Particle-u-lary Interesting: Particulars on Greenlight

not sperm
Sometimes I like to lie awake at night and imagine all my little atoms in my little atom body came from other, much cooler things than me. For example, I like to imagine that somewhere in me there is an atom that once belonged to Grace Darling, an English lighthouse keeper’s daughter who spotted the wreck and survivors of the Forfarshire in 1838, and determined it was too stormy out in the chop for a lifeboat. So she rowed out in a rowing boat with her father at great risk to herself and brought in survivors. Grace died a few short years later at the super-young age of 26 from tuberculosis, but what a woman. What a person. I like to think that one of her atoms is recycled in me.

Particulars is a game about atoms. Atoms are beautiful.

See-Through Studios (whose last game Alec said was ‘atmospheric and smart’) and Surprise Attack are developing the lovely little game Particulars, the atom game in question. It’s a story-led, arcade puzzle game that seems to have a lot of intelligent thought about it. On their Greenlight page the developers say the game has a “strong basis in real-world physics research”. “We want more games that can make us think and feel,” they say. “It’s a way for people to get a handle on quarks and the strong force and the craziness they entail, rather than a replacement for Wikipedia or the like.”

Alison is a young scientist who feels like life has gotten away from her. Join her on a dark and strange journey through the unsolved mysteries of the subatomic realm on her way towards regaining clarity. Other particles will push and pull at you, keeping you on the brink of losing control and being dragged towards annihilation.

The first episode of Particulars will have about 75 levels according to the team, and will be officially released in the fourth quarter of 2013. But you can sign up for the Alpha for $5 and get access to the current build of the game, plus all future updates, up-to-and-including the final release.

You can vote for them on Greenlight, or you can join the Alpha here.


  1. RedViv says:

    I have knowledge of one more great person *and* possibly great game. Games and education! Hooray!

  2. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Aha! Fallen Angle was a wonderful little thing, I was always keen to see what they did next.

    Sadly, this trailer doesn’t do a great job of selling/explaining the new game (which to be fair, looks like the type of game which needs to be played to be ‘got’, just as Fallen Angle was). I hope it goes well for them, though.

  3. Nova says:

    Don’t we have atoms of pretty much everyone who died some decades ago in us? I vaguely recall something like this from that Bill Bryson book.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Fun fact: The number of atoms in your body that were once part of Julius Caesar is roughly twice the number of atoms in your body that were once part of Hitler. Scientists are currently trying to find out why.

      • Chris D says:

        Is it because Julius Caesar was actually much fatter than people realise?

        • Skabooga says:

          Or was it because I ate the mummified brain of Caeser for breakfast this morning?

      • Mo6eB says:

        Because half of Hitler escaped from our reality through the warphole (part of Projekt Schwarzerkosmosdurchgangfrohundfunzeitweg, a.k.a. Prosch) and is now on nega-Earth in the Wiederkriegshauptzentrale. He will return as Adolf Mechanischeruntötenlicherultrarobot Hitler one day.

        • phelix says:

          Ah, but His Divine Electronic Tyrant already returned in 1992, you know.

          • BooleanBob says:

            Of course! Who else could have been responsible for Daikatana?

  4. warthog2k says:

    Ooooh it’s another Cara piece.

    “I wholeheartedly object to the flagrant use of vowels and / or consonants in this article. And Soup.”

    There. That should do it.

  5. Don Reba says:

    “You start as a single quark” — uh… there is no such thing as a single quark.

    • Skabooga says:

      You’re telling me. All the good ones are already married.

      • Jad says:

        Well done.

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        That or they are strange.

      • Captain Joyless says:

        Wow, you really lepton that one, didn’t you?

      • Gap Gen says:

        And in polygamous relationships, no less. The Conservative Party would be horrified at the subatomic particles that make up their entire being.

        As for quarks, you can at least turn dog food into protons by putting it down a pup.

      • nindustrial says:

        You win today.

    • pdyxs says:

      One of the devs here.

      Yep, we’re fully aware of that, and it’s something the game deals with. We might bring it a bit more into the foreground, as quite a few people have brought it up.

      • Saul says:

        Also, if anyone has any specific questions about the game (physics-related or otherwise), we’re happy to answer them here (or on our Greenlight page, Facebook, Twitter, or by email). We love answering questions, and we’ll add the answers to our Greenlight FAQ as we go!

        • Gap Gen says:

          Does this game address the lithium problem, or will this be tackled in a sequel?

          • pdyxs says:

            We weren’t looking to tackle that, but you never know. There is one mystery that we’re looking to address in a pretty big way, however :).

  6. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    Looks very interesting, like their vibes. Must admit before the trailer I had flashbacks to being confused into despondency by E-Motion on the Amiga and came out in hives.

  7. Ant says:

    I was very fortunate to get to play the demo of this at PAX Aus on the weekend. It was a beautiful, rather trance-like experience … with explosions. Weaving your particle about, leaving light-trails and influencing other particles all become rather intuitive after a couple of minutes of play.

    On speaking with one of the friendly devs I likened it to Flower and was rightly corrected that it was more like Flow (from the same developer).

    So, yeah, I’m adding this to my Indie-games-to-buy list.

    • Saul says:

      Hey, I remember that conversation! Glad you enjoyed it. The comparison that comes up even more often than Flow is Osmos, which was definitely one of our inspirations in terms of the mood of the game – we really want to create that sense of entering this almost hypnotic other place – intense but simultaneously calming to spend time in.

      • Ant says:

        Ah yes! Osmos was the other game that it reminded me of. I knew there was something else familiar about it.

  8. obd2works says:

    Sometimes I like to lie awake at night and imagine all my little atoms in my little atom body came from other, much cooler things than me.
    link to
    link to

  9. obd2abc says:

    Ah yes! Osmos was the other game that it reminded me of. I knew there was something else familiar about it.