If you spent all of Sunday hiding from April 1's annual barrage of falsehood, japery and good old-fashioned made-up crap, you'll have missed the debut of Mars Effect (opens in new tab), an obsessive-sounding sci-fi concoction posing as the new game from Minecraft heart-throb “Notch” Persson. So now you're all caught up on Notch's April Fool, the Swedish trickster's about ready to meta-fool you with the announcement that Mars Effect really is his next project, albeit without that difficult name. No, this game's got a whole new, arguably even more difficult name!
0x10c is the real, no-fooling title of Notch's next effort, which the Mojang founder describes as a “quite ambitious” space sim. The game's backstory (opens in new tab) sees the Space Race continuing into the 1980s with the growth of corporate and personal interplanetary tech – before a programming glitch sees hypersleep modules sending people to sleep until the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD.
Features promised for the title so far include hard science fiction, “lots of engineering,” an advanced economy system, space battles, and a fully-working 16-bit computer front-end for tinkering by programming-savvy players. This “can be used to control your entire ship,” says Notch, “or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.”
Persson says the game's “still very early in development,” but hopes to adopt a Minecraft-esque, player-driven development model. The finished game will likely run on a subscription system, says Notch, necessary to power the game's substantial persistent backend. Jump on Gmail Tap (opens in new tab) and spread the news!