(Hi, there’s been a lot of requests for this, but I’ve been putting it off because I don’t want to promise stuff that doesn’t show up. As I’ve said before, things only stay in if they’re fun.)
First of all:
It will be fantasy. Cliché type fantasy.
Here’s my mental image of how survival mode will work:
You start by generating a level pretty much like you do now. Alternatively, you can load a level someone else has made in creative mode, or continue from an old survival mode save.
When generating a new level or loading a creative mode level, you also select a difficulty. Difficulty levels will probably vary from “challenging” to “impossible”, since I want the game to be difficult. If it’s not fun to always be challenged, I’ll add easier difficulties.
At the bottom of the game screen, you’ll have an inventory list and a health bar. Selecting things from the inventory list will work pretty much like it does now, you can use the scroll wheel, or press buttons directly.
You’ll start out with just a pickaxe in your inventory, and possibly some seeds. Selecting the pickaxe and clicking on a tile will destroy it, but different tiles will take differently long to remove. Stone will be tougher than dirt, and so. Either way, the delay won’t be long. Perhaps one full second for stone.
When you destroy a block, most blocks will release resources. In the case of stone, they will spawn small stone blocks. You can pick these up by walking over them if you’ve got an empty inventory slot, or a slot with the same resource type in it, up to some certain maximum.
To build, just select a slot with a tile resource in it, and click in the world as you do now. There will be no delay on building, only on breaking blocks, but it balances out since you have to get the resouce to be able to build in the first place.
No block tile will produce more than one resource of the same time, as that would allow you to farm a single rock tile over and over. The exception to this is wood, which will produce several plan resources. You can never directly build wood, but if you plant seeds on grass, you get a small plant. After some time, the plant will pop into a large beautiful tree.
Combat and health:
There will be hostile mobs roaming the map. Goblins, trolls, wolves, whatever fits. They will be blocky. ;)
To attack a monster, select a pickaxe or a sword, and simply click the monster like you would a tile. Each click damages the monster (with a minimum time between clicks, perhaps 250 ms), and once the health is gone, it’s dead.
You can also push monsters by walking into them. Both you and the monster will be shoved away from each other. This should let you push goblins into firery lava pits of doom.
Monsters will hurt you and take away from your health.
The only way to regain health is to eat food.
You get food from either hunting or from farming.
Tools and equipment:
There will be very basic crafting.
Two types of swords, two types of armor, two types of helmets. The basic versions require iron. The advanced versions require steel, which you make by combining iron and coal.
Carrying swords, armor or helmets take up inventory slots, but otherwise have no penalty and work pretty much as you expect (prevent some damage, or cause more damage)
I haven’t fully solved how crafting should work in detail. I’ll do that once I get there in development.
Bows and arrows can be made out of wood. To use it, select the bow from your inventory and make sure you’ve got some arrows. Click in front of you, and an arrow goes flying using real physics.
To actually HIT something, aim above it.
While it could be fun to just see how long you can survive in survival mode, I believe there might be a need for some kind of goal. Make the most money in a month? Kill a big evil mob in the shortest time? I don’t know yet.
And of course, this all works in multiplayer:
Both cooperative and competetive multiplayer will be possible. I’ll probably have three settings; cooperative (can’t hurt other players), team (can hurt other team) and anarchy (can hurt anyone, form alliances ingame!).
For team based survival modes, there’s a whole array of fun potential game modes, like capture the flag and terrain control.