May 2, 2012 at 6:07 PM ET
Demand for "Minecraft" on the Xbox 360 -- or at least a comparable experience --has been quite high for some time now. For example, the game's controversial clone, "FortressCraft," found on the Xbox Live Indie section. just racked up its 750,000th sale.
The news comes from a tweet from the game's creator, Adam Sawkins. As Eurogamer also notes, "FortressCraft" is on track to hit one million sales within the next ten months. That's provided "Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition," an official Xbox Live Arcade port from "Minecraft" developer Team Mojang (out on May 9) doesn't steal its thunder.
Still, there are many who crave the "Minecraft" experience on the 360 and refuse to touch Sawkins' creation. The outspoken indie game developer has gotten under many people's skin over his staunch position that his game is no mere clone.
In a recent interview, Sawkins explains:
You can spend ages creating amazing things in it, but Minecraft's never been about the creative aspect, any more than GTA is about making sculptures out of buses. Sure, you can do it, but the game doesn't lend itself to that, nor does it help you out.
FortressCraft, on the other hand, has focused almost entirely on the creative aspect. It's a powerful Voxel engine; it allows complete creation and destruction of anything you want. It allows you to create high-resolution custom blocks, place them and then animate them. It has automated robotic minions to help take the grind out of creating something amazing.
Also, c'mon. We've got laser guns, factories and trampolines. What more do you need, a gun that fires shurikens and lighting?
Sawkins has also been outpoken about the critics, whom he has dubbed the "Notch Defense Force," named after the creator of "Minecraft," and what he perceives to be a double standard:
I had the immense honour of working on the Burnout series, and anyone who worked on that would gladly call it 'An Outrun clone' - because it was. The eighties was awash with Gauntlet clones, the nineties with Wolfenstein clones. It's not an insult, it's a handy way of describing the basic premise of a game.
Both FortressCraft and Minecraft are about walking around a vaguely-Earth-like perlin-landscape, rendered using Voxels, and both allow complete alteration of that landscape. Passed that, the similarities run out really quickly.
Dawkins even created a chart to illustrate how all the similarities between "FortressCraft" and "Minecraft" can be found in a variety of other games:
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.