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Little Inferno Devs Crank Up Human Resource Machine

Little Inferno showed what we do with consumer products at home – we burn them in a nice big fire for giggles so we can get more stuff – but where do products come from? Developers Tomorrow Corporation are now showing us a sliver of where the magic happens, revealing the Human Resource Machine [official site]. Their latest is a programming puzzle game, where you use simple syntax to program a hapless office worker to perform tasks. They do so enjoy being micromanaged, those wee drones.

Tidy up your tie and polish your shoes, as Human Resources Corporation is now out.

Programming is not my forte (I’m not sure what is – is being submerged in water a skill?) so I’ll turn you over to Tomorrow Corporation for an explanation:

“Your office is a simple computer. You have an inbox and an outbox (inputs and outputs), and a few slots on the floor to store stuff for later (memory). Your little office worker can hold exactly one box in his or her hands at a time (like an accumulator). Boxes (data) display letters or numbers.

“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!

“You might describe this machine as Harvard Architecture with a single accumulator.”

Oh, shoot! That’s just what I would’ve said! It was on the tip of my tongue. Anyway, you do programming to complete tasks, in short, and can get fancy trying to write small, fast code too if you’d like. If the art style looks familiar to you, that’s probably because Tomorrow Corporation co-founder Kyle Gabler was previously one half of World of Goo developers 2D Boy.

I clearly know nowt about this, but I can tell you that Human Resource Machine is out now for Windows and Mac. It’s about £7 on Steam, GOG, and through the devs – which gives them more money and you both a Steam key and a DRM-free version. We all play our part in the machine. Mine ends after this trailer. I wonder what’s next.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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