Critters, Carnage, Cookies: Cube World

By Adam Smith on January 31st, 2012 at 9:58 am.

Orc In Silent Contemplation With Stat Bars (Johann Metfischer (1727-1770), 1762, oil on canvas)

Cube World looks more interesting every time I see it and we’re well past the point now where it’s necessary to mention Minecraft in the first sentence of every post about the game. Of course, I’ve gone and done it anyway in a gesture of shooing impatience and that probably makes me part of the problem. The solution is the latest trailer, which shows the ‘improved combat’ but also gives more glimpses of environments that cuboid characters will be chopping their way through. Looting and levelling seem far more important than carving and crafting, and the use of destructible scenery in the troll fight at the end seems a fantastic way to mark the aftermath of an epic clash.

Along with the video, Wollay has written a little about how the combat system works.

There are no more combo points but an energy called ‘spirit’. Each attack generates spirit points (SP) which you can unleash with a finishing move. The finishing move depends on your weapons.

You will find different kinds of spirits (small cubes) that you can attach to your weapons and armor, each with a different effect. For instance if you add a fire spirit (red cube) to your weapon, your finish move will deal fire damage. If you add an unholy spirit (green cube), your finishing move will drain life from your enemies and heal you. You can also attach multiple spirits for a combined effect.

The actual fights may well devolve into button-mashing mayhem but pre-brawl customisation could well demand a pinch of tactical consideration. Besides which, it looks like enjoyable button-mashing mayhem. Since I last looked, Wollay has also added pets.

Ain’t that adorable? And if he gets hurt, you have to feed him cookies to heal him. All is well in Cube World.

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44 Comments »

  1. Belsameth says:

    Must.
    Have.
    Now!

    :)

  2. MellowKrogoth says:

    Game looks great, animations are pretty awesome, but not convinced by the combat. He’s hitting monsters with this huge mace, and there’s barely any knockback.

    Also, certain enemies should probably have spirit points and special attacks (that they telegraph) as well, to spice things up ;) .

    • Gnoupi says:

      There is a knockback with the round attack, so I assume that the engine already does that without an issue, and it’s only a matter of tweaking the values.

    • Chibithor says:

      Combat reminds me of Dungeon Defenders in that it looks really floaty/weightless. Like everything was made of foam.

    • HilariousCow says:

      The subtleties of good fighting mechanics, even at their basic level, result in quite a lot of work, and a huge amount of tweaking ontop of that work. I’m sure they have more to do than just combat, so give ‘em a chance.

      It’s a big job to get it just right, is all I’m saying. Especially networked.

  3. Squirrelfanatic says:

    Concerning the crafting, I don’t know how much of Minecraft there will be in it but Cube World could become the game many people apparently wanted Minecraft to be. I think it looks pretty cool. :)

    • Universal Quitter says:

      Funny, I’ve always thought of Minecraft as ‘that game’ a lot of people tried to describe, but couldn’t articulate. That’s a weird reversal for my brain to handle right now. I may need to lie down.

  4. Deadly Habit says:

    argh want a playable alpha

  5. soldant says:

    I wanted Minecraft’s survival element to be much more… well, survival-ish. Minecraft survival will forever be “Build wall, place torches, YOU WIN!”

    This looks like it might be just what I want!

    • Phantoon says:

      That’s what the Technic Pack is for- though to be fair, Equivalent Exchange is hilariously broken to the point where if you abuse Thaumcraft with it, you can create everything from it in just a few hours of work.

  6. Kdansky says:

    It looks pretty, but oh-so-boring. Minecraft without crafting and building and exploring, but instead shallow combat? Let me guess, next come fetch-quests and the other WoW-alikes?

    • lhzr says:

      it has building and exploring.

    • sneetch says:

      You don’t think you’re being a bit harsh considering it’s still pretty much in “alpha”?

    • Kdansky says:

      I might. But on the other hand, even an alpha shows clearly what the focus of the game will be. If combat is implemented first, combat is probably going to be a major thing. I can already see the drab signs of XP, leveling up, gear collection and upgrades (Fire swords! How unique!). But that stuff (still) sells great.

    • PodX140 says:

      Excuse me then if I eargly anticipate a game whose focus is proceduraly generated exploration, along with slick combat and rpg mechanics, with added voxel customization, co-op, multiplayer, and construction.

      Hang on, why am I apologizing? That stuff sounds great!

    • Urthman says:

      When Minecraft was at this stage of development it had a procedural terrain generation engine that didn’t look this good, 3 or 4 monsters, and you could build stuff with blocks.

      Assuming those hills are solid (and from the way the ogre destroys terrain, it sure looks like they are), there’s no reason this couldn’t also include as much digging, mining, and building as Minecraft.

      And the exploring looks pretty good. The overworld is more beautiful and varied than Minecraft. We haven’t seen much of the caverns yet. I hope they’re as good or better than Minecraft’s.

      I love Minecraft and am not slagging on it at all. But this looks like it has the potential to be even better.

  7. jimjames says:

    I was pretty excited but realized if you take away the voxel’s, its not adding a great deal to other action RPG’s out there. It still looks great fun but could do with using its engine to some effect, not necessarily crafting or mining but maybe terrain deformation, or having the world around you change. I’m not sure! I know that each world is randomly generated but that’s not always a plus for me.

    I’m trying not to be too much of a downer, a one man project like this is impressive. It also wouldn’t be fair to be overly critical of a preview anyway.

    • jimjames says:

      All 3D engines are expensive/hard to build so I’m not sure how much easier it is to produce assets. He may of needed to code a voxel editor or just programmed it all in. Unless he’s using an engine freely available already. I haven’t read his blog and I’m not a programmer! So your guess is as good as mine as to wether using a voxel engine is viable as a cheaper alternative to a more generic one.

      The look is cool at the moment, its a magnet for attention. The colour gradients are oh so good and I do love the mini map. I’m not into it for the nostalgia so much, its usually the content that defines a classic for me. And I think there’s a trick to be had somewhere with this game! But it also looks like a lot of passion has gone into it regardless, so either way its a winner.

    • noodlecake says:

      I hope he is playing with a 360 controller. Mouse and keyboards make my fingers hurt after a while. I’m sure using them to play games can’t be doing anyone’s joints any good. They weren’t realy designed with gaming in mind.

    • sneetch says:

      @jimjames

      He made his own engine and his own voxel editor. I would say that frightlever was right when he said that adding “things” to this game is easier than a more tradition 3D engine because creating a low-detail, voxel model that fits in this game is simpler than creating a high-detail complex mesh model with textures that fits something more detailed.

  8. Neurotic says:

    Let’s call it Lego Terreriacraft Universe and kill all the birds with one giant stone.

  9. wodin says:

    What no building or mining? Well thats a massive downer…oh hum.

    • Bluerps says:

      Read the blog of the developer – there is building, it is just not entirely block-for-block freeform, like in Minecraft. You probably have to gather resources to do it, too.

  10. Echo Black says:

    Best mouse-over image caption in months.

  11. Bluerps says:

    So far, this game looks so promising that I get excited by every new piece of news about it.

  12. sneetch says:

    You can play as an orc? I want this even more now.

    The way things are going this could turn out to be the 3D roguelikelikelike I’ve been waiting for.

    I hope that some day he offers block by block building and mining… it would be my ultimate game then.

    • Premium User Badge Adam Smith says:

      A recent blogpost toys with the suggestion of adding playable frogmen. It’s a good read, the development process, very open.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Playable Murlocks?

      Arrwwwwllllgblgblgblgblgblgbl!

    • Skabooga says:

      The orc in the screenshot is one of the most adorable I’ve yet seen.

  13. pilouuuu says:

    This looks more interesting than Minecraft to me. And those pets look so cute!

  14. caddyB says:

    Someone should port Dwarf Fortress to one of these engines already.

  15. Prime says:

    Am prejudiced against this by my loathing of JRPGs, JRPG characters, and the genre’s uber-grind, infi-spawn mechanics. Having said that the aesthetic is fun and it has some intriguing voxel-based possibilities. I’m just hoping he explores those possibilities fully; while the big boss shown in the trailer did have a go at the terrain, I’d prefer to see MASSIVE bosses and terrain destruction the likes of which GAWWD has never seen. Tear apart a mountain, why not?

  16. aircool says:

    Looks good. That dude looks like my mate Dan :)

  17. Mitch says:

    Destructible terrain in fantasy fights… I want that for a silmarillion based game like when the Valar defeated Morgoth and destroyed half of the continent. ;-)

  18. cassus says:

    That combat would look so much better with cubes of blood spurting everywhere. The combat lacks depth, so at least make it look spectacular. Potential for awesome particle effects in this game. like with the water splash cubes. Love those details. Could also easily add like 2 or 3 skills for each weapon bound to the 123 keys. 1 for heavy swing in an arc, 2 for a front kick to knock people back, and 3 for a charge attack with knockback or up. Don’t need to add much to make the combat system more fun.

    • enobayram says:

      I love it when the weapons are each distinct mini-games on their own (Bastion).

  19. Jupiah says:

    Eh, it looks great but I just can’t get excited about it until the combat gets polished up a bit more. Way too much floaty knockback and not enough recoil on weapon swings. It’s like everyone thing is weightless. Button-mashing mayhem seems like a pretty apt description, and I’m not really interested in that.

    Giving particularly powerful attacks the power to damage and reshape the terrain is a brilliant idea though. I’d like to see that expanded, maybe have monsters that can rip up the ground to use as a shield or throwing weapon, or some geomancy style magic that lets you drop enemies into sinkholes or create earth walls to use as cover from enemy attacks.

    • Urthman says:

      Hell yeah. Who else besides me wants to see something like Magic Carpet in this engine?

    • Urthman says:

      Oh, I just remembered. If anyone wants to play a fun action game right now that lets you build and destroy terrain the way Jupiah was talking about, check out the indie game Caster:

      http://www.elecorn.com/caster3d/

  20. Brun says:

    Who else besides me wants to see something like Magic Carpet in this engine?

    Do want.

  21. Kektain says:

    Disappointed by how the combat looks right now, but it’s an early alpha.

    Seeing the fight with the giant there at the end, and specifically the impacts his hammer left in the ground, made me really yearn for a tribes-like game with destructible terrain. Levels could start in a pristine state and end with spinfusor scars liberally scattered about, punctuated with fusion mortar craters. Apply the sort of terrain smoothing Castle Story does with its voxel terrain so skiing makes sense, and I think you’d have a winner.

  22. wcanyon says:

    Looks good, damn good. I’m concerned that it’ll be shallow though… Minecraft took off because of the open ended crafting, not the fighting. Terraria the same, but the fighting and exploration is so much better there. From what I read on his blog, this guys got the right idea, hope it turns out.

  23. vexis58 says:

    The way that person is fighting the mobs is painful. They’re just wading into groups of them and mashing buttons randomly. What happened to my careful Minecraft combat that consists of “swing weapon, then run away so it can’t hit me”? They’re not even TRYING to avoid getting hurt. Their health is getting dangerously low for no reason. Is this a natural consequence of the combat engine they’re using, or is it just that the person making the video isn’t very good at playing defensively?