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Original Thread: Shenzhen I/O: The Engineer's Blog



I became an engineer because I wanted to make things.

But after I graduated, the reality of the world caught up with me.

"That's just not something we do in this country. Not anymore."

It took me a while, but eventually I realized it was true:

I'd have to go somewhere else.

Somewhere I could do what I was meant to do.

From the twisted mind of Zach Barth comes another "Zachlike" programming game: Shenzhen I/O. In this game, the player takes on the role of an unnamed Engineer who has moved to China, to pursue a career in making things.

The game focuses on assembly-language programing - the manual contains a full spec for a simple, yet powerful assembly programming language, and the Engineer will have to program many, many microcontrollers to succeed at their job. It is notable for being a game that advertises that you need to read the manual - then reminds you again before the tutorial begins.

This LP will be a narrative LP: I'll be taking on the role of the Engineer, and narrating levels in-character (the premise is, it's the Engineer's blog about their job). Fear not - I'll do my best to explain and demystify what's going on. The Engineer might even answer questions from posters, if enough people ask interesting ones!

May you enjoy.

Table of Contents

Main Game: Shenzhen

Story: Welcome
Story: Important: Read the Manual!

Assignment #1: Security Camera (Fake)
Engineer's Corner #1: The Basics

Shenzhen Days: Why Are We Even Here?
Assignment #2: Replacement Factory Module
Engineer's Corner #2: MC Math 'n' More!

Solitaire: Please Enjoy a Game

Story: All the Parts!

Assignment #3: Pulse Generator
Engineer's Corner #3: The Pluses and Minuses of Conditional Execution

Spam: Take an Orbital Selfie!
Assignment #4: Light-Up Signs
Post-Assignment Optimization #1: Holy Crap, It Works!

Assignment #5: Bring Out the Baron!

Shenzhen Days: Saying Stuff Better
Assignment #6: Rubbish Audio Thing

Spam: Self-Driving Car Stuck In a Loop?
Assignment #7: Infrared Sensor - IMPORTANT

Story: Working Remotely
Assignment #8: Virtual Reality Buzzer
Post-Assignment Optimization #2: Building a Better Buzzer
Engineer's Corner #4: Putting It All Together

Sandbox: Prototyping New Ideas
Shenzhen Days: Things Visitors Say
Assignment #9: Little Help?

Spam: Feel the Connection and Get Ahead!
Assignment #10: Tag, You're It!

Assignment #11: Cool Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Assignment #12: Device 2A27

Story: Undocumented Instruction
Assignment #13: Three Kingdoms Tokens
Engineer's Corner #5: Shen-gen I/O

Shenzhen Days: Say Cheese!
Assignment #14: Sandwich Assembler??

Assignment #15: Carbine Target Illuminator

Assignment #16: Can You Keep a Secret?? Haunted Doll Project
Story: Growing the Company - Please Read

Story: Custom Specifications
Assignment #17: Aquaponics Maintenance Robot

Spam: Incredible Opportunity - Land Rich in Rare Earths
Assignment #18: Remote Kill Switch

Assignment #19: Control Router - IMPORTANT

Assignment #20: Pocket I Ching Oracle

Shenzhen Days: The Electronics Wet Market
Assignment #21: Precision Food Scale

Story: What Is This?
Assignment #22: Cryptocurrency Deposit Terminal

Spam: Over 55% of Homes Are Infected - Is Yours?
Assignment #23: Pollution-Sensing Window

Assignment #24: Traffic Signal

Assignment #25: Meat-Based Printer
Engineer's Corner #6: The PGA33X6 Demystified

Spam: Cleanse Your Body of Harmful Nanoparticles
Assignment #26: Security Nightmare

Shenzhen Days: The Point of It All
Assignment #27: Ocean Monitoring System

Assignment #28: Spoiler-Blocking Headphones

Story: Cool Dad Is Back!
Assignment #29: Would You Believe It?

Spam: Hey Sexy..
Assignment #30: Airline Cocktail Mixer

Secret Project: Ra, Ra, Rasputin! (Part 1)
Secret Project (Part 2)
Secret Project (Coda)

Assignment #31: IMPORTANT - The Big One!
Story: An Invitation

Bonus Campaign: Avalon City

Story: Avalon City
Assignment #AC1: The Ocean's Bounty

Sun Haotian's Book Club: Beyond the Clockwork
Assignment #AC2: Handheld Timer

Spam?: A Message From SleepCubes
Assignment #AC3: Cat Feeder

Assignment #AC4: Target Practice
Story: Avalon City Events Calendar

Sun Haotian's Book Club: Against Prediction
Assignment #AC5: Harvest Time!

Assignment #AC6: Sushi Robot!
Post-Assignment Optimization #3A: Omakase 10500
Post-Assignment Optimization #3B: Omakase 12000

Assignment #AC7: Reactor Status Display

Story: Blast From the Past
Assignment #AC8: Interface

Assignment #AC9: Scaffold Printer
Spam: Turbocharge Your Brain!

Sun Haotian's Book Club: Existence Within
Assignment #AC10: Logic Board

Story: The Final Step


Closing / Q&A

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