It isn’t often that I get excited for a game before it releases. Well, unless that game has zombies in it. I’m always excited for zombie games. But I have been such a huge fan of Minecraft, and as a graduate of a Computer Science degree program when they still required us to know bit processing, registers, assembly and all that stuff that plenty of developers don’t concern themselves with, the announcement for Notch’s next game, called 0x10c, has me excited.

From his site, the back story is this:

In a parallel universe where the space race never ended, space travel was gaining popularity amongst corporations and rich individuals.

In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.

It’s now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.

He gives a few other details, like the game being similar to EVE Online in that you pilot a ship, and that ship has a generator with limited power, and everything on the ship draws power. And you’ll actually have to program the 16 bit CPU of your ship yourself, though I expect rather quickly people will begin trading code. And it’s going to have both a single player mode and an MMO-type mode with a monthly fee.

Being that it is Notch and the model worked so well for Minecraft, he plans on having an early release paid alpha where players can help him quickly iterate the design. The minute that becomes available, I’m in as this looks like another platform for emergent game play.

I’ll close with a screenshot of the in-game CPU running a simple program.

Hello world indeed.

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