Kimika

Date Created: May 26 - 27, 2018.
Fields: Computer Science, Chemistry.
Description: An interactive 'crafting' game that teaches users basic chemistry.
Tools Used: IntelliJ IDEA, GitHub Desktop, Bootstrap, JavaScript, HTML/CSS.
Link: https://github.com/jeanellet/kimika
Credits: Jeanelle Tanhueco

urea-1
The icon I made for urea, a molecule that can be created on Kimika.

How Does It Work?


'Crafting'

If you've ever played Minecraft, Kimika is a lot like messing around in a crafting table. The user can try different combinations of four atoms: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon, and Nitrogen. These atoms were chosen because they're common in organic molecules, and they were easy enough to make atoms out of. Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon also have enough valence electrons to make one, two, three, and four bonds respectively.

Molecules

As soon as the user "discovers" a molecule by combining the right atoms in the right quantities, the new molecule shows up in the index page. There, the user can find a fun fact about the molecule, its molecular formula, and its molar mass.

Future Plans

This project was made for CodeDay's hackathon in the span of 24 hours. Because we didn't have time to add extra features, there's really only one way to play: keep guessing until you're done. If we were given the time and resources, we wanted to make Kimika a bit more interactive by implementing a "collecting" feature. Our vision was for users to be able to discover new atoms by moving in the real world, and to use these atoms to create more molecules. For example, if a user were to travel to a lake or another large body of water, they would receive two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom -- just enough to create water.

The Process

The idea for this project stemmed from the game Doodle God, which my partner and I played a lot while growing up. In the game, the player starts with the four elements -- water, earth, fire, and air -- and combines them until they create things like airplanes or gunpowder. The working title for our chemistry twist on Doodle God was actually "Choodle God". On the morning of the hackathon, we ended up changing the name to "Kimika", which means "chemistry" in Tagalog. Both of us are Filipino, so we wanted to pay tribute to the motherland.

Because my partner was better at coding than I was, and I had just finished taking my AP Chemistry exam, I focused on creating content while she focused on putting it on a website and making it work. I'm honestly really bad not the best at chemistry, but I still find it fun to learn about, so I decided to continue working with it. I made art, chose the molecules, set their recipes, and wrote the information in the index. I mostly coded in Javascript, which I wasn't really used to. It also didn't help that I hadn't coded a website in over a year. I actually had to Google how to upload an image from my files. Shameful.

Before the hackathon, I'd only ever pulled one all-nighter in my life. We had no coffee or any other source of caffeine, so we were pretty much running on fumes toward the end of the day. Everything felt so hazy; it was like reality was altered. It was actually super cool! I would totally do it again. Kimika didn't end up winning any awards, but I'm still proud of what we managed to accomplish.

Author image

Kriselle Tanhueco

I'm a high school student who kinda likes writing, kinda likes math, and kinda loves getting involved.