Zachary "Zach" Barth is an indie video game designer who creates games under the company Zachtronics, which he co-founded. Barth is known for Infiniminer, which created the genre of procedurally generated block-based world deformation and building mechanics later used by games such as Minecraft, as well as creating engineering-based puzzle games.
Barth said that he started creating games early in his life, but only learned the required skills at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he joined the game development club.
Barth studied computer systems engineering and computer science at RPI. He was one of three students leading the interdisciplinary team of the CapAbility Games Research Project, a collaboration of RPI with the Center for Disability Services in Albany, New York. In 2008, the team produced Capable Shopper, a shopping simulation game for players with various degrees of disability.
His earlier, non-commercial, games included twenty that were published on his old website and "five good ones" which he transferred over to the new site. Four of these use Flash to make them cross-platform, in spite of Flash's "terrible" development environment. The other one is based on .NET for greater programming convenience. SpaceChem also used .NET, as Barth considers C# to be "the best language ever invented". For marketing reasons, Barth decided against XNA with its capability to cross-publish to Xbox 360, and switched to OpenGL, which allowed him to target the three operating systems required for inclusion in the Humble Indie Bundle.
Before SpaceChem was released, Zachtronics was known for creating the game genre set by Infiniminer. The gameplay mechanics and visuals that Barth conceptualized have subsequently become popular in many games.
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