Notch In Space: 0x10c Revealed

Markus Persson’s put a name and a description to the Elite-inspired space game he’s been teasing Twitter about recently, and it’s pretty obvious this is going to be a full-fat endeavour rather than another micro-project. 0x10c is the game’s name, how it’s pronounced is anyone’s guess but I’m gonna go with ‘Derek’. It’s a reference to a programming error that caused space travellers (from an alternate 1988 where the space race hadn’t ended) going into deep sleep to stay under for billions of years.

Quoth Derek’s website, “It’s now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.”

0x10c appears to be two-handed offering: in one, space travel, combat, mining, looting, planet-hopping and a multiverse economy. In the other, an in-game computer with “a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.” Which, if you squint, makes this boldly going where no Notch has gone before a little like Minecraft after all. The adventure element twinned with the no-rules player agency element, in this case virtual programming.

You can find some specs and sample code for said CPU, known as the DCPU-16 here, if you’re of a mind to.

There are no screenshots, release dates or suchlike for the game itself available yet, but a more comprehensive list of planned featres and discussion on how the emulated CPU works is over on 0x10c’s site.

Just one more thing. There will be a multiplayer aspect to this, set with one persistent, connected ‘multiverse’ which in turn means “The cost of the game is still undecided, but it’s likely there will be a monthly fee for joining the Multiverse as we are going to emulate all computers and physics even when players aren’t logged in. Single player won’t have any recurring fees.”

Is that a worried throat-clearing from somewhere in Iceland I can hear?


  1. InternetBatman says:

    Is Scrolls still going on? Does he have a couple of different teams? I’m afraid that Notch might just be a perpetual tinkerer and not really that great at sustained development. Anyways, Minecraft was a good game so I’ll keep an eye on this.

    • Disreputable_Dog says:

      yes, they do have multiple teams. there is one worknig on scrolls, one on minecraft, and notch has said he’d assemble help for his new game as he goes, just like he did with minecraft.

  2. Jimbo says:

    Shoulda called it Starcraft for lulz.

  3. Beelzebud says:

    Ah the Roger Corman school of development. Make the poster and title first, then make the game based on that.

    Except that’s not really fair to Corman. He actually finished the stuff he worked on.

  4. MythArcana says:

    Spacecraft it is then. Hopefully the XBAWKS releases will be light for a while so they can tack on a better endgame this time.

  5. gwathdring says:

    And I thought Minecraft had a steep learning curve and a heavy wiki-article dependence. It sounds like a great concept, but from the current information it sounds like 0x10c will start players out at the bottom of a deep difficulty well they’ll struggle to ever get out of. Especially with a multiplayer side to things, the DCPU documentation makes running you ship in this game sound like a bit too much to be expecting of players.

    I’m absolutely fascinated to see how it turns out though. Whether or not it works, this is a really cool idea. Now if only I could run my ship by playing Space Chem instead of programming in assembly …

    • Consumatopia says:

      My guess is that there will be blocks of code non-programmer players can just cut-and-paste into the game. Maybe they’ll even build the wiki into the game.

      • gwathdring says:

        Perhaps. Or if there’s some way to bring in external data, I can totally see a DCPU friendly version of relevant wiki-posts being integrated into the wiki by users, or set up as a downloadable text database if necessary.

        Hmm. I can also see some amazing, yet horrifying, automated griefing routines if players can attack one-another’s ships. I think this is going to be an intensely interesting project to watch.

        Sidenote: I absolutely love the idea of having limited power and having to shut down systems to run others properly. Reminds me of playing Artemis.

        • Disreputable_Dog says:

          I felt the same way when i heard about the power system. Of course, I hope there is a way to increase your power system (And hopefully the number of CPU’s on your ship) but simply having to manage your ship like that feels interesting to me.

  6. Disreputable_Dog says:

    I don’t get it.

    Not the game, I mean, I get the game. It’s making me giddy with anticipation. What I don’t get is the people who say its all “posters and PR, with nothing built yet” He’s obviously started work already. If you’ve followed him on twitter, you’d have heard all about his troubles with the 16-bit cpu and his examples of lighting.

    Hes obviously started the work, and even though he isn’t the best programmer in the world, He does something few developers do, open things up to the public from the earliest stage possible. He doesn’t wait till he’s built 90% of his game to show everyone, he opens it up from the earliest point so that everyone gets input into it. This is a way to design a game that results in something far more unique and interesting then a closed production ever does. AND on top of the community input, this type of development can even help keep a game pushing forward. When you work on something you love for that love alone, yes you will put your passion and love into it, and can achieve great things, but that’s also when a block in creativity or simply running out of steam can cripple a game. when its only you building something in your garage, if you never finish it, no one would ever know, and you never feel accountable for it. But with it out in the open like it is, not only do you get fantastic input, but you also find more motivation to keep working on it.

    When ytou make something just because you love it, then you might make something good. If you make something because you love it, and you know there are hundreds and thousands of others who love it as well, and they all get to add their ideas to your project, and their passion to yours, you can create something amazing!

    Edit: By the lords of grey, I hadn’t realized just how much I had typed in this. I guess I got a bit passionate and carried away!

    • Disreputable_Dog says:

      Thank you! I wouldn’t have known that board existed if you hadn’t linked it! :]