On an average day, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson is said to make about £120,000. His overall wealth is close to £45 million and he needs a team of bodyguards to hold off fans at public appearances. It’s not bad going for a 33-year-old Swedish geek.
Notch is the hotshot indie games designer who single-handedly created Minecraft. Since its release in 2009, his world-building game has been downloaded some twenty million times. It’s a success which has not only made him wealthy but created massive expectations for his next creation: a game called 0x10c (apparently pronounced ‘Zero Extenzy’).
Whereas Minecraft gives its players a self-contained world in which to explore and create cool stuff, this new game gives them a world contained within an entire universe. It’s insanely ambitious.
So you’re going to be able to build yourself a humongous spaceship – in which you can live – and then head off into space to do whatever you want. You can fight, trade, explore planets or just make said ship look lovely and then float around.
What makes this game really bonkers is the fact that each spaceship contains a fully functional 16-bit virtual computer. How exactly this will work remains fuzzy, but it seems that it can be used to modify just about every aspect of your spaceship, from the swishy noise your sliding doors make to the power of your weapons.
It’s designed to create the same type of open environment as Minecraft: a fertile breeding ground for creativity. It has the potential to become a kind of in-game app store where people share their creations. This sharing element means you can benefit without necessarily knowing how to programme the computer yourself.
So far, he’s only released a few screenshots of 0x10c and admits that he’s still not sure the direction it will be heading in. The way he develops a game is to basically make it up as he goes along – to test elements out, see what works and let that act as his guide.
No release date has been given but it’s expected that an early Alpha version will be released this summer.