A turn-based strategy game, a video game was created that allowed players to build and benchmark their best CPU and run an entire microchip processing company. The game may have been a big topic among tech enthusiasts, but the game never made it past the pre-alpha stage. However, a pre-alpha demo of the game is available on YouTube showing the potential this game has.
The demo shows basic parts of the game, such as the CPU building aspect and the business management aspect of the game. First, create a name for your semiconductor company and select a CEO. The demo features five of the most famous semiconductor CEOs of all time, including Lisa Hsu, Jensen Huang, Jim Keller, Dirk Meyer, and Gordon Moore, the founder of “Moore’s Law,” from him. You will be given the option to select one of the .
The game then transitions to a point-based leveling system, allowing you to choose the strengths of a particular company. This demo is restricted to 9 different statistical strengths including logic optimization, teamwork, R&D gain rate, error correction, and more. The player has a total of 47 points, which can be divided into his 9 categories to change the 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 within the CPU. In the pre-alpha demo the player has access to his 7 components: controller, imc-read, decoder, int add, int mul, imc-write, bus and can add as many components to the chip as he wants.
A chip’s performance is determined by the number of components used and how they are wired. Once the chip is complete, players can choose to benchmark the chip, mass-produce it, and humorously leak chip details to the press if desired.
Limited CPU builds and company-managed game mechanics were what the demo was all about, but obviously the game goes much deeper, including full-scale company management by NPCs, and other players in their quest to become the best microprocessor maker in the world. It seems that it was supposed to compete with the companies of .
The building part is also much bigger, obviously the CPU building side of the game is based on the Von Neumann architecture, adding more ALUs and developing higher timings for the FPU to improve performance and efficiency is encouraged. CPU Builder also has many more features such as creating multi-core processors and creating GPUs.
Unfortunately, the game never made it out of the pre-alpha development stage. We don’t know what happened to the game or its developers, but it’s easy to assume that money issues and public interest were the main issues.