I know I bang on about MineCraft quite a lot, but it’s only because I love it so much and even though I haven’t played it recently it still stands out as one of the most unique gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time. Now it appears MineCraft is coming to Xbox in the form of FortressCraft, an XNA game developed for the indie games section of the Xbox Live Marketplace. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but they plan to release the game in episodes. Here is a direct quote found on the MineCraft forums from the games developer;
“The current plan (subject to market forces!) is to release one ‘Chapter’ every 4-6 weeks. So Chapter 1 is basically Minecraft’s Creative, Chapter 2 adds in crafting, Chapter 3 adds in life, Chapter 4 adds in machinery, Chapter 5 adds in Minions, Chapter 6 adds in PvP, Chapter 7 adds in Fortress Assault mode… (or whatever). Unfortunately, the option to sell the game for $15 just isn’t there, so each Chapter will be 80MSP. Which is about 60p/99cents. I’d sincerely hope that you get your money’s worth from each chapter!”
That's blockin' beautiful, but will it have the charm of MineCraft?
Ok, so it’s not exactly MineCraft, but it’s a clone, and it admits it. The developers announced their game on the MineCraft forums, which sparked a debate that is still going strong today about if this is “legal” or not and if it infringes copyright laws, etc. Apparently it doesn’t because the developers haven’t used the same engine and built their game completely from scratch, but they do say that they are heavily inspired by MineCraft and gave the argument that MineCraft itself was a clone of an earlier game Infiniminer.
As it stands Mojang and Notch (MineCraft creators) are more than happy for people to create clones or games “inspired by MineCraft” and it’s merely the MC community that is in uproar.
Personally I’m not sure where I stand. At first I was surprised at how similar the games looked and how it was even possible to legally get away with copying a game so much. Then I kind of got excited about the prospect of playing MineCraft on my Xbox and started thinking at least it’s a way of getting this concept out there and spread the word of MineCraft to non-PC users.
FortressCraft hoping to have up to 31 player multiplayer over Xbox Live
If it proves popular with console owners then a major company may pick the idea up and create a fully fleshed out, graphically impressive and vastly superior version of MineCraft for consoles, which would be a good thing, right? They seem to have a few original ideas, such as the inclusion of minions that will work for you, maintaining mines while you go off and explore and build other things, which does sound genuinely interesting.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this one unfolds…
For now, keep watching http://www.fortresscraft.com/ for more developments.