Human Resource Machine — Time to code human

Figure out the logic behind the coporate machine in Human Resource Machine.

Human Resource Machine, from Tomorrow Corporation, is a crash course in computer logic disguised as a menial manual labour job. Tasked with taking boxes emblazoned with various letters and numbers from one pile to another, you are given a variety of tasks, increasing in complexity until you have completed mathematical equations and decrypting secure messages.

All of these tasks are accomplished by using the 11 in-game commands, chained together to create simple programs. Now, this isn’t a complex language — for instance, there are no complex switching functions — the closest you can get is doing maths to two numbers then choosing based on the polarity of the resulting numbers sign. This is certainly a good decision though, creating more complex puzzles from a tiny pile of commands.

A picture of a board of indexed letters, used to decrypt a string of numbers
Who knew cryptography was so easy?!

Each level is described as a year working for this truly fantastic company, completing tasks for management. At the start of each level you are given a brief task, a floor, with a pile on the carpet to store values, and up to 11 commands to drag and drop into a complex program. Creating programs is delightful, with the limited toolset working out how a program should flow is just, simple. Human Resource Machine‘s programs mostly consist of copying, pasting and reading from locations, then doing simple addition and subtraction to them, then finally making basic decisions.

As you progress throughout your career, getting a promotion every year (lucky person) you also have optional side projects available to complete, missions which are much harder, testing your critical thinking skills.

As you progress throughout your time at the company, there are several tea breaks, where you can sit down, have a cuppa, and learn about how your city is being taken over by terrifying robots. Yeah, a little odd. Anyway, yeah, robots taking over, presumably because we’re stealing their jobs?

A group of workers drinking drinks in a break room
Mmmm coffee

One of the finest points of Human Resource Machine, at least for me, is as a teaching tool, giving children and people without coding experience a way to easily learn simple coding terms and logical coding. Without the use of strict goals the simplicity of the game and its challenges, at least at the start, make mastering the skill simple. While this isn’t a full programming language (the website states that the code is comparable to an accumulator) it’s a good first step. And even better, you have the ability to copy out your programs in a mostly human readable format to edit elsewhere, or share with others!

Here’s my favourite program

a:

   INBOX   

   JUMPZ    d

   COPYTO   0

b:

   INBOX   

   JUMPZ    c

   ADD     0

   COPYTO   0

   JUMP     b

c:

d:

   COPYFROM 0

   OUTBOX  

   COPYFROM 5

   COPYTO   0

   JUMP     a

Also released by Tomorrow Corporation is what I guess is the sequel to Human Resource Machine: 7 billion humans, focusing on parallel processing programming, having several threads running the same program at once.

Human Resource Machine is available now on PC, Mac and Linux

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.