These two news items couldn't be any more different. The only reason I'm lumping them into the same post is because they're both offbeat game announcements (well, offbeat is relative depending how influential you deem Minecraft, I guess).
Firstly, on X-Play yesterday, Harmonix, announced the next game in the Rock Band franchise: Rock Band Blitz. The game is a downloadable title for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Do you remember the developer's early titles, Amplitude and Frequency? Yea, Blitz is a lot like those games, trading in the outdated peripherals to instead let the player be a one-man band shredding on his/her standard 360 or PS3 controller.
The game will ship with 25 built-in tracks. However, the cherry on the top of this sundae is that Blitz can tap into the entire Rock Band back-catalogue. You'll even be able to access the Rock Band music store through Blitz, putting nearly 3,500 songs at your finger tips, as long as you have the funds to sustain such a large expense.
Here's the video of the game in action, courtesy of X-Play:
Now, let's move on to Markus "Notch" Persson's new game. As many of you probably know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft. However, for his next game, Notch is trading in the pickaxe and blocks to travel to the great unknown with a game called 0x10c. While the name is hard as balls to say in normal conversation, we do at least know it takes place in space.
According to the game's official website, 0x10c is set in an alternate universe where the space race never ended. Humanity has created a new "deep sleep cell" that unfortunately contains a massive coding error (hence the game's title) which puts users to sleep for much longer than intended. Fast forward to 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 the red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy."
Whew, heavy stuff.
0x10c will be a game with a heavy science fiction lore (clearly), featuring "lots of engineering, a fully working computer system, space battles against AI and human players, abandoned ships full of loot, duct tape (yes!), seamless landing on planets, an advanced economy system, random encounters, mining, trading and looting, and single player and multiplayer connected through the Multiverse."
Much like how Notch and his company Mojang handled Minecraft, 0x10c will be released early to let players help shape the game as it develops. A price point has not yet been determined, but Notch says a monthly fee is a possibility, considering his team will be "emulating all computers and physics" even when players aren't plugged into the Multiverse.
More on 0x10c to come, I'm sure.