TIS-100 from Zachtronics

Just grabbed this in the sale. I didn't get close to finishing SpaceChem, and I doubt I'll get all that close in this one, but I'll have a good time until I reach the point at which I can't go any further.

Now to add some of you to my Steam list so that I get some people to compare scores against...

I might have to jump on that since there is a Mac version.

billt721 wrote:

Just grabbed this in the sale. I didn't get close to finishing SpaceChem, and I doubt I'll get all that close in this one, but I'll have a good time until I reach the point at which I can't go any further.

Now to add some of you to my Steam list so that I get some people to compare scores against...

My opinion is that it doesn't get anywhere near as complicated as SpaceChem. I was a loooong way from the end of SpaceChem when I washed out on that, but I'm nearly done with TIS-100 - only a couple of problems left to solve.

Jonman hooked me up with a gift copy of TIS-100 (thanks!!) and I'm taking my first baby steps. I only got about halfway through SpaceChem before it became more of a chore than a game, so we'll see how far I get through this guy.

Finished the default levels the other day, and I'm insanely proud of myself for doing the second-to-last one. Insertion sort, baby! It's fun to watch it ripple back and forth through it's deque, and then vomit out the results afterwards.

Most fun of all: I liked watching Datin and Mooquack and my other friends on my Steam list drop by the wayside as the levels got harder.

I'm pretending the downloadable Nexus levels don't exist. Nope. Or it'll eat my life.

ThingumBob wrote:

Jonman hooked me up with a gift copy of TIS-100 (thanks!!) and I'm taking my first baby steps. I only got about halfway through SpaceChem before it became more of a chore than a game, so we'll see how far I get through this guy.

I liked it more. SpaceChem stymied me: it was too hard to do both macro strategy and micro mechanics at the same time, and somehow I never quite mastered some technique I needed to make my loops work efficiently.

TIS is much more my speed: I can see the whole program flow at once, and then concentrate on micromanagement of each core's task. Still a bitch-and-a-half to debug (ack! wait states!) but sooo much fun to get it working.

If TIS-100 gets too hard for you (as it did for me), you may want to try "Human Resource Machine." It's by the makers of Little Inferno and World of Goo. So far, I have found it easier to grok (although the optimization challenges can be challenging). It has a similar mechanic where you see the program working in front of you, although it is in the guise of a little person picking up inputs and moving them around.

Aristophan wrote:

If TIS-100 gets too hard for you (as it did for me), you may want to try "Human Resource Machine." It's by the makers of Little Inferno and World of Goo. So far, I have found it easier to grok (although the optimization challenges can be challenging). It has a similar mechanic where you see the program working in front of you, although it is in the guise of a little person picking up inputs and moving them around.

Hmm, interesting. I did the first couple problems in TIS-100 but was kind of turned off do the the presentation. I liked SpaceChem much better. Human Resource Machine may be interesting.

I grabbed this in the sale, but I think that may have been a mistake. I booted it up, skimmed a bit of the manual, and had absolutely no clue what I was supposed to do or what I was looking at, and shut it down. I guess I'll have to come back to it when I have the attention span to RTFM.

Robc (and anyone else), the presentation is designed to appeal to people who came up in the 70's and 80's, or have an interest in systems of the period. It's partly nostalgia, really. Back when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, I did some 65C02 assembler (Apple ][e), and this really reminds me of that. That machine was briefly king of the home computers, with a punchy 1.023MHz cpu and up to 64K of RAM. (That's over 4000 times fewer ops per second, and 1/250,000 the amount of RAM of my current system, which cost me just over half of what the Apple ][e cost (as I recall)).

Assembler was a hell of a lot easier then, too.

Robear wrote:

Robc (and anyone else), the presentation is designed to appeal to people who came up in the 70's and 80's, or have an interest in systems of the period. It's partly nostalgia, really. Back when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, I did some 65C02 assembler (Apple ][e), and this really reminds me of that. That machine was briefly king of the home computers, with a punchy 1.023MHz cpu and up to 64K of RAM. (That's over 4000 times fewer ops per second, and 1/250,000 the amount of RAM of my current system, which cost me just over half of what the Apple ][e cost (as I recall)).

Assembler was a hell of alot easier then, too.

I probably got interested in computers slightly later than you did. I think I got my first PC (the IBM PC Jr) when I was in junior high or so, maybe late elementary school - 1979 to 1983 is my guess. I tinkered around programming some very basic things and took a programming class in 8th grade. I ended up getting a computer science major and worked as a software developer for 14 years or so before I stopped to be the primary caregiver for our son when he was born.

I was pretty tired of that career at that point, probably due to the type of projects I worked on (business stuff). I definitely prefer modern programming tools to the early ones I was exposed to. I never really got into assembly much. I used BASIC, Turbo Pascal, Borland Delphi, C, C++, Visual Basic, C#.

I was never a hard core programmer. I rarely did it on my own time. I probably shouldn't have chosen it as a career choice. My Dad worked for IBM and the money seemed good. Not sure what other career I should have pursued. I'm one of those people who is 'kind of lost' career-wise.

I used to write these little routines to flash blocks on the screen and stuff, and then I could use them in BASIC programs. Just geekery. A bunch of my friends were into that so I went along with it.

I very much preferred my college work; I did some C, LISP and APL, but it was not my major. However, buying a C compiler after I graduated was out of my reach at the time. So assembler it was.

Chaz wrote:

I grabbed this in the sale, but I think that may have been a mistake. I booted it up, skimmed a bit of the manual, and had absolutely no clue what I was supposed to do or what I was looking at, and shut it down. I guess I'll have to come back to it when I have the attention span to RTFM.

Yup!

In TIS-100's defense, the manual is not long, and can be read cover-to-cover in 5 minutes. Not to mention that when starting out, you can skip the last few pages (about the Stack Storage Module and the screen output stuff) - all you need to read is the couple of pages on the instruction set.

Even with that said, it still a little bit obtuse going on.

But totally worth it.

Oof, this game is genuinely tough IMO. The shuffling around of values and manipulating them is very unintuitive to me. A very interesting challenge though!

I haven't really done any assembler since university, but coding is coding. There's a satisfaction in going back to basics, and working out how to solve the problem with the limited tools at your disposal.

The enjoyment topped out for me around the Submaximum problem from the community puzzles (accept a null terminated sequence and output the second largest value). It's a right pain, since you have to compare the incoming value with your current maximum and submaximum. The system fights you every step of the way, since juggling three values around is exactly what it's bad at, and you don't have a stack to keep the values in order.

TIS-100P came out on the IOS store last week. Has anyone tried it? I'm curious whether it's a clone of the original or it's own thing, and how it plays on a phone or tablet.

Bought for iPad. I've finished the first 5 puzzles. I'm hooked. It controls well, but I don't know if they cut anything out or not. When SpaceChem hit the AppStore, they cut out the boss battles.

You even get an achievement for R-ing t F-ing M!