Well, this isn’t what I thought I’d be posting today. Frankly I didn’t think there would ever be occasion to talk about Cube World ever again except possibly in passing. But, well, here we are:
If you’re unfamiliar with the history, Cube World came into some degree of fame during the Minecraft craze with early videos and screenshots looking like an amazing mix of Minecraft and Zelda. There was a huge generated world with regions, cities, towns, dungeons and more.
Eventually it ‘came out’ in the form of a paid for Alpha in 2013. It received one update a couple of weeks post this launch and then… Nothing. Radio silence.
The game as it existed could still be used as a vehicle for some fun. And some people perhaps rather doggedly did exactly that. But it would also be fair to say that what was there was very… Bare bones.
As the months ticked up without word, reaching the year mark, and then yet more months still… People begun to believe — as you would, I know I did — that it was an abandoned project. Wollay — the developer of Cube World — had always been somewhat reserved, but hadn’t struck me as someone who would grab the cash and run. Some people did come to this conclusion though and the fallout was probably about as toxic at points as you can imagine.
Eventually news did come, in the form of additional screenshots here or from time to time another video showing a new feature or significant tweak that had been added. But they were sporadic. At times with 2 year intervals between.
So seeing the release trailer announcement today was really quite something. I don’t even know I have quite the same tastes in games as I did when I was hyped through the roof for this thing. I rather suspect I’m now less interested in playing the game than I am in seeing Noclip doing a documentary with Wollay on the development of the game.
I don’t know if we’ll ever get that degree of insight, but earlier in the month Wollay posted to his own blog1 — the first in 6 years. In his own words, “As some of you might remember, we got DDoS’ed as soon as we opened the shop. It might sound silly, but this event traumatized me and kind of broke something inside me.” Wollay always struck me as the quietly passionate type so this more than tracks. It is easy to imagine the pain and anguish that would arise from having something you love — finally being shared with the world for the first time — after years of toil, being greeted in this fashion.
To be sure, it had fans that loved the game — but it is very easy to get lost in the moment when such things happen.
Wollay went on to say, “I never told anyone about it, and I don’t want to go into the details, but I’m dealing with anxiety and depression ever since.”
Every time he felt close to releasing an update to the alpha, he would be overcome by a fear that it wasn’t good enough. And so he’d go back to work, sometimes redoing systems several times over before feeling ready to move on to something else.
I struggle to imagine the degree of mental fortitude required to keep going in these conditions, and to reach a point of releasing what Wollay describes as “basically Cube World 2.0” to the world.
So even though I’m unsure how much time I’ll end up giving Cube World here in 2019, I can’t help but to appreciate the fact that it exists, and is coming soon. So from me — a huge, huge degree of kudos for Wollay for the mental stamina on display. In not only persisting with the work on the title — but even in sharing what detail you felt you could on what happened behind the scenes.
If like me, you bought into the Alpha way back in 2013 — you will have a Steam key waiting for you in your Picroma account. You can activate it now for the beta which will start 23 September, and the retail release lands with us 30 September.