On Wednesday, Markus "Notch" Persson revealed Mojang's follow-up to Minecraft as 0x10c, an "ambitious" PC game set in outer space. The project is still in its early stages, but the team hopes to follow Minecraft's lead and unleash an alpha unto the public so that players help shape the game as it grows. Minecraft originally went into open alpha mode back in May 2009, but didn't go gold until November 2011.
"The cost of the game is still undecided, but it's likely there will be a monthly fee for joining the Multiverse as we are going to emulate all computers and physics even when players aren't logged in," he states. "Single player won't have any recurring fees."
The background story begins during 1988 in a parallel universe. In this timeline, the space race never ended. Science has discovered a way to put humans in a deep sleep for long treks through space. Unfortunately, there was a severe bug in the system, thus passengers hibernated until the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD. They woke up "to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy."
Ultimately Notch and his team want to implement features like a fully working computer system, space battles against AI or other human players, random encounters, lots of engineering and more. "The computer in the game is a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish," Notch states.
So far there's no release date for the alpha, but additional information regarding its overall progress can be found here.