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Cookie Clicker is a click-based online browser game in which the player must create as many cookies as possible by repeatedly clicking the oversized cookie placed in the center. As the game progresses, the player may trade in their cookies for upgrades to increase the output without additional clicks. Once users reach certain cookie milestones, the message on the top of the page changes. The game contains two versions, the original experimental version and the later-released actual game..
Cookie Clicker was created by video game designer Orteil on August 10th, 2013. The game began drawing online attention after Orteil shared a link to the game on 4chan’s /v/ (Video Games) board on August 8th, describing it as “the best vidya ever."
On August 9th, Orteil shared a link to Cookie Clicker via his Twitter feed. Also on that day, a Wiki for the game was created and the link was submitted to Reddit for the first time, where it gained 216 upvotes, 173 points overall and 73 comments on /r/Gaming. Meanwhile, similar discussions about Cookie Clicker appeared on numerous other message boards throughout the day. By August 10th, Cookie Clicker had been submitted to two additional subreddits, /r/WebGames and /r/InternetIsBeautiful while videos of gameplay footage began surfacing on YouTube (shown below).
Also on August 10th, threads about the game popped up on more message boards including Heroes of Newerth and the Blockland Forums. On the following day, the /r/CookieClicker subreddit was created, gaining 85 subscribers in 8 days. On August 13th, the game was featured on The Maine Edge and two days later, Little Cookie Clicker Things launched, marking the first single topic Tumblr dedicated to the game. Over the next several days, the game was discussed on HardcoreGamer, MetaFilter and A Lonely Life. On August 18th, DEElekgolo uploaded a video on Youtube entitled “cookie.avi” and a series of GIFs on his Tumblr, the latter which gained more than 21,000 notes in 48 hours.
On August 18th, Orteil announced on his blog that he was working on a mobile app version of the game. He also noted that the game had been receiving an average of 200,000 players per day. On August 22nd, an article about Cookie Clicker was created on TV Tropes, which was subsequently shared by Orteil on his Tumblr on the 29th. On August 24th, the first Cookie Clicker related fan art was submitted to Pixiv, a Japanese art website similar to deviantART, which over the following weeks continued to grow as more and more Japanese discover the site. This was subsequently confirmed by Ortiel on September 16h, when he reported a huge influx of visitors from Japan to his website. On September 19th, the figure company Kaiyodo announced on its Twitter that it would be making a Cookie Clicker Grandma figurine (shown below, right).
On September 8th, a Minecraft player named sethbling recreated Cookie Clicker within Minecraft and posted a video demonstration of it on Youtube. On September 23rd, Vinesauce posted a video on Youtube of a Cookie Clicker inspired Super Mario Bros. level created by ChaosAurion.
The first major update for the game was released on August 24th, 2013. Otherwise known as “Version 1.0”, the update brought new sprites, more detailed graphics, and upgrades for buildings, cursors, and the cookie itself. Orteil had been hinting at this new update for a while now, by releasing the sprites on Tumblr.
The game is still being updated and it’s progress can be found on the site’s “Updates” tab. On August 26th, achievements were announced and was implemented the next day along with a new feature involving milk and cats. On August 31st, the different varieties of grandmas that were on the experimental version were reintroduced as purchasable upgrades along with the return of the infamous “Grandmapocalypse” albeit with an overhauled game mechanic. Both of which received new and updated graphics.
On September 9th Orteil created a forum for Cookie Clicker for fans to discuss the game, make suggestions, report any bugs and announce new updates and future updates.
On September 15th the Antimatter Condenser building along with its upgrades were added and replaced the Time Machine for the status of being the highest end-tier level building available.
Orteil planned to add a dungeon system into the game. On September 13th Orteil shared a link to an experimental dungeon generator he has created along with information regarding it on his Tumblr.
On September 16th, Orteil shared a teaser W.I.P. of a girl scout icon. The first one was a rough sketch followed by a pixelated version. He then later stated that he wasn’t trying to cater to the Japanese audience due to the picture’s anime-esque style despite some claims and was planned to be implemented into the game a month before. On September 17th Orteil released character the sprite of the girl scout along with 2 new girl scouts and a few monster and enemy sprites, stating that there are 2 to 3 more girl scouts planned. On September 18th he released the character icons for the two new girl scouts alongside the first one and added that the one in the middle with some cookie skin got involved in a tragic baking accident when she was younger. On September 23rd Orteil released a screenshot of a populated dungeon along with a new girl scout with green hair and dark skin.
Additional screenshots and fan art of the game can be found on Reddit, the Tumblr tags #cookie clicker, #cookie clicker game and #cookie game, “cookie clicker” on deviantart, #cookieclicker on Twitter’s photo search and “cookieclicker” on Pixiv.
Orteil’s Tumblr – Reblog of a Grandma fanart (NSFW) and about Japanese players.
Orteil’s Tumblr – Populated dungeon screenshot and new girl scout icon