UnReal World is a roguelike RPG in which you take the role of an adventurer during the late Iron Age in a randomly generated world inspired by ancient Finland. In a world rich with northern folklore, the player becomes a member of one of nine different cultures and creates their own story of discovery and survival.
UnReal World by Enormous Elk was originally released in 1992, but the team behind it still saw tremendous potential with the system already in place. The game was completely re-written in 1994 as UnReal World version 2.00b. Since then, the game has been continually receiving updates for the last 19 years.
This month, February of 2013, UnReal World will be switching from its current model of pricing to a donation based one. In the past they have given the option to purchase just the current version or buy a subscription to all of the versions. Instead, all of the versions will be free and fans will be able to support the developers with donations.
The new update will also be adding features such as a completely new item selection dialog which will allow the selecting multiple items, item filtering and listing of non-player items in groups. Commands for filling containers, eating, drinking and other tasks are more smoothly integrated and hunger is being implemented into the animals so that they react out of their own need for survival.
Based on the way so many indies gain their community through their game’s beta phase, it would make sense for us to see more games adopt UnReal World‘s model of constantly receiving updates as long as developers are able to support themselves with it. You can purchase a copy now or keep up with the updates on UnReal World‘s official website.
If you haven’t heard of Minecraft by now, and are on this website or the internet in general, I really don’t have any clever jokes or even insults that could capture my disbelief. It’s creator, Notch, is currently working on an even more ambitious project. It is a science fiction game called 0×10^c
The first real footage of 0×10^c to be released is a compilation of tests. These tests show off some pretty impressive features for the game when compared to it’s predecessor. It shows us it’s rope physics, dynamic lighting, and a computer. There are also bobble effects and material physics that seem to affect how easily a player can move on them. And that’s pretty much all there is to the video.
The game’s website features a full list of features, which you can read below.
Lots of engineering.
Fully working computer system.
Space battles against the AI or other players.
Abandoned ships full of loot.
Seamlessly landing on planets.
Advanced economy system.
Mining, trading, and looting.
Single and multi player connected via the multiverse.
Of those listed, I am most interested in the economy system. Tell us in the IGM forums what you look forward to most about 0×10^c!
Notch plans to use an alpha funding system similar to the one used with Minecraft, though multiplayer will likely be subscription based. The game is not yet ready for purchase, but by the looks of things it is coming along quite nicely.
If you haven’t already, you can follow Notch on Twitter or visit the game’s website here.
Earlier today Re-Logic published their first video of the new Terraria port coming to consoles. The video has been put up exclusively for the fans who are following them on Facebook but will be published more publicly as the day goes on.
Terraria is a 2D side scrolling adventure game with construction elements that resemble Minecraft on a very basic level, but deviate much more. Terraria is more focused on exploring and adventuring then Minecraft with the ability to fight a whole host of monsters along with many unique and difficult bosses. The 2D side scrolling elements do resemble the classic Castlevania games, always a good game to model any game on.
Terraria has already been a massive sensation on the PC selling over 1.6 million units and after only playing the game for a short time it is easy to see why. The lure of exploration and RPG esque elements allowing you to better equip yourself via random drops to improve your chances to actually beating the increasingly more difficult bosses that you will encounter.
Re-Logic really did hit a gold mine crossing the creative elements of Minecraft with the adventure state found in classic 2D side scrollers making this hybrid, which is just great fun. With the ability to play co-op with your friends it really makes Terraria a fantastic game, soon to be available on your favourite consoles.
The Video shows a lot of the gameplay that has already been established within Terraria after the numerous updates, however at the end it does indeed hint that the console versions will include new content that has yet to be released on the PC version. The video released on the Facebook group page can be found here, so judge for yourself. I am greatly anticipating the wave of new players for this awesome little title from a fantastic studio.
For all the latest news as it breaks be sure to check back to The Indie Game Magazine or follow us on twitter @indiegamemag
Wow, have there been a lot of new changes and updates to Minecraft recently! For all of you who do not know, Mojang has been releasing “Snapshots” of Minecraft, which have some of the features that the anticipated next full update, the “Pretty Scary” update, will have. So, in this article, I will cover some of the new, not so scary mobs that Minecraft 1.4 will have.
The Wither Boss
First of all, as you now know, Mojang has added some new, exciting mobs to the game. These include the new, ominously-named “Wither” boss. The Wither boss can be currently crafted through the use of 4 blocks of Soul Sand, and 3 Wither Heads on top of the blocks, similar to how Snowmen are spawned, but with different materials. When spawned, the Wither boss has reduced health, however, it begins to flash and regenerate health (above picture). While it is regenerating, you cannot attack it, and the Wither boss itself cannot move, so it is recommended that you move away as fast as possible, so you can prepare for battle. When the Wither boss has finished, it creates a large explosion, and begins to take off in the air. While in the air, the Wither boss launches explosive projectiles which look similar to its own heads. These cause large explosions (a well-aimed blast can instantaneously kill a player in full diamond armour), and make it very difficult for the player to even approach the Wither boss. To add to your troubles, the Wither boss also regenerates over time, so even many well-aimed bow shots cause little or, over time, no damage whatsoever. As well, when you are hit by the Wither boss, your health indicators turn black, so you have no idea what your health level is at. But, such a hard battle must have a reward, right? The Ender Dragon battle commemorated your achievement with a simply amazing poem, so the Wither boss should have something good in store, also. In this case, when the Wither boss is killed, it drops a Nether Star. The Nether Star can craft new items called Beacons, which will be discussed later in this series.
Has 150 hearts health
First appeared in Snapshot 12w36a
Has an attack strength of 7 hearts in Hard mode
Cannot be created by pistons
Can shoot special blue Wither Heads which can destroy any block in the game, except for Bedrock
The next new mob that Mojang has added is called the Wither Skeleton. This mob can only spawn in the Nether, and specifically only in Nether fortresses. They are very similar to regular Skeletons, but their color makes it easy to identify them otherwise. The Wither Skeletons also wield a stone sword, but nevertheless, they are very powerful. Wither Skeletons can cause 12 hearts worth of damage, and they can cause a “Wither” effect to your health bar. This means that you will, like when battling the Wither boss, not be able to accurately tell how much health you have. After you have taken out the Wither Skeleton, it commonly drops 0-1 coal, or 0-2 bone. Rarely, however, it will drop a Stone Sword, or a Wither Head. The Stone Sword is not so valuable, but the Wither Head can be used as one of the three required to spawn the Wither Boss.
Only spawns in Nether Fortresses or in Creative, through the use of Spawn Eggs
When hit by the Wither Skeleton on Normal or Hard, the health bar will have a “Wither” health effect for 10 seconds
Is 2 full blocks tall
The Wither Skeletons are bigger than normal skeletons, yet have about the same amount of health
The drop rate for a Wither Head is 1/40 or 2.5%, which is similar to other rare drops
Stay tuned for the next part of this series, where we discuss the new, scary “Witch” and “Bat” mobs. As well, what new mobs should Minecraft develop? Leave a reply in the comments below.
Nothing like some good ol’ drama to get the internets a goin’ this late at night! Recently Markus “Notch” Persson, mastermind behind the hit indie game Minecraft, took to Twitter to voice his concerns with Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. Notch stated the he “Got an email from Microsoft wanting to help “certify” Minecraft for Windows 8. I told them to stop trying to ruin the PC as an open platform.” Ouch.
That makes it 2 for game developers, 0 for Microsoft. If you remember, one of the first critics of Windows 8 was Valve’s founder Gabe Newell when he stated that Windows 8 “Is Kind of a catastrophe”, earlier this year. Valve is now going as far as citing one of the big reasons why they’re supporting Linux is because they’re preparing for the possible downfall once Windows 8 lands.
Notch went on to state that “I’d rather have Minecraft not run on Windows 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to Windows 8 that way..” Big words coming from the mind behind the most successful indie game to date.
What do you guys think? Is too early in the game to say whether or not Windows 8 will hurt the PC gaming industry? Personally, I feel these developers have a lot more insider knowledge than we do, and I’m gonna take their word for it. After all, I’ve never been F’d in the A when it comes to Minecraft or Steam…
Minecraft Multiplayer servers are a great way for amateur designers to practice their hobby. Thanks to the mod platform Bukkit, server operators are able to add all kinds of interesting features to Minecraft gameplay, like MMORPG levels, character classes, magic, shops, political factions, worldwide money, among many, many other things. The potential combinations and configurations of various mods are countless, and so the player experience from one server to another can be very different. Beneath it all, however, there’s a common theme that supports all these different servers: emergent gameplay. Professional game designers work hard at their craft, spending thousands of hours on a single game. Amateurs on Minecraft servers can’t hope to compete with that when creating a unique experience, but a lot of the time they don’t have to. Built into the way Minecraft works are design features that have a kind of chain reaction effect. The server operator chooses some mods, configures them, and then the players take over. The players react to the dynamic Minecraft environment in creative ways, and their reactions cause other reactions, and so forth. The result is called emergent gameplay because it emerged from general game design conditions rather than being specifically planned out by the designer. What’s interesting about Minecraft servers in particular is that the emergent gameplay very often develops into various game versions of real-world economies.
Most servers have a set of mods (usually referred to as “plugins”) that, rather than being fun, are there to help the server run smoothly. There are many reasons why a server might lag, but two common problems are that either the map is too big, and the server takes forever to load it, or that the players are occupying space in a way that taxes the server especially hard. Minecraft’s engine only generates interactive blocks within a certain radius of each player, and “hides” the blocks that nobody is looking at, to save computing power. If two players are sharing the same space, the server running Minecraft has to do fewer calculations, because players are “looking” at the same thing.
If every player is occupying a separate space, then the server has to do more calculations, and it has to remember. No matter how powerful the server, the game can become quite laggy in huge maps where players are able to roam too far. To address this, one common solution server operators use limit the size of their worlds, to encourage people to occupy many of the same spaces. This also has the peripheral benefit of making multiplayer more interesting, as players will more often have to interact with each other.
The interesting thing about the world size limits is the impact they have on the emergent economy of multiplayer Minecraft. Without an infinite world to explore, the mines of a server can run dry pretty quickly. There’s not much a player can do without these mined resources in Minecraft. Server operators know this, and they’ve implemented many different strategies to make sure that players don’t get bored and/or they don’t have to create new worlds too frequently. Amazingly, three of the most popular plugin setups result in three different economic philosophies from the real world.
Check out a brand new issue of IGM! This issue features the review of the gorgeous XBox Live Summer of Arcade game, Dust: An Elysian Tale. There’s also a large feature and interview with Indie Studio, Island Officials and a new design column that focuses on Minecraft. Other articles include coverage of Orcs Must Die 2, Deponia, Knytt Underground, Awesomenauts, Dyad, Unmechanical, Under the Ocean, Edmund McMillen’s Basement Collection and more. Stay up to date with all the latest indie game news by grabbing this issue of the indie game magazine.
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Check out a brand new issue of IGM! This issue features the review of the gorgeous XBox Live Summer of Arcade game, Dust: An Elysian Tale. There’s also a large feature and interview with Indie Studio, Island Officials and a new design column that focuses on Minecraft. Other articles include…
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User Created Progressive Field Off of Planetminecraft.com
Developer Mojang’s Minecraft is an undeniable hit. I surely do not need to go into details about the game. It is infinite building blocks. If you are reading this and have not seen nor heard of Minecraft, I do not understand what you are doing on this website. You may be lost. For those 7,000,000 of you that have heard of Minecraft, this article is meant to address the importance and significance of Minecraft to the gaming world, because I think it opens up ideas for indie games in the future. Here are four Minecraftian qualities that can be used for future games:
Give Control to the Users:This is an obstacle as well as a possible genius move in developing. Minecraft succeeds in allowing the controller to be creative by keeping everything simplistic. It allows building blocks, not long codes of programming, to support the user’s creativity. Game developers want to be inventive, but if they are too ambitious, they will scare gamers away with a high learning curve. Minecraft keeps the learning curve low, but still allows for incredible possibility.
Nordic Village Plan from Planetminecraft.com
Simplicity with High Variance:As mentioned before the barrier to enter Minecraft is almost nonexistent. The low barrier could be a limiting factor to Minecraft‘s widespread success, but because of the high variance of items in the game, Minecraft allows for vast creations. This allows for accessibility, as there is no necessity for what is created. Creations can vary from the simplest of houses, built by 7th graders, to the most complex works of art, like the Nordic Village above, which are built by a man or woman in their thirties. Developers could take this idea further, because anything else may please a niche group, but be too difficult to access for the average artist, such as myself. Simplicity is less important in this case than variance, but simplicity is the key to accessibility.
Give Gamers a Simple Task and Allow Them to Do the Rest: This is a pretty significant and amazing one. Minecraft gives you two simple goals: Build shelter to avoid the monsters and do not starve. There is no true end goal. The world renders forever (on the PC version) so you cannot even mine the whole world. The goals are all personal. That is almost a recipe for disaster. But in Minecraft it is different, because you work only for you. The mining you do is to build what you want to build, but you do have to mine. You have to work, unless you use creative mode (cheaters). To create your idea you must work. You must simply mine. The initial task is simple, but the task you burden yourself with can be much more ambitious, while never forcing you to do much of anything.
The Planet Earth Incarnate
Unity is Formed When Everyone is on Equal Footing: Minecraft‘s community is forceful. Because the amount of people which play Minecraft numbers is the 7,000,000′s, there exists large quantities of content. But the community is shared and adored by nearly everyone who plays. I would argue that the reason why is because we are all using the same system for our creations. Whatever I see when I look up Minecraft videos I have the capability of building. The same goes for nearly anyone. It is nothing but laying blocks to which each and every Minecraft player has access. We all hold the same material and abilities, and what the community sees the community can create.
These four are what I consider the key qualities to the success of Minecraft. They are also what make Minecraft such a blast. Minecraft can be learned from and can spawn a new genre of creative games. It is not the first implementation of its kind, but it is surely the most successful.
Check out Minecraft over at Minecraft.net if you have not already. Maybe you could join the phenomenon.
For a game that so many have written off as ‘abandoned’ or ‘forgotten’ by its developers, Minecraft sure gets a lot of post-release support. Granted, major releases only happen every few months, but development builds can be downloaded as they’re released. Today is one of those big days, though, and the indie megahit grows once more.
For the five of you who don’t own Minecraft yet, probably the most important new feature is an official Demo mode, which allows you to play up to five days of in-game time completely gratis. Beyond that, the most exciting thing for existing players is that Adventure Mode has now – finally – been implemented, albeit partially. A new take on Minecraft, now with less mining and more adventuring. You gather resources through dungeon-delving and monster slaying, and trade for gear with the now commercially equipped NPC villagers scattered around the world.
There’s some new building materials, too, including a new class of gem – Emeralds – and a variety of gizmos and wotsits such as tripwires (so much potential for trap-based jerkishness) and slightly expanded usage of switches. There’s also an optional quick-start chest on offer for veteran players who want to skip the panicked initial moments after world generation, and just start out with some basic gear to help them get established.
Less thrilling is the general set of tweaks, tunings and world-generation refinements, with options for larger biomes and some alterations made to the height variance on existing terrain types. It all seems pretty standard for Minecraft, but each little change can mean the world when filtered through the prism that is the enormous and terrifyingly proactive community. You can check out the full change-log here, but you’re probably best off just updating the game and seeing it for yourself.
Is Minecraft still an Indie Game? Everyone here at the Indie Game Magazine has been struggling with this very question and the ramifications of covering the behemoth that is Minecraft. Quite a few arguments have arose and both sides seem to have excellent points. In this article, I am going to try and layout some of the debates that we have had internally and try and present both sides of the argument. At the end, we’re going to ask our readers to help us come to a conclusion and weigh in on the subject.
There’s no denying that Minecraft started as an Indie Game
This is the one fact that everyone seems to agree on. Minecraft was originally conceived by Markus Persson (“Notch”) as he played some Infiniminer. Notch started working on the game by himself with the concept of making the game fun and accessible. This open development is definitely part of the success of Minecraft. Notch made the game available to play while he was developing it and this allowed people to purchase it at a reduced price for years before it was finally deemed complete.
But what started as a small indie game project, quickly exploded. Minecraft became a huge financial success and has sold over 6.5 million copies directly from their website alone (there’s also Android, iOS and Xbox versions of the game). The popularity of the game during development lead Notch to hire a slew of new people and create his studio Mojang. Mojang currently employs 16 people and is probably one of the largest “indie” studios around.
so that begs the question…
Is Minecraft Still an Indie Game?
Of course you answer will very much depend on your definition of independent games, but that’s another article. Here are the 2 sides of the argument as I see them:
Minecraft is absolutely an Indie Game
Minecraft was conceived and primarily made by one guy with the absence of any publisher money or funds upfront. The fact that it is successful and has grossed well over $150 Million dollars doesn’t take away from it’s independence. Mojang and Notch are very active in the indie game community and continue to work on the games that they want to make without the influence of mainstream publishers. Mojang has even gone head to head with large publishers in the legal arena over their next game, Scrolls. Mojang is fighting the good fight for indie developers is an excellent example of what and independent game developer can do with financial success.
Minecraft isn’t Indie anymore
There are a ton of different arguments that I have heard thrown-out there that disqualify Minecraft from being truly indie. Based on your definition, any one of these arguments could sway you.
1. Minecraft is a clone. Like big publishers and game studios, Minecraft stole from the innovation and experimentation of the indie game community. They took a novel gameplay mechanic and threw more time, money and features at it.
2. Mojang is too big and/or successful to be considered indie. An indie game is supposed to be an artistic expression of a small group of people. Great works of art cannot be composed by a team of 16 people and there’s no indie bands out there with their own business developers and customer support personnel. Being an indie developer is about wearing multiple hats. You have to be programmer, designer, marketer, and customer support. When you employ 15 people and have millions of dollars, you cannot embrace what truly being independent is all about. It’s about interactive and personal artistic expression.
3. Mojang has become a publisher. Just like Electronic Arts or Activision, Mojang is all about making money. They’ve picked up and are publishing other games like Cobalt and are all about porting their game to as many platforms as possible. Look for them to serialize their games soon. How much longer until Minecraft 2 is announced?
All of this leads to the next question and debate here at the Indie Game Magazine:
Should IGM continue to cover Minecraft?
On the one hand, our Minecraft posts (on average) get way more views and traffic than most of the other indie games that we cover. More traffic means more ad revenue and makes sense from a business perspective. On the other hand, Minecraft is already a super successful game and doesn’t need coverage to help sell copies or keep the developer afloat. They’re doing just fine and many of our writers prefer to cover the many awesome and innovative games that you’ve never heard about. Of course, writing about Minecraft means that we could potentially get more traffic to the site leading to more people discovering other cool and indie games. What do you think? Is Minecraft still an indie game? Should we continue to cover it? Should we cover it more? Let us know in the comments below and vote on some of these issues in our poll below.