How the site works
The red bars next to each video game represent the total time people have played that game for; this fills up over time.
The number under each bar (current CPUs) shows how many people are currently playing that game, and hence the rate it's filling up. [Confirmed via consulting the Steam stats page].
The main bar at the top represents the average of the length of all the red bars. Once this is full (when every red bar is full), we get Portal 2!
The potato number at the bottom shows the total number of potatoes that everybody has found. The rate at which all the bars fill up is proportional to the number of potatoes; if we double the number of potatoes, the entire thing goes twice as fast! (Confirmed by data analysis and by Doug). If you get all 36 potatoes by the time Portal 2 is out, you also get a special prize.
When a red bar fills up completely, it turns blue. This acts as a checkpoint of sorts, knocking off a guaranteed chunk of time from the release date. This will only matter though if we fail to fill the main bar up in time. Note that once a bar is full up, there is no longer any point playing that game; switch to another.
More popular games require more people in order to fill up at the same rate; it is the proportion of game owners playing a game that matters, not the number of people by itself. (Also confirmed by Doug).
We have word on how the progress bars work from Dougley!:
[list][*]The individual game progress bars are based on sales made. The more times a certain game has been bought, the more you have to play it to finish its bar.[*]For example, 1 2 3 KICK IT! was released at (nearly) the same time as the pack, so it has the fewest sales making it the easiest to complete out of the whole pack.[*]Killing Floor and Audiosurf were out for longer and as such have had way more sales, so they require a ton of more hours to complete.[*]According to Dougley, Potatoes still matter and are of importance (but don't neglect playing the games). Get them.[*]The Store might be keeping a record of how many times a certain game has been bought, so we need to go find that and order which games we should play based off of that.[/list]Tactics
In order of priority;
1. Collect as many potatoes as you can (guide
2. Then, constantly run a game in the potato sack for as much time as you can (leave it on when you're away from your computer!), preferably one at the top of the priority list below.
It follows from the above that we should be doing the easiest (least popular) games first. Firstly, this means we get the guaranteed checkpoints. Secondly, and most importantly, by leaving the hardest games until last, we ensure that we have the maximum number of potatoes when we get to that hard game, making things a lot faster.
This is based on which games have bars that are easiest to complete, which we should focus on first. If you have the current focus game, play that; if not, the next highest game. It is recommend that you quit and restart the game every few hours.
For reasons why we have the priority list, and why we switch before they are complete, see [[Switching Games Before Completion]].
The Wonderful End of the World
1... 2... 3... KICK IT!
4. RUSH = Current Focus
5. BIT.TRIP BEAT
6. Toki Tori
8. The Ball
11. Super Meat Boy
12. Defense Grid
13. Killing Floor
Here is some data, and some calculators predicting when Portal 2 will be out based on current rates. Bear in mind these might be late, because the countdown is constantly speeding up due to having more potatoes.
[*] gladosAtHome unofficial twitter
[/list]The story so far
At 17:00 on April 14th, 2011 Audio Clues
led to a QR code
. It leads to
an ApertureScience.com URL with a countdown
to 4/15 9:00 AM
At 09:00 on April 15th, 2011 the countdown page redirects to here
, confirming an early release provided enough people log in to Potato Sack games.
Theorised formula for timers
This is a Mathematical Theory that attempts to explain how the GlaDOS@Home system calculates the game time.
Assuming that when we reach 100%, Portal 2 is released-
[list][*]Originally slated time of P2 release = b[*]Actual moment of P2 release = V[*]Man Hours of a single user = m[*]Number of concurrent Players (NOTE: One game per unique User ID) = c[*]Potato Multiplier/Auxilliary Power = p[*]Game completion bonus = g[*]Time Reduced = t
[*]thus: t=mcp+g, V=b-t[/list]
Auxilliary Power (The Potato Multiplier)
from a member of the team at Valve confirms that the Potatoes act as a multiplier to each user's Man hours.
But we need to reach a certain milestone of potatoes for that multiplier to activate. The actual milestone amount, and how much of a multiplier this will give us is unknown. Please update the Wiki with this information when the milestones are achieved.