FortressCraft: Automated Minecraftbut Launched

FortressCraft Evolved [official site] is a Minecraftbut with large-scale industrial automisation, alien invaders, turret defenses and… wait, as Minecraftbuts go, that’s a pretty impressive lineup of ‘withs’. When I first saw FortressCraft on Xbox Live Indie Games years ago, it was Minecraft but with shiny water, but now… I’m quite surprised. After two years on Steam Early Access, FortressCraft Evolved [officially its name has an exclamation mark, but no -ed.] is… not finished, but it has left Early Access. It’s complicated.

Let’s blast the details out the way then get onto the tricky stuff. FortressCraft Evolved is a sci-fi craft-o-explore-a-builder starting from dirt and building up to, well, a colossal orbital power transmitter. You can start building machinery to automate tasks, and slap down turrets to defend your stuff, and it all spirals far beyond the scope of Minecraft. It’s out on Windows, Mac, and Linux for £7.99 right now. Player reviews on Steam are looking pretty positive.

As for leaving Early Access… creator Adam Sawkins explains that no, it’s not finished, and indeed nor is any game ever. Bit weasley, that. It seems he wanted to escape gripes that the game wasn’t finished and the Early Access stigma, so he’s declared it done enough after two months of work on polish and improving the new player experience. He says it’ll take about 300 hours of play to reach what he considers the current end, but he’d like to keep working on it – if he can afford to.

Minecraft wasn’t done when it launched, of course, and still isn’t, but Mojang were sitting on enough money to put contracts on the heads of every last person reading this. Sawkins is not. He explains that while he’s got ideas for another few years of additions, and would dearly like to keep working on it for yonks, the game has averaged about half the sales he needs to keep going.

As ever, if you don’t have money to spare, make purchase decisions based on the state of a game as it is now, rather than dreams of its future. FortressCraft’s present state does look interesting as cube ’em ups go, mind.

23 Comments

  1. Catchcart says:

    No exclamation points on the official website. Some colons, though, when they can be bothered. Also many, many different type faces and upper/camel cases. I guess evolved means not sticking to a uniform reprsentation of identity.

    • brucethemoose says:

      The Steam page seems to be the official website atm. I’m not sure what the deal with the old site is.

  2. Reivles says:

    As you say, judge a game by its current state, not its intended future… could we get a Wot I Think or similar judgement of just where that is?

    Even if it waits a few weeks and/or after the first ‘post-release’ patch to smooth out the jankiest of issues; this is the sort of game I am very curious about yet eternally cautious of.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    Wow ok I never expected to hear about this game again. I’m surprised it wasn’t abandoned a long time ago and it actually looks impressive.

  4. rustybroomhandle says:

    Is Mr Sawkins still being a doodoohead, or has he matured a bit since the first iteration of this game?

  5. brucethemoose says:

    Sold! This is the first game I’ve impulse bought in awhile… lets see how it goes.

  6. gunny1993 says:

    Sooo … it’s minecraft with mods?

    • brucethemoose says:

      In a way, it’s the opposite of modded Minecraft.

      There is a truly staggering amount of content out there in the Minecraft Forge community. The problem is getting it all to work together. Modders, modpack makers, and server admins are constantly fighting the terrible engine to keep everything stable and ticking… Things just don’t scale well, especially when you have more than one player.

      Fortresscraft has very different problems. From what I’ve seen so far, its Unity engine is very smooth, and your contraptions scale up quite well. But you only have 1 developer churning out in-game content, vs the hundreds of very skilled coders in the MC community. The gameplay isn’t quite as broad or deep, but it’s more cohesive and scales better.

      • socrate says:

        it also tend to feel exactly like the old IC(industrial craft) mod for minecraft…which was good and this seem like a bit of a downgrade to that…its the problem with these 1 dev who make game and take the idea of mod and other stuff already existing and then think they are gonna get rich at that and expect insane income…this is a big problem with these dev that won’t hire other people and do this hoping to get insane revenue…it just show a sign of a generation that have been spoiled and don’t understand the true hardship of life and what hardwork really means…he was also a massive ass to some people which didnt make him shine much.

        Factorio is by far a better project and while its not first person it actually work and is made by a bigger team and seems more competent and less childish and doesn’t make this grind that you find in Fortresscraft that is waaayy too common…its also pretty cheap considering the size of the team while this one seems really high for the ungrateful dev mentality of im not getting rich on this so im releasing it.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Interesting perspective, but I feel the mod packs are pretty consistent (given I don;t really follow the mods, just play Feed The beast with 5 other buddies from time to time)

        • brucethemoose says:

          Connected/cohesive is more what I meant. Even with all the cross-compatibility efforts on the devs part, modpack are clearly a collection of 100+ separate mods while Fortresscraft/Factorio feel more like a single game made by a single team.

  7. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Would love an opinion on the game as I’m a huge fan of modded minecraft and the FortressCraft reviews range from great to awful. The dev either delivers updates regularly or does nothing at all…

    • brucethemoose says:

      I haven’t played enough to truly judge it, but as a hardcore modded MC player, I like what I see.

      If you’re not convinced, wait for the dedicated server update to come out. Sandbox games like this are more fun on servers, and I think that’ll be the tipping point where the game really starts gaining popularity.

  8. Captain Deadlock says:

    I’ve had this for a while. Imagine Minecraft Beta but it’s snowing all the time, the controls have been randomly swapped around, there’s a host of pointless passive mobs that serve no purpose, and there is a bloody annoying robot companion swooping directly into your face every few seconds.

  9. Cvnk says:

    The description makes me think “first person Factorio”. Is that apt or would that be expecting too much? Specifically can the manufacturing chains get nice and complex?

    • Captain Deadlock says:

      Factorio is much more complex and much less frustrating.

      • brucethemoose says:

        While modded Minecraft is even more complex and more frustrating :P

        • Cvnk says:

          Which mod are you referring to? I’ve never messed around with any MC mods before. Sounds like something worth checking out.

          • brucethemoose says:

            I’ll just give you an example:

            A mod called Witchery lets you travel to a “dream” dimension by falling asleep, but your inventory doesn’t come with you. Well somehow, while I was there, I managed to construct a Galacticraft rocket and launch myself into, err, dream orbit! So I parachute back to Earth… And run into my still-sleeping body in the real world. A lot of data tied to my player.dat file was lost, which means I lost magic abilities from other mods and so on.

            Still, intrigued with the idea, I pushed further! While in the dream world, you can also construct a Witchery portal to visit your sleeping body as a ghost. So I built one end of a tech teleporter from one mod in the dreamworld, built the other as a ghost in the real world, teleported into the dream world as my ghostly self and entered the portal that normally turns you into a ghost!

            Naturally, the game wasn’t gonna take this inception crap I pulled off, and promptly crashed my client and corrupted my player data.

            This is what I mean. Individual mods are cool, but the insane creations you can make with cross-mod interaction are amazing. You can make world-eating forcefield systems that move across the map on a “frame” machine, you can make self-repairing bases with multiple drones from multiple mods, you can power your machines with the blood of dead villagers with tech-magic bridge mods, you can hit a dragon from a magic mod with a MIRV nuclear warhead or a black-hole bomb… The possibilities are endless, you see.

          • socrate says:

            its a bit similar to the old IC2(industrial craft) mod but the mod as been changed now and involve wierd pressure stuff that isn’t really that great or well implemented(the original creator stopped its support and another…i would say less talented carried the flame)…but these kind of mod with mechanic,energy management and resource transformation are really common one that i liked in the end was mekanism i think its called..its alots more simplified and as less function but with extra utility you can make fun power stuff and insane automated stuff