Universal Human Resource Machine (by Experimental Gameplay Group)

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by metalcasket, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. zwobot

    zwobot New Member

    Jan 9, 2015
    Has no one played TIS-100 from zachtronics, which was released for ios in january? I playes both, HRM and TIS-100 on Steam, but TIS is much better and also more comlex in higher levels.
  2. Tweet_moo

    Tweet_moo Member

    May 31, 2011
    Loving the game , it makes my brain work#
  3. ult

    ult Active Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    Is it for ipad only? Cant find in non ipad ios app store.
  4. lavenders2

    lavenders2 Active Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Just finished all the levels (not the optimisation challenges). Love this devs work, this game is no exception.
    Some feedback on my experience:

    - Difficulty curve for the main missions seems great to me until the final puzzle, where the difficulty suddenly spikes out of nowhere. It honestly felt like one of the optional missions to me (personally I didnt mind)
    - Not having info on the inputs limits is frustrating. It leads to trial and error type gameplay. This was especially frustrating on the final mission where my solution worked until the 3rd set of inputs, where it failed because i ran out of space which screwed up my variable spaces. I probably spent more time optimizing my spaces than actually solving the problem. This could have been avoided if I knew the max string length (maybe it was in the examples implicitly, it should be explicit info imo)
    - The game had a really nice backstory that I felt wasnt built up enough. The ending happened and I thought it was clever tie in with the theme (even if the ending was illogical, ironic considering this is a logic game) but then it was over and I felt like it was lost potential
    - Leaderboards/Infographs ala TIS-100 or Spacechem? I wanna see how I did compared to everyone else!

    Everything I didnt mention above was excellent. Highly recommended.
  5. Swiss Guy

    Swiss Guy Well-Known Member

    Oct 14, 2014
    Casual algorithmy, reminds me school math with Turbo Pascal :D

    Greatly executed (fast load, touch response etc.) and art direction is cute.
  6. mzinn

    mzinn Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Ouch! My brain hurts....but in a good way
  7. H4nd0fg0d

    H4nd0fg0d Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2010
    Really good. Fun and challenging for certain.
  8. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    #68 y2kmp3, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
    Not being a programmer myself, can someone explain whether or not the game's treatment of null string is accurate?

    I am referring to Year 21 "Zero Terminated Sum" and Year 23 "The Littlest Number"

    In "Zero Terminated Sum", a null string is identified when there are 2 consecutive 0's {0,0}. The first 0 denotes the termination of the previous string, and the second 0 denotes the termination of the current string. A null string, like a null set, by definition (mathematically), has NO value. Therefore, there is NO sum value defined for this null string. Similarly, there is NO minimum value defined for this null string. Here, "no" does not equal a 0 but means "undefined".

    However, "Zero Terminated Sum" treats a null string to have a sum value of 0. This is relevant because specific commands have to be used to check for this condition and output a value of 0.

    The situation is more relevant in "The Littlest Number". The par value for this level is 13 commands and 75 steps. It is not clear whether or not the test data allow for null strings. I tried to reset this level over and over again. In no case did I observe a null string appearing in the test data. If no code is needed in the program to check for null string, I have a solution for this level that uses ONLY 12 commands and ONLY 73 steps. If code is needed in the program to check for null string, my "best" solution for this level requires 13 commands and 74 steps.

    I am aware that this is a semantic issue, especially given that both of my solutions "bested" the two challenges regardless and were even lower than the solution posted in the game guide on Steam (which I checked afterward out of curiosity). Nonetheless, because I am playing this game largely to learn about programming, I want to know if this is an accurate interpretation and if this behavior for null string is treated differently during programming as compared to an accurate mathematical operation.
  9. GiHubb

    GiHubb Well-Known Member
    Patreon Silver

    Apr 27, 2010
    For fans of these type of games, I highly recommend a little gem called Robozzle. It was released on iPhone (not universal) a long long time ago so not sure if compatible with current iOS but you can play it online on your PC for free (find it on Google) which is a better experience due to the iPhone's limited screen size. It uses shapes instead of words for the code and is therefore suited better for children too. It also has a level editor and has sprung a huge amount of puzzles, all rated by the community for the level design and difficulty. In my opinion Robozzle is by far the superior of the genre. Give it a shot. Note: in no way am I connected to Robozzle. This is just my personal heads-up.
  10. diffusion8r

    diffusion8r Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    I'm really not sure if I'm looking into this game a bit too much but there is a lot of depth in the implicit parts of the story and the contextualisation of the game. Like there's a lot of deeper meaning to the whole setting and progression beyond the jokey narrative that really made me think; it simply couldn't just be coincidental but idk would love to speak to the developers about this more!
  11. Nycteris

    Nycteris Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2012
    I just finished a code boot camp. Gotta show this to the cohort!
  12. Mooro

    Mooro Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    I found the same with the devs other game Little Inferno. I am actually playing through it again for the fourth time and I love the world it hints at and how it lets you build the outside world with your imagination. Looking forward to playing this new game.
  13. maynoam

    maynoam Active Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    A zero terminated string with no characters would be an empty string like ""
    But it's still a string, and not null. For null you would need a pointer or object to the string which doesn't exist here.
    So the zero terminated sum would be zero and makes sense, like how many apples are in an empty basket.
    Littlest number though would not make sense in such a case so I wouldn't expect to see empty strings there.
  14. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Finally finished game. Very rewarding but also extremely difficult puzzle game if the intent is to complete all of the challenges. Contrary to what the game hints, it is possible to complete both the size and step challenges with a single solution in most (but not all, at least for me) of the puzzle levels.

    I am impressed by how flexible and large the solution space is for this game despite the paucity of commands available to the player. With little to no knowledge in computer programming myself, I am naturally curious about solutions discovered by other players (especially those who are programmers) and how these solutions compared to my own solutions in both compactness and efficiency. It is unclear if the target par values for the challenges listed in the game truly reflect the reference solutions intended by the developer or if some of these values have been deliberately marked upward to provide a margin of error to completing the challenges. If the developer is reading this message, perhaps it can comment on this...

    To this end, many of my own solutions indeed fall below the target par values for both sizes and steps. More importantly, compared to the solutions listed in the Steam guide (as of June 15, 2016) written by Pukeface which appears to have compiled many crowd-sourced solutions submitted by many other players, I am surprised to find that many of my solutions also fall below the values hinted by the guide. For prosperity, I decide to list here the values in my solutions for these latter levels so that future players interested in these challenges may have a secondary reference: I will focus only on levels in which there is a single solution for both challenges.

    Year 17 – Par = 12/28, Steam = 12/28, possible = 12/27
    Year 21 – Par = 10/72, Steam = 10/72, possible = 10/68
    Year 22 – Par = 19/156, Steam = 19/156, possible = 17/148
    Year 23 – Par = 13/75, Steam = 13/75, possible = 12/73
    Year 24 – Par = 12/57, Steam = 11/53, possible = 11/50
    Year 25 – Par = 12/82, Steam = 11/82, possible = 11/79
    Year 26 – Par = 15/76, Steam = 15/76, possible = 15/71
    Year 32 – Par = 16/393, Steam (robust solution) = 16/404, possible = 16/377
    Year 34 – Par = 13/323, Steam = 13/323, possible = 13/316
    Year 35 – Par = 17/167, Steam = 17/159, possible = 16/157
    Year 36 – Par = 39/109, Steam = 33/106, possible = 32/103 or 35/101
    Year 40 – Par = 28/399, Steam = 28/365, possible = 27/352
    Year 41 – Par = 34/714, Steam = 31/650, possible = 23/612

    As an example, here is my solution for Year 41 (the final puzzle) that uses only 23 commands and 612 steps:

    01 JUMP a
    02 COPYFROM [24]
    03 OUTBOX
    04 INBOX
    05 JUMPZ b
    06 COPYTO [24]
    07 BUMPUP 24
    08 JUMP c
    09 COPYFROM [22]
    10 OUTBOX
    11 COPYFROM [24]
    12 COPYTO [22]
    13 BUMPDN 24
    14 JUMPZ d
    15 COPYTO 23
    16 COPYTO 22
    17 BUMPDN 23
    18 JUMPN e
    19 COPYFROM [22]
    20 SUB [23]
    21 JUMPN f
    22 COPYFROM 23
    23 JUMP g

    One precaution I have taken is to ensure that my solution programs do not "overfit" the data by leveraging specific internal properties of the input data that do not generalize, even if the game would accept it as a valid solution. As I am aware that the game uses a number of pseudo-random data sets to test the validity of a solution and to calculate the efficiency of a solution, I am particularly puzzled as to why the game does not forbid these shoehorned solutions that are clearly overfitting the data. Again, if the developer is reading this message, perhaps it can comment on this...

    Despite the above minor gripe, I have greatly enjoyed playing this game and have learned a lot about programming from it. I think the game is far superior and more accessible to other visual programming-based puzzle games like SpaceChem because it succeeds better in allowing the player to discover strategies that are useful in solving the later levels.

    Congrats to the developer for creating such a great game puzzle! Highly recommended!
  15. sinagog

    sinagog Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2014
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer New Member

    Oct 16, 2016
    #76 Trailblazer, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
    Hi there. I just noticed that when I start a new game the optimisation challenges do not work anymore on my iPad (iOS 10), neither the three-tab selection. I tried to delete and reinstall the app, but the problem's still here... Does that happen to anyone else? Is there a known workaround?

    Answer: challenges and tabs unlock themselves as you reach the upper levels.
  17. syntheticvoid

    syntheticvoid Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Musician & factory worker.
    So I just hit level 29... And am hooked.

    I don't know if I'll be able to complete more than 1 puzzle a day from now on, but the fact that there's multiple solutions (a lot of times multiple solutions under 'par', or the move challenge numbers) for each puzzle just totally blows my mind...

    I managed to get my wife into it as well...
    It's interesting comparing our solutions, especially pre-optimization.

    Anyway... If I would have bought this when it came out, there's a very high probability it would have wound up on my 2016 GOTY list... But with the crazy amount of games that are released every year, I almost always wind up missing an incredibly large chunk of them. So thanks to everyone who threw this on their GOTY lists and wound up making me want to check this one out...

    Damn what a great game...
  18. ste86uk

    ste86uk Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2012
    Reading the comments here my purchase of this while it’s on sale to hopefully make the second game easier for me may not actually work as it sounds like this gets very hard too. Although it is definitely starting out easier than the other one so maybe it will help me learn and get better, it does make you feel good when you figure out how to do it.
    macplash likes this.

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