In a lengthy back-and-forth with Eurogamer, FortressCraft creator Adam Sawkins explains why his Xbox Live game is so much more than a clone of Minecraft. With Minecraft officially launching next month on Xbox Live, Sawkins is taking a lot of heat from the press and gamers about his game. Many say that it is simply a cheap knock-off of Minecraft. Sawkins, who worked on the Burnout series before striking out on his own, takes issue with the comparisons to Minecraft.
"Minecraft is a game about digging out resources, crafting weapons and armor, travelling into the Nether, and killing a dragon," Sawkins said. "Whilst it lets you be creative, that's never been its main focus. You can spend ages creating amazing things in it, but Minecraft's never been about the creative aspect, any more than GTA is about making sculptures out of buses. Sure, you can do it, but the game doesn't lend itself to that, nor does it help you out."
Sawkins goes on to list the new features the game has added recently including night vision goggles, colored lighting, a custom world generation system, lasers, fairy wings, factories, an island mode, and multiple PVP modes, among other things. These things, along with unique game functions, make his game nothing like Minecraft, contends Sawkins.
"FortressCraft, on the other hand, has focused almost entirely on the creative aspect. It's a powerful Voxel engine; it allows complete creation and destruction of anything you want. It allows you to create high-resolution custom blocks, place them and then animate them. It has automated robotic minions to help take the grind out of creating something amazing. And if that's not enough, the game has an elegant copy-and-paste system, allowing you to create entire cities in a matter of hours, rather than days.
Despite all the differences with his game and Minecraft, people continue to assail him on the fact that he is making money off a game whose concept is lifted from Mojang's game. He points out that some could accuse Mojang of stealing from another game called Infiniminer, developed by Zachtronics.
"How many people run around shouting that Zachtronics should sue Mojang? Minecraft stole half the name, the basic idea AND the graphic style from Infiniminer," Sawkins replied. "Why am I apparently held to a different set of standards?"
But the most interesting part of the interview is just how much this Xbox Live Indie game has made. According to Sawkins, he has made $2 million off the game to date.