The Alchemist's Apprentice
The Alchemist's Apprentice was a project that I designed for the original Jay is Games Game Design Competition #1. The idea was to create a simple game that could be solved (relatively) quickly, once you got the puzzle's trick. I have always been fascinated by Alchemy - the ancient predecessor to Chemistry whereby through an extremely complicated interaction between base "elements," new materials could be synthesized. Many early alchemists tried to mix certain properties of substances, but were unaware of the fact that a chemical's properties are not inherent, but rather a result of its molecular shape and atomic interactions.
For instance, Hydrogen is a light, flammable gas. Oxygen is a light, flammable gas. Mix them and instead of getting a combination with the properties of both Hydrogen and Oxygen gas, you instead get water, a completely non-flammable liquid heavier than air. In The Alchemist's Apprentice, I took a whimsical stab at recreating the world the Alchemists supposed existed, in which molecular structure has nothing to do with macroscopic properties, a world in which you can recombine substances in a mystical way that ignores those pesky laws of Chemistry and Atomic physics :P
This game comes with no instructions, as those were the competition rules. It makes for a pretty challenging puzzle, but it's quite satisfying when you finally figure out the trick.
This was one of my first games, ever, and it was received pretty well over at JayisGames, though it didn't win. Jay Bibby's kind words and feedback encouraged me to keep trying, eventually finding success with Super Energy Apocalypse.