Posts Tagged ‘Zachtronics’

Opus Magnum’s alchemy machines are gorgeous

Machiiiines

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 device and feeling impossibly proud of yourself. This is no different, except that your end results are flipping gorgeous.
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Opus Magnum: a new puzzler from Infinifactory creator

Hubble, bubble, toil and puzzle

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, precious gemstones, deadly weapons, and more”. You will be pleased to learn that it too has a built-in solitaire game. Read the rest of this entry »

Clickuorice Allsorts: Shenzhen Solitaire on MS-DOS

Shenzhen Solitaire

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 interesting because developers Zachtronics have written up the project as a blog post. I didn’t follow all the technicalities, but it was super interesting to know more about the choices the pair made, and the quirks of the systems involved under the hood. I find optimisation techniques fascinating so dirty rectangles discussion was a lovely accompaniment to my cup of tea!

The DOS release is available through a Kickstarter running until September 11th.

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 solitaire separately as a cheap standalone game. Read the rest of this entry »

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 it in October but Zachtronics have given it a nice bit of polish since. Along with the usual bug fixes and balance tweaks you’d expect, they’ve also added new components, including a synthesiser, and oh, a bonus campaign of extra puzzles. Read the rest of this entry »

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 versions, the small community of players that had formed around the game dissolved. The developer made the game open source and shelved the project. Not long afterwards, a man called Notch started work on a little somethin’ somethin’. And it looked a wee bit like Infiniminer…

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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. In SHENZHEN I/O you play an expert who emigrates to China to work for Longteng Electronics Co. Ltd. That means you’ll be building circuits, wiring microprocessors and writing bits of code for a range of increasingly unusual and complicated devices. But you’ll also be learning about your co-workers and delving into an unnerving industrial future that probably already exists.

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Boot Up: TIS-100 Dev’s SHENZEN I/O Hits Early Access

The creator of SpaceChem, TIS-100, and Infinifactory is back with another making-things-work puzzle game. Zachtronics last night launched SHENZHEN I/O [official site] onto Steam Early Access, letting people have a crack at building circuits from electronic components then program them by writing in an assembly language. Easy peasy! Zachtronics say Shenzhen I/O is already “highly polished and would be perfectly acceptable to release in a traditional fashion” but they’re again turning to early access for feedback to make it even better – maybe from you?

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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 Early Access in October and, for now, you can check it out in this wee announcement trailer:

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New Zachtronics Puzzler TIS-100 Out Of Early Access

What even is a computer?

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 a seven-week stretch in Steam Early Access, TIS-100 properly launched yesterday.

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Factory-Fresh Smell: Infinifactory Out Of Early Access

Infinifactory [official site] is another thing-making puzzler from SpaceChem chap Zachary Barth, this time going into 3D to set up production lines manufacturing goods for cruel alien overlords. It initially launched incomplete on Steam Early Access in January, though even at the time John was really into it.

Maybe you’d rather wait until it was fully finished before playing yourself. In which case, good news: after five months of updates adding so, so much more, Infinifactory has launched out of Early Access to become a proper released game.

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Infinifactory Adds New Mini-Campaigns And Blocks

Build your own future

Infinifactory [official site] isn’t quite the game it is meant to be just yet, still on Steam Early Access, but that hasn’t stopped our John Walker from really enjoying its brain-twisting twists and turns. To summarize from the alpha preview, this new puzzle title from Zachtronics is very obtuse, very good, and very much something that would benefit from updates – like this one!

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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 Early Access now for £4.49. My prediction: their next game after this will be to literally program SpaceChem.

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“Like SpaceChem… In 3D”: Infinifactory Early Access Out

Yeah, you make those things!

A new game from Zach Barth is probably something to coo and poke and beam and gawp at, even as an Early Access release. His past games including the Minecraft-inspiring Infiniminer and RPS-pleasing SpaceChem, and his latest looks to combine elements of the two. Infinifactory is a sandbox puzzler about building and optimising production lines to create products to please your alien overlords. They always take a hard line on slacking and slop, alien overlords do.

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Infinifactory: By The Maker Of SpaceChem And Infiniminer

Zachtronics has linked the SpaceChem molecule to the Infiniminer molecule to create and announce their new game: Infinifactory. It’s “Like SpaceChem… In 3D!” says the site, which sounds like a very good thing when you consider that SpaceChem broke the brains and captured the hearts of just about everyone at RPS who played it.

There’s only a little information about this new game, but it’s about designing and running factories and optimising them via histograms just as before, but now you’ll be doing it in “exotic alien locales” with a “next-generation block engine”. Alright. It’s due in Early Access later this year.

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Wot I Think: Ironclad Tactics


The American Civil War was a pretty big deal over there, I hear, and Ironclad Tactics poses a profound question about it. What if, instead of all that boring nonsense about bondage and confederacies, it was really all about robots? And what if, for example, the Native Americans had robots too with tomahawks and ting? Wouldn’t that be pretty awesome?

The answer is that yes, yes it would.

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Ironclad Tactics Looks Rather Splendid


Handsome alternate history steampunk Civil War card game from the makers of SpaceChem, Ironclad Tactics, is set to appear on Steam on September 18th. But that far off date hasn’t stopped them from taking pre-orders that give you rather more than you’d get purchasing on release day. What’s this pre-order business all about? Developers Zachtronics explain that the bundle: “contains Ironclad Tactics, the first two add-on campaigns for Ironclad Tactics when they’re released, a copy of SpaceChem with the 63 Corvi DLC, and a bunch of other fantastic extras.” They do look okay, too.

Oh, and there’s a video for you watch in the Confederate South of this post. Take a look.
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Smashing Atoms In SpaceChem’s Sandbox

No crosshairs? :(

I won’t pretend to understand the complexities of SpaceChem, Zachtronics’ chemical puzzler. Not in the guided single-player mode, nor the sandbox that was added to allow a player to complete the computer he was building within the game. With that sandbox came a challenge for players to build “the most awesome sandbox pipeline imaginable”. The winners are almost mocking in their complexity, given that my chemical romance never got beyond first base. Come revel in their ingenuity and marvel at my utter ignorance. I have marked where I lose the ability to comprehend each.
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