Not For Squares: Cube World Is Pretty

By John Walker on January 4th, 2012 at 11:01 am.

I want someone to make a game entirely out of spheres.

I’ve just come up with this amazing idea for a game! Ready? So, you have this procedurally generated world, entirely made of cubes. And you can hit them with tools, and build them. And there are mines. And crafting… Oh, but I’m being a cynical one. It’s not as if Minecraft was the first to do it. And Cube World is doing something pretty different. And something pretty. The gorgeous-looking cuboid game is primarily an RPG, and with that in mind developer Wollay has just added quests, which he proves in the video below.

Unfortunately, unlike Minecraft, Wollay isn’t offering his game’s early stages for people to play. In a quaint, olde-worlde notion, he’s finishing it before releasing it. But you can look at quite how lovely it is and wish.

And here’s the video he released for Christmas, while we were all sleeping curled up in the soft fur of Horace’s belly.

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61 Comments »

  1. arrjayjee says:

    I was bummed 3D Dot Heroess never came out on PC, but this looks like it will fill that hole nicely.

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah, 3D Dot Heroes was awesome. I was pleased that I had a fairly convincing werewolf hero made of blocks, that entertained me no end, as did the whole Zeldaness of the experience.

      This does seem like 3D Dot Heroes for the PC, and that I’m certainly up for.

    • MasterDex says:

      I forgot all about my desire for 3D Dot Heroes! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. xcopy says:

    Zelda with Voxels?

    • Forgoroe says:

      Isn’t it just great?
      I was looking out for this game a long time ago.

    • P7uen says:

      I was looking out for it before you were looking out for it, so I win.

      There were 2 Player McBiffingtons in that video though, is this multiplayer?

    • Suits says:

      Except for the grind quests, clone NPC, music, dungeons, tools, annoying sidekick ;)

    • Nihilexistentialist says:

      That already exists on the PS3 as “3D Dot Game Heroes.” A pretty fun parody.

  3. Crainey says:

    Looks real nice. Hopefully the full product includes quests other than killing things or that could get boring fast, I imagine it will. I imagine a procedurally generated world with questing could be quite buggy and difficult to master so I wish the developers good luck and look forward to seeing more.

    • Clash says:

      I actually believe there is only one developer.

    • Wulf says:

      Actually, I’ve had an idea in regards to this. What could be fun is doing something between Sim City and Minecraft, where you have to manage villagers from first person in a procedurally generated world. And with something like that Minecraft Technik (I think?) mod included.

      Basically, you have to build a settlement for villagers, and you have to build it to specific needs. Then once they move in, they start having desires, and these work as gathering/building quests which make you remodel your little settlement even more. Rewards come in the form of blueprints, which teach you how to make new blocks.

      It is my hope that this idea gets stolen. Srsly, feel free. Just make it moddable so I can control what things look like, including myself and my villagers.

      For example, one may want a waterfall nearby with a stream running through the village. The reward for this is a water well blueprint.

      Essentially it’d have a bit of a god sim-ish feel to it as well, since you’d be a big, powerful creature (but possibly a bit dim), and the people who move in are small gnome-like things, brilliant, but not as able to mould the world around them. So they come up with ideas for stuff for you to build, and you build their habitations for them.

      As your town becomes more impressive, you have more of the little critters move in, thus more blueprint potential. And you’ll have other towns run by other AI big critters, of course. Possibly even multiplayer, with each player controlling a village.

      Of course, you may wonder what the big critter gets out of this relationship that makes it symbiotic rather than parasitic. He gets his own domicile and armaments, which all come from blueprints. So eventually he’s going to get kevlar and a gatling gun, and his house is going to be an impenetrable fortress. So there’s that.

      Or if you’re me you’d just wander the world in your underwear and use clever traps (from blueprints) in order to detain stuff that would want to kill you/destroy your town.

      I’ll stop talking about this, now. The more I talk about it, the more I want it.

    • dontnormally says:

      @Wulf

      That is called Dwarf Fortress (ish)

      (:

    • Bart Stewart says:

      Wulf, I like this idea quite a lot — it tickles my inner Explorer in many of the right places.

      Given enough breadth and depth to the blueprints, and assuming that they become progressively more high-tech, this idea also makes me think of Age of Empires without so much murder. A game set in an attractive procedurally generated world that captured AoE’s “just a few minutes more” exploratory vibe without a primary emphasis on combat but with the possibility of eliciting cooperative behaviors from NPCs… wow.

      I’d like to play that game now, please.

  4. Premium User Badge Colthor says:

    There was a game made out of spheres, wasn’t there? On the Megadrive or Amiga? So they were really just scaled circles, but that’s why it chose spheres rather than something harder to draw.

    I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. Or if I’m just making it up. Or getting confused with Vectorman.

    • Cabaen says:

      The name of that game is Ecstatica, a game based on ellipsoid

    • Premium User Badge Colthor says:

      Ecstatica still looks surprisingly pretty. Using a similar system on modern hardware you could probably get quite the distinctive-looking game.

      But that wasn’t the one I was thinking of… I think it was Ballz:
      http://www.mobygames.com/game/ballz-3d-fighting-at-its-ballziest/screenshots
      Although only the fighters were made from spheres.

    • Skabooga says:

      “Ecstatica still looks surprisingly pretty.” True that. Also, still disturbing too. Odd combination, that.

    • Sic says:

      Ecstatica was DOS.

    • Wulf says:

      Ecstatica, wow. Oh gods I loved that. I replayed it far, far too many times.

      It appealed to me on a deeply personal level like few games could. There are monsters in an area, except the hero doesn’t go all homicidal maniac, he just decides that they’re just doing what comes naturally to them and runs, Doctor Who style. He runs, and he keeps running. In fact, the only person he may actually take out (I can’t remember whether he does or not) is the dark lord person at the end.

      And then he rides off into the sunset with the person he was trying to save, and with a very low kill count to be proud of. It’s that sort of hero whom I could praise, the sort of person whom I would very much like to meet and shake the hand of.

      …I want to see a HD Ecstatic remake, now. Exactly the same game, exactly, just done with 2011 graphical capabilities.

      This thread is making me want things.

      (Also, wasn’t there an ellipsoid fighter named 3D BALLZ or something?)

  5. PearlChoco says:

    It better has some crafting, mining and building in it.

    • RamoneSXE says:

      Wollay Said he won’t add the mining feature, but you will craft armor, weapons and other stuff with the loot, and build your fort.

  6. julianbenson says:

    What devilry is this, they’re people made out of CUBES?

  7. HammertoesVI says:

    A game made from inpsiration rather than basterdization. Just lovely. Also, yes, the game is in fact a mix of Zelda and Mindcraft (along with Diablo/WoW) as he states openly and explcitially in his FAQ. Oh and to quote his FAQ “Q: When will the game be released? A: When it’s done. :)”

    Correct, respect +1, take all my internets/money and other such internet memes and sayings.

    • SiHy_ says:

      Woah. I really want to play Mindcraft!

    • CrookedLittleVein says:

      Mindcraft sounds curiously like a cross between Minecraft and Inception to me. A build-em-up in a fully explorable yet volatile dreamscape.

      I wants it.

    • HammertoesVI says:

      What, you guys have never played Mindcraft? How did you not hear about it? It was all over Twatter. Make sure you go to BodyNovel and “Appreciate” Knotsh’s page too.

      I know, that was just awful. Now I want to play Mindcraft too!

  8. the judge says:

    so fucking lame. Lets mix skyrim(zelda) with minecraft.

    Fuck this crap, the judge demands fresh games

  9. Skusey says:

    This is pretty much what I want out of Minecraft, if a tad cutesy for my liking. I just want to be able to run around randomly generated worlds hitting things and making numbers go up. And the way the enemies disintegrate is lovely.

  10. InternetBatman says:

    Looks cool enough. I’ll probably enjoy it when it comes in a bundle.

  11. SiHy_ says:

    Don’t know why everyone’s comparing it to Minecraft. It already looks a hell of a lot more polished than Minecraft ever has!

    • the judge says:

      cause it looks like a straight ripoff of minecraft maybe? Ya think?

    • sneetch says:

      Looks far more like a 3D version of the old SNES Action RPGs like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or Secret of Mana than Minecraft to me but then again I’m capable of looking past the fact that it has a cube based world like Minecraft.

    • SiHy_ says:

      Well “the judge”, get used to typing the ‘Minecraft ripoff’ response because Minecraft isn’t just a game; it’s a genre. There’ll be plenty more Minecraft-clones on the way.
      Also next time you’re at your workbench craft yourself a sense of humour. :P

    • Urthman says:

      If that terrain is really procedurally generated, it’s impressively better than the Minecraft 1.0 terrain generator (maybe even better than Minecraft 0.7). I wonder if it can do interesting caves as well.

      Edit. Wow. Check this out. It really is procedurally generated and it really is significantly better than Minecraft:

      This castle-raiding video is pretty good too.

  12. Aezay says:

    The music is really amazing. The Christmas special music reminds me of Final Fantasy 7 for some reason.

  13. RamoneSXE says:

    Guys: CUBES WEREN’T MADE BY MOJANG.
    Thank you.

  14. Moraven says:

    Cubivore is the best Cube game that exists. On Gamecube. Which also is a cube.

  15. Navagon says:

    It won’t escape the Minecraft comparisons. But I think that might work in its favour as it does look like the kind of game that Minecraft was / is trying to become. I doubt that will mean it’s more successful than Minecraft though. :P Still, it has my interest.

  16. celozzip says:

    this is what i never liked about minecraft – the cubes are too big so you get no definition, just ‘retro’ looking blocks. this looks much better, still retains the cubic style but much prettier.

    and minecraft’s nothing special by the way, look up it’s origins. basically stolen off that other guy who ended up making spacechem. poor guy.

    • CrookedLittleVein says:

      My feelings exactly.

      I regard Zachary Barth as somewhat of a creative genius. My feelings towards Notch however are somewhat less . . . complimentary.

  17. PodX140 says:

    It looks REALLY good, color me interested. I like the surge of minecraft – but not style games, it really allows for a lot of creativity. But then again, when you have minecraft being essentially the genre of “Open world, procedurally generated,” there’s a lot you can do with it.

  18. sinister agent says:

    Still waiting for someone to do a minecraft-like, but with spheres. Build a tower! Oh wait, it’s all tumbled into an unstable, useless heap. Dig for ore! Oh wait, digging there’s turned the mountain into an unstable, useless heap. Explore a desert! Oh wait, you’re stuck in a big ravine and digging anywhere just creates more unstable, useless heaps. Spherecraft! £7.99. No refunds.

    • vecordae says:

      @sinister agent: Ah, the open-world procedurally-generated failure simulator. All of the hassle of real life with none of the escapist awesomeness of a video game. I approve. I will give you a great deal* of money to ensure that this is created.

    • PodX140 says:

      That sounds waaaay too entertaining. And imagine creeper-like enemies in such an environment!

      “Oh, you managed to actually get a house with stable walls built?” NOPE!

      The horror.

  19. Jefferson says:

    I was all excited until I read on his site that he’s changing it from OpenGL to DirectX… there goes the possibility of a Mac version.

  20. Jupiah says:

    While it looks similar to minecraft it’s a much prettier looking game and it’s got a cutesy, anime-ish aesthetic to it that minecraft certainly doesn’t have. It also seems to have a much bigger focus on combat and leveling and completely lacks the mining and building, so I’m really not sure why people are calling it a ripoff. Inspired by, sure. Ripoff? No. Not every game needs to revolutionize the industry you know.

    Pretty as it is though, it doesn’t really look that fun right now. The combat is pretty hectic with the high speed movements and crazy knockback on every attack and the monsters with landscape remodeling attacks, but everything about the game looks like it’d get awfully repetitive and grindy fast.

  21. wodin says:

    I like. I like it alot. I liked the look of Voxatron but hated the gameplay. Minecraft my daughter love but doesn’t appeal to me. Though the concept is great.

    However this seems to bring all the elements together into an RPG package which can’t be a bad thing at all. if I don’t end up playing it I’m sure my daughter will love it.

    I agree with the above poster though, combat could do with slowing down alittle and no crazy knock backs!

  22. YourMessageHere says:

    This stuff makes my head hurt. No, cube world is not pretty. It looks basic and lazy and shit, just slightly less basic and shit than Minecraft, thanks to a lack of purposefully low-res textures. I thought it was a joke the first couple of times I saw videos of minecraft, it looks that bad. For all that Minecraft seems a superb idea for a game, I’ll never play it because it’s so eye-bleedingly ghastly to look at.

    I can’t fathom this unreasoning love some people seem to have for blocky, pixellated art that is intended as ‘retro’, but conveniently forgets that old games that looked like what these are trying to be reminiscent of didn’t choose to look this way. If Space Invaders had been able to look like Homeworld or Eve or whatever the current benchmark in pretty space games is, you can bet it would have. Sure, if you like it, fine, but really, don’t imagine it’s not alienating people too.

    I suppose I have to accept this as a rational choice of aesthetic for a game, and really, however much I hate it and consider it lazy and misguided, it’s clear lots and lots of people love the look. But even if we ignore my objections, consider this. There’s no reason this has to be blocky and lumpy, except that it’s fashionable, but if this was smooth, rolling curved hills and well-detailed trees, would it still be lavished with praise? No, it would be savaged for having appallingly paper-thin gameplay and nothing but a procedural landscape generator going for it. At least, I hope it would. But this has a proceedural landscape generator AND a trendy art style, so it’s great. Hmm.

    • OpT1mUs says:

      Oh shut up…

    • Jupiah says:

      Everyone is only talking about the trendy art style and procedural landscape generator because that’s all there is to talk about yet! Most of us have the common decency not to “savage” a game for “appallingly paper-thin gameplay” when the game hasn’t been freakin’ released yet. Sheesh.

    • tasogareken says:

      I don’t know why people assume that the aesthetic is purely for ‘laziness’ or to follow a trend. The fact of the matter is the game uses a voxel based engine, and frankly would require a beast of a rig (not to mention a horrid amount of funds for the software costs in development) to run if it looked as smooth as a polygon based game.

      It’s not always about following a trend. Sometimes it’s about working within your means and targeting as many of your demographic that you can. While he may have decided to choose this style at the end of the day, it would be stupid, shallow, and downright distasteful to condemn him for any part of his game. Long story short, the dude’s doing wonderfully on his own. Cut him some slack, his work is impressive and would be praised any other time.

  23. sassy says:

    The art direction in this game is brilliant. While it could have just relied on minecrafts style it has gone far beyond that.

    Also special points for that minimap. It is gorgeous!

  24. MrEvilGuy says:

    What this game needs is randomly generated monsters (appearance, behaviour and all).

  25. lobstilops says:

    Game looks neato. Also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwZdXRPeYrc&context=C3db53b4ADOEgsToPDskJUu91sWsxgzb9ZG89ztl8j

    A lot of voxel games have been popping up. I’m glad, Minecraft is pretty much abandoned :(

    But my wallet is angry.