The robots are coming, and they're coming for YOUR JOB - so proclaims the trailer for Tomorrow Corporation's new game 7 Billion Humans. You might know Tomorrow Corporation as the studio behind Little Inferno or World of Goo, but they've just announced a follow-up to their 2015 programming game Human Resource Machine.
HRM was all about automating a single office worker's tasks using simple(ish) programming commands, but 7 Billion Humans kicks things up a notch and enters the wonderful and intimidating world of parallel computing. Not sure what that means? Me neither! Let's try and figure it out together.
Details are thin on the ground at the moment, with only one line of description on the game's announcement post: "Automate swarms of office workers to solve puzzles inside your very own parallel computer made of people."
What we do have are GIFs. Terrifying, brain-melting GIFs. I mean, what is... what's happening here?
What's happening HERE?
Ok, so I just had a quick browse of the relevant Wikipedia page, and can now tell you that parallel computing is closely related to concurrent computing, though it's possible to have parallelism without concurrency, and while parallelism can be transparent to the programmer with bit-level or instruction-level parallelism, parallel algorithms are much more difficult to write than sequential ones.
I can't, however, tell you what any of those words mean. Or how they relate, in any way, to the GIFs above.
I have to admit I'll be mightily impressed if Tomorrow Corporation can turn those concepts into something that's both understandable and fun. When Matt Sayer took a look at games teaching programming, he thought Human Resource Machine did succeed on both counts. If you've a budding interest in learning how to code, then that's well worth a read.
Here's the trailer for 7 Billion Humans, which is fun but reveals very little more.