Contest Results

The intent of the “design a reaction mechanic” contest was to collect ideas for new mechanics to use in SpaceChem. But why, you may be asking, did we need new mechanics?

Introducing ResearchNet, the official intergalactic-intranet used by SpaceChem for sharing reaction engineering research!

Arriving in the form of a free, not-yet-dated update for SpaceChem, ResearchNet will allow you to create your own research assignments, share them with friends, and submit them to the Journal of Reaction Engineering, an in-game “publication” featuring the best assignments made by both SpaceChem engineers (you guys) and Zachtronics Industries designers (me).

When creating a custom research assignment, you will be able to specify exactly what is inside of the reactor, including two new reactor components – the FISSION LASER and the QUANTUM TUNNEL.

The FISSION LASER is similar to the fusion laser, but allows you to split an atom in half to form two new atoms.

The QUANTUM TUNNEL consists of two 1×1 components that can be relocated and, when activated, will de-bond and swap the two atoms located on each end.

One of the outcomes I wasn’t expecting when I initiated the contest was that literally half of the submissions would include one of the winning ideas (fission). I intend to stick to my word, though, so everyone who submitted one of the two winning ideas will receive a free copy of SpaceChem, which can either be kept or gifted to a friend. I’ll be emailing the winners in the next week or so to find out what email address they want their free copy gifted to.


  1. compsciguy February 17, 2011 5:14 pm

    As a demo-only player (for now), I need to ask: Does the Quantum Tunnel rebond the atoms at the other end once they are swapped?

  2. Snowyowl February 17, 2011 10:12 pm

    This is going to make breaking a molecule into atoms so much easier. Use the QT to bridge an input to an output, then grab the molecule on the input and pass each atom over the QT in sequence.

  3. Snowyowl February 17, 2011 10:17 pm

    I’m already planning how to break a gadolinium atom into 64 hydrogens.

  4. KrahkaMaster February 18, 2011 1:06 am

    Will the Research Net have DOCUMENTARY? And will the R.N. for Demo include ALL functions? Plus, can we install our winnings on as many computers as we want? (Mac, Windows, AND Linux?)

  5. payjack February 18, 2011 12:52 pm

    that must be painfull, sending out so many copys.
    I’d have made it a lottery of sorts, where every name is in a pot and a lucky one is drawn.

  6. Maverick February 18, 2011 1:44 pm

    When you say that you will be able to specify exactly what is inside each reactor, does that mean that you will be able to go insane and have, say, just one bonding glyph / twenty bonding glyphs, or will you only be able to do the first? And will you be able to have reactors with just one waldo (and no syncing) or four waldos (say, the green and yellow waldos sync with each other)?

  7. RSOG February 20, 2011 8:06 am

    D’aw. I should have sent in my fission idea. I skipped it and sent something else because I figured everyone was going to ask for fission.

  8. Sniped50 February 20, 2011 11:02 am

    When are we going to be expecting ResearchNet to be launched? I mean, call me an impatient b***ard if you will, but I’m very eager to get my hands dirty.

  9. fivex March 3, 2011 8:54 am

    Will we be able to make production levels too?

  10. Felix Maxwell March 28, 2011 12:33 am

    a level editorish thing… one second

    *runs to other side of room*
    *runs back*
    sorry about that

  11. Luraman March 28, 2011 6:03 pm

    I’ve got some great ideas for levels for this game.
    Not to spoil anything, but i really think that multiple inputs without a sensor was missing in the game ;)

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