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October 12, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

“I’m trying to design the game so you don’t have to know programming but you can share the code,” says Notch. “If you have a friend who’s made this really awesome docking algorithm, you can put that on a floppy disk within the game and put that into your computer.”
Mojang (of Minecraft fame) have released details and footage about their upcoming game 0x10c.

[via]
posted by griphus (57 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love how they have moved mod management from game menu to in-game mechanism. This together with how pervasive scripting seems to be makes me think that we will quickly see all kinds of amazing mods and community contribution, including a Minecraft clone.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:38 PM on October 12, 2012


But nothing in the game is fun right now.

Can't say he's beating around the bush can we? This has potential, I may actually jump in from the get go since I seem to have missed the Minecraft boat as well as not possess the mental gymnastics to learn how to play Dwarf Fortress. Take your time buddy, I'll wait.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2012


...including a Minecraft clone.

They'll simulate redstone functionality on the ship's computer and make a computer with it.
posted by griphus at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder if people will figure out how to write in-game viruses.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:45 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I still have not played Minecraft, but I'm a big fan of Notch. He just keeps popping up and always in a good light. I want to buy him a beer and a My Little Pony DVD.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:46 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It looks like this is going to end up more like Noctis and less like CoreWars, which is probably a good thing
posted by theodolite at 12:51 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


my son will think I am really cool when I show him this, even if he can tell I am faking my understanding of what the hell it all means.
posted by chapps at 12:54 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really think the game would benefit from playing with the logical side effects of faster-than-light travel. The ships could use an Alcubierre drive, which works by folding space instead of moving the ship per se, and therefore everything in front of it gets squished and warped a bunch, possibly including a whole planet. Which then slingshots away from you at 0.9c. And if you can do that, applying the fold to objects other than the ship is logical, so if you don't care too terribly much about the survival of anyone on a planet you can vacuum the whole thing up into your fuel reservoir and hope that your ship can withstand the new gravity inside. I mean, since he's doing artificial gravity anyway...?
posted by LogicalDash at 12:55 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


He recently added a new output device for the ship computer. A 3-d vector projector, called a SPED-3, in addition to the 2d memory mapped display. There is even support in various toolchains so you can mess with it now.

Notch has also been posting random Test videos.

He has been significantly less open about development since he thought people were trying to reconstruct the game code from his dev stream.

In other Notch news, he got into a bit of a spat with MS over certifying Minecraft for Windows 8. I think it blew over, but Notch's reputation as a hothead grew a bit. Mojang also gave a tour of their ultra swank offices.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:57 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder if people will figure out how to write in-game viruses.

I wonder what a world where people didn't immediately write in-game viruses would be like.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:00 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also worth checking out is Scrumbleship, which promises player-created voxel spaceships with simulated heat dynamics.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:08 PM on October 12, 2012


I'm pretty sure that creating viruses in game will be part if the game.
posted by empath at 1:09 PM on October 12, 2012


Either I'm gonna be too dumb to play this, ir it'll ruin my life.

Notch was on one of my FTL crews once. I made him the pilot.
posted by cmoj at 1:27 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that creating viruses in game will be part if the game.

Even viruses that can break into the OS that runs the game universe. It's not a hack, it's probing the underlying nature of the game reality!
posted by cosmic.osmo at 1:27 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I'm stoked for this game. I don't even expect to program much that's actually useful in terms of ship systems (though I'm really, really excited by the prospect of automated ship systems being put head to head in a sort of programming competition mode), but I love the idea of doing stupid little demo shit. I want to program screen savers for a spaceship.
posted by cortex at 1:30 PM on October 12, 2012


I am disappointed that the PC Gamer article has an "in spaaaaace!" tag, but this post does not.
posted by ckape at 1:30 PM on October 12, 2012


Over a decade ago Penny Arcade joked that, in the future, new releases would ship with an empty box that would get incrementally supplemented with patches. And now here's a game that you write yourself as you play. Next, we'll make our own games and play them!
posted by Nomyte at 1:33 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next, we'll make our own games and play them!

Making our own games and playing them? What a great idea for a game.
posted by griphus at 1:35 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


This looks like Quake meets Elite with a bunch of programming, so basically my favorite things. Probably never gonna stop playing this, then.
posted by hellojed at 1:41 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Next, we'll make our own games and play them!

Making a game can be a game. Wanna see something that will blow your mind? Here is a tool assisted speedrun of writing a NES emulator to do tool assisted speedruns. The keystrokes were all recorded in DOSBox and replayed into a custom text editor also running in DOSBox.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:44 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is there a video game playing sim I can play?
posted by Nomyte at 1:54 PM on October 12, 2012


SimSim
posted by griphus at 1:56 PM on October 12, 2012


…откройся?
posted by Nomyte at 2:00 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


How will people pronounce "0x10c"?
posted by dunkadunc at 2:01 PM on October 12, 2012


In Animal Crossing you can collect NES carts and play them in game.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:01 PM on October 12, 2012


How will people pronounce "0x10c"?

Rhymes with MeFi.
posted by Nomyte at 2:02 PM on October 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


I still have a hard time understanding Minecraft and I'm not sure I get this game yet either. Is the whole point in Minecraft that you're free to make things while you roam around and explore (like the whole gathering mods for weapons mechanic in other games)? I've seen the things like calculators and Ferris wheels--which is amazing, but not something I look for in a game.

And with this new game, do I read it right that the concept is that your craft breaks down and you have to find stuff to fix it? That I can understand a bit better (and sounds like it could be fun), but I'm still a bit foggy.

When I was a kid, I remember having a book of games written out in BASIC I had to program in to the family PC II (or PCJR?) before you could play them--so I've definitely had the experience of working for your entertainment (even separate from grinding for gold or XP, which I actually do like to do in moderation). But mostly I've fallen out of this mode of gaming.

Am I understanding these games more or less right? (Snark free zone; I really don't understand what this is all about... please 'splain!)
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:04 PM on October 12, 2012


How will people pronounce "0x10c"?

Ox tank.
posted by NMcCoy at 2:08 PM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is the whole point in Minecraft that you're free to make things while you roam around and explore (like the whole gathering mods for weapons mechanic in other games)?

Minecraft is almost literally a sandbox. Engage with is as one would a sandbox, assuming said sandbox was filled with giant spiders and skeletons.

I imagine that's what this will be, only in space, with computers and sucking vacuum instead of sand.
posted by ellF at 2:16 PM on October 12, 2012


In other Notch news, he got into a bit of a spat with MS over certifying Minecraft for Windows 8

I never could get into machine code, so I'm hopeful MicroSoft comes out with a BASIC interpreter for this game.

Is the whole point in Minecraft that you're free to make things while you roam around and explore (like the whole gathering mods for weapons mechanic in other games)? I've seen the things like calculators and Ferris wheels--which is amazing, but not something I look for in a game.

It's hard to explain or justify Minecraft, except to say that it's fun. Maybe it's not a game in the traditional sense of the word (although now the game has baddies, and an ultimate quest to complete). It's like playing with Lego, except it's beautiful and zombies are trying to attack you, and you're trying to build something to keep the zombies out, except you might possibly fall in lava and lose all your blocks?
posted by Jimbob at 2:18 PM on October 12, 2012


Here yt is a tool assisted speedrun of writing a NES emulator to do tool assisted speedruns. The keystrokes were all recorded in DOSBox and replayed into a custom text editor also running in DOSBox.

Hey, cool! I added it to my TAS post, thanks.
posted by ersatz at 2:32 PM on October 12, 2012


please 'splain!

The Zero Punctuation on Minecraft gets it (offensively) spot on.
posted by fullerine at 2:32 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is this a multiplayer game? I can see a tactic involving finding buffer overruns on other players ships and using weaponized malware.
posted by kzin602 at 3:03 PM on October 12, 2012


How will people pronounce "0x10c"?

or Oxy Tency
posted by dreamling at 3:20 PM on October 12, 2012


How will people pronounce "0x10c"?

"Two hundred sixty-eight"
posted by ckape at 3:22 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's actually 16^12.
posted by empath at 3:25 PM on October 12, 2012


"Aught by a lot"
posted by cortex at 5:15 PM on October 12, 2012


"Zero Ex-ten-C"
posted by hellphish at 5:32 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


How much do I wish the computer was MMIX?

THIS much.
posted by DU at 6:26 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is the whole point in Minecraft that you're free...

Yes.
posted by DU at 6:29 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You could spend hours learning to program a fake computer in a game, or you could spend that time programming real computers to do real things, like play games. This just sounds a like huge time drain that will only be fun for that 0.0001% of people who are programmers who want to program all day long with no reward or recognition whatsoever, to solve problems that are totally meaningless and accomplish nothing.
posted by deathpanels at 9:32 PM on October 12, 2012


You can say that about any game.
posted by empath at 9:57 PM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


This just sounds a like huge time drain that will only be fun for that 0.0001% of people who are programmers who want to program all day long with no reward or recognition whatsoever, to solve problems that are totally meaningless and accomplish nothing.

Oh you could say that about computers. Then people invented ways to make programs and give them to other people to install, and there developed two classes of computer people; programmers and users.

I do have to admit I'm skeptical. I feel that notch got incredibly lucky with Minecraft. It was a concept that borrowed from other concepts, but just worked and is fun, and took off on a path of its own. I mean, shit, it was so popular that Paypal froze his account because people were throwing money at him so fast they thought Mojang was a money-laundering operation. Now he's doing his best to make that difficult second album, but I don't think this game has a reason to play it yet. I mean, flying a spaceship past stars, and stars, and stars, and stars, and now and again talking to / trading with / attacking another spaceship doesn't hold as much interest for me as exploring an infinite, beautiful, random, procedurally-generated world. But there's a lot of pressure on him to get it right. In the end, I'm hoping this whole programmable 16-bit computer thing plays the same role as redstone in Minecraft - something interesting that smart people can use to do fun things, but not the point of the game.
posted by Jimbob at 10:04 PM on October 12, 2012


I been dreaming of writing a roguelike in which mobs are simply VMs running tiny programs to attack and defend. You defeat them by "hacking" them. Loosly based on the cyberspace portions of the neuromancer game. Since it is supposed to be a 90s alternate future, MMIX would be great for it. Now I just need the time.

I think notch could take FTL, add hacking, upgrades (and downgrades of course) via programming, trading programs, and it would be pretty cool.

Think of the autotargeting in FTL, what if you could program it to fire in different sequences, or change laser phase to iteract with shields, or program a drone to perform different tasks.

Everything would come with stock programming, but the game would let you dig into the code to customize everything.

Not only would it be great for those of us that already know how to program, it would be great for introducing people to programming.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:59 PM on October 12, 2012


You know, I seem to remember when Notch met with Valve way back I think in indev days they told him to add other planets to minecraft to make it a AAA game.

Could OxC10 be that featureset? Land on a planet and it is some incarnation of minecraft?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:02 PM on October 12, 2012


You know, I seem to remember when Notch met with Valve way back I think in indev days they told him to add other planets to minecraft to make it a AAA game.

Been thinking for a while that you should be able to build a rocket in Minecraft and end up on the moon. With aliens.
posted by Jimbob at 11:15 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


That would be pretty cool. They don't even have to go all engineering like in Kerbal Space Program. Treat the rocket like the nether portals. They should also resurrect the sky island biome for other planets.

They have been adding some really odd stuff recently. I wonder what the new vision is. Even Notch questioned some of the things like half blocks.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:23 PM on October 12, 2012


I'm not sure that Minecraft currently has a "vision," except to add more and more stuff to the world and make it more lively.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:25 AM on October 13, 2012


DU: How much do I wish the computer was MMIX?

THIS much.


You know, I've been thinking, since I first saw this game announced, that Notch was having a serious case of NIH syndrome. Instead of doing a custom processor, poorly, I think he'd be much better to use the 68000 design. It has extremely, extremely fast emulators, which he should be able to license, and is known to work well in the real world. He could give each machine a luxurious 256K or even 512K, and a reasonably fast server would be able to handle a hundred or more clients. If he wanted to be super cool, he could then release any improvements he made in the emulation engine; it's likely that whatever he used would need to be adapted to run many simultaneous processors, instead of one at a time.

It also seems to me that a 3D display for the computer is a violation of his premise. (basically, 1980s tech in space.)

Doing his own instruction set and interpreter means it's going to, well, suck. MMIX would also be better, but I think it's too large... it's a 64-bit assembly, which is a poor fit for the tight-memory environments Notch is thinking about.

Jimbob: Now he's doing his best to make that difficult second album, but I don't think this game has a reason to play it yet.

Well, Notch himself is saying the exact same thing, that he's got some technology working, but there's no game there yet. He is, at least, aware of the problem.
posted by Malor at 7:43 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


You could spend hours learning to program a fake computer in a game, or you could spend that time programming real computers to do real things, like play games.

Why is writing code for a Java VM to run on your desktop more real than writing code for an emulated chipset in a game? We're not talking about fake computer in the sense of a "computer" widget that you by for your Sim so he can refill his entertainment bar while it spits out some canned video game sounds; the computer in 0x10c is by design a full-on computation execution environment that accepts and runs arbitrary code. It's a computer.

There's zero reason there couldn't be (and I guess there probably already is at least a start at) a standalone VM to run code for that system on your desktop directly.

"Doing real things" is a tricky thing; most of the hard foundational "real things" work is solved problems for modern computers, so unless you are a lone crazed genius or someone who works for a company/organization actively tooling away on those established tools, there's not much to do there. One of the fun things about having a new context and a new environment to do some coding is is those hard problems get to be dealt with all over again; old becomes new, you get a chance to fiddle around with solutions to a problem that hasn't actually, in this specific context, been solved a thousand times over. A frontier! Hacking in space!

Writing a video game is a fine pursuit but not I think the thing most people would hold up as the platonic ideal of "doing something real", since you're sort of arsing about in the service of other people also arsing about. But questions of utilitarian worth aside, it doesn't much matter if you want to do that in Flash or Unity or as an ncurses terminal program or using Game Maker or hacking away on a PS3 dev kit; it's all programming.

Objecting to a kind of fun that involves learning/honing transferrable skills seems weird to me. Why shouldn't people have fun, wherever they find it? I expect the niche for hackerly 0x10c play to be small, but it's a fine niche and one I'm excited to poke around in once the guts come together.
posted by cortex at 8:40 AM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blockade Runner appears to be a clone at first, but it got its start when the devs were unsatisfied with Minecraft's fluid physics and ended up writing their own game engine to fix it. There's a big focus on spaceship design, including the magical gravity generator they all have--you can grab the center of gravity and put it somewhere else.

It's still pretty alpha, but it's playable alpha, and includes ship-to-ship combat with voxels flying off whenever you score a hit, which is a plus.

Alas, Windows-only for the moment.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:08 AM on October 13, 2012


You could spend hours learning to program a fake computer in a game, or you could spend that time programming real computers to do real things, like play games.

I used to think that about Guitar Hero. Then I realized that it's pretty fun, and I can see how people like to do fun things (even if I may have different priorities).
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 1:17 PM on October 13, 2012


"We’ve built a lot of hype around it – now we need to take a step backwards and not raise too many people’s expectations."

FAIL
posted by yoHighness at 5:47 PM on October 13, 2012


Malor: "Instead of doing a custom processor, poorly, I think he'd be much better to use the 68000 design."

I wonder. Maybe from a gameplay point of view, he doesn't want people to take existing code for existing processors and just dump it into the game, but instead write specialized code for 0x10c.

It would be hilarious if someone got an old UNIX distro running on their spaceship, I have to say.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:14 PM on October 13, 2012


IIRC, he was originally going to use a 6502 processor, then decided that actually they are abnormal and stupid to program and so invented something new. Can't say I blame him. Although a Z80 would have been nice.
posted by Jimbob at 8:18 PM on October 13, 2012


The z80! My first computer ran CPM-80 on that. I got my Epson PX-8 long after it was obsolete from Epson for $40 or so. It came with a huge stack of books on programming in Basic and using CP/M, which was strangely DOS-like but had some differences (copy was pip, for example).

Actually, that's not true. My first computer had DUAL Hitachi 6301s running at 614 Khz, but the only software on it was some weird inventory management program and a software debugger, so I couldn't use it. I was 10.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:30 PM on October 13, 2012


...MMIX would also be better, but I think it's too large...

Well, I wasn't suggesting MMIX because his thing is bad. I don't even know that Notch's design IS bad. I was thinking of killing two birds with one stone on my part and getting a lot of people up to speed on Knuth but giving them an incentive to learn this particular assembly language.

If we are going to use a real instruction set, ARM would make a lot more sense than 68000.
posted by DU at 4:02 AM on October 15, 2012


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