http://www.kongregate.com/games/Cael/reactor-incremental ooooh man
I found the most perfect fucking example of what I meant. Someone took the normiest game concept ever conceived
the "clicker" game, and... STEMlorded the fuck out of it!
So far as I can gather, to even
automate this beast you need to balance inlet, outlet, and heating vent, at the most basic basic level. (once you get the money for it, anyway, which could take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour if you sucked and didn't grok it at first like moi)
A basic design might be
I I I I I I
===== (hay, a centipede!) the  being the vents
I I I I I I
so that more gets taken from each subsequent vent than put in, so the heat dissipates across all of them rather than build up in one. (the outlets put the heat back into the reactor, but disperses about an equiv amount along the way making for a net loss)
and then if you want to start off hot, or plan to go big league
and vent manually (where the clicking comes in, each upgrade is 10×e the previous so 1, 10, 100, 1000)
Then on top of that you need to get about to upgrade 10 on the auto-energy use upgrade to even get anywhere on the whole build-and-walk-away field. Each upgrade gives a mere 1%
to how much is autoed, and like everything else it's exponential.
Power generation is essentially: cells next to each other = double the power, but quadruple
the heat, so it's time to deploy those spreadsheets, they're gonna get a real workout!
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