A newbie's guide on how to play sandcastle builder


Sandcastle Builder is the Dwarf Fortress of idle games; it's rumored to be incredibly deep and awesome, but you try it and it just confuses the fuck out of you. This guide aims to remedy that.

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Why play Sandcastle Builder?

Sandcastle Builder really is, hands-down, THE deepest idle game out there, both in mechanics and in scale. Mechanically, the game has so many different things to do and I haven't even scraped the surface yet. The best way I can describe it is the way it was described to me; this game is built around paradigm shifts. Remember how much more cookies you got when you learnt to use golden cookies in Cookie Clicker? Remember how the game changed when your lollipop farm exploded in Candy Box? This game is BUILT around moments like these, which also can make it very frustrating when you can't reach these moments!

Scale-wise, I'll say this. In this game, you start by earning a handful of castles every half hour. I'm currently earning over a trillion per half hour, and I'm still in the early game. Believe it or not, it is possible to progress to a literally infinite amount of sand and castles, and the game still does not end there. The game "goes infinite" at around e308. That's 308 digits, guys. I'm not even fucking kidding you. I haven't gotten there, but someday I will.

So how do we play the thing?

Note: This is not a complete guide, or even an authoritative one. I'm not an expert on this game, I'm still a beginner myself. Any additions or corrections are gladly accepted.

The first thing we obviously need to do is load the game up. http://castle.chirpingmustard.com/castle.html

Next, we want to zoom out a bit. We want to be able to see our entire screen. I go to 67% on Chrome, to be able to see the picture, the stuff to the right of the picture, all the Tools, and the Boosts. (Upgrades) You'll get used to the small text.

Finally, to complete our preparations, we'll want to paste this script onto the page. http://pastebin.com/HSUJVBiE For Google Chrome or Firefox, you'll want to right-click the page, and click Inspect Element. From there, go to Console, and paste it in. What this script will then do is ask you for a number. That number, between 0 and 100, is the percentage of Redundakitties (i.e, golden cookie analogues) the script will auto-click for you. You don't have to have the script do this, but the script also comes with a timer. This timer is highly recommended. Redundakitties in the early game of Sandcastle Builder are like Frenzy + Lucky chains in the end-game of Cookie Clicker. The difference is night and day, and you REALLY want to start clicking these things as soon as possible. Even if you don't auto-click, you still want the timer. (Note: The timer's counter decreases every 1.8 seconds, not every second. You'll see why later.) Why do you want the timer?

A few Redundakitties early will greatly increase your speed through the very earliest stages of the game.

Lifetime Redundakitties clicked are important, at least early on. Certain upgrades are only gained when you've clicked a certain amount of them, and these upgrades are critical to have in order to progress.

This is a slow game. Without Redundakitties, things only happen early every half hour or so. Do you really want to stare at a screen for half an hour waiting for a Redundakitty (Which spawns every 6-8 minutes early, I believe) to give you that critical early game boost?

It's not compulsory to have this script, but again, I really do recommend having it. It's probably best to put it at 0 to start with, as it feels less cheap and gives you a more natural introduction to the game. 0 will ensure that the game doesn't auto-click for you, but still gives you the timer.

Get to the damn game already!

Okay, okay, shit, sorry. So, what do we have? The first thing you probably notice is the giant-ass picture. This picture gives sand when clicked. This sand will then give you castles. Castles buy things. Go ahead and click on it a bit.

After you've gotten a few castles, you may realise that the sand required is increasing exponentially. Like...REALLY exponentially. This is the Fibonnaci Sequence, which goes like this:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610...

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Don't worry. It's not as bad as it sounds. You see, every 30 minutes (A little faster, your first time) the picture will advance one frame. When it does, a bunch of things happen. Critically for the early game, any Castle Tools (Except NewPixBots, we'll get to them) will give you castles, and the sand counter is reset back to 1. This allows you to get more castles!

So the first thing you'll want to do is buy a few NewPixBots. NewPixBots operate under different rules. They give you a castle if, after about 12 minutes after a new frame starts, you haven't clicked the frame. If you do click it before then, that's called ninja'ing, and you won't get any castles from them until the frame resets again. So don't do that. Patience is a virtue. Five is a good number for me; after that, the sand required to keep clicking becomes annoyingly high. So 5 NPB's is good for your first frame, unless you get a Redundakitty; see below. Oh, by the way, if you are interested in the game and you haven't opened it yet, do so. This is a very slow-paced game, you can easily follow along with the guide, it's not like Cookie Clicker where you can buy new things every ten seconds early on.

Within your first frame, unless you're pretty unlucky, you'll probably receive your very first paradigm shift; the Redundakitty. This will give you a few dozen castles if you're lucky, 8 times the sand if you're not. If you get the castles; holy shit, you're rich!

If you're observant, you'll notice Castle Tools are also increasing at a very uncomfortable rate. If you're very observant you'll notice it's the exact same Fibonnaci sequence as the sand; about 1.6 times each time. (For contrast, Cookie Clicker's items increase by 1.15 times for each one you buy. Yeah, this is hardcore exponentiation right here.) This is why we need our paradigm shifts for our income to have a chance at keeping up. Fortunately, Sand Tools don't do this (1.1 times exponentiation), but sand will quickly become stupidly inefficient at gathering Castles; it's mostly for Boosts which will then increase your sand or castle count further.

You'll want to buy purely Castle Tools with your new-found wealth. Ignore Sand Tools for the time being. Which ones to buy are left as an exercise for the reader. Buy the most efficient ones. I'm sure you can figure out how to do that.

And now you're pretty much stuck waiting for the ONG. What's the ONG? The ONG is what happens when the frame resets. There's a clock at the very top left of the screen; this should give you a rough idea. When the clock hits 12, the frame resets. This, as stated earlier, increases your castles (If you have any non-NewPixBot tools) and resets the sand counter. Now, don't click anything!

See the timer below the NPB's? This is the timer (In mNP's, which is a micro NewPix. A NewPix is a frame, and it takes 30 minutes. A micro NewPix is 1/1000th of a NewPix, so it's 1.8 seconds.) for your NewPixBots. When it runs out, you get one castle for each bot, as long as you DON'T click the frame until it runs out.

At this point, you need to make sure you're ready to reset when you get to NP3, to allow you Time Travel. If you forget to reset the game at NP3 though, it's fine, just so long as it's after NP2. Trust me. You want that reset.

The game is slowing down now, but please do not panic. This is an IDLE game in the true name of the word. It's a slow game, but rewarding, and you can do other things while you play. (Especially if you have the kitty auto-clicker going.)

Now seems a good time to mention that if you Molpy Down (reset) at the third frame, you can gain access to Time Travel. This is an incredibly useful upgrade, and it's absolutely worth resetting in order to obtain it.

Your goal for the meantime is to increase your castle income. Castles are the most important thing early, not sand. I repeat, NOT. SAND. You'll want to build up to a few Waves before you proceed on to the next step. (An NPB unlocks Trebuchets. 2? Trebuchets unlock a Scaffold. 4 Scaffolds unlock a Wave. 8 Waves unlock a River, the final Castle Tool.) This'll likely take you a while. Relax :) Keep the Redundakitties flowing. This is a marathon, not a sprint. (Beginning to realise why I recommended the script yet?)

While we're at it; if you click the frame AFTER the NewPixBots have activated, and haven't ninja'd them, you'll get what's called Ninja Stealth. This streaks if you keep going, and at 6, 16, 26, 36, and failing it between 30 and 35 (Cruel, I know) you can unlock upgrades. They aren't ridiculously important, but it's worth knowing.

This game isn't called Castle Builder! Let's move on to Sand!'

By now, you should have a few Waves. Your castles-per-half-hour has increased to the hundreds, but you have a yearning for more. All these upgrades at the bottom of the screen taunt you, begging you to earn some Sand and set them free, but your poor fingers can't possibly click so much. It's time to explore the Sand Tools.

We start with a few Buckets, and a Cuegan or two. That's enough to start us off with. That unlocks a few cheap Boosts for you that will increase your Sand count (and occasionally Castle count) further. You'll want to get all the fairly easy ones you can get your hands on; the Redundakitty's Sand boost will finally come in handy now.

Don't get any Flags for now, as they're quite expensive. You'll still want to spend most of your castles on Castle Tools. Once you get a couple of Rivers, feel free to go nuts and get most of the bonuses you've already unlocked, except the really expensive ones.

This guide has gone over the 10,000 character limit for duanromanplaza.vn posts, so the remainder will be in a comment.

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