Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our answers to the most common questions we are being asked. If you want to know more, leave us a comment!

Why are you making another Minecraft clone?

We are not. We understand that most of our videos look like "Minecraft without blocks", but we are not simply copying Minecraft.

Currently we are developing a game engine which is capable of smooth destructible terrain. For our flagship project, which will make use of that engine, many of the game elements (an open world RPG with destructible terrain) are inspired by Minecraft. However, we have more in mind than that. It will be more like a mix of Garry's Mod, Skyrim, Minecraft, and Dwarf Fortress.

You claim to not be writing a Minecraft clone. So, what are you doing?

We are currently developing a game engine (Upvoid Engine) that will hopefully be used for many different kinds of games. For a more detailed explanation, have a look at the about page.

However, we also have plans for a game using that engine, which is intended to be the flagship project of our engine. Development of this game will start once the engine is ready, on which we are focusing right now. The basic idea is to create a game featuring an open, dynamic world. The world is created procedurally, so we can make it practically infinitely big, and different on each new game. You can dig, collect resources, and craft things from it similar to Terraria or Minecraft. Those crafted objects can then be used to engineer machines, trap systems, vehicles, elevators, and much more in a way similar to Garry's Mod. Those concepts will hopefully become clearer when we release some more videos.

What is so new about this? Are there not already many games supporting a destructible environment?

While some features have been there before, our engine supports some features that are unique. There are many games where certain predefined parts of the environment can be destroyed or changed. In some, you can change the heightmap-based terrain, but that does not allow overhangs or caves.

There are only very few projects supporting a truly destructible terrain in a non-blocky setting (as far as we know, none of them are already released). All of those we know about are using an algorithm called Marching Cubes. We, however, are using a technology based on the Dual Contouring algorithm. It has some advantages over Marching Cubes, so our terrain can do things - for example, sharp edges - that others cannot (at least we do not know about anybody who can).

How will the digging/construction process be like? Would it not be difficult to create things like houses if you can only place blobs?

Absolutely, and that is why there will be more sophisticated creation options. For example, you could lay out the basic shape of a building on the ground and then limit the placement of your building material to that shape. We are experimenting with different approaches here and are confident that there will be an acceptable solution in the end.

What will the system requirements be?

We cannot yet give specific requirements, as things are still changing - new features add additional workload to the hardware, other things are being optimized and reduce the load. But as a rule of thumb, if you can play Battlefield 3 or a similar recent game nicely on your system, it should also be enough for our engine.

Currently, all we really require is a graphics card with OpenGL 3.3 compatibility, which is supported on all cards since the Geforce 8 series, Radeon HD 2000 series, and Intel HD4000. If there are many users with older graphics cards, we will see if we can lower that limitation.

Will you sell the engine to other game developers?

Yes, the engine will be available for other developers. We have not yet decided on a pricing model.

How much will it cost?

UpvoidMiner is free and open source. For the engine, we have not yet decided on a pricing model, but there will probably be the option to use the engine for free or at very low cost to make non-commercial games with it.

When will the game be released?

We are still in an early stage of development and cannot give a specific release date yet. Closed alpha registrations are open, but it will take some time until we can release it as a finished game.

Will you (ever) support 32bit operating systems?

The problem with a 32-bit OS is, that the CPU can only address ~4GB of RAM (max. 3.5GB on Windows). Considering that the OS (as well as services and programs running on it) consumes a significant amount of that memory, we end up with a maximum of 2.5 to 3GB accessible by our program. At the current state we require a minimum of 4GB while the actually consumed amount depends on some factors, e.g., the level of detail and how much the terrain is modified by the user. So even if we were to support 32-bit architecture, the installed RAM would be stretched to its limits quickly.

For these reasons, 32-bit support is currently not our top priority.

What are your plans for UpvoidMiner?

UpvoidMiner is intended as a tech demo to showcase the potential of our engine. It is probably going to be more of a creativity toy than a fully-fledged game (think of Minecraft Classic, for instance).

However, UpvoidMiner is open source and if you want to implement your own additions, by all means, do so!

But I thought you wanted to have gameplay like Garry's Mod, Dwarf Fortress, etc. in UpvoidMiner!

There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding, most likely caused by poor wording on our part. These features are planned for our flagship game which is still in the planning phase at this point.

This flagship game is not the Upvoid Miner.

When will I receive my alpha key? I've been waiting for xy hours/days.

We are giving out keys in smaller batches, so it may take some time until you get your key.