Hexagonal: Notch Releases New Thing Called Drop

By Nathan Grayson on April 30th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

A game titled Drop that's full of dance music? I am expecting dubstep as the twist ending.

Last time Notch competed in a Ludum Dare game jam, he made Minecraft again, only tiny. Also Zelda. And this time around? He, er, didn’t throw his unmistakable hat into the ring at all. But he coincidentally released a game that practically fits the theme – minimalism – to a tee on the same day the competition wound down, so close enough. Titled Drop, this one contains no traces of survival, blocks, or ill-timed creative blocks. Instead, it’s about typing, pulsing dance beats, Super Hexagon, and Notch’s home ceiling. Naturally, I’m expecting it to be the next Call of Duty.

In reality, Drop’s an exceedingly simple thing, but it’s fun in quick, couple-minute-long spurts. Letters spin roughly to the beat of a dance tune Notch put together (apparently, he’s been sitting on it for months, which is why he decided against entering Ludum Dare), and you typity type until you can’t typity type no more. The background, meanwhile, might as well be a level from Super Hexagon, and it distorts and misleads as letters pick up their dizzying pace.

It quickly becomes maddeningly difficult, though there’s not much in the way of curveballs – at least, that I encountered. Notch did hint that Fez’s ending was also an inspiration, so maybe it eventually spirals into sheer madness if you’re not completely terrible like SOME PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM [raises hand, immediately loses again].

I can, however, offer a little advice: the letters aren’t just random nonsense. Following along with the words you’re spelling out is both entirely possible and just about the only way to stay afloat for more than a few seconds.

So yes, have at it. No, Drop isn’t Minecraft 2 or 0x10seeitotallymadethisgamefunafterall, but it’s a nicely rhythmic little distraction that’ll leave you thinking things like “Gee, I’m feeling exhilarated I guess” and “What on earth does ‘drop visual gnostic question fractal’ mean?”

You should, of course, play all the other Ludum Dare games too. We’ll have more coverage on more of those soon.

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20 Comments »

  1. Thermal Ions says:

    It certainly looks a bit blockish – even if it’s just background and not core to the gameplay.

    Actually I tried it very briefly the other day, prior to latest version and found the background to be somewhat distracting, making it difficult to read the letters at times.

  2. Tom De Roeck says:

    My programmer (for my game The Shopkeeper) made an entry as well, check it out!

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=20457

  3. AtomicB says:

    Typing is cool again! Please check out our LD Jam entry which also uses fast typing as the only mechanic – http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=20849 .

  4. rustybroomhandle says:

    Also check out the nearly 2000 other LD entries.

  5. Meat Circus says:

    I take it you’ll be writing about the rest of Ludum Dare too? I know Notch being rich makes him better than everyone else, but I’d still like to read about what the rest of the peasants have been up to.

    • Mirqy says:

      See last sentence of story.

      • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        Linking to a list is not the same as writing about, but I’m glad for the promise of more later.

        But this article—the first on LD games (even if not officially entered) is both a product of celebrity culture, and sustaining that culture. Drop is not being brought to people’s attention or discussed because it’s newsworthy of itself, but because Markus Persson wrote it.

        I believe celebrity culture is unhealthy for games: it discourages critical thought; it encourages unrealistic expectations of the celebrated; and it distorts the relative importance of individuals vs. teams.

        RPS is not an egregious offender in promoting celebrity culture, but neither are they blameless. I would like to see Nathan, Alec, John, Jim, and Adam work against it instead of sustaining it.

    • phlebas says:

      There are 2345 entries there – it doesn’t seem unreasonable to start with the ones produced by people who’ve made interesting games in the past.

  6. Dowr says:

    Time to put those touch typing skills, that I spent so many years mastering and still come out rubbish, to the test. *cracks fingers*

  7. Shadrach says:

    For some reason I though of this while reading this story :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwPORIBUm30

  8. LimEJET says:

    Is it just me, or is this actually shit?

  9. matthias_zarzecki says:

    Glad to see you’ll also cover the rest of the games, it is always sad when a single person hogs all the spotlight.

    In that case I humbly suggest “Balls Balls Balls”, a relaxing Auditorium-esque physics-puzzler about balls. http://www.kongregate.com/games/IcarusTyler/balls-balls-balls (yes I made it. Going to check for some other cool games now)

    I think you’ll like it :D

  10. disperse says:

    OK, I’ll start.

    347

    • disperse says:

      And then I just got 505.

      Being a fast typist is helpful but even more important is memorizing the word list. You’ll quickly start to pick out the words from the first few letters.

  11. MellowKrogoth says:

    Well maybe we’ll be spared pages full of morons’ comments accusing Notch of “always making the same game” or “only copying other people’s games” this time, then.

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