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Posts tagged “Zachtronics”

Zachtronics’s alternate 90s hacking sim Exapunks is out in early access

It's time to learn a whole new programming language, and then use it to commit (virtual) crimes. Exapunks, latest from puzzle-creating megabrain Zach Barth (Spacechem, Infinifactory, Opus Magnum, etc), is out today, albeit in early access. In Exapunks, players get to write virtual viruses and set them loose across a strange, alternative (and far more cybepunk) 1990s world to do our sinister bidding. Oh, and…

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Hack the planet in Exapunks from Opus Magnum & Shenzhen I/O studio Zachtronics

Exapunks is the next game from prolific puzzle-meister Zach Barth and his little studio Zachtronics, creators of the likes of Opus Magnum, Infinifactory and Spacechem. Set in an alternate 1997, Exapunks is about cyberpunk hacking, programming viruses called EXAs (EXecution Agents) to carry out your will, whether that's tweaking a game on an alt-history Game Boy or robbing a bank. It's hitting early access on…

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Feature: Gunpoint's designer analyses games

What Works And Why: Optimising in Opus Magnum

What Works And Why is a new monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game and analyses what makes it good. Opus Magnum is a puzzle game about designing machines that arrange and combine shiny little atoms to turn lead to gold, and other fanciful alchemy. It's by Zachtronics, whose games follow such a recognised pattern…

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Opus Magnum launches on GOG, after initial rejection

The DRM-free digital game store GOG have reversed a baffling curation decision and started selling Opus Magnum, the wonderful machine-building puzzler from the studio behind Spacechem and Shenzhen I/O. GOG had initially declined to stock the game and gave developers Zachtronics a mysterious explanation that it "did not pass our internal curation system". Given that Opus Magnum is one of the best PC games of…

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Opus Magnum whirs out of Early Access

The age of machines has begun. I'm not talking about world conquering, human enslaving robots from the Matrix or what have you, nor the warped logic of paperclip-producing AIs. I'm talking about clunky factory lines producing wizard-viagra ('stamina' potions), and cobbled together contraptions that eventually churn out stain-removers. Now that I think about it, those were two unfortunate examples to use next to each other.…

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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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Feature: Listen while running

Podcast: Into The Breach, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and “running away”

Cowardice is a virtue. So says the team on this week's RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. That's because our theme is "running away" - games that encourage you to flee from danger, or that give you a choice between fight and flight. Adam will run from the soldiers of Arma or the post-apocalyptic antagonists of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Brendan will scarper from poor odds in For…

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Opus Magnum player makes an alchemical computer

By the laws of the game-o-sphere, a computer made from the marbles and metal of alchemy-based puzzler Opus Magnum almost seems like an inevitability. Alchemy and code fan Peer Backhaus has built a - ahem - "Brainfuck interpreter", which is a real computing term and not something I expected to see in my emails when I came into work this morning.

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Feature: Elemental, my dear Reddit

Opus Magnum’s most monstrous machines

Opus Magnum is Zachtronics’ best game and you’ll have to extricate me from an impossible web of metal talons if you want to argue otherwise. It's both understandable and open-ended. I spent almost ten hours on a single puzzle last week, not because I couldn’t decipher a solution but because I wanted a better solution. In the end, the stain remover I invented was a terrible,…

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Feature: Alchemy schmalchemy

Let’s machina: Our proudest Opus Magnum machines

The fever of alchemical engineering has descended on the RPS team like a dank fog. Opus Magnum is the new Zachtronics puzzler that asks you to make some hair gel out of salt and a hangover cure out of marbles. It's really good. We’ve already shown you some mechanical marvels and talked about it on the podcast but since the game includes a “record GIF”…

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Feature: Guilty as charged

Podcast: Guilty pleasures and Opus Magnum

It's a simple theme this week with the Electronic Wireless Show. We're talking about guilty pleasures - the games that make us feel a wee bit embarrassed but not so much that we won't squirrel away at them while grinning  like idiots. Alec feels a bit sheepish bringing his toy steering wheel to work when planning to play American Truck Simulator. Meanwhile, Matt remembers how…

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Opus Magnum’s alchemy machines are gorgeous

I am raising my head from the alchemy desk to tell you: Opus Magnum is out now and it is good. It's the new puzzle game from Zachtronics which crept up on us this week. This studio’s puzzlers have a definite flavour to them. They’re about fiddling with machines, hacking together a solution out of strange gadgets and mental duct tape before revealing a loudly-ticking…

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Opus Magnum: a new puzzler from Infinifactory creator

Is there any joy like the humble Zachlike? Don’t answer that. Zach Barth, creator of head-scratchers like Spacechem and SHENZHEN I/O, continues his slow march towards filling the planet earth with intricately complex puzzle games. His development studio has just announced Opus Magnum [official site] a game of dark machinery and darker alchemy in which you must use a “transmutation engine” to create “vital remedies,…

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Clickuorice Allsorts: Shenzhen Solitaire on MS-DOS

When I saw that Shenzhen Solitaire - the solitaire minigame spun off from Shenzhen I/O - was out for MS-DOS on floppy disks I'll admit I nearly consigned it to the novelty promo pile along with emails about cassette mix tapes or my friend whose response to new music is always "Yes, but can I listen to it on my Discman?". HOWEVER! It gets more…

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Shenzhen I/O’s solitaire now available standalone

If you've heard folks talk about Shenzhen I/O, you've likely heard them celebrate the fiendish and delightful puzzles of building and programming hardware. You were likely a bit blindsided when they went on to praise its in-universe solitaire game. Well! If Zachlikes are a bit much for you but you do enjoy a nice bit of solitaire, good news: Zachtronics have now released Shenzhen I/O's…

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TIS-100 dev’s Shenzhen I/O launches out of early access

SHENZHEN I/O [official site], the latest Zachlike from the creator of TIS-100 and SpaceChem, today properly launched after six weeks in early access. It's a puzzle game about assembling circuits from components then writing code to drive them, while poring over a manual for help and getting to know your new co-workers a little. SHENZHEN I/O was already a cracking game when Brendan prematurely evaluated…

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Feature: Infinicraft

Have You Played… Infiniminer?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. No, neither have I. Infiniminer was a team-based game in which players competed to collect more minerals than their opponents in a blocky, randomly-generated cavern. But during development in 2009 the source code was leaked by hackers. In the wake of new modified…

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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…

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