Planets³ is a hyper-ambitious sandbox RPG that’s both Minecraft and MMO

There are no screenshots for Planets³ yet - only concept art. But oh, what concept art.

Of all the games to attempt to one-up Minecraft, there are none more literal about it than Planets³. So you like cubes, huh, Notch? Well, what if I told you we have a cube so large it’s an entire planet? And that it and a bunch of other cube planets spin in a square trajectory around a block sun?

Fortunately, the would-be Planets³ dev team have a tentative feature set to back it up.

Planets³ is an open-world RPG and voxel-based builder that’s also an MMO, because when you’re already shooting for the stars why not make use of all the space?

Structurally, it’s Starbound: you’ll makes holes in and build protrusions onto the surface of one planet, and then take off to find another, and another, and another. Don’t expect to exhaust one planet’s adventures and resources too quickly, though: each is comprised of nearly 30 trillion blocks.

Cannes-based indie outfit Cubical Drift plan to make the most of that scale, too – they’re utilising something called the Long Distance Display Engine. You can probably guess at what it does: everything Oblivion didn’t quite manage. The devs reckon that the results in draw distance and procedural voxelisation will be “truly breathtaking” landscapes and environments.

Players will occupy themselves with story-driven quests, as well as tool-making, vehicle-crafting, and home-building – levelling-up all the while. Buried beneath the surface of these planets, too, will be the secrets of the game’s world – accessed via secondary storylines.

The problem is that it’s only 10% done – namely the display engine, the art style, and the core game design ideas that populate the trailer. Cubical Drift hope a $250,000 Kickstarter goal will allow them to develop and animate the rest – not to mention form a “meaningful” community.

Planets³ will, Kickstarter willing, be launched in parts. The first, Race to Space, is scheduled for Autumn next year. Do you think you’ll be helping it leave the launch pad?