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Minecraft creator scores April Fool with 'Mars Effect'

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You still have a few hours left to look forward to this exciting new videogame...

Get your ass to...reality. Notch 'launches' 'Mars Effect'

The main man behind the Minecraft phenomenon, Markus Persson (a.k.a. Notch) posted today (Saturday) information about his “new game” in progress, with links to the project's website, http://marseffect.net.

The site touts features for the game that include “hard science fiction, lots of engineering, fully working computer systems, space battles against the AI or other players, a game ending that makes sense, abandoned ships full of loot, waist high walls, seamlessly landing on planets, advanced economy system, mining, trading and looting.”

Also featured is a dedicated section on the game's in-game computer on player's ships, which 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 claims that “After several weeks of trying to come up with a good name for the game, we finally decided not to learn from previous experiences and pick a name that's already kind of in use by a huge existing franchise. After playing around with names like 'Elight', 'Wind Commander', and 'Steve Online', we finally settled on the very catchy name 'Mars Effect'.”

Despite being a blatant Mass Effect parody, fans – knowing what Notch's creative process and sense of humour are like – were drawn in to believing that the project was genuine, and speculation abounded that the game would come together as a kind of Minecraft-meets-EVE-online hybrid. A lot of excitement was kicking up over the announcement, with the hashtag #MarsEffect trending on Twitter mere minutes after the initial post.

It wasn't until one keen-eyed Twitter poster noted the “© April 1 2012 Mojang” copyright notice at the bottom of the page that it became apparent that this was a fairly elaborate April Fool's prank.

Still, the idea itself has generated a lot of interest, and it remains to be seen whether any of Notch's future projects will bear any resemblance to the ideas put out for Mars Effect.

Personally, we're hoping that they decide to go with the “Steve Online” name.


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