on September 25, 2015

Is this one of those endless clicker games?
Every once in a while I awake in a cold sweat and wonder how much gold I'd have if I pulled up Clicker Heroes again.
posted by Theta States at 11:18 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Buy the perpetual upgrades ASAP.
posted by synthetik at 11:31 AM on September 25, 2015

posted by numaner at 12:15 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

if you use an autoclicker like I do, on your first or second $100 buy the upgrade "Venting heat manually is 10x as effective". while the fuel cells run just let the auto clicker run on the button that vents heat and you can save some money on cooling systems.
posted by numaner at 12:29 PM on September 25, 2015

So, it's entirely possible to set up complicated arrays of heat exchangers and heat vents and stuff. Or you can just fuck all that complex nonsense off, and run giant blocks of completely uncooled fuel rods, and then shove some high-grade heat vents and heat outlets to just pull the heat out of your casing and dump it there. It's like teleporting the heat to your vents, rather than trying to channel it with exchangers. And outlets are the same cost, too. I can only surmise that this is likely not an intended gameplay feature.
posted by Dysk at 4:15 PM on September 25, 2015

(Also I love this, it ticks all my boxes!)
posted by Dysk at 4:15 PM on September 25, 2015

The reflectors stack in 4 directions too, Ive got 40 quad dolorium cells running in a grid with reflectors in between, boosts the output by about 30% over bare fuel rods. Uncooled cells interspersed with reflectors is the way to go, use the outlets to dump heat into a coolant cell on the other side of the map from your fuel farm and spread out the vents from there. The top tier is expensive as hell though, left it running for an hour and still cant afford the Nefatisium cell.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:03 PM on September 25, 2015

Doesn't having another quad cell adjacent give a much bigger increase in power output than the reflector (admittedly for much higher heat production too, but...)? I'm finding more success clustering as tightly as I can get away with (i.e. giant solid squares of quad cells) and then popping in some reflectors in place of some of the cells when I tech up faster than my cooling can keep up, basically as a way to slow down production to manageable levels.
posted by Dysk at 5:28 PM on September 25, 2015

I just checked, a 4x4 grid of half quad dolorium cells and half reflectors gives me 87.15bil power/64.50bil heat, while a 4x4 grid of solid quad dolrium cells gives 363bil power, but 529bil heat, and overwhelms the same cooling system that was rock solid with 40 quad cells and over 1 trillion power before the test. So, reflectors win in a landslide.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:44 PM on September 25, 2015

Nice development on the clicker theme. The fun* in these games is in estimating an optimal strategy, and the fact that there's actually a punishment involved in getting your estimates wrong makes this much more game-like. I've only played a little**, but as far as I understand it the plating items and Forceful Fission upgrades are there purely as modifiers to that new element. The whole genre is like a game design course final exam question made real.

*Read: hellish yoke.
**Read: it's now 3am.

posted by lucidium at 6:47 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

I see it as being as much a software toy as a clicker/incremental.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:47 PM on September 25, 2015

Man I wish they'd fix Unity for Chrome.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:44 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

T.D. Strange, I invested super heavily in heat venting early on and kept riding that hard, so ended up with a solid 5x5 of dolorium quads and cooling round the outside. You're right that the energy:heat ratio is worse, but if you can handle the heat, it is also a lot more power.

...and there isn't an upgrade for infinite reflectors, is there? Not having to actually attend to my nuclear reactor is a big plus for me.
posted by Dysk at 3:15 AM on September 26, 2015

Wants to install a plugin. ✘
posted by Autumn Leaf at 2:50 AM on September 27, 2015

you guys should post screenshots of your setups. I'm curious!
posted by numaner at 1:03 PM on September 28, 2015

and Dysk, afaik there isn't an infinite reflectors upgrade. it's like they don't want you get any actual work done.
posted by numaner at 1:05 PM on September 28, 2015

btw, am I the only one super annoyed that the game grid is not perfectly symmetrical so that when I set up my crazy array of reactors and vents everything is off height wise because it's an even number of spaces?
posted by numaner at 2:14 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here's my current reactor:

5x5 Dolorium Array

I've actually prestiged up to Protium, but I need to upgrade my cooling system to use more than one cell of it.
posted by Reverend John at 5:10 PM on September 28, 2015

This is what my reactor looks like at the moment. I want to rearrange to get a solid lump of cells at some point, but at the moment that scattered handful at the top is all I can manage to cool.

One thing I noticed, upgrading "Enriched Uranium" and surrounding a block of higher tier cells with uranium quads seems to be cheaper than reflectors if you're just trying to max out energy.
posted by lucidium at 5:21 PM on September 28, 2015

Autumn Leaf: “Wants to install a plugin. ✘”
FWIW, I used to feel the same way, but after looking into Unity as a development platform, I decided that in this specific instance the browser plug-in was allowable. Unfortunately, as I noted above, it stopped working in Chrome a while back and nobody appears to want to fix it.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:21 PM on September 28, 2015

Totally redlining it, blowing a few heat exchangers every minute:

5 double Nefastium cells

About to prestige out for 1493 exotic particles.
posted by Reverend John at 7:49 PM on September 28, 2015

How do the heat inlets work in your setup Reverend John? From the item description they seemed kinda useless, but that reactor looks nuts.
posted by lucidium at 7:58 PM on September 28, 2015

The heat inlets take heat from your cooling system and put it back into the reactor in a controlled manner, allowing you to roughly control the heat level of the reactor. Trying to control the heat of the reactor by balancing the heat output against the cooling system performance is a losing game because you've always got a situation where either your cooling system outperforms the reactor, even by just a little bit, taking you down to 0 heat, or the reactor outperforms the cooling system and eventually you blow up. Also, the heat inlets extract *a lot* of heat from the cooling system. They're handy to put next to a component that's under a lot of stress, like an overloaded heat exchanger.

The heat inlets recycle a bit of the heat from the cooling system back into the reactor keeping the heat level above 0, even if your cooling system could far outperform what the reactor can put out. This is useful if you have a few levels of the Forceful Fission upgrade, which increases the reactor's output based on the heat level. It's a little tricky, though, you need a fair amount of slack with the plating to keep the reactor's maximum heat well above your working level, in case you add some more elements and the system starts to run away from you. (or you have a component failure, or you get a feedback loop where an increase in heat leads to an increase in reactor output, which leads to an increase in heat...)

Also, I'm not 100% sure, but I think the game defines "adjacent" to be only directly up-down-left-right, not diagonal, which is why I surround the heat outlets with heat exchangers, and then put my vents around those. I could be wrong about that... I can't remember what made me think that's the case.
posted by Reverend John at 8:13 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just confirmed it. Putting a single vent horizontal or vertical from a heat outlet puts heat into the vent. Putting a single vent diagonal from a heat outlet has no effect.
posted by Reverend John at 8:19 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

wow you guys are making me think I don't understand these systems at all. I'm not that far along yet, I'm only on tier 3 stuff, but right now I'm dependent on vents of the next level vastly outcooling a ton of tier 3 cells. I guess when I eventually get up to tier 5 I'll have to learn to use inlets and outlets like they're supposed to be used.

I guess Unity is not putting your saved game on the main Kongregate game wrapper, so my saved game is on my work computer (I know, I know) and I can't access it from home... I'll put up a screenshot during my break tomorrow, but in the meantime I gotta find a way to play it at home if I wanna catch up to you guys.
posted by numaner at 9:36 PM on September 28, 2015

I was doing really well and then I blew up. Back to the beginning!
posted by backseatpilot at 5:51 AM on September 29, 2015

Ah, now I see that the lack of diagonal heat transfer doesn't matter in your configuration because of the way you've staggered the heat outlets. I think I'll try that.
posted by Reverend John at 6:21 AM on September 29, 2015

this is a great big awesome mess IMO
posted by numaner at 6:50 AM on September 29, 2015

oh ignore that, I left it running over night and had more than enough money to make it all pink!
posted by numaner at 6:58 AM on September 29, 2015

Heh, that is an impressive atomic pile.
posted by Reverend John at 8:23 AM on September 29, 2015

Cheers for the explanation, I didn't clock how hot your reactor was running! I might try that on my next run, I'm not confident enough to mess around with it in my current set up.
posted by lucidium at 12:29 PM on September 29, 2015

My new problem is finding space for the capacitors I need to sell energy fast enough.
posted by lucidium at 7:07 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

hey lucidium, can you put your images on imgur for me? The web filter my work is using has that site block as "uncategorized".
posted by numaner at 2:06 PM on September 30, 2015

Sure thing!
posted by lucidium at 2:23 PM on September 30, 2015

thanks! I actually have something pretty similar to that right now. As soon as I can comfortably get up to nefastium cells and prestige with 200+ particles I'll set up something more along the line of what Reverend John has, since that's more controllable in terms of not having things explode as soon as one thing goes wrong.
posted by numaner at 2:56 PM on September 30, 2015

So after some digging around, it looks like Kongregate doesn't host any game saves, so the game is being saved locally in your Unity browser player. I'm tired now and giving up on looking up how to get at the exact local data needed to transfer saves between computers.
posted by numaner at 8:09 PM on September 30, 2015

How are you people not immediately blowing up the vents while using the top tier heat outlets? If I understand this correctly, the vents remove about 1/3 of the amount of heat the outlet will feed it, so they quickly overheat.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:33 AM on October 1, 2015

if you mean me, I'm not at top tier yet. But yeah I know that set up is not sustainable. backseatpilot what's yours like?
posted by numaner at 12:17 PM on October 1, 2015

I just changed up everything to this. It's stable right now, but adding a fourth independent protium cell causes heat exchangers to start blowing up.

I didn't take a photo of my previous setup unfortunately, but I had filled the board with alternating diagonals of vents and outlets; the vents had to be one tier higher than the outlets or they would blow up.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:29 PM on October 1, 2015

If you have the vent upgrades about seven steps ahead of the exchanger upgrades, you can get them working faster than the outlets. You do have to be careful to keep the outlets far enough behind though.
posted by lucidium at 12:30 PM on October 1, 2015

damn backseatpilot that setup looks sexy

lucidium, what do you mean by keeping the outlets far enough behind? like with enough heat exchangers between them?
posted by numaner at 12:39 PM on October 1, 2015

Ah, I mean not buying "Heat Exchanger" upgrade tiers until you've bought a lot more "Heat Vent" upgrades. Combined with the "Active Venting" effect and lots of capacitors, you can upgrade the vents so much that they overpower outlets of the same tier.
posted by lucidium at 12:44 PM on October 1, 2015

I'm treating this basically like an RPG, in that I need to grind and get more levels (upgrade my vents) till I can easily over come my enemies (the cells)
posted by numaner at 12:46 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

alright, the mechanics of this game is confusing me now...

if the total heat of a nuclear array is 1.5+ B heat per tick, and your total number of outlets is removing only 1.3 B heat per tick, why is your heat not going up regardless of how many vents are around the outlets?

see this image, I'm on my 4th prestige, going through the steps and setting things up similar to how lucidium has his. I'm still toying around with getting the most efficient heat removal vs having the most array possible for profit vs heat output.
posted by numaner at 2:17 PM on October 7, 2015

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