Category Archives: Retro

Is this the geekiest game ever?

Right off the bat you can tell this is going to be a geeky game, but the deeper you get into it the more geeky it becomes.

Let’s start with the basics. Its working title is 0x10c. It’s an Elite inspired space trading game. So far so good. Now it gets more geeky…

It’s set in the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD and here’s why:

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 of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.

You know, your typical little endian – big endian mix-up. We’ve all been there. What’s that? You haven’t? You’ve only really used more more modern, higher level programming tools and languages? oh. ok. This next bit may not interest you then…

Finally, within the game is a computer you can program. Well, I say computer, but what you really get is the DCPU-16 which you can program. In assembly language. To quote the official website:

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.

They’ve recently published the CPU specs to give people a head start writing programs before the game itself is released.

You will even need to balance what equipment you have powered on as your spacecraft’s generator only outputs a set wattage.

This game is being developed by Minecraft developer Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, who seemingly took inspiration from some of the more complex Minecraft creations…

To keep up with developments, follow @notch