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Notch unveils Elite-inspired 0x10c

Notch unveils Elite-inspired 0x10c

Notch has yet to release any screenshots of 0x10c, so here's a picture of spiritual predecessor Frontier: Elite II to be going on with.

Minecraft developer Markus 'Notch' Persson has revealed the first details of his next game, an Elite-inspired space trading game currently being developed under the name 0x10c.

Notch had previously provided details of the game as part of his April Fool's gag, in which he claimed to be failing to learn from his previous legal tussles with the launch of a spacefaring simulation dubbed Mars Effect.

Obviously, the title was a joke - but the game itself is very real. While few details are currently available, Notch has indicated that it will be set in the year 281,474,976,712,644 AD following a programming error in a popular range of cryogenic sleep capsules.

The problem, Notch explains, comes from the programmers of the sleep capsule expecting big endian ordering, but the DCPU-16 chip at the heart of the spacecraft running in little endian mode. The result: users were put to sleep for 0x0001000000000 years instead of 0x000000000001 years.

If you think that all sounds a little nerdy, we haven't even reached the best bit: the reason the specification of the DCPU-16 processor matters is because Notch plans to emulate the chip directly within the game, giving users access to an in-game computer based on the fictional 16-bit processor.

That's something which has never before been attempted in a game. While titles like Uplink have provided users with an in-game computer system, it's all smoke and mirrors; 0x10c, by contrast, will provide gamers with access to a fully-working virtual computer system for which they could - in theory - write their own code.

'The computer in the game is a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship,' Notch explains, 'or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.'

It's something with which Notch has previous experience: much to his surprise, hackers found a method of implementing simple processors and even entire computing systems in his block-based game Minecraft - a concept he's now looking to take to the next level.

For the non-programmers, Notch promises plenty of other action too: as with its spiritual predecessor Elite, 0x10c will include space-based battles, abandoned ships which can be plundered for loot, the ability to land on all planets seamlessly - something which to this day sets the 1993 title Frontier: Elite II apart from its modern counterparts - and a complex and thriving economy for trading.

Notch promises both a single-player and a massively multiplayer experience. Those opting for the multiplayer mode will be asked to pay a monthly fee, for which they'll get the ability to leave their on-board computers running even when the game client isn't running.

The game is still in its early stages, but Notch is ready to provide a technical specification for the DCPU-16 processor so those looking to program the chip can get a head-start. More information is available on the official website/

17 Comments

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proxess 4th April 2012, 16:51 Quote
Landing on planets?
Infinity Universe anyone?!


Though the rest does seem like a lot of nerdy fun.
He has announced it as a subscription based game though, which is kind of meh.
Gareth Halfacree 4th April 2012, 16:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
He has announced it as a subscription based game though, which is kind of meh.
Read again: multiplayer will attract a subscription, single-player (as with Elite and its kind) will be subscription-free.
Guinevere 4th April 2012, 17:28 Quote
This could well be THE update to Elite so many have been waiting for.

Assuming that is it's possible to play multiplayer without getting your ars*d kicked every five minutes by twelve year olds.
Farting Bob 4th April 2012, 18:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
Landing on planets?
Infinity Universe anyone?!


Though the rest does seem like a lot of nerdy fun.
He has announced it as a subscription based game though, which is kind of meh.

Land on a planet: Loads random Minecraft world. Game within a game.

Would be epic.
mclean007 4th April 2012, 19:57 Quote
Quote:
Nice. I think what we need to do is run 0x10c on a virtualised system, and write some code for the DCPU-16 that emulates a BBC Micro. And then play Elite on it.
rogerrabbits 4th April 2012, 20:47 Quote
I'm kinda sceptical as usual. My thoughts are that I wish he would spend less time goofing around with stuff like the computer within the game, and spend time focusing on fun gameplay. For example I am tired of playing space game after space game where all you do is PEW PEW PEW lazers and occasionally press M to fire a mission. I would really like to play one with more advanced combat, tractor beams and perhaps firing one lazer to disrupt shields, another to damage the hull etc.. maybe make it so you can target different parts of the ship etc.. Basically, a game made by someone who really wants to make the best out of the combat, and I just don't think Notch is that kind of guy :(

And lastly, I'm just not sure how interested I would be in virtual trading these days. I did it 20 odd years ago in Elite and the Elite sequels. I then did it again in the X games and Space Rangers. And I've done it in various RPG's and MMORPG's too. It's always pretty boring, like some kind of real life job simulation, but I can be motivated by becoming rich in a universe that will last a long time and reward me with cool space ships or whatever. The only ones to give me that was the Space Rangers games which let you get some amazing ships with great weapons and then get in to some epic battles with the Dominators, and in MMORPG's where being rich let me twink new characters and stuff.

It could work out well, but I think Notch and I like very different things.
Spreadie 4th April 2012, 20:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Nice. I think what we need to do is run 0x10c on a virtualised system, and write some code for the DCPU-16 that emulates a BBC Micro. And then play Elite on it.
:)

+rep
Bogomip 4th April 2012, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Nice. I think what we need to do is run 0x10c on a virtualised system, and write some code for the DCPU-16 that emulates a BBC Micro. And then play Elite on it.
Or write a windows emulator or linux emulator in BBC Basic................. and then run 0x10c on that!

Loop to infinity :)

edit: and the man who managed to write an emulator in BBC basic will win it all :)
yougotkicked 4th April 2012, 23:39 Quote
yaay, my knowledge of assembly programming may actually get used while gaming!
javaman 5th April 2012, 00:40 Quote
Im intrigued. With minecraft the digital systems part of my degree paid off, with this the software development side will. Anyone get the impression by 10 years time Notch will be able to run his own university in game form?
Bonedoctor 5th April 2012, 02:17 Quote
Will someone at bit-tech stop allowing pop-up advertising on their site? V v annoying.
[-Stash-] 5th April 2012, 16:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonedoctor
Will someone at bit-tech stop allowing pop-up advertising on their site? V v annoying.

+1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

AdBlock goes back on.

Love the idea of integrating with random Minecraft worlds when you land on a planet :)
Roskoken 7th April 2012, 16:43 Quote
Reidquat better be the pirate infested hell hole I remember it to be, panther clipper ftw!
BLC 10th April 2012, 13:29 Quote
At the moment, the concept seems extremely nerdy: the whole premise of the game is based on a mix-up between big-endian and little-endian and he's included a fully-simulated 16-bit processor on which your ship is based...

I think I'll reserve judgement until the game is a little more fleshed out and we start to see what the actual gameplay will be like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farting Bob
Land on a planet: Loads random Minecraft world. Game within a game.

Would be epic.

I'm sure that this is a possibility not lost on Notch... Though they would likely need to limit the size of the Minecraft worlds that are created and make the resources rarer; if you were landing on a planet to mine it and gather resources, you could spend the rest of the game never having to go to another planet...

Would still be awesome, though!
javaman 14th April 2012, 16:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
At the moment, the concept seems extremely nerdy: the whole premise of the game is based on a mix-up between big-endian and little-endian and he's included a fully-simulated 16-bit processor on which your ship is based...

I think I'll reserve judgement until the game is a little more fleshed out and we start to see what the actual gameplay will be like.



I'm sure that this is a possibility not lost on Notch... Though they would likely need to limit the size of the Minecraft worlds that are created and make the resources rarer; if you were landing on a planet to mine it and gather resources, you could spend the rest of the game never having to go to another planet...

Would still be awesome, though!

Minecraft in space....build a space rocket collect fuel and pray acreeper hasn't managed to spawn onboard
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