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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fe[26]

Fe[26], a much more difficult version of 2048.

Stu tells us about the game 2048. I've been playing it for a couple of weeks (months?) and I've been meaning to put up a post but... It's a fine game, kind of meditative. How you play in the beginning doesn't seem to make much difference: all roads lead to Rome. But once you've broken the 100 value on a tile, things get a little dicier. I find that keeping the highest value tile in one of the corners works pretty well. If you can keep a row of higher value tiles in a row along one edge, all the better. Usually this isn't too hard, but sometimes the only move available pulls this row off the edge. After that all bets are off. I am not sure I have ever recovered from doing this.
     There is another, similar game, DOGE2048, that uses pictures of dogs instead of numbers. Unlike the numeric version there is no indication of what the sequence is. Like the numeric version, colliding two identical tiles results in a new picture. After you've played the game a few thousand times the sequence will have become embedded in your brain and you won't have to worry about it.
     Renke, commenting on Stu's post, recommended Fe[26], shown above. It operates in a similar manner to these other games, although the goal is to create Iron (Fe[26]) by fusing various elements together. After I had played this game for a bit I noticed that I was accumulating a bunch of magnesium, but nothing heavier. So I looked at the chart that accompanies the game and I notice that Magnesium does not lead anywhere. It's a dead end. But Beryllium 7 is also a dead end, and I know I've created a bunch of Beryllium 7, but now it's all gone. Where did it go? So I wrote to Kevin O'Connor, one of the game's creators, and he replied:
    We tried to model the game based on real conditions of the stellar fusion, as such there are two hurdles thrown in the game that also exist in star formation.    Magnesium[24] is the first one, it's actually very very stable. Stars are often quite dense with Magnesium for this reason and it provides quite a lot of mass before the supernova. We put in into the game as path that could end up causing trouble for the player. You'll get points for doing it, but it'll overly pollute your board quickly. Instead of throwing a He[4] on a Oxygen[16], combine two Oxygen[16] to get yourself on the path toward Iron.    As for Be[7], it's again realistic (though the decay time isn't quite scaled correctly in compromise of gameplay) in that it decays and is fairly useless. In our game you want to avoid making Be[7], instead make Be[8] using 2 He[4] blocks. Over time the Be[7] block will decay back to He[4]. The little bubble in the top right of blocks gives the player a count of moves until the block will decay.
I tried playing the game again trying to avoid making Neon, which inevitably leads to making Magnesium, which is a dead end, and it make the game an order of magnitude more difficult. You can no longer just slam tiles into each other willy-nilly. Now you have to be aware of what you are trying to create, but also what you are trying to avoid, and that goes against everything I learned playing the original 2048.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Nice review, Charles. Thankyou.