A moment of silence, Notch fans, for his upcoming enigmatically titled 0x10c, a game about solving an impossible bit of scientific notation, where C is equal to…well, fill in the blank.
I kid about the scientific notation stuff, but not about the part where the Minecraft creator’s maiden foray into far-flung sci-fi is, in fact, dead (notice I scrupulously avoided the obvious Dr. McCoy one-liner). Informally unveiled in April 2012, you may recall that Markus “Notch” Persson put the game on hold a year later, citing creative problems. But last week, Persson told viewers watching a Team Fortress 2 livestream that the game would stay on the shelf forever.
Why? According to Geek.com, Persson said that “he has no future aspirations” for the game, and that he would “instead continue working on smaller games for the rest of his life.”
Who can blame him? Minecraft, for all it’s accomplished in just a few years time, is pretty small beer gameplay-wise. That we know about it at all has more to do with what fans used it to create — or, to give Persson due credit, what he made it possible for them to do with it. (There’s some debate over whether Minecraft‘s even a game and not just a memetic, obsessive-compulsive spectacle-making tool.) Focusing on that sort of smaller-scale, embryonic design approach may seem less sexy, but we’re talking Notch — the guy could pitch a game about reading the phone book and we’d pay attention.
What did we know about 0x10c? Not a lot. It was maybe going to be the next Elite, an open-ended community-driven space adventure game taking place in 281,474,976,712,644 A.D., in a bleak, black-hole-riddled version of the universe. The game was also said to include a fully operational virtual 16-bit computer (to what retro-transfixed end, who knows).
Let’s end with a dash of optimism: It’s more like just-dead, not six feet under. Some intrepid fans want to make the game themselves, though they’ve said they won’t be using any of 0x10c‘s code, Persson’s name on the project, or the original title or codename.