It used to be that when I started a new RPG I got this amazing feeling of excitement when I began to explore the world. The thrilling feeling of entering a new area and wondering what secrets could be hidden, waiting to be discovered.
Getting older, I experienced this less and less. The novelty of exploring a virtual world seemed to wear off as I got older. Then in 2011 I (along with the rest of the world) found Minecraft. The experience was fresh and exciting. A great implementation of a different approach to generating a virtual world. Something about knowing that world is infinite and unlike the world that anyone else is playing made exploration feel meaningful again.
Once I began to internalize the patterns of terrain in Minecraft the feeling of excitement began to ebb. It was still exciting to find diamonds, but the random terrain began to feel repetitive and similar. I wanted to find something not random in the world - I wanted to find something that felt intelligent. What if there were a way to stumble on the ruins of other users civilizations, decayed after many years of abandonment?
In one way or another I have been working on this game since the first mobile version 2012. It’s nearly always in some part of my mind – even when I am too busy to be actively developing. Whenever I have a spare moment my mind wanders back to the most recent development challenge. There’s some inexplicable force that drives me to keep at it. I envision a dynamic and evolving world in the cloud. A dwarf fortress for the next generation. A Minecraft for the future. A limitless RPG for that can fill others with the same wanderlust that I found in RPGs of my childhood.
Try the current version at aether.world.