New teaser for Voxatron out, with the announcement that an alpha will be available soon for people who pre-order. The alpha comes with the voxel/map editor that you see in the video.
It’s undeniable that Minecraft is currently a large force in the indie gaming world, and while the topic of any new Minecraft-inspired games is a fanatically touchy subject with many gamers, I am always excited to see where developers might expand the gametype to next: It’s an important part of the advancement of game to take some already established ideas and use them in new environments. Last week, Ace of Spades utilized the place/destroy nature of voxels in a trench warfare game of capture-the-flag, and last week the formula began, quite literally, traveling to a new frontier.
Inspired by both the open-source Infiniminer and the wildly popular Minecraft, Blockade Runner aims to have players constructing spacecraft – complete with electronics systems, engines, crew stations, weapons batteries, and more – in a zero-g environment, then using them to explore the universe, either peacefully or struggling against fellow players. The game will also include a fluid algorithm for liquids as well as gasses, so if an enemy weapon happens to breach your ship’s hull, you’d better seal the hole quickly before all your air escapes into the vacuum of space.
Currently little more than an early (very early) prototype, Blockade Runner is being actively developed by ZanMgt, a dev-team comprised of six siblings. Their development schedule is split into 6-month release cycles, with weekly updates in between each major release. The current build (Release 1, Week 2) mainly only allows allows for the placement and removal of blocks of varying texture. Next week’s build plans to add propulsion systems to the ships.
Time will tell if Blockade Runner will soar to its full potential, but I’ll certainly be following the development closely.
Joseph “Lexaloffle” White has released a new teaser for his upcoming arena shoot ‘em up Voxatron that shows off the game’s model editor. A polished version of the editor will ship with the final release.
Ace of Spades is a team-based online multiplayer deathmatch game that could be adequately described as “Minecraft with rifles”. It pits two teams of up to 16 against each other, with players vying to bring back a briefcase of intel from their opponents’ base to score. What makes the game so fun is the use of constructible/destructible terrain – you can easily build bunkers, trenches, tunnels, bridges, and forts with the provided tools (some clever players are even making decoys using colored blocks). Taking out the bottom blocks of a structure will send the entire thing crumbling down.
Someone put up a guide for Ace of Spades here that explains everything you need to know about playing. To join a game, simply run the installer, go to the game’s website, and click on one of the listed servers. It may take you a while to find one that works (the game will always pop-up a message to tell you if there’s a problem, so be patient).
PROTIP: Hit Ctrl after jumping to jump out of the water, otherwise you won’t make it onto the block. This is in the guide, but I know some of you will want to start playing without reading it too carefully!
The almighty Notch has released a beefy update to Minecraft today that offers, among other things, an otherworldly new area with new block types and monsters. There are also “biomes”, which is a fancy word for different environment types (see the above video).
Notch also revealed that the “secret pixel artist” his company is hiring is none other than junkboy, the man responsible for this awesome series of demakes. Junkboy will be joining Oxeye Studios‘ Jeb and one other programmer on the talented new team that will be working on both Minecraft and an unannounced new game.
The Behemoth’s “Game 3” is now officially called BattleBlock Theater (website under construction).
On the Super Meat Boy front, here’s a sneak peek at Chapter 2, which takes place in a haunted hospital. Lots of hypodermic needles abound! Possibly inspired by Edmund’s gruesome surgery? More videos of this chapter can be found at IGN.
Notch has been hard at work on Minecraft. This fan-made video shows off some of the new additions to the game, including crafting, farming, and DYYY-NO-MITE!
Sky Invader is a really nice-looking MMF2 game that’s in early development. In the game you control a giant alien spaceship against an army of Earth defenders. Clement, the creator, promises in the YouTube comments that the final game will be “more tactical than shooter”. Thanks to the Pixel Prospector for prospecting this one!
Lots of progress on Michal “Soldat” Marcinkowski’s Link-Dead. Michal’s been working hard on AI lately – the above video shows him fighting one of his new bots, which has pathfinding and cover/reload logic. (The graphics are still procedurally generated.)
Thanks for tuning in!
Here’s a preview of Minecraft‘s Survival Mode, which paid customers will get to try out in a week’s time (September 1st). A lot has been added since we first posted about the game, like swimming cave pigs. That’s right, swimming cave pigs. And they have a taste for flesh, but only if it comes in a Hot Pocket.
Anyway, read more about the upcoming release here.
If there is one game type that I love, it’s a free-roaming space sim. Games like Elite or Freelancer come to mind, where the player has the freedom to explore a universe unbounded, to etch out a living through trading, piracy, transportation, and even mining asteroid fields.
As much as I enjoy playing the miner route in these games, the experiences is hardly ever more than a 3D Asteroids clone, where you continually shoot spinning rocks into smaller and smaller chunks. I always wanted a game with a more detailed mining simulation; similar to the suddenly popular games Infiniminer or Minecraft.
Seems like Miner Wars is gonna be my kind of game.
Inspired by games like 1991’s Tunneler, where players dug tunnels to infiltrate their enemies base, and Descent, where they flew spaceships through cramped tunnels, Miner Wars allows players to dig their way through massive asteroids in an effort to uncover precious ores and investigate alien artifacts.
Don’t be afraid you’ll roam the stars alone though, Miner Wars is an MMO. Players will be able to join guilds and work together. Will your team mine ore from the kilometer-wide asteroids? or perhaps you will lie in ambush and snatch the ore out of the hands of another hard-working miner. You are free to make your living as you please, and there is a main plot to entertain you along the way, which will evolve with future game updates.
I talked briefly with Marek Rosa, Miner Wars Game Director, about this interesting project. “The player has several factions to choose from, and this choice determines who is his friend or enemy,” explains Rosa. “This faction’s bases also act as respawn locations for the player, and he can return to these bases to upgrade his ship with new weapons, engines, shields, etc.” I was told that currently there are ten ship-types for the player to choose from, varying in things like size, cargo capacity, armaments and power.
The factions also provide NPCs for the players to interact with, and Rosa gave a few examples of missions the player might receive, “It may be rescue, fighting, exploration, mining and harvesting ore, patrolling space, stealth missions or something else entirely.” Fighting will no doubt occur between players, and faction control of various sections of asteroid field will likely be one of the driving forces in the evolution of the game’s universe. “If you dig a tunnel, and the leave and go across the universe, another player can still come across your tunnel,” said Rosa. Every interaction you have with the physical world of the game will leave a permanent effect.
Although Miner Wars has an infinite world, with asteroid fields scattered forever in every direction, players don’t need to worry about flying for hours just to complete a mission. Rosa explained that players can travel instantaneously between various ‘transportation ships,’ which will be spread throughout the game’s universe. That’s not to say that players can’t strike out on their own though, and explore the places between these transport hubs. In fact, it’s this kind of exploration that will allow the player to discover alien artifacts among the asteroids, which can be collected and sold for a high profit.
The current distribution plan for Miner Wars is a release for PC in August, with updates and expansions of the game’s story and world expected to come every few months. Shortly after the PC release, it’s planned that Miner Wars will be coming to XBLA, and there are even whisperings of a 2D version headed to handheld devices like iPhone…
Minecraft is a first-person building/digging game that is based on another game called Infiniminer, except that it’s prettier to look at and is playable in a browser using Java. In the game you can move around and add/remove various blocks, and that’s about it… fortunately, that’s all you really need to be able to do to have a fantastic time with it.
The creator, Notch, recently implemented a multiplayer mode, which makes the game even more enjoyable. I entered a public server where one guy was building a giant tower and two other players were helping each other with a stairway into the sky, where there were floating platforms all over the place. Someone else was asking for help repairing a road. I spent some time wandering around and eventually decided to build a Moai-like statue with a secret passage behind it that took you to an underground lake. It was pretty neat.
Minecraft is free-to-play right now, but will not be for much longer (10 euros or roughly $14 USD for pre-order). Development is moving quickly – I’ve heard of plans to implement everything from monsters and Dwarf Fortress-type features to various competitive multiplayer game modes like Capture-the-Flag. But for the moment it’s just a single-player and (mostly) cooperative sandbox. Also there’s no sound or music. But you know what, I rather like how tranquil it all feels right now…
TIGdb: Entry for Minecraft