You don’t mix clay with lego.

I once said that the world of Blockscape will always be blocky. The reasons for this is that I love lego and the games I love are all block based. It is all there in the name and the logo:

logokk

At some point I lost it. The heart of Blockscape was lost. In my quest of finding a way to extend the view distance I gave up a bit of my soul and implemented smooth voxel data. It is much simpler to do LODing with smooth voxel data and when I got it working it all felt quite good. Finally Blockscape had a great view distance. So what was the problem?

You don’t mix clay with lego.

I spent almost a year trying to get Blockscape the block building game working with the new voxel data. I’m a real stubborn person. I thought that if I just put enough time into this it will all just work out. In the end I actually got it working to some extent. You could build with blocks and have a huge landscape as a nice background. But that was basically it.

To create a good game you take one game mechanic and go all in with it. You don’t add action sequences to a point and click adventure game. You don’t add long cutscenes to a fast paced fps game. You don’t add curved roads to a city building game. I once listened to an interview with Marcus Persson where he got the question “Is there something you regret with Minecraft?”. Without even thinking he answered “Adding half blocks”. Why did he say that? Because Minecraft is a game where the core game mechanic is adding and removing one meter sized perfectly square blocks. Because of huge pressure from the fan base he agreed to add half blocks and things got messy. My guess is that adding half blocks was one of the most time consuming features in the history of Minecraft. And the only thing it did was to add a little bit of cosmetic detail.

You don’t mix clay with lego.

The last 7 months has been a long fight to find the heart of Blockscape again. The good news is that I finally found it. I just had to throw away the clay and focus on the lego. This however put me back to square one again: How do you represent a world that is a lot more complex and with 64 times the resolution of Minecraft and still have the same or greater view distance? It took me some time before I realized that the answer was in the castle generator. After the Steam release I rebuilt the castle generator so that the individual parts where resampled in block space and that was exactly what i was looking for.

So how do you build a world out of building parts? Stay tuned for the next post!

 

 
Copyright © ioneo