0x10c - Notch goes to space

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Notch is working on a new game, and it's not Minecraft in the least bit. I don't know if I'd play this but I'm interested to see what it looks like.

IMAGE(http://0x10c.com/logo.png)

Notch wrote:

Backstory and Setting

In a parallel universe where the space race never ended, space travel was gaining popularity amongst corporations and rich individuals.

In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.

It's now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.

Game Features

The game is still very early in development, but here is a list of things we hope to include:

Hard science fiction.
Lots of engineering.
Fully working computer system.
Space battles against the AI or other players.
Abandoned ships full of loot.
Duct tape!
Seamlessly landing on planets.
Advanced economy system.
Random encounters.
Mining, trading, and looting.
Single and multi player connected via the multiverse.

The Generator and the Computer

Each ship has a generator capable of producing a fixed wattage, and everything you connect to it drains wattage. A cloaking field, for example, might require almost all the power from the generator, forcing you to turn off all computers and dim all lights in order to successfully cloak.

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

Full specifications of the CPU will be released shortly, so the more programatically advanced of you can get a head start.

Wasn't this just an April Fool joke?

Malor wrote:

Wasn't this just an April Fool joke?

If it's not, it certainly sounds like something I'd like to check out.

Malor wrote:

Wasn't this just an April Fool joke?

Current gaming news reports for it are all dated 3rd of April.

DCPU-16 Specification

DCPU-16 Specification
Copyright 2012 Mojang
Version 1.1 (Check 0x10c.com for updated versions)

* 16 bit unsigned words
* 0x10000 words of ram
* 8 registers (A, B, C, X, Y, Z, I, J)
* program counter (PC)
* stack pointer (SP)
* overflow (O)

In this document, anything within [brackets] is shorthand for "the value of the RAM at the location of the value inside the brackets".
For example, SP means stack pointer, but [SP] means the value of the RAM at the location the stack pointer is pointing at.

Whenever the CPU needs to read a word, it reads [PC], then increases PC by one. Shorthand for this is [PC++].
In some cases, the CPU will modify a value before reading it, in this case the shorthand is [++PC].

Instructions are 1-3 words long and are fully defined by the first word.
In a basic instruction, the lower four bits of the first word of the instruction are the opcode,
and the remaining twelve bits are split into two six bit values, called a and b.
a is always handled by the processor before b, and is the lower six bits.
In bits (with the least significant being last), a basic instruction has the format: bbbbbbaaaaaaoooo

...

I wonder if people are going to get into assembly as much as they do making nyancats in wool or castles.

Heh, I could totally see an aftermarket in programs you could buy (with real cash, from other players) for your 16-bit computer, maybe better gunnery routines or something.

Malor wrote:

Wasn't this just an April Fool joke?

I think calling it Mars Effect was a joke. What with their recent fun calling a game Scrolls and all.

Scratched wrote:

DCPU-16 Specification

DCPU-16 Specification
Copyright 2012 Mojang
Version 1.1 (Check 0x10c.com for updated versions)

* 16 bit unsigned words
* 0x10000 words of ram
* 8 registers (A, B, C, X, Y, Z, I, J)
* program counter (PC)
* stack pointer (SP)
* overflow (O)

In this document, anything within [brackets] is shorthand for "the value of the RAM at the location of the value inside the brackets".
For example, SP means stack pointer, but [SP] means the value of the RAM at the location the stack pointer is pointing at.

Whenever the CPU needs to read a word, it reads [PC], then increases PC by one. Shorthand for this is [PC++].
In some cases, the CPU will modify a value before reading it, in this case the shorthand is [++PC].

Instructions are 1-3 words long and are fully defined by the first word.
In a basic instruction, the lower four bits of the first word of the instruction are the opcode,
and the remaining twelve bits are split into two six bit values, called a and b.
a is always handled by the processor before b, and is the lower six bits.
In bits (with the least significant being last), a basic instruction has the format: bbbbbbaaaaaaoooo

...

I wonder if people are going to get into assembly as much as they do making nyancats in wool or castles.

Seems unlikely. Of course someone needs to write a C compiler and OS for this thing first

Malor wrote:

Wasn't this just an April Fool joke?

Actually, no - the name mentioned before 0x10c - "Mars Effect" - was the April Fool's joke. The game itself is very real, and sounds brilliant.

EDIT: Norfair totally beat me to this. READ THE WHOLE THREAD NEXT TIME, CY. >.>.

DanB wrote:
Scratched wrote:

I wonder if people are going to get into assembly as much as they do making nyancats in wool or castles.

Seems unlikely. Of course someone needs to write a C compiler and OS for this thing first

That's what the game sounds like to me - you're programming your ship, and those programs are run on mojang's servers. It seems similar to the various AI challenges that set tanks or some other thing controlled by a user's program against other users', but on a MMO scale.

Scratched wrote:
DanB wrote:
Scratched wrote:

I wonder if people are going to get into assembly as much as they do making nyancats in wool or castles.

Seems unlikely. Of course someone needs to write a C compiler and OS for this thing first

That's what the game sounds like to me - you're programming your ship, and those programs are run on mojang's servers. It seems similar to the various AI challenges that set tanks or some other thing controlled by a user's program against other users', but on a MMO scale.

Strikes me that it'll either be mind bendingly niche or dead in the water if they don't also provide an OS and some higher level coding language. There's good reasons why most coders in the real world aren't working in machine code and why every successful cpu ever has a C compiler.

Mojang provides the OS, or rather the CPU that it runs on.

The thing is though with machine code, it's really not that much different to writing C, it's just... more specific about how it does it. You're dealing with all the same issues in a different way. Higher level is just readability, a for loop is exactly the same logic at whatever level you're programming at.

It's touching an issue they'll need to confront though, Notch and Mojang aren't "The Minecraft people", it's not all they do and it seems not everything they do will be like it.

Where is the preorder sign up page? I hope he's working on that first.

Scratched wrote:

Mojang provides the OS, or rather the CPU that it runs on.

No, the OS is that common bunch of operations that everyone ends up having to recode if you don't provide them ahead of time.

Scratched wrote:

The thing is though with machine code, it's really not that much different to writing C, it's just... more specific about how it does it. You're dealing with all the same issues in a different way. Higher level is just readability, a for loop is exactly the same logic at whatever level you're programming at.

Readability is amazingly important, it fosters both understanding and productivity and it's why C and just about every other language exists. If we didn't have those things we'd still be grubbing around at the level of the Homebrew Computer Club.

After reading the description several times, I still have no idea how this game will work.

Caddrel wrote:

After reading the description several times, I still have no idea how this game will work.

Nor I, but I'll buy it nonetheless.

The best existing comparison I can think of is to something like Robocode, except 0x10^c is a worldwide constant persistent server running the AIs.

Caddrel wrote:

After reading the description several times, I still have no idea how this game will work.

You flail about helplessly for an hour and then reach the heat death of the universe.

Wait, I thought the whole point of the computer was that it was running on your ship? Why on earth would it be running anywhere but locally?

Malor wrote:

Wait, I thought the whole point of the computer was that it was running on your ship? Why on earth would it be running anywhere but locally?

My guess is that you write the code and upload it so your ship can be simulated while you're offline, and while you're online you have manual control or override some aspects of the computer. Imagine EVE without needing to dock or your ship disappearing when you log off, but your ship following your instructions.

Notch writing the emulator for this processor means he can have a bunch of them running and controlling ships on the server when the players aren't on. He buys a bunch of CPU time from Amazon EC (or whoever) while the player's subscription is active and they have an allocated amount of processing power for their ship. All those ships interact on the main MMO shard, doing Elite style tasks, exploring, mining, combat, trading, etc.

I'm so pumped for this. Where do I sign up for updates?!

I'm confused. But I like robocode.

Cautiously optimistic.

It will probably require a monthly subscription.

Notch wrote:

The cost of the game is still undecided, but it's likely there will be a monthly fee for joining the Multiverse as we are going to emulate all computers and physics even when players aren't logged in. Single player won't have any recurring fees.

Doesn't sound interesting to me, but it is pretty close to what I expected to come next from Notch.

From the title I thought Notch was going to follow in Richard Garriott's footsteps, although it would have required a larger suit.

garion333 wrote:

Cautiously optimistic.

+1

I was worried that the idea of a programmable CPU might be too wide a scope for a game, and then I thought of Minecraft. I'm not so worried about such a large scope anymore. Mr. Notch seems to know how to make a damn fine game engine.

How do I give him more money?

Wow. Looks fun. I'll only really be happy if someone writes an Ook->DCPU-16 compiler, though.

I wonder if people are going to get into assembly as much as they do making nyancats in wool or castles.

Seems unlikely.

I agree about it needing an OS, but geez, assembler was the whole *point* of getting an Apple ][e, back in the day. It was a lifestyle.

I'll usually be the one to defend Notch and Mojang in the "Notch is a bad programmer and can't get anything done" debates, but this sure seems overly ambitious for how they seem to do work.

Well at least he's not willing to rest on his laurels with just one completely bonkers game concept, he's clearly full of completely bonkers game concepts. It'll be interesting to see if this turns out to be as amazing as Minecraft turned out to be.

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