Long Time No Cube World But It Still Lives On With New Video

There’s no way to avoid that Cube World didn’t have the greatest launch.  The game initially was announced a few years after Minecraft blew up and its blocky procedurally-generated world caught people’s attention, helped in no small part by it being an action-RPG rather than build-fest.  A highly successful alpha released in 2013, and then a very long time passed with only the occasional update to placate an ever-more-impatient fan-base.  Six years after the alpha, Cube World was finally released on September 30, 2019 to reactions that can politely be described (like on the game’s Steam player reviews) as “mixed”.

What happened was an attempt at a solution to the player-power problem, where an infinite world has endless adventures but the player earns the best gear possible and now has no real reason to fight any more.  Each area of the map, then, was given its own set of equipment quests while gear from the previous area became practically non-functional, aside from a few very rare drops.  Permanent character progression was for traversal abilities rather than combat, so each new zone was almost like starting from zero in terms of surviving its threats.  The alpha from 2013 had a more traditional upgrade progression and the release version’s drastic change wasn’t what people were expecting or looking forward to at all.  The loud negative reaction had the predictable result of making the lone developer go quiet, and aside from a couple of bug patches after release there’s been not a peep since 2019.  Until today.

Out of the blue with not a bit of forewarning, developer Wollay dropped a development blog and video for Cube World Omega.  While it’s not entirely clear, this should be an update to the existing game rather than a new title entirely, with a huge number of changes under the hood.  The first one is the move to a graphics engine based on Vulkan, which is more for allowing the developer to work efficiently than anything player-side.  New graphics flourishes include moving clouds, wobbly tree leaves, and new weather effects.  The player and equipment models are also getting an upgrade to be procedurally generated, allowing everything to look at least a little different and as an added bonus make it easy to give people facial expressions.  The big change, though, is redesigning the progression to be more like the 2013 alpha people loved, adding experience and levels as well as skill trees.  Sure, it’s been almost four years since Cube World officially launched, but it’s never too late to try again.

Cube World’s story deserved a better ending than “…and then everyone was disappointed and the developer never heard from again.” and it’s great to see it getting a new chapter, eventually.  There’s no word on when Cube World Omega will be along, but for now there’s a video showing off the new additions.  It may be quite a while until we get to see them running but it’s great to know they’re on the way.

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