For the good of the Union!
March 16, 2009 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Nice! I'm going to look tonight. I hope I can build a robotic General Sherman to make Georgia howl, and MechaJoshua Chamberlain because he's a hometown hero!
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:20 AM on March 16, 2009

There's in-game help if you click the "Specs" and ? buttons.
posted by Nelson at 10:21 AM on March 16, 2009

Just watch out for Beauregard-bot!
posted by Mister_A at 10:26 AM on March 16, 2009

Build giant steam powered robots to defend the Union in the American Civil War.

Like you had to ask.
posted by The Whelk at 10:28 AM on March 16, 2009

My General Hookerbot has found his camp overrun by femmebots of the night.
posted by Spatch at 10:42 AM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

So I played this enough to finally beat the first mission. It's a neat game and I like this kind of build-with-logic mechanic. It's also pretty hard. I finally got the first bot down by using one boiler with the switch to let me walk forward and then power up the sawblade. The other boiler fired the flamethrower, although it runs out of fuel too fast to be of much use. I couldn't figure out how to make the gun work, apparently you have to build up more pressure and then operate both inputs to make it go. I got frustrated and stopped.

The author has several games for engineers.
posted by Nelson at 10:44 AM on March 16, 2009

Okay, I do have an inner historian who ordinarily would scoff at this, but the rest of me has tied up that inner historian and stuffed it into a closet and is now looking at the web page and giggling in ancitipation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:50 AM on March 16, 2009

I love engineering games so I've found this guy's site more than once. Sadly, I'm less enamored of games that are like getting punched in the nethers in terms of learning curves.
posted by DU at 10:54 AM on March 16, 2009

Does it have amazing screw-on heads?
posted by Pronoiac at 10:59 AM on March 16, 2009

Wish I had time for something brainy like this.
posted by grobstein at 11:03 AM on March 16, 2009

Does it have amazing screw-on heads?

I'm just hoping for a sequel to this game, where I can build skellingtons that sound like David Hyde Pierce. Actually, now that I think about it, every game could be improved by David Hyde Pierce voicing an evil skeleton.

Also, this game looks pretty neat, but in a way that might make me "think" to "solve" it. What's that all about?
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 11:22 AM on March 16, 2009

Robot Insurance?

Wouldn't the robots be on the side enslaving?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:34 AM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

This game certainly suffers from curveitis: it'd be better if your experiences were shaped somewhat. I was able to make the gun go in the first round by using the control valve, but found myself fruitlessly experimenting to the point of "fuck it" to get the various sets of valves going to try to repeat the process with toggleable "crouch" to get past round 2. I probably should have changed my methodology...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:38 AM on March 16, 2009

Ack! I can't make the gun work.
posted by Mister_A at 12:17 PM on March 16, 2009

I'm much more enjoying Zach's Alchemical Engineering.

The gun requires you to cycle pressure from the top (load) to the bottom (fire) -- the firing cylinder requires some pressurization to build up before you release it.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:25 PM on March 16, 2009

All I can think of when I read this thread is this.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:40 PM on March 16, 2009

Sometimes it just isn't obvious why things aren't working. What do I do when the meter doesn't seem to work?
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:54 PM on March 16, 2009

This seems like a great idea. Unfortunately I suck at it.
posted by lekvar at 12:58 PM on March 16, 2009

Awesome. I'll have to take a swing at this after work.

Design idea: A bot which will only crouch or walk backwards. It will carry powerful weapons, but the control lever to activate them will never be thrown. I shall call it the McClellan.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:03 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

It's not that this game or Codex of Alchemical Engineering have such steep learning curves, it's that it's difficult to progress along these curves since it takes 10 minutes to get anything done in the shitty editors he provides. For instance, the fact that you have to click on the tool icon to rotate a pipe, then click back to the pointer icon to reposition it, then click another tool to adjust its settings, and none of these have hotkeys. Oh, and the rotation tool won't work if there isn't space to rotate it into. It ends up that the time you spend fighting with the editor detracts directly from the time you should be spending trying out new designs.

In all, it serves as a great example why machine-level engineers should not be allowed to touch the user interface layer.
posted by 7segment at 1:21 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Man, I kept trying to use the giant ramming piston to win, but it was just no match for Colonel Angus' subtler approach.
posted by shmegegge at 2:31 PM on March 16, 2009

7segment, you can rotate a pipe by pressing the Ctrl key while you're dragging it with the arrow. Not defending the UI as brilliant, but knowing that makes it more playable.
posted by Nelson at 3:03 PM on March 16, 2009

This was on jayisgames back in January. The comments on that thread should help out some of you who are struggling.
posted by Eideteker at 3:10 PM on March 16, 2009

I'm loving Alchemical Engineering.

My solution for VIII: Brimstone, if anyone's interested: c,5,11;t,3,9;t,5,7;b,7,9;m,5,13,180,1,crol;m,3,11,270,1,orcl;m,3,7,90,1,clor;m,5,9,0,1,olcr;m,8,13,270,3,odrwwclu;m,8,6,90,2,c11oclor;m,11,2,180,2,owwwwlcr;

PS. The interface is pretty decent when you get the hang of it.
posted by alexei at 10:14 PM on March 16, 2009

« Older Asymmetrical Information and Hooker-nomics.   |   Pictures don't lie Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments