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It's Hip To Be Cube World

Since we first learned of Cube World's existence, the game's developer, Wollay, has been snapped up by Mojang, although it wasn't like a crocodile eating a zebra but rather a company hiring an employee. UPDATE: actually that didn't happen in the end, though apparently amicably. Anyway! Since then, development on the game has been continuing and there are plenty of new details and some screenshots that show a variety of environments and some nifty house construction. Prepare a pickaxe, for information and images await below.

The first batch of pictures show the jungle environment, which will be joined by others such as "deserts, savannahs, tundras and snowlands" soon.

Each zone's appearance and flora (maybe fauna too?) will be decided by a climate system, which applies temperature and humidity values randomly across the world. Since seeing the first images of the game, in which the player's location is listed in the top right corner of the screen, I'd stupidly assumed the map was pre-designed with no random variation. The fact that the first location I saw was 'Hyra', a seeming allusion to 'Hyrule', probably encouraged my lazy thinking. It turns out those names are actually randomly created, as explained here: "The names are...a random combination of syllables. Depending on the properties of the ground and the vegetation, each landscape has an additional name like 'Hills', 'Mountains', 'Beach', 'Ocean' etc".

Touches like that make me excited because it's the kind of thing I do for myself if the game doesn't do it for me, so it helps to convince me the designer is thinking along the right lines, which are my lines. Every island and continent I gouge away at in Minecraft has a name of my choosing and given my giddiness when prospecting blocks, that name is often equivalent to a random combination of syllables: "metagorge", "jortel" and "brustache" form a beautiful archipelago.

How about some pictures of house construction?

Rather than being entirely free-form, construction relies on collecting blueprints, either by purchasing them or completing quests I would imagine. These can then be stuck together to make a house in which to store treasures and pretend to live.

Finally, here are some caves.

There's plenty more over at Wollay's blog, including pictures of various enemies and NPC villages. The approach to design seems very open, with suggestions asked for openly and features appearing to be open to changes based on feedback. It's also worth nothing that although the screenshots all show the player character, there is a first-person viewpoint available as well.

I'm very eager to see how this turns out, particularly as the 'Minecraft with more focus' comments aren't going to vanish anytime soon and it will be interesting to see how much the two games do actually have in common. They have random worlds in common but Cube World also has random quests to complete in those worlds. Obviously there are visual similarities but it may well turn out that its graphically that the games actually most resemble one another. Time shall tell and then so shall I.

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Adam Smith


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