A video game was being created where players could build and benchmark their own Best CPUs and run an entire microchip processing company in a turn-based style strategy game. The game could have been big among tech enthusiasts but the game was never developed beyond its pre-alpha stage. However, a pre-alpha demo of the game has been published on YouTube showing us the potential this game could have had.
The demo shows us the fundamental portions of the game, including the CPU-building aspects and some of the game’s business management aspects as well. At the start, you create the name of your semiconductor company and then choose your CEO. The demo gives you the option to choose one of five of some of the most well-known semiconductor CEOs of all time, including Lisa Su, Jensen Huang, Jim Keller, Dirk Meyer, and even Gordon Moore — the creator of “Moore’s Law”.
Afterward, the game jumps into a points-based leveling system where you can choose the strengths of your particular company. The demo is limited to 9 different statistical strengths including logical optimization, teamwork, R&D Gain rate, error correction, and more. Players have 47 points in total which can be divided between the 9 categories to change their company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Finally, the game enters the CPU-building phase where players can create their own CPU designs by adding, connecting, and moving several different components inside their CPU. In the pre-alpha demo, players have access to 7 components, including a controller, imc-read, decoder, int add, int mul, imc-write, and bus, and can add as many components as they want to the chip.
Chip performance will be dictated by how many components are being used, and how they are wired together. Once the chip is complete, players can choose to benchmark the chip, mass produce it and humorously leak the chip’s details to the press if so desired.
The limited CPU building and company management game mechanics was the full extent of the demo, apparently, this game was supposed to go much deeper involving full-blown company management with NPCs, and compete with other corporations to be the best microprocessing manufacturer in the world.
The building portion would be also much bigger, apparently the CPU building aspect of the game is based on the Von Neumann architecture, which encourages adding more ALUs and developing higher timings for the FPUs to improve performance and efficiency. The CPU builder would also have many more abilities, including creating multi-core processors and creating GPUs as well.
It’s unfortunate this game never made it out of its pre-alpha development phase. We don’t know what happened to the game or the developers behind it, but it’s easy to assume that money problems or public attraction were the main issues.