It looks like Minecraft and plays like Minecraft, but this is definitely not Minecraft. This is FortressCraft, a cooperative block-building title coming next month to Xbox Live Indie Games. See? No relation whatsoever.

Okay, so there are a few similar themes.

FortressCraft is, for all intents and purposes, a Minecraft-type game for Xbox Live Indie Games. The game is being released episodically, with the first chapter due out next month on Microsoft's indie gaming platform from Projector Games. The first chapter will cover the building aspects of the game, with future chapters developing the story behind the game.

Either 80 or 240 Microsoft points (the price is still being determined) will score players a cooperative multiplayer building game supporting up to 32 players at a time, with each player's Xbox 360 acting as their FortressCraft server while active.

You can learn more about the game at its official website, where the creators are currently fielding questions. Questions like, "So, what will you do when (Minecraft developer) Mojang sues you?" The official answer:

I'm really honestly bemused by all the vitriol about 'copying minecraft'. You *DO* all know that Minecraft (creative) is a DIRECT copy of Infimininer? And that both of those games can clearly and directly trace their routes back to Roblox, Wurm Online, Voxlap, 3d Construction Kit.

Many of you seem to have come across Minecraft as the first game of this ilk. It's not, it's not even close, not by 20+ years.

Many of you have decided that I will be writing 'survival' mode, and having the Nether, and Creepers.

I'm not. There's a very very long thread that details what I *have* said I'd write. That's easy to find, it'll have pictures of minecarts in it ;)

And as this seems to be a pretty good place to make this clear, I'll do my best. But it's 2am and I've spent the last 5 hours answering messages instead of coding...

All games are inspired by other games. Minecraft inspired me...

...but not to clone it.

Minecraft inspired me, by way of its Voxlap-style engine (see : Ken Silverman) to look at starting again on my Dwarf Fortress-type game, using a Minecraft-type engine. I gave up on that 18 months ago, but I've learned a lot in this time.

I can't imagine that ANY of you think that I could, pretty much single-handedly, write a Voxlap-style engine *and* game in SIX weeks, based on having no prior engine or code I could use?

Chapter 1 is a toy, an engine, a sandbox. Just like Minecraft Creative mode was.
Chapter 2 will start to introduce the game.

Regardless of that, there's no intellectual property I could be sued over for this. Notch has invented no new technology for this game. I'm not infringing his copyright or trademarks. He himself has said he's happy for clones and remakes and mods and tools.

Yet you see fit to berate me for doing what I love above all else, which is to make games. In your world, would you be happy with just 1 FPS game, and the devs of that game suing every other FPS game?

I wouldn't. What would make me happy is a hundred FPS games, each one designed for a different type of player, of personality.

In FortressCraft, there will be no creepers; and mine carts will work.