Linden Labs, creators of Second Life, have a new game in the works that has recently had a pre-alpha release. Patterns, a game that thrusts the tools of creation into your sweaty palms and demands you put that imagination to use. Creation is it’s foundation, and it purposes to free those budding architects among us, set them upon a 3D world and see what crazy things they can create.
Linden Labs CEO Rod Humble described how Patterns came to be, “So the notion was you take a very simple 3D creation tool, you take that lovely elegance of the resources that’s in Minecraft, and then make the whole thing have physics right from the ground up.”
Akin to Minecraft, Patterns places your avatar in a world where you gather materials and use them to create new objects and structures. Your character, a humanoid made up of triangles and other geometrical shapes, uses its mind to break apart substances and create new objects. However, unlike Minecraft, you don’t fashion tools and hope to survive in a world that seems intent on killing you. Instead Patterns is solely about exploring a world that challenges you to create.
The world is composed of triangular tiles, not blocks. Exploration unveils special blocks that teach patterns like pyramids, tetrahedrons and more. There’s also a forge of sorts, which allows the creation of your own patterns. Additionally there are the different types of material and tiles. Wood, bone, stone and others, with each having its own physical properties thanks to Patterns physics engine. You have to consider the strength of the foundation when building a bridge or tall structure. A tower supported by an unsuitable foundation will quickly meet the ground, and it’s necessary to learn how certain shapes play off one another to better distribute weight.
The hope is that the physics and the different properties they’re applying to the materials you gather will allow you to do things they haven’t predicted yet. The game is open to the consumer, and the included tools are expansive enough that the more ingenious among us will fashion previously unthought-of ways to move from point A to point B.
There’s no narrative to speak of, but in a game like this, a story would be irrelevant. Really the only limitation is your imagination. Linden Labs has provided all the necessary tools and the freedom to enforce your every whim. If cruel genetics has bestowed upon yourself a rather dull mindset, or if you prefer to follow instructions rather then lead a charge, then Patterns is definitely not for you.
You have the chance to get in on the ground floor of Patterns. Currently the game costs $10 as a pre-alpha product called “Genesis Release”, with the initial fee netting early adopters all future updates. Updates that will include randomly generated worlds, multiplayer, more collectable materials, and liquids. It’s almost identical to Notch’s release of Minecraft, and early investment in that mighty game paid off for the keen consumer.
Humble says the team set out to create, “a little universe of creativity”, starting with, “a very simple tool set and growing it out from there.” And due to its promised updates and intriguing gameplay, it’s possible it could become a favourite among the creative gamer and be the next phenomenon.
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