Mark Sachs (ksleet) wrote,
Mark Sachs

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Afterlife Blues update.

It is a page. You can probably tell from how sloppy the inside of the car is rendered that I really am tired of drawing that thing. That being said, I'm very pleased with Panel 3 for some reason (the station wagon pulling into the garage next to an armored embassy limo.) It's a more "high concept" panel than I usually try to draw, but I feel that it worked. At least a bit. COME ON JUST LET ME HAVE THIS.

In other (brief) news, a visiting co-worker wanted to see Neon Galaxy, so I actually spent a half hour slapping together a real test level instead of just the big pile of test levels I'd had up until now. And, you know... it's actually fun. The game genuinely works! That's pretty cool, not to mention a bit of a relief. Hopefully I can record a video of a level playthrough sooner rather than later and share it with y'alls.
Tags: afterlife blues, comics
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If you have any hints on SpaceChem's Exploding Head Syndrome, I've been stuck there for a while.
I'll keep an eye out when I get there -- I'm only on the fourth planet so far. Just solved the In-Place Swap challenge.
Um, yeah, wow. That one's kind of tricky. My theory was that in the first reactor, you have to crack the water into hydrogen and oxygen, then using the manual control send it to either a fuel production line (which would create H2 and O2) or to a plutonium production line. But the problem is that you need two fusion reactors to build the Pu, yet also need a sensor reactor to separate the H and O, and there just won't be enough reactors available.

Hmm... Maybe if I'm careful enough to just send alternating H and O atoms to the Pu production line, and throw the excess hydrogen into the fuel line, the need for a sensor reactor is avoided. I should try that.
My best calculation so far is: 64 H20 molecules should be split. Then 50 O become 25*O2, and the remaining 14 O should become 2 Ba (7*8=56). Then the 128 H should become 26*H2, and the remaining 76 H should become 2 Sr (38*2=76), and Ba+Sr=Pu.

But getting the equations to nearly balance isn't sufficient; execution is still hard.


January 16 2011, 20:25:00 UTC 6 years ago Edited:  January 16 2011, 20:25:39 UTC

Victory! Admittedly with 25% health, but a win's a win. I started by realizing I needed 6 H and 11 O to make Pu (6 * 1 + 11 * 8), but I also needed H and O to make the fuel, so the real puzzle was how to set up two production lines with just four reactors. The trick was indeed to send O and H in an alternating pattern to the warhead line so that a sensor reactor was not needed. I'll bet there's a completely different and perhaps faster answer to the problem, though.

Full description of my solution (stop now if you don't want to be spoiled more)...

- First reactor accepts water, cracks it into H and O. Control A sends it either to the warhead production line or to the fuel production line. But even if we're set to build the warhead, we send it one O, one H, and then send the last H to the fuel line anyway. The result is that the input to the warhead line is alternating O and H atoms.
- The fuel production line has one sensor reactor that accepts H and O, builds H2 and O2, and sends it to the rocket. Nothing flashy here, except that H and O are on different waldo lines so they can run completely independently without the reactor ever stalling for lack of a specific atom. That way it can safely accept all the leftover hydrogen from warhead production.
- The warhead production line starts with a fusion reactor that accepts O and H. The waldos are carefully synced so that the O is passed along to the next reactor in line, while the H are collected and fused together until they make C (6), and that's passed along through the other output.
- The second fusion reactor fuses O together until it makes Ra (88) and then adds the C to make Pu (94).

And that's the SpaceChem recipe for octopus soup.
Thanks for the encouragement. I finally got my hands-free implementation running. It's unpleasantly messy in some ways - for example, it makes Sr counting to 38 manually with a huge mesh of in/fuse/in/fuse, but as you said, a win's a win.
Got a hint for "More Than Machine" on the next planet? This one's driving me bonkers. I feel like I can assemble the required molecule to charge the laser (although it's a huge hassle since the input molecules don't smoothly add up) but then there's not enough reactor space left to transfer the Xe on command to fire it.
I just got there myself. Are you using the laser region like a regular output? Can you use the side effect of destroying things there somehow?

Also, have you seen the contest?
I hadn't used it yet, but it's good to know that it does indeed work that way. Unfortunately the amount of trash you can throw in the reactor is strictly limited, given that the firing process won't be automated absent some outrageously complex timing system.

I think I have a handle on the solution, though. I realized that there's not exactly a shortage of input molecules, so I can just take one O-Al and the Cr and throw everything else in the recycler. I should be able to construct the final crystal in the laser itself using just those parts, so there'll be a spare reactor left to manage the Xe. Gonna try that tonight.

With regards to the contest: fission comes immediately to mind, but it's so obvious that I can't believe it's not already in the game on one of the last couple of planets.
HELL YEAH. I had to construct square O-Al crystals in one of the previous reactors, which was hugely more difficult than it needed to be due to my own incompetence, but once that was done I just had to time my shots right and victory was mine. And indeed I used the side effect of firing the laser to dispose of the detritus left over from building the crystal.

The next sector looks like it will be completely nuts. I'm not even going to try it tonight.