Space, Squared: Notch’s 0x10c First Screens

By Andrew Smee on April 12th, 2012 at 1:30 pm.

beep boop i am a robot

Information about Notch’s recently announced space exploration game 0x10c has been slowly emerging from stasis. The fine fellow tweeted a screenshot of the forthcoming game, showcasing “Flashlights, for spelunking and fixing broken ships!” featuring two spacemen (who resemble the Soldier from that low-res TF2 model pack quite a bit, come to think of it. Notch stealing content! Proof that Notch is more evil than EA!) standing in a creepy dark room with what looks to be the much talked about 16bit Basic computer in the background. But there’s more! That screen from the tweet was linked on the official site as 006.jpg, and if you cunningly replace the numbers with 001 through to 007, more screens are revealed. Im’ a propa investelagativ jurnlist. Naturally it’s likely that more screens will be added as work progresses, but for the time being I’ve put the seven already up at the time of writing after the jump for your convenience.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these screens represent a build so alpha it probably mostly exists as the dreams Notch’s computer has while in sleep mode. But there’s still fascinating details to be glimpsed here. Excitingly, the 16bit Basic computer seems to already be functional in 001, the blue screen displaying a happy little message about the keyboard working while being observed by shadowy floating balls. My favourite is 007, a tantalisingly atmospheric glimpse of a lone cosmonaut standing at a window, looking out into the inky blackness of space.

001

002

003

004

005

006

007

Already my imagination is running amok with all the possibilities that 0x10c might have. Notch’s famously see-through development process can be an asset just as much of a curse. It’s not hard to see the frothy-mouthed fervour of those extremist Minecraft fans applying themselves with the same aggressive force to this one, imagining a game or elements different to that of the final product, or even Notch’s initial vision. Which I’ve noticed has already changed: on the homepage, the feature list now reads “Hard science fiction. Update: GAH, NO! I’m focusing on fun gameplay instead. I still want to get corrected on glaring scientific errors, though.”

In that case Notch, floating shadow balls wouldn’t be able to use a keyboard. Get it right, man.

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75 Comments »

  1. stahlwerk says:

    spacecraft!

    (which is all good, please do go on, Mr. Notch)

  2. psychoconductor says:

    I was lukewarm on Minecraft, but I’m really excited to see how this will turn out.

    • cassus says:

      I was lukewarm on it as well. On the one hand I do like games which focus on creation rather than destruction. On the other hand, Minecraft was boring as balls.
      Seriously, I don’t know why so much cred is given to Notch. He’s made minecraft, a game that struck success-gold pretty much by accident. It’s lego.. There have been lego games before that NO ONE cared about, and they were pretty much exactly as boring as Minecraft. Now, all of a sudden, Notch is up there with Sid Meier, Peter Molyneux(I know a lot of people dislike him, but he made a hellaton of amazing games before he went into the bottomless pit called Fable) and Will Wright. How? Why?

      Notch is to game development as Billy Ray Cyrus is to music. A one hit wonder that no one really understands why got a hit in the first place. Then again, Notch might prove me wrong and make me look like a fool. Still, the cred he’s been given for digital lego baffles me.

      • Crazy Horse says:

        Valid points. Minecraft did have a great and mostly novel concept but alot more could easily have been done with it to make it more interesting. However I paid only 10 euro for maybe 20 hours of decent/amusing gameplay with Minecraft and feel I got my moneys worth out of it. If this Spacecraft is in the same price range then I’m sure we are all ready to hand over another 10 euro.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        Oh, so if you don’t click with something or understand the draw, it must be legions of mouth-gaping consumers that make it go? It couldn’t be the social element, with their completely player-run multiplayer. And it definitely couldn’t be that some people actually enjoy exploring random environments and building absurd crap all over the map.

        And the idea that someone could shell out 12 dollars for a game in development, enjoy it for a year or two, and then move on, well that’s laughable. NO ONE pays 50-60 dollars for new games that sometimes aren’t even good. NO ONE pays 50-60 dollars for a game, enjoys it for a week, and then moves on to the next overpriced piece of garbage.

        Why don’t you use that fracking brain of yours to UNDERSTAND other people, instead of focusing on how incomprehensible others’ decisions are for you.

        • Nogo says:

          Sounds like you should listen to your own advice about understanding, eh?

          Reference Crazy Horse on how to respond to people you disagree with, without coming off like someone peed in your cornflakes.

  3. Was Neurotic says:

    Commodore 64-style computers, awesome!

  4. Thomas says:

    Proof that notch is more evil than EA came the second he bought into the EA/Steam DLC bullshit.

  5. N'Al says:

    Well, that looks like a whole lot of nothing!

    As long as the game is good, I guess, but I’m really at a loss as to what these screens are meant to demonstrate, really.

    • stahlwerk says:

      My guess would be “volumetric shadows and keyboard interface” or similar. Notch is building Doom3 in Java, you heard it here first!

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Yes, I’m not sure why they bothered really

    • Muffalopadus says:

      WOT WE HAVE HERE ARE SOME SCREENSHOTS OF LOW POLY THINGERS AND SHAPES AND THINGS.

      All these really show is that my brief experiments with Blender aren’t as ugly as I once thought.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Agreed. Maybe it’s time to stop relaying anything Notch writes.

      I mean, ok, Minecraft was a huge success. Notch took a good opportunity and had quite a bit of luck, and the game sold millions of copies. We got it.

      That doesn’t make him a “god designer”, or anything he says worthy of that kind of worship. So maybe let’s stop blowing everything out of proportion just because it was from “@notch”. Like the Psychonauts 2 episode, for example.

      Because really, for now… there is nothing. A bunch of floating polygons. No gameplay, no stunning graphics… not even anything remotely fun. Let’s talk about this when it starts looking like an actual game.

      • DiamondDog says:

        Instead of thinking “they shouldn’t be writing this” think “I shouldn’t read this.”

        • Dan Lowe says:

          Agreed. I don’t care to hang on Markus Persson’s every word, but I do like to know about updates like these.

          If we want posts about Sim City’s first screenshots, we should have them about Notch’s next game.

          Keep doing what you’re doing, RPS. You’re the only one for me.

          • MadTinkerer says:

            I, for one will not read any more news posts about this game, but will stop to read through the comments thread and post a comment of my own. Because new screenshots for Notch’s game are not important enough to comment on, but commenting about a news post about those screenshots is. Especially when I do it.

      • Shooop says:

        /Thread

  6. Tei says:

    And the voice of Notch said “There will be light”. And 0xFFFFFF was created.

    • Gap Gen says:

      “Notch created Steve, not Adam & Eve!”

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      You’re both incredible.

      There has been some top comment threading here today.

  7. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Notch licensing James Bond for next game!?

  8. daphne says:

    Why hello there, Noctis.

    • soldant says:

      This is exactly what I thought too.

    • karlin says:

      Sweet Jesus yes. I’m still hoping that Notch has been secretly coveting the idea of a Noctis reboot. Much of what he’s said about it so far matches: science, the ship computer, easy landings. Come on, Notchis, anyone?

  9. Calamari_Maximus says:

    Looking good so far!

    Of course, this will always be “The Game Formally Known as Mars Effect” to me.

  10. Harlander says:

    Finally, a video game plot that acknowledges the bane of my existence: byte-ordering conflicts.

  11. phlebas says:

    BASIC?

  12. Ross Mills says:

    This isn’t a secret. He simply tweeted this stuff.

    That TF2 model is just something he used as an example, and he said so.

    Come on RPS, you’re better at journalism than this! :(

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Little bit confused about the use of the low-poly soldier… is he actually going to attempt to do decent character models now? Or should we expect box-men with wildly swinging arms again?

      I suspect the latter.

      • Crazy Horse says:

        The box-men will now rule outer space! Fear the box-men and their crudely rendered lasers!

  13. edit says:

    I’ll be watching this one. It seems clear that Notch is an auteur of the gaming world. All of his games will have something very distinctly “Notch” about them, particularly gameplay aspects which allow an explosion of player creativity. In this case it’s, so far, the computers.

    I hope his cold feet over Hard Sci-Fi doesn’t dissuade him from going deep with the plot, if there is to be one.

  14. Phasma Felis says:

    Hey RPS, could you maybe fix your large-image browser to respect the Escape key, or maybe even (gasp) being clicked on? ‘Cause right now, if I have my browser zoomed in at all (small text, bad eyes, you know the drill) the pictures come up larger than screen, and the Close button is unreachable, and the only way to go back to reading the article is to reload the whole page. (Or unzoom/close/rezoom, I guess, but that’s not much better.)

    I know, it’s not exactly third world starvation, but it’s kind of annoying and silly.

    • Gnoupi says:

      On that topic, please don’t make that annoying thing where middle mouse button click is taken as a normal left click, on pictures.

      If I click with the middle button I expect it to open in a new tab, like for any link.

      • Dozer says:

        I am confused. Running Firefox on WinXP, I middle-click on the images and they open full-size screenshots in new tabs. Firefox 11.

  15. Lobotomist says:

    This could easily turn out to be one of the best games in history. I mean , filling the great shoes of Braben’s Elite.

    But its really optimistic.

    Wonder if Notch can pull it off

  16. mickygor says:

    Noooo… fuck gameplay, where’s my hard science fiction?!

    • JackShandy says:

      I don’t know, man, maybe somewhere outside of games.

      • Dan Lowe says:

        Pioneer was my indie project of choice for its aspirations to create a modern Elite (a game I’ve only played now as an adult). Procedurally generated universe with [observably] accurate Newtonian mechanics? Lovely. The only thing that bugged me was that each solar system was generated separately, so you couldn’t set your ship to fly at top acceleration and leave it flying in the background.

        All of that plus community-driven content and I am officially psyched. Minecraft is my favorite game of all time and to potentially be able to play a loose facsimile of it then transport up to your ship and fly to another world is something I’m desperately looking forward to — for years.

  17. Skabooga says:

    Glad Notch is loosening this stance on the hard science fiction feature, what with the extreme improbability of a space vessel staying intact and working for so many years, let alone with a viable energy source. A little touch of soft sci-fi smooths everything out.

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    I’m not sure anything that lists Duct Tape as a feature was the hardest of sci fi in the first place.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Didn’t they use that to fix Apollo 13? Every spacecraft should’nt leave Earth without some…

      • Brun says:

        Duct tape and socks.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Yes, but generally, duct tape isn’t “notable” enough to get listed up there along side rocket fuel and communication equipment.

        In the same vein, you could announce a hard core racing game… and list that the drivers wear underpants.

        • DiamondDog says:

          But at what point during a hardcore racing game would having or not having underpants impact the gameplay?

          Clearly in a space sim Duct tape might come in handy!

          • Hoaxfish says:

            when you catch on fire… or skid marks

          • Phantoon says:

            Wouldn’t the attention to detail of noting in duct tape make it harder sci-fi than just “QUANTUM SINGULARITY DRIVE!”?

          • DiamondDog says:

            Listen, when I’m tumbling through space in 0x10c, desperately trying to fix my carbon dioxide scrubber using duct tape before I die of asphyxiation, I’ll think “cor this is just like real space flight!”

            Anyway, point me in the direction of a racing game that accurately models shit stains on it’s drivers. You can’t, because they don’t. (maybe they should?)

  19. Jomini says:

    I didn’t know Notch was working on a Noctis remake.

    • Brun says:

      The last screenshot just screamed “Noctis” at me.

      • Skystrider says:

        0x10c instantly made me think of 0×44. ;-)

        Seriously, wouldn’t be something if we could get Alex to work together with Notch on this?
        The combined genius might just destroy the universe, but it’d be worth it.

  20. Scrofa says:

    I want this game, I really do. But I expect nothing less epic than Noctis.

  21. mechabuddha says:

    Notch makes 3-D building and mining game Minecraft. Re-Logic makes 2-D building and mining game Terraria.
    Part of the team from Re-Logic is making a 2-D building and mining game in space, Starbound. Notch is making a 3-D building and mining game in space, 0x10c.

    My mind is blown.

  22. MagpieMcGraw says:

    While I don’t mind you guys reporting on what notch does, I think this post is taking it a little bit too far. These images aren’t that significant, in my opinion. It’s just his run of the mill twitterings. If you’re going to report them, you might as well just devote a section of your website to notch twitter stream. He tweets alot, you know.

  23. Net_Bastard says:

    Hooray! This guy is doing something! And once again he’s abusing a low-poly graphics style to hide his terrible art skills! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy…….

  24. Real Horrorshow says:

    Things I’m tired of hearing about:

    1. Kickstarter
    2. Ghost Recon spin-offs
    3. Mass Effect
    4. Men of War expandalones
    5. Notch

    • aDemandingPersona says:

      Things I’m tired of hearing about:

      1. People who click on articles they’re tired of hearing about.
      2. People who comment on articles they’re tired of hearing about.
      3. People complaining about articles they’re tired of hearing about.

      • Dominic White says:

        If I didn’t know it’d make me the most hated person on RPS, I’d be tempted to make a point by commenting in every forum thread I’m not interested in, to tell everyone in there how uninteresting the thing they’re interested about is.

  25. JerreyRough says:

    Curses! More following-of-every-move-notch-does! :<

    In this same genre, Blockade Runner had a fantastic update recently which makes ship building so damn easy. Though I suppose Notch's pre-pre-alpha testing pictures are more important. Not that I don't like Notch nor' 0x10c mind you, and RPS doesn't have eyes everywhere.

    • soldant says:

      Blockade Runner updated? After releasing nothing for ages?

      Seriously, can’t blame people for ignoring it. I paid for access, then promptly forgot all about it when they suddenly stopped doing weekly updates.

      • JerreyRough says:

        They’ve mostly been doing behind-the-scenes work for quite a while, though they’ve been releasing a new video each week, then started doing one each day till’ the latest release. Now there has been a few more patches fixing bugs and crashing issues.

  26. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “the dreams Notch’s computer has while in sleep mode”

    Where’s my electric sheep?

  27. JonSolo says:

    Is that? A voxel Team Fortress 2? Notch is pulling our collective leg!

  28. RegisteredUser says:

    Clearly from the same graphic genius that brought us such eyecandy as minecraft.

    • aDemandingPersona says:

      I’d take gameplay over eye candy any day. I’ve played some pretty, shitty games before. (FFXIV was a beautiful, horrible game)