Gaming icon Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft, released what amounts to a trippy tech demo using WebVR. The experience, titled Unmandelboxing, is a ray marching fractal that is capable of running in browser.
If you’re not familiar with those terms, essentially Notch’s program takes advantage of a few mathematical equations to generate shapes that are bound by a set of geometric rules. These algorithmic laws cause the seemingly random shapes to join together into unending waves of psychedelic undulations.
You can’t tell me you wouldn’t want to check that out in a fully immersive VR headset with a little Pink Floyd playing in the background. Well, with WebVR you can.
Unmandelboxing is a cool experience but it is unlikely that Notch will be turning it into anything more significant. His history with VR, and with gaming in general, is a bit of a wild ride.
Notch donated $10,000 to Oculus’ original Kickstarter campaign and was reportedly developing a Rift version of Minecraft. However, when the company was sold to Facebook in 2014, his attitude toward the VR startup soured and his feelings toward the industry since are difficult to pinpoint.
As Minecraft ballooned into the international phenomenon it is today Notch become more and more uncomfortable with the growing expectations and scrutiny for his company, Mojang. This saga came to an abrupt close when Microsoft bought the studio in 2014 for $2.5 billion.
Since Mojang was sold, Notch remains relatively underground. It’s clear he is still toying with the smaller scale, simplistic gaming ideas that won him such overwhelming success.
Whether or not Notch continues to develop Unmandelboxing, his involvement in the VR scene in any context is encouraging. Notch is a giant in the digital world and someone with as much of a following as him toying with VR is likely to encourage others to do the same.