Some Time With: Cube World (Alpha)

By Jim Rossignol on July 15th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.


Tired of our usual excursions in Torchlight II, or Minecraft, or wine, Lady Rossignol and I needed something of a fresh video-distraction for the weekend evenings. Having paid little attention to Cube World, but knowing enough about it to say that I was multiplayer, we decided to embark on the perilous path of the alpha.

This is how we got on.

Firstly it’s important to note that the developers of Cube World are called Wolfram and Sarah von Funck. That should pretty much seal its fate as one of the most important games of the year, but it turns out there’s more to it that that. Cube World is an RPG set in an infinite world. That means that whatever seed you put in to generate your world, you get a world that is endless. Philosophically speaking, therefore, if the map really is infinite, it is all the same map, since an infinite map made must contain all maps, and therefore you are just on one point on a plane of infinite potentiality that the code has instantiated. That’s maths for you. Clever stuff.

Cup of tea.

Maths was presumably also involved in the networking of the game, which we played over LAN (and which can be played over VPN using much the same system) by running a server app in the background to my game, and then typing my network IP into the other client game. Lucky I can still remember how to find my own IP, eh? All those years of mucking about with command lines had its use after all. Won’t matter come the apocalypse though, eh? We’ll all have to use Linux.


Anyway, we jumped in and made some characters using the lovely character creator. Actually, I say lovely, and mean that, but it was also sort of indicative of the game as a whole: it sticks rigidly to the standard ways of doing things that other RPGs have done in the past. While Cube World is in some ways wholly unlike anything else I have played – in its scope and openness – it is also based unerringly on ideas from mainstream MMOs, and games like the Final Fantasies and Zelda. I know people like that stuff, but it immediately demolished the idea that there were going to be any significant surprises, and so far there haven’t been. That’s not to say it’s not lovely, but that it is very much a work of genre RPG expectations.

And so into the world: Cube World’s strongest asset is, indeed, it’s cube world. It’s beautiful in a clean, perfect, Platonic landscape sort of way. The cubes give the game a superficial Minecraftian look, but the conceit of popping and unpopping those cubes for building is (for the most part, there is mining and stuff) not here. The cubes are, instead, a shortcut to create a world out of that maths stuff. And what a world! Not only infinite, as I said, but ostentatiously artful, like a measured sculpture, made by God’s 3D printer: cubey clouds float above flowing valleys and towns. Huge, monster-infested fortresses can be found at the end of winding roads from chunky fantasy towns filled with craftsmen and shops. Exquisite. I could (and did) wander through it for hours. The map is a particular glory, and it made me wish all games would pay as much attention to their graphical abstraction as this does. God, I love maps.


Furthermore, I’m one of the world’s greatest suckers for procedural world generation, so it was inevitable that I would be so entranced. Mrs Rossignol, however, is in it for the loot and the crafting, and as such she was not enjoying herself quite so much. Rightly so, perhaps, because right now the game does little to structure its experience in any meaningful way. The complete randomness of drops, resources, and so on, combined with NPCs of various levels being strewn through the world so that you are just as likely to meet an impossible dangerous squirrel as you are to find a band of orcs that you can kill quite easily, or find that thing you actually need. Any plans you might make for crafting that recipe you find tend to be no plan at all, and you just have to wait and see what the grind will bring. Clearly there are plans to round off these rough edges, but for a game world that feels so developed, and for game systems (such as crafting) with such a lot of content, it seems like a daft oversight to have launched with only the name-colour of NPCs giving you any real clue as to whether you should engage, and no good way to search for the things you actually need, other than wander, wander, wanderiiiing.

Cup of tea. Cake.


This bitterish pill is no doubt going to be sweetened by continued work on the game, which is only at the earliest stages of playable alpha, and already contains multitudes, there’s so much stuff! It’s already brimming with lovely touches – such as the NPC adventurer bands that roam the landscape – and a world of this magnitude (infinity) certainly provides a broad canvas for the devs to burn more detail into. I’m excited to see what they’ll get up to.

If there’s one thing that might keep me from coming back, actually, it was the fear that I might have already seen everything. If new biomes, new monsters, and new systems – such as PvP, which I hear is promised – spark to life in its cubic depths, then we could actually be in for a long term treat. As such, it might well be worth investing in for the journey. But I’m not yet sure. And it feels like although it has already come so far, this alpha has a long way to go. But perhaps that’s simply in its nature.

The posh tea. Expensive.

In conclusion: the next evening we ended up modding Torchlight II and playing that again instead. No offense, Cube World, but we have certain needs. We’ll visit again in a few months.

The Cube World alpha is now up.

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82 Comments »

  1. Chalky says:

    Perfectly put. Cube world has an extremely impressive engine and concept, but it’s a game that’s probably best left to mature a bit before judging. So many great little bits, but it’s missing much of the “game” part at this early stage.

  2. Tacroy says:

    Philosophically speaking, therefore, if the map really is infinite, it is all the same map, since an infinite map made must contain all maps, and therefore you are just on one point on a plane of infinite potentiality that the code has instantiated.

    That’s not necessarily true – the assumption that an infinite map contains all possible maps doesn’t always work, since the infinite map makes no guarantee of normality.

    • RedViv says:

      Hear hear, a wiser scholar of Horaceian science!

    • Bloodoflamb says:

      In this case, using demonic physicist intuition, his statement is true.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Why does the infinite map make no guarantee of normality?

      • Great Cthulhu says:

        Counterexample without math: imagine a map that is just an infinite plane (the geometric kind, not the flying kind) of water. By definition it is infinite, and by definition it does not contain any other map that is not entirely water.

        Now obviously, the maps in Cube World are not planes of just water, but they still need not contain each other. The proof for that gets a lot more complex though.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          Not convinced by that, because the rules of your example is that “map only contains water”. Cube World’s map is infinite within the rules of what makes up Cube World map.

          Likewise the example below. The Cube World rules do not generate oranges, they generate apples: all apples.

          • Tacroy says:

            Not to be entirely too nitpicky, but your original statement applied to all maps, not just Cubeworld maps. It’s the sort of thing that’s cool to think about, but ends up not working out, mathematically speaking (like, if the universe is infinite then shouldn’t there be aliens out there exactly like you and me having this conversation on their alien Paper, Shotgun, Rock blog? But no, the universe’s mass is finite, so there isn’t enough stuff out there to get that improbable.)

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Jim Rossignol
            Its not necessarily a rule though.

            Unless there is a limit on the size of a lake or ocean then an infinite map made entirely of water is as likely as any other combination, ie very unlikely but one possible map from an infinite amount of maps.

            Therefore, for your statement to be true, every map of infinite size would have to contain a lake of infinite size.

            However since the lake itself is of infinite size, for your statement to be true, the lake which contains only water would itself have to contain every possible combination of water and land.

            Therefore you are mistaken.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Tacroy
            Even if the universe had an infinite mass you would still not be guaranteed to find alien versions of Tacroy and WrenBoy having this discussion on some alien world because infinity is not so starved for choice that it is obliged to repeat itself.

          • Great Cthulhu says:

            Fair enough. But it is an infinite map that, as far as I know, might be generated by the game. You can pick any other map that you want, and I can generate an infinite number of other maps that do not contain it.

            Think of it this way: a map is just a sequence of numbers. Each number describes one feature. I.e. 0 is a sand cube, 1 is a rock cube, 2 is a water cube, etc.

            Now pick any sequence of numbers and I can give you an infinite number of them that do not contain your sequence. Even if you pick a sequence that itself is infinite.

            For instance, take the sequence of all even numbers. It is infinite, never repeats, and yet does not contain a single odd number.

            And limiting the sequence to some range of numbers, such as 0 to 9, doesn’t change this, because there are an infinite number of non-repeating numbers that are made up of the digits 0 to 9.

            Infinity is really crazy unintuitive stuff. The kind of basic math we’re taught in school doesn’t work on it. For instance, if I have infinite money and I give away half, do I then have less than before? Surprisingly, the answer is no. I can still match any pound I had before with one that I still have.

          • benkc says:

            Tacroy: by “the universe’s mass is finite”, did you mean “the observable universe’s mass is finite”? If not, what’s the reasoning for thinking that?

          • WrenBoy says:

            @benkc
            I didnt think that there was any consensus over whether the universe in its entirity is finite or not. Am very far from being a physisist though so a correction would be welcome.

          • benkc says:

            As far as I understand, the leading hypothesis is that since the observable universe is overall samey throughout (on a sufficiently macro scale), the universe is probably infinite and probably of similar overall composition/distribution/etc for at least a long ways past where we can see.

            I’m no expert either, though! So I probably misstated something there. :)

          • Mark.W.OBrien says:

            It just depends on how their map generating algorithm works. It’s possible that an infinite map would contain all maps that the algorithm could generate, but it’s also possible that it wouldn’t.

            A simple example is that there may be some randomly chosen global parameters that make certain map configurations impossible, e.g. a global cap on the height of hills. More likely is that there may be complex interactions between the algorithm and the data that put limits on what is possible with a given seed, and the results of these interactions are likely not fully understood even by the game’s creators.

            A more important limit may be that computers have a limited number of bits to represent quantities and limits to how random their pseudorandom numbers are. Due to these constraints, you might find that even randomly generated infinite maps repeat or tile if you go far enough.

          • jackofcrowns says:

            The great thing about disproving a claim with a counter-example is that it doesn’t need to be convincing, it just has to be logically sound.

      • zaratustra says:

        You can have an infinite number of apples, all different, and still have no oranges.

        • nearly says:

          I think the analogy is that Cube World produces infinite apples: therefore it contains all variations of apple.

          • Captain Strychnine says:

            Even with this analogy, it simply isn’t true. Infinite processes do not have to yield all possibilities. You could have an infinite list of only red apples; the fact that there are no green apples does not contradict the original list being infinite and, though suggestive, doesn’t even prove that green apples are excluded from whatever process generated the list in the first place.

            As others have stated, naive intuition about infinity is generally extremely erroneous. One of the stranger things about studying mathematics is that infinity actually becomes rather mundane. I know for myself that it’s hard to even relate to some of my earlier misconceptions because it all seems so natural and obvious now. A side effect of this is that I can’t help but cringe when people without exposure to abstract mathematics start talking about infinity.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            That’s one thing higher education certainly instills- snootiness!

      • WrenBoy says:

        Is the set of all odd numbers infinite? How many even numbers does it contain?

        Edit: bah, too slow

      • angeloCire says:

        Or imagine two maps based on different fractals.

      • bglamb says:

        The map may be infinite in size but not variety. You could have a seed which generates infinite plains and a seed which generates infinite sea. Neither would contain the other.

        It’s quite easy to imagine that there are seeds which can generate an infinitely large map and yet be precluded from creating certain areas that exist in other maps, simply down to the nature of how the world generator works with the seed numbers.

        • WrenBoy says:

          Even if a map was infinite in both size and variety it there is no guarrantee that it would contain all possible combinations of landscapes.

          • bglamb says:

            Uhh….not sure I’m with you there. Maybe it depends on your definition of ‘variety’?

          • WrenBoy says:

            FWIW, I would define a set as having infinite variety when it contains an infinite number of non repeating elements.

        • brulleks says:

          “The map may be infinite in size but not variety.”

          So, what you’re saying is, even if the map is flippin’ huge, it’s still not as great as Cleopatra.

          /confusingmathematicianswithliterature

    • botd says:

      I think a better way to falsify that statement is a first order logic system like ZFC where there is no set of all sets. Or perhaps more applicable in this case a set cannot contain all of its subsets (i.e. no map can contain all of its submaps). I am just a lowly physicist though, so maybe this is not applicable.

      • Great Cthulhu says:

        The premise could be true if you leave the starting position out of the definition of “being the same”. I.e. all the maps could be described entirely by the digits of pi, but each player could start at a random digit. Since there are infinite digits, each player would have a unique perspective of the otherwise infinite yet identical map.

    • deejayem says:

      Shit. Really? Guess I’d better let those infinite monkeys out of their cages.

    • Karthon says:

      I believe that his confusion comes from the lack of understanding, that many people posses, in the difference between a potential infinite and an actual infinite.

      The infinite he described is actual, however in a system where the map is created as you go along, such as in cube world, then this would be a potential infinite, wherein you may keep adding to it for and infinite amount, but each time you check it, it is not actually infinite, it has a solid number, however large it may be, it just allows you to keep adding to it as you wish.

  3. hemmingjay says:

    Yes, the alpha is an alpha. I think what allowed you to be so critical of it at this point in development is that so much of the game is already in place, just all of the bits aren’t hooked up yet.

    It’s very much a sports car with no steering wheel at this point. It’s all there and it has the potential to blow your mind but you really can’t make it go where you want to yet.

    That being said, I love it and so does my Frogman Ninja named Flash!

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Perhaps, but my main issue with it is actually that – as cute as it is – it is so generic in both systems and world design. I don’t think that is likely to change.

      • angeloCire says:

        That’s what I’ve come to look at it as- Minecraft, but with pets, meaningful levelling (it really is meaningful- my level 22 rogue can kill skull bulls, which 5 levels ago I couldn’t dream of doing), and amazing worlds beyond even what I’ve seen in Minecraft.
        The ocean biomes… simply amazing.
        Add the boat and hangglider, and realize this is still the alpha, and for me it’s a lot of excitement.

        • wolfinexile says:

          It has only passing similarities to Minecraft, in that it has crafting, a procedurally generated world using voxels and such.
          It lacks some core features of Minecraft like mining and creating your own buildings, which I feel is a waste of potential.
          Also the developers have stated that there will be no modding support, which is a real bummer.

      • Delirium6 says:

        If there’s one thing that’s not generic , it’s the weapon customization.
        You add parts to it cube by cube improving it’s stats and allowing you to change the look of it , an example would be a greatsword that I serrated by adding cubey teeth along the blade.

        Hopefully they will add something like to the character creation that would be really amazing to make a character cube by cube.

        • CynicalFelidae says:

          There was once a game on the PS3 that’s kinda like what you want. it is more like Zelda than this game, but allowed you to make a character out of lil blocks. 3D Dot Game Heroes, I believe it was called. Cube Worlds is like a much more fun, open worldy version of that title.

  4. RedViv says:

    It has been quite some time since a game utterly destroyed my character with a living walking vegetable, so there’s that.

    • The Random One says:

      So I take it you haven’t played the Undertale demo…

  5. Lemming says:

    Nice article, and interesting game. I would’ve put Alpha in big letters at the top somewhere though, rather than mentioning it near the end. Just to weed out the ones who don’t read properly and condemn this game as ‘unfinished Minecraft clone’ as they have in previous articles/previews of this game.

    • Reefpirate says:

      He’s got the word ‘alpha’ in that italicized preamble at the beginning.

  6. captain nemo says:

    The hang-gliding looks good

    • hemmingjay says:

      “Hang gliding is my favorite sport” is a phrase many of the in game characters often say. Or “I am saving up for a better Hang Glider”. It truly is a fun way to move around in the game. I am also looking forward to sailing.

  7. Mbaya says:

    I’ve really liked the look of this game so it’s good to know what is there, is quite lovely indeed.

    I’m sure I’d enjoy exploring the worlds and I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of the death-block-splosions but I’ll have to hold off until it gets a little more meat on it’s bones.

    I hope it meets it’s potential…lovely art style, procedural world, loot and gameplay I think I’ll enjoy, already off to a great start.

  8. JB says:

    “to say that I was multiplayer”

    Well, we’ve all heard the rumours ;)

    Also, thanks for the heads-up. I think I’ll wait a bit longer and check Cube World out again after that.

  9. Noviere says:

    I tried to buy this several times last weekend but due to all of the issues with their website I wasn’t able to. Now the Steam sale is on, and I have way too many games to play again… Which is probably for the best. “Huge endless world” is appealing on a lot of levels… But if all there is to do is level… I know I’d end up bored.

  10. derbefrier says:

    Its a fun game. Some friends and I have been playing the shit out of it. Its tough to start out as it seems everything will kill you at first as you said but when you figure some things out and start killing bosses (which are really fun fights) The game start becoming a blast. Killing bosses gives you tons of XP and awesome loot. They are difficult though, specially the first few. I have been running around as a rogue, with a water mage(the healing class) and a warrior. crafting is pretty simple although being able to add individual blocks to your weapons to customize their look, along with upping their stats is pretty cool. Hang gliding is always fun and you’ll definitely want a sail boat for the Ocean Biomes.

    The game is awesome and I cant wait for future updates. I am very happy I took a chance on it.

  11. darkChozo says:

    Idle gripe: what’s up with certain cube-based games using untextured colored cubes? Ace of Spades did the same thing, and as far as I’m concerned it ends up looking absolutely hideous when you’re at all close to it, as 2-3 block tall gravity-constrained characters are wont to be. It’s like having a game with nice hand drawn character sprites and then a 16×9 pixel background.

    (Disclaimer: the above is an opinion of an aesthetic-y nature and therefore represents an absolute truth of the universe.)

    • Low Life says:

      Look at it this way: If you have green blocks that are textured like grass and grey blocks that are textured like rock, you can create things that are made of grass or rock. If you have green blocks and grey blocks, you can create anything that’s green or grey.

      If you look at the screenshots for this game, for example, you’ll notice that a character isn’t made of 3 blocks, it’s made of dozens (hundreds?) of them. The characters in this game seem to have more detail than, say, the default character textures in Minecraft.

      • darkChozo says:

        Right, but the characters (sprites? models? hmm.) look to have something like 20x the linear voxel density of the terrain, so they look pretty good. The far off bits of terrain look similarly fine due to perspective. The terrain up-close looks awful; it’s the 3D equivalent of a SNES-ish game that uses a background composed entirely of 32×32 blocks of color.

        IMO, it’d be a bit better if the blocks had some sort of definition; if not something as restrictive as a grass texture, maybe solid borders or a simple pattern or some LEGO-ish protrusions. Once again, aesthetic opinion and such.

  12. jonahcutter says:

    Uber-cute and just a bit generic in it’s anime-inspired art style. It’s a very wide, very shallow game. There are neat little flourishes here and there, but no depth to anything.

    Combat is action-based, but again lacks almost any actual complication. The most depth I found was interrupting enemies when they try to heal themselves.

    I loved being able to climb things. Excellent little mechanic to tie into the satisfying peak-scaling and tree-hopping.

    It’s got the gene in it’s makeup where it sucks you in and you realize you’ve spent hours doing very little. But it felt pleasant nonetheless.

    The thing that would really push this open-world, action rpg into true greatness (rather than an all-encompassing pleasantness) would be allowing players to alter the world. But the ability to dig and build, to put your personal stamp on the world, is almost non-existent. And in a cube-based, voxel world, that’s ignoring one of your greatest strengths. This game would shine with players being able to carve out their own mines and dungeons, and build their own massive, mountaintop keeps. Without it, it’s a very run-of-the-mill action rpg game wrapped in a very charming, borderline sickeningly-cute package.

    It does make one significant nod to player agency. It does allow you to alter the visuals of your weapons by adding blocks to them. Right through an in-game crafting window. It’s great and one of the strongest parts of the game. And unfortunately does not extend beyond it.

    You’ll grind and not realize it for hours in an almost zen like state. And the world around you will trundle on with nary a sign you were there. Procedurally generated, yet still largely indistinguishable from anyone else’s.

    • CynicalFelidae says:

      It sounds like you want to make it more like Minecraft. I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, the suggestions sound like they might be a step in the right direction. I for one would love the ability to make myself a house, as another poster stated above, near town, and perhaps enact some other changes.
      On the other hand though. I rather dislike people trying to lump this game in with Minecraft, and hate on it as a ripoff or copycat. I feel adding more Minecraft-like features might give those ruffians more fuel for their fire.

  13. Snoken says:

    You have not played the game long enough! :)

    If you had played a char to lvl36 like I did you would have noticed the few things that really suck about the game in its current state:

    1. The difficulty level is way too hard at the beginning of the game and because you need to be very selective about mobs to clobber or leave alone because you’ll get smooshed all of the time. Be sure not to play alone and get a Spitter pet quickly because its crucial for healing when you solo. Leveling takes way too long, took me longer to get from 1-15 then from 15-36 because after a while you can just take on impossible amounts of enemies at the same time that give way more xp without really being more dangerous than the lvl 4 horses at the beginning (horses are bad people remember it!).

    2. There is no teleport feature, yes I know there are teleporter stones but they just teleport you from one teleporter stone to another, the problem with that is that you need to find them first. You only randomly stumble into these and they are not connected to the in-game cities which does not make any sense at all and there most definetly are not enough of them anywhere near any points of interest.
    3. There is too much running involved, that problem could have easily been solved by implementing some way of teleporting. The game has a nice day and night cycle but the problem is you can’t possibly run around during the night, the lantern does not help at all and you fall down ledges or get aggressed by invisible mobs and die in a fire way too often. The only way to get it back to being bright and sunny is to talk to an inn-keeper and they can only be found in towns. That means you’ll often have to run for over 20 mins to get back to town reset the clock and go back out exploring.

    4.The level cap for the first dungeons is retardedly high. Trust me don’t go in there till you are lvl12-15 for the easiest ones because you’ll just die millions of horrible deaths in the darkness of the first castles and catacombs.

    5. There is a total lack of questing in the game. Some npcs might send you to some places that will be marked on your map but the problem with that is you complete them yet you get no rewards from the quest givers. So basically every random non-vendor npc in the game is absolutely obsolete.

    If the devs work on these issues they might turn the thing around and turn their baby into something solid. If you would have played as long as I did you would have noticed how much loot drops from dungeon mobs and random creeps in the desert, the items range from green, purple, blue to yellow for rarity and after lvl30 every creature with about the same level cap as yours will drop literally shittons of these. My inventory was fully stacked after 20 minutes of random enemy clobbering in the desert biome, I had to run back to town to sell stuff so often I just got bored with it.

    I loved the game and I also got very frustrated with it because of its missing features. Most of all the game needs a minecraft touch though. I want to be able to build my own little house in the beautiful landscapes and get a chest where I can put all of my loots!!!! Also in

    • Jahnz says:

      To answer a point there.
      3. You can tame and ride pets, which can give you a nice boost to speed. Boats are speedy for water areas. Hang-gliding can boost you to a pretty good clip.

      Having said that I have the problem that I travel too fast. When progressing into new territory the game’s chunks don’t load fast enough and I’m surrounded by a blue fog and eventually a solid blue screen saying, “Please wait”. There are definitely alpha issues, like you probably won’t be able to host a server if you’re running Windows XP.

      I do so love the game though. I’m also one of those people who loves the look of the game.

  14. Kustos says:

    Let me start by saying that I appreciate the Author’s attempt at a fair “review” of this game, but I would like to remind him as well as the other posters that this game is in ALPHA. You carelessly cast this game in what I feel is a very negative light after only a few hours of play. Did you consider how many people you are influencing with your half hearted attempt?

    I want to know, if you took years out of your life to design and create a game, invested hundreds of hours to it and then decided to share that idea only to have it written off as being “based unerringly on ideas from mainstream MMOs”, (this comment makes my head spin. Since when did the devs even try to pass this off as an MMO?) would you feel just a bit disheartened?

    (Ahem.)

    Has anyone here ever had an idea you would have liked to share with others? If you have, did you try to put it out there before you fully thought it out? Was it shot down almost immediately? Did you get frustrated with them when they didn’t seem to understand or appreciate what it was you were trying to express?

    That’s what I feel like is going on here. This couple has allowed us to share in their vision and their dream. They have invited us to reminisce on the RPGs of yore. So what if they haven’t gotten it all down yet for our (lack of) appreciation and understanding. What they have accomplished in a couple years working by themselves is very impressive.

    There are quite a few things that you all have failed to mention. First of all: Combat. For all the whining and crying that I just read about how its so difficult to progress and the lamenting on the woes of randomness. Did you bother to read the key-mapping? There’s a dodge button. Use it. Out of curiosity, how many of you hated on Dark Souls or games of that type because you can’t just run out into a random zone, smash your face on the keyboard and get handed epics?

    They have claimed to be influenced by a lot of old School NES/SNES games. Have you ever played the first few Zelda games? If you ran into the wrong side of the screen a few times consecutively you got DESTROYED by enemies you had no chance of defeating. Even as a 6 year old I didn’t turn the game off and go play with my G.I. Joes because the game I just spent my allowance on wasn’t EASY enough.

    Secondly, have you stopped to consider the fact that there is absolutely no penalty for dying at this point in time because the developers KNOW that there is some balancing to be done? So what, you ran face first into a charging bull or a wizard death ray. You hit a button. You respawn. Instantly. No loss. There shouldn’t be any QQ here either.

    Thirdly, has anyone else bothered to read their statement on their website?

    (I’ll link it here:https://picroma.com/cubeworld#world)

    They explain their reasoning in placing mobs of varying difficulty in any given zone. I’ll summarize for you: Say you leveled a character to 40 (or 2,000. Yes, 2,000). You want to try a new map out and it happens that the friend you’re playing with is of a lower level. If you created a game and the new map loaded monsters of only their level in the immediate vicinity there would automatically be waste.

    As a higher level player you’d have to travel quite a long way to find anything that could potentially drop something useful for you. Would you prefer to be spawned in entirely different areas? As it stands, you can rest assured that there will be a variety of leveled content in all parts of the map. Sure you might get pummeled occasionally, but its not like they’re stealing your tea and biscuits too.

    If this system has frustrated you try to have a little faith. I’m sure they’ll continue to iterate on this.

    Fourthly, how many people have made mention of the game performing poorly, crashing or game-breaking bugs? Am I the only one that values this? The game is in alpha and they have done a fantastic job of programming. All interfaces work as designed. I have yet to have the client crash a single time. How many games have you played in Alpha that can say this?

    Fifthly, Creatures path exceptionally well. Movement is fluid and fun. In fact, I’ve played Skyrim and other open world RPGs fairly extensively and I’ve not seen a game that allows you to CLIMB a wall and beat that annoying archer/spell caster to death with a weapon of your choosing? Its simple, but so clever. If you were to train a pet you’d notice that they follow you everywhere. If you jump off a cliff and pop your hang glider out they’ll run after you, not just disappear where you took flight and reappear when you land. It sometimes takes my pet minutes to traverse the rivers, mountains, caves, oceans and forests to find me, but rest assured it ALWAYS finds me. Again, followers in Skyrim aren’t even that good.

    I admit that the world of games development is a bit discouraging where empty and broken promises abound and as a result I feel people have become a bit cynical. However, if you want this situation to improve then we all need to get behind projects, such as this, that have true potential and have followed through on what they’ve said. As it stands we have absolutely no reason to doubt the Devs talent or devotion to delivering a truly high quality title.

    Lastly, I believe the key principle in a proper review process is to view and criticize objectively and endeavor to avoid subjective judgements or statements. Rate the game on what its developers are designing it to do. NOT what YOU want it to be. If you can’t appreciate it for what it is then please don’t discourage others from playing it because its point is lost on you.

    • nearly says:

      This is both frighteningly aggrandizing and obsessive. Bravo.

    • DrScuttles says:

      I’m with nearly on this. And besides, it’s not even a ‘review’.

    • wengart says:

      If you are accepting money for your product don’t expect to have people go easy on you because you say it is in “alpha”.

      • c-Row says:

        I disagree – it is both offered and sold as alpha. If people spend money on it they do so on a product that was clearly marked as being in its early stages, (hopefully) not representing the final product.

        That said, it was $15 well spent for me so far. Right now it’s all exploring and grinding, but I already had way more fun with it than I had with Minecraft (yes, I understand they are not the same, but the comparison is drawn every time, especially after Minecraft being touted as the “be all, end all” of infinite sandbox games). It’s pretty polished and stable compared to other alpha versions from larger teams, and I can’t wait to see where it is going.

        • wengart says:

          I see no reason to sugarcoat things when someone is paying money for it. However, you can mention that the game is in alpha, and if the concept interests you but the current gameplay doesn’t you should check it out later in development.

  15. aliksy says:

    Sounds interesting, but I dislike leveling and loot, and like modding. Will wait for <$5 sale.

    • Boospengi says:

      It’s only going to get more expensive upon release.

      • lomaxgnome says:

        They say that, but the single example of a game that has successfully done that is Minecraft. And Minecraft isn’t a viable example for anything, it’s gaming’s absolute Black Swan in every possible way. More than likely, the game will release at nearly the same price it is now, and will have a series of progressively larger sales until it hits that magic discount point as mentioned.

        • wengart says:

          Arma 3 is doing that right now. Alpha was $32, beta is current $40 some dollars, release will be $50 some dollars.

          • BarneyL says:

            And all these price increases will be followed by an inveitable 75% sale or pay what you want bundle appearance at some point ion the future.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Yeah Barney, except for some reason (maybe due to those sales?) the developers of this game aren’t selling it anywhere except their website. Maybe that’s just during alpha, as I’m sure they’d love to be on Steam (?)
            But yeah, if they get on Steam- inevitable $2.99-$4.99 purchase next summer.

  16. Zeno says:

    It looks like their priorities were “I want to make a game that looks like this”, with gameplay being an afterthought.

  17. makko says:

    I think Cube World is very promising. Even though it might be a little confusing at start I think it will have a really good future. :)

  18. frightlever says:

    I’ve had two fairly long sessions of Cubeworld but that’s me done until it gets a bit more rounded-out.

    Agree on the enemy NPC issue – change their colour or even their size so you know whether it’s okay to start plinking them from far away.

    Also some pets are a frigging nightmare. I started with a nice low-slung terrier pet, but I swapped out for a peacock which is so tall it blocks me from seeing what I’m aiming at – they just need the pets to stand off to one side instead of literally following your character.

    There’s no fast travel system, which is a philosophical discussion but there can be a LOT of distance between towns and no merchants in between.

    I didn’t level very high and only saw one Castle and one Catacomb – the castle I couldn’t even figure out how to get into, but that was before I bought any bombs and the catacombs I got run off from PDQ by a huge mob of undead that were red to me.

    Loot drops weren’t very exciting. Is there a shared stash for character anywhere? As a ranger I got nothing but mage and rogue drops with the odd bit of warrior gear. Didn’t get a single usable drop. I almost question if this was deliberate.

    It all looks cute as the dickens though.

    • Fatrat says:

      You can tell whether an enemy will be hard or not already. Their name will be blue/white if they’re easy, orange if they’re tough, or red if they’re likely to hulk-smash your face instantly.

      And i’m the same as you, i played for a few hours on 2 occasions with some friends, but i’m waiting on more content until i go back to it. It was fun though, very promising.

      • frightlever says:

        It’s not the difficulty it’s whether it’s an enemy or not at all. A group of friendly NPCs looks the same as an enemy group. Also, you can’t even see the colour of their name until they’re much closer, but you can pretty much hit anything you can see.

  19. darkhog says:

    Wollay probably slept or skipped the class when they talked about balancing game’s difficulty. Seriously, here almost everything kills you in one hit (or two, at most), there are NO noob monsters. You are lucky if you can get away with 1HP, let alone kill anything. Vox has more balanced combat than this.

    //edit: And is better, since it has additional “creative” aspect – you don’t use preset hair, etc. No, you get to actually create character’s look yourself (though you can use preset hands, legs, etc. but it’s not mandatory).

    • frightlever says:

      Level 1 was tough but by level 5 I was dropping plenty of stuff relatively easily.

      But yeah, I have formed an entirely rational hatred of squirrels and raccoons. And in the game.

      Wasn’t aware of Vox. Gonna check it out a bit more. Not as pretty as Cubeworld but it’s early days for both games, right?

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Oh c’mon it isn’t that hard.

      • CynicalFelidae says:

        There might be room to gripe if it was a rogue-like, perma death and all, but tough mobs are just a way of life. It’s not like there’s a dwarf fortress style learning curve going on here or anything.

  20. shimeril says:

    Yep, it’s Alpha. Yep, it’s beautiful. Yep, it’s bloody hard to find easy mobs at first. Yep, it will suck your life away if you let it.

    I just cracked Level 2 and I did a little “yay” out loud, complete with pumping fists above my head. Yeah all right, I was alone. But I haven’t done that for a long time. I felt I earned that little ding by running all over the place and dying lots.

    One thing I really, really like. I got ambushed by a vampire. No, that wasn’t what I liked. I ran like mad to get away, dived into a waterway, and eventually ran into a dead end I couldn’t jump out of. Vampire right behind me, oops, time to die perhaps? Not this time. Dodged around him, ran back a bit and found a rock sticking out of the water, leaped up onto it, timed my jump perfectly and got out of the little stream and kept running. The Vampire couldn’t do it and had to find another way out, so I escaped. I outsmarted it using the environment. In an Alpha. Now that to me shows promise. Sure I’d love to build a Minecrafty cabin, fly to the next town, have more crafting options and so on. But if they already have that tracking right in the Alpha, I’m more than happy to wait for that other stuff to be developed with the same care and love in time.

    Best 15 euros I’ve spent in ages. And it’ll get better.

  21. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    So whatever happened to those giant boss battles that destroyed the environment? I know that was in a video of this game like a year ago.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Is it gone, or is it something they just need to tweak to add back in?

    • Drew says:

      I’ve encountered a few giant monsters that destroyed the terrain. Fought a giant turtle thing, for example, that carved out a sizeable crater with its spin attack. (I then hid in the crater and comboed away a fair chunk of the beastie’s absurd, Monster Hunter-eqsue health bar).

  22. ernierock says:

    Sad to see no mention of the fact that this game’s multiplayer does not work in Belgium and a few other countries depending on your ISP.

    This is because Wollay had the ingenious idea of using the port 12345 which is blocked by some ISPs for security reasons. Only way around this is Hamachi which I hate to use. Telenet is my bad ISP.

  23. lilly_watson says:

    my roomate’s step-aunt makes $61 hourly on the computer. She has been out of work for five months but last month her paycheck was $20774 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site…..b­u­z­z­5­5.ℂ­ℴ­m

  24. Cunning Linguist says:

    I tried it and it was buggy, and it looked like one of those games that can be played solo but are only worthwhile if playing online with other people.