Blockland (video game)

Blockland is a sandbox game in which players build and play using Lego-like building blocks in singleplayer and multiplayer.[1] It was created by American developer Eric "Badspot" Hartman, using the Torque Game Engine, and was originally released as freeware on November 15, 2004. The game is not endorsed by, or affiliated with, the Lego brand. However, at one point, Lego was in talks with Hartman about purchasing the game.[2] Blockland was spotlighted on The Screen Savers[3] on February 11, 2005, drastically increasing the user base overnight. It has also been featured on Shack News.[4] Blockland was officially released on February 24, 2007.[5] On December 16, 2013, Blockland was released on Steam after spending nearly a year on Steam Greenlight.

Blockland
Blockland Logo
Developer(s)Eric "Badspot" Hartman, Anthony "Rotondo" Rotondo, Ben "kompressor" Garney
Publisher(s)Step 1 Games LLC & Blockland LLC
Designer(s)Eric "Badspot" Hartman
EngineTorque Game Engine
Platform(s)Windows
ReleaseNovember 15, 2004 (Freeware)
February 24, 2007 (Retail)
December 16, 2013 (Steam)
Genre(s)Sandbox
Mode(s)Single-player, LAN, Multiplayer

GameplayEdit

Blockland is an open-ended sandbox game, giving players the freedom to design and construct elaborate structures. Styled as a minifigure, players build inside of the virtual world using bricks reminiscent of toy blocks. These structures can be built in either a singleplayer or multiplayer server. Any player who buys the game is able to host a standard server, holding up to 100 players.

The properties of individual bricks can be changed, such as illumination, particles, and specularity. Blockland also features NPCs, weapons, destructible vehicles, and a minigame system, enabling users to create new self-contained gameplay modes.[6] These can range from deathmatch to full games-within-a-game, such as RPGs, or zombie survival. Blockland also features a trigger and event-based system to create basic interactive objects, such as operable light switches, missile launchers, collapsing structures, or arcade games such as Pong or Breakout. Blockland has a large community of player-created add-on content, such as gamemodes, vehicles, and specialty bricks.

Shadows and ShadersEdit

Included in the game on August 9, 2012, an update called "Shadows and Shaders" (also known as Version 21) removed the game's traditional 'maps' - open-world terrain - replacing them with a flat field. GLSL shadows and shaders were added, along with customizable skyboxes, and a day/night cycle. Additionally, it provided users with the ability to make custom shader files.

HistoryEdit

A prototype version of Blockland known as 'Vanilla Blockland' was released on November 15, 2004. Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail wrote an article on this early version of Blockland, in which creator Eric "Badspot" Hartman claimed the game had gained 20,000 users in the ten days since it "became big", after being featured on The Screen Savers.[7] The retail version of Blockland was completed and released on February 24, 2007. On August 8, 2012, a new version was released, removing terrain but adding more dynamic lighting to builds. The game was greenlit on Steam Greenlight on August 28, 2013. On December 16, 2013, Blockland was released on Steam after spending nearly a year on Steam Greenlight.

ModificationsEdit

Blockland features an add-on system to aid users in creating custom content, such as weapons, vehicles, effects, and gamemodes. Add-ons can range from new items to total overhaul modifications.

While Blockland is not open source, all of the default vehicles and weapons in the game use the add-on system, so players can examine working examples to help them learn how to modify the game. Most player-created servers are usually reliant on custom content.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Blockland – Free Multiplayer Online Games". Play Free Online Games. Retrieved October 15, 2009.
  2. ^ "LAMLradio #13 – Blockland". LALMradio (Podcast). James Wadsworth. 2008. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  3. ^ "Pauly Shore, Blockland, Avion". 2005. Retrieved October 11, 2007.
  4. ^ "The Games of IGC 07". 2007. Archived from the original on August 26, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
  5. ^ Blockland Forum – It's Here. February 2007
  6. ^ "Edge Issue #148". 2005. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
  7. ^ Colbourne, Scott (February 25, 2005). "Not your big brother's Sim City". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved November 12, 2017.

External linksEdit