New! Tomorrow Corporation’s Human Resources Machine

It's Dessert Hair Thursday in the office.

If the sinister corporate headline weren’t clue enough, the googly-eyed people should give it away: Tomorrow Corporation have a new game coming. Them lot behind Little Inferno (as well as having the picture-drawing half of World of Goo team 2D Boy) today revealed their latest puzzler, Human Resources Machine [official site]. It’s all about programming.

Arriving this summer, Human Resources Machine will give you the giddy thrill of working in an office which works like programming a computer using boxes and trays. If you don’t know how to code, chillax: they say that’s not a problem. Come have a look at the trailer.

As I’m sure you gathered by now, the game’s about creating automated tasks to follow orders using a basic programming language represented with cards. Tomorrow Corporation explain:

“In each level, your boss gives you a task, like “Take everything from the INBOX, and put it in the OUTBOX!” Automate it by programming your little office worker with simple drag n’ drop commands. You start the game with just 2 commands, and gradually earn more as you’re promoted. The entire language contains only 11 total commands – but they’re enough to simulate almost any computer algorithm in the world!”

I will take their word on that. Human Resources Machine will cost $9.99 (£6.50-ish).


  1. theslap says:

    Little Inferno was such a let down (especially at $15) that I think I’ll have to hold off on this until I see some positive reviews.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Little Inferno was fantastic. I realise it was never going to be for everyone, but for me the bleak undercurrents and social commentary all laced with black and thorny humour shone through brightly and made for quite an affecting experience. I don’t doubt that this one will also have layers upon layers of depth beneath the surface silliness and outward appearance of monotony.

      Thoroughly looking forward to it. Glad to see Tomorrow Corporation still keeping true to the spirit of the old Experimental Gameplay Project and throwing out wild experiments polished to a shine.

    • death_au says:

      I picked it up as part of a Humble Bundle and found it a nice little distraction. It also came with a copy for my mobile phone, and it seemed much more suited to that than a PC. Although the fire simulation was so realistic I could actually warm myself up with the back of my phone, which I’m not sure was an intended feature.

      • CaspianRoach says:

        The unfortunate (fortunate?) sideeffect of the game not being framerate-locked. It basically overloads your phone’s GPU to the max no matter how silly 200+ frames per second are on a mobile phone screen.

  2. Tacroy says:

    wait, almost any algorithm? Turing should have a word with them.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Well, boil it down to it’s barest building blocks, and any algorithm in the world can be built by wiring together a bunch of identical transistors.
      Any level of complexity can be broken down into simple components, I’m sure Turing wouldn’t have disagreed with that. People have built simple working computers using redstone inside Minecraft, and that certainly doesn’t contain more than 11 unique “commands” – and those could theoretically be expanded without limit, except the limit of Minecraft crashing.

      • jrodman says:

        Given that the theoretical Turing machine had a lot fewer operations than 11, I rather think this is a snark about the system only achieving “almost”.

        • grimdanfango says:

          Ah yes, I think you’re probably right. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what word the emphasis is on in a typed sentence :-)
          Ignore my ramblings then.

      • CarbonCopy says:

        I actually read ‘more than 11 unique “commands”’ as binary. XD

    • KDR_11k says:

      Looks like very limited storage.

      • ChrisGWaine says:

        If there were commands to let you push and pop to and from both the inbox and the outbox, then you’d have storage that effectively works like the tape of a Turing machine. All you need then is to be able branch depending on the symbol held and set it to a different symbol and you’d be able to write programs that represent a Turing machine (so long as there aren’t restrictions that stop you, such as on program length).

  3. LTK says:

    If it’s Manufactoria by way of Tomorrow Corporation I’m officially interested.

  4. DantronLesotho says:

    I’m really curious about this. They are some clever clever developers, and this seems like a really ambitious project. I still have to get through Little Inferno, but I loved World of Goo.

  5. unraveler says:

    Hope it will be for more WOG and less Little Inferno (seriously, 15$ for facebook / mobile time waster?).

  6. MrFinnishDude says:

    Could this teach people the basics of programming the same way Kerbal space program teaches us about orbital trajectories?

    • CaspianRoach says:

      It looks like it, yes, however, you would still need to learn a lot about syntax and how to interact with the tools and about object-orienteed programming and the like… Much as you would need to learn about regulations, quality control and standards going into spaceships after playing Kerbal.