Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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‘FortressCraft’ Dev Suffers DDoS Attack On ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’ Launch Day

FortressCraft

Adam Sawkins, lead developer of FortressCraft, has called the police after a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack was carried out on FortressCraft.com on May 9th – the launch day of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition.

Since FortressCraft launched on the Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace, Adam has been exposed to a number of negative remarks due to the game’s similarities to Minecraft causing it to be labelled a clone on many occasions. This is a label that Adam has rejected and fought against ever since. Despite the flak, FortressCraft has risen to the very top of the sales chart for XBLIG and has recently been surpassed in total sales by another Minecraft similar, Total Miner.

Yesterday, the negativity against FortressCraft grew to a new height when the game’s official website was overloaded and is still offline due to the DDoS attack. Not long after, Adam took to Twitter where he made it clear that he believed the attack was planned by parts of the Minecraft community – this tweet being the most revealing:

“Aaaand, the FortressCraft website’s being DDOSd. Fuck you and your ‘community’, @Notch”

Since then, Adam revealed to Eurogamer that he has actually gone so far as to call the police about the attack claiming that, under British law, the police can play role in this as hacking in any form is treated very seriously and as it is a business site that is the victim, there is a potential loss of earnings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Adam is also not a fan of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, claiming that “4J [Studios] had no budget restrictions, unfettered access to Microsoft, and a solid, world-class game as a template, and still managed to ship a game with a tiny world, no working skins, and no dedicated servers – and even that was a port of a 14 month old snapshot of the MC source base.”

Despite those setbacks, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition seems to have gone on to become one of the top selling XBLA titles of all time, the leaderboards boasting at least 600,000 players in the first 24 hours of the game’s launch. Markus “Notch” Persson also tweeted that the game was profitable in just one hour.

You can purchase FortressCraft from the XBLIG marketplace as well as Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition – you can decide which one, if not both, to try out for yourselves.


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‘Total Miner: Forge’ Dethrones ‘FortressCraft’ As Best Selling XBLIG Title

Total Miner: Forge

Both heavily inspired by Minecraft, Total Miner: Forge and FortressCraft locked horns but it was the former that come out on top, having now pushed out more units than the latter on the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace.

Projector Games’ FortressCraft Chapter 1 was the best selling XBLIG title for quite a while – it even hit the 1 million units sold mark just a couple of weeks back. Despite that, as you can see right here, it seems that Total Miner: Forge, a game not too dissimilar from FortressCraft, has beaten that record and taken the proverbial crown. Saying that, both games are clearly selling very well on the platform so you could say that they’re both winners, no?

There’s no real evidence to suggest why Total Miner might have taken over FortressCraft in this case. Indeed, both games are receiving regular updates, in fact they’re both receiving or already have texture packs to make the games look better most recently. They both cost the same, both have multiplayer and both involve crafting and all of that good stuff. Perhaps it’s the anticipation of Total Miner‘s upcoming 1.8 update that tipped it over the edge?

As detailed in the developer’s diary, the update will fix many lighting issues, introduce a day and night cycle as well as fix other niggles that the developer hopes will make the game run smoother and allow for larger maps.

Doesn’t seem that terribly exciting, does it? Whatever it is, there’s the news. Over and out.

You can find out more information on Total Miner over on the official website and it’s available to purchase on the Xbox Live Marketplace.


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Microsoft Reveals Top 20 Best Selling XBLIG and XBLA Games for 2011

Here’s something we missed by not visiting Major Nelson’s site in recent days. Apparently he’s gone ahead and put the best selling Xbox Live Indie Games and Xbox Live Arcade games of 2011 on his blog, along with other things that we’re not quite as interested in, being an indie games blog and all.


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Minecraft is No Longer Just a Game, It’s a Genre

Cubelands, FortressCraft, Total Miner, Blockade Runner, ScrumbleShip, Manic Digger, Blockland (was pointed out that Blockland is older than Minecraft, point remains the same though!), etc. all share one thing in common: they were heavily influenced by Minecraft, the wonder indie-gem that turned the entire gaming industry on it’s head and not only spawned the most successful indie title in the world but also an entire genre and funding method (alpha funding) for future games.

Sidenote: You can take from this editorial what you will as it’ll contain some history, speculation, etc. but my ultimate point is to help quell the notion that every voxel game out there is “ripping off” Minecraft. The simple fact is that game development is an evolutionary process and Minecraft just happens to be the gaming equivalent of Homo habilis or Homo ergaster (to borrow from human evolution).

Like Metroid, Castlevania and Rogue before it Minecraft has done something that few games have ever done before, it has single handedly superceded itself to become the basis by which others games mirror it. That is not only incredible it’s downright phenomenal (yes there’s a difference!).

But let’s slow down a little bit and assess some history first. Minecraft was not the first voxel-based game, which is largely what I’m referring to when I say Minecraft has become a genre (i.e. Minecraft-like), that honor actually dates back further to Inifiniminer (and maybe even further than that!).

Infiniminer was an open source game developed by an indie studio named Zachtronics that started gaining popularity in early 2009. This was the game that inspired Notch to create Minecraft and was really the basis for Minecraft’s explosive popularity upon release as many Infiniminer fans turned to Minecraft when Zachtronics confirmed development of the game was discontinued.

Few gamers actually know this however which is why so many claim that other games are “ripping off” Minecraft because they use voxels. In reality they’re copying a copy of sorts. That’s not to say Minecraft “ripped off” Inifiniminer. It’s just the natural evolutionary path.

Now, back to the point at hand that I’m trying to make, since Minecraft exploded in popularity the reason we’ve seen a large amount of other “copy-cats” isn’t because Minecraft made millions and millions of dollars (well at least it’s not the sole reason) but rather because it brought to light an entirely new type of game. Prior to Minecraft most gamers probably never even knew what a voxel was (I sure as hell didn’t!). So when Minecraft came out to the masses, it was really simply showing off a new type of game that could be successful. Imagine when the first homosapien began using tools. It’s a similar theory of evolution. Voxels were merely a new tool for game developers to use.

And use it they have. I gave you a brief list at the beginning of this article, but rest assured that is not all of the voxel-based games being developed today. This time next year I’d be surprised if we didn’t see many, many more types of those games. Which is FANTASTIC!

Let’s look at the issue with some gamer goggles on. Metroid, released for the NES in 1986, was a fantastic game. It brought the platforming gameplay of Mario Bros. and merged it with an almost RPG-like interface where your character was no longer bound to single levels. Instead you could acquire new stats and explore a huge world. Metroid revolutionized the platforming genre to create what’s now been termed the Metroidvania genre (which also borrows from Castlevania).

Because of Metroid, today we have games like Shadow Complex, The Goonies (NES), Cave Story, La Mulana, Legacy of the Wizard (NES), and many, many more games. Each of these borrowed from Metroid the core concept and style but evolved it in such a way so as to expand the genre as a whole.

The same theory will persist with Minecraft. While it’s easy to look at FortressCraft and claim boisterously: “MINECRAFT RIPOFF!” The reality is that FortressCraft is still an evolutionary step for the genre. In fact, if you play each game you’ll see there are some significant diverging paths in each game where Minecraft is becoming more RPG-like, and FortressCraft is focusing instead on creative building (with some things Minecraft doesn’t have!).

So when the next Minecraft-like voxel game appears (and it will!) please don’t try and put the developer down for “copying” Minecraft. Minecraft doesn’t need your help in quelling similar games (they make enough money I assure you!). Instead, remember that Minecraft is now more than its own self, it’s a genre for game developers to explore.

And that’s just the natural evolutionary process…

[UPDATE: I'm well aware of Ace of Spades. Apologies for not including it as I didn't mean to exclude any specific game. My point was merely to highlight the fact that voxel games aren't merely rip-offs, but rather the evolutionary process. This wasn't a contest for best Minecraft-like.]


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The BIG FortressCraft Interview: Talking Sales, Money, PC Ports, and Future Updates

Yesterday we broke news here on DIYGamer that the guys who made FortressCraft (primarily DjARcas) haven’t yet been paid a single cent for their game which has ammassed almost 500,000 sales on the Xbox Live Indie Game service.

Naturally, such monetary issues hitting indie developers is always hard to hear especially when it’s somebody who is pretty much broke at the moment.

It’s also easy to blame Microsoft, the company holding onto the $1 million+ payment when, in reality, it might not even be their fault at all!

Luckily, DjArcas was able to sit down with me (virtually) this morning to conduct a lengthy interview about FortressCraft, the sales, the money issues, a PC port (ooo!) and future projects he is working on.

So sit back and let’s explore the future of FortressCraft.

DIYGamer: Obviously FortressCraft has been a big success on Xbox Live, but before that where did the idea and inspiration to make the game come from?

DjARcas: I so should have this written down, I’ve been asked it so much!

Originally I was inspired by Dwarf Fortress. This is an amazing PC-based game, with horrible text-mode graphics and the worst UI known to man. It’s also perhaps the best game ever written. So I tried to make a game ‘like’ it, but using 3D graphics. I couldn’t get the speed out of the Xbox, and gave up. This was in March 2009, quite some time before Minecraft was even thought of.

Then, in, ah, November 2010, I was playing Minecraft with a friend, and he asked me how the rendering worked. I explained the Voxels, optimal poly-culling, etc and a light went on in my head, sayin g’waaait, I could use this to make Diggers (the original game) run properly!

Nothing more came of it until I came across an argument on the Minecraft forums about [whether] the Xbox run Minecraft. I said ‘yes’, lots of people said ‘no.’ So I set out to prove them wrong. I got such a good response from so many people that I decided to release the game. :)

DIYGamer: And that little argument turned into quite the success story! So, heading back to Minecraft a bit (sorry you probably get this a lot) the parallels are easy to make. Obviously there are some key differences, but what do you say to people who simply deride FortressCraft as a “clone” or “copy?”

DjARcas: I’d say that they haven’t played it, as a simple as that. Going back to Minecraft is *painful* these days; Fortresscraft is miles and miles ahead technologically and we’ve dived into a futuristic/magical type game, heavily focused on creativity, whereas Minecraft is about survival!

Things like the factories, lasers and custom objects set us totally apart from Minecraft and the comment I always make – ‘Everything that FC ‘steals’ from MC, MC stole from Infimininer.’ It’s just how game development is.

There’s a ton of things in Minecraft *not* in FortressCraft; and a larger ton of things in FortressCraft that aren’t and will never be in Minecraft.

DIYGamer: That’s pretty much what I say to anybody who complains about any Minecraft “clone” as well. It’s quite unfair to many developers, in my opinion.

DjARcas: It’s [actually] amusing to see how many things from FortressCraft are making it into Minecraft… as someone said about [Minecraft] 1.8 – ‘Oh cool, Minecraft 1.8 added a FortressCraft mode.’

DIYGamer: So speaking of the continuing development. FortressCraft has been humming along quite nicely. What’s next for the game?

DjARcas: The next patch, which is looming for submission to Microsoft any day now, add quite a lot of things: lasers, pressure pads, jump pads, conveyor belts and factories.

The factories create physics objects which react and move around your world in a…er… ‘reasonably’ realistic way. This should start letting people really add movement and life into their world.

The Laser system will be expanded to allow more complex triggering on and off of systems in future patches.

DIYGamer: So could you create a sort of vehicle with the factories?

DjARcas: You *could*, but you couldn’t drive it.

One of the testers already made a spaceship with a viewport. If you look out of the viewport, you stand on a pressure pad, which spawns a UFO, which goes along it’s little path

I’m trying to enable people to make their own creative worlds in FortressCraft; to tell their own little story. One of our earlier taglines was ‘A world of a trillion stories – what’s yours?’

DIYGamer: So turning to sales… almost a half million! Impressive! What do you attribute to that sort of success?

DjARcas: I’m afraid I’m going to be *slightly* cagey on the answer to this…

Everyone attributes our sales to ‘OMFG MINECRAFT RIPOFF!’ In the first few days, or the first week, that was perhaps true. However, FortressCraft has held steady at the top of the charts for more than 90% of its released time. This isn’t due to us being a ‘ripoff’, it’s due to it being fundamentally a very slick, good looking, fun experience for players, and their friends.

I think it’d be fair to say it’s one of the best-looking Indie Games on the [Xbox Live] market. It’s most certainly the one with the biggest web presence.

We even held onto our top spot throughout the Summer Indie Uprising, which surprised me, as there was some VERY strong competition.

DIYGamer: So since it has been such a success story on Xbox Live, is there any thought or discussion about porting it to PC or maybe turning it into a Playstation game?

DjARcas: PS3 is sadly out of the picture, unless someone is willing to pay to have it written from scratch. The architecture is radically different, and our threading model simply wouldn’t work on there. We’d have to rewrite everything on the SPUs… I wouldn’t enjoy doing that. >_<

However, there’s more than ‘discussion’ about the PC version – it already exists, and we’re working on replacing the Xbox networking with something else. My main sticking point is trying to get a hold of someone at Valve, in order to start discussions with them.

DIYGamer: So back to the issue at hand. Something you said on Twitter got my mind reeling. You haven’t been paid yet! Can you explain a little bit about what’s happening with the current situation?

DjARcas: Yeah. So, everyone seems to have a weird impression of how this all works. Microsoft doesn’t paypal me $2 for each copy sold. They also don’t transfer money on a daily basis. Instead, sales are bundled up quarterly, and transferred to us.

Now, if I only had $100 coming in, this would be simple. Sadly, I need to take advantage of exchange rates, double-tax treaties and all sorts of other tax/IRS stuff that I don’t really understand!

So I’ve had to setup a new company, setup a new bank account, get hold of an accountant, get all the forms filled in and sent off…

This process takes weeks, and months! [And] the entire Microsoft process is VERY Automated. Which is kinda neat, but means I have no-one at MS to help me through the process.

XBLIG NEEDS A COMMUNITY MANAGER!

It’s also very geared towards ‘American companies’ OR ‘International individuals’ – as a foreign company, this has been a right PITA!

DIYGamer: So it’s really more of you being a lone guy in another sovereign nation trying to figure out all this stuff on your own rather than Microsoft intentionally holding out large payments?

DjARcas: Yes. Though given the ridiculous size of the payment coming in, I was half-hoping they’d fly me out there and give me a comically-large cheque. I don’t think that’s going to happen though. :(

The system MS has is really not that bad; I’m just a bit of a special case.

DIYGamer: Hahaha yeah I wouldn’t expect it either. They’re not exactly well known for treating their indie developers well.

DjARcas: They don’t treat us badly and I expect, if we were communicated with, that we’d understand their ‘bad’ decisions. The issue is lack of communication more than anything else! As I said – we need a community manager , one who is vocal, responsive and helpful. I vote Zman, personally ;)

DIYGamer: And now you’re preparing for Eurogamer with no money coming in from Microsoft. Will FortressCraft be there officially or will you just be milling about?

DjARcas: Well, they tried to get us along to Eurogamer with a stand and things! I pointed out that I was skint (broke), and not able to, so they gave me some industry passes. So I’m riding my bike from Sheffield to London, crashing on a friend’s floor, and hoping the underground (subway) doesn’t cost too much!

I’ll be wandering around and taking things in, should be meeting up with a few fans, and I already have an interview lined up!

DIYGamer: The expo comped you or Microsoft?

DjARcas: The expo did.

I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll end up finding a plug socket, plugging in the laptop, and getting on with the new game modes though.

I’ll also be using it as an excuse to catch up with people I know from the industry. I’ll have a t-shirt on, so everyone can recognize me. :)

DIYGamer:Sounds like fun! So, aside from FortressCraft, is there anythng else lined up for you or your small burgeoning indie company?

DjARcas: Yes indeed.

DIYGamer: New game?

DjARcas: FortressCraft basically ‘got in the way’ of a whole bunch of projects I was working on!

The next one that’s likely to be release is… hmm… hard to describe. ’Automated, physics-based spaceships in offline ladder combat’?

DIYGamer: You had me at “physics based spaceships!”

DjARcas: There’s been a few videos about it. The interesting thing is – the FortressCraft playtesters were all very skeptical. Then I made them play it. It took me THREE DAYS to persuade them to go back to FortressCraft!

DIYGamer: Always a good sign! You’ll have to let us preview it sometime.

DjARcas: Aye, once 1.1 is finally out the door, I’ll be going back to it.

We’re also porting our XBLIG flop to the PC: Steam Heroes. A game that came out on the DAY of the ‘kinect/indie games’ debacle, and never recovered.

DjARcas: You’re hoping it will receive renewed interest on the PC then?

DjARcas: Possibly; I also would be scared to release FortressCraft FIRST [on the PC]. I don’t know what issues there are, what teething problems I’ll encounter.

Steam Heroes : Trials: 2557
Purchases: 139

FortressCraft gets more SALES every day than Steam Heroes had TRIALS in a *YEAR.*

And it’s really not that bad a game, it’s a quality game (really! Try it!), and it lets me ‘test the water’ for Steam/Indie City/PIG, etc, and see how much of a er… I don’t know a polite way of saying ‘ball-ache’… ‘and see how much of a PITA it’s going to be’ ;)

DIYGamer: Don’t forget Desura too! They’re my personal favorite indie digital distributor!

DjARcas: Yeah, someone mentioned them. Sadly, I was like ‘Ooo, is that a jap shmup I dont know about?’

DIYGamer: I’ll have to tell that one to the Desura guys!

DjARcas: The funny thing is, FortressCraft has such a… gravity… about it, that any digital distribution service that signs us up is likely to see significant traffic. I know for a solid fact that we grew the XBLIG scene massively, and poured in an enormous amount of new traffic there

One guy on the XBLIG forums couldn’t work out why his old game had gone from 1-2 sales a day, to 4-5 a day, constantly- someone pointed out that this coincided with FortressCraft’s release!

DIYGamer: Fascinating. The effect of your game on others I think escaped everybody, but it makes a lot of sense. Anyway, that’s all I have. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me and share your side of the story on all things FortressCraft!

DjARcas: You’re very welcome.

Once again, super huge thanks to DjArcas for taking time out of his Saturday and speaking with me. I hope he gets his money sooner rather than later as it appears he’s in much need of some capital to continue working on his game and other titles.

[FortressCraft]


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[UPDATE] FortressCraft Sells Nearly a Half Million Copies; Hasn’t Received Any Money From Microsoft

Potential huge news for fans of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Game service this afternoon. As everybody knows by now the most popular and best selling game currently on the service is FortressCraft, the game that is constantly derided as being nothing more than a Minecraft-clone when, in fact, Minecraft is actually a clone of another game. Semantics… blah.

In any case, DJArcas, the primary developer of the game, popped on Twitter a few minutes ago to discuss sales of the game. In a sense, the game has sold very very well with 497,450 crafters taking the plunge for the Xbox indie title.

So let’s see… do a little math… at 240 MS points that’s $3. So multiple 3 x 497,450 and you get $1,492,350. Nice! But first let’s subtract Microsoft’s 30% cut. I’ll skip a bit here and just bring you the end result. If my math is correct (and why wouldn’t it be? I have a calculator!) the guys who made FortressCraft should be richer by about $1,044,545. Whew… millionaires by my count!

And then comes in this little tweet by the same guy:

And just so EVERYONE knows – I haven’t received a SINGLE cent of money from this game.(‘cept $80 in donations)

Wait… what? FortressCraft has been on Xbox Live Indie Games for how long and he is still waiting for his first payment? Is that correct? That’s certainly what it sounds like.

If true, and again this is coming from the developers’ Twitter account, then that would mean Microsoft is holding out a rather large sum from at least a single indie developer. Who knows if anybody else has yet to be paid.

We’re currently following up with the FortressCraft developers about this issue and will update once we have more, but until then it looks like these guys are getting stiffed pretty hard. For shame, Microsoft… for shame.

[FortressCraft]

Update: DJArcas has gotten back to me to confirm that Microsoft hasn’t sent him his money yet. He blames Microsoft’s current system which is overly complicated and unwieldly. He still has no idea when he’s getting paid but hopes it’ll be in mid November, but says it could also take as long as mid-February of next year.

I’ve reached out to do an interview so stay tuned for that.


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The Best Selling Xbox Live Indie Game Ever is a Minecraft Clone [FortressCraft]

There are a lot of really great Xbox Live Indie Games out now. Indie Game Uprising aside the XBLIG channel has always been a bastion of free, unadulterated indie goodness many times of which has lead to some outstanding games like Breath of Death VII, The Impossible Game and even Stick ‘Em Up.

So it’s with some minor disappointment this morning that I tell you that the best selling and most popular Xbox Live Indie Game ever is merely a Minecraft clone called FortressCraft, by ProjectorGames. As of today the game has sold over 350,000 copies, grossing over $1 million dollars.

I’m not trying to discount FortressCraft’s accomplishments. More power to the guys who capitalized on what Mojang wasn’t able to deliver in a timely manner! I’m just disappointed that so many other XBLIG titles get looked over and sales ultimately never arrive. As good as FortressCraft may be, it’s still just a clone of Minecraft (no matter what the developers say) and that’s a little disheartening for any developer attempting to do something new.

Still congratulations are in order for ProjectorGames. Selling that many copies of anything on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel isn’t easy. So hats off to them for that.


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6 Games Like Minecraft for Your Enjoyment

So, you’re starting to get a little bored with the same ol’ same ol’ that Minecraft delivers, huh? Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more, a little different, or maybe just something that gives a console-level experience rather than always being stuck at the old PC. If you are one of these people, then you’ll enjoy this little list I’ve put together of Minecraft-like games. Some came before, some came after, regardless, they all hold special elements of the Minecraftian like universe.

Also, even if you aren’t yet looking for something new you’ve gotta admit that it was a little disheartening to find out that the revolutionary Adventure update promised in 1.7 has now been delayed to the 1.8 release which is much farther out. That, in and of itself, could be reason enough to explore other options.

Please keep in mind that this list does not contain only Minecraft rip-off games. They are meant to be alternatives that offer some similar gameplay, but might not be exactly the same game unto itself. So, with that said, enjoy what I’ve dug up!

Cube World

I reported on Cube Worlds a few days ago based on it’s remarkable familiarity towards both the Minecraft and Zelda series of games. The relation holds true as the developer confirmed to me shortly after that he did draw inspiration from both games. Cube Worlds, however, is not meant to be a direct combination of both as it will be lacking any sort of crafting experience we’ve grown accustom to in Minecraft. Instead, it will feature a dynamically generated, destructible world with a series of quests for you to complete.

Cube Worlds is currently not yet released.

Cubelands

Cubelands, on the other hand, is more of a direct competitor to the Minecraft classic game, but with a special emphasis on multiplayer. The game was created late last year taking from Minecraft the glory in simply building great structures without having to dig around for resources or fumble with crafting anything. You build, that’s it. Additionally, the game’s multiplayer is far more accessible based on the fact that you don’t need an IP address to log in. Quite handy…

[Cubelands]

FortressCraft

FortressCraft was released to the Xbox Live Indie Games channel a few weeks ago filling a hole that Notch and the gang at Mojang has left empty since Minecraft exploded onto the scene last Summer. That said, it’s still very much like Cubelands in that it’s primarily about building rather than mining or crafting various items. For this reason, despite its popularity, it’s still not seen as a complete Minecraft experience on the console. But with the developer promising updates, perhaps it won’t be too long before we see a full Minecraftian experience using nothing but the Xbox 360 controller.

[FortressCraft]

Terraria

“It’s like a 2D Minecraft!” Or so said the throngs of gamers upon watching their first Terraria trailer. Truth is that, despite some similarities, Terraria is strong enough of a game to stand on its own feature set. Sure, the game is certainly inspired by what Minecraft has done, allowing you to dig and build to your heart’s content. But where Terraria shines that Minecraft does not is in its adventure. This isn’t a game that’s so much about building rather it’s about adventuring, creating better weapons, and digging deeper and deeper to kill bigger and more horrible monsters. It’s almost as if Minecraft and Metroid had a very wonderful baby…

[Terraria]

Detonate

Our own Arsen Nazaryan reported on this game just a few days ago and for good reason: it’s awesome! Detonate is a game that’s all about building different structures with hundreds of different materials. Once created you then turn to destroying it in all sorts of manners, for example, you can set the place ablaze if you deem it.

It’s definitely a different sort of game than Minecraft, but for those of you who are really into the building aspect of the genre, perhaps this game would suit you just as well. After all, who doesn’t sometimes want to see how things look when they get destroyed?

[Detonate]

Haven & Hearth

So this is actually a bit of a stretch from the usual Minecraftian types games I’ve listed already, but I decided to include it regardless.

Haven & Hearth is an online game that gives players a sense of creation and meaning to the world, as opposed to a typical MMORPG. It does this by allowing players to build their own settlements, farms, and various craftings and placing them in a real time world. It’s quite unique for an online game.

The reason why I’ve chosen it for this list is because it has quite an extensive crafting and exploration aspect to the game that is a lynchpin for Minecraft. Despite it’s relatively crude isometric graphics, this could be a game that has far more depth and meaning than what Minecraft currently offers.

[Heaven & Hearth]

Did I miss a game? Let me know in the comments below!



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Say Hello to FortressCraft, a Minecraft-like for XBLIG

FortressCraft001

Make no mistake, if something gets popular enough, more and more people will attempt to capitalize off said product. Not to say that it’s unfair, or illegal to do such a thing, it’s just what happens in our society. Such is how genre’s like the “roguelike” have even spawned in the first place. So it really comes as no surprise that a new game is coming out which mimics Minecraft – which itself mimicked many other games — called FortressCraft.

Of course, merely mimicking another game isn’t really all that important. FortressCraft, were is just another PC client, would be pretty uninteresting story. What makes FortressCraft important, and makes me interested in playing it, is that the game is set for an Xbox Live Indie Games release next month. Yes, that’s right, all the fun of building and mining, but on your Xbox 360.

Unfortunately, there’s bound to be a certain amount of controversy surrounding this game. Not only is the gameplay remarkably similar, but the game even borrows the same “Craft” title. I really wouldn’t be surprised if somebody launches a “boycott FotressCraft” movement somewhere on the internet (Minecraft fans are quite loyal, y’know). Still, I’m excited. If for nothing else I’d love to build and mine from the comfort of my own couch…

FortressCraft will be out next month on Xbox Live Indie Games for either 80 or 240 MS points (pricing has yet to be decided) and will feature up to 32 players at a time.

[FortressCraft]

Trailer