Minecraft uses a single-scale voxel engine, with 1m blocks. The lack of sub-division prevents easily modifying smaller and larger scales.
Instead of considering block textures to be immutable and cosmetic, it could be a rendered representation of a projection of the sub-blocks that compose the block itself. In this way, we could see the classic Minecraft grass and dirt blocks as a single level of nesting in a multi-level system of detail. Because all Minecraft blocks share a texture size (16×16 by default), this isn’t a particularly difficult stretch of the imagination. Minecraft blocks, too, exist in 16×16 chunks, each of which carries some data about biomes, heightmaps, and so forth. The problem here is that all of the user-level and simulation-level operations act on a block level. None of them operate on the textures or the chunks. Continue reading
Terestrial plants grow from seeds. A seed is a concentrated bit of building materials, energy, and instructions that is missing one thing… water. In fact, water is the critical component which allows seeds to flourish. There are also factors such as temperature, air, and light.
In keeping with the simplified nature of Uplift, this process is simplified as well. A plant has three primary resources it keeps track of (alongside the structural and thermal ones that are inherent to all blocks in Uplift): Nutrients, Energy, and Water. In addition, there are three primary structural components: Leaves, Stem, and Roots. Continue reading
Uplift is a toy-box. Each of the components can be thought of as a toy from a compatible set. But it is also software, and some things rely on other things in order to function. Trees, for instance, need water to live. If you tried to play with trees without the concept of water, you wouldn’t get very far.
Tada! … Maybe it’s still not obvious what is going on here? Yeah, I don’t really know either.
In order to simultaneously provide toy-box freedom alongside robust dependency visualization, while staying true to the nested voxel presentation, I decided to structure the component dependencies such that they form a voxel structure. Each block relies on all of the blocks beneath it.
Being based on a grid, Uplift shares many qualities with volumetric numeric analysis techniques. It is, in fact, designed this way.
Numerical analysis is a technique which engineers and scientists alike turn to when a problem is difficult to solve using algebra. Continue reading
I love procedural content generation. I enjoy Minecraft, and contributed to its development. It’s a fun… Game? Toy? Software?
Minecraft is a fun software.
And it does a lot of things right. It has a consistent abstracted graphical style. It encourages the players imagination. But it also blindly incorporates luck, refuse to give players abilities afforded to the AI, and tends to seem to suffer quite a bit from designer hubris. Overall, it like it, but I also want to improve on it. Continue reading
Minecraft is a proven product. Fledgeling is a distant dream. Somewhere between Fledgeling and Minecraft, Uplift juts, jaggedly jousting juxtaposition.
How much can be accomplished in a breath? A day? A lifetime? What can be done with a grain of sand, a brick, or a mountain? What is it like to be a tuft of grass, a bug, a crystal, or an avalanche? Could intelligent rabbits build a civilization? All these questions and more, I intend to explore in Uplift.
If none of that interests you, you should probably stop here. But if it intrigues you, please read on. Continue reading
Perhaps something like this?
Working on a game concept: codename Uplift.
Where did the name “Uplift” come from? There are a few reasons, that make sense.
- One of the main mechanics is lifting large blocks of stone and earth.
- It involves elevating unintelligent creatures to intelligence, technology, and civilization.
- It is intended as a step between Minecraft and Fledgeling, an attempt to raise the expectations of gamers without attempting any mind-breaking leaps.
Further details forthcoming!