Daily #78: Spiritual successor

Today, I’m going to discuss a game which I’m looking forward to quite a lot. It’s called Hytale, developed by Hypixel Studios. It’s gained quite a following since it posted its announcement trailer back in December 2018.

I was always a big Minecraft player, having been quite deeply embroiled in the multiplayer scene since I was about 13. Since then, I’ve been both a player and creator in the server space, and I follow the game’s updates although I don’t play any more.

Hypixel Studios is a new company started by the founders of Hypixel, which is the world’s largest Minecraft server network. Their involvement in the game stems from creating some of the most imaginative adventure maps seen in the game, and their server has constantly pushed the boundaries of what is possible using the base game (in terms of creating assets and processes).

This is where Hytale comes in. Now they’ve reached the pinnacle of what’s possible in Minecraft, Hypixel want something which extends those possibilities even further – so they decided to develop their own game.

And while they’re there, they seem to introducing a multitude of other features. While it still uses the block-based basics of Minecraft (hence the title of this blog), it builds upon what people value in multiplayer servers too. For example, there’s a quest/levelling system which the other game doesn’t include. Many of the basic mechanics are essentially polished versions of what Minecraft contains – which is why it’s become so anticipated.

The part I (and many others) are excited about, however, are the creation tools that the team are planning to implement. This is one of their main reasons for developing the game, and community creators are looking forward to getting their hands on them:

  • From what’s been released, the Hytale client will include a built-in 3D model editor, which allows creators to make models to be implemented in-game. This opens the doors for completely custom games and worlds, which was never possible in Minecraft without modifying the client.
  • Full in-game scripting capability – similarly to the above, this allows for scripts to be written and immediately tested and implemented in-game, whereas this requires a plugin to be installed on a Minecraft server.
  • There’s a full film-making suite also included in the client, allowing players to create videos similar to the Minecraft “Machinimas” that used to be all over YouTube.

These features, combined with being able to join friends just by clicking on their name in your friends list, and easy transferring of server files with no installs needed, essentially make Hytale into its own game engine. That’s why so many creators and communities are so excited.

While they posted their announcement trailer more than a year ago, Hypixel Studios recently announced that they won’t be releasing the game until 2021. This follows the footsteps of many developers, such as CD Projekt Red (pushing Cyberpunk 2077) and Naughty Dog (The Last of Us Part 2).

There’s been a lot of backlash in recent years towards games that release before they appear to be finished, the most infamous of which being No Man’s Sky. The gaming community are more tolerant of games being delayed to make sure they’re the best they can be, and that’s the stance that Hypixel Studios are taking. I’ll be looking forward to revisiting this game periodically, and finding out more!

Click here for Hytale’s website! Their social media is also quite active, and there’s plenty of fan content to be found while you wait for the game. 🎮

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