It was almost this time last year that we covered indie retro world-building MMOG Neverdaunt 8Bit (or "N8"). Back then I wrote this: "I like that N8′s distinctive and deliberately basic art style allows player-created content to immediately look at home in the world." Does that sound AT ALL FAMILIAR, readers?
Anyway, N8 and its community have been quietly evolving ever since then. If you haven't explored this curio yet, there's no time like the present. Let me tell you about it!
But first I'm gonna save myself a lot of work and make you watch the new trailer. That should give you a sense of N8's tone and what it's doing.
The way N8 works is that the whole world is divided into cells, and in each of these cells is a big Japanese-style Shrine. If you can get close enough to attack that Shrine, you gain ownership and editing privileges within that cell, whereupon your first step should be to build some kind of defense so nobody else can easily attack and take it. Your Shrine will also generate Tokens for you, which can be used to buy powers and bombs from the game's shop.
When I poked around N8 back in 2009, it was comparatively barren to what it's like now. Between new content ranging from enemies and bosses to fish mines (where you go fishing by breaking fish out of rocks with your sword) and electrical circuitry, simply wandering the world of N8 and seeing what everyone's made has become even more of a pleasure. The world's also developing a somewhat skewed, 8bit history, with various 'Actor Player Characters' being described like local legends. At one point I came across a building that was signposted as being from an older version of the N8. In tirbute, it had been kept perfectly preserved. I also came across a building that lured me in and promptly buried me on the underside of the world, but I'd rather not talk about that.
The future developments planned for N8 all sound pretty great. With alliances, ships, shields and guns all being part of the plan, it's likely that players will break off to develop their own islands and wage war on their neighbours. I think when ships get introduced, I'll absolutely be starting/joining an RPS clan. If you're interested, you can start playing N8 right here, and if you're not a trial-and-error kind of guy then you'll find the wiki here.