Minecraft By Way Of Second Life: Patterns

By Nathan Grayson on September 20th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

You know, when you think about it, Second Life and freeform voxel builders like Minecraft really aren’t all that different. I mean, both offer players tremendous creative freedom – which they generally mold into either a) likenesses of their favorite TV/movie objects or b) unspeakable, physics-defying flesh horrors even your greatest nightmares wouldn’t dare conjure up. So I suppose it kind of makes sense that Second Life creator Linden Labs would try its hand at an easier-on-the-eyes craft-’em-up. Maybe? A little? Granted, Patterns does at least look quite attractive – if a little familiar.

So yes, now we have triangles instead of blocks, although those seem to be just one of many options in Patterns’ shape creation tool. Beyond that, a full physics is also in place, which suggests some interesting possibilities when it comes to both building and blowing stuff up. Linden, meanwhile, is also shooting for multiplayer, procedurally generated worlds, and other such genre (Is this actually a genre now? Should it be?) staples. Here’s the all-too-brief rundown:

“Explore caverns and valleys, while you harvest substances with real world densities. Build large scale structures that reach the sky or bridges that traverse chasms. Challenge real-world physics to see which creations will tumble – or withstand – the power of gravity. It’s your universe to shape.”

Beta sign-ups are open right now, and Linden has specifically mentioned how much it values getting testers into the process as soon as humanly possible. So head over here and register to give Patterns a go.

If nothing else, I’m certainly interested in seeing where it ends up. I mean, watching every developer under the sun – large or small – be at least partially influenced by Minecraftian ideals of sandboxy-ness has been really fascinating – not to mention a tremendous relief in a world where hyper-linear shooters briefly threatened to take over. Admittedly, it’s resulted in a glut of me-toos, but I think we’re finally starting to see some differentiation show in solo projects like Cube World and bigger to-dos, ala Epic’s Fortnite. Here’s hoping Patterns can shape its enticingly topplable triangles into something similarly outside-the-box.

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14 Comments »

  1. Demon Beaver says:

    Oh my, that guy has a voice…

  2. noodlecake says:

    It does look like it could be quite a fun toy to play with. I can’t see building being as quick and it will be missing the crucial survival aspect but the physics and being able to make non-cubic forms sounds good! Also prettiness.

    • DJ Madeira says:

      People seem to forget that minecraft didn’t have survival right from the beginning. They’re taking the Minecraft development approach, too: open, paid beta and adding features the community suggest. I think this could be pretty neat.

  3. slpk says:

    I tend to gravitate towards games like these.

  4. tomeoftom says:

    Yay! Physics! One of the lead developers on the Wiremod addon for Garry’s Mod has been working on a similar thing – a kind of redstone-focused minecraft where the loose blocks have full physical properties and can move freely – called Boxtin. Very slow development, though.

  5. Jhoosier says:

    “Admittedly, it’s resulted in a glut of me-toos, but I think we’re finally starting to see some differentiation show in solo projects”

    When has it ever not? This seems to be a natural progression of things. As long as people don’t get too turned off by the “me-toos”, we see a maturation of the genre and then people start innovating again.

  6. MichaelPalin says:

    Where is the Kickstarter link?

  7. Consumatopia says:

    Crafting stuff with triangles looks cool. I hope either this game allows some kind of modding, or other games start copying its ideas–I think there’s room for more than one triangle-mesh crafting game.

  8. sahawilliam says:

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  9. hebnr says:

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