[box_light]Update 2: Notch confirmed the game. The “Mars Effect” name was an April Fool’s joke, but just about everything else has gone unchanged. It’s now called, “0x10c.”[/box_light]

[box_light]* Update: Yes, it’s April First where Notch is, so it’s possible the game’s name could be a joke, but it doesn’t seem the whole project is. He’s been talking about this for a while now. I sent him a message asking him, so we’ll see if he replies. In the meantime though, I’ve added a few mentions at the bottom of the article that Notch made of the game on Twitter, going back to March 22.[/box_light]

It’s a good day for gaming. Notch, creator of Minecraft, has announced his next title, Mars Effect, which will be a free-roaming space sim. Notch said through Twitter, “it’s a completely different game! Our takes place in space, and focuses on characters, and lets you land on planets!!”

He hinted at the upcoming game on March 21. Notch told PC Gamer he wanted to make a game closer to “Firefly,” noting “I want to run around on my ship and have to put out a fire. Like, oh crap, the cooling system failed, I have to put out the fire here.”

“The goal is to do it the same way I did Minecraft,” he said. “Just basically have me work on it for a while, and then we’ll add people as needed, and try to charge as soon as possible, because it’s probably going to be open ended sandbox game as well, so it doesn’t need to be completed before people can play it.”

The name’s name pokes fun at their recent legal bout with Bethesda over “Scroll,” which they claimed violated the “Elder Scrolls” trademark. Notch states on the game’s website, “After several weeks of trying to come up with a good name for the game, we finally decided not to learn from previous experiences and pick a name that’s already kind of in use by a huge existing franchise.”

“After playing around with names like ‘Elight’, ‘Wind Commander’, and ‘Steve Online’, we finally settled on the very catchy name ‘Mars Effect,’” Notch states. Notably, they also used the same text effects as “Mass Effect.” Hopefully BioWare will be good sports about that. He also pokes fun at Mass Effect’s ending, noting that Mars Effect will have “A game ending that makes sense.”

Apparently players will have to keep wattage in mind while upgrading ships. Notch says each ship will have a fixed wattage, and anything connected to it will drain that. “A cloaking field, for example, might require almost all the power from the generator, forcing you to turn off all computers and dim all lights in order to successfully cloak,” he states.

He adds, “The computer in the game is a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.”

He notes the game is still early in development, but they’re planning to include:

  • Hard science fiction.
  • Lots of engineering.
  • Fully working computer system.
  • Space battles against the AI or other players.
  • A game ending that makes sense.
  • Abandoned ships full of loot.
  • Waist high walls.
  • Seamlessly landing on planets.
  • Advanced economy system.
  • Mining, trading, and looting.

Notch has been talking about the game for a good while now. Below are some of his tweets going back to March 22:

March 30
Playing around with name ideas for the space game. Skycraft? Master of Schmorion? Steve Online? Wing Director? B-Wing vs Tie Flyer?

March 29
I’m making a space game, and space ships have computers. So I’m giving them real ones.

March 27
The Space Game Thing is set in the year 100000000000000 or so, for serious. I think I need to consult an astrophysicist.

So what if you get inside a tiny ship and fly into a larger ship, and the larger ship enters hyperspace? What if you’re halfway in?

March 26
I have no idea what I’m doing lol 😀 This is great inspiration for the cockpit in the space game!

March 23
BREAKING: @romero is now a co-developer on The Space Game Thing. Ok, that is not true, but he gave me some BCD code for the emulator. 😀

Officially, for powering the ship. Gameplaywise, to overload and blow it up.

If I want an ship that feels like the one in Alien rather than Star Trek, I will need grit!

@kiwibonga I am not making a voxel game, no

@C418 Yes. Are you still interested in making music and sounds for it? It’s far from fun yet, so don’t start yet, though..

Considering whether to do shadow mapping or shadow volumes. Volumes might look more space-y, which is good. Mapping is grittier, also good.

I dreamed about the reactor core, and now it needs to emmitt light. Such an obvious thing, but that means I need a fancy lighting engine. 😀

March 22
@BrianFargo You should make a version for the computer in my space game thingie. 😉

Maybe came up with a name for the space game thing. Carefully checking for trademark issues this time. 😉

About The Author

Joshua Philipp is the founder and editor of TechZwn.com. He's also an award-winning journalist at Epoch Times.

3 Responses

  1. icarus

    I’m supposing Notch has heard of bitcoin?

    What’s the liklihood he will incorporate bitcoin currency options into “Mars Effect”? That would be out there …

    Reply

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