September 19, 2012 by Paul Curtin
There have been a lot of copycats that have sprung up since the success of Mojang’s block-building smash hit, Minecraft. But Linden Lab, a developer best known for their game Second Life which allowed people to also play in a fully customizable open-world game way before the days of Notch introducing Minecraft, are trying to take the building concept to the next level with their own take on the sandbox genre.
Like Minecraft, Linden’s Patterns puts characters into the shoes of an avatar in a world where materials can be gathered and can then be used to create new objects and structures. But where Patterns greatly differs from Minecraft is its focus on building with triangular tiles instead of blocks. Triangles of course offering more in terms of customization depth since blocks can be made from triangles which are also known for being the most stable shape in architecture.
Even more impressive than the idea of breaking the cubes down into triangles is that Patterns will have a real physics engine backing it that can not only take into account how things fall, but also the weights of objects on top of each other that cause weaker structures to give out when not built securely, again, playing into the more important use of triangles over squares.
Gameplay is said to be more about building within “shared creative spaces” rather than scavenging and surviving like in Minecraft. Patterns is planned to be available for around $10 as a pre-alpha product called the “Genesis Release” that will reward early adopters with all future updates as the game progresses through development. Check out a first look at the game in the official announcement trailer.