0x10c's spaceships will have fully functional on-board CPU, emulators are already available


Notch's "quite ambitious" new open world space game, 0x10c, will have space trading, space battles, planet landings, mining, looting and more. It's is still very early in development, so most of those features are yet to be added. So far, Notch has been working on creating the 16 bit CPU that players will use to pilot 0x10c's ships.

The premise of the game has you playing as a person unfrozen from stasis millions of years in the future, when the galaxy is dying out. To tackle your biggest problems (no hot water, no beans, imminent heat death of the universe), you'll have to strike out and make a living among the stars using the computers that you were familiar with when your body was frozen, in 1988.

Hence the 16 bit CPU. It won't be limited to controlling ship functions, however. As a fully working emulation of a 16 bit processor, it should be able to run games. So you could end up playing a game on a virtual screen inside your virtual ship as you wait for docking permission, or for your ship's drills to finish mining a deposit.

Since Notch released the specs for the DCPU-16 , technically minded fans have been creating DCPU-16 emulators that recreate the CPU in many different programming languages like Python and Javascript . The work has mostly been done just for fun, but working emulators mean working mods, games and programs can be tested long, long before 0x10c is released.

The best outcome would be a world of mini-mods that we'll be able to install on our spaceships, adding games, alternative operating systems and more to the DCPU-16's line up. Of course, there's always the danger that programmers could develop viruses, too. "I won't stop viruses, the players will have to do that themselves," Notch says on Twitter .

It's early days for the project, but the 0x10c site mentions a single player mode, and a "multiverse" that will let players fly about in the same universe for the price of a subscription fee. Like the DCPU-16, that's all subject to change as the game progresses. Check out the 0x10c site for more.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.