Markus Persson (known to most by his screen name “Notch”), Creator of the immensely popular Minecraft, posted his experiment “Cliffhorse” for fans to download for free. Cliffhorse was created by Notch in Unity in approximately two hours and can be downloaded at cliffhorse.com to play on Windows PCs. Notch has jokingly solicited Dogecoin donations for “early access”, a self reference to the development model of Minecraft in it’s early days.
[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he equestrian adventure sees you (a horse) dropped in lush rolling hills with a third person camera following you closely behind. The only other objects in the game are identical palm trees and an odd sphere that appears to be made from the same material as the horse. All you can do in the game is frolic around the pasture and knock the “horseball” around, if you have the patience, curiosity or boredom to want to venture to the end of the world you will find nothing more than a blue abyss to endlessly fall into.
Cliffhorse is a weird one. Half goat simulator, half parody of the poor Skyrim horse physics. The game has managed to raise a substantial amount of Dogecoin for the apparent minimal effort notch put into the project:
Whether Notch pulled the stunt to ride on the Cryptocurrency coattails or boost Dogecoin’s popularity with his own is unclear, but honestly his gesture seems quite sincere and an experimentation to gauge the public response to cryptocurrency. Notch himself took to /r/dogecoin to express his admiration for the Dogecoin community:
I was watching PewGeminiLive streaming a blind playthrough of Skyrim, and kept jokingly referring to the game as “Cliffhorse” because of the hilarious horse physics. After a while, people started saying I should make that game, and I said sure. About two hours and a bunch of free Unity assets later, Cliffhorse was done.
It somehow turned into a “haha only serious” take on some of the more embarrasing minimum effort greenlight games (and the amazing success of Goat Simulator), and it seemed to me like the “haha only serious” angle of Dogecoin was the perfect match for it. I also threw in a loving jab at paying for early access, which is how Minecraft got here at all.
Is ironically buying an ironic game for ironic money actually ironic? I don’t know. Does it have to be?
In a world where The Colbert Report contains more actual news than Actual News, subversion through humor seems to be one of the best things going on.
I love cryptocurrency, and I love the way Dogecoin deals with it.
Although “Cliffhorse” itself is a product of negligible value, Notch is prominent and successful in the independent game development community. The connotations of using the technology in such a way could be one of the first steps to broader use on not only the indie game circuit, but in a wider industry that was valued at $68 billion in 2012. It isn’t far-fetched to imagine the download distribution of games meshing nicely with the online convenience that comes with cryptocurrency sometime in the future.
Last modified: June 9, 2014 18:41 UTC