We’ve known for a while now that Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson was working on a game that takes place in outer space. Notch has had some fun with the speculation, revealing on April 1st that the game would be called “Mars Effect”. That of course was a joke, but thankfully Notch’s space game is a real thing, and yesterday its real, official name was announced — “0x10c”. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
In Notch’s own words 0x10c will be a space trading game like M.U.L.E. or Elite “except done right”. In addition to navigating a complex intergalactic economy, you’ll be spending a lot of time managing the functions of your ship. According to Notch every ship will be equipped with a “fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU” which you can use to either run your ship or just play games.
While still a sandbox game, 0x10c is going to have a more richly developed world than Minecraft, inspired, in part, by fanboy favorite TV series Firefly. The game will be set in a universe where space travel has become commonplace for the rich. These space travellers put themselves into a deep sleep for their lengthy interplanetary voyages, but unfortunately something goes wrong and a number of them stay asleep longer than intended. When they finally wake up, they discover the universe has completely gone to s–t.
Much like Minecraft, Notch plans to let us in on the game before it’s finished and “let players shape the game as it grows”. Unlike Minecraft you’re likely going to have to pay a monthly fee to explore the world of 0x10c (at least if you want to play with other humans). When exactly this monthly fee would kick in is unknown — hopefully Notch doesn’t have the balls/hubris to charge people a fee to play the game before it’s actually finished. If he does he may find his nerd cred slipping away fast.