0x10c: Ambitious new space game from Notch

“Hi, I’m Notch, and this is my new game.” Finally, the news we’ve all been waiting for – the big reveal of the Minecraft creator’s space game project. It’s called 0x10c, and promises to be a pretty major shift away from the blocky world-builder, with a few key similarities.


(Nobody knows yet how we're going to pronounce it...)

Similar: The team at Mojang intends to release the game early, letting fans shape the game as it develops. It’s not crowdsourcing, but it’s listening to what people want – part of what made Minecraft so unique, and so popular.

Different: 0x10c will use a subscription model – necessary to continue to emulate all computers and physics involved, “even when players aren’t logged in”, Notch explains.

Also seemingly unlike Minecraft, 0x10c has a backstory – and it’s one of the most beautiful (and nerdy) things we’ve seen in a while:

In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.

So. The game itself sees gamers given ships – and each ship contains a generator which produces a certain (fixed) wattage. Attaching elements to your ship will realistically drain power – so that fancy cloaking shield you’ve installed, with its high power requirements, will not work correctly until you turn off all of the computers and dim all the lights to give it enough juice.

As if that attention to detail wasn’t enough, each computer in the game is “a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU” – useful for controlling your entire vessel, or perhaps for playing a quick game of Solitaire while you wait for an operation to finish.

That’s what will be in the game. Other bits and pieces Notch and his team are hoping to include:

  • Hard science fiction.
  • Lots of engineering.
  • Fully working computer system.
  • Space battles against the AI or other players.
  • Abandoned ships full of loot.
  • Duct tape!
  • Seamlessly landing on planets.
  • Advanced economy system.
  • Random encounters.
  • Mining, trading, and looting.
  • Single and multi player connected via the multiverse.

Building on previous comments from the developer, this will build on classic space trading games like the cult favourite Elite, while also taking inspiration from other titles currently floating about in the ether.

With the level of interest in 0x10c already hitting fever pitch – without any dates even hinted at – we’re crossing our fingers to hear more about it in the not-too-distant future. No pressure or anything there, Notch!

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