Human Ransource Machine – Episode 6 – Zero

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Here we are at the end of the Human Resource Machine. I had a lot of fun with this, especially when I went back to try to get the remaining optimisation achievements. My biggest concern about it is that I am unsure  how much fun someone unfamiliar with programming will have. This is because it can be surprisingly light on hints, especially the basic ones, enough that I never talked to the bosses looking for more detailed cues, such as how you compare two letters, or different sort methods, and I am not sure how well those really work. The game also hints occasionally that you can get more information from Google and/or Wikipedia, but some people will find that kind of outsourcing of help especially annoying.

The other issue the game has is narrative, I mean seriously what is with the robots? The story never actually does anything with them, it just makes for some interesting interstitial cutscenes, there are a couple of levels where you seem to be outputting some kind of message, but there are never any hints as to what that message is for, nor really a purpose for completing the puzzles. It just seems like a bit of a waste to me.

As always you can find the optimised code over on the next page. I should warn you though that floors 38 and 41 beat me. I was unable to find an a fast enough algorithm for each. If you want solutions for those problems I suggest looking into places such as this GitHub repository. I shamelessly used their code for the fast solutions for those problems, I did attempt to understand what they are doing. For the floor 38 solution they cleverly set up the floor so that they can conduct their search by 3s, 30s and 300s. It takes more code but it dramatically speeds up the search. For floor 41 I remain somewhat baffled, I suspect it is simply using a sort technique I am unfamiliar with.

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