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Discussion on: Why I Want to Build a Video Game for Programmers

merrymellody profile image
Meredith Mello

I read this article more than once, because everything you said really resonated with me. I’m a programmer with a few years of professional experience now, mostly front and backend JavaScript. Though I love programming, I too have a lot of trouble sticking to any individual project :-)

I have been somewhat obsessed lately with the thought of putting together some kind of programming-focused game. It’s just such a cool genre with a lot of potential that hasn’t really been explored yet.

I really loved the visual components of some Zachtronics games like you mentioned, SpaceChem blew my mind in particular. TIS-100 was super cool because it invented it’s own language for programmers to solve problems with, and it had a sliding scale of difficulty where you had to use more and more tools from a manual that they encouraged you to actually print.

Another solid game that is a bit more visual and simple is Human Resource Machine. You are basically manipulating numbers and little people to model the internal stack-based system of assembly language, but in a way that non-programmers might understand more easily.

I think my ideal programming puzzle type thing would be somewhat a combination of stuff like SpaceChem and TIS-100, With both the visual and code aspects, or maybe some other bizarre fusion. Super Meat Boy + Functional Programming anyone? :D

I have no idea, honestly, but more things need to exist, and I think us programmers have the capability to make them! I’ll be keeping an eye in case you make any future posts.

Good luck!

jdno profile image
Jan David Author

Hi Meredith!

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. SpaceChem has a very special place in my heart, and I truly admire how TIS-100 seems so simple yet has so much depth. Human Resource Machine has long been on my watch list, but I haven't played it yet...

What I'm interested in creating goes more in the direction of a city/base builder, maybe with some survival elements to add a sense of danger and achievement. I really want to have a sandbox to build more complex programs, and practice some "advanced" skills in the field of software architecture and design. But with a slow on-ramp like TIS-100, where new systems are gradually introduced so that it is easy and fun to get started. 🙂

I definitely agree that something seems to be missing in the market right now, and it's really exciting to see people share their ideas and projects in this space. Can't wait to see what we can collectively achieve. ❤️