Too Many Asteroids?

Posted in: Gravity Simulator | December 4, 2014 | No Comments


I posit: there is in fact no such thing as too many asteroids.  At least, if we’re talking about the virtual ones in the Gravity Simulator.  I like to stay far away from them in the real world.

I’ve been working on the Gravity Simulator more, adding in features / fixing bugs for version 0.30.02 — which is coming shortly to computers near you!  But along the way, I’ve been getting distracted … erm… doing research making some pretty, silly, and pretty silly orbits.  Thought I’d share some of the latest.  Most were created thanks to the new auto-fire feature, that let me draw *a lot* of stuff really quick.  Because more is better.

Ring of Asteroids

 

More than a wee disturbance in the force, I’d say.  That ring is made up of about 300 individual asteroids, so many that it looks solid.  But as you can see, it’s clearly not.  As you watch the video, notice which asteroids the planet flings away from the star, and which get pulled closer in.  Why?

For a more, erm, patriotic version of this, let’s remove the star and planet entirely:

murica

Kind of like the big bounce — everything coming together, but just missing the center.

Now how about if we get that ring moving…

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 5.20.35 PM

We are well on our way to screensaver material, here, folks!  A lot of asteroids of course means a lot of lines.

If, instead of putting down tons of asteroids, I instead add tons of planets (right on top of one another) — we get this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 4.29.26 PM

Those yellow planets are all orbiting around one another very closely, while orbiting that distant yellow star.  Since forces increase significantly as two planets get closer, having them all on top of one another requires a lot of accuracy — though I’m happy to see that the sim is cut out for the task.

You, too, will be able to play with the auto-fire soon.  Pop over to the forums to keep an eye on the progress, or to get an advanced copy.  Otherwise, it’ll be posted on Humble Bundle soon.

-Andy

Post a Comment

The Results are In!

Posted in: Bond Breaker | November 20, 2014 | No Comments


The Bond Builder Contest was a great success – we got a bunch of cool levels that players submitted.  From nice-and-easy levels (I’m sure there had to be at least one easy one in the bunch) to ultra-hard levels (oh yes, there were those), and everything in between.  I learned that I am *not* the world champion of my game, though how people solved Prison Break so easily boggles my mind.

This contest wasn’t just for fun, though… there’s a lot on the line, here!  The winners get their levels added to the official game, right in the main campaign.  Think of the fame and fortune that would go along with having a level in Bond Breaker!

The researchers at CaSTL and I played through the three dozen levels that we finally got for the contest.  And through a very official, legit, *triple*-blind judging process, we picked six levels as the winners.

Without further ado, check out the newest Bond Breaker levels!

 

Puzzle 3

by _V_

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.20.16 PM

A classic video-gamey level.

A-Maze-Ing

by Matthias

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.20.36 PMEach time I think I’ve beaten this level, I find out there’s another trap I’ve fallen into!

 

Football Goalpost

by Tecnoturc

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.20.45 PMFlashing decoration? Who put that in my game?

 

Poolest Level

by Andre

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.01 PMTook me longer than I’d like to admit to solve this puzzle!

 

Love Story

A Random Player

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.15 PMThis one made me cry at the end.  Well, not quite.  But almost.

 

Lottery

A Random Player

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.25 PMWill you take your chances?

 

Congrats to all five creators of the levels!  These will soon be added into the main game, but feel free to click on any of the images to play them right now.

Frankly, though, all levels we got were awesome and cool, and I wished we could put them all in the game.  So I decided that I *will* do just that.  Thus, you can find all the levels that people made for this contest (and afterwards) in a new user-made-levels menu of the game.  It’ll be updated with new levels as they come in.  So if you’ve made something neat, share it in the forums, and you, too, might become part of Bond Breaker history!

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.37 PM

-Andy

Post a Comment

Shocktopus on his way

Posted in: Electric Shocktopus | November 12, 2014 | No Comments


So, you remember that game I was making?

The one about the electric octopus?  Maybe it looked a little like this the last time you saw it:

 

OMG that's pretty!

OMG that’s pretty!

 

Whoops, that was a little too far back.  Moving forward just a bit…

 

What a romantic setting.  The sun setting over the water, stars all around, and missiles aiming right for you.

What a romantic setting. The sun setting over the water, stars all around, and missiles aiming right for you.

 

There, the Electric Shocktopus as you might remember it.  A game about Electric Fields, Magnetic Forces, conductors, cycloids, and spikes…. so many spikes.  Whatever happened to that game?  Wait, it hasn’t come out yet?  What?

 

 

ImWaiting

Velocity Raptor really wants to play the new game.

 

So, after a year sitting on the shelf waiting for release, the Electric Shocktopus is slated for release!  When?

 

releaseDate

 

That’s right, January 25th, 2015 — finally a release date for this game!  I’ve managed to clear some time in my schedule to get it ready to greet the world.  I’m going to dust it off, polish it up, and make it shine!  Between that and a port to Unity (more power, faster game, awesome-er graphics), I’ve got my work cut out for me.  But there’s nothing like a release date to keep you motivated!

 

-Andy

 

 

 

Post a Comment

The Entries are In

Posted in: Bond Breaker | November 10, 2014 | No Comments


We got a bunch of tremendous entries to the Bond Builder Contest — over 30 levels were submitted!  Over here, the contest judges are starting their work to pick the 6 levels that will be added to the game.  This means we’re busy tabulating the results, playing through the levels, and swapping strategies about particularly hard levels.

In the meantime, I’ve posted all the levels that we got online, so everyone can play them (without having to copy and paste each individual code).  Head over to the game, and click on the “User-Made Levels” button.

Some are hard.  Many are super-hard.  And others may well be impossible.  Enjoy!

Some highlights to get you excited:

 

Electron Maku by A Random Player

You need to dodge the electrons.  ALL the electrons.

You need to dodge the electrons. ALL the electrons.

 

Survival by Architeuth

The creator of it assures you it's possible.  They wouldn't lie, right?

The creator of it assures you it’s possible. They wouldn’t lie, right?

 

and if you thought those were too easy…

Prison Break by TrinitySilver

Apparently some people can beat this? I guess super-humans live among us?

Apparently some people can beat this? I guess super-humans live among us?

 

-Andy

Post a Comment

Electric Shocktopus

Posted in: Electric Shocktopus | October 31, 2014 | No Comments


releaseDate

…stay tuned.

-Andy

Post a Comment

Bond Builder Contest

Posted in: Bond Breaker | October 20, 2014 | No Comments


It’s National Chemistry Week!  A celebration where people around the country do cool Chemistry-related activities.  And we figured, what with our chemistry-themed Bond Breaker game, we’d join in the fun!

 

ncw_contest

 

BOND BUILDER CONTEST

So we’re throwing the Bond Builder Contest.  Use the new Level Editor in Bond Breaker make the sweetest levels.  Maybe you’ll make one that’s really hard, or fun, or educational, or just plain creative.  Make one, two, or a whole bunch that you like, then send them along to us!  (You can email me, or tweet at me, or post in the forums, whatever!)

At the end of chemistry week, the scientists at CaSTL and I will go through the entries, and select a handful of our favorites that will get added to the game.  They’ll become official Bond Breaker levels, and your name/nickname/monicker will be there for the world to see.  Just think of the FAME, FORTUNE, and, uh, BRAGGING RIGHTS.

So go ahead, make a level.  Or get inspired by a couple…

The Poolest Level, by Andre:

 

Poolest Level

Flashy Labyrinth, by A Random Player:

 

Flashy Labyrinth

 

Rules

We’ll be accepting entries until Wednesday, October 29th (we figure we’ll give people a few extra days after Chemistry Week ends).

A player may submit multiple entries.  The judging process will be completely opaque and subjective… seeing as Andre (at CaSTL) and I will be trying to pick which levels are the raddest.

~5 winning levels will be chosen.

By submitting your level, you consent to having it added to the game (with due credit attached)

And finally and most importantly:

This is just for fun, so rules are subject to change.  We’re mainly excited to see some cool levels.  So don’t be shy make some levels today!

 

-Andy

Post a Comment

Make Bond Breaker Levels!

Posted in: Bond Breaker | October 16, 2014 | No Comments


One of the biggest bits of feedback we’ve gotten on Bond Breaker (that isn’t just ‘yay cool’) is that people want more levels.  And we are on our way to do just that — we’ve got Oxygen and H2O in our sights, along with some cool research that CaSTL is doing.  But adding new mechanics takes time, and is a slow way to get more levels.

What’s a fast way to make levels?

Give players the power to do it themselves!

 

Make some Levels!

Make some Levels!

 

Thus, I present the Bond Breaker Level Editor, where you can make (and share) your own levels.  If you’ve played with my other games’ level editors in the past, you’ll be pretty familiar with the idea.  Drag items on to the level, play it, and if you like it, share the level’s code with friends or me or the internet.To get you started, here are a couple levels that are hot-off-the-press:

 

 

This is a toughie — I haven’t even beat it yet.  A high five to whoever can beat it…And another one, not quite so tough, but perhaps a bit recognizable?

 

 

So there you go!  Try your hand at making some levels!  Share them in the forums and we can all enjoy a little physical-chemistry-fun.

 

-Andy

Post a Comment

How Repulsive…

Posted in: Bond Breaker, Lesson Time! | September 18, 2014 | No Comments


Bond Breaker is based on real physical chemistry, which means by playing around with it, you’re actually doing science experiments.  Last week, we looked at the Van der Waals forces, which pulls molecules together.  This week, we’re going to go a little more basic.

Like Charges Repel

Whoa, we’re going very basic, eh?  We’ve all heard the phrase ‘likes repel’ ever since we were in diapers.  Two protons, both having positive charges, will push away from one another due to the electric force.  The game includes this force, with each proton pushing on all the others:

 

"I just want personal space"

“I just want personal space”

 

As you can see, they all try to get as far away from one another as possible.  The calculations in the game are modeled completely after Coulomb’s Law, which tells us that the force between two charges is proportional to the inverse square of the distance between them.  To put that in terms that anyone who hasn’t taken a course about Electromagnetism can understand: if you double the distance between the charges, the force will drop to just one quarter of what it was.  It gets small fast.  And this is why, in Bond Breaker, you can only get so close to another proton… and no closer.

 

"Whoa, whoa, whoa: don't touch me."

“Whoa, whoa, whoa: don’t touch me.”

 

The connection between the force and distance can reveal itself in even more advanced ways, too.  Take, for instance, this level:

 

Think you can beat this level? Give it a try: http://bit.ly/1r2SGSD (It's the 'Bonus' Level)

Think you can beat this level? Give it a try: http://bit.ly/1r2SGSD (It’s the ‘Bonus’ Level)

 

It’s a new bonus level that I made just for this blog post, simply click the image above to play it in your browser.  Once you give it a try: what does this level (or should I say, experiment) have to teach us about Coulomb’s Law?  I’ll leave that to you, the player, to figure out.

And that’s one of my favorite things about making a game that stays true to the science: Each level is actually an experiment, which makes players scientists.

 

-Andy

Post a Comment

Van der Waals

Posted in: Bond Breaker, Lesson Time! | September 10, 2014 | 2 Comments


One of the best parts of making a game based on science is that while playing the game… you learn science.  Even if you don’t mean to!  Take, for instance, the Van der Waals force.

(If you haven’t played Bond Breaker yet, give it a go.  It’ll make this all go down a little easier)

 

Van der Waals

The Electric Force, at its core, is pretty basic.  You can sum it up with: “opposites attract, likes repel.”  If you put two positive charges together, they’ll push away from each other.  And if you put a positive near a negative, they’ll attract together.  A neutral object, with no positive or negative charges, will be unaffected by the Electric Force.

In Bond Breaker, you can make a lot of ‘neutral’ object.  A Hydrogen molecule, for instance, consists of two protons and two electrons.  (+2) + (-2) = 0.  Put two of them near each other, and the Electric Force shouldn’t do anything, right?  Well, in Bond Breaker you can try that out!  Below is a little level I made (just for you, blog-post-reader), to test out what happens when neutral molecules are near one another.  Click it in your browser, and go play with the level (it’ll be called the ‘Bonus Level’).

 

Click the image to go play this BONUS Bond Breaker level!

Click the image to go play this BONUS Bond Breaker level!

 

Okay, so the molecules attract.  But if they’re all neutral, why?

Van der Waals forces.

What, you need more information than that?  Well, then…

These forces are what make molecules attract to one another (and form into liquids, say).  The weakest form of VdW force is called the “London Dispersion Force,” and it’s what you encounter in the game.

 

London Dispersion Forces

‘Neutral’ molecules are not simply neutral.  The positive and negative charges aren’t sitting right on top of one another.  At any given moment, the molecule will have a dipole moment — meaning one side will be more positive, and one side will be more negative.  Kind of like a bar magnet with a North pole and South pole.  Imagine putting a bunch of magnets into a bag and shaking them.  It won’t take long until they’re all stuck together.

With a molecules like Hydrogen that are very symmetrical, the dipole is completely random.  Sometimes you’ll find the electrons more on the north side of the molecule, sometimes you’ll find them on the south side.  And this makes the force pulling the molecules together very weak.  But it’s still there.

Van der Waals forces, though weak, end up being important in everything from forming liquids to helping geckos stick to walls.  So the next time you’re sitting in the pool, watching your pet gecko play Bond Breaker, you know what force to thank.

 

-Andy

Post a Comment

Bond Breaker Poster

Posted in: Bond Breaker | September 9, 2014 | No Comments


Want to help get the word out about Bond Breaker?  Or just like weird science-y posters with funny visual jokes?  Then do I have something for you!

 

Print out, cut to separate the tabs on the bottom, and post in a place where cool people hang out.

Print out, cut to separate the tabs on the bottom, and post in a place where cool people hang out.

 

Or if you’re the type who hates the tear-off-tabs and is in general mean and evil, you find the non-pull-tab version here.  (You monster.)

 

-Andy

Post a Comment

Older Entries >>