Hazard Lab is from Ludum Dare 31 compo. I create it in 48 hours in that online game jam. It is a single player chemical casual game. The theme of Ludum Dare 31 is “Entire Game on One Screen”. Players synthesis their unique molecule for creating different kinds of fuels. Rules are simple: when same color atoms meet each other, player get points and grow up. Now there are 3 tasks for players, 1 is the tutorial, 2 is a interesting reverse based on the basic mechanic, 3 is to challenge your extreme.

Hazard Lab enjoys minimized control but various and juicy contents, which is very suitable for a mobile game. There is a great inner balance for Hazard Lab – when you molecule grows up, you are more vulnerable.

Hazard Lab (Ludum Dare 31 Compo)

Final ratings for Hazard Lab (Ranks in 1365 games):

#200 Innovation 3.66/5
#331 Overall 3.42/5
#379 Fun 3.27/5
#533 Graphics 3.13/5
#567 Audio 2.68/5
#664 Mood 2.82/5
#742 Humor 2.23/5
#769 Theme 3.44/5

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The whole molecule is fixed in the center of the screen, and the only control for players is rotating the molecule. By doing so, players can actually:

  1. receive right atoms
  2. evade wrong atoms
  3. destory the exist branches if you do not want it

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The core mechanic is focused on atom’s color:

  1. Colors decide different enhancements during game: RED-Vision; Yellow-Speed; Blue-Stability.
  2. Colors are related to the task: different tasks require different colors on different amounts.

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Things I have learned:

  1. Even though I have done bunch of game projects in teams. It is the first game I finished with all the works, prototyping, coding, arts, sound, and debugging. So I dabbled with these aspects in more depth and have a better understanding of the whole pipeline.
  2. I distribute this game to lots of people who from various background and receiving a lot of contradict opinions toward the game. Because all the design decisions have made by myself. These opinions help me get a better understanding of how these decisions affect the final game.

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Good things:

  1. Focused mechanics, colors decide both tasks and power-ups.
  2. Internal balance between growing and losing atoms
  3. Clever reverse target on task 2

Things need to be improved:

  1. Growing up have bugs sometimes
  2. Lack of new elements during the game
  3. UI is not obvious enough to convey information during the game

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