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Revolutionary Semiconductor
March 27, 2009 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Friday Flash Fun*: Конструктор: Engineer of the People, in which you are an engineer working in a top-secret semiconductor facility called H3, designing top-secret integrated circuits based on specifications provided to you. *For certain values of 'fun'
posted by daniel_charms (36 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
This game reinforces many self-doubts I have about myself, enables my negative life-script, and sends me directly into a shame spiral.
posted by milarepa at 1:43 PM on March 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Figures that the Russians don't have CMOS.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:07 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to do this, then I'm going to do THIS.
posted by The White Hat at 2:10 PM on March 27, 2009


Yeah, I frustrated myself for a while trying to build a MOSFET before giving in and watching the tutorial. Perhaps JFETs are more ideologically sound.
posted by hattifattener at 2:21 PM on March 27, 2009


Way too much like work.
posted by LordSludge at 2:41 PM on March 27, 2009


I have no idea.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:00 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"COMRADE - HERE'S AN EASY PROJECT TO GET STARTED WITH!"

I'm going straight to the Gulag. Clearly the sequel to this game is going to be a Solzhenitsyn sim.
posted by CRM114 at 3:12 PM on March 27, 2009


seriously geeky. therefore cool!
posted by Artful Codger at 3:13 PM on March 27, 2009


Pot needs a "Requires an EE degree" disclaimer.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:41 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know when you are a big fat geek because you search Wikipedia to relearn how transistors work because a flash game wants you to design not gates. Damn do they need a better tutorial. A+++ would geek out (on work time) again.
posted by aspo at 3:52 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


The interface is a little clunky. I remember doing all this in school, and it has been fun to relearn some of it. I needed to whip out the graph paper by the time I got to the 4-input and/or gate. This would nice to lose myself in for the rest of the day, but to much time and effort seems to be going into finding ways not to cross wires and remembering to hold down the shift key.
posted by Avelwood at 4:00 PM on March 27, 2009


:D
Yeah, I frustrated myself for a while trying to build a MOSFET
Me too!
posted by krilli at 4:26 PM on March 27, 2009


Yeah, I frustrated myself for a while trying to build a MOSFET before giving in and watching the tutorial.

Me three, I was all: "Where's the poly layer? How do you expect me to route with only one metal?"
posted by Krrrlson at 4:37 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Then I became aware of the painful irony in dodging work in order to play a game that simulates the work I was doing.)
posted by Krrrlson at 4:38 PM on March 27, 2009


i'm going to stick with tetris
posted by chelegonian at 4:48 PM on March 27, 2009


Okay, how come it sometimes lets me draw silicon over silicon to make a gate, and sometimes doesn't? I can't figure out a pattern for it (it's not just requiring me to put my P down before my N or anything like that).

CRM114, the line between good and evil runs straight through the middle of every band gap.
posted by hattifattener at 4:59 PM on March 27, 2009


Where can I learn how to play this? Seriously.
posted by greensweater at 5:37 PM on March 27, 2009


Okay, how come it sometimes lets me draw silicon over silicon to make a gate, and sometimes doesn't? I can't figure out a pattern for it (it's not just requiring me to put my P down before my N or anything like that).
You have to do three in a row of the first type, and then insert one of the other type in the middle:

Step A:
I
I
I

Step B:
I
+-
I
posted by krilli at 5:46 PM on March 27, 2009


define "fun"
posted by Lukenlogs at 7:03 PM on March 27, 2009


As someone who did not know anything about electrical engineering short of "don't put tweezers in the electrical socket" before playing this, I thought it was a lot of fun. It seriously needs a better tutorial though.

Because I think people should enjoy this:

Battlebison's startup manual:

  There are two layers: Metal and silicon. Using a "VIA" connects the two at that square. This can be used to go over or under circuits you have already created.
  Use metal to connect the pads (those grey squares) into a circuit. "+VCC" is your constant power source. Certain other pads will only supply power according to their respective graph shown in the "Verification" tab of your Soviet work folder. Your goal for each level should be to mirror exactly the output graphs in this tab with the minimal use of materials.
  There are two types of gates, one that blocks electrical flow and one that allows it. Using multiple gates in succession creates some lag in the circuit; this can be effectively used to make timers.
  To make a gate that blocks electrical flow of one circuit only when the other is enabled: Connect 3 squares of yellow silicon (hold shift to do this). This will be the circuit that will be blocked. Drag a strip of red silicon until it overlaps. This will be the silicon you must power to block the circuit.
Step 1: [Y][Y][Y]
Step 2: [Y][Y/R][Y]
            [Y]
Step 3: Add VIAs.
  To make a gate that allows electrical flow, simply reverse the colours used in the above description.

  That's it! Have fun and remember: In Soviet Russia, computers engineer you!
posted by battlebison at 7:23 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I got college credit for playing the hard version of this game.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:59 PM on March 27, 2009


Pretty fun till I got to the power on reset generator, creating the timer just seems tedious, unless there is something I am missing something, which I am sure there is.
posted by afu at 6:17 AM on March 28, 2009


Cool Tim: Respect - also thanks, that looks pretty good. What is it? Something tiny tiny inside an IC?

Afu: Hmm, what about using the template scratchpad? In the tabs downstairs? Also re. the reset generator, can we do loops of any kind?
posted by krilli at 6:42 AM on March 28, 2009


Man, and I was taught to avoid race conditions...
@krilli: You can create a delay by daisy-chaining gates, like this:

eNrtmlESgjAMRGnSH8/gFfz3LN7/ImqAFkoCtaXiyIo4yjPbQGGnofibv14e7nJ3
vitZEIhABCLwqECaAMoPdLIsvyNVpFqWqvss1biN9LT1VI+9Hl1ZYMY+wuV2DJTh
HNkvocysrvV0vV3QP6fv84DlbFhSOVGGRaES3H9qVJTJUKZ1Zd81k65M+pWZ/GF+
yGbS8mJDmsL1OEoE6f5nDJzQuC20q1Lf0Tpethx3JEl+OHvW6BGulGWXoKCgoOem
sErQn6W8GCZBuVqZLeXG/cuwSlDQNpd/X3np9SyUC81wJjBVbmyGSruwSlBQjO4w
bkQBDgr6HTrMNjCUd1RmNpQb9y+fowDHPDdoGzM0yr9xAnUsOlUa3hr9X2Vt/GbI
Jsq0Ocu9Rbk89tM57nYz4I2tUl/rKawDVsmGOXDdnT297tzjnuGxyukDVjklNk/H
dvGZnaCsH+tkj/R283s/aZfNDv5NR3oCgI7Hqg==

Probably not the optimal solution, but one where it is possible to see what's what...
And this gate needs a movable logic probe and a stepping trace mechanism.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 8:29 AM on March 28, 2009


Thanks for reminding me why I switched to software engineering in school.
posted by FfejL at 10:34 AM on March 28, 2009


PontifexPrimus: WTF is that? a Base64 encoded gif or something?
posted by delmoi at 11:32 AM on March 28, 2009


delmoi: That's the savegame format :) You paste it in a little box and Pontifex's design appears.
posted by krilli at 11:46 AM on March 28, 2009


delmoi: the game allows you to save and load designs. The thing PontifexPrimus posted is a saved design: to load it, click 'Load design' in the in-game menu and paste the garbage he posted into the text box.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:56 AM on March 28, 2009


Where can I learn how to play this? Seriously.
posted by greensweater at 8:37 PM on March 27 [+] [!]

http://posserver.ecn.purdue.edu/ECECourses/MostRecentCourseInfo.asp?Show=true&Cnum=270

I took it without the prerequisite and it was fine.
posted by xorry at 12:23 PM on March 28, 2009


More seriously, there's enough in the tutorial video to get things going. It's really just a logic puzzle.
posted by xorry at 12:57 PM on March 28, 2009


It took me a bit, but I figured the AND gate out. But I have no idea what I'm doing wrong on #3.
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The X input is what I did first, and that worked fine. I assume I did something wrong by making a multi-pin transistor for the OR gate at Y, but I can't figure out what.
posted by Eideteker at 7:12 AM on March 29, 2009


Cool Tim: Respect - also thanks, that looks pretty good. What is it? Something tiny tiny inside an IC?

Yeah, but beyond that I have no idea, that's just a Google images result of some of the software I used.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:53 AM on March 29, 2009


Eideteker: "It took me a bit, but I figured the AND gate out. But I have no idea what I'm doing wrong on #3.

The X input is what I did first, and that worked fine. I assume I did something wrong by making a multi-pin transistor for the OR gate at Y, but I can't figure out what.
"


Your problem is that you connected all your input pins to the same yellow silicone strip, effectively tying them electrically together and allowing one of them to pull them all high. The trick is to only connect the parts behind the gates:
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HTH HAND ;)
posted by PontifexPrimus at 12:21 PM on March 29, 2009


Yay, it seems I'm finally starting to get hang of this thing. PontifexPrimus, your delay circuit design has been very helpful.

Check out my wicked oscillator: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posted by daniel_charms at 12:57 PM on March 29, 2009


Ah, see, a simple test for continuity might've helped with that. I mean, I can see what parts get greyed out, but I didn't get that the current was flowing *back* through the semiconductor. I thought the whole point of semiconductors was that they only let current through in one direction.

I didn't want to copy your design, so here's how I eventually solved it:
eNrtmW8OgyAMxZXyxTPsCvu+s+z+F1lk0ayl/BFl0/VBiCa/PIMIL631d3+bnuP0
GP3Q0iHcIHSFa0I4Frv5z1G1spcWLh86dcV5hBBCCCE0LwzhnEu3QIlIHftpaKSM
lUY6TufuB3JLZ5jEc4M+SfPaAp3n0I7Fs0k2TsVSuU2Ud06domZUzIlTJ+5AQSvo
ups0yg3im6akmmGVW4KCgoLapn9tlVqQZXkDKOuB4wAKasEqs2ZIQkXGLSuXgOM4
gIKatcqLRnf9KDY8KCgS8Jgq9RHTGyDUxT4GjgMo6LFW2bfMXSiCy6yRsnFUtyr3
kVT5MXBUjTtHizXuLHXR7EFB91F+hDfQPjXuQ6xSH/tpRYqthEKNr/yWnz/2i2Ph
M8wZ8Tlon7yvQfsDR3oB3mTIBg==

posted by Eideteker at 3:21 PM on March 29, 2009


Now if I could just figure out how to do #4...
posted by Eideteker at 3:23 PM on March 29, 2009


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