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#1 2009-02-08 09:49:31

Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

The Codex of Alchemical Engineering

I found this game a while ago, and found it useful for developing a "programmer's way of thinking" without actually needing to know any computer language.

In it, you're given some chemical elements and told to use them to create compounds and other molecules. The interesting part is that the only control you have is via mechanical arms that can be programmed (they're programmed using draggable icons though, nothing unaccessible).

A simple set of instructions you could give an arm would be, for example:

Turn left
Turn right

This tells it to pick up the element sitting where its claw is, move the element somewhere else, drop it, and then return to the original position, ready to start again.

You're eased in slowly. The first task doesn't require any "alchemy", you're given the required product to start with and just have to transport it, using programs similar to the one above.
Then you start needing to combine them into compounds, and the tasks get more and more complex, until near the end you turn lead into gold!

It's also fun for seasoned programmers, because even after you've succeeded in a certain task, you can then try optimising the system. You could try minimising the number of arms used, or the time taken for the system to run.

My favourite part is the sense of achievement you get after you set a successful system running, and you get to see all the arms working to produce the required molecule, exactly as you envisioned. big_smile


(I was reminded of this because the author has just released another level set, but you should steer well clear of these until you've done most of the original.)

Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.


#2 2009-02-08 11:32:46

Registered: 2007-02-23
Posts: 6,868

Re: The Codex of Alchemical Engineering

After a while, I got bored with playing with the gadgets so I just sat back and enjoyed listening to the music. Music.gif


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