If the above video looks a lot like the N64's GoldenEye 007 in space, that would be because 0x10c is still very, very early in development. The game's physics, art, and lighting engine aren't quite set yet, meaning it's got a long way to go as a game. That said, Marsh Davies at PCGamer flew on over to Mojang headquarters, and Minecraft mastermind Markus Persson and his crew were ready to talk.
As we reported earlier this year, Mojang is building 0x10c to be a "hard science-fiction" game built around the idea that humans took to space in starships run on 16-bit computers. In the game, you'll take command of your own ship as you fly from planet to planet. Key design elements include the ability to program and fix your ship, and seamless transitioning from space to a planet's surface. This continues what Mojang started with Minecraft in delivering high-concept, highly-interactive gameplay.
Our last report on the game was in April, and since then much about the game's core mechanics has been fleshed out.
Mojang is citing Alien and Firefly as influences for the game, especially in regards to interaction with the ship itself. Your craft is meant to have "a personality," and you are meant to put a lot of stock in it. Keeping it going won't be easy in that Mojang intends to reflect the brutal difficulty of interstellar travel in the game. Accidents will happen. Parts will break. Landing will be hard on the ship. Even the game's physics engine is being built around the idea, with Persson reporting that the game's gravity will mimic real life: If the gravity generator goes down, you'll notice the effects of inertia and momentum in real-time. That said, the developers were clear that 0x10c won't exactly mimic real life, as any actual accident in space, or while landing, would pose a high likelihood of destroying ship and crew. In 0x10c, an accident may happen to the ship in flight and you have to fix it as it malfunctions around you, or you may damage it while landing and have to scrounge for resources before you can lift off. They want the game to be realistic, but still accessible.
And more than just being accessible, Persson wants the game to be fun, an element he intends Mojang to work on as soon as the game's engine is solidified: "As soon as it's fun, I'm going to do the multiplayer. But nothing in the game is fun right now. I need to figure out what is actually a fun game mechanic in all of this." Minecraft has, if nothing else, its light-dark cycle and the need to survive the onslaught of nocturnal monsters - though simple, a compelling mechanic that brings an intensity to the daylight hours and a sense of anxiety that makes what you build more than just a Lego tower. What Mojang intends to bring to 0x10c in that department we have yet to see, but this reporter looks forward to finding out.