Super Energy Apocalypse Recycled


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Rating: 4.8/5 (163 votes)
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zxoNot satisfied simply to have won second place in our 5th game design competition (CGDC #5), game designer Lars A. Doucet has been busy reworking, researching, and refining his entry, Super Energy Apocalypse. We are proud to announce that the full-fledged game has now been released!

super_energy_apocalypse_recycled_1.jpgThe core mechanic in Super Energy Apocalypse Recycled remains intact: build a base and keep it defended against a nightly zombie onslaught. The economy of building revolves not around money, but energy, of which there are many different sources, from coal to wind to nuclear. Each building you erect produces a certain amount of waste, which must be taken care of before it pollutes your base, because pollution to these zombies is like spinach to Popeye, and they grow mean and nasty real quick.

Since the game basically takes you through all the steps you need to know, I won't go into detail about how to play, but I will highlight some of the many, many improvements made since we last reviewed the Super Energy Apocalypse. First of all, it is now virtually bug-free (at least, I haven't found any). super_energy_apocalypse_recycled_2.jpgSecondly, the energy costs have been updated to reflect real-world data (more on that later). Finally, there are a heap of new features, including three difficulty modes, variable terrain height, a flame turret to really toast those zombies, new types of enemies, variable weather for wind and solar energy, recycling centers which turn garbage into material and energy, a reworked storyline and some major polishing of the artwork and interface. And last but not least, a sweet theme song as a reward for beating the game!

Analysis: If you've played the original, you'll recognize the dusty New Texas landscape and tentacular zombies, but you'll also be able to appreciate just how much work was put into this new version. In fact, there is quite a fascinating story behind it: Even before CGDC5, the idea behind the game had sprung from conversations about global warming, about which Lars admits he was a skeptic. After taking second in the competition, he realized he might just be onto something big, but a lot of work needed to be done.

"The game was buggy as all getout, and the research numbers were essentially made up on the spot. I'd paid my petroleum engineer roommate $50 to scour the internet for some numbers for me, … and the time I gave him to research (less than a week) simply wasn't enough to get anything like a realistic simulation."

A professor of his, after seeing the original game, hooked Lars up with HARC an energy-focused non-profit organization, which offered him "what will probably go down in history as one of the best Flash Game sponsorships EVER." It turns out, they'd been trying to develop educational games for years with little success, and Super Energy Apocalypse was exactly what they were looking for, so they hired him to finish the game!

Armed with a sponsorship, he spent the summer gathering data:

"I pored over EPA databases, through Toxic Release Inventory reports, and googled my brains out trying to get a hold of information on power plants, mining operations, everything. I called up trucking companies asking them what the average mileage and curb weight of a municipal garbage truck was."

super_energy_apocalypse_recycled_3.jpgYou see, Super Energy Apocalypse was never intended to be a fully balanced game. Lars wanted actual costs, actual outputs, actual pollution to dictate a player's choices. If that means nuclear energy is too costly to use, then so be it. The result is a game in which its problems and solutions mirror those in the real world – except maybe for the pollution-eating zombies. It took a lot of work, but the end result is one of the most enjoyable and fun educational games ever created. One of the main problems with most "educational" games, is that they feel more like a pop quiz with a game tacked on to keep the kiddies interested. Super Energy Apocalypse Recycled deftly avoids this downfall by incorporating the real world directly into the core mechanics of the game, steering it towards a "learn-by-doing" experience.

But what Lars himself learned by making the game?

"As the semester came to a close, I looked back on all I had learned through this dinky little project that had consumed the better part of my life. I found that, ironically, … I actually believe in Global Warming now. There's the nuanced understanding that there are so many environmental issues at stake, that even if Global Warming were to go away we still would be in a heap of trouble.… Energy Apocalypse taught me to see all environmental issues as a complete system, not just one part."

Not only that, but Lars discovered that there is a market for games like this, and more importantly that he could turn his "Flash game hobby" into a viable career. So, budding game designers take heart! The casual game field is full of opportunities and still growing, and more opportunities like Lars had are bound to occur.

Play Super Energy Apocalypse Recycled

65 Comments

What a great game, and what a great story! I remember this game from the competition - it was one of the best from any of the previous competitions. I'm glad to hear that he's been able to accomplish his goal and flesh out the game into what was intended.

This is a great combination of education, fun, and it's wonderfully based on real world data. Huge applause to Lars and dedicated work!

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page January 15, 2009 7:24 PM

I love the theme crossover of this games. They can connect the so US-istish concept of "zombie invasion" with the not so well uhh "selling conecpt" of environmentalism. Love it. Great idea, excellent connection!

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A tiny, tiny bug: if you click on something, say, build garbage truck, and then click on the same place where the button was, nothing happens, and you hear the "engineer!" sound effect.

Also the garbage trucks suffer a terminal case of "Too Stupid to Live" disease. If you "summon" on a piece of garbage, the entire fleet drops whatever it's doing and scurries to pick up that one piece of garbage, completely ignoring any other piece. You have to "cancel" that summon to get them to pay attention to other pieces. And this was me playing on easy mode!

I only played two levels but I just found it frustrating, not in the "I can't beat this game" way, but "why is everyone on my side an idiot" way. Since it was easy mode I was beating it easily; I just found it too hard to suspend disbelief.

It's not a horrible game. I gave it 3/5. Just saying what I didn't enjoy about it.

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Great game. a lot of changes from the original. I do have a few issues with the game though. First, I played it on normal, and it was too easy, I wish I played it on hard, but it's not worth replaying it on hard for the experience. Second, the battles end up getting massive and slowing down my computer, making it hard to do anything, weird since my computer is fairly new.

And finally, it's too short! I'd be great to flesh out the story a little more and give me more time having to experiment with the different options in the game which i never used, like using ethanol for the trucks or nuclear power. The main energy balancing act I did was to watch the smog levels and disable coal when it got too high (and rely on wind or geothermal). Other than that, great game :)

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Good work, Lars. Excellent game, and I liked reading your letter and seeing the ideas that went into and came out of it.

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congrats Lars. That is quite the accomplishment, and i look forward to playing this, as i loved the orginal :)

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Howdy guys! Thanks for the useful comments!

Couple of things: I understand the gripe with the garbage trucks. I wanted the player to not have to micromanage them, so they were originally completely automated. This led to problems later on when there was a patch of low-priority garbage over a strategically important part of the map you might want to build on, and the trucks would never get to it. I implemented the "summon" feature to be used in these rare instances. I guess I needed to test it more, because the user might feel compelled to use it, and it is explicitly programmed to make the garbage trucks pick up summoned garbage RIGHT NOW, no delays. So I hear you on that.

The game running too slow on computers has been a chronic problem - has anyone else had this problem? Does lowering the game to low quality help? I've found that building varied defenses, especially minimizing floodlight use, sometimes helps performance. If you are still having performance or other issues, feel free to contact me at Lars [dot] Doucet {at} Gmail [dot] com with "SEA Bug report: XXX" where xxx is your issue.

Thank you for all the comments, I appreciate both praise and criticism because the one keeps me motivated to keep working and the second keeps me on my toes and focused on making the game better.

To those who found the game too short: Have you tried sandbox mode? You can tweak the settings to your hearts content and just play around. You can even turn off the zombies!

Also, I've enabled high scores through mochiads, did those work for you? I know it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I've found some people have found it quite rewarding to try to beat their high scores, especially on the harder difficulty modes. There's a big difference between just barely surviving and doing it both cleanly and efficiently.

Thanks so much, guys. The Jay is Games community has really been so good to me. I want to keep making games forever because of y'all.

Eternally Grateful,
Lars A. Doucet

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Fantastic game Lars! I missed the original and have only completed the easy game, but excellent fun. I found the slow running irksome and not sure how to turn to lower resolution but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the game. 5/5

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I loved the credits. This is awesome, I hope you make more games.

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I very much enjoyed my run through on medium, but I agree it's too easy, and there isn't enough time to fully explore all the alternatives.

Also, it didn't seem that clear at first that the research etc carried over from one level to the next - I thought I was doing some tutorial levels before the 'real' game started.

And finally, some of the text wrapping went wrong on my PC and I occasionally couldn't read the end of what the characters were saying (Firefox 3, Flash 9).

Great game though!

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Lars,

LOVE this game. :) LOVED the crazy song at the end, I was cracking up.

I'd love to see a second campaign, or user-created campaigns, or something. Sandbox mode is fun, but I want more directed challenges. :D

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For those of you who want " a little more... "

Fear not! I'm working hard on the kongregate-specific version, and that version will feature special kongregate-enabled challenges in a few days.

I'm also working on extending sandbox mode so that you can set a goal of how many days to survive, and I will use that to provide some special "challenges" through Kongregate's API. (Can you survive 5 days with these and such settings on the super resourceless map without using natural gas?)

So log on to Kongregate.com in a few days and check it out!

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Wonderful game, excellent in all aspects!
I hope there are more chapters to follow!

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I really, really like this game.

Will somebody please complete this sentence for me? "If you liked Super Energy Apocalypse Recycled, you'll LOVE ______"

Thanks! :)

I have a few notes:
1) to answer your question, yes I liked the high score list, though when I played it I think it was just you (larsiusprime) and somebody else, and I thought I was all awesome by posting a 4x,000 point score, which has since been totally wrecked :D

2) I actually really like that the game is not perfectly "balanced". Sometimes games like these are just barely balanced enough so that, say, you would only have barely enough oil to run barely enough garbage trucks/engineers to run barely enough power plants to run barely enough defenses, and I find games like that extremely frustrating. This game has a more sandboxy feel to it, in that it is easy to win, but you can experiment with different approaches (Build a billion farms and recycling centers to make natural gas for an all-flamethrower defense? Or build a billion nuke plants for an all-tesla defense? Or only wind and solar and all electric cars and teslas for the pure green win? etc.). I find that satisfying though not challenging. That's OK - I can play a real RTS if I want obnoxiously multitasking challenge.

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Incredible game, I love rescources management games like this. :-)

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page January 17, 2009 8:35 AM

If this values are supposed to be real there is something what I dont get:

My garbage trucks will run on 7.1 natural gas... but also on 7.1 energy (all fully upgraded), but the natural gas factory will produce 161 energy with 1 natural gas. Its a gazillion more effective to make gas->energy->truck engine instead of simple gas->truck energy.

This is what I don't understand, okay a big powerplant is more effective than a random engine, but if I remember anything from engineering fuel to electric energy to motion is more lessly than directly fuel to motion... and not the other way around.

[Edit: Fixed your angle brackets. Please use &gt; and &lt; instead, since < and > indicate the start and end of HTML tags on an HTML page. :) Thanks! -Jay]

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Fuzzyface - I found the bug.

The natural gas engine should only be consuming about 0.2 natural gas each, and the electric cars consume about 3.6 energy apiece.

This is the amount that's actually being consumed, there's just a display bug in there somewhere. Thanks for the heads up!

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Okay, I've fixed the natural gas fuel display bug. It should show up correctly in Build #39 when that goes live in a few days.

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page January 17, 2009 6:01 PM

But its IMHO still giving an unreal advantage to go over electricity:

1 gas = 161 electricity = 44 cars
1 gas = 5 cars directly powered.

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You've got a point there, I must have missed a decimal point in my numbers somewhere. I'll go look at it again.

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Okay, found the discrepancy:

Did you take a look at MILEAGE? The electric cars will have to refill about 10 times as often as the natural gas cars. (Electric cars have teeny-tiny ranges)

So, my numbers were just ambiguous I guess, I should just show the amount of resource consumed for the same distance travelled?

Natural gas has a mile range of about 4.56, electric cars have a mile range of about 0.2.

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Okay, sorry for the spontaneous brain fart: 4.56 / 0.2 = 22.8, not "about 10"

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You'll also notice that this makes electric cars REALLY slow because they have to constantly refuel, even at full upgrade

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Cheddarius January 17, 2009 7:58 PM

Awesome game, Lars! I liked the game in general, especially the multiple options and the upgrades being "remembered" after multiple chapters of the campaign. I didn't find any bugs, except the game slowing down slightly at highest quality and massive massive Tesla coil spam, which is quite acceptable. The plot was good too, especially the ending bit - a sequel could be really good if it continued the story of

ZRAL - just realized that was a sort-of-anagram of Lars, heh.

The song at the end was really cool, too. Is there someplace you've made it available to listen to or download?

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Cheddarius January 17, 2009 8:16 PM

Also, was there any reason for including the

Konami Code at the end? Entering it didn't seem to do anything in game...

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Cheddarius:

The Konami Code will take you directly to the credits and the theme song, in case you want to listen to it again :) I will try to find a place to host the theme song that won't melt under the bandwidth drain. Maybe mochiads will host it for me.

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Oh, to clarify:

Enter the Konami Code on the title screen.

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Cheddarius January 17, 2009 10:07 PM

Ah, I see. Thanks Lars!

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page January 18, 2009 4:49 AM

Hi! Thanks for looking it through. Yes I think it would be a good idea to show fuel consumption per "mile" or so, so people get the right impression...

(Also a suggestion about nuclear powerplants, why no uran mines? afaik another big problem aside from nuclear waste of nuclear power is that uran is also a rather limited ressource on our planet, said to last for 80 years with the current consumption, however as some (the french) suggest to move all the power generation to nuclear would use up the uran in no time...)

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Skip all the levels and go to level 9, finish that and get the song. *awesome*

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The game is really nice, and the final song is truly rewarding :)

As i see that Lars is reading this thread, i want to make some notes from chemical point of view :)

The most weird thing about the in-game economical system is the nuclear plant requiring no resources but space to store waste and being cheaper to build than a coil power plant. The nuclear power plants IMO should be less accessible.
The second thing i disliked (as a chemist) was the absence of possibility to produce gasoline and gas directly from coal, only by long coal->waste->gas route. And i found no diesel power plants!

But despite all this grumbling, i repeat, this a great game. And it is hundred times better than the "sustainable development" course i had to study two years ago in university :)

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Bluebottle Author Profile Page January 18, 2009 6:41 PM

Great game. I disagree with those who find it too easy; if you lose a mission, or come back to the campaign later, it seems you also lose all of your research, which makes it that much harder. I could be wrong in this respect.

The upgrade I would recommend is continous creation and use of resources, rather than producing electricity et al in batch. This would give a smoother flow to resource management, and would remove the need for those icons that appear above a building when it makes or uses something.

Also, the electricity +number doesn't seem to account for things like tesla coils. I found I was fighting zombies in the night with +100 energy but still frequently running out. That could have been a product of batch energy making, though.

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Howdy!

To the fuzzyface and ieronim :

Yes, the game is pretty simplified. On the level you first unlock nuclear the story mentions finding "a whole bunch of uranium", which basically says that you've got a whole storehouse of it lying around.

Basically, this was a tough design decision - be super duper accurate with our economy,or absolutely clutter the top bar with 40 million resources. There's already like 7 icons accompanied with numbers up there - pretty intimidating for a regular user. I had testers take one look at it and immediately get flustered and confused. I tried to accomodate this by polishing the tutorial and hiding things and then unlocking them as they were made available, which seemed to help.

But just so you know, the resource bar originally had TWICE as many resources. It was originally modelling:

Energy
Food
Water
Smog
Natural Gas
Oil
Gasoline Fuel
Diesel Fuel
Ethanol Fuel
"Biomass"
Plastic
Glass
Metal
Research

etc. 14 Icons! You can see how this was not exactly user-friendly.

Hm... thought : What if the resource bar wasn't static, but dynamic? What I mean is, it only shows icons for resources you actually have. If you have 0 of something, you just don't see the icon, and it scales everything dynamically so it all fits snuggly. Which means big juicy icons in the first level of only energy and metal, and slowly getting crammed full of stuff as the user becomes more of an expert? Then we could stick everything from uranium to switchgrass up there. Or would that be a bad idea?

Back to nuclear plants:
Basically, uranium is an important resource, but I figured since only nuclear plants consumed it and they consume far smaller amounts of it than gas plants and oil plants, that it wasn't as big a deal for me to model it, since uranium isn't a competed for resource - ie, both vehicles, flame turrets, and power plants eat oil & gas, but only nuclear plants eat uranium - for simplicity's sake we assume the player just has "enough."
Also, add in the fact that you can get around the need for enriched uranium (which is scarce) by producing heavy water and using regular uranium (which is much more plentiful), you can get around the scarcity problem (a little).

And by the way : I am not an expert, so if you guys find any problems with my numbers, PLEASE let me know. I really DO appreciate it. I want this game to be as accurate as possible. I consider myself pretty informed on the issue compared to the average layman, but I really have only begun to learn. So keep these comments coming! Pick apart my economy to your heart's content. If you want, I can even set up a page and reveal the numbers for public feedback and

So, I I hear you. Old fans will recognize that the game DID originally have "diesel" power plants - in the form of "fossil fuel" plants that consumed oil. These are used - just not very much in America and Texas, and I was surprised to find out how much coal we consumed as a nation (I previously assumed we used a lot of oil power plants). I changed it not just to reflect the situation in America, but also because there's not as much talk about coal as there is about oil, and I wanted to inform people. (We'll probably put oil plants back in a sequel).

Also, I'm aware of coal-to-oil facilities and refineries. The only reason that's not in the game is because I ran out of places to put buttons on the interface, and because I had to make a ship date and had to cut features somewhere :) We might put that in in an update to this version, though I have no real idea where I'd put that in the interface.

The nerd in me cries out to put in hydroelectric, diesel fuel (as separate from gasoline) , biodiesel, hydrogen combustion engines and hydrogen fuel cells (which are two VASTLY different things) and so on and so forth, and model the fact that you can put wind turbines on farmland and still farm it, etc, etc...

But at some point, you have to ship a game, and at some point, you have to settle for a reasonable abstraction of what is in truth a very, very, complicated system which has no end :)

But, my dear fans, there will probably be a sequel! And if you guys are saying that you wouldn't be intimidated by making the game really, REALLY accurate to form, then I'll go ahead and do that. Mr. Harriss wants to talk to me about future game design plans, so anything you guys say here will be filed in my report and might lead to our next design!

Super Energy METROPOLIS, anyone? :)

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Good point, Bluebottle. I'll look into the continuous generation thing for the sequel.

Sound off guys, do you think this feature would make the game's economy a little easier to follow?

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Just wanted to say Lars that this is a fantastic accomplishment, keep up the good work!

I had a blast playing it and I think it hits all of the goals you were aiming for in terms of education and entertainment.

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Thanks so much for a great game, Lars! I'm up way too late because of it---I can think of no higher praise to give.

Like some of the others, I found the game to be prohibitively slow, especially on the sandbox setting. A second of game time takes about a minute of real time for me. And it's frustrating because I can't often bolster up my defenses in time because of sporadic game play.

For all you players out there, any one able to make it far on the sand box rounds? The second attack generally kills me! Also, it seems that in the sand box, the smog gets higher much faster. I couldn't control it at all, while in campaign mode I was able to keep it down to zero. Is this because the sand box is set by default to the "super hard" mode or something? (I played the campaign on "super normal").

Anyway, time for bed.

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Sandbox mode lets you tweak all the settings, so you can make it as easy or hard as you want.

The thing about the difficulty modes is that the game engine and statistics are always the same - the only thing different between difficulty modes is level design (resources on each map, starting resources, amount of zombies, and length of day and night).

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Jay I have a question and this question is vaguely on topic. Why haven't you done a flash game competition #6, Just wondering

[Edit: I needed a break after the last one. We'll do #6 sometime this year. :) -Jay]

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thanks jay

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I'm not sure what to say besides great game, but I've decided to post anyways :P I think this is the 3rd time I've played it (4th if you count having to start over; no save file, super hard mode, lost all research X(

I was thinking that in the sandbox mode or in addition to it there should be pre-set conditions or special goals. Then someone can play it without having to find a good balance to give themselves. Only an endless mode will still slow down the game lots (the most slow down I've had is 4 sec to a second).

I'd also like the ending song, I'm starting to get quite a collection of that kind of music now. (Stuff made for online and released on mp3 after)

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Thermoman January 21, 2009 7:10 AM

It's spelled Thermopylae, not Thermopalyae.

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Strange Quark Author Profile Page January 22, 2009 1:09 AM

Great game! I played it and found it quite fun, even before realizing what it meant.

Lars: I agree that it'd be very neat if you could post the music from the credits somewhere for download. I made a personal copy by recording it through my computer, but the quality...

On another note, I also encountered lag problems, especially when masses of zombies and buildings were moving. Reducing the quality didn't noticeably help, and I didn't bother trying to increase the quality... The computer I use is quite old, though.

Thanks for a great game with a great message!

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I realy liked the game and i agree that energy should be generated constanly but i think that the way harvests work food and metal/coal should be in batches. Two more things, if you want to be acurate maybe make Uber Energy Apocalypse, and finaly

"New Texas shines like the old one, but with LESS weaponry" should be in the credits

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I just thought the author of the game should now that calvary=/=cavalry. And on chapter 9, he should have used the latter.

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A few thoughts and comments:

The dynamic resource bar sounds like a great idea.

I also agree with the continuous electrical production. It would make the game more accurate and probably make it run faster.

I'd like to see real measurements for the electricity, food, N gas etc. (Hopefully that wont take re-researching everything. It'd be more interesting that a coal plant produces 1.21 GW intsead of 50 lighting bolts :)

I'd like to see some kind of dormitories or residences. Can all those people fit in the tiny fortresses? The building could be larger than normal, but provide bonuses (increased damage for the guns or increased production for mines/farms) at the cost of food and electricity.

A regional map with trading between settlements, like in the missions. Maybe have a prestige system based on fulfilling requests to call emergency supplies. There ought to be a terraforming building of some kind, maybe a 4x4 square with huge energy requirements but it would allow the colonization of wilderness to expand. This way resources would need to be shipped in to power and run it.

Upgradable guns for the sole purpose of 1000 damage on a little zombie :D. Seriously though, the tesla coils should have a control for the amount of power they receive to regulate damage. Overpowering them might incur self damage everytime it fires.

Something to take care of the no uranium mines could be a subcategory of "exotic metals" like uranium, palladium, platinum etc, something between 1 and 5% of total mined metal. The exotic metals would be for the more advanced power, like fuel cells and nuclear reactors and also for upgrading weapons and advanced solar cells.

Last one (I promise) is user generated missions/campaigns/maps.

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Anonymous January 25, 2009 2:36 AM

Great, great game. I highly enjoyed it.

I agree that it's pretty slow. On the other hand, many flash games run slow on my computer, but this game was not prohibitively slow... so I rate it "not too bad" in the speed department. :-)

The aspect I like best is the relative (in)efficiency of using ethanol to power vehicles. At one point I switched my vehicles from natural gas to ethanol and saw my food production plummet from +4 to -25! (Or something like that.) I would have to fill half the map with farms just to run my garbage trucks! And those farms would require electrical power and produce smog...

Of course what I like is that this is true to the real world. Using ethanol to power vehicles is a horribly, horribly inefficient use of land. It was very politically popular a few years ago, but everyone who knew anything about it knew that it was a very bad idea.

Anyway, great game and thanks for taking the time to do it right. I think you hit just the right balance between completeness and complexity. Resist the urge to add too much more stuff. Good artists know when to stop.

Oh, and awesome theme song. It makes me want to see "Super Energy Apocalypse: RECYCLED!: The Motion Picture". Seriously.

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Love the game.

I like the idea to make the resources bar dynamic, however having all those resources at somewhere-late-stage still would be overwhelming. How about limiting number of resources type you can use in each level? Like, at first it is pre-designed by the missions, later players need to pick what kind of resources that they can bring. With the new resources, I hope there would be more unique missions available.

As for lag issue, how about eliminating several animations on low quality? Like resources use and made animations aren't too important imo.

Pardon me for bad English.

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mooooooooooooooooore! :)

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Apparently, when you have EXTREMELY high levels of smog, then skulls appear around the smog symbol. What does this mean?

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There is also one bug, in sandbox mode, days pass by twice as fast. 1 day and night would count as 2.

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The game is fantastic, it's original and fun, Congragulations for the game

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Cheddarius Author Profile Page February 2, 2009 10:42 PM

Learner, that probably means "Lolololol you're screwed". Once I got up to 800+ smog. Bam, zombies the size of 4-5 houses put together. My meticulously built tesla coils couldn't do a thing, they just plowed through.

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well, there is some problem. for some reason, my garbage trucks are moving in some extremely inefficient way. they would all head toward one piece of garbage together, and usually that particular piece of garbage is 100 miles away from where they are.

the direct result is, I would have too many garbage left uncollected, even if i build up a fleet of 30 garbage trucks!

I would guess that some very simple greedy algorithm for each truck (means they just find the closest garbage to pick up) is quite enough.

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woofwoof000 Author Profile Page February 7, 2009 11:35 PM

Something that would be very useful is the ability to select multiple buildings at once.

A more detailed description would do wonders.

Overall Good game. You left at a part where it was getting interesting (as if blowing up zombies' heads with guns isn't good enough). When you finish the newest part of the game I'll try to play it as soon as I can. Story line, song, actual research all played an important part. Even with the lagg this is a game I would highly recomment. 5/5 keep up the good work.

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yes i agree that making energy generation a constant process would be good, instead of us having to wait for all the energy to come in at one go and build the new buildings.

also, perhaps you could add in some upgrades for the defenses? upgrading the flood lights and gun turrets using research points maybe???

and i think there was a bug in the challengers were 2days will pass at once, making the challenges one day shorter than they actually should be.

a sandbox mode with a fixed mission objective would be great too... as in, let us define a goal, eg. gain XX food or energy, or research all sciences, just smthing more than surviving XX days. or perhaps an infinite play mode after the mission ends (with user still having the same layout, reseources, science) would be great.

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Cheddarius Author Profile Page March 9, 2009 10:12 PM

Still no theme song download? D:

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Anonymous March 28, 2009 12:41 PM

all power plants producing energy in sync+cap on energy storage=major energy lossage

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EXCALIBURR April 4, 2009 7:39 PM

Does anyone know how to get rid of smog?

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Lars,

first, great game. However, there is some serious problem with the garbage truck.

I guess what you did is: in 'usual times', the garbe trucks just spread out and use greedy algorithm to pick up garbages. This is very very good, very very good, very very very good. I wish all what the garbage trucks do is just that, nothing more. I really wish that is the case. That is like, heaven.

Now the problem comes: if you click 'summon' on one piece of garbage, then every single truck will head towards that particular piece of garbage. That is incredibly inefficient. but still, I can just avoid clicking the summon, and still play the game.

Now, big problem. if there's some big piece of garbage somewhere in the map, then, lars, I guess what you inplemented is automatically assign a sort of 'summon' to that big piece of garbage. then all the trucks head to that piece of garbage and try to clear it. I guess what you originally want to achieve by this feature is to make sure the big garbages get cleared before it pollutes. this is good intention, but when it comes to a bigger game, e.g., a big game made from sandbox, this feature becomes a bug.

if there are many creeps come and die, then there will be many big pieces of garbage left on the map. Now these trucks no longer do their usual work. what they do is heading to these 'big' pieces of garbage on their list, one by one, ALTOGETHER! effectively the 50 trucks that I have, are moving in a pile. They never do their usual work, but just heading towards these particular pieces of garbages across the screen, one after another. This made the screen full of unpicked garbages, even if I have 30 landfills spreading evenly on the screen, and 50 trucks!

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Anonymous May 30, 2009 2:34 PM

Anyone know cheats?

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Make a river on the map and the hydro electric power plant. Hydro electric power plants dams water and leaks some out and while it's leaking out it gets the electricity generator movin'.

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undeadcupcake2 June 1, 2010 7:43 PM

Lars, i have an account here called Undeadcupcakes and another one on Kongregate called undeadcupcake2. anyways... great job! i love this game! although, i have an idea. what about the option to train Soldiers and make jeeps and tanks at the factory? it would be SO awesome! i hope you make it, i would be so happy if you did. and another defence idea: Cannon. do you like my ideas?

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The biggest natural resource you have is actually the zombies. Once you have at least 2 upgrades to the recycling center, you can get natural gas from recycling, which is your only source on many maps. With natural gas, you have the absolute best power for your garbage trucks, hands down. Great mileage (so you only need a couple trucks) and negligible smog.

You can then just slap down your power plant of choice (almost always geothermal), some gun turrets (the metal costs are laughable), maybe a tesla coil for variety, and you have a totally self-sustaining, pollution-free zombie defense system.

My main peeve is the map design. Hardly any maps have fertile soil, and your farms produce such pitiful amounts of food that you need a fleet of them just to feed your base, to say nothing of using Ethanol. In addition, there's little variety in power sources. Few maps have oil wells (in Texas!, but there's geothermal (the Game Breaker) out the wazoo. It would be a good challenge to force the players to use Coal and control their smog, or to use Solar and hope they can last through the night. I know you're striving for realism over game balance, but your maps are wholly imaginary, so you can be creative.

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Lars,
I appreciate much your game [thanks, I loved the both] and would suggest you to turn it into a real game (like age of empires or something) so you would be able to "model" it more.
And if you don't have space in your screen, use some "expansions" for us to see the resources, the things we can build, etc.
[sorry the bad english, I'm brazillian]
Thanks
Luemery

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Hey, I found a little reference. Mr. Doucet made a game for the first casual design competition, titled "The alchemist's apprentice". The alchemist in question was named "Herr Ananas Wurstwagen"

Our professor is named Anastasia Wurstwagen. Clever.

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