Digital Lego

Posted by admin on November 7th, 2010 filed in Games

I tried a fun demo recently, ArdorCraft, a little game inspired by MineCraft. It reminds me a lot of the first “3D” game I wrote (and never completed) years ago: A very simple world made up of cubes in different colors. ArdorCraft has some cool features that allow you to add and remove cubes (“dig”), fly, and when you remove ground cubes next to water cubes, the water flows in and fills the gap. There is not much else yet, but well done for a 1-week old demo.

I hadn’t looked into MineCraft before, because the name evoked a mental image of Warcraft LARPers stuck in an underground parking lot. Now that I have seen a videos I can see that MineCraft has a Second Life feel to it, you build stuff and interact with it. Plus enemies that roam the lands at night, so you have a reason to build something strong and solid during the day. PennyArcade seems to sum it up pretty nicely.

This class of open world games is called sandbox games, interesting genre. The goal is not to complete levels, but to complete missions. The game procedurally generates new locations to explore, and the player has countless interactive items (vehicles, weapons, tools) that open up different ways to solve tasks and gain “points”. They are the Lego of computer games, so to speak. I like the procedural world aspect, although I wouldn’t want (or be able) to write a sandbox game. Must be tough to abtract over all permutations to keep the game solvable but still challenging?

I heard there actually is a Lego MMORPG, where you can build stuff, whatever you want, and it comes to life? Need to investigate further.

Comments are closed.