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8 months ago

MOLEK-SYNTEZ is a new Zachtronics game about making drugs in a cold Romanian apartment

It is so likeZach to release a Zachlike (just a Zach to his friends) about creating drugs in a small Romanian apartment. Molek-Syntez is now squatting on early access, trying to hook you in with the good stuff as you program your molecular synthesiser. Your goal is to turn chemicals into medicines and other substances with "various pharmacological effects".

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1 year ago

Zachtronics games now free for schools

Cor, kids have it easy nowadays. Sure, they're inheriting a polluted hellhole teetering on the brink of ecological and economic ruin, but look at all the neat games they get to grow up with. Thanks to Zachtronics announcing they're giving away (nearly) all their games to schools, some of them even get to muck about with fabulously inventive puzzle boxes during their pretend workday. Imagine…

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Zachtronics book Zach-Like shows how the puzzle sausage gets made

I reckon most of the RPS Treehouse gang love us some Zachlikes, since well before Alice Prime coined the term in 2016 in reference to Shenzhen I/O. Puzzlemeister Zach Barth likes the term too, as he's borrowed it for the title of his book. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter (500% funded in one day), Zach-Like shows the workings and the processes behind his practical puzzlers. There's design docs…

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2 years ago

Feature: "I'm in"

How Exapunks represents hacking without limits

It’s pretty obvious that the excellent Exapunks is a game about hacking. Specifically, it’s a game about programming viruses and sending them into networked systems to monkey around with data, set in a great alternative 90s Wired cyberworld of PC cases flashed with black and red decals and zines set in Apple Garamond.For its makers, though, Exapunks is a game about limitations. Its format is…

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3 years ago

Feature: Games about hacking, coding and computing

The 10 Best Hacking, Coding, Computing Games

As anyone who watches their feeds knows, we live in a constantly evolving cyberpunk dystopia. They're connecting toilets to the internet, for heavens sake. If this Gibsonist world is just too REAL for you, we have put together the ten best videogames about hacking, programming and computing so you can escape into meta-dystopia. Which I'm sure is a much better place.

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Feature: Zachlikes

Zach of Zachtronics: “I really like making my dumb little games that don’t matter”

The alchemical puzzler Opus Magnum has a few of us at House RPS scratching our heads and shouting "a-ha!" before giddily sharing our twisted contraptions in GIF form. It's real good, friends. The studio behind it, Zachtronics, is headed by Zach Barth. I spoke to him about the game's machines, his short stint at Valve, and the reasons he sold his own company.

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4 years ago

Feature: 我很蠢

Premature Evaluation: SHENZHEN I/O

Every Monday we send Brendan to the special economic zone of early access and task him with increasing the productivity of the people’s republic of videogames. This week, the brain-breaking electronics of SHENZHEN I/O [official site]. Some spoilers included.Zach Barth of Zachtronics, who is previously responsible for games like SpaceChem and Infinifactory and who is also definitely a robot, unfurled his new electronics-em-ep this month.…

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Feature: And which games might do it...

Can Videogames Teach You Programming?

if(desire_to_program > 10)     continue; else     return;When I tell people I'm a programmer, I get that look. The glazed eyes, the polite smile, the clear desire to change topic. If I'm lucky, I'll get pitched on an idea for the next killer mobile app that my conversation partner insists will make us rich; if I'm less lucky, I'll get wrangled into providing free tech support for…

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SpaceChem & TIS-100 Creator Announces SHENZEN I/O

A proposal: puzzles games focused on assembling or programming - or both - should be called Zachlikes. Following the atom-assembling SpaceChem, production line 'em up Infinifactory, and the computer-programming TIS-100, Zach Barth and his Zachtronics have announced a new Zachlike. SHENZHEN I/O [official site] will combine assembling and programming to build circuits from components and then write code for them. It's due to hit Steam…

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5 years ago

New Zachtronics Puzzler TIS-100 Out Of Early Access

SpaceChem and Infinifactory creator Zach Barth has released his latest thing-making puzzle game, which sits somewhere between fiddling with chemistry and building automated factories. TIS-100 [official site] is an assembly programming puzzler, having you literally learn and write code to fix up corrupted code in the mysterious eponymous '80s computer. Yes, you do need to learn and write the TIS-100's assembly code. Computers are puzzles!After…

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SpaceChem Dev’s TIS-100: A Programming Puzzler

After having folks design molecules in SpaceChem and automated plants in Infinifactory, Zachtronics are back with another puzzle game of complex systems. What comes after atoms and factories, the whole dang universe? The multiverse? Nah, you write assembly code.Today Zachtronics both announced and (sort of) released TIS-100 [official site], a game about rewriting corrupted code to fix a fictional '80s computer. It's on on Steam…

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