Agent Higgs Shared Levels

Posted in: Agent Higgs, Wednesday Update | June 30, 2013 | No Comments

First, a quick apology for the late ‘Wednesday Update’ this week.  I’m actually traveling around the country for a couple weeks, so I spent the past week or so feverishly tying up some loose ends of projects.  And all that time I spent *not* writing blog posts was spent making new content for you all.  So I’ve got a few new things up my sleeve in the upcoming weeks.  One of those being…


Agent Higgs Shared Levels

The flash version of Agent Higgs has had a level editor for a while now.  It’s pretty straightforward to use and make whatever levels you can think of.  In fact, you can find an ever-increasing list of cool levels in the forums.

But they are no longer just in the forums!  Player-generated levels are now attached right to the game.  It’s still a system in beta mode, with room for improvement, but if you scroll over to the far right in the menus, you’ll find a playable list of user-creations.  Play them.  Rate them.  Get a new ‘best’ score.  And, if you’re so inclined, make some yourself!


Perfect is 1 move?  I can beat that...

Perfect is 1 move? I can beat that…


The reason I added this in?  Well, I got curious to see if there was an easier way to share levels.  I had the level editor there, but to play someone else’s level, you needed to copy and paste a level code from them.  Not terribly smooth.  And with the Electric Shocktopus having a level editor, too, I figured the time was right to test out a ‘better’ method.

The shared levels just appear in Chapter 1 for now, but there’s nothing to stop me from adding them into Chapter 2, as well.  And, who knows, maybe the same system can be put in place if I ever do make that Velocity Raptor level editor…


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Some Updates

Posted in: Agent Higgs, Wednesday Update | February 28, 2013 | No Comments

I’m back with another TestTubeGames update –


A Quick Trip

And I do mean ‘back,’ because I just returned from a trip to London.  We got to visit friends, family, and some interesting science-attractions.  There was, of course, Newton’s grave in Westminster Abbey.  The tombstone(?) towers higher than I would have expected, and he wasn’t alone, either.  Darwin is there – though I didn’t get to chat with him.  The place is littered with memorials to physicists, including Kelvin and the infamous Green.  (Yes, of Green’s functions — a topic I’ve learned many times and not at all.)  But there was also the tiny Fleming museum, set in the lab where Alexander Fleming first discovered penicillin.  *And* the visually stunning ‘King George III Collection’ of science demonstrations in the Science Museum.  A whole bunch of beautifully crafted brass and glass physics experiments straight out of the era when people used to have parties and zap their guests with newly discovered ‘electricity.’


The Solar System on a turntable. (


Agent Higgs updates

But even if I’ve been traveling, there are a couple things to report.  First, I’ve been tweaking Agent Higgs Chapter 2.  I’m getting a lot of nice feedback, and am trying to get everything running as smoothly as possible with the game before I release it other places.  I added in Keyboard functionality (to save the fingers of folks using a track pad), and beefed up the instructions a bit.  You can see all the changes in action here.

I also revamped Chapter 1 while I was at it.  I just released that update today, so feel free to check it out.  It should (a) run smoother than before, with easier interfaces and controls.  And (b) it now has a Level Editor, too!  So if you were pining to make some levels with electrons, you’ve got your wish.


Is that Higgs? In a prettier 'Chapter 1' icon?  Yes, I suppose it is.

Is that Higgs? In a prettier ‘Chapter 1’ icon? Yes, I suppose it is.


Nicely, the Level Editors from Chapters 1 and 2 are compatible, so if you share a level with your friends, they can load it up in either game.



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Revenge of the Neutrinos

Posted in: Agent Higgs | February 14, 2013 | No Comments

I just uploaded Agent Higgs: Chapter 2!  And yes, it is subtitled Revenge of the Neutrinos.  Click on the picture below to give it a play.


Revenge of the Neutrinos

He’s right behind you! Argh, that sigma is helpless.


This is the continuation of Chapter 1, of course, and it includes a new set of levels.  Modeled after the ‘Neutrinos’ section of the iPhone game, this game also includes a level editor.  As always, if you make cool levels, I’d love to know.  Here’s the rundown…


Agent Higgs is on the run, again. The problem is — physicists now *know* he exists! After the discovery of the Higgs boson last summer, our Agent is going to have to hide better than ever. And he needs help, which is why he is turning to the Neutrinos. These ghost-like particles are the masters of hiding, being very difficult to detect. But will their help be enough to save Higgs this time?

In Chapter 2, Higgs must use all the neutrinos (and antineutrinos) to solve increasingly challenging puzzles. There are three different types of neutrinos, but they’ve been known to spontaneously change, so beware! Can you outwit the scientists *again* and hide Agent Higgs?


For those of you who don’t own an iPhone, here is your chance to play through some more levels with different physics.  And for those of you who already own the App, try out the Level Editor of this new game.  Easy to use, and easy to share levels with your friends.  If you ever get in a dispute about what a level’s true ‘perfect’ is, I may be able to plug it into the EPAHPS (a.k.a. Ethan’s Patented Agent Higgs Perfect Solver) to settle it for you.

Enjoy the game, and if you find any bugs/problems/suggestions/gold doubloons, feel free to email them my way.



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Agent Higgs: Chapter 2

Posted in: Agent Higgs, Wednesday Update | February 13, 2013 | No Comments

This just in!  The second installment of the Agent Higgs flash series is on its way.  Keep your eyes peeled for Agent Higgs: Chapter 2, you’ll find it on this site *tomorrow*!


Higgs Spotted!

Extra, Extra!


Just as Chapter 1 took some levels from the first section of Agent Higgs (the iPhone version) and put them into a flash game, this one will include the second set of levels.  The topic: Neutrinos.  Get ready to deal with three generations of matter, antimatter, and a bit of neutrino oscillation.

I’ve made plenty of modifications along the way.  One big thing this game includes is a nice Level Editor system.  It is easy to use, and as importantly, easy to share levels with other people.


Higgs Unknown

Find him!  Also, Frank, check out this cool level I made…


The game will, as usual, be free and easy to play online.  And why now?  Well, I’d been meaning to release it, and with the influx of visitors on this site in the past few weeks, I figured that Higgs needed a bit more of a web presence.  Namely, he’s well developed in the iPhone app, but his flash incarnation has remained fairly sparse.  So I spent a couple weeks bringing Chapter 2 to life.

Now off to make the proverbial last-minute changes…



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Life after the SciVis

Posted in: Agent Higgs, General News, Wednesday Update | February 10, 2013 | No Comments

It has been a fun week over here at TestTubeGames headquarters, and a big welcome to everyone who is visiting the site for the first time. In the last update, I mentioned that my first game, Velocity Raptor, won a NSF competition for science visualization. Well, the news popped up in a few fun places, which I thought I’d share.


SciVis News

The news about the competition jumped around to a bunch of websites. For a small sampling, check out:,, NBC news

On top of that, Velocity Raptor was featured in a recent episode of SciShow.  Check out the video below.  The description of my game is wonderful…



Higgs Returns

Throughout the past week – in addition to watching that SciShow episode ad nauseum, I was working on the next flash installment of Agent Higgs.  When the iPhone game came out, I released some of the levels online in Agent Higgs: Chapter 1.  And I’d always meant to find time to release Chapter 2.  And the time is very soon.

Agent Higgs: Chapter 2 will deal with all three types of neutrinos.  The puzzles involve matter, antimatter, and even neutrino oscillation — as well as a fair bit of spatial reasoning.  I’ve also added in a Level Editor.  Which means you can try to make levels even better than mine.  Or just spell your name.


Higgs Level Editor

Well, part of my name…


You’ll be able to play through your new creations and share them with friends.  I’m excited to see what creativity gets unleashed.  Stay tuned for this release, it will be coming soon.



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Latest on Higgs

Posted in: Agent Higgs | October 26, 2012 | No Comments

The fixed version of Agent Higgs is out (and has been for over a week, now). If you are still having trouble, update to the latest version and all your woes should be gone. Yes, all of them.

For your troubles, though, you will notice the latest addition to Agent Higgs: a Level Editor. Right there on the menu screen, next to ‘Subatomic’, ‘Neutrinos’, etc, there is a new category where you can make your own levels. (It is all the way to the LEFT.)

The editor is just a beta version, but it works. By touching the screen, you can place particles on a level, then you can go play that very same level. There are forty slots to fill, and the game will even remember you best score on any given level. Can you find the perfect score even when no definite perfect score exists? Whoa.

The level editor is unlocked once you reach the Higgs stage (when you’ve beaten the charged levels). If you make a particularly cool level, send it along to me. I’d be happy to check your supposed perfect score, and perhaps even add the level to the game.

Happy building!


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Posted in: Agent Higgs | October 12, 2012 | No Comments

Turns out the latest version of Agent Higgs (2.2) crashes on devices running less than iOS 6.0. So, if you’re in that situation, I’d suggest NOT updating yet. I have a new version (2.3) that I’ve submitted, and hopefully it will be out in the next few days.

Sorry for the inconvenience!


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BostonFIG 2012

Posted in: Agent Higgs, General News | September 24, 2012 | No Comments

Saturday was the big day: the Boston Festival of Independent Games.

First off, a big thank you to everyone who pulled this festival together. This was its first year, and I can’t imagine all the work that went in to making it a success. The festival was designed to highlight independent games being made in the Boston area, giving me a great opportunity to show off my game. As a small (one-person) studio just starting off, I really appreciate the chance to be showcased alongside other, more established studios.

Booth at Boston FIG

Physics books put to good use

So how’d the day go? With 1600 people in attendance, and hundreds that stopped by to play my game over the course of the 8-hour day… let’s just say plenty of people discovered the Higgs boson! Some of my favorite memories of the day:

  • Seeing people compete alongside each other, racing to see who could complete the levels fastest
  • The completionists diligently getting perfect on the levels
  • The 6-year-old who zipped through my game… and while playing briefly leaned over and finished a level for a confused 20-something, then went right back to playing. Ha!
  • The parents and teens who worked together on the game, I saw some hilarious interactions (“No, do that!”)
  • The drunk rugby player who played my game the longest of anyone
  • The person (who I swear I didn’t know!) who already owned my game!
  • The physics-lovers whose eyes lit up when they saw the game
  • One guy who told me he’s been wanting to make a game about Feynman diagrams. (A guy after my own heart! Geekily enough, I have had the same thought… here’s hoping he goes ahead and makes the game. I can’t wait to play it!)

So all-in-all a great day. It has really inspired me to keep up the work, and it was nice to meet all sorts of game and science lovers. Thank you to everyone who came! If you couldn’t make it, check out some nice pictures of the day here.



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The Festival of Indie Games

Posted in: Agent Higgs, General News | September 12, 2012 | No Comments

Boston FIG Logo

Agent FIG

You live in Boston, you say? Well, then, have I got some news for you!

Agent Higgs has been accepted into the upcoming Boston Festival of Indie Games.

For those of you who don’t know, Boston is a pretty rad place to be an indie game developer. There is a wonderfully rich community, and events seem to be happening all the time. This festival (Boston FIG, as it is known) is a new addition, and it’s but ten days away! (Saturday, September 22, for those of you counting at home.)

What’ll be happening there? Play a bunch of fun games, and meet the people who made them. But most importantly? I’ll be there! With Agent Higgs in tow. Come chat, play the lastest version of the game, and make it look like I’m popular.

And, to boot, it’s free. You can’t miss! To learn more and register, go check out Boston FIG. Or see a YouTube video about circuit diagrams (and also the festival) here.



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On Corn, Quarks, and Quantum

Posted in: Agent Higgs, General News, Quantum Game | August 21, 2012 | No Comments

Fall is approaching, and along with it one of my favorite annual outings. No autumn is complete without a visit to the good ol’ corn maze! The sights, the smells, the desperation of being lost for hours. What’s not to like? If you, too, are heading to a corn maze this season, be sure to check out my maze simulator. It’ll show you a new, somewhat helpful strategy for escaping the maze. I built it last year to test out an idea I had while wandering a corn maze.

I’m still at work on the new levels for Agent Higgs: quarks. I’ll admit, it’s been a tougher road than I expected. The first batch of levels I made were fine, but just not fun. And we can’t have that! So I’ve been thinking and thinking of how best to show the strong force (the force that holds quarks together). And I may finally have it.

You’ll have to cool your heels, though, since it’ll take some time before a new update is ready. I’ve already got a couple people to test out the new levels (to make sure they’re up to snuff). But, if anyone else out there is interested in play-testing the new levels for me, just shoot me an email. The levels will be ready to test sometime in the next couple weeks.

In other, non-Higgs-related news, I’ve started work on some new games. As I hinted at before, long term I’m be working on a Quantum Mechanics game. That’s just in the starting phases, but I’m hoping I’ll have some art to show you all soon. The cuteness of the new main character will blow Agent Higgs away.

The Quantum game will take a couple months of development at least — going on the assumption it will take as long as Agent Higgs. And since a couple months is a *long* time, in the short therm I’ll try to release a couple smaller projects. So keep checking back… there will be things to reward you if you do!


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