The Hermetic Order of Alchemists

Master the secrets of alchemy!

Joining the Hermetic Order of Alchemists was always your biggest aspiration. As the youngest apprentice to ever attempt the Trials of Alchemy, you are determined to prove yourself!

During the Trials, you must demonstrate mastery over the alchemical processes of your Order. By transmuting and refining elements and substances with your techniques, you will eventually solve all the trials. And thereby prove yourself worthy of membership in the Order.

About the game

"The Hermetic Order of Alchemists" is a puzzle-game made in Java, using the LibGDX framework. Java is required in order to run the non-web version of the game. The art was made using Aseprite, and the music was made using Bosca Ceoil.

The game is controlled by mouse. All controls have tooltips when you hover your cursor over them, and you can refer to the in-game Grimoire for help as well.

While you can complete the first puzzles through trial and error, each puzzle builds on lessons learned in the previous, so you might get stuck using this strategy. I recommend looking up the puzzle in the walkthrough below instead, if you get stuck. It describes the steps necessary, but also why the steps are necessary, which might help you in the later steps or Trials :) ...or you can just follow the bolded actions, if you just want to move ahead to the ending.

Walkthrough

This is a link to the walkthrough

Voting results

Overall
2nd
7.750
Graphics
17th
6.417
Audio
16th
5.500
Gameplay
2nd
7.833
Originality
2nd
8.750
Theme
1st
9.250

This game entered in the Solo competition (36 entries).

Comments (21)

bombjack
a month ago

Really original concept. I was stuck at the second stage then I reallized I was doing it wrong.
I had to alternate heating and cooling at different levels... Brilliant!
This is very fun and I liked it a lot :)

Somnium
a month ago

@bombjack Thank you for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed the puzzles :) They were pretty fun to create as well!

KorbohneD
a month ago

I am way too stupid to do this, but I really like it.I did not get past the second stage, but I can see that there went a lot of effort in this!

Walnoot
a month ago

I don't think I'm smart enough for this game :p. I managed to beat the first three levels by combining trial and error and luck, but I couldn't solve the last(?) puzzle.

benjamin
a month ago

Woah that's a great game. I got stuck on the level where I had to get rid of 4x green and 1x blue to build blue-metal. It's not easy to get used to the heat/cool mechanic. The breaking and banding point are the most obscure thing, I'm not even sure I totally get them now, but I sort of by playing and trying a lot. It's more chemistry thant alchimy, but still a very good ( maybe the best ) interpretation for this theme

fullmontis
a month ago

This is very nice, I really like the mechanics and the gameplay. I like how there is always a solution even though it may be quite difficult to find. One little thing to point out though is that the rules are a little complex and it may take a little while to get used to them, but once understood are quite linear. I think that the mechanics are well balanced, they allow for a varied gameplay without overwhelming you with choices to make. Well done!

Somnium
a month ago

@KorbohneD @Walnoot Thank you for your comments! And yeah, some of the puzzles can be a bit hard. Especially if you go through the puzzles through trial and error, since each puzzle builds on knowledge from the earlier puzzles :-)

I have added a link to a walkthrough/hint system in the game description. It explains the necessary steps, and also why the steps are useful. Or you can just follow the bolded instructions, in case you just want to quickly get to the ending :-)

Somnium
a month ago

@benjamin Thank you for your comments! You almost made it to the end!

The interplay between the various cooling/melting points and the reactivity can be complex - the Grimoire is your friend in these cases, since you can use it to plan a "path". I have added a link to a walkthrough/hint system in the game description. It explains the necessary steps, and also why the steps are useful. Or you can just follow the bolded instructions, in case you just want to see the ending :-)

Somnium
a month ago

@fullmontis Thank you!

And yes I spend a lot of effort on making sure that each puzzle had a solution, and I also tried to ensure that the order of the puzzles meant that you were continually building on top of knowledge learned from the earlier puzzles :-)

I was pretty happy about the balancing of the tools at the player's disposal as well, and that I managed to create the puzzles so that every tool is used at least once during the game.

Aurel300
23 days ago

Hi! We played your game with Danae on this twitch channel, and now the video is available on YouTube. Feel free to check it out :)

Danae plays: The Hermetic Order of Alchemists

thomastc
23 days ago

Always good to see LibGDX games! (Never used it in jams myself.)

I love the grumpy master's voice, although it could be a bit louder. Sound effects are good otherwise; I like that there's a bit of feedback for every action. The music gets a bit repetitive, but not annoying. And the text in between is fun :)

The UI is great, it feels quite responsive and is intuitive to use.

The puzzle concept is great, and with some tweaking, I could very well see this turn into a mobile puzzle game. Most notably, it would be good if you don't have to refer to the Grimoire all the time -- although I'm not sure how to accomplish that. There's too much information to keep it all in your head.

The difficulty curve seems a bit bumpy. I needed lots of time for the second level (Bluemetal), but the few after that were considerably easier. Perhaps there was a simpler way to solve it that I overlooked. After that, only the last two levels gave me some trouble.

Somnium
23 days ago

@Aurel300 Neat! It was very fun to see my game being played in "real time" :-)

The surplus elements in the level you stopped at, correspond exactly to Resrem (one purple bound to two green), so the goal of the level is to make and remove that.

But I'll admit that the puzzle is quite tricky, since you first need to bind the two blue elements together and the two purple elements together (leaving just enough unbonded elements for a single Resrem). So, the puzzle is about applying the right sequence of different temperatures, and hence rather difficult to solve through trial and error. :-)

Thanks for playing!

Somnium
23 days ago

@thomastc Thank you for your comments! I'm glad that you found the Master's admonishments entertaining :-)

Thanks for your feedback on the UI! I agree, the Grimoire is more efficient for a playstyle where you "plan ahead", it is a bit bulky for referencing during the puzzle. As a compromise, I made sure that the same information could be accessed as tooltips on elements on the board, combined with an easy way of undoing actions.

The optimal solution to puzzle two, is actually just one step more than puzzle 1: Just as in puzzle 1, you start by applying heat to divide the elements, and then apply the right amount of cold to form the goal element. Then, as the final step, you get rid of the surplus materials, using the filter.

Again, thank you for your thoughts! :-)

dollarone
23 days ago

Very cool!

I like the simple yet very advanced functions you have at your disposal. Figuring out the latter puzzles really took some thinking and/or brute forcing. Clever puzzle design!

Music is fitting and the graphics are clear. I struggled a little bit in the beginning with the gameplay, but easily learnt by trying and failing.

This is spot on the theme, I really feel like I earnt the title of High Alchemist now!

Somnium
21 days ago

@dollarone Thanks! Designing the puzzles took a lot of time, so I'm glad it shows!

HuvaaKoodia
17 days ago

Quite liked this one. The logic makes total sense, but I have to say the instructions didn't help that much, lots of text on a tiny font. Maybe two pages for the codex would be a good idea. I fiddled around a bit and realized that the different bonding and breaking temperatures are the key to removing unwanted substances and elements. After that even the last trial wasn't too difficult.

That fleeting feeling of smartness, once the rules become clear, is the only thing that puzzles can do and you pulled it off!

Alchemy is fake chemistry, so the theme fits snuggly. The graphics are functional and clean, although something to break the dull grey backgounds would have been nice. The only true black mark here is the music. I would have preferred silence and, of course, I muted it pretty much immediately. Shame.

Great work otherwise!

O 8, G 8, A 1, G 10, O 10, T 10

Somnium
16 days ago

@HuvaaKoodia Thanks! That was exactly the experience I was hoping to elicit: a bit of experimentation, followed by the realization of how to leverage the rules ín order to solve the puzzles.

As for the font, I see your point. It may be time for me to search for a new royality-free font which is more suitable for paragraphs of text.

The music was worse than silence? Ouch :-D And it even completely overshadowed the sound feedback of the UI elements, and the semi-voice-acted antagonist? :-)

In order to improve my music making skills, I would appreciate it if you have the time to elaborate on your comment a bit? Currently, as I am new to music making, I'm still creating music from the most basic of building blocks: A simple evolving core melody, on a rhythmic melodic "background", using chords and notes kept in the same key. And using the simplest tool I can find to create the music in.

E.g. was the melody too "heavy"/complex in the middle? Too simple in the beginning? Too boring? Were the choice of instruments too "annoying", or high pitched? Did the music not fit the game? Was the background too dominating? Or something else entirely? :-) Feel free to give your honest opinions, I want to get rid of any "bad habits" now, while I am still learning, and before they become entrenched!

In any case, thank you for your feedback!

HuvaaKoodia
16 days ago

@Somnium
It's the instruments. They are very unpleasant to listen to: hard, cold, unnatural; gives me a headache. Probably something to do with the simple tool of yours.

Additionally the music is louder than the voice over and gets repetitive after not too long. I'm willing to bet that with better instruments the latter would not be a problem.

I've only used it for a while, but LMMS seems to be a solid music program. It is basically an open source version of FL studio, down to the bone! It has a lot of instrument presets out of the box and many more to download. Worth a shot, especially if you've tried FL studio in the past (as I had).

Somnium
16 days ago

@HuvaaKoodia Ah, that makes sense, Bosca Ceoil uses "raw" MIDI-instruments, which I guess is as synthetic as it gets.

Thanks for your elaboration, and the tool recommendation!

Haoron
16 days ago

Add a function where the description appears when you drag your mouse on the icons. Now the entry level is too high to understand what to do

Somnium
16 days ago

@Haoron I'm not sure I understand? All gui-elements in the game has mouse-over tooltips already?

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Info

Master the alchemical processes of The Hermetic Order of Alchemists!

Links

Web Java (Windows and Linux)

Author

Somnium

Somnium