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  Robot Wants It All: Development Update 10:20 AM -- Mon November 27, 2017  

Trying hard to make sure you are all aware that this game is underway and making progress, but actually stepping out of my dungeon to share things with the world isn't my strong suit! But here it is, your first progress report.

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[click to embiggen]
There are quite a few new elements visible in that screenshot (ignore the one in the lower left - that's just a debug display), but I'm just going to tease you with info on one new feature every week (*This means "every week that I get around to it"). So for this week, let me point out the obvious fact: this is clearly the game Robot Wants Kitty, but that is most definitely not the proper map layout for it!

Alternate Maps

So one of the bonuses in Robot Wants It All is the alternate maps. So far, only Robot Wants Kitty is implemented, so we're still in the early stages, but for that game at least, I've developed two new maps you can play. One is supposed to be the "easy" map (pictured), and the other is the "remix" map. In truth, the easy map is probably slightly harder than the classic map, but it is a lot shorter, which is the main selling point. The "remix" map on the other hand, is huge and brutal (I think - we'll see how it goes in testing). It should take much longer than the classic map to complete, even once you have it fully figured out.

So there you go - a fun new feature in Robot Wants It All. You get three times as much Kitty! Of course, there will be alternate maps for the other games too. I'm not sure if there will be as many of them, or maybe more. I'm a little scared of how tricky it will get to develop maps for some of the other Robot games.

Now feel free to wildly speculate about all the other oddities in the screenshot! You might hear about them next week, who knows?
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  What's going on at Hamumu? 06:07 PM -- Thu November 2, 2017  

That's what's going on! Robot Wants It All is a PC game which begins as a compilation of all the previous Robot Wants games. Since Flash has died, these games are getting harder and harder for people to access, so I thought it would be a good project to compile them together into a format that'll last a while (hopefully...). And it means you can play them with a gamepad, which I can already tell you makes them so much better!

Of course, in addition to the old games (which you can still play on our site, provided your browser allows Flash to run!), we have plenty of other content to make it worth your while. Exactly what new content is coming is not entirely set in stone yet, and we're gonna keep that info under our yerf-hats for now. Traditionally I tend to add a lot more junk to games than they need, so you can expect more of that. One thing I can say is that obviously Robot will be going on an adventure to collect something new. He does, after all, want it all.

This project is being programmed by Anthony Salter, an old indie pal. I am doing the design and the art. It'll take a while, because we're doing a lot more than just porting the games, but I'll be sure to keep you all updated as we move along. But I might keep some things for a surprise, because, well, I'm Hamumu.
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  We're back! 04:17 PM -- Mon September 11, 2017  

I fixed the site! SO QUICKLY! I bet you didn't even notice it was down. We're now hosted at a new place, with a lot of fancy new server power under the hood (not that we needed it, but it's good to be up-to-date). Enjoy the forums once again, and let me know if you see things broken on the site. I'm not sure what all broke during the transition process.
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  Assembly Programming For Fun! 09:42 PM -- Sat May 27, 2017  

Yeah, I'm still alive! For a minute there last month it looked like I was going to get somewhere with the website. I had somebody all set up to help me do it, but when he looked through it, we discovered all manner of complex issues as to what exactly we wanted to do and how we wanted it to end up (the site as-is does not function anymore, so changes need to be made...). So we're kinda back to square one, and I've been super busy transitioning Growtopia to Ubisoft. But we're getting somewhere. It'll happen, someday.

Anyway, I wanted to chat a bit about the idea of programming games (not the act of programming games, but rather playing games that are about programming). That's a genre that is very niche, and there aren't a ton of games in it, but nevertheless I intend to go deeper yet and specifically focus on games about assembly-language programming! There are even fewer of them, but they're the ones that are really fun!

You see, assembly language itself is basically a logic puzzle. It's the most straightforward and simple type of programming, in that there are just a few different possible instructions (sometimes very few), and each instruction is incredibly simple - it can have one, or in some languages/situations, two values attached to it, and that's it. For example "MOV AX,7" (I don't even remember if that's accurate 6502 assembly, but it's something like that) is an assembly instruction. It means "put a 7 into the register AX". Of course in a game, it might be more verbose but it comes down to the same thing. Super simple individual lines, able to access only a select few registers (data storage spots), and yet Turing complete. So it's very easy to grasp, yet very very complicated to get it do something worthwhile, and it's that process of building up from simple blocks into vast structures that makes it so compelling. If you can make the little parts work, then put them together logically, you'll have a bigger working unit. Simple concepts combining into great complexity.

So I thought I had played a few of these games lately, but it turns out it was just two. I just finished Human Resource Machine today (though I cheated on the last puzzle, which was like an order of magnitude bigger and more complex than all the ones before it!), and other games I've played along these lines are TIS-100 (I failed to finish, it gets hard!), and Carnage Heart (but that's going waaayyy back to the 90's). I know there's also Shenzhen IO, which I haven't played. SpaceChem actually shares many traits though it'd be hard to call it assembly language programming. It's no coincidence that three of the five games I just named are all made by Zachtronics. I guess there aren't a lot of people in the assembly game arena! It's too bad, because it really is fun, and makes programming accessible to anyone who likes logic puzzles. A great learning tool as well as a fun puzzle.

Anyway, if you like puzzles, you might want to try this kind because it'll really worm into your brain, and as a bonus it'll teach you a lot about programming! Human Resource Machine is a really nice simple example. The early puzzles are fun and easy, though you'll really need some chops to get all the way to the end. TIS-100 is way more hardcore. I would not recommend starting there if you aren't a programmer yourself.

I would love to hear about any others you know of in the comments, but yeah... the site isn't working too hot right now, speaking of programming. It'll be back soonish(tm)!
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  Checking in! 10:14 AM -- Thu March 30, 2017  

It has only been a few months since my last entry here. It's still true that I beat Bloodborne though. Still pretty amazing, I hope you're impressed. On that note, I just started playing Dark Souls 3 yesterday, so yeah.

Anyway, lots of big stuff going on. The good news from a Hamumu.com perspective is that I am talking to somebody about working on getting the site back up and running, because I still don't have time to do so myself. Hopefully that will work. And by the way, I have had a new site design in hand for several years now, with no time to set it up, so hopefully we won't just be restoring the missing functionality - we'll have a full overhaul, totally new look!

In mildly interesting other news, we have sold Growtopia to Ubisoft! Yeah, that's kind of a big deal. Seth and I will still be working on it for a while, helping them learn how to run the game and what the secrets of our awesomeness are. I'm really looking forward to this... freedom and free time to create the things I want to make again, instead of being chained to Growtopia 24/7. My life has been very different for the last four years, and while I have had an outlet for creativity - the updates I've been doing for Growtopia are often as complex as entire games - I haven't been free to just do what I want, it's all been inside the framework of that game. So I am really looking forward to that freedom, especially just inside my head. My brain will be set free by not being tied to those little block-headed creatures all day. It's been very draining. And there's so much more to it than simply making the updates. Nobody who isn't involved in the process can understand what it takes out of you to be facing the onslaught of millions of players, all wanting their personal issue fixed (or sometimes just want to shout profanities at me), every day. Our tech support staff are truly amazing for fighting that tide.

So once everything is handled, and I can step back out of the limelight, I am going to take a BREAK. I've said I was going to take a year off, but those in the know have said I wouldn't be able to handle that. I don't really know what the future holds, I'm just glad to be free to find out. It's gonna be a break whether I take a break or not. Yay!
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