Vintage computing, old video games

Finished 7 Billion Humans (PC) + all size+speed optimizations, all achievements

This is a programming-themed game, similar to Human Resource Machine, where you have a drag-and-drop interface to program in a pseudo-assembly type thing.

The big difference is 7 Billion Humans is “multithreaded”. You program the actions of not just one worker, but many (sometimes, dozens) that all run the same program concurrently. There are some instructions “tell” and “listen” which help synchronize. For example one worker can tell another “Coffee time!”, unblocking another worker that has stopped, and is listening for Coffee Time. Workers can be in eachothers’ way, and you may want to avoid them taking paths where they collide with each other. Certain workers have resources dedicated to them, that others cannot use or else BOOM they explode (literally).

Compared to HRM and most computer assembly languages, 7BH has some conspicuously powerful instructions.

When optimizing for speed you come to learn about how the game computes “performance cost” since it is not totally intuitive.

For example,
if (X == 5 and Y == 3) or Z == 12342
is the exact same cost as
if (X == 5)

“Take two steps to the left”
can (in, at least some circumstances) be the exact same cost as
“Find out where in the room the nearest printer is- it might be around a maze of hazards, obstacles, whatever- and go to it”

The latter, you’d think would be an expensive and complicated path-finding operation but the game gives that one to you for free. Maybe, with the idea that you’ve got enough other things to deal with and it is probably right about that.

My solutions are in this GitHub repo

September 7th, 2019 at 6:27 pm
2 Responses to “7 Billion Humans”
  1. 1
    Phantom Says:

    Amazing! Is requesting games a thing? Zachtronics games like Opus Magnum?

  2. 2
    admin Says:

    My backlog is pretty long, but I’ve heard of those and they seem cool!