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A jam submission

ClicKraftView game page

drag and then drop
Submitted by Nejcraft (@honzapat) — 4 hours, 42 minutes before the deadline
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CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Crafting Mechanics#143.8333.833
Jam Theme#553.1673.167
Gameplay (Fun Factor)#712.5002.500

Ranked from 12 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Which theme was used for the game, and in what way?
ALIEN - overall look and a bit of lore, EXPIRE - you will eventualy run out of time

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This is a good crafting game, I had fun trying to figure out what the recipes were (until I noticed the list of them in the images) and it is a great puzzle system in trying to keep the resources you need to craft the next item(s). In the HTML version, for some reason the tesla coils get ate up so I cannot complete the recipe request if it requests tesla coils. I had a bit of fun completing it like the 11 ruby necklaces in a level 1 on one of my runs, but then I immediately get asked to craft 5 laser tanks. (I also get asked to build 3 laser tanks in a level 1 later) Before I get into my problem with the laser tanks, I felt that the ruby necklaces rewarding 1 point each felt a bit small. Perhaps a point system for how many resources/time is used for that particular item to be crafted would have a nicer impact for the player. I admit that I didn't score anything in level 2 so the possibility of the points to rise with each level does work in a way.

But now my problem with the laser tanks (And why this post is stupidly long. Skip to TL;DR if you don’t care much for math. Except you dev, it's polite to read comments no matter how ludacris I may be). I believe level 2 (and perhaps the game in general) gave me ~590s (9mins ,+ 50s) to build 5 Laser Tanks (correct me if I'm wrong with the time). The Laser Tanks feel like the most expensive item in the game, which glancing through the recipe list does support this feeling. So I started calculating how much it costs so in fact it is stupidly expensive, so much that I took the time to calculate how much it would take to build them under several conditions. (Be ready for my attempt at explaining the math, and I may have some calculation errors since I kept correcting it as I was going along).

For now let's give each resource a symbol so we can simplify this. This requires 5 of the 6 basic resources, not counting scrap which for a baseline calculation we’ll ignore the recycler for the moment. I will also not be accounting for time managing resources and resources that could be crafted simultaneously. This calculation is assuming that the system is perfect in that no time is wasted moving resources from one machine to another, and that all the resources can be stored within the game’s limits of resource management. To put it another way, that the game is played in a way that the resources are crafted in an order that allows the goal of crafting a Laser Tank can be achieved.

We’ll have Silicon (Sr), Iron Ore (Ir), Germanium (Mr), Gemstone (Rr/Ruby Rate), and Gunpowder (Gr). They end with “r” because it’s the “rate” that they are produced. An overview for 1 Laser Tank says that we need 5 Laser Guns and 20 Iron Plates. To start the total cost of 1 Iron Plate is 3s ,+ 10*Ir which was calculated counting how many seconds it takes total for the crafting time of each item in the system. Because it takes 5x Iron Ore to make an Iron at a rate of 1 second and it takes 2 Iron to make an Iron Plate at a rate of 1 second, it would take 2 seconds for each bar and then 1 second for each plate. Giving use the rate of 3s ,+ 10*Ir for each Iron Plate. Since so far the recipe asks for 20 of them, we then multiply the rate by 20 to get 60s ,+ 200*Ir. What makes this math nice is that we can tell how many of that resource we need, which is 200 Iron Ore so far.

And to make a note before continuing, the “,+” notation indicates that in the formula 60s ,+ 200*Ir means that we pick whichever of the 2 are higher. But we choose what we are going to do if the left or right side is higher. In the case that if the left side is higher, we add 1*Ar to it to account for waiting for the first resource that would take us to start crafting where Ar is any of the resource rates that are on the right side. However, if the right side is higher, we add the crafting time for the product on the left that would give us the final result once everything is crafted. This basically accounts for finishing the time to craft something since we are most likely to be crafting while we wait for resources to come in. It seems needlessly complicated, but I wrote the system in one way and during revision, found that leaving it like this helps in a way since we can see the total resources this item consumes.

Anyways, now we get to the offender of this crafted item, the Laser Gun. What’s nice is that it takes only a Laser and a Gun to make. But it's these parts that cause it to become tedious. Let’s go over the Laser which requires 2 Glass, a Ruby, a Mirror, and a Semiconductor. The Ruby is easy as it comes out to 3s ,+ 2*Rr, Glass is calculated as 2s ,+ 2*Sr, and the Semiconductor is made at a rate of 2s ,+ [(1*)Mr, (1*)Sr]. The bracket notation is to state that we choose the rate that makes us wait the longest, since we cannot craft until we have a theoretical total wait time for our resources. The Mirror requires an Iron Plate and a Mirror so it costs in total 10s ,+ [10*Ir, 2*Sr]. When putting it all together, the Laser costs a total of 22s ,+ [7*Sr, 2*Rr, 10*Ir, Mr]. So each Laser would need 7 Silicon, 2 Gemstones, 10 Iron Ore, and a Germanium each.

The Gun on the other hand requires a Gun Barrel, a Magazine, and 3 Iron Plates. The Gun Barrels require 2 Iron Cylinders each, which have a rate of 3s ,+ 5*Ir for each Iron Cylinder. So in total the Gun Barrel has a rate of 9s ,+ 10*Ir. The Magazines require 2 Gunpowder (2*Gr) and an Iron Plate (3s ,+ 10*Ir) at a crafting rate of 2 seconds giving us the total time of (5s ,+ [2*Gr, 5*Ir]). So adding all the rates together plus the 5 seconds it takes to craft a Gun, the rate is now 27s ,+ [45*Ir, 2*Gr]. And so the total for 1 Laser Gun is 59s ,+ [55*Ir, 2*Gr, 7*Sr, 2*Rr, Mr], and multiplying by 5 gives us a total of 295s ,+ [275*Ir, 10*Gr, 35*Sr, 10*Rr, 5*Mr].

So now once we add the totals for the 5 Laser Guns and 20 Iron Plates plus the 20 seconds it takes to craft a Laser Tank, we get the grand total of 375s ,+ [475*Ir, 10*Gr, 35*Sr, 10*Rr, 5*Mr]. Just the crafting time alone takes 6 minutes and 15 seconds to make 1 Laser Tank. And it would take a hefty amount of resources for it to be made, needing 475 Iron Ore, 35 Silicon, 10 Gunpowder, 10 Gemstones, and 5 Germanium. So now what about the resource rates we’ve been leaving absent? Since the rates can randomize for each game (That I noticed) we can either use the ones I got for when the game prompted me both times to make, or we can pick our own. For now let’s give each resource a flat rate of 1 per second (1/1s) just to see what a flat total looks like. So that would make it 375s ,+ [475s, 10s, 35s, 10s, 5s], and since we’re using our “,+” system, we’ll be taking Ir’s number of 475s plus the left side’s finishing craft rate. We can have two different rates with one optimal and one suboptimal (since Iron Ore is required in both Iron Plates and Laser Guns). The optimal one would be 23 seconds (crafting time for the Iron Plate plus the Laser Tank) and the suboptimal one would be 41s (crafting time total for Iron Cylinder, Gun Barrel, Gun, Laser Gun, and Laser Tank). So we get 498s (over 8 minutes) for optimal crafting time or 516s (over 8 and a half minutes) for suboptimal crafting just to make 1 Laser Tank!

(Just to quickly note anytime I replace Ar with a rate like #/s I am meaning that Ar = s/# since looking at how I written it, the equations are “sec ,+ #*Ar” and we need our answer to be in seconds so we just flip the rate upside down to achieve this.)

But now what if the game gives us a rate of 475 Iron Ore per second so that the left side is larger? Since it would take Iron Ore 1 second before we can use it to start crafting, we add 1 second to the left side, which brings it to the total time of 376s (over 6 minutes). This is a little better, however at this point no matter how we adjust the time, it will always take 6+ minutes to craft a Laser Tank. And with the restraints it is only possible to ever craft 1 Laser Tank within the time frame. No matter how fast we beef up resource output (including help from recycling scraps).

Now we know that making any more than just 1 Laser Tank already prevents the player from advancing to the next level. So now what if the game was rewritten to dynamically give the player enough time to complete the task without changing the recipes? We’ll use 375s ,+ 475*Ir as our basis for the dynamic time for this example since the game’s generated resource rates do not reach above 2/s (from what I have gathered so far). So for us to make 3 Laser Tanks we would need 3x(375s ,+ 475*Ir) = 1125s ,+ 1425*Ir. If left side with Ir at 2/s, it would be 1126s (almost 19 minutes!), but if the right side was bigger with an Ir of 1/s and choosing the suboptimal amount of 41s we’d have 1466s (over 24 minutes!). Now if we up the request to 5 Laser Tanks, we would be using 5x(375s ,+ 475*Ir) = 1875s ,+ 2375*Ir. Using the left side again, we’d have a time of 1876s (31+ minutes) and the right side’s suboptimal would be 2416s (over 40 minutes)! These numbers of course require padded timing for the player to think and manage resources.

TL;DR It takes 376+ seconds (over 6 minutes) to craft at least 1 Laser Tank and the game asks for an unreasonable amount since I feel games shouldn’t give you “you lose anyways” states, but rather give the player a chance to beat the odds even if the odds are close.

Apologies if I went WAY overboard on my analysis of your game, but I tend to get into the finer mechanics of a game if enough of the data is there for me to play with/observe. I probably took 5+ hours in calculating and writing up this lil’ essay for you. I know it’s over analyzing a game made in under 10 days for a jam, but this was my way of coping with opting out of crafting a laser tank. Which of the 2 evils I feel like this was more productive and fun then to try crafting that alien’s impractical request for laser tanks.

Thank you for your time, have a nice and safe day!

Imma sleep now...zzz...

MY DATA: (originally in Notepad)

1x Laser Tank <20s- 5x laser gun + 20x iron plate
(= 375s ,+ [475*Ir, 10*Gr, 35*Sr, 10*Rr, 5*Mr])
5x(59s ,+ [55*Ir, 2*Gr, 7*Sr, 2*Rr, Mr]) laser gun (= 295s ,+ [275*Ir, 10*Gr, 35*Sr, 10*Rr, 5*Mr])
^1x(59s ,+ [55*Ir, 2*Gr, 7*Sr, 2*Rr, Mr]) laser gun <10s- 1x(27s ,+ [45*Ir, 2*Gr]) gun + 1x(22s ,+ [7*Sr, 2*Rr, 10*Ir, Mr]) laser
--^1x(27s ,+ [45*Ir, 2*Gr]) gun <5s- (9s ,+ 10*Ir) gun barrel + (5s ,+ [2*Gr, 5*Ir]) magazine + 3x(3s ,+ 10*Ir) iron plate
--__^1x(9s ,+ 10*Ir) gun barrel <3s- 2x(3s ,+ 5*Ir) iron cylinder
--__--^1x(3s ,+ 5*Ir) iron cylinder <2s- iron <1s- 5x(Ir) iron ore
--__--^1x(5s ,+ [2*Gr, 5*Ir]) magazine <2s- 2x(Gr) gunpowder + (3s ,+ 5*Ir) iron plate
--^1x(22s ,+ [7*Sr, 2*Rr, 10*Ir, Mr]) laser <3s- 2x(2s ,+ 2*Sr) glass + (3s ,+ 2*Rr) ruby + (10s ,+ [10*Ir, 2*Sr]) mirror + (2s ,+ [Mr, Sr]) semiconductor
--__^1x(2s ,+ [Mr, Sr]) semiconductor <2s- (Mr) germanium + (Sr) silicon
--__^1x(10s ,+ [10*Ir, 2*Sr]) mirror <3s- (3s ,+ 10*Ir) iron plate + 2x(2s ,+ 2*Sr) glass
--__^1x(2s ,+ 2*Sr) glass <2s- 2x(Sr) silicon
--__^1x(3s ,+ 2*Rr) ruby <3s- 2x(Rr) gemstone
20x(3s ,+ 10*Ir) iron plate (= 60s ,+ 200*Ir)
^1x(3s ,+ 10*Ir) iron plate <1s- 2x(1s ,+ 5*Ir) iron
--^1x(1s ,+ 5*Ir) iron <1s- 5x(Ir) iron ore

optimal last: iron plate 3s + laser tank 20s = 23s
worst case last: laser tank 20s + laser gun 10s + gun 5s + gun barrel 3s + iron cylinder 3s = 41s

total resources
450 iron ore
35 silicon
10 gemstone
5 germanium
10 gunpowder

level 2 - 5 tanks
1/3s silicon - Sr
2/4s copper ore - Cr
2/4s iron ore - Ir
2/7s germanium - Mr
1/5s gemstone - Rr
1/6s scrap - Pr
1/7s gunpowder - Gr

level 1 - 3 tanks
2/3s silicon - Sr
1/5s copper ore - Cr
2/3s iron ore - Ir
2/5s germanium - Mr
2/4s gemstone - Rr
1/6s scrap - Pr
1/5s gunpowder - Gr


Thank you for your in depth analysis.
I can just say you are right, the problem is our "algorithm" scales with diffuculty in 2 or 3 direction at once, which is absolutely not a good idea (was written in last day if I recall correctly, if we are going to do something more about it I will take your calculations into account). How our system works is: Depending on your level(difficulty) +- some random you get a time, and then every output item has some point value(3 hard items has them hardcoded, and then a random semi could spawn which has point value for the whole group), we then subtract from the difficulty by these item points till its 0(I can only agree the time should have been calculated at this step). The score you get for completed item is based also on your difficulty(so in higher levels you get more points) the item lookup point value and also the time it took you from start.
 If I remember correctly I wanted to do something as you describe by going through all the recipe lists and calculating time it would took, but similiarly as with Customizer Machine or In Game Recipe book, there just wasnt enough time.

Thank you for feedback and have a nice day.


Btw, have you found any of the easter eggs?


I had fun playing this. I like the way the crafting is done with the different machines. Well done!


Thanks for feedback

Submitted (1 edit)

Very interesting to be able to choose our Machine and process the primal resources to achieve a larger goal. As other mentioned, some hints or a crafting book would help a lot - which is indeed in the page (did not see).


Thanks for feedback


I like the way crafting was implemented in this game! If this already exists and I simply missed it, please tell me, but I think it would be helpful to have a "crafting recipe" reference sheet in game that the player could refer to when needed.


The tutorial references you to page, originally there was a recipe book, but because of not enough time we removed it and moved it onto the itch io page


Thanks for the reply! Shoot, I did miss that - will give the game another go while using the reference sheet screenshot!