[ChemistryOn!] SpaceChem! Demo on Steam, good for four hours.

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  • Simon MoonSimon Moon Registered User regular
    It's possible to do without switches; so far I've used switches only for the first boss fight, and for the ruby laser boss fight.

    Reactor functions for kraken:
    Reactor 1 takes water and splits it into O and a H_2.
    Reactor 2 takes O and produces O and O_2.
    Reactor 3 takes H_2 and produces H_2 and C.
    Reactor 4 takes C and O and produces Pu.

    The missile launches somewhere around 1700 cycles, so not terribly efficient, but I honestly forgot that the switches were even an option until I had to deal with the stupid laser. I'm having a similar problem with the flip-flop instruction, as I think I've used it all of once since it was introduced.

    Steam: simon moon
  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Ok here's what I'm thinking - since I don't have a Periodic table in front of me I'll be using (#) to represent some atoms.
    Reactor A: takes 2 H2O per rev and sends one to Reactor B, fuses the entirety of the other into (10) and sends that to reactor E.

    Reactor B: Splits H2O up. Sends O to Reactor C, H to Reactor D.

    Reactor C: Makes O2. I might be able to actually do this in B, thus saving a reactor, we'll see.

    Reactor D: Takes H and one waldo makes H2 and sends it to the rocket. The other waldo uses fusion to make He and sends it to Reactor E.

    Reactor E: fuses the first two He together to make (4) then just adds 9 (10)s to get Plutonium. Actually it might be better to do the (10)s first to save from clogging but either way.

    Launch Rocket.

    Messy as all hell, but would be switch free.

    Edit: I wish we could rotate fusers so they were vertical or even flipped. They should work like bonders.

    EDIT 2: oh crap. Just got home. I thought I got five reactors, but I only get four.

    APODionysus on
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    I feel like I need to show off my [1405/1/44] solution to No Ordinary Headache. Not the best, but at least I think it's elegant.

    4463rwiq7r47.png
  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    So my plan above - after combining Reactors B and C into one - worked like a charm. Alot of cycles, but the missile launches switch free.

    I find the next planet very.jarring with having TWO missions opened up right away. Just seems weird.

    I'm trying to decided whether to keep moving forward or concentrate my efforts on some Cheevos - specifically the "Nothing Works < 1000 cycles", "Going Green" and/or "No Ordinary Headache w/ One Reactor" - as a change of pace.

    Im also completely unable to even start the final moustache mission. Everytime I look at it, I see that output molecule, blackout and wakeup in the corner of my room wrapped in a blanket.

  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    Im also completely unable to even start the final moustache mission. Everytime I look at it, I see that output molecule, blackout and wakeup in the corner of my room wrapped in a blanket.

    I feel that the arranging the atoms in the one valid alternative makes it a little bit easier to work with.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Just beat the boss fight on Haphestus. It took a long time for me to come to grips with needing to create a structure, pass it on, use it twice, and then break it down to use it a third time, but I just didn't have enough reactors to create Al-O and use that instead of just creating Al-O-Al-O.

    Also played Blue Danube (the first mission on the space station), and don't understand why they introduced me to the flip-flop when the sensor means I can just use the same solution that I used for Danger Zone. I was trying to figure out what they wanted me to do with the flip-flop and the only solution I came up with wouldn't work and would have been less efficient even if it did.

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  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    jclast wrote:
    Also played Blue Danube (the first mission on the space station), and don't understand why they introduced me to the flip-flop when the sensor means I can just use the same solution that I used for Danger Zone. I was trying to figure out what they wanted me to do with the flip-flop and the only solution I came up with wouldn't work and would have been less efficient even if it did.

    Probably to make it clear how much easier using the flip-flop would be, though I agree it's not a fantastic use of it. The way I did it was essentially with three tracks it could take: the top track if the sensor hits (indicating H2), the middle track which just drops the hydrogen on a bonder, and the bottom track which bonds as it passes and drops off the H2. The flip-flop is used to only go onto the bottom every other single hydrogen atom.

    But yeah, those two tracks can instead be replaced with a bond-drop-grab in a row, or (as was my solution for Danger Zone) using the blue waldo as one bit of memory.

  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    Ha ha, oh god.

    So, I've now learned what happens what happens when you play SpaceChem at 2am after a double shift while intoxicated.

    I beat Foundry... with something in the neighborhood of 14,000 cycles.

    14,000!!

    Well, at least that one will be easy to improve upon.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Oh man, just made it to "Don't Fear the Reaper." There's no room, and I have no idea how I'm going to do this. Talk about a spike in difficulty after what I did on the station. Yikes.

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  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    jclast wrote:
    Oh man, just made it to "Don't Fear the Reaper." There's no room, and I have no idea how I'm going to do this. Talk about a spike in difficulty after what I did on the station. Yikes.
    That was the first level in the game to break me. I was trying so hard to just keep pushing on without consulting a solution, but I had to.
    And of course, when you see how it's done you have one of those lightbulb moments. Then again, everything after that is even harder, so I'm not sure what good 'cheating' at one level was.

  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Speaking of stuck...

    I'm on the ruby laser boss and I don't even understand what it's telling me to do. At all.

    Like do... I have to build ruby (which is insanely hard enough), send it into the laser and have it be in the bottom. THEN let xenon go through to fire? Does each molecule of xenon "use up" each ruby molecule? Plus if it has to line ip with the boss, I have to waste a reactor with the sole purpose of controlling xenon flow? Unless I control the entry of ruby...

    Also, niftily enough I got the Achievement for Gas Works with my very first solution. Still needs optimization though. Hydrogen isnt being used fast enough and I had to create crazy pipes to prevent backup.

    APODionysus on
  • Simon MoonSimon Moon Registered User regular
    Every time Xe hits the laser reactor, the contents of the bottom half vaporize, and if a ruby crystal is in that bottom half, the laser fires. You don't technically need to control Xe flow, as the laser has a very long cool-down period during which it won't accept Xe entry, and the boss won't completely destroy the base if the laser just fires whenever it can accept a new Xe, but it's pretty inefficient. Anyway, you don't need to dedicate a reactor solely to controlling Xe flow. For example, in my solution, I have a reactor that was only using one input and one output (was basically building half a ruby crystal out of Al-O); pretty easy to add a conditional switch that controls Xe flow through the otherwise unused input and output.

    Steam: simon moon
  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    Entriech wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    Oh man, just made it to "Don't Fear the Reaper." There's no room, and I have no idea how I'm going to do this. Talk about a spike in difficulty after what I did on the station. Yikes.
    That was the first level in the game to break me. I was trying so hard to just keep pushing on without consulting a solution, but I had to.
    And of course, when you see how it's done you have one of those lightbulb moments. Then again, everything after that is even harder, so I'm not sure what good 'cheating' at one level was.

    Man, looking back on my solution for that level...
    ?.jpg

    I don't even know what the fuck...

  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Man, sometimes this game makes me felel like an idiot.

    I've been working on "Right All Along" and had a brain storm last night on how to make it work. Flung it together this morning but still had collisions on the second time dropping the.. uhhhh atoms that aren't Carbon.

    Tried adding additional flip-flops to force it, but that didn't work and left the house to go to work. Then as soon as I had locked my front door I realized my second grab/drop on that Waldo should just be a Drop and I can make it work perfectly.

    I'm an idiot. Can't wait to get home.

    APODionysus on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Man, sometimes this game makes me felel like an idiot.

    I've been working on "Right All Along" and had a brain storm last night on how to make it work. Flung it together this morning but still had collisions on the second time dropping the.. uhhhh atoms that aren't Carbon.

    Tried adding additional flip-flops to force it, but that didn't work and left the house to go to work. Then as soon as I had locked my front door I realized my second grab/drop on that Waldo should just be a Drop and I can make it work perfectly.

    I'm an idiot. Can't wait to get home.

    I am constantly amazed at how more efficient things can be than what I make them. Looking at this youtube, for example, I never would have though to flip-flip back to make the F-C-F triplet like that. I always end up making a stupid little loop with the flip-flip instead.

    Right All Along

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  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    I'm not clicking on your link because I want to see if my solution works on my own...

    But yeah. The other night I went back and looked at some of my old solutions that I thought were great and was shocked at how much I could improve them. I actually feel smarter now then I did when I started this game.

    That's a huge reason why SpaceChem is so good. With so many paths to a given solution, there's a ton of replay value as you work to improve yourself.

    I think I'm ready - skillwise - to take on the Nothing Works < 1000 cycles challenge now.

    I do have one criticism and that's that I still really don't like the boss battles. The ones like the kraken that are really only forcing you to be efficient are fine... but the ones like the ruby laser or the bulldozer thing where you HAVE to use manual switches (to wait to have a shot lined up) feel... out of place.

    In every other level in the game you just make your solution... and run it to completion and hope nothing breaks. Only in those very few and far between puzzles are you asked to actively interact. It just doesn't fit. Its like having a Boss battle in Super Meat Boy be in an FPS style.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    For what it's worth the ruby laser fight doesn't require switches. If you fire every time you can (not hard, the cool-down on the laser is more than long enough to build another ru then you can beat the creature by just firing every time it's available. I only know this because I assumed before starting the level that the thing wouldn't move.

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  • VicktorVicktor Registered User regular
    Well, I've been able to not look at anyone's solutions that I've yet to complete thus far and am only a few planets in, but people can feel free to add me for comparisons.

    I stopped playing on a boss level, so I'll have to get back into it with a bang here soon. I also had more than one epiphany while explaining the game to a friend to the effect of "Those really quick solutions have to be someone hacking because I can't see how someone could possibly... wait. Maybe if we were to... yeah, that would work."

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    Origin: Viycktor
  • Simon MoonSimon Moon Registered User regular
    jclast wrote:
    I am constantly amazed at how more efficient things can be than what I make them. Looking at this youtube, for example, I never would have though to flip-flip back to make the F-C-F triplet like that. I always end up making a stupid little loop with the flip-flip instead.

    Right All Along

    Man that's clever. I need to steal that flip-back construction for something.

    Steam: simon moon
  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    jclast wrote:
    For what it's worth the ruby laser fight doesn't require switches. If you fire every time you can (not hard, the cool-down on the laser is more than long enough to build another ru then you can beat the creature by just firing every time it's available. I only know this because I assumed before starting the level that the thing wouldn't move.

    Hunh. How did you hold up ruby construction during cooldown so you don't collide a new ruby with the old one without a switch?

    I have two switches on that level. One cuts off ruby production once a ruby is in place in the laser (thank god for pause functions they make switches so much easier) and another feeds Xenon in once the monster is lined up for a shot. Even if I didn't have to worry about the latter, the first switch would still be needed or I'd have rubies colliding in the laser reactor.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    jclast wrote:
    For what it's worth the ruby laser fight doesn't require switches. If you fire every time you can (not hard, the cool-down on the laser is more than long enough to build another ru then you can beat the creature by just firing every time it's available. I only know this because I assumed before starting the level that the thing wouldn't move.

    Hunh. How did you hold up ruby construction during cooldown so you don't collide a new ruby with the old one without a switch?

    I have two switches on that level. One cuts off ruby production once a ruby is in place in the laser (thank god for pause functions they make switches so much easier) and another feeds Xenon in once the monster is lined up for a shot. Even if I didn't have to worry about the latter, the first switch would still be needed or I'd have rubies colliding in the laser reactor.

    I have the sensor detecting oxygen (I think) in its final location so the blue waldo just spins in a tight circle while there's already a ruby in the output waiting to get lasered.

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  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    There's a sensor in the laser reactor? I didn't remember one being there. I guess that could work then.


    EDIT: Something @Vi Monks should add to the OP: if both Waldos run over an instruction at the same time, the Red one always fires first. Very useful in many situations particularly in crowded reactors or when trying to shave off a few precious cycles.

    APODionysus on
  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    jclast wrote:
    Oh man, just made it to "Don't Fear the Reaper." There's no room, and I have no idea how I'm going to do this. Talk about a spike in difficulty after what I did on the station. Yikes.

    Did you ever figure it out? Because... holy hell am I terrified of this stage. I think I can pull off the internals, it'll be tough - but I should be able to do it - but being given less than half a map to place three reactors and their pipes isn't a fun kind of challenge. Its just annoying.

    I also have no idea how long I have to go on for, how many asteroids I have to blast.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    I've been working on it off and on. I think I know what I need to do, but I don't know if I actually have the room to do it. Arranging the reactors is going to suck terribly on that layout.

    Right now I'm sending one methane (in theory to a left/right turn choice reactor) off and then turning methane into NH3 and 3x H2O. From there I figure I can turn the NH3 into NF3 (I think that's what I need - don't have the game up in front of me) and then bond the Hs together for H2 out the other side.

    I assume I'll need at least 1 storage tank for methane but since my solution isn't done yet I'm not sure. The cramped space really aggravates me there - especially since you can't (that I've ever seen) re-orient anything to take inputs on the top or right and then output on the left or bottom (or any other combo).

    I've also been enamored with ResearchNet so I'm hanging out in there. Just did the Yellowcake level which I liked quite a bit. It's super easy with 4 reactors, but a quota of 3 made it a nice challenge. ResearchNet has aslo made me appreciate the flip-flop instruction quite a bit. I still screw them up the first time out, but I can definitely see why they're so useful now.

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  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Yeah, as I said before, the ability to reorient reactors and storage tanks is something that's sorely missing, especially if the game is going to throw such cramped spaces at you. It's making the reactions work, and work at appropriate speeds, that is fun - not figuring out how you are actually going to fit things onto a map at all.

    I have a similar complaint about the Fusion/Fission switches. Why not have them work like bonders, letting you reorient them to be vertical and whatnot.

    Still, it's a relatively small flaw in an otherwise incredibly well designed game.

    As for the level itself, if I'm understanding it correctly, you only need one H2 to fire the beam - so long as there's a constant feed of NF3, it won't stop firing. My plan is to first feed a bunch of Methane to an inactive reactor (with switches to send Methane left or right as needed) and probably a storage tank for later rotation control, then hit a switch and send everything into NF3/H2 production. If I bank enough Methane right off the bat - before the asteroids really start coming - I should be able to just let the laser fire and sweep back and forth as needed - depending on how many asteroids I need to destroy.

    I do think I'm gonna step away from Reaper and focus on Challenges and ResearchNet - maybe even other games! - for a bit.

    APODionysus on
  • VicktorVicktor Registered User regular
    EDIT: Something @Vi Monks should add to the OP: if both Waldos run over an instruction at the same time, the Red one always fires first. Very useful in many situations particularly in crowded reactors or when trying to shave off a few precious cycles.

    THAT'S what was bugging me. For some reason I often start building a solution with the blue waldo and didn't have the problem early on of imputing something and bonding it in one step, but that is only so long as you input with the red and bond with the blue, a fact which I'd forgotten and just worked around last time.


    Also, the ability to reorient reactors would be very nice along with the ability to reorient things like the fusion laser in the fusion reactors. Not really to make things any easier (though I'm sure it would do that in some cases) but to allow you to layout things more clearly.

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    Origin: Viycktor
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    And "Don't Fear the Reaper" goes down. Damn that was annoying. And my solution ended up getting starved for NF3 even with a storage tank on the H2. I'm sure my pipes aren't perfect, but I don't have any idea how I could rearrange for a second H2 storage tank. Oh well, level beaten, and I don't think I'll ever go back to that one.

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  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    jclast wrote:
    And "Don't Fear the Reaper" goes down. Damn that was annoying. And my solution ended up getting starved for NF3 even with a storage tank on the H2. I'm sure my pipes aren't perfect, but I don't have any idea how I could rearrange for a second H2 storage tank. Oh well, level beaten, and I don't think I'll ever go back to that one.

    So what your saying is H2 doesnt actually go into the laser unless it is NOT firing at the time - so I will need a storage tank. Bloody hell, that level just got even tougher.

    In other news, I've been working on Achievements and ResearchNet. I'm having loads of trouble getting No Thanks Necessary < 2200 cycles. I'm down to 2339 cycles (my original solution was a horrendous 3500ish cycles... I just deleted the whole thing and started from scratch) which is oh so close, but in running out of ways to optimize.

    I just thought of how I can optimize Reactor 3 (which you can see in my Steam screen shots via my sig) a bit more by building NO3 in the Oxygen quadrant rather than the Nitrogen one - since I only have to move ONE N it should have to go further than the 3 Os.. I suspect that only saves me 50 or so cycles however (it's always hard for me to judge). That still leaves a long way to go. Everything else seems as good as I can do it though.

    The sad thing is, if I had flip-flops, i think that could help immensely, but I don't.

    Edit: Wrong level name. Silly me.

    APODionysus on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Yeah, and each H2 fires it for longer that I would have anticipated (since I'm making 3 H2s for every NF3). Ideally I'd just throw another storage tank on there and call it a day, but there's only so much station to work with.

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  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    No Thanks Achievement Get!

    I ended up with exactly 2200 cycles. The changes I mentioned above did almost nothing, but I managed to tighten up my Nitrogen/Oxygen disassembler which shaved off about a hundred cycles! After that I kept fiddling with pipes and syncs until I hit the Achievement.

    I meant to only take a cursory glance at the Falling in 2 reactors challenge... when I realized how ridiculously easy a change it was going to be to go from 3 to 2 reactors, so that one is in the bank as well.

    I'm gonna take a look at Applied Fusion and KOH-whatever next. Anything to avoid Don't Fear the Reaper.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Haha I just did "Falling" with 2 reactors, too since I can't figure out the first research assignment on the planet after the space station. I'm sure I'm missing something simple, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what that something is.

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  • APODionysusAPODionysus Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    jclast wrote:
    Haha I just did "Falling" with 2 reactors, too since I can't figure out the first research assignment on the planet after the space station. I'm sure I'm missing something simple, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what that something is.

    Isn't it ridiculously easy? Other than Gas Works Parks - which I somehow got with my initial solution - I found Falling to be the easiest achievement to get. Applied Fusion also wasn't that bad once I put my mind to it - I even ended up with a pretty average cycle count.

    @jclast You should post a screenshot of your reactor/tank layout for Reaper. I don't care about the internals - figuring that out is what I enjoy doing - but doing the overall layout just doesn't seem fun to me and is keeping me from even trying to advance.

    On another note, I've been thinking alot about KOH-whatever and think I have a plan in place. Not sure if I can implement it, but I've got a good idea. Should take me about three or four reactors.

    APODionysus on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Sure, I'll try to get a screenshot either tonight or tomorrow morning.

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  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    Layout for Don't Fear the Reaper:
    ?.jpg

    Excess H2 isn't actually an issue, so long as your reactors jam when it gets filled up. When the H2 pipe becomes full, the reactors will stop working, and then the laser stops firing. Once the laser stops firing, it instantly sucks up all the H2, clearing up the pipes to start over again. It's offline only for as long as it takes you to push a new NF3. The storage tank is used for Methane, so that I can store enough at the beginning to direct the laser the whole way through. I suppose I could've just had a snaking pipe in the top-left instead, though.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    I can't see your pic (Steam is blocked at work), but it wasn't that my solution didn't work once H2 started backing up, it's that the laser doesn't fire at high efficiency anymore because the H2 lasts so long compared to the NF3 and you're making H2 three times faster than NF3.

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  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    Maybe your reactors are just operating too slowly to feed the laser enough NF3? The H2 inefficiency really shouldn't be an issue, especially because there's nothing you can do about it.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Probably the case. It gets up to 100% efficiency for a while, but once the H2 clogs everything stops until the laser needs another H2. That goes on for long enough that the laser power goes down. I clear the level, I just would have preferred a cleaner solution. I suppose that's the point of the boss levels though - you're not trying to make a lasting solution, you're just trying to figure out something that works and move on.

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  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    My solution for Don't Fear the Reaper is topologically similar to Garthor's. Judging from the note on his first reactor, though, we had different ways of going about assembly within the reactors. As he says, you need a way to stop the laser from firing halfway through the exercise, so that the excess H2 gets cleared from the system. My method for doing that was to use control A to feed Methane to the upper reactor to give the laser time to settle down.

    4463rwiq7r47.png
  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    MrBlarney wrote:
    My solution for Don't Fear the Reaper is topologically similar to Garthor's. Judging from the note on his first reactor, though, we had different ways of going about assembly within the reactors. As he says, you need a way to stop the laser from firing halfway through the exercise, so that the excess H2 gets cleared from the system. My method for doing that was to use control A to feed Methane to the upper reactor to give the laser time to settle down.

    You don't need a way to manually clear the hydrogen, you just need fail-safe reactors, so that instead of causing a collision when the output is full, it just stalls. Generally, that means you have liberal sync instructions so things don't progress until the output manages to go out.

    Speaking of which: if both waldos are on the same output instruction, it acts as a kind of sync - because neither will move until the output is cleared - while using one fewer instruction. Useful if you want to reduce the number of instructions, or if you have a cramped design and don't have room for the sync.

    Oh, and yeah, my first reactor is something of a mess. Behold!
    http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/630728788578051511/7AA628887F4CCEBC89798EC75D0C9BE6B1B76625/?.jpg

    Actually, I think I posted this in the thread earlier. Still, I really like my nearly perfect 3x3 grid of blue lines in the middle there. Ruined by timing concerns, unfortunately.

    Garthor on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    Here's my "Don't Fear the Reaper" layout:
    ?.jpg

    And here are my 3 reactors in case anybody ends up wanting to see them:
    Reactor #1: Methane to steering, methane to NH3, and methane to water (x3)
    ?.jpg

    Reactor #2: Methane steering
    ?.jpg

    Reactor #3: NH3 + water (x3) = NF3 and H2 (x3)
    ?.jpg

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