A tutorial for n00bs

  • Moggie
    12th August Member 0 Permalink

    I just recently installed Powder Toy and went through the various tutorials (as well as the Ultimate Reference Gude). I even looked at the wiki.


    To be perfectly frank, I'm still scratching my head on how half this stuff works (Piston tool has surprised me the most. It behaves more like a fill than a lift). I get the impression you need at least a good grasp of electronics and physics to really understand things. Is this true? If so, hey, I'll admit I'm no Einstein and will move on to other physics sandbox games that assume no previous scientific expertise.

    Edited once by Moggie. Last: 12th August
  • Cracker1000
    12th August Member 2 Permalink

    @Moggie (View Post)

     Using elements in tpt is not rocket science, i suggest spending some time with elements like METL, LCRY and other categories first and after that try using advanced elements like PSTN, Sensors etc. (It's not a good idea to start with PSTN from start.)


    For PSTN try searching for saves that actually use it and then try to copy the arrangement, usually it's best way to learn about elements in tpt.




    If you have any difficulty regarding element usage or anything in general, feel free to ask it in help section. Users are active and will eventually reply.


    Lastly you can move on to other particle simulators but most of them are already out dated and doesn't even feature realistic options like water equalization and heat simulation which you can easily find in tpt.

    Edited once by Cracker1000. Last: 12th August
  • jacob1
    12th August Developer 0 Permalink
    I mostly agree with @Cracker1000 . It's not as complicated as you make it sound. The game is very powerful and gives you lots of elements to work with and tools / key shortcuts to learn. But if you just focus on the base elements, it's not actually very difficult.

    I would recommend playing around with standard element reactions first. Electronics are more advanced, only play with those if you intend to get into creating electronics later. The electronics allow you to create anything from basic logic gates to actual computers.

    TPT simulates many physics concepts realistically, but you don't need to be a physics major to understand it or anything.
  • Moggie
    12th August Member 1 Permalink

    @Cracker1000 (View Post)

     Thanks for the reply/ I didn't start with PSTN first. More like the basic elements like wood, water and fire. Had some success getting steam to come out, which will come in handy for those elements that react under pressure. 


    I actually came across that example of PSTN in my search and while it helped gel a few things in my head, it doesn't explain why it's behaving more like a fill in a paint program than something that is supposed to operate like, well, a piston would.


    I think what my problem is trying to understand what some of the elements do when a reference to an aspect of electronics or physics is made.


    This is a powerful sandbox that allows you to pretty much design anything your imagination conjures up but before one can build a house, the tools of the trade need to be understood first.

  • firefreak11
    12th August Member 0 Permalink

    It was stuff like TPT that got me into physics in the first place, just by playing around with what's available and trying to mimic reality with it. As a result, you can see my earliest saves (2010-2013) were very poorly done, sometimes never functioning, and not efficient or aesthetic at all. But over time I've come to learn quite a bit about how it works, and I even write a science based mod for TPT. Of course there's still stuff like subframe I don't understand, but there are lots of experts in the community who can help you figure it out. TPT is very rewarding 

  • mark2222
    12th August Member 1 Permalink

    @Moggie (View Post)


    Imagine dumping a bunch of pistons into a haphazard pile, then extending all of them. Chances are, you're going to see expansion in all directions, much like a "fill". Similarly, most advanced electronic elements need to be used in a very precise (at times, pixel-perfect) manner in order for them to behave in a controlled way.


    There aren't any comprehensive tutorials on TPT electronics unfortunately, but you can get pretty far by reading the element descriptions in the wiki, or by studying existing saves (like the one linked earlier). And if anything specific confuses you, you can always ask about it here.


    You can play around with sand and explosions, or you can build computers and rube goldberg machines. They're all perfectly valid ways to play the game. But as you say, you'll need to understand your tools before you can build a house.

  • Moggie
    13th August Member 0 Permalink

    @mark2222 (View Post)

     That explains everything. To use the PSTN element properly I have to work at the pixel level. I'm on a laptop with a 1080 resolution screen so the pixels appear VERY small. The laptop is a blessing for gaming but when it comes to pixel level manipulation, it's damned impossible to do even with the zoom option.


    I'm not sure how people managed to do this. This wouldn't be a problem if I could create a subassembly once then save it for use later, but then that takes the "powder" out of Powder Toy.


    I'll keep plugging away at it. 

    Edited once by Moggie. Last: 13th August
  • LBPHacker
    13th August Developer 0 Permalink

    That is exactly the problem the zoom tool intends to solve, which is explained in the startup text.


    Edit: Oops, I didn't see the part in your comment that mentions that you're already aware of this, derp. Oh well, to make my comment a bit more useful, of course you can make subassemblies! We call them stamps, and they don't take "powder" out of TPT at all. They're also explained in the startup text.

    Edited 2 times by LBPHacker. Last: 13th August
  • jacob2
    13th August Member 0 Permalink
    Maybe you need double scale mode? Go into options (checkmark near bottom) and increase the scaling. Double scale more makes everything twice as large.

    Zoom size can also be controlled by scrolling while holding z
  • Moggie
    13th August Member 0 Permalink

    @LBPHacker (View Post)

    It's okay. Commendations for making an amazing physics simulation, BTW. I just have tons of questions to ask.


    @jacob2 (View Post)

     Hi and thanks for the suggestion. I tried double scaling and the pixels are the same size. 

    Edited once by Moggie. Last: 13th August