Notch on halting 0x10c: 'I am not the right person to make it'
Popular indie developer Markus 'Notch' Persson, the man responsible for bringing us Minecraft, has opened up about the situation and status of his highly anticipated, yet still very mysterious game, 0x10c.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Notch had given up on development for the sci-fi sandbox game, which he had admitted numerous times in the past he was having trouble figuring out how to make fun. The news broke during a livestream of Team Fortress 2 on his Twitch channel and soon spread across the internet. But before Notch could really say anything, a group of dedicated community members began planning how they'd continue make a game with the same themes of 0x10c, without any of the assets.
After a brief period, Notch has finally broken the silence. In a blog post titled "So that's what I'm going to do," the creative genius talked about his past work -- how much different it was when he was just starting out -- and how it has affected his work on 0x10c.
"About a year ago, I started working on a third “omg you can do anything” game, called 0x10c," Notch wrote. "It was supposed to be a space game about actually being in character in space rather than playing as a space ship like you do in most space games. You’d try to keep your ship live while shooting aliens with laser guns, putting out fires and programming your own virtual computer in the ship.
"It was quite ambitious, but I was fairly sure I could pull it off," he added. "And besides, if I failed, so what? A lot of my prototypes fail way before they get anywhere at all.
Notch explained, "What I hadn’t considered was that a lot more people cared about my games now. People got incredibly excited, and the pressure of suddenly having people care if the game got made or not started zapping the fun out of the project. I spent a lot of time thinking about if I even wanted to make games any more. I guess I could just stop talking about what I do, but that doesn’t really come all that natural to me. Over time I kinda just stopped working on it, and then eventually decided to mentally file it as “on ice” and try doing some smaller things.
"Turns out, what I love doing is making games. Not hyping games or trying to sell a lot of copies. I just want to experiment and develop and think and tinker and tweak," he said. Notch acknowledged that he understands why his decision to stop working on 0x10c became news, but admitted he doesn't "want to turn into another under delivering visionary game designer."
"I find this absolutely amazing," Notch said of the development of Project Trillek, a new community-driven game with the same themes as 0x10c. "I want to play this game so much, but I am not the right person to make it. Not any more. I’m convinced a new team with less public interest can make a vastly superior game than what I would make."
Further along in the post, Notch made reference of Shambles, a "hectic shooter greatly inspired by Doom" which he created in the 7dfps. He described it as "the most fun programming I've done in many months."
"This is what I want to do," he concluded. "I want to do smaller games that can fail. I want to experiment and develop and think and tinker and tweak. So that's what I'm going to do."
This doesn't necessarily mean Notch is going to hide in a cave as he works on his next great project. He assured that he'll continue to talk to players and stream himself playing games; however, he reiterated that -- at least for now -- he doesn't want to work "on anything big."
Unfortunately for Notch, everything he does is big. At this point, he's far too popular -- thanks to the success of Minecraft -- to stay under the radar. If he even so much as teases a game it's likely going to wind up in the news. Unless he can learn not to post teasers on Twitter, it's going to be very hard for him to lay low with any new projects. And unfortunately, every little thing he creates will be compared to Minecraft. Everyone is just waiting for him to replicate the success of that game.