There’s a lot more to it than the headline suggests, but as I write this my cat Layla is on the windowsill next to my head, snoring away without a care in the world, and I got to write this story by typing “CAT!” over and over in the Forbidden RPS Slack of Mystery. So they're giving me this. You can play as a cat in Hytale!
Developer Hypixel made their start as Minecraft custom server operators, letting players play it as a murder mystery, or as a kart racer, or even as a vampire hunting party game. They made good from that platform but wanted more from their own game, so Hytale is being built to be rebuilt by the community. Modding is integrated into the game, enabling you to change a huge swathe of things in real-time. Take a look.
The game's latest blog is rammed with fun things. We’ve all tinkered with weather commands in various games, but you don’t just set the game to a windy mid-day and let it take care of the rest in Hytale. Should you choose to, you can easily recolour the sky and weather, adding gradients and tones across a whole spectrum. Bind it all to a key and server owners are able to quickly change the tone of the server while players are connected.
That's also something you can do to the very blocks that make up the game, according to their blog: “Hytale's in-game tools allow you to change the textures associated with a particular block or model on the fly, to a granular level of detail. Want to change how a particular kind of stone looks? You can do that. Want to change the colour of the grass at the top of a grass block without changing the colour of the soil? You can do that too. Then, you can watch your changes take place in real-time as the update takes effect for every player.”
If you combine the block painting with the game's cut-and-paste tools, that lets you drop in previously crafted builds, you can redo whole buildings in seconds.
That’s all good for the base game, but developer Hypixel’s servers are famous for their custom Minecraft games, which is clearly what they’re building here, just without the Minecraft bit. So, yes, you can play as a cat.
Or as a dragon.
But you can also add a few more tweaks, with Hypixel ending at the logical end-point of all this: “Do you want to play a game where deadeye pigeons toss throwing knives at distant targets? Probably not. But we did that anyway.”
I do! here it is.
Hytale has no release date, but I want it to be here already.