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A memory game with molecules

I had an idea for a game. It’s a memory game, the idea is to flash a molecule on the screen for a few seconds in the left hand window, then in the window to right the player builds the molecule. That’s basically the game. The player learns to recognize interesting chemicals, learns to break down larger molecules into functional groups as a way of remembering them, and perhaps learns what they are.

As the molecule fades it would be replaced with a picture that goes with the molecule–oranges for citric acid, as a memory aid or a clue for the chemically astute player.

The game could be made easier by having the molecule fade out slowly, or flashing on periodically, or visible through a port.

I don’t really want to write a molecule editor myself, that would take a lot of time and also it turns out to have been done by chemist/programmers many times. Yeah! Some very good molecular editors are out there. I was particularly impressed with Molinspiration WebME editor. Two problems though, it’s 2D and not open source.

Looking further, I found BKchem and molsKetch both of which look good and are GPL licensed but are 2D. Jamberoo is Java based but the molecule editing worked too slowly for a game.

Avogadro is 3D, is GPL licensed so the source code is available, and works on Linux/OSX/Win. It looks good and works well, so I think it would make a good starting point for a game.

Vitamin C in Avogadro:
Avogadro screen shot

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