Minimal Coding Game

You have 3 tasks, and you have to go in-depth into this strange programming device to solve them.

Don't forget to read the manual! Hopefully you didn't lose it.

Originally the theme was more in it, but I had to re-scope and now it doesn't have much to do with DEPTH anymore. :-(

Voting results


This game entered in the Solo competition (23 entries).

Comments (18)

 • 4 years ago • 

This is absolutely depth! Just more electrical-depth than aquatic. I love the random german and the scribbly notes -- only criticism is that I had other plans this week, but now I just want to buckle down and figure this thing out

 • 4 years ago • edited • 

I was so excited to try this game but unfortunately it does not work on Linux. The text is missing so I don't know where I can find which block. If you manage to fix this I would love to give it a try.

Mr. Chocolate Salmon
(@mr_chocolatesalmon) • 4 years ago • 

This was a lot of fun! The third challenge was a little hard at first because the two branches from the IFZ couldn't both go back into the "RUN", but was able to utilize recursion to overcome that. The graphics and sounds were cute, and I love how it mimics assembly programming.

Good job!

  • 4 years ago • 

@smbe19 Thanks for the report! Is it only the text on the chips? Or also the buttons, and the right output window? Best would be if you could upload a screenshot. Can you maybe pastebin the logfile? (On Linux it should be in ~/.config/unity3d/RatKingEntertainment/CHIPCODE/Player.log) Thanks!

 • 4 years ago • 

Linux build is running fine for me, but I have a rough time figuring out how to get something out of this machine. I have tried to call the hotline but I have lost my manual :(

I copied the program from the screenshot to get a feel for what it is supposed to do. Definitely a neat idea. :)

 • 4 years ago • edited • 

The text is missing in the header and in the buttons for the new blocks.

  • 4 years ago • 

@smbe19 Really strange, I have no idea why it wouldn't show those texts when all the other texts are visible. What's your Linux distro?

 • 4 years ago • 

I'll have to return to this later… I can take zach-likes and I can take games being deliberately obtuse*, but both is a bit much for my sleepy head :-) For now, I just brute forced the 'print 1..4 Auftrag' without loops and called it a day.

Despite that, the rest of the experience seemed smooth, and I'm intrigued as to where the story might be going (I hope I remember enough of my high school German, which isn't very much… glucklich some words are similar to Dutch.)

*) Given the amount of polish in the game itself --like the way that nodes on chips are prioritized over the wires so you don't actually delete, or the seemingly simple, but subtly lit graphics-- I'm going to assume that the level of 'helpfulness' of the manual is a choice.

  • 4 years ago • 

@smbe19 I uploaded a new version on itch, maybe you can try if that one works better for you?

@remco The first task is indeed not solvable with loops, at least I couldn't do it. ;-)

 • 4 years ago • 

It worked now, thanks for fixing it! The text when you finished some task was still missing, but I was at least able to play the game.

I really enjoyed the game and it was really interesting to figure out how the blocks work. But a few times I thought I figured it out but it turns out it was not correct…

The game feels really polished with satisfying animations and sounds. I also liked the mix of german and english.


For example I assumed that 'add' would add two memory cells. But it seems like it just sets one cell to the value of the other.

Also, the game got a lot easier once I realized that I could have multiple blocks for the same memory cell. At first I was really frustrated with the limitation of 4 edges.

At first it was not obvious why it did not work when I had an edge from some block back to run (in BDA). Then I realized I could use the BDA block, but this took a few minutes until I realized why the program was stopping when I had the edge back to run.

  • 4 years ago • 

@smbe19 Thanks for testing and playing! Yeah, the finish text is missing, got word about that just a few moments ago. I will update it later today. By the way, the ADD node can have more than one edge (wire) as input, so you can actually calculate the sum of up to four memory access chips and save the result.

 • 4 years ago • 

I liked working around the limitations to solve the puzzles. Wish there were more of them though.

One feature I really missed would be to enter the same block from different locations. At the moment, if you use the IFZ block, you basically can't use the return from board functionality (edge back to RUN).

 • 4 years ago • 

Phew it was a bad pick for me to start rating my first game! Half an hour just disappeared :)

This is a quite difficult but pretty good puzzle obviously reminding me of the Zachtronics classics. It was a nice twist of the genre into a jam-sized puzzler!

The interface and goals are pretty clear, and it was not too frustrating to learn the ropes. For some reason I was expecting a simpler first level though, so it took me a while to realize I'd need to push the chips to the limit (using both memory slots and especially both boards + working around the wire limitations) to complete it.

Once the big step of the first level was climbed, the 2nd level seemed easy, until I encountered some unexpected behaviour: after using the first board to build a 10, I tried to make a loop in the second using LOG > DEC > IFZ then back to RUN. For some reason going back to RUN in BDA stops the program instead of looping. Maybe I missed something!

 • 4 years ago • 

Games that let me explore and learn without too much handholding or punitive punishment are great. It is very impressive that you managed all this in the jam time window, and even managed to make it Gamey with some objectives. Programming games will always be niche, but for those of us that appreciate the niche this is a really solid and fun time.

I'm not Super Keen on the zoomy transitions between the boards during program runtime, I find them a little disorienting and lose track of the active block. I also think VORGESETZER could be a little more diverse in the types of tasks assigned, but that is something for the post-jam world.

Although I have only played this one entry so far, I expect it to be my favourite.

 • 4 years ago • 

<VORGESETZTER> is pleased with your work.
Wires on board: 60
Chips on boards: 42

Dear supervisor, did you even look at the boards? They are always a mess! Even in the third exercise, where I managed to use IFZ (a strange creature), the boards were messy.

It was interesting getting my head around the obtuse logic. Some of the chips could be made a more powerful (and obtuse) though. (I didn't need to use MAC, DEC or ADD even once, FYI)

Let's start with the IFZ. It seems to go one way if the variable is zero and another way if the variable is anything else. With multiple inputs the chip could instead compare the inputs and go one way if they are the same, and another way if they are not.

Board access nodes have an out flow node, but it seems to be defunct. What if this out flow, when wired up, would act as the next out flow node for board access instead of the RUN chip?

Chips should be able to take multiple in flow wires. Separate branches could be merged into one or the same out going board access chip could be used multiple times reducing the amount of chips on the board.

Keeping the amount of available chips to a minimum with each having double or even triple functionality will maximise the amount of manual perusing, which would be very thematic given this sort of design. The theme is not completely lost after all.

There are few missing GUI features, which you no doubt had in mind:

  • Move chips by dragging
  • Change the start or end point of a wire by dragging
  • Clear board button

These sort of puzzles are common these days, but you did take a different enough angle to warrant mild approval.

<HUVAAKOODIA> is pleased with your work.
Overall: Good (7.0)
Graphics: Good (7.0)
Gameplay: Good (7.0)
Originality: Above Average (6.0)
Theme: Above Average (6.0)

 • 4 years ago • 

The Zach is strong in this one. I love the random German in this one, and the instructions about calling support made me laugh out loud. Also relaxen und watschen die Blinkenlights. The scanned notebook manual is a great touch. Aber… was hat das mit DEPTH zu tun, when es not even a Stack gibt?

It starts out fairly difficult, and then gets slightly more difficult, but once I found out how the BD0/BDA/BDB instructions worked, I managed to solve all three puzzles. I wonder how crazy you could go with this architecture, if you add more boards and more registers (and maybe a random access memory or at least a stack?). When we start calculating prime numbers, I'm sure a fast-forward button would come in handy.

Interaction/controls are straightforward and pleasant to use. For once, the bfxr style sound effects did not feel jarring or out of place. Great job!

Mr. Chocolate Salmon
(@mr_chocolatesalmon) • 4 years ago • 

Hey, congrats on some good results!

  • 4 years ago • 
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