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by hcs at 5:42 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
@AnonRunzes: Thank you for illustrating why I was reluctant to recommend it.

I liked it, it worked pretty well for me, but I realize it isn't for everyone.

But I doubt there's any work of art that everyone will enjoy, or find interesting.

edited 5:50 PM EDT May 2, 2017
by AnonRunzes at 6:18 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
@hcs - "work of art"... The only games I can consider close to fit that title are Fumito Ueda games.
by hcs at 7:18 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
Shrug, I consider every match three game, pulp novel, advertising jingle, and McDonald's lobby to be art. Which is to say, I don't use "work of art" as a term of praise. (At least I didn't here, who knows what I may have written over the years)

Maybe it was sloppy to use such a loaded term. The intention was to cover many different media, such as music and film, where it's understood that there is no accounting for taste.
by AnonRunzes at 8:05 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
@hcs - Suffice to say, you are not wrong.
by hcs at 5:02 AM EDT on May 5, 2017
I had a disappointing experience with MHRD, ostensibly a game about building a processor from gates, turns out to be little more than textbook digital logic design exercises in a boring, underpowered IDE. It's irritating how inexpressive the language is, and I don't like the one hack provided to make that better ("Ted", who extends buses for you).

At least as far as I got, it's not impossible that it gets really interesting later on. But AFAICT there is no reason to play it if you already know the basics of this stuff.

I TA'd a Computer Architecture course once, though there we used a graphical circuit layout system (Logisim). That had its own challenges, but overall I'd say it was a lot more fun to screw around with than MHRD was to play. MHRD is actually considerably more efficient to work with, I think, though you probably have to work things out on paper or with a lot of comments if you are figuring it out.

So I may just be too familiar with these basic exercises to enjoy plugging it into a game which has no other charms, YMMV.

I had fun with Human Resource Machine, which was at heart just a set of simple assignments to complete in assembly language. The most complicated problem was a sort, IIRC. But it had many highlights:

- It's fun to mouse around, even if it is probably less efficient, particularly in an attractive interface that Tomorrow Corporation (and formerly 2D Boy) does exceptionally well

- Having a "par" for a level to beat is a powerful motivator for me (even better if it's a histogram like Zachtronics is known for)

- There's even less story and characterization here than in World of Goo, but it helps to make things a little more interesting

- Animated execution is hugely helpful for debugging and interesting to watch

- Fun music!

I think if the Tomorrow Corp folks did exactly the same digital logic exercises with their trademark level of polish, it'd be a lot more fun to play. Maybe this makes me shallow, but I don't think I'm alone.

Of course better still would be better problems to solve!

MHRD does have a gate count for each solution, and apparently it compares you to the best globally and among your friends, though this is hidden in the settings menu for some reason. I don't think this works as well as either a fixed offline par (which the designer can arbitrarily choose to be not absolutely optimal if optimal is boring) or a histogram (for those who aren't going for #1 but still want to know where they stand), though with problems with solutions as simple and standard as these there's bound to be clustering around the high end anyway.

---

I don't like to be so negative, MHRD really does seem to do what it sets out to do pretty well. I just wish it was a bit more ambitious.

edited 5:08 AM EDT May 5, 2017

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