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Dischorran
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icon SpaceChem (+3)  
Why is there no thread for SpaceChem yet? Since other people have done the work for me, I'll post a representative review here on why you should play it.

Basically, it's a very well-presented and brutally hard yet fair machine-programming game. Take a feed of input molecules and rearrange them into their targets by way of programming servos to move atoms around the grid of a reactor (no, it's not chemistry - those of us with at least a little chemistry background have an extra challenge of breaking ourselves of our stoichiometry balancing habits). Then get two servos running simultaneously. Then start chaining the outputs of one reactor to the inputs of others in branching patterns for more complicated reactions. Then start building machines capable of sorting randomized inputs and adjusting for asymmetric input rates.

Every level makes you figure out something new and significant, and you'd better remember it for the next level because the difficulty ramps up quickly. And it's awesome because of it; how many puzzle games these days actually make you *think*?

Here's the website. It's also on Steam.

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03-27-2011 at 10:01 AM
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Syntax
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My only issues is how easy it is. I mean - give me Thryoxin-Bromine-Sulfurite, and you want O2-C4-J7?

I'll give you tiwce that for only double the money.

/venturist #61

(Great game by the way)
04-07-2011 at 02:49 AM
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Dischorran
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So now I'm 2/3 of the way through the game or so, and now that I've figured out some of the more advanced routing tricks it's going more smoothly. What's cool is that (much like DROD) it makes one figure out optimization for oneself rather than explicitly recommending placement of bonding stations and the like. My initial enthusiastic recommendation still stands.

I'd kill for a tool like CaravelNet for optimization, though. The game tells you how well you fared compared to others for number of instructions and time taken, but only within the resolution of bins on a bar graph and with no way to see the best techniques besides hunting them down on YouTube.

Finally, their challenge:
C h a l l e n g e !
 Complete "Gas Works Park" on Hephaestus IV in 2700 or fewer cycles. 

Mine:
C h a l l e n g e !
 How about 910? 


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04-10-2011 at 09:45 PM
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Kallor
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This game rules. Most levels are too easy but it gets better.

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04-11-2011 at 12:37 PM
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gamer_extreme_101
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I played the demo on Steam thanks to a friend's recommendation, and enjoyed it. I'm more than likely going to wait until it goes on sale though - it gets harder and harder to justify me buying games when I have 230+ on Steam as it is (And most I haven't finished).

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04-11-2011 at 02:53 PM
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Dischorran
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Right. So. Now ResearchNet is out, which is the editor, pretty much. It's really disappointing that we only get to design single-reactor stuff after the penultimate level started to show off just how nasty multireactor puzzle design can be, but it does introduce a couple of new tools to play with, and they release sets of three user-made holds on what they say is going to settle into weekly updates. Nothing as nice as CaravelNet, although the new Steam integration goes some of the way toward the high-score functionality here (I'm, oddly enough, Dischorran on Steam as well).

So of course I had to try the editor and new toys anyway. Here's the result, entitled "Nuclear Chlorination", AKA "Real (space)chemists don't need bonders." Copy it and SpaceChem will read it off the clipboard.
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05-04-2011 at 07:02 AM
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BytheWay
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Tried your level, do you realize it is impossible to solve?
The goal is to get down to Hydrogen. You start with chlorine. 17/2 9&8, 9/2 5&4, 5/2 3&2, 3/2 2&1. 2 is helium, with a maximum bond of 0, (ZERO), so, when you have chlorine bound to... oh wait, that's right, you can't bind a molecule with zero bonds.
The way I figure, no matter what I do, in order to get to Hydrogen, 1, I'm going to have to go through 2. When I hit 2, Chlorine is no longer coupled to anything. So, if I am incorrect, and 1 is half of some other number other than 2, I'd love to see a video.
05-10-2011 at 03:24 AM
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Dischorran
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Yup, you have it exactly right - I built in a sucker punch there. It *is* possible (of course I did it myself before submitting), but you're going to need a different way to get the HCl.

So why on earth might I have used borane as an input when pretty much everything else in the game uses methane for something like that?

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05-10-2011 at 03:45 AM
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BytheWay
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cruel and unusual.

[Last edited by BytheWay at 05-10-2011 04:52 AM]
05-10-2011 at 04:34 AM
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Tuttle
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icon Re: SpaceChem (+1)  
For anyone who's been holding off, SpaceChem is 50% off on Steam for the next week (USD 7.49, more expensive in EU).

Edit: And it's USD 7.50 on the SpaceChem site here, which might help the EU folks.

[Last edited by Tuttle at 05-10-2011 12:09 PM]
05-10-2011 at 12:07 PM
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mtuan
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I tried the game yesterday.

Pros: It is very logical and fun once you learn the basic. This game offers high flexibility in making solutions, which makes a excellent puzzle game.

Cons: No way to bypass hard levels (read: linear). Luckily you can always search Youtube for a solution.

Summary:
Wonderful puzzle game. Your brain will be tortured beyond limit in logic and designing ability. Maybe you will become latest Mendeleyev or Curie. A Chemistry Nobel prize is within your reach.

[Last edited by mtuan at 06-17-2011 03:59 AM]
06-17-2011 at 03:49 AM
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Timo006
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Just so you know, it's at 10$ at thye Zachtronics industries Store for a limited time.

Seriously, buy this. I spent a whole 14 hours on the demo version alone, and am now trying to solve my way through the rest of the game.

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07-03-2011 at 06:20 PM
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Briareos
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quote:
Timo006 wrote:
Just so you know, it's at 10$ at thye Zachtronics industries Store for a limited time.

Probably because it's 10.04 USD/EUR during the Steam Summer Sale, and was only 5.09 during it's first day...

Probably should have mentioned that earlier, though... :)

np: Brian Eno - Nikkei (Drums Between The Bells (Disc 2))

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07-03-2011 at 09:38 PM
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Timo006
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quote:
Briareos wrote:
quote:
Timo006 wrote:
Just so you know, it's at 10$ at thye Zachtronics industries Store for a limited time.

Probably because it's 10.04 USD/EUR during the Steam Summer Sale, and was only 5.09 during it's first day...

Probably should have mentioned that earlier, though... :)

np: Brian Eno - Nikkei (Drums Between The Bells (Disc 2))


That's true, I somehow managed to be convinced that that offer would last the entire summer sales, an assumption which was proven wrong, naturally. :P

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[Last edited by Timo006 at 07-03-2011 11:54 PM]
07-03-2011 at 11:43 PM
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Tuttle
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Yeah, +1 on buying it. I finally broke out the copy I bought when it was last on sale so I could get the prize ticket in this Steam sale. All I had to do was solve three ResearchNet levels. What I ended up doing was spending 11 hours on it and getting to bed at 3am. Oops.
07-04-2011 at 07:23 AM
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mtuan
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Yes, this game can grow on you, just like DROD do.

I'm now trying Exploding Head Syndrome (produce 25 H2, 25 02 and 2 Pu from water H2O). Things are progressively getting harder, and the learning curve is just perfect.

Note: There is only one saved solution at any time, so in order to keep least-cycle and least-symbol solutions at the same time, I create two profile, one for cycles, one for symbols.

[Last edited by mtuan at 07-05-2011 03:32 AM]
07-04-2011 at 12:00 PM
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Briareos
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quote:
Tuttle wrote:
Yeah, +1 on buying it. I finally broke out the copy I bought when it was last on sale so I could get the prize ticket in this Steam sale. All I had to do was solve three ResearchNet levels. What I ended up doing was spending 11 hours on it and getting to bed at 3am. Oops.

Cover me, I'm going in (for the same reason) this evening... :D

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07-04-2011 at 12:28 PM
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Dischorran
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My two ResearchNet levels and which other one? ;)

Also, that ticket + play random demo + pop back into AYiM for a bit = new official level pack. Looks like I'm back to beating my head against this game.

EDIT: So many fun things I could do with these levels if they'd just let me use flipflops. Argh.

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[Last edited by Dischorran at 07-07-2011 04:00 AM]
07-07-2011 at 02:35 AM
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Tuttle
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Dischorran wrote:
My two ResearchNet levels and which other one? ;)
Haha, no, I went for the really easy ones at the bottom. And I'm grateful that there's a "Hack The System" button that lets you into ResearchNet before you've reached the right point in the campaign. At least this achievement could be completed in a sane amount of time if you were starting from scratch, unlike, say, Super Meat Boy's.
quote:
EDIT: So many fun things I could do with these levels if they'd just let me use flipflops. Argh.
Yeah, I'm feeling that too after leaving the main campaign for a bit. "I'll just... oh, no flip-flops. What about... oh, no sensor. Maybe I can... what, only 2 bonders?" But I guess dealing with scarcity is really the game at its heart -- any of these levels would be trivial if you had lots of space and more resources. And I could really do with a third waldo sometimes.
07-07-2011 at 04:42 AM
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Briareos
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Tuttle wrote:
quote:
Dischorran wrote:
My two ResearchNet levels and which other one? ;)
Haha, no, I went for the really easy ones at the bottom. And I'm grateful that there's a "Hack The System" button that lets you into ResearchNet before you've reached the right point in the campaign. At least this achievement could be completed in a sane amount of time if you were starting from scratch, unlike, say, Super Meat Boy's.

I still haven't played SpaceChem, but I took a few minutes yesterday to complete the upcoming Summer Sale achievement for Nimbus in literally 5 minutes. Since it's bound to come up discounted in the price booth in the next few days I can't recommend getting it then enough.

(It does help to have played to world 2, of course, but even if you hadn't you should be able to breeze through to the achievement in 30-45 minutes...)

That Super Meat Boy achievement, on the other hand... :blink

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[Last edited by Briareos at 07-07-2011 08:33 AM]
07-07-2011 at 08:30 AM
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SpaceChem isn't a game. It's pure evil in the form of a game.

And it's awesome. The feeling when you work out how to solve the level is pretty great. I do sometime wish I could use storage tanks in production levels thought. Those miles of pipes are pretty unsightly.

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07-08-2011 at 04:16 PM
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mtuan
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Right now I am at World 6, More than a Machine.

This game is truly amazing. It grows on me.
09-05-2011 at 02:37 PM
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Dischorran
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There's a postmortem of SpaceChem here.

Tragic summary: "What we did wrong - we made it TOO HARD AND TOO LONG AND TOO SCIENCY!" "That's what she said" aside, those were the parts I liked about it. :huh

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06-18-2012 at 12:31 AM
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Jatopian
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It's $2.50 USD (75% off) on Steam for the next 15 hours or so. It's also in the current Humble Bundle. I'm considering getting it.

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[Last edited by Jatopian at 08-22-2012 01:22 AM]
08-22-2012 at 01:05 AM
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Oneiromancer
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I bought SpaceChem during the summer sale and when I effectively bought it again in the most recent Humble Bundle I decided I better actually play it.

The game is awesome for logic puzzle gamers. For me it's like they took LabView and made a game out of it. And I really enjoyed programming in LabView, so to have it be a game instead of a job really appeals to me.

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08-29-2012 at 10:14 PM
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Jatopian
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Currently on Indie Game Stand.

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09-30-2012 at 07:16 AM
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Chaco
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Since it's the game's second anniversary, SpaceChem is currently on sale for $3.00, which is a bargain.

Additionally, I'm going to be completely shameless and promote some custom puzzles I've made over the past month or so.

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01-09-2013 at 10:20 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Neat! Haven't played this game in a while and I think I've forgotten a lot of tricks, but I managed to solve all of your puzzles (though terribly inefficently) except for the last one, and I'm not sure if I'm gonna try it because looks very messy and I never really was good at those nuclear reactions anyway.

I particularly like Cyanide Reassembly. Really feels like Flidais, which was my favourite planet in the main campaign.

I was also a little surprised to find the Journal got updated again, which is also kind of cool (not that I have even solved half of the puzzles there already were).

Oh, and while we're at shamelessly promoting custom levels, here are two I've created a while ago and never published:
EDIT: 01-16-2013: Added three new puzzles

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[Last edited by Lucky Luc at 01-16-2013 07:44 PM]
01-12-2013 at 02:40 PM
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Dischorran
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I still need to look at the ones posted here, but I dug up a couple research puzzles that didn't make it into ResearchNet. My guess is that chemical notation leaving hydrogens implicit didn't quite fly, but it's pretty essential for recapitulating larger molecules in SpaceChem. I moved on before it was possible to make production levels, but I gather they never did make it possible to specify preset reactor configurations which is what I really would've wanted to do anyway.

Skeletal Amino Acid Catabolism: break an incoming mix of valine, alanine, and glycine into carbon dioxide and ammonia with the assistance of an oxygen feed.
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Chemotherasynthesis: drugs are good, mmkay? Make some carboplatin.
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01-14-2013 at 07:29 AM
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Chaco
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I'm glad I managed to pull some puzzles from you guys out of hiding. These are pretty neat too, and I'm having fun working on them.

I managed to solve Acidic Anhydrides with 2764/5/162 - I'm just glad I was able to figure out a relatively simple method for making sulfuric and nitric acids in one reactor, despite the fact that it's slow. I also had to make the pipes between reactors long because I was having problems with the silicon dioxide queue filling up and causing circular deadlocks.

If I solve another puzzle, it's likely to be Skeletal Amino Acid Catabolism; building large complicated molecules is something I'll readily admit I'm just not very good at.

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[Last edited by Chaco at 01-16-2013 12:02 AM]
01-16-2013 at 12:01 AM
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