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MHRD, a game where you design your own hardware released for Linux

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A game that will likely excite the most nerdy in our community, MHRD [Steam, IndieDB], a game where you design your own hardware.

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To me, this looks really odd. Someone care to enlighten me as to what is exciting about games like this if it's your thing?

About the game
Build your own CPU
- Design hardware circuits with the integrated hardware development environment
- Write your designs in the MHRD hardware design language
- Create hardware designs based on more than 20 specifications (e.g. multiplexer, adder, ALU, RAM, etc.)
- Simulate and verify your designs
- Read the included manual to get started on your career as a hardware engineer
- Reuse completed hardware designs to build more complex ones
- Design a fully functional CPU and get your mind blown! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Indie Game, Simulation, Steam | Apps: MHRD
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wvstolzing 5 Jan, 2017
This reminds me of the exercises in this book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/elements-computing-systems

It's an amazing book; in the first half you get to construct a 16 bit computer, starting from individual logic gates. Then you write a pretty basic Assembly language for the processor, and write some simple programs in it. Eventually a complete operating system, and an object-oriented higher level language are designed; but I haven't studied through those parts. The book comes with several emulators / simulators to test the resulting hardware; and eventually the software written to run on that hardware.

It looks like this game will be similar. The 'NAND' that they refer to in the trailer is a basic logic gate from which all other truth functions (AND, OR, XOR, etc.) can be defined. I wonder how they've implemented the ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit), the memory registers, etc. Also in general I wonder how they've 'gamified' the whole thing. Looks really interesting.....

Here's a talk by one of the authors of the book mentioned:
View video on youtube.com


Last edited by wvstolzing on 5 January 2017 at 11:39 am UTC
tuubi 5 Jan, 2017
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The trailer doesn't tell me much. Is it an engineering simulation of some kind or is there an actual game in there? I love TIS-100, but this... I have no idea.
wvstolzing 5 Jan, 2017
Quoting: tuubiThe trailer doesn't tell me much. Is it an engineering simulation of some kind or is there an actual game in there? I love TIS-100, but this... I have no idea.

It probably works like TIS-100, where you get a series of distinct 'take this input, return this output' tasks in increasing complexity, and try to work out the most efficient solution. The over-arching goal could be related to a bit of background mystery, as in TIS-100.

The screenshots show the specifications for a NOT gate; I'm curious how they've implemented the more complex structures like the Arithmetic Logic Unit; also how much of the CPU's design is a ready template, and how much of it is up to the player. (I mean, there *has to* be ready templates for the more complex stuff; it's not like you get to create new architectures?!) Too bad I'm broke; or I would've got this.

(Another question is how complex the end product gets: Only a CPU? A complete computer with memory mapped devices?)


Last edited by wvstolzing on 5 January 2017 at 12:47 pm UTC
badber 5 Jan, 2017
Seems like it might be a real tool for learning which makes me interested. If you want to call it nerdy for someone to be deeply interested in a specific area then I guess sure, it's for the nerdy. People do also talk about physics and maths nerds these days after all...


Last edited by badber on 5 January 2017 at 1:39 pm UTC
tuubi 5 Jan, 2017
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Quoting: badberSeems like it might be a real tool for learning which makes me interested. If you want to call it nerdy for someone to be deeply interested in a specific area then I guess sure, it's for the nerdy. People do also talk about physics and maths nerds these days after all...
People used to call them geeks. I guess nerd is an improvement now that it isn't a dirty word anymore.
ivant 5 Jan, 2017
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Quoting: tuubiPeople used to call them geeks. I guess nerd is an improvement now that it isn't a dirty word anymore.
View video on youtube.com
ivant 5 Jan, 2017
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Quoting: wvstolzingThis reminds me of the exercises in this book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/elements-computing-systems

It's an amazing book; in the first half you get to construct a 16 bit computer, starting from individual logic gates. Then you write a pretty basic Assembly language for the processor, and write some simple programs in it. Eventually a complete operating system, and an object-oriented higher level language are designed; but I haven't studied through those parts. The book comes with several emulators / simulators to test the resulting hardware; and eventually the software written to run on that hardware.
This is an excellent book! I highly recommend it to anybody interested in how computers work. There's no better way to understand it, than to play a game of tetris. That you developed in a language, for which you wrote the compiler. And the standard library/OS. On a hardware you designed.
Gobo 5 Jan, 2017
Trust your technolust!

There is a MOOC (Computation Structures) on edX.org by MIT that seems the perfect formal background for this. You'll be introduced to CMOS and build your own cpu as well. But games are always more fun ;)
wvstolzing 5 Jan, 2017
Quoting: GoboTrust your technolust!

There is a MOOC (Computation Structures) on edX.org by MIT that seems the perfect formal background for this. You'll be introduced to CMOS and build your own cpu as well. But games are always more fun ;)

Thanks, this looks like a great website.
I think these are the most relevant links:

https://www.edx.org/course/computation-structures-part-1-digital-mitx-6-004-1x-0#!
http://computationstructures.org/notes/top_level/notes.html
tuubi 5 Jan, 2017
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Sorry @ivant, can't watch your video. Couldn't even read the title past the words "Epic Rap ...".
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