e.g. If I chop down a tree at the top of a hill it could roll down and potentially wreck your house.
Or causing cave-ins and avalanches from indiscriminate mining. Building dams and rerouting rivers. Building realistic defenses and then siege weapons. Fun
Add in critter breeding and predation for dynamic populations that interact with each other. So if you slay too many Gorgs soon there would be none left. Leave them alone and they'll eat all the Fraggles. Players would form culling expeditions every week. Pretty soon you'll have players giving each other quests. :)
I think the venerable Ultima Online had a few features like that, or was supposed to, not completely sure.
Ultima Online tried to have such an ecology, but the players didn't react to it as described despite the game designers giving players minimal rewards for killing herbivores so that they would focus on killing the carnivores. Instead the players indiscriminately killed both the carnivores and the herbivores, because the players were human. The ecology was removed.
Richard's recollection is flawed on this (he wasn't close enough to the tech to know why it failed).
Reason #1: the closed loop fell victim to hoarding, particularly because the advancement system encouraged the production of goods with no value, as explicated in great detail in Zach Booth Simpson's detailed paper on "The In-Game Economics of Ultima Online."
Reason #2: the cost of pathfinding for the searches was too great. The Sims later solved this by having the agents in a very similar system use simple hillclimbing, with resources broadcast into a map.
I never really got to try Ultima Online during its heyday (I was averse to MMOs and saw them as a step backwards from the narrative qualities of single-player games.)
Re: the ecology, other commenters here and on YouTube have also noted that it was too easy to do things what you shouldn't be able to do, like chasing down rabbits and deer with a sword. :)
Thanks and looking forward to your next game!
It's a very compelling story, but that wasn't actually the case. The real reason was the flawed design. People just had to kill everything for the materials because of the way equipment was implemented.
"The problem is obvious. The animals were too easy to kill. Imagine trying to chase down a real rabbit or deer with a sword. You will never catch either one and if by some chance you corner them the deer would actually stand a chance of beating you."
Not really, in my experience. In MUDs with unrestricted player killing, in-game policing did very little to stop it (unless you count intervention from immortals/wizards, I.e. admins)
UO's original designer, Raph Koster, recently announced a new MMO project where he intends to revisit many of those old simulationist ideas.
"TFC has thrown out Vanilla generation and started on a fresh slate. Sea-level has been raised to twice the height to accommodate 3 separate, varying layers of stone underneath, each spawning their own ores and minerals depending on which of the 23 new stone types it is comprised of.
Caves and underground ravines can be massive, with stalagmites and stalactites scattered throughout. Cave-ins are also an added risk; mining ceiling blocks that aren’t properly supported may result in metric tons of cobblestone falling down on your head.
On the surface, there are 16 different types of trees, large boulders, and smaller surface rocks scattered about. Grass, saplings and flowers slowly grow back depending on the temperature, while foliage changes colors to match the season. TFC also adds new crops and fruit trees as alternative food sources.
Inhabiting the surface are the same standard Minecraft mobs, but with a TFC twist. Animals have distinguishing features depending on their gender and breeding is changed so that females are pregnant for a period of time before giving birth to a believable amount of offspring. Drops have been changed so that all animals (including squids!) drop some form of meat, and mammals drop raw-hide or sheepskin that needs further processing to obtain wool and leather."
You'd have to adjust your food production strategy to fit your climate. In a cold climate, you'd have a short growing season and need to set up cool storage/pickling barrels in order to survive the winter. In a very warm climate, you might not be able to get anything to keep very long, but you'd be able to grow crops year-round.
A fact you could [ab]use by sneaking it into other players' inventories.
People naturally formed their own laws, governments, societies, and over the years the balance of power went from a fractal multipolar world to a massive "red vs. blue" cold war with minimal conflict. Quite interesting really. Not to mention the massive international infrastructure works, including rails, bridges, tunnels, massive towns, and lag-inducing automated farms.
The lead developer of CivCraft went on to do a lot of founding work on Althea mesh networking (https://althea.net/)
Anarchy minecraft has gotten super popular on youtube. I wonder if there's room for it to reboot.
That is something that I'm actually trying to create. Although my focus is a world where you can create machines that are simulated by a physics engine. Users will be able to create humanoid robots, a mechanical giant clock, etc. Think Minecraft for machines. I'm still in the early stages right now so don't really have much to show anybody yet but that is the plan.
I already tried once without success so this is my second go at it.
This is my first attempt from several years ago:
Though the physics strains to keep up with more complex creations/scenarios, I have had great fun building big ships and then smashing them into things (or each other). It's another game where they give you a sandbox and the possibilities are up to you
They even give you a super-threadbare programming environment with which you can write C# code
Chris Delay of Introversion (Prison Architect, Darwinia, DEFCON) mocked up something quite like that back in 2011. I always wished it had been developed further: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQMBGLMtdFE
>Some muckety-muck architecture magazine was interviewing Will Wright about SimCity, and they asked him a question something like “which ontological urban paradigm most influenced your design of the simulator, the Exo-Hamiltonian Pattern Language Movement, or the Intra-Urban Deconstructionist Sub-Culture Hypothesis?” He replied, “I just kind of optimized for game play.”
The "optimise for gameplay" quote was in reference to how developers decide between two equally valid but conflicting outcomes to a given scenario.
It feels like every open-world game dreams of this, and backs up on it. The problem is you need so many things to go right for it to work and be fun.
* It needs to be resilient to player shenanigans
* It needs to respond to player actions
* It needs to be coherent and connect to the actual gameplay
* It needs to reward player interaction while not breaking the economy
That's a pretty tall order when most MMOs struggle to even motivate the existence of simple NPC vendors.
To a point, yes. After that it is EVE online and lacks general appeal. I was watching a video tonight of some players trying out a new mod that has some basic and limited physics - waterwheels can rotate shafts. Two different sized cogs let change up rotational speed. Belts can connect shafts, transferring rotation and also creating a converter belt.
All cool stuff, but part of the appeal is the unrealism. As soon as work starts reducing torque it goes from fun mental puzzle approachable by many to math and frustration approachable by few.
Minecraft's success is not only in the freedom to build, but in the reduced realism that makes that potential open to so many as fun.
I saw it was on Steam the other day, I guess they tried to add some storyline to it.
Picture my disappointment when I realised they meant wurm like a dragon wyrm.
There's a Minecraft like game with this mechanic right now. When you chop down a tree it goes rolling down the hill and can damage you/enemies. It's as satisfying as you'd hope it would be. I'm not affiliated but I enjoyed playing the alpha.
GPLv3, unfortunately, but interesting nevertheless.
Both of them combined would literally be a step towards living in a Matrix. :)
If it was all deterministic, servers might just send player input and the physics simulations could happen locally on players' devices.
And as the sibling comment said, multiple servers each handling a small region of the world (both gamespace and meatspace.)
“In addition to that, he released updates often, in accordance with the Swedish saying “hellre än bra” (meaning someone who prefers spontaneity over perfection). As soon as a new function or bug-fix was in place, he made it available via his site, asking players for help in testing and improving it.” https://www.wired.com/2013/11/minecraft-book/
I don't think there is any 2 thing that made Minecraft a success. It's a combination of a great nu!bet of things but most importantly a combination of a great number of things done right together not just as you'd view them individually.
Lego tried making some brick building games but they were universally awful. A couple hundred bricks and the computer slows to a crawl. Their later games don't involve building at all.
Minecraft scratches that building itch, with a bucket that never runs out.
Four girls, one boy and all of them love it. Ages 10-22. Roblocks? Not so much.
Maybe that's part of why it feels "somehow pure"?
They follow very simple rules and their interaction with each other can produce amazingly complex machines.
It's the most realistic game we have.
Maybe someday the web will return to its humble roots.
If regular development is too complicated, there are mods that add programmable computers (Lua, iirc). You can use them to mine, build, automate, or in the spirit of Minecraft, really do whatever you want.
Source of one of the most popular mods:
How people usually run mods (in packs):
Open source alternative client:
The core tooling that helps with modding:
It's a set of decompilation scripts included with most modding frameworks. Not officially endorsed by Mojang but the developer is a Mojang employee.
Minetest itself is just the engine with basic functionality such as terrain generation and basic physics. Mobs, and other things are added via mods. Mods can be installed manually or in-game from https://content.minetest.net/.
FWIW, here're my recommended mods:
Basic gameplay: 3d armor, mobs_redo + mobs_monster
Logic: mesecons, more mesecone, digilines
Hard monsters: NSSM (not so simple mobs), dmob (dragons, etc) (both need mobs_redo)
Building more: Homedecor
There're also some read-made games. Mineclone 2 is pretty good.
The game has such huge potential and tremendous goodwill, and it’s been so stagnant since the acquisition.
If anything, they've had a better release cycle since the acquisition.
they really don't seem to want to explore too much. so what if they added a block that allowed automating things? what would be having a sky dimension accessible with the elyra wings? that would give new purpose to existing content without altering the game too much. what if furnaces and other production structures added taint to the biome, making it more and more polluted and unfriendly to live in? so many possibilities! luckily there's plenty mods out there, but a well balanced execution would make it so much better.
This is something that definitely needs to be added at some point. One problem I would see is that there is already a very good mod that does that. In a sense they are between a rock and an hard place in trying to both copy and not copy it.
Additionally, the server isn't multithreaded. It benefits always from having the fastest clocked CPU you can throw at it.
Client performance can be greatly improved by using Optifine.
I would love to have a more-well-built version (as I think the core of Bedrock is), but Mojang has taken some weird steps where things like redstone mechanics are severely limited compared to the Java edition... and they have no intention on fixing it. Now you've got these weird minor differences that will never merge and you'll never get those players to switch versions.
IIRC more memory also increases GC time so after a certain point the GC causes such annoying lagspikes it's often better to play with less.
It’s neat, but even by previous FAQ response standards it’s horribly weak. It appears like little more than an ability to make scripts of existing vanilla commands. You can’t make/register blocks, fluids, modify terrain gen, or even trigger individual events. As a framework it isn’t useful for content creators.
Much of the popularity of the game has a lot to do with the modding community as well, which is where you go when simply building in the vanilla game is no longer interesting. Any change to the vanilla game can have major ripple effects on the modding community.
Lastly, I'd say that one huge development they recently fixed in the code base was the block ID limit. Now that the ID system is name based rather than number based with a hard coded limit, the number of blocks that can be added to the game isn't limited by anything other than the direction of the creative team and new mechanics.
It's a little complicated from the outside looking in, since the base game is very similar on the surface, but there are major technical differences between the platforms that would make true cross-platform very difficult.
EDIT: The Minecraft Wiki has an excellent overview of all the various platforms. Check out the sidebar on the right for a breakdown. Generally, the "Bedrock" edition is what's on most consoles that are still being supported, and I ... think it has cross-platform multiplayer support? I play on PC so I am not super familiar with the details on console.
Minecraft (formerly known as bedrock) which is the C++ edition and runs and plays across Windows 10, Android, iOS, and Xbox.
Minecraft Java Edition (formerly known as minecraft) which as the name implies runs on Java and can play between Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Feature sets of the game are VERY close now (and get closer each release) with the major difference between them now mainly being in how redstone works. Java has redstone bugs that have since become so relied on they are considered features, the C++ version doesn't have them. Someone picking up minecraft for the very first time wouldn't feel they were missing anything using C++ version.
Switch too. There are rumors that the Playstation 4 will receive a version based on Bedrock as well, but it's not confirmed.
I tried to get my kids to play around with web pages and tutorials, but it wasn’t until they wanted to create mini games in ROBLOX that they got busy.
While that is true in many cases, so is society in general, and I think that occurs when people accept rules that limit what they create and discover in the world. 'Mini-games' are all about points and status, servers with economies result in play that is all about selling goods and accumulating wealth.
What the author doesn't mention is the side channel (typically discord) on which players are communicating and socializing.
I'm curious about Hytale, an RPG game currently under development, made by Hypixel which is the developer behind one of the most successful Minecraft servers.
Another title that I was excited about was Cube World but after reading the reviews, it seems it didn't really hold up to the hype.
Correct me if you know of any earlier examples.
Roblox does a fantastic job at giving creative young minds an opportunity to expand on their ideas — something very few other "games" accomplish.
I seemingly signed up my €15 in 2011 and had fun. Then forgot about it.
Then I remember when MS bought it for silly money. Full on WTF? headspin.
Then I visited my former-bridesmaid, who shared with me what she'd built on her ipad.
I'd no idea what she was talking about, quickly stopped randomly hitting stuff when her upset overcame her politeness and she told me to stop. She really cared about what she'd built.
I can still only wrap my head around it as "infinite lego with a community" - but that's pretty damn impressive.
Considering Minecraft has over 176 million copies sold, not to mention the endless amount of merchandise and spin-offs I'm sure MS is getting royalties on, it looks like they got a bargain at $2.5B.
I currently have a persistent server I run for my kids. My son loves to explore and fight things, my daughter likes to build things, and I like to make machines with redstone. It's fun that we have something that we can play together that appeals to all of us.
Roblox sounds like a place where a sort of creative hustle underlies the whole experience, where everyone's creative experience is about trying to figure out what they can get from others. It's full of in-app purchases, by way of people's creations.
Minecraft, meanwhile, sounds like a more open-ended collaborative experience where people create for the sake of creating, and the worst negative externality is some people do it to gain views on Youtube. There's no in-app purchases, just the upfront fee paid to Microsoft.
One thrust of the piece is that playing Roblox promotes "indoctrination into entrepreneurship for children", by way of many of the 'tycoon' style games.
Author also points out how accruing possessions is a large part of Roblox: "Compared with Minecraft, most Roblox games are highly individualistic and use private property as their main incentive rather than skill-building or a sense of common good."
Author then frames Roblox as operating a kind of multilevel marketing scheme, where everyone's hustling to make game modes to get game currency from others, and it all flows up to Roblox. It may not match an MLM perfectly, but it really made me think about how games are places where a lot of these really negative ideas from the offline world (like MLMs, gambling, etc) can appear in similar form in game worlds.
The author goes into a digression about streamers and creators showing off their work on Youtube, and that being something that sort of sullies the purity of these creative mediums. I don't see that as particularly unique to these games though, as that's part of the broader trend of 'life as performance' which exists everywhere in social media (see also Instagram, etc).
The last paragraph is great: "By enabling self-defined goals and DIY accumulation of skills and resources, Minecraft once seemed to promise fun without fixed form, without ownership, without competition and hierarchy. Roblox has no such pretense. Though its premise of blurring the line between player and creator may seem democratizing, it transforms conventional gameplay into entrepreneurial striving while indoctrinating young children into capitalist society’s hierarchical scoreboards, its fantasy of being the best by having the most."
Is this all just a reflection of adding in-app purchases with a % going to creators? Feels like it.
I ask because both the exploratory and (more importantly) the build/customize parts were a big element of that - also, it is still active (I believe) even if not exactly "thriving" today.
Too bad Roblox doesn't work on Linux even in Wine, and developers have no interest in doing anything about it. So it's far from being a proper successor.