Notch is no longer working on the follow-up to his smash-hit world-building game Minecraft. The indie developer says that player expectations drained the fun out of making huge games.
“Recently, I was streaming some Team Fortress 2 and got asked about the progress on 0x10c. I said I wasn’t working on it, and it became news,” Persson wrote on his blog. “I understand why [it became news], and it really shouldn’t surprise me, but I really don’t want to turn into another underdelivering visionary game designer. The gaming world has enough of those.”
0x10c was a space-sim game where players take control of a character that travels the stars.
“You’d try to keep your ship live while shooting aliens with laser guns, putting out fires, and programming your own virtual computer in the ship,” wrote Persson. “It was quite ambitious, but I was fairly sure I could pull it off. And besides, if I failed, so what? A lot of my prototypes fail way before they get anywhere at all.”
Persson said he didn’t foresee how the expectations of his fans would affect making a game like 0x10c.
“What I hadn’t considered was that a lot more people cared about my games now,” wrote Persson. “People got incredibly excited, and the pressure of suddenly having people care if the game got made or not started zapping the fun out of the project. I spent a lot of time thinking about if I even wanted to make games anymore.”
The Minecraft creator says that he just stopped working on 0x10c over time. He put the game “on ice” and started working on other projects.
“Some people in the 0x10c community decided to work together to make their own version of their game, called Project Trillek,” wrote Persson. “I find this absolutely amazing. I want to play this game so much, but I am not the right person to make it. Not anymore. I’m convinced a new team with less public interest can make a vastly superior game than what I would make.”
So is Persson done making games? He wouldn’t have to work any longer. Minecraft made him a millionaire several times over and continues to sell well on PC, Xbox 360, and mobile devices. The block-building game is also due out on Xbox One when it launches later this year, and it’s likely to sell well on that system, too.
But Persson says he isn’t done. He just wants to work on simpler projects.
“Last week, I participated in the 7dfps and made a hectic shooter greatly inspired by Doom called Shambles, and it was some of the most fun programming I’ve done in many months,” wrote Persson. “This is what I want to do. I want to do smaller games that can fail. I want to experiment and develop and think and tinker and tweak.
“So that’s what I’m going to do.”
The programmer says he’ll also continue communicating with fans on his blog and through Twitter. He also promises to continue streaming some of his Team Fortress 2 matches as well.