Minecraft creator Markus Persson (a.k.a. ‘Notch’) has announced sparse details on a new game he is working on with Swedish indie-game development house Mojang. Some details of the game were made available as an April fool’s joke, but it turns out the game, but not “Mars Effect” name, is real. The game, called 0x10c, will be science fiction, with spaceships, space battles, and a fully working computer system.
Writing on the game’s new website, Notch outlines the basics of how the game will be released:
The game is still extremely early in development, but like we did with Minecraft, we expect to release it early and let the players help me shape the game as it grows.
The cost of the game is still undecided, but it’s likely there will be a monthly fee for joining the Multiverse as we are going to emulate all computers and physics even when players aren’t logged in. Single player won’t have any recurring fees.
The game will be set in a parallel universe where the space race of the 20th century never ended and it became possible for people to put themselves out using a “deep sleep cell.” A computer glitch causes the sleep to last too long, and players wake up in the year 281,474,976,712,644. The alien world players will inhabit is near its end and is dominated by massive black holes.
Notch states that he wants to use “hard science fiction” for 0x10c, meaning he wants the setting to use science with a plausible theoretical baisis. In fact, he stated he wants experts to call him out and make corrections. He does concede, though, that it will probably be necessary to allow players a way to travel faster than the speed of light.
The game will feature space battles against against AI or other players, random encounters, landing on planets, “lots” of engineering, mining, trading, looting, and…duct tape. Players will be able to play on their own or connect with other players using “the multiverse.” Each ship in the game will be equipped with a generator with a fixed wattage, limiting the number of things the ship can do at once.
Following in the steps of Minecraft’s sandbox gameplay that allowed for such diverse creativity, the computer in the game is emulated, meaning users can program the 16 bit CPU any way they choose. This should make 0x10c a fantastic and eclectic creative space.
Notch also took to Twitter after his announcement, answering some questions the site left hanging:
@douglettx yes. And I won’t stop viruses, the players will have to do that themselves.
@notch You sir, are brilliant. I never realised just how badly I wanted to program the main computer of my own starship. What’re I/O specs?
@ignifluous I haven’t gotten that far yet. Thinking memory mapped message queue, maybe.