Looking for games like Minecraft to explore random worlds!
February 14, 2014 8:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for games that will allow me to lose myself in exploring and interacting with a seemingly endless, randomly generated beautiful natural world.

This is mostly what I do with Minecraft; wander through the landscapes on Peaceful, build a little bit maybe, but I don't really play for the storyline, danger/hacking/killing/looting, or any of that... I just want to walk through strange new landscapes, see things and maybe interact a little (killing if I have to) with the new world... and the best kinds are ones where I know I'm likely the first person to see this 'world', so randomly generated is best. Or one where I could create/edit worlds and landscapes... like in the old Neverwinter Nights editor-- is there anything like that around now?

Also-- the prettier (better graphics) the better; Nethack and Starborne are too flat for me, Minecraft is .... OK, but I miss curves. I would love to find something as pretty as, say, Skyrim, but randomly created and open to being explored or even built within. If there are mods to existing games that might allow this, I'd be interested!

I only have a laptop to game with, but I will be getting a new one soon, and so will try to get one that can run my dream program!
posted by The otter lady to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Outerra is a tech demo right now, but you might like it anyway.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:39 PM on February 14, 2014

Second Life?
posted by humboldt32 at 9:29 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You might wish to try out a couple mods for Minecraft--Biomes O' Plenty and Highlands, which add new types of terrain to explore in Minecraft. Or you could try something like Feed the Beast, which has different mod packs combined into a single download. Different packs offer different levels of exploration, including more structures, rogue-like dungeons, etc. All of this could be done on peaceful, of course. There is also a terrain gen mod called ATG that makes Minecraft's terrain gen look more realistic. Mods require more beastly computer power, of course.

I assume by Starborne you mean Starbound? If you don't like 2D exploration you wouldn't like Terraria either, so I won't link it.

There are a few games in development that are voxel based like Minecraft but use smoothing algorithms. One is EverQuest Landmark, which is in alpha right now. If you pay money you get access to the world, can make claims, gather resources, build your own things, and explore other people's builds. Another is Windborne, but I think that's not even in alpha. It's like an invite-only preview or something.

There's stuff in the survival horror space, but I doubt they would interest you much. Sir, You are Being Hunted, 7 Days to Die, and Rust come to mind.

There are a bunch of ways to generate your own terrain and explore it. Some combination of terrain generation software like WorldMachine, Terragen 2, or TerrainEngine + Unity3D (game engine), but we're talking pretty big learning curves there. There's also stuff like Vue d'Esprit, but that's more useful for doing things like 3D renders or animation. There are also ways to use terrain generation software in Minecraft via a utility called WorldPainter.
posted by xyzzy at 9:32 PM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: yes, I mean Starbound.... sorry!

thanks for all the help so far!! not threadsitting--- promise!
posted by The otter lady at 10:19 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Proteus doesn't look realistic like Skyrim but it's a bit rounder than Minecraft and all about exploring natural-ish landscapes.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:30 PM on February 14, 2014

Elite Dangerous promises this... in space.
posted by Urtylug at 5:16 AM on February 15, 2014

Best answer: This is pretty much exactly my dream program, too! Ever since the first computer RPGs that had [mediocre] generated landscapes, I've wanted a program where exploration was the main or even only goal.

Recently, I've been looking at and playing with the betas of Blockscape, and it looks promising. Nice graphics, smooth, interesting terrain, nice editing features... I have this goofy dream that it or something like it will let me play around at being an architect, which is something I've always half-wanted to do for real. I'll explore procedural landscapes to find inspiring sites, then create awesome buildings to fit the sites. I might find out I suck as an architect/designer, but it's a much cheaper and easier way to find out than architecture school.

EverQuest Next Landmark, linked earlier, looks promising, too, especially in the larger-scale landscape-crafting, I think. I'll have to keep an eye on that one.

For a large, semi-curated list of other games that follow in the footsteps of Minecraft in various ways, check out Sandbox-games.net, which is where I first found BlockScape. The interest in Minecraft has spawned a huge number, which makes our particular dreams quite likely to be fulfilled some time soon, if not already.
posted by whatnotever at 7:21 AM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all for great suggestions! ! Currently absolutely loving Blockscape!! And also trying some of the neat mods for Minecraft:.. there's some really neat ones out there!

posted by The otter lady at 7:25 PM on February 15, 2014


It's a bit like Minecraft, except everyone is building the world at the same time. Everyone I've met in-game has been nice.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:48 PM on February 16, 2014

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