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Chemical compound Scrabble

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acgoldis
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Hi!

I originally thought this up as a joke -- a game "Nerds with Friends". However, I thought about it for a second and realized it's crazy enough to work. And I can't find anything similar in the market.

Here's the post that started it all off.

"I can already imagine a new app: Nerds with Friends. In this game, you have tiles with chemical elements and numbers. You have to create compounds crossword style, like with Scrabble. H 2 O would be one thing, and the next player can use C O 2 off the 2. Actually, this sounds crazy enough to actually be a viable game for teaching chemistry..."

There are easy elements like H (1 point) and 1 (1 point). However, once you deal with stuff like 5 (5 points) things get tricky. The inert gases (those that make compounds) are probably 10 or more.

You get bonuses for compounds with more than 2 elements in them.

Thoughts?

Nicklypuff
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I'm not someone too into

I'm not someone too into chemical compounds, but it sounds like the game would be a lot of fun and would be educational for some basic understandings of chemical formulas.

Jay103
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Nicklypuff wrote:I'm not

Nicklypuff wrote:
I'm not someone too into chemical compounds, but it sounds like the game would be a lot of fun and would be educational for some basic understandings of chemical formulas.

Not sure who would have enough knowledge of the whole realm of chemical formulas to know which things were correct answers and which weren't. You need a pretty wide base "dictionary" to make a Scrabble game work.

questccg
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SpellMasters

In a similar vein, I had been working on a "Scrabble"-type game which I shelved... Just because I wasn't feeling it anymore. Perhaps the game just wasn't as interesting as I had hoped for it to be.

Basically there are five (5) Schools of Magic each one which a special ability unique to that school. And each level, your goal is to SPELL the correct words matching a card which is a "dungeon" level.

I know it sounds real cool... But it doesn't play as well as it sounds. Like I say "Ideas sound real cool, until you playtest it and it's total crap..." It's not really all that bad. But I shelved it nevertheless.

It's sort of a cross between "Crosswords" and "Scrabble". Here's a sample Lore card:

Never went very far with the concept... Maybe some ideas are still worth it in some way or another. The game concept is cool... But the actual implementation (prototype) needs a LOT of work.

Just sharing. Cheers!

Note #1: It was a "dungeon-delving" type game... Now that you posted something about Chemical Components, I wonder if I can't make the game about Summoning "Demons" (or something along that vein)... IDK.

Maybe some words could be in LATIN ... for some old-school type vibe! LOL

Note #2: Some thing I liked were the NAME and Spelling as being one aspect of the game... But conjuring and summoning may be more appropriate considering your would be using SPELLS to do it... Really like how those two concepts intertwine... But the implementation needs much re-working.

questccg
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And why I posted that card...

Maybe it can inspire you to go in that direction of a "quasi-Scrabble" a bit of Crosswords-type game with chemical components.

Not that the two game were "similar" — just that they SHARE some of the GOAL of the game which is "spelling" in your case chemical components that can be on cards, in my case something a bit more elaborate concerning dungeon delving (in my current version).

Like I said, I liked the idea a lot. But I would have to "re-design" the entire game from the ground up and change most of the mechanics to be certain that the game is playable (in some new version of the game...)

Cheers!

Update: Now this type of "format" can help by NOT requiring the players to know all the formulas by heart. These types of cards can in your case be used as "crossword" fragments in which players TRY to score points according to the fragment that has been chosen for that round of play.

The number of fragments per game could vary and maybe could be like something like maybe 1 to 3 cards with different fragments each... And finding a way to LINK those fragments or just use one "crossword" configuration as a LEVEL and then once the players finish with that one level, they can maybe proceed to the next level...

Maybe your game could last like 5 levels and therefore use ONLY "five fragments"... If you think in this way, you'll probably notice how more innovative and flexible the concept can be.

So maybe look into this a bit closer and see where it might lead.

let-off studios
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Using Cards as Recipes

I like Quest's general idea of using cards, particularly as a way to provide some initial direction for the players. Think of the cards as "recipes" or "road maps" that award the player for creating specific patterns. Instead of words, you're creating chemical compound notation.

The compounds could be for commonly-found or well-known chemical compounds: water, alcohol, soap, etc. This way, the game could be educational as well as entertaining. And most importantly it doesn't require someone to have a lexicon of chemistry knowledge in their head. They can simply guide themselves based on the cards.

Your scoring system can be simple or complex. A single compound per card, scoring one point. Or a compound scoring one point per element or notation in the compound. Maybe there are several formula on a single card, organized together as groups or families of related compounds.

questccg
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Non-relevant

Figured I'd remove some non-relevant content! I've delved into this design with quite a bit of leg-work. But still it doesn't feel as cool as I would want it to... for my own design reasons.

questccg
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Almost forgot

You DON'T necessarily NEED a board. Which is great because this is a BIG expense when it comes to traditional Scrabble boards.

Look I'm not saying it's super expensive... I'm just saying that you can do without the board and only use the cards (with the Fragments) and have an even BETTER experience than Scrabble.

The cards (and Fragments) help in many ways. Like Stephen said, you don't need to have memorized a lexicon of chemical formulas, they are on the cards themselves, with a "skipping" mechanic helps the game go along without stalling.

Anyhow if any of this helps ... GREAT! If not, well you don't need to follow my advice, I'm just offering your some ideas that I had and have since shelved... I still think the design is COOL. But not what I was going for in terms of design (there are still things to iron out...)

Cheers!

Jay103
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questccg wrote:stuff Off

questccg wrote:
stuff

Off topic, but check out the computer game "Word Realms". Sort of scrabble-y RPG.

questccg
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"Word Realms"

I don't think it was off-topic at all... I've looked at the game and although I'm not too impressed with it's presentation... The game looks like a real nice RPG game that uses words to combat your opponents.

Maybe I can get some ideas off of that game. I'm forever TRYING to design some kind of COOL "Duel Card Game" ... and seeing other "word"-related type of games definitely breathes "new life"... In that there could be some ideas in there that I might be able to think more about.

Thanks Jason... Cool beans!

acgoldis
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There would be a cheat sheet

There would be a cheat sheet with a periodic table and valences available for the various elements.

Then again, valences don't always help. For instance, everyone knows that C is +/-4 and H is +/-1. According to the the valences, C2H6 (ethane) does not work. Yet it does as two of the C's are connected to each other.

..H H
H-C-C-H
..H H

H2O2 and O3 are also counterintuitive.

H-O-O-H

..O
./ \
O---O

I suppose we can have radicals like SO4 and NO3 too.

acgoldis
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Note that placing tiles out

Note that placing tiles out of order makes no sense. H O 2 is not a valid compound. H 2 O is.

There are going to be a lot of two letter "words" like C O ad H Cl, so parallel plays and hooks are going to be very easy. Extending words will be very difficult, though: I can only think of H 2 O -> H 2 O 2 or C O -> C O 2.

Jay103
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Guessing benzine will be very

Guessing benzine will be very popular

acgoldis
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I'm now thinking more of a

I'm now thinking more of a card game putting cards in a crossword style matrix and drawing if you can't put something down. You win when you go out. You play one compound each turn.

questccg
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If I were you and this is what I wanted to design...

I'd do some more studying as to what are the most popular elements used in bonds. Cause like some of the examples I've seen like the one with Hydrogen (H) and Carbon (C) make for very strange distributions of certain "letters" or in your case "elements".

Because most likely your tiles will be very different than normal English Word letters... The distribution will be totally different. Before you can even begin to design your tiles, you will most probably require to already have the "lexicon" of chemicals that you want players to be able to choose from.

And from there you can begin to design your game. Firstly some chemicals compounds are very complexe like Polymers... But I wouldn't shy away from them because maybe there can be simpler compounds even in a category where they are usually very complexe.

So the BIG challenge to your game is A> Having enough chemical compounds B> Knowing the popularity of elements used in those same compounds in order to get the proper distribution of "elements" and "numbers" too.

I personally would "shelve" this idea... because it sounds good... But my concern is that there won't be enough SIMPLE compounds to make the game "work"... But that's just my own gut feeling about the idea. I could be totally wrong and you may be able to determine what you need in order to bring this "idea" into an actual "prototype".

Cheers!

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