New Contest – “This is SpaceChem!”

“What is SpaceChem?”

This is a question that we get asked a lot and, quite frankly, have a hard time answering. So, we’re turning to you for help, in the form of a contest!

To enter, you must record a video where you answer the question “What is SpaceChem?” … in five seconds or less. Be clever! Be creative! Be funny! Then upload the video to YouTube and post a link to it in the comments. The best responses will be composited together into a kick-ass promotional video and distributed far and wide across the internet, which means that by submitting an entry you grant us permission to use it for this purpose.

Entries should consist of a short introduction, your less-than-five-seconds-long response, and the phrase “THIS IS SPACECHEM!” at some point in the video.

If your entry is selected for use in the final video, you will receive a free copy of SpaceChem in addition to internet fame.

Questions? Post them in the comments!


  • Entries are due April 15th, 2011.
  • You must actually say the phrase “this is SpaceChem” somewhere in your video.
  • You may submit as many entries as you want.
  • The “ch” in SpaceChem is pronounced with a hard “k” sound, as in the English pronunciation of “chemistry”.
  • Entertaining responses are going to have a higher chance of winning than non-entertaining responses, as the final video will be used for marketing purposes and needs to be entertaining! That said, they also have to answer the question…


  1. Pavke March 31, 2011 10:56 am

    Do we have to have introduction and say “This is SpaceChem” ? Don’t get my wrong, I love SpaceChem its just hat my English isn’t very good. How about we make a 10 sec video and you take any less-than-five-second part?

  2. compsciguy March 31, 2011 6:46 pm

    Pavke, I don’t think you need to SAY “This is SpaceChem” in the video. You could probably just put that text on the screen.

  3. payjack March 31, 2011 7:04 pm

    I need a hammer, a jelly brain and a camera.


  4. payjack March 31, 2011 7:06 pm

    …though, seriously, while I played spacechem I got a nasty flu which turned my brain upside down.
    I did sleep all the time and when I dreamed it was nonsense trying to figure out a non existing level but whatever I did, it wasnt right.

  5. Trylobot March 31, 2011 7:18 pm

    I wish to submit multiple entries. Is this permitted?

  6. Aron March 31, 2011 8:14 pm

    How is SpaceChem spelled?

    I mean as a german I would say
    but it could be more like
    in english, based on “chemistry”

  7. Maedy March 31, 2011 8:34 pm


    I would go for “Kem” like in chemistry.

    PS: It’s a bit funny, because no one, except germans, are going to understand what you mean.

    I’m not quite sure how a native english speaker would pronounce “SpacheSchemm” but for him to understand you’d have to write something like “SpaceJam” and “SpaceCam” so he’d get the pronunciation right.

  8. Sniped50 March 31, 2011 9:07 pm

    How funny are we talking? Like “Ooh, how clever and witty!”, or “A HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA *cough* *cough* *splutter* *cough* *die* “?

    On a completely different topic, when is ResearchNet going to be released? Not the best place to ask, but I’m BEGGING you to answer with at least an estimate.

  9. payjack April 1, 2011 12:19 am

    germans say “spaes shem”. thats what I think of the name. english’s different? dont give a dump…

  10. Zach April 1, 2011 1:56 am

    I think I answered most of your questions in the “clarifications” section, which I’ve added to the bottom of this post.

    As for ResearchNet, it’s coming soon! With some other crap!

  11. fivex April 1, 2011 2:28 am

    With some other crap? :O
    Anyways, how would you go by submitting an entry?

  12. Luraman April 2, 2011 4:12 pm

    This might not count but i couldn’t resist.

  13. JorjXMcKie April 7, 2011 7:21 pm

    Ok, so I made this in about 10 minutes at work with no access to the game or Fraps, only my previously posted solution videos, and it’s pretty craptacular, but it’s a reasonable first attempt.

    Seriously though 5 seconds is crazy short, and SpaceChem is a complex idea, I don’t know that it will be possible to reasonably communicate the idea in such a short span of time.

  14. JorjXMcKie April 9, 2011 3:12 am

    Alright now here is a much more serious attempt

    I did fail the 5 second rule though, I couldn’t do it justice in less than 26.

  15. David April 10, 2011 3:39 am


    I think the 12-14 second mark of your clip- where we see a number of failures followed by a success – really sums up SpaceChem.

    I think if you took this sequence built this bit up, showing more and more complex molecules being built that would capture what space chem was about.

    For me at least.

  16. Blueation April 13, 2011 7:40 pm

    My attempt:

    I actually had this finished the first day of this contest and it had been on youtube as a private video since, but here it is!

  17. Anonymous April 15, 2011 5:28 pm

    Actually, five seconds is incredibly short. The sentence “This is SpaceChem” uses almost half of the time given. Then there is not much room for answering the question or even funny things to entertain. Look at commercial videos and you will see that even those use much more time. Give us half a minute and there will be more entries.

  18. Flyerton July 2, 2013 4:24 am

    Well first thing I thought, This is madness, No, THIS IS SPACECHEM.

One Trackback

  1. By Re: “This is SpaceChem!” Contest on April 17, 2011 at 5:25 am

    [...] it turns out, five seconds was a bit too short for the This is Spacechem! contest. Because of this, the deadline for entries will be extended to May 1st, 2011 and the [...]

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