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Old 06-01-2013, 09:44 AM   #1
WildM
 
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Post SpaceChem Tournament 2013

SpaceChem is a puzzle game about taking an open-ended problem and building your own path from point A to point B. Though any solution is good enough to progress in the game, SpaceChem also has (or had) a graphical depiction of your standing in the leaderboards, showing how you compared against everyone else as a whole.

This tournament is mainly an invitation to show off your own flavor of solutions. What interests me most about the game is how differently everyone approaches a challenge; for some, they instantly get it and build a solution from scratch. Others tend to write down pages and pages of ideas for their solution before finally building it in-game. Others drag symbols around and, through trial and error, finally work out a beautiful, functional mess.

Naturally, there will also be awards given for performing better than the rest. But first, let's figure out how to play the game.

First Time Players

Can you only hold yourself back two minutes before diving into the game? Give this one a go:

SpaceChem: An Introduction

Do you trust last year's tournament host, GuavaMoment, more than me? He gave a great set of tutorials, and I don't even have to put any work in to share them:

SpaceChem Tournament - Tutorial Video
SpaceChem - Sensors and Flip Flops
SpaceChem - Bonder Priority and Output Quirks
SpaceChem - Fusion and Fission

If you'd like a fresh perspective on the game, though, I invite you to check out these tutorials as I make them.

The Basics
Other Symbols
Bonder Priority and Particle Smashing
Quantum Reactors

Tournament Rules

The tournament is split into an open tournament, in which everyone can participate, and a closed tournament, in which the best from the open will compete for the grand prize.

Open Tournament

The open tournament will consist of 3-4 puzzles a round over 8-9 rounds. Rounds should last a week, but I may extend one if a vacation comes up.

The open tournament will have two tiers: upper and lower. Each week will contain 2-3 lower tier puzzles and 1 upper tier puzzle. Naturally, upper tier puzzles will be harder and be more likely to contain special victory conditions. However, with an upper tier comes a higher seed and a better chance to look better than everyone else at SpaceChem. Players can submit puzzles for both tiers if they like.

Solutions will be scored on either cycle count, symbol count, or reactor count, based on the puzzle. Some puzzles can be scored based on other things as well.

Points are based on how well you perform against everyone else and are separate for each tier:

1st - 6 points
2nd - 5 points
3rd - 4 points
4th-8th - 3 points
Submitted a solution - 2 points

Closed Tournament

To get the 16 players for the closed tournament, I'll first pull the top 8 from the upper tier, then rescore players in the lower tier without considering those 8, then pull the top 8 from the the lower tier. This should avoid a ton of ties for lower tier placement. This has a side effect of making the lower tier winners a bit of a surprise!

Unlike last year, we have a double-elimination tournament this time around! However, the loser's bracket will be competing against each other in an open-style contest, while the winner's bracket will be 1-on-1 contests only.

Winner's Bracket

Loser's Bracket

Prizes

There are three ways to win prizes!

Entry Challenge

If you would like to give the tournament a try but can't afford the game, I have good news for you! I will be offering a free copy of SpaceChem on Steam to the first three of you guys to demonstrate an interesting chemical reaction in picture or video format in this thread. In addition, I will turn the reaction that you cover into one of the tournament's puzzles!

Submission guidelines are pretty casual, so don't worry about me picking someone's entry over yours. First to submit get the prize! Make sure of the following, though:
  • The science must be real, or you must present the science as if it were real in a convincing manner.
  • This must include real (or fake but convincing) pictures or video of the chemical process occurring or the aftermath of the chemical process. You can take the media from another source as long as you do it in a way that won't get anyone in trouble.
  • Give it enough content for a few-minute read/watch. Explain what's happening in the chemical process!
  • Do not take pictures or video of the sun. That won't count.
  • Keep it safe! I would hate for someone to die over $10.

Tournament Rewards

Closed tournament rewards are partially sponsored by Zachtronics Industries this year!

Grand Champion: Any game on Steam (<$70), plus a 3D-printed SpaceChem pin from Zachtonics Industries, plus SpaceChem: Limited Edition!

2nd Place: A cheaper game on steam (<$35), a SpaceChem pin, and a copy of SpaceChem: Limited Edition!

3rd place (winner of the Loser's Bracket tiebreaker): A $5-$10 game on Steam or a forums upgrade, along with either a SpaceChem pin or a copy of SpaceChem: Limited Edition.

4th place (loser of the Loser's Bracket tiebreaker): A SpaceChem pin! You also get a special prize from Zachtronics.

Code Obfuscation Challenge

I am well aware that some players hate to compete and just want a chance to show off amusing solutions. I am probably one of them.

For them, I present the Code Obfuscation Challenge! Over the course of the tournament, players can submit hard-to-read, buggy, or otherwise interesting solutions to any puzzle in this tournament. To preserve my sanity, solutions should take less than 15 minutes to run at full speed. I will pick my favorite 8, and players will vote on them during the final round of the loser's bracket.

The #1 solution will be awarded a game on Steam valued at $25 or less along with a copy of SpaceChem: Limited Edition.

Submission Guidelines

You can send your submissions to wildmsa@gmail.com.

For research puzzles, email me a picture of your solution with the subject line like this so I can filter my emails:

[SA/Steam Name]: [Puzzle Name] [Cycles]-[Reactors]-[Symbols]

If you're submitting for the Code Obfuscation Challenge, just put (CO) after the puzzle name.

You can submit updates to your solution as many times as you want for now. Unless turnout is insane, I should be able to deal with it just fine. In addition, feel free to talk about your solution in the email if there is something noteworthy about it; I'll look at every solution, though I will only set it up in game and run it if it's in the top 8 or I notice something interesting.

This tournament is open to absolutely anyone and everyone. The only requirement is that you attach a Something Awful or Steam username to the submission - that way, at least the Steam prizes can be given out.



With all of that aside, I unfortunately cannot claim to be as notable as GuavaMoment in the world of SpaceChem, but I did place 2nd in last year's tournament, performing consistently high in just about every challenge. I also demonstrated some pretty interesting bugs while doing so. Why not make a couple of puzzles that show them off as valid solution methods?

I'd hate to break from Guava's excellent standard too much, so like last time, I will be showing off the best and most interesting solutions in video/graph/gif format.

If you would like to submit any puzzles of your own for the tournament, I welcome you to do so. Though I have enough puzzles to run everything, there is always room for improvement.

The first round of puzzles will start Sunday, June 2, at 8:00 A.M. CST. I hope to see you guys then!

Last edited by WildM: 10-10-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:17 AM   #2
WildM
 
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Tutorial 2 - Sensors, Syncs, Flip-Flops, Fusion, and Fission

Three things before we get to puzzles. First, let's learn about a few more symbols.

Other Symbols

Second, how to load a puzzle in SpaceChem:

1. Copy the code to your clipboard.
2. Click on the Sign On button on the right side of the start screen.
3. Click Hack into the system! if you see it.
4. Click Create or Import an Assignment.
5. Click Import.

Third, anything with Challenge in the title is an upper tier challenge.

Round 1 - Pop Quiz

Hello! These should be pretty easy, I think. Welcome to the tournament!

This the only week with alliteration. Sorry, it started with Sun Simulator and sort of snowballed from there.

1: Fructose Factory

Image

Task: Complete the last reactor in this fructose production line.
Goal Priority: LEAST CYCLES, then LEAST SYMBOLS, then SUBMISSION TIME

H4sIAMiKqlEA/32QTU7DMBCFr4K8bqQZJ3GrZAmq2CCWLBCL0Do0UhpH/lmUqr0THIQzMWMnUl
skNuPJ88Tvm3cU3TAGn32aQTtRHQVwiRp9vh7F3vR6E3otKvHz Xd+fIX88w/KZzlpKhViDRIQ6
lwhQo1xRL/PYI/eAfCuRJyVwRYg6xL+AJ3NqQSzExoTBiwrl6e20EPgPyNcMUiaQ 6XkETI9dm0
tFOqFJ0vNom6+AMdUEjjfm5G6C/xvLBcJDtrZh443TjKIIBc8giUbNNNGVPWamRJPIEmtiSjSR
Y+KTRXyhjHEVPI9l3KfgWyjjDkWMruQqVXRRsV/G/VWcJ/kyWODNdo3L+sZ+6CztKCpvg16Idz
Nstc2mWZkGnR6csaJqm97pJLXB6WvFjX3n/Y3oda9HYy9lfxg5OqudbuxmR2BDs2dljvJu3dBp
D3TTBL9jY/HS9du7J1K2Xdt2lL4/iApOv/v3uR24AgAA

2: Misfortune Modifier

Image

Task: Move sodium chloride from input alpha to output psi.
Goal Priority: LEAST CYCLES, then LEAST SYMBOLS, then SUBMISSION TIME

H4sIAKyKqlEA/52PvU7EMBCEXyXa2pHWF6RDTnl1aCgoEIVJ1sSSY0f+KY4o786 aQ4iDAoELS/
48s7OzgfVrye1r8JRAbYD1emf8fNxgCY7G4ggU3IfJlqU5zS5E O1F/p0+uP0h5ROxlPQgCxlB8
BnWzi9+9Xcce7A+dPP7Zi8i5sscae+V92ncBoeSfrf5ZRWKdOO vUOh1fqL3MBmW0SyTgOfiJYv
shvr0oE/kU4qemIlMSXZO0OpvzN5jJ0RriV5zPa905UiIdx5k383qpZLDJ sLR4agYuZCybBOiS
55oND9ZNzcCEv4zl5vkMCvc3AigOVvMBAAA=


3: Sun Simulator

Image

Task: Generate heat and light by performing something like the proton-proton chain reaction. Or just turn hydrogen into helium and more hydrogen, either way.
Goal Priority: LEAST CYCLES, then LEAST SYMBOLS, then SUBMISSION TIME

H4sIANaIqlEA/42PsW7DMAxEfyXgbAOyRvkHvHTK0KHooNp0LECWDIkcHMP99lC JETTtUg0E9H
C8O27gwsJUX2PADGYDVcadyfdjgzl67NkjGOjWIcULhrb7Vrpt 5KlWy1BQQR85EJhG75/7XkFk
+uv60wq947ntUGz0i4GS7ea3+h/BqsRONtfepgvWjwJgRuszVvAVw4CpPsT6ocwYckxPTUEjZx
RCiQ+QF++IXhmhxyWmOz12aV1K0YQZbeon6RXsXMiZw+nsZvaW JKoCyzSVTHh3fji9CRncODo5
lFYwar8BgDy3gJABAAA=

Challenge 1: Misfortune Modifier - Input Island

Image

Task: Move sodium chloride from input alpha to output psi.
Restriction: Waldos can only travel over input zone alpha and input zone beta. The dark zone in the middle and the output zones are off-limits.
Goal Priority: LEAST CYCLES, then LEAST SYMBOLS, then SUBMISSION TIME

H4sIAKyKqlEA/52PvU7EMBCEXyXa2pHWF6RDTnl1aCgoEIVJ1sSSY0f+KY4o786 aQ4iDAoELS/
48s7OzgfVrye1r8JRAbYD1emf8fNxgCY7G4ggU3IfJlqU5zS5E O1F/p0+uP0h5ROxlPQgCxlB8
BnWzi9+9Xcce7A+dPP7Zi8i5sscae+V92ncBoeSfrf5ZRWKdOO vUOh1fqL3MBmW0SyTgOfiJYv
shvr0oE/kU4qemIlMSXZO0OpvzN5jJ0RriV5zPa905UiIdx5k383qpZLDJ sLR4agYuZCybBOiS
55oND9ZNzcCEv4zl5vkMCvc3AigOVvMBAAA=


Solutions are due on Friday, June 14, at 12:00 PM CST. The next round of puzzles will be released that evening around 8:00 PM CST. This round is a bit longer than normal so that players have time to find the tournament.

Last edited by WildM: 06-05-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
Pegazs
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildM View Post
from input alpha to input psi
Input Psi? Are you sure? There are Input Beta and Output Psi...
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
WildM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegazs View Post
Input Psi? Are you sure? There are Input Beta and Output Psi...
Thanks for the catch!
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
WildM
 
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A bit later than I wanted, but the next tutorial is up!

Other Symbols
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Task: Move sodium chloride from input alpha to output psi.
Restriction: Waldos can only travel over input zone alpha and input zone beta. The dark zone in the middle and the output zone are off-limits.
And now it is absolutely impossible.

Can you explain what exactly we should do? Task is... unusual for this game. It’s interesting, but there are many obscure details.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
Dragon18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegazs View Post
And now it is absolutely impossible.

Can you explain what exactly we should do? Task is... unusual for this game. It’s interesting, but there are many obscure details.
Well I think that using bonders you could move the atoms to the other side.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
Pegazs
 
 
 
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon18 View Post
Well I think that using bonders you could move the atoms to the other side.
This image illustrates the problem. Red — “Input Alpha” (start), green — “Output Psi” (finish?), blue — “off-limits”. So I don’t see any opportunity to perform the task.

And what exactly mean “move”? Complete the reaction, or simply lay them all in the zone?
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
cearn
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegazs View Post
And now it is absolutely impossible.

Can you explain what exactly we should do? Task is... unusual for this game. It’s interesting, but there are many obscure details.
'Unusual' will probably be one of the hallmarks of the tournament. You will have to think out of the box.

In this particular case: Cl has a bond limit of 7,
Spoiler:
so you can create a salt-stick to bridge the gap
. Remember: an (un)bond command activates all bonder plates, not just the one the waldo may happen to be over.

There are links to Guavamoments tournament in the OP. Watch the entire series -- not just the tutorials -- to see what you can do in this game.

Last edited by cearn: 06-03-2013 at 11:25 PM. Reason: spoilers :)
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
Lepinkäinen
 
 
 
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I´ll give this a shot. I certainly won´t be doing half of the crazy stuff I saw happen in the first tournament but nvm that, this tourney seems like the perfect excuse to get back into Spacechem.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #11
WildM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegazs View Post
And now it is absolutely impossible.

Can you explain what exactly we should do? Task is... unusual for this game. It’s interesting, but there are many obscure details.
I said that the waldos can't move off of the input zones, not that the molecules can't move off of the input zones. Trust me, it's possible!

Edit: cearn, going forward, please don't be direct about the solutions. Part of the fun is figuring out how things work on your own. No big deal or anything.

Last edited by WildM: 06-03-2013 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:35 PM   #12
cearn
 
 
 
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I know, I know, but since it's only the first round, I thought a little help would be okay. Oh hey, looks like the forum here does have spoiler tags after all! Added those to the earlier post.

Speaking of spoilers: uploaded screenshots to the community hub will be visible to all! It's probably better to send them to WildM directly, or at least use spoiler feature.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:35 AM   #13
Pegazs
 
 
 
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Quote:
Cl has a bond limit of 7
D’oh! Yes, I’m idiot. Sorry, I didn’t play SpaceChem for months and forget some obvious nuances.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cearn View Post
There are links to Guavamoments tournament in the OP. Watch the entire series -- not just the tutorials -- to see what you can do in this game.
Well, I think I wont be able to do anything in this challenge. The solutions are really creative and hard to do xD
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:17 AM   #15
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I somehow doubt any of my solutions will win any awards (mine tend to be monstrosities compared to other solutions I've seen) but I'll be submitting anyway. I've got my solutions turned in already for these first four puzzles.

Last edited by xyzyxx: 06-04-2013 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Added links
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