Markus “Notch” Persson has gone and made Mojang’s next big game official with both a name and a set of brand new details. 0x10c is set in space, based in hard sci-fi and prepping for an early, alpha version launch.

So, what is it? Well, it’s a little hard to explain. The backstory of the game puts forth that the space race between the world’s super powers in the mid-20th century never ended. In 1988, a commercial deep sleep device is introduced to the space design market. That device bugs out and sends its sleeping travels out into space for a very, very long time. How long? Here’s the game’s site on that:

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 of0x0000 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.

We said “hard sci-fi,” didn’t we?

As for gameplay. Here’s the site once more…

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.

The game will feature single and multiplayer sections. Though, and this might catch some fans offguard, the multiplayer portion will come with a to-be-determined monthly fee. The game will “emulate all computers and physics even when players aren’t logged in.”

0x10c sounds enormous, ambitious and exceptionally complicated. My immediate concern, and it’s obviously way too early to tell, is if the barrier for entry will prevent fans of Minecraft from digging in straight away.

As more comes, we’ll have it.