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A closer look at the features introduced in ReactionLab 2's Update 1.2.0.

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Update 1.2.0 is the second major update to ReactionLab 2, and is also the most content-packed. It introduces six (!) new elements, eight new achievements, numerous element tweaks, UI improvements, bug fixes, and performance boosts. This article will go over these in more detail below:


New Elements:
Oscillators:
The oscillator element is a basic, inert solid that perpetually moves back and forth. It cuts through liquids and gasses, while bouncing off solids. Both horizontal and vertical variants have been introduced, and allow for all sorts of new contraptions, such as the zigzag waterfall shown below.

ReactionLab 2 Oscillator

Vanish Barrier:
User feedback asking for something similar has lead to the introduction of the vanish barrier; a basic building material that instantly disappears when activated by electricity.

ReactionLab 2 Vanish Barrier

Thermocouple:
Very similar to the steam turbine element, thermocouple converts nearby heat energy into electricity. This can be useful for activating circuits based on temperature, perhaps to put out a nearby fire.

ReactionLab 2 Thermocouple

Ray Emitter:
A unique addition, the ray emitter converts nearby electricity directly into energy rays, which travel in straight lines through both air and glass. As well, the generated rays are able to electrically energize most substances they come into contact with (except for other ray emitters of course).

ReactionLab 2 Ray Emitter

Force Field (vertical):
Not a completely new element, but a vertical variant of the force field element has been added. (Also a commonly requested feature).

ReactionLab 2 Vertical Force Field

New Reactions:
Eight new reactions were introduced in this update, bringing the total to nearly 100! The new reactions mostly deal with interactions between the newly introduced elements, for example, energizing a ray emitter, or using a thermocouple to generate electricity.

UI Improvements:
Many UI improvements have been introduced, the most notable being the new scrolling element list, which has been redesigned with larger, easier to tap buttons. The new list is complete with android-style overscroll animations, and eye-candy as the buttons reach the edges of the screen. As well, the save & load menu has been tweaked visually to bring it more in line with the rest of the game. A link to the game's webpage: (Reactionlab.hforsyth.com) has also been added to the splash screen.

ReactionLab 2 Element List ReactionLab 2 Save Load Menu

Element Tweaks:
Numerous element behavior tweaks have been made, mostly to improve the flow of the game.
These include:
- Electric pump will now pump out nearby gasses in order to better supply water.
- Nitroglycerin, TNT, gasoline, anti-matter, and hydrogen now glow slightly when they explode.
- Life is now more stable, and 100% true to Conway's version. As such, it is now possible to create complex game of life structures, ideas here.
- Torch has been redesigned, and now only produces fire from the top. As well, it will produce more heat, and properly ignite materials when it is completely surrounded by them.
- Mixing of certain liquids, solids, and gasses gas been improved.
- Many other minor tweaks.

Additional Improvements:
In addition to the above, many behind the scenes improvements have also been made. Firstly, despite all of the new content added, version 1.2.0 is actually ~10% smaller in file size than the previous version. As well, some major performance optimizations have been made, meaning the game will run about 25% smoother than before, and be less hard on the battery.


All of this couldn't have been possible without the great support from the community, the suggestions, and the bug reports. Thank you, and stay tuned for the next major update!

Contact me at hunter@hforsyth.com, and check out ReactionLab 2's homepage at Reactionlab.hforsyth.com.

ReactionLab 2 is available on Google Play here.

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