The penultimate episode of a short series on games I discovered at EGX Rezzed 2017.



State Machine, I’m sure I’ve heard of this. But the memory lingers just out of reach. The game looks a little lonely and the hotseat is empty. The slightly washed-out pixel graphics just don’t have a big draw, I guess. Maybe we’re now post-pixel. Hang on, this is more like post-post-pixel we’ve been post-pixel since, what, the late 90s? I’m getting distracted.

Looks like a JRPGlike to me. I’m on a tiny boat, can talk to a robot, there’s a small conversational tree.

We land on an island, I begin to wander around, yeah it’s definitely looking like some sort of JRPGish thing. It’s not serious, some jokes. I encounter a robot who has been built for cutting down trees and surprised to laugh out loud at the conversation.

I board the robot, start cutting down trees. I see I am aquiring wood. Agh! This isn’t a JRPG, is it? This is some sort of Minecrafty thing in 2D! A Stardewvalleylike. But, Jesus H. Christmasburgers, it’s really painful getting the robot to do someting, so indirect and slow. I wish the game had a better way of—



It’s a Zachlike! I can program the robots to do things so I don’t have to micromanage their behaviour. Well, okay.

I eventually get stuck as to what I’m supposed to do next. Start up three turbines to get access to the other part of the island, it says, and I get one done but can’t quite figure it out how to do the others. It’s a pressured situation in this hot seat. The alpha build already broke once and I had to start again. Maybe it’s broken again. That’s it. I’m not at fault. It must’ve broken.

I take my leave. Only after leaving Rezzed I remember why I should’ve remembered State Machine – it’s a game from Terry Cavanagh and Ruari O’Sullivan.

So that’s State Machine, a JRPG-Stardewvalley-Zachlike.

State Machine is still in development although planned for release in 2017.

Interested in other games I’ve dabbled with? Check out the series index!

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1 thought on “Dabbling with… State Machine

  1. I thought the robot’s face might have clued you in on it being Cavanagh’s work! Reminds me of Captain Viridian and crew.

    First I’ve heard of these ‘Zachlikes’ too.

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