By Andrew Groen, Ars Technica
The well-known creator of the PC hit Minecraft, Markus â€œNotchâ€ Persson, announced today that his next game project will be an ambitious multiplayer space travel simulation game that sounds somewhat similar to EVE Online.The game is titled 0Ã—10C, though Persson is not quite ready to explain to anyone how to pronounce that. According to Persson, the name is kind of a riddle, though he did hint at the answer by asking via Twitter, â€œWhat happens if you try to read a 64 bit representation of 1 in a 16 bit system, but you get the endianness wrong?â€
The reference to 16-bit computers is a tie-in to one of the major themes of the game, which starts in an alternate universe version of the year 1988, where the space race never ended and humans kept climbing higher into the heavens. However, a programming glitch has caused some space travelers to stay cryogenically frozen for 281,474,976,710,644 years (instead of the planned single year). This is the way of explaining why everyone in the game is still using space ships with 1980s computers technology, even though it is the far distant future.
The gameâ€™s website explains that each playerâ€™s space ship will have a generator that is capable of putting out only a certain amount of wattage at a time, and that using abilities or computers will consume some of that wattage. So, for instance, you might be able to activate a shipâ€™s cloaking ability only if you shut down every other system, including the engines, to give it some room under the power ceiling.
Persson also plans to equip each virtual ship with a fully functioning, emulated 16-bit computer that, â€œcan be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.â€ He plans to release the virtual CPU specifications soon, â€œso the more programatically advanced of you can get a head start.â€
The website also hints at a heavy focus on things like mining and engineering, and makes allusions to multiplayer aspects through cryptic statements like â€œsingle and multi player connected via the multiverse.â€
Though the game is reportedly still â€œextremely earlyâ€ in development, with no indication of an expected release date, Persson said the game will mimic Minecraft in offering a long open beta period to help shape the final gameâ€™s release.
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