Bond Breaker

A game made with the scientists at the CaSTL research center
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testtubegames
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Bond Breaker

Postby testtubegames » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:38 pm

So, the past few weeks I've been working on a new game: Bond Breaker.

It's a (Unity) web and mobile game. You're a proton -- and you're navigating through the levels, solving puzzles by forming into atoms and molecules. There are lasers, electron guns, nano-spheres. Science!

Background: I'm making this game for a research group out at UC Irvine. They're called CASTL -- Chemistry at the Space Time Limit. Whoa, nice name. Basically, they work on new ways to break apart individual molecular bonds. Hence the game about bonds.

Right now, we're making a short, quick prototype -- and I'd love to get your feedback on where it is so far. It's got 17 levels, some rudimentary instructions, and a long way to go. But for now, I wanna know: Is it fun? Is it interesting? What would you change?

You'll find the web-version of the game here, just use the username "forum_goer" and the password "bondbreaker"

A Random Player
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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby A Random Player » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:23 pm

I had written a reply, but it accidentally got deleted. It was basically "MIND BLOWN". This is a really cool idea. (I crashed-ish the game though on level 12 by making a molecule with too many electrons).
This is really fun too. Each level demonstrates something new (Ex. Level 13: Shooting a proton)
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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby testtubegames » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:55 pm

A Random Player wrote:I had written a reply, but it accidentally got deleted. It was basically "MIND BLOWN". This is a really cool idea. (I crashed-ish the game though on level 12 by making a molecule with too many electrons).
This is really fun too. Each level demonstrates something new (Ex. Level 13: Shooting a proton)

Thanks for taking the time to write *two* responses, then! (Man, I hate when that happens.)

I'm glad you enjoyed it! If I ever put this game into a box, I may slap that "Mind Blown" review on there :)

As you noticed, there are a few bugs floating around. In fact, if you try hard enough and you can fly off the level, too.

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robly18
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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby robly18 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:57 pm

Bug report squad at your service
Image
I can get out of that level through the top left corner :(
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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby testtubegames » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:02 pm

robly18 wrote:I can get out of that level through the top left corner :(

Yup. I need to make the hit boxes just a wee bit bigger.
(haha, in the picture your proton looks so lonely... all the other protons are playing with the goal, and you're outside)

Edit: Fixed. Also, fixed the glitch that made it easy to get too many electrons on your molecule.

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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby A Random Player » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:13 pm

testtubegames wrote:Edit: Fixed. Also, fixed the glitch that made it easy to get too many electrons on your molecule.

Aww, I liked that glitch :(

Here's an old version I found: http://testtubegames.com/CastlGame/Old/molecules.html

Question about the physics; Since we're bonding together protons, wouldn't the results of two protons be a helium-2 molecule? And will it be possible to get a molecule with 3 or more protons?
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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby testtubegames » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:27 pm

Haha, there'll be more glitches, I am sure -- so fear not :)

A Random Player wrote:Question about the physics; Since we're bonding together protons, wouldn't the results of two protons be a helium-2 molecule? And will it be possible to get a molecule with 3 or more protons?


Ah, that's getting molecules and atoms mixed up (which tells me I should be a bit more explicit on that point in the game). You're chemically bonding the two protons together, making a hydrogen molecule. They are still two distinct atoms.

If it were fusion, where the two protons were squeezed into the same nucleus, then you'd get a Helium-2 atom.

Now, to make matters even awesom-er, there will be a way in the game to fuse your protons together. Using muons. So, yeah, we'll have the whole gambit going on. (I'd better get to work on making some clearer instructions...)

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robly18
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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby robly18 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:32 pm

Muons to bond? Jesus, even I'll learn something from this game!

There will be neutrons involved, though, I'm assuming?

Also, a slight peeve I have with the game are the controls. While the accuracy of the mouse is welcomed, it would be appreciated if we could get a sort of preview of where the atom will be, as well as some clearer hitboxes for the killer blocks. As is, there's a fair bit of guessing.
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testtubegames
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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby testtubegames » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:33 pm

robly18 wrote:Muons to bond? Jesus, even I'll learn something from this game!
Also, a slight peeve I have with the game are the controls. While the accuracy of the mouse is welcomed, it would be appreciated if we could get a sort of preview of where the atom will be...

Yeah, it was a 'whoa, that's rad' moment when I heard about this. So if you have two hydrogen atoms with regular ol' electrons, and you bring them together, they'll bond into a molecule. Bah. Commonplace.

But if one of those electrons is replaced by a muon instead, then something special happens. Since muons are so much heavier, they orbit a *lot* closer to the nucleus. And when the Hydrogen molecule tries to form, the muon pulls things so close together that the two protons will actually fuse into a single nucleus.

Crazy stuff, this physics is.

There won't be any neutrons, at least not yet. The core of the game is at the moment still bonding, and not nuclear forces, but who knows what the future may hold. A game where you have to get enough neutrons to radioactively decay/avoid decaying could be sweet, too.

Great feedback on the controls. I uploaded a new version with some improvements along those lines. Looking closer, I noticed that even once the proton reached your mouse, there was a slight oscillation around your mouse. Enough to throw you into spikes. Ew. So I squashed that oscillation -- and added in an indicator of where you clicked. That will be especially helpful as I try to make this game work on touchscreens, so it's all good things to think about.

Oh, and I shrunk the hitboxes for the spikes. That makes them a little less frustrating, though I'll think about ways to tweak the graphics so the deadly tile has a flatter edge. That way you know for sure when you hit it. Or at least better than now.

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Re: Bond Breaker

Postby exfret » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:47 pm

I played it. Fun, but seems a little cliché in the type of game it is. I mean, it would be nice to have something other than a move-the-thing-that-you-control-around-the-level-with-your-arrow-keys-to-get-to-the-goal-while-avoiding-obstacles-and-doing-stuff-to-open-doors-or-something-game. Velocity Raptor has to be this way because it's all about moving around, but this game seems like a more creative medium would work better. I like how you're the proton, though.
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