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Discussion on: Games that teach you to program (without you realizing it)

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matt123miller profile image
Matt Miller (he/him)

Zachtronics have more programming oriented games as well! Some are abstracted logical thinking games where it will teach programmatic thinking, others are more literal low level coding games.

Abstracted
zachtronics.com/infinifactory
zachtronics.com/opus-magnum

Assembly style programming
zachtronics.com/shenzhen-io
zachtronics.com/tis-100

You also have Human Resource Machine, which is somewhere between the 2 types.
store.steampowered.com/app/375820/...

Then if you want to lose all your free time to a game that benefits from programmatic thinking you can try Factorio. I'd try the demo first but it's £21 very well spent, with more content and value for money in early access than most fully released games. An example of early access done very right.
store.steampowered.com/app/427520/...

The developers also release a weekly blog describing what they're working on, which often features lots of C++ and game design discussions.
factorio.com/blog/

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ignoreintuition profile image
Brian Greig Author

Factorio has been in my Stram wish list for months. Maybe it is time to bite the bullet and buy it.

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matt123miller profile image
Matt Miller (he/him)

No reason to not try the demo. It can last you a few hours and gives you a good experience of the gameplay through some structured objectives and maps.

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ignoreintuition profile image
Brian Greig Author

I downloaded the demo last night. So far I am enjoying it.

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alchermd profile image
John Alcher

Its too time consuming that I have to issue a refund :/

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dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

The assembly language set are a bridge too far for me (if I want to write code for fun I'll write code for fun) but Opus Magnum is phenomenal. The use of independent armatures instead of Spacechem's waldos really emphasizes reuse, multitasking, and parallelization in ways that are difficult-to-impossible for strictly procedural programs.

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kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman • Edited

I'll have to give Opus Magnum a try. I played Spacechem, but I was disappointed by the lack of any real reusability. For me it basically highlighted why effectful procedural programming makes reuse impossible.

I did play through TIS-100, and it was a bit too far for me as well. But it taught me a couple of things. 1) Pushing through that feeling of "this is impossible", which was a frequent experience. 2) Modern languages/compilers/cpus are freaking amazing feats of engineering.

I started playing Shenzhen IO. Then I found this, and my brain exploded.

InfiniFactory is on my wish list.

Factorio is amazing, but I now find it hard to play through from the beginning, because there is so much to get through to arrive at automated construction with drones. I feel like it really needs an early game automated construction mechanism. I've been meaning to leave feedback with some ideas about that, but they suggest doing so through their forums. And I never want to leave feedback on forums ever again.