In light of the recent popularity of games such as Wordle and its offshoots (Worldle, Octordle, Semantle, Redactle, etc), a conversation began among a number of my friends concerning what our own idiosyncratic *tle/*dle games might be. One friend suggested, for me specifically, Ochemdle. The wheels started turning. In my mind I knew that the closest existing game for what I envisioned Ochemdle to resemble would be Semantle. That is, the basic game play would involve a user entering the IUPAC name of an organic molecule supported by the interface (as opposed to a word) and being given a similarity score in response. This process would then repeat until the user guessed the exact mystery organic molecule.
Developing the first draft of OChemdle was rather straightforward. I figured the game would be easier and more interesting if after the used type the guessed IUPAC name, a visual representation of that molecule was displayed, so I utilized the existing molecule drawing engine to make this feature possible. One friend suggested I make this feature update in real time while the name was typed, so that too was implemented. Coming up with an algorithm for how the similarity score is calculated took a bit of trial and error. I won't divulge the entire details of how this works for sake of not providing an advantage, but essentially the calculation looks at the functional groups and atoms present in both the user's guess and the secret organic molecule to determine the similarity. https://organicchemmaster.com/chemdle The final task for the first draft involved coming up with a list of secret organic molecules.
After coming up with a basic prototype for how the game would work, I decided to publicize it a bit to see if I could get some enthusiasm or at least feedback. And I did get some. https://www.reddit.com/r/OrganicChemistry/comments/v267vg/ochemdle/
One immediate suggestion was adding hints to the game. The ability to view both the degrees of unsaturation of the molecule and the chemical formula of the molecule was added. A leaderboard was also added. And finally, the suggestion of running an entire "OChemdle tournament" was implemented. Thanks to https://www.reddit.com/user/Bubzoluck for these suggestions!
The results of the OChemdle tournament can be viewed here: https://www.reddit.com/r/OChemdle/comments/ynkmwx/tournament_winner_and_wrapup/
Future Considerations: Will there be another OChemdle tournament? Any suggestions for future themes? Further feedback on OChemdle?