Particle Clicker


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Rating: 4/5 (69 votes)
| Comments (16) | Views (6,017)

Particle Clicker

AllyYou know what would taste good right about now? A cookie. And by cookie I mean science. Because for CERN's Summer 2014 Student Webfest, Gabor Biro and crew have put together a loving Cookie Clicker homage with delicious chocolate Higgs bosons in every bite. Particle Clicker (available via the GitHub open source page and the official site) unashamedly models itself on Cookie Clicker and other popular incremental idle games, but this idle diversion is educational as well as engrossing! You're a hotshot scientist with a particle accelerator and theories to prove. Click on your simulated particle accelerator to run tests and gather data. The more subatomic particles you discover, the more your reputation grows, and the more sweet, sweet grant money you earn. And more grant money means more workers, and coffee for your workers, and better PR, and yet MORE workers which means more data which ultimately means more SCIENCE. And every breakthrough discovery you make comes with its own info tab explaining the real-life science behind it! Although Particle Clicker is straightforward about the inspiration it takes from Cookie Clicker, the way the game is laid out makes it feel as much like a simplified simulation game as it does an idle game.

Particle Clicker You have three different base stats to manage, and you'll need to consider the connections between the three of them when choosing what upgrades to pursue. And since each level you put into your research, human resources, and other upgrades becomes increasingly more expensive, you can't just dump your spare cash into the same upgrade over and over again. Even if you did, the diminishing returns means you'd get nowhere fast! While it does add a much more strategic element to the game in comparison to other idle games, it also means that the game slows way down as you reach the higher tiers of scientific discovery and funding. Player interaction becomes far less important late-game, and the only thing you can really do to progress is wait. Good thing the game provides so much reading material! The in-game educational writings aren't exactly in the laymaniest terms, and you might end up scratching your head if you haven't taken a course on particle physics yourself. Not all the scientific concepts are fully delineated within the game, either. But they do provide plentiful links to outside sources, so even if you aren't quite picking up what Particle Clicker's putting down, you can still browse the helpful suggestions for a more physics-noob friendly explanation of things such as C/P symmetry and the W and Z bosons. Without the scientific trappings, Particle Clicker is still a solid incremental game with enough layers to give it real depth. But it's definitely most fun if you're the sort of person who dreams about having enlightening conversations with famous physicists while lounging on the beach. Zzz... Yes, Mr. Bohr, I think I WILL have another margarita...

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16 Comments

You know, having been a grad student, the "cheap and enthusiastic labor" ...

No, thanks.

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Idle games, planking, products of boredom and mass media. What's Next? Paint drying competitions, where the winner is the one who watches paint dry the 'best'??!?!

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Ooo, tough crowd. Heh heh.

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Luckily, there's nothing forcing anyone from playing something they don't like, and no cap on what developers are allowed to make. More game types for everyone! :)

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
thegreatescaper Author Profile Page August 9, 2014 7:59 PM

Tough crowd indeed.
Actually, I found this game to be one of the more enjoyable out of the 'click toy' category.
The pace isn't too slow (a dreadful mistake that many click toys make) the upgrades are at least kinda sensical and hey, there's a bit of science in here!
Better than the rest, but it isn't my favorite genre.

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I like incremental games — I've got two going in the background right now. I think I even first ran into them here with A Dark Room.

It's just a political thing with this one that probably only bothers a very small percentage of the population.

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Well, I can't play it. My screen resolution's too small and it's at its highest

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Infant Tyrone Author Profile Page August 9, 2014 10:05 PM

I also noticed that the game field is larger than my screen, necessitating a lot of up-and-down scrolling, made more difficult by each of the upgrade/research fields also being up-and-down scroll fields. Maybe I'm doing something wrong...?

And I agree that these click toy seem pretty low-impact, engagement-wise; I could click that screen until my mouse breaks but once you get over a few thousand points per second it's pointless. So all I can really do is let it entertain itself in the background and every few hours I've got enough money or research to change... something? I wish there was some shifts or surprises or new factors that appeared sometimes, but nope.

It's nice for what it is, well made and the writing is good. But I don't know that I could tell anyone "Hey you know what you should check out...?"

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

To those having issues with their screen size, try zooming in and out of the screen with Ctrl + +/- or Ctrl + Scroll, this should fit the frame into a size you find more appropriate.

Otherwise, I must say I'm really enjoying this, primarily because of its integration of scientific concepts. I've stayed away from every other game of this genre excepting the first ones (Candy Box & A Dark Room), so this is a refreshing take on how these types of games have evolved.

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jjjansenster Author Profile Page August 11, 2014 5:58 AM

as an assistant professor: can confirm the simulation-worthy accuracy of this game..
off to hire some PhD students

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LightWarriorK Author Profile Page August 11, 2014 11:51 AM

For those looking for a bit of strategy:

Use a spreadsheet, and list your Research and HR upgrades. Calculate the Cost/Benefit ratio to doing the upgrades.
You'll find they will rank into the most cost effective upgrade at that particular time.

For example, for Research, if you can upgrade the Beauty Quark for 800k and get 146 Reputation, it's more cost effective than upgrading the Top Quark for 8M and getting 1400 Reputation.

It'll change each time you upgrade, since the costs go up each time, but if you upgrade each in order of their cost effectiveness at the current time, you'll maximize your gain rate.

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LightWarriorK Author Profile Page August 11, 2014 4:11 PM

The endgame (possibly?) here is really dull. I have no idea how much further there is to go, but the values have far outstripped my ability to "click my way to happiness," and I won't have enough for the next cost effective upgrades for at least another hour.

Which means that this game is buried behind other windows now, ceasing to be a game, and becoming a curiosity.

What would have been nice: more clicker upgrades. It doesn't matter to get 369 data per click if my Associates are bringing in over 13k data per second. But when I need 64 MILLION data for my next upgrade....that's a long time to not be doing anything.

But still I have less than half of the Achievements, so I guess I'll just let it run.

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gatesda Author Profile Page August 11, 2014 4:26 PM replied to LightWarriorK

And if you want even more optimization and math, factor in the time it'll take to save up. That Top Quark research might cost slightly less data per reputation than Yet Another τ Lepton research, but going the cheaper route means that data is earning you money rather than sitting inert until you hit 8 million.

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LightWarriorK Author Profile Page August 11, 2014 4:55 PM replied to gatesda

Yeah, that was kind of where I was going with the cost/benefit. Seemingly, if you wait for the more efficient (higher ratio) upgrades, it's better than spending money on cheaper upgrades earlier. Like right now, I shouldn't wait for the B-Osc upgrade, because the Anti-H upgrade has a higher ratio, meaning I'd make more money by upgrading it now than by waiting for the B-Osc. But the Anti-H also has a higher ratio than the Top-Q upgrade, meaning that I'd be spending more than what I'd get as opposed to waiting for the Anti-H.

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I'm kinda sad cause this game seemed very interesting to me but when i try to play i get an advertisement and a black screen :/

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billyswong Author Profile Page August 15, 2014 12:32 AM

Who would have thought that, after hiring Nobel Prize Winners, the next hiring option is

Summer Students! :D

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