Notch Reveals Plans For After Minecraft

By John Walker on March 7th, 2011 at 10:48 am.

The face of a man wondering if he should have said that.

In a story appearing later today on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Minecraft‘s creator, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson reveals that rather than developing Minecraft 2, he has three ideas for development once Minecraft is complete. With the blocky phenomenon intended to be finished by the end of 2011, and Scrolls being developed by others at Mojang, Persson’s mind is already pondering the possibilities for what might come next. And with an unfailing need to say every secret he has out loud, he tells us how he wants to make a “nerdy” space trading simulator, a real-world town simulation game, and a fantasy version of Football Manager. No, really. Find out more in a truncated extract from our exclusive Day In The Life Of Mojang feature, below.

“I have many games in mind,” says Persson. Does he know which will come next? “It keeps going back and forth. I’m really annoyed with how there are no space trading simulators at the moment. And the ones there have been always kind of miss the point. They’re fun, but even Elite 2 which was a great game, wasn’t really what I wanted. I really want to make that, but that’s going to be lots of work, and be extremely nerdy, and probably won’t sell very well. But hopefully I can convince other people here that they want to do it.”

Well, there’s our headline then: “Mojang’s next game is a space trading simulator.” But he’s not done.

“And then I have this weird town simulation thing, which is basically a single character Sims. You’re just one character in the town, just living. It wouldn’t be a super-realistic city simulator. It would be my take on what real life is.”

The headline I’m writing in my head starts to get a bit more convoluted. “Notch’s next game is either a space trading sim, or a real-world calm city, experiencer.” But it gets more complicated. I ask him if there’s any more ideas.

“Er… yeah. I shouldn’t probably say this because people might steal it, but what the hell. It’s like a football manager, but it’s for fantasy heroes. If you have a troll and a goblin in the same team, the troll might eat the goblin. Stuff like that.”

You can read the rest of the exclusive feature, including the many more details about these planned games, along with many more secrets from Mojang, later today on this very site.

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88 Comments »

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  1. Freud says:

    The starving artist is a compelling image but I think financial independence is a pretty good foundation for creativity.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I don’t think he ever looked like he was starving

    • snitchy says:

      @hoax
      i lol’d

    • bob_d says:

      @Freud: Absolutely. Worrying about running out of funds, being beholden to others for operating costs, etc. make it less likely you’ll take risks and be creative.

  2. Premium User Badge

    sendmark says:

    Fantasy football manager… interesting, although surely the biggest appeal of FM is creating alternative stories compared to reality. Not sure this would have much hook other than a bit of short term novelty value, like a bloodbowl conversion mod. Spreadsheet bloodbowl.

    • pakoito says:

      He didn’t say football manager. Imagine for a second you’re the guildmaster for one or several parties of heroes sponsoring and coaching them in their worldsaving quests. Align a 5 paladin party? Troll and Goblin? Priest and necromancer? Elf and Drow?
      Now that’s a good game.

    • Bilbo says:

      Uh… “It’s like a football manager, but it’s for fantasy heroes.”

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Stress -like-. I mean, what do fantasy heroes generally do? No, they don’t play a version of watered-down rugby.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      “but it’s for fantasy heroes”
      so, a cheerleader, a nurse, a school teacher, a lapdancer, and a catholic schoolgirl?

  3. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    >no space trading simulators at the moment. […] Elite 2 […] I really want to make that, but that’s going to be lots of work, and be extremely nerdy, and probably won’t sell very well.

    I’ll take 10 please.

    • Urael says:

      I’m sure there are more than a couple of Space-trading sims out there currently; he’s probably just not aware of them. I wonder how pure he wants his trading, though. Combat? Missions? Mining?

      The guys at SpaceSimCentral have comprehensive databases of these kinds of games – I’ve been through them more than once – so I’m sure there’s something out there catering to the niche he’s thinking about. I have to say, though, that we can never have to many of these types of games so Notch’s contribution will be most welcome!

    • rivalin says:

      I’ll take 100 please.
      And frankly no, I doubt he’s “just not aware of them” there hasn’t been a decent space sim in years in any form. I’d rather not have my niche filled with appalling Eastern European shovelware (Star Wolves, Tommorrow War, Precursors) or dour German spreadsheet simulators like the x-games (plus terrible attempts at story/ unintentionally funny humour; there is a character called “Ban Danna”, you have to defeat the “Khaak”, pronounced “cack”, and mine lots of “Nvidium”, which is the worst made up element ever.)
      The last good space sims I played were the I-WAR series (mentioned as some of Chet’s favourite games in the OMM piece the other day), and the Escape Velocity series, which are on average over a decade old.
      Given Notch’s love for emergent gameplay and the fact that he has a ton of resources at his disposal I think he could make something that finally “scratched that itch” of having a really good space sim. However the dev cost to profit ratio doubtless skews much better for the other two games mentioned so unfortunately I think it’s more likely to be one of those.

    • Urael says:

      People always pick on “Ban Danna” as a bad name but what’s wrong with it, exactly? I’ve never understood that particular objection, unlike the rest of your criticisms against the X series that I not only agree with but have stated many times on many forums. :)

      I’m uncertain about Notch’s definition of a space-trading game. There’s not a lot to go on in the article. Does he mean pure trading? Because I can think of several examples dedicated to that model alone. He stated Elite 2 was disappointing, so he’s got something slightly – or largely – different in mind. Has he seen Starpoint Gemini, for instance? So, no, I’m not going to assume he has an encyclopaedic list of what’s currently available in the Space sim genre because it’s niche, even on the internet, and lots of it is either hard to find or not widely publicised. I’m hoping he’s thinking about something along the lines of Kerberos’ delayed title, Northstar. That would be awesome.

    • chocolate_monkey says:

      “Nvidium”, which is the worst made up element ever
      You have obviously not watch avatar and experienced the wonderfully creative unobtainium.

    • Matt says:

      Urael, you really have to ask why “Ban Danna” is a terrible name?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerchief

      Oh, and the execrable 2003 film The Core featured unobtainium well before Avatar.

    • apricotsoup says:

      Turns out unobtainium is what architects refer to in construction when needing an infinitely strong and infinitely light material.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Unobtainium is well known to any engineer that’s come up against the harsh constraints of reality in designing their flying aquariblender.

    • Urael says:

      Yes, yes I do have to ask. I’m aware of the noun. But is that it? Is that the principal objection? Seriously? Weird.

    • Megadyptes says:

      “Yes, yes I do have to ask. I’m aware of the noun. But is that it? Is that the principal objection? Seriously? Weird.”

      It’s an atrociously terrible pun.

    • Starky says:

      Indeed, people who reacted badly to Unobtainium obviously didn’t know that it was a reference to a real (make believe) substance that Engineers have used for years.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      “Unobtainium” is a common, old joke, but that’s what it is – a joke. Actually using it in a movie is like calling an arbitrarily important character Mr. MacGuffin.

      Personally, I’d quite like X3 if it weren’t for the awful interface and generally soulless universe. Give me something like Wing Commander: Privateer with the features of X3.

    • Premium User Badge

      El_MUERkO says:

      i will also take 10, 20 if it does a universe as vast as frontier!

  4. Premium User Badge

    Stijn says:

    I’m with Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox on this one.

  5. tanith says:

    But what about Eve Online? Or the X series?
    Aren’t those, at least partially, trading simulators, too? Eve even has a dynamic economy.
    I’m disappointed.

    Well, the idea sounds nice. The town simulator, too, although I cannot see how it would work as a single player game and if you made it multiplayer you’d almost get a Third Life.
    Which would morph into an MMO and to pay for the servers you’d need to charge fees and it goes all downhill from there.

    I cannot wrap my head around the manager. Always found them tedious and boring. :\

  6. Premium User Badge

    Olero says:

    You can read the rest of the exclusive feature, including the many more details about these planned games, along with many more secrets from Mojang, later today on this very site.

    Grr, damn cliffrace… I mean cliffhangers!

    But at least one of the three games sounds great, although not very original. I hope he does finds a ton of nerds for the space trading game, before making those other games. I’m not really interested in another Sims-style game, but who knows Notch got some original twist to it. And the third game sounds like a management version of Blood Ball. Not so sure if there’s a market for it, but then again, I’m not much of a football fan anyways.

    Summary: Notch, make the space trade game before the other 2!

  7. limbclock says:

    I just wish that they’ll make Mac versions of their games in the future too.

  8. k37chup says:

    Can’t beat eve online. Fool!

  9. Sam Crisp says:

    I read those quotes in Notch’s voice.

  10. Kieron Gillen says:

    “Er… yeah. I shouldn’t probably say this because people might steal it, but what the hell. It’s like a football manager, but it’s for fantasy heroes. If you have a troll and a goblin in the same team, the troll might eat the goblin. Stuff like that.”

    I ACTUALLY STATED CODING THIS GAME!

    (There’s actually one that exists I discovered, but it was really basic and didn’t really go up for the idea.)

    I will give Notch my title if he wants it!

    FANTASY MANAGER.

    KG

    • DiamondDog says:

      Surely you’d make Superhero Manager? Must be enough teams in the Marvel Universe to fill out a league table. Whoever stops the most supervillans by the end of the season, wins?

      Obviously the Avengers would be the team to beat, but with a few canny signings S.W.O.R.D could get into the, errrrr… Super Cup places.

      So much potential.

    • apa says:

      Fantasy Manager sounds like a Hugh Hefner simulator. Which would not be a totally bad idea for a game!

    • Joe Duck says:

      Well… I also find the idea very appealing, specially if there are many races and kinds of heores and they can interact so the make fun combos that will increase their chances… kind of Gratuitous Space Battles but with a quest, or kind of like Magic: The gathering but with a quest, or kind of like Puzzle Quest but with management, or even kind of XCOM but with fantasy.
      I think there is an empty hole between all those genres and it could be filled, the only problem is to get down to do it and have a strong enough vision.
      Here’s hoping…

    • disperse says:

      I started coding a game like this too. I got as far as randomly generating Blood Bo…. *ahem* Fantasy Football players for a draft. But I also had an idea like Minecraft after playing Infiniminer.

      Ideas are worth nothing unless you follow through and complete something. *sigh*

    • cummerbund jackson says:

      I’d had the idea too, though my inspiration was Progress Quest.

      Was thinking of a more interactive version of that with a roster of characters you create, with the usual classes, talent trees, long list of spells / abilities, etc. You’d get your group together, equip them, put points in the tree, determine their tactics through a decision tree, and then let them go out to fight automatically. Could pause the endless fighting and looting every now and then to upgrade your gear, change spells and tactics, or introduce new characters. Was thinking it would be fun to allow others on the net to randomly join your group so you could have the always fun PUG experience or let them form guilds or have PVP against these other player-controlled groups.

  11. apricotsoup says:

    I have to say on the stealing the fantasy football thing, it’s not an original enough idea to be stolen.

    Blood bowl has been around for so long that the idea of a fantasy football manager has been talked over many times. There’s even a league on the official forums that makes the AI play out the games whilst the players simply manage the teams and the players.

    It may be overly niche, that said I would certainly play it and know plenty of others that would if it’s good enough.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      You’re missing the idea. It’s like running a fantasy hero party, but presented as football manager. At least that’s what I get from the “Fantasy Hero” stuff. And was my idea.

      (So basically it’s you arranging parties, then sending them out to complete quests, and then getting the results.)

      KG

    • apricotsoup says:

      Ah ok that does sound a little more unique.

      Could come down to a cross between old baldurs gate dnd type games and progress quest though depending on the level of interaction.

      Does sound like it’d make a good smartypantsphone game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Sarble says:

      @kieron that’s what I get from what he says too and is an idea I’ve been wanting to see for a while, to a point where I’ve been having the idle thoughts about coding something myself, though it’d be crap and probably a web/mobile app.

    • BurningPet says:

      That actually sounds better, for a minute there i was thinking: “oh god, notch goes again and claims he is thinking of this super unique original idea which has never been done before, except either the titles that he isnt aware of, does not want to be aware of or the ones he just hope we are not aware of”.

      but an actual “fellowship manager” can be surprisingly original. i wholeheartedly support this.
      sadly, this kind of game will probably sell best on facebook, with trading of heroes between players and such (a platform well suited for it).

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yeah – it struck me as a really fun way to basically approach the subject as well. You know when your party members fight in a “real” RPG, it’s annoying because you’re in the field and trying to do it. The idea of just stepping back and making the party management BE the game changes that. Oh fuck – the Thief is banging the Cleric behind the fighters back, etc.

      KG

    • Robert says:

      I vote for Kieron’s plan.

      I do however fear that’s not what dear Notch is thinking about. His direct analogy with football manager and the use of ‘team’ in troll-eats-goblin makes me fear that.

    • bluebomberman says:

      On the console side, there’s Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King. Personally, I wasn’t enticed manage questers instead of doing the questing myself. Then again, I haven’t bothered with Minecraft at all.

  12. AIEmpire says:

    So he want to beat EVE Online, Champ Man and The Sims…. Errrrrr? Punching a little bit above his weight here I think.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Maltose says:

    Fantasy Blood Bowl Manager 2012?

  14. Teddy Leach says:

    Oh come on, how much MORE money does he want?

    • Urael says:

      What an incredibly fatuous and pointless thing to say. The man clearly loves making games. Why do you think he should stop doing that just because he’s already made himself a fortune?

      …unless of course you’re joking and I’ve completely missed it. :S

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Yes, I’m joking. Yes, you have completely missed it.

    • Urael says:

      My apologies. I shall flagellate myself immediately. I’ve been meaning to give ol’ ‘Nine Tails’ a workout.

    • triple omega says:

      Player summons Nine Tails.
      Nine Tails uses Flagellate.
      It’s very effective.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Besides, from the look of it, the games aren’t going to make much more cash. He will probably lose some money in the process.

  15. Batolemaeus says:

    Wait.

    Space trading simulator?

    Oh god, I can hear the internet squeal. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE..

  16. Inigo says:

    Er… yeah. I shouldn’t probably say this because people might steal it, but what the hell.

    Said Zachtronics Industries.

  17. coldvvvave says:

    >space trading simulators

    Wasn’t there a game like this in 1995, I think it was called Space Bucks?

  18. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    SPACE PIRATES. more pirates in general!

    • Harkkum says:

      It will be Space Dinosaur Zombie Pirates Portraying Real Life if the recent gaming memes are anything to go by.

    • Tatourmi says:

      You forgot one nazi and one unicorn here sir.

      (Not to mention one robot and one ninja, but let’s not get over the top)

  19. tomnullpointer says:

    Please make notch answer my email questions John!
    Hes had them since before christmas.
    Chickens will die otherwise. (and zombiepigmen)

    • JFS says:

      You abomination! What did you do to those poor, cute pigmen to have them zombified?!

  20. poop says:

    oh god I’m starting to doubt whether he will ever finish minecraft or he will just go off and work on little side projects

    I also have no idea if he will be able to “finish” minecraft by the end of the year considering the unfocused trickle of minecraft updates for like the last six months.

    • Robert says:

      Don’t worry. He won’t ‘finish’ it. Even if he adds a hundred times the content and works till 2020 on it, people will still call him out on it, due to entitlement issues.

    • Fwiffo says:

      Accept what you have as final, never be disappointed!

    • poop says:

      entitlement issues= expecting what you are promised, gotcha

    • Robert says:

      His soul?

    • poop says:

      bit hard to get something that doesnt exist

    • poop says:

      pff that was the lamest joke ive ever made, oy vey

  21. vash47 says:

    “Er… yeah. I shouldn’t probably say this because people might steal it, but what the hell. It’s like a football manager, but it’s for fantasy heroes. If you have a troll and a goblin in the same team, the troll might eat the goblin. Stuff like that.”

    This guy is such a fucking joke.

  22. Adriaan says:

    Yes, a space trading game of some sorts! Now we’re talking.

  23. Bassism says:

    Now, I think Scrolls is a cool idea and will be buying it early and all.

    But, seriously. Notch, please make us a better Elite 2.

    !!!

  24. Consumatopia says:

    This sounds awesome! This is exactly what everyone was hoping for when we found out he started making bank–he’d just start working on a whole bunch of crazy ideas!

    Hooray!

  25. mbp says:

    Notch says “he wants to make a “nerdy” space trading simulator”

    Further confirmation of my long held suspicion that every game designer worth their salt has a secret ambition to do a remake of Elite.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Emanuel says:

    Oh my, I totally want the space trading simulator! <3

  27. 12kill4 says:

    Combine all three ideas. A game set in space where you progress from the daily humdrum of station/colony life until you can found your own space trading company, which you manage through a combination of manager style controls and personal actions. E.g. work to save enough in order to plan a trade expedition, pilot a craft in the convoy, hire mercs to guard the route from marauding pirates, etc… eventually manage trade networks, your agents and private army whilst seldom flying yourself due to the enormous weight-gain your riches have brought you- facilitated by an antigrav belt for extra comfort… thus your space wife (normal wife + space) leaves you and takes half the empire but only half the kids :( .

    (You went with the top half)

    • JFS says:

      If you include pirates, I think everyone who commented here will pre-order this game one day before pre-order is available.

    • RadioactiveMan says:

      I approve of this idea. Just don’t make it like the X-series space games.

  28. DigitalSignalX says:

    “In a story appearing later today on Rock, Paper, Shotgun” RPS scooping your own scoop. Next up, do a Fox style follow up on people’s reaction to your scoop of the scoop.

    • bob_d says:

      If it was Fox-style, you’d start off with an article that said something like, “It’s just my opinion, but I think Notch eats puppies and kittens.” Then you’d follow it up with a “hard-hitting” piece that “investigated” these “shocking allegations” that Notch eats puppies and kittens.

    • Josh W says:

      You could do a preview of the preview, and so on, down to the most interesting comma!

  29. NeonBlackJack says:

    These are fantastic plans. They sound like the kind of thing I always wanted to make before I realized that I can’t program. Thank you, Notch!

  30. Redcoat-Mic says:

    Innovative game designer decides on making 2 spreadsheet games and a Sims. How very boring.

  31. RegisteredUser says:

    This has a faint touch of “Here thanks to surprise hit today, overspent and gone due to terrible niche ideas tomorrow” if you ask me.

    Then again he WAS so lucky, so he should at least try and do what HE likes, whether it works or not.