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Agree that Cookie Clicker is absolutely fascinating. Two of us in the office, busy and capable people, became competitive bandits for Cookie Clicker. It makes for an almost perfect study in drip-feeding content/upgrades no matter how pointless and mundane.

Hints to me that the Great Filter could well be addictive and selfish behaviour transfixing the instinctive and basic aspects of our minds.

Also Cookie Clicker raises an interesting mathematical problem. I wonder if there is a closed form solution to it, or even a polynomial-time algorithm, or if it's NP-hard.

I posed this question once when I was copying and pasting a pixel to fill a line. Given a time cost of selecting & copying vs pasting, what is the optimal number of pastes before I should select and copy? What if the cost of selecting & copying is a function of the current size of the line? That is what Cookie Clicker raises, but with more kinds of "boosts" and whose costs also increase based on how many you've purchased.

Or perhaps you can also pose it in higher dimensions later (copying and pasting to make 2d squares, or even more complicated shapes).

I wonder if algorithms can be written to compete in Cookie Clicker-type games.

It's a relatively easy polynomial problem - there was a google code jam question based on a simplified version last year


Cookie Clicker really shows how game mechanics by themselves (and boredom or need to take your mind off something) can motivate people to play.

But also, it can be even more addictive if the game would go back to zero after a period of inactivity (like a tamagachi pet "dying" without attention, or a Flappy Bird). Maybe not going back to zero but to some lower "saved" level like Mario.

This is the kind of stuff that makes people see how high a score they can get, for no reason other than the score!

Cookie Clicker has a heavenly chips mechanic, where you essentially reset all progress (except achievements maybe?) in exchange for heavenly chips that give a minor % boost.

As a hacker, my goal for some reason was to get enough cookies to make 3 rows of "pointers" :)


Just to see what it would look like

I also looked at the source and sped up the game by running the game loop much faster with an extra setTimeout :)

Try `Game.RuinTheFun()`

What made Cookie Clicker fun for me was automating the whole game. There were little bookmarklets out there that could purchase upgrades at the optimal time, and I had some fun making one for myself. I'd just sit in class and watch my little cookie empire grow.

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