Sandbox

Minecraft Realms now available worldwide

Omri Petitte at

Mojang's Minecraft Realms subscription service for simple server hosting and parental controls has launched worldwide after beta testing this month, giving everyone the chance to sign up and use the feature.


Don't Starve multiplayer expansion coming this summer

Omri Petitte at

Klei's season-survivor Don't Starve excels as a single-player experience, where a world full of dark forests, Moose-Goose, and warm beards tickles that roguelike itch in all the right ways. A missing and seemingly expected element of the genre—and a subject of heated debate across multiple closed threads on the game's official forums—is multiplayer support so friends can huddle together against winter's chill or place hats on neighboring pig-folk. Surprise: Klei's planning a multiplayer expansion out this summer and free for current Starvians.


BioShock Infinite's Columbia appears in the skies of Minecraft

Omri Petitte at

What if Elizabeth tore open a rift, but instead of yanking out a crate of guns or a Gatling-wielding automaton, she withdraws a square-shaped chunk of grass before chucking it at your face with a "Booker, catch!"? I'd sputter in confusion, but that probably also means BioShock Infinite's heroine found her way to the Minecraft-ed version of the floating city of Columbia. Constructed by architect group TheVoxelBox of the Planet Minecraft fansite, the city boasts superb detail and personality worthy of the game's best custom creations.


EverQuest Next Landmark now just Landmark, enters untamed lands of closed beta

Omri Petitte at

EverQuest Next Landmark has finally gathered enough materials to craft a claim flag for the verdant closed beta countryside—right on schedule—taking a continent-sized destruction tool to the alpha period's constructions to prepare for the next phase of Sony Online's sandbox MMO. It's also taking on a new name for its travels: just call it Landmark now.

Starbound creator outlines future player progression

Phil Savage at

Like so many things in the Starbound, the current player progression system is a temporary measure. If the early access survival sandbox was a cyborg, its existing set of tiers and sectors would be a cardboard cut-out of an arm, with the words "add cool stuff here" written on in marker. In a new post on the Starbound blog, creator Finn "Tiy" Brice outlines what that cool stuff will eventually consist of.


Starbound patch prepares for daily content updates, adds Smooth McGroove

Phil Savage at

There's a new Starbound patch, this one called "Enraged Koala". Rather than having anything to do with incandescent marsupials, though, this update comes with a hint of amour - bringing both Valentine's items and the a capella crooning of YouTube's Smooth McGroove. The update also improves the early access sandbox's patching system, allowing the Chucklefish team to push out new game content on an almost daily basis.


Starbound devs detail huge future additions to progression, PVP, and missions

Omri Petitte at

For a game still fresh into a beta launch, Starbound already rivals AAA releases with all the stuff you can do in it. It has aliens you can befriend or blow up. It has a grappling hook. It sold over a million copies in just a month. Developer Chucklefish is keeping its starry success going with frequent updates and content additions, but in a post today on the official website, creator Finn "Tiy" Brice outlines Chucklefish's broader plans to transition Starbound into a full release with more diverse progression pathways and an endgame focused on PVP and group activities.


Starbound update ensures no more character wipes, does other stuff too

Phil Savage at

Starbound's update naming scheme takes the form of increasingly agitated koalas. It started back in early December with version Perturbed Koala. Less than two months later and we're already at Furious Koala. This is escalating far too quickly. Sure, Chucklefish can still patch a Seething Koala, or an Incandescent Koala, but what happens after that? Throbbing Veins Koala? Murderous Rampage Koala? Emotional Equilibrium Through Extensive Counselling And A Treatment Of Mood-Altering Drugs Koala?

Whatever the state of the 2D sandbox's future koala's, yesterday's one brings a whole heap of changes and additions. One of the fixes may ensure that things are a lot calmer in future: thanks to "massive changes to disk serialization" (no, me neither), Chucklefish will no longer need to wipe characters or ships, and are confident that worlds are safe too. In addition, players get more efficient mod distribution, as well as new biomes, monster attacks, tech, and an enforced PvP zone.


Minecraft continues to produce spectacular things: here's an in-game 3D printer

Phil Savage at

It used to be that the creativity of the Minecraft community would regularly leave people speechless. It was all "Blimey! Look at that wall!", and "Wowzers! There's the USS Enterprise"", and even "Hot diggity! A working computer!" Now, we've become somewhat desensitised. Unless you've fully recreated a country - real or fictional - you'll barely raise an eyebrow. For your consideration, then: a working 3D printer has been created inside of the game.


Starbound's future features outlined: includes space combat and story missions

Phil Savage at

Given that Starbound has both a grappling hook and the ability to create a cutesy rendition of the Morrowind theme, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's already finished. But no, those are just the most important features of a long and winding development road. In a new post on the game's official site, designer Finn "Tiy" Brice has outlined some of the things planned for future updates.


Starbound public beta starts today, new trailer offers four minutes of awesome

Tom Sykes at

Today is International Starbound Day, or it will be once I've finished scribbling on every calendar in the world. Chucklefish's openworldcraftingsci-fisandbox (phew) game enters public beta this very day, though you'll need to pre-order the game to be allowed in. The team are trailing this momentous occasion with a new video, which shows four-and-a-half minutes of crafting, exploring, jetpacking, dungeoneering, snowball fights and general milling about. It's lovely stuff, and it's awaiting your peepers after the break.


Trove: a procedurally generated voxel-based sandbox which - stop me if you've heard this one before

Tom Sykes at

Voxels, eh? Can't live with 'em, can't - no, wait, that's women. What are voxels again? Oh, those little triangley things that are somehow powering the gorgeous Everquest Next. They're also powering the less gorgeous Trove, the next game from Rift and Defiance developers Trion. It's fair to say that this role-playing/crafting/sandbox title is a bit of a departure from their previous games. It's not quite as big a departure from Picroma's Cube World, however, which...well, just look at that strangely similar screenshot up there.


Kerbal Space Program update 0.23 detailed: will bring science tweaks and tweakables

Phil Savage at

Kerbal Space Program's update 0.22 brought a career mode to would-be rocketeers only a couple of weeks ago. But science doesn't sleep. Science stays up all night, experimenting with ever more dangerous propulsion systems, before strapping them onto a small container, stuffing it full of 'willing' volunteers, and detonating the entire mess - possibly into orbit; probably into shrapnel. Which is an inelegant way of saying that KSP developers SQUAD have already released details on the game's next planned patch.


Terraria offers new treats, no tricks, in Halloween update

Perry Vandell at

People prepare for the night of ghosts and goblins in different ways. Some go trick-or-treating, while others get so drunk they start believing they are their costume. Only a select few lock themselves away to craft free Halloween updates for their games, and it turns out Terraria’s developers happen belong in the latter group.


Terraria 1.2 release date announced: major update due out beginning of October

Phil Savage at

It's been almost 20 months since the last Terraria update; one that, for a long time, was destined to be the last Terraria update. Now, though, the 2D sandbox is coming out of retirement for one last heist patch. Re-Logic's Andrew "Redigit" Spinks announced over Twitter that the 1.2 update would be mining through the Steam tunnels on October 1st.


Space Engineers is a physics sandbox about creation and destruction

Phil Savage at

It's as if game developers collectively decided that they were fed up of PC games not being about space. So now, a lot of PC games are about space. At least, the ones that aren't roguelikes are. Space Engineers, for example, which is a newly announced physics-based sandbox game about being an engineer. In space. You've probably worked out how they decided on that name.


Starbound official Let's Play shows good times with space-weapons and space-pickaxes

Tom Sykes at

Let's play Starbound, shall we? And by 'let's play' I of course mean 'Let's Play', which here means 'someone else plays while you watch'. But hey, that's better than nothing - and it's often more enjoyable than actually playing a game yourself, if you're an increasingly old and lazy type such as myself. At the Insomnia Gaming Festival, the Yogscast team did such a thing in front a live audience, playing promising indie sci-fi sandbox Starbound for around an hour in co-op. Catch it after the break.


Mod of the Week: Sandbox+ v1.2, for Saints Row The Third

Christopher Livingston at

Are all your friends playing Saints Row IV and you're not? Me too. Are you going to wait for it to go on sale? Me too. In the meantime, fellow budget-conscious gamer, join me in wringing a bit more ridiculous, violent fun from Saints Row: The Third. We'll do it with cheats! Not just some cheats. ALL of the cheats, compiled into a single mod (by master SR modder IdolNinja) called Sandbox+ v.2. It maps dozens of cheats to simple key combinations, allowing you easily teleport to different locations, give yourself superpowers, and turn all the citizens of Steelport into zombies or mascots.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive devs working on a new, curiously whimsical sandbox game

Katie Williams at

Having worked on Counter-Strike: GO and Defense Grid, can you guess what Hidden Path Entertainment is doing next? You probably wouldn't have guessed a game that was "two parts Minecraft and one part Fez with a dash of Proteus' dreaminess sprinkled over the top" on your first try, but that's pretty much exactly what they're doing with Windborne, a single- and multi-player game featuring friendly pet dragons wiggling to a tinkerbox soundtrack.


X Rebirth trailer confirms the long-awaited space sim sequel is ready to come into being

Katie Williams at

The last transmission from X Rebirth was back in 2011. Originally due out that year, we decoded juicy details about your spaceship, your drones, and the boss-around-able NPCs manning your craft. Then the space simulation vanished back into the star-womb to continue its gestation. Nearly two years later, it's ready to be reborn, with a confident trailer and a release date of November 15 for Europe, and November 19 for North America.