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It's Peter Molyneux. He's got a new game. It's about a cube in a room and... well, you'd better sit down

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Just as E3 is starting to grind me down with its relentless barrage of killing and stabbing and exploding, along comes ex-Fable visionary and royally appointed developer to Her Majesty The Queen, Sir Peter Molyneux, like a breath of fresh madness to cheer me up with some wonderful tales from beyond the rabbit hole.

Peter's latest adventure at his new 22Cans studio is a game called Curiosity. It's about a huge black cube in a room. The huge black cube is made up of lots of little black cubes. Players tap the cube with chisels, which in turn causes the cube to crack. Every player playing the game is chiselling away at the same cube. The objective is to be the first player to crack the cube open, at which point - according to Peter - something "truly amazing, absolutely unique" will be revealed. But here's the rub - the "truly amazing, absolutely unique" thing will only be revealed to the player that cracks the cube. And that's it.

Only it's not it. There's more.

Above: An artist's impression of what Peter Molyneux's ideas look like

At some point during the ongoing chiselling, DLC will become available that offers players the chance to upgrade their chisel. By upgrading chisels players will increase their chances of being the one to deal the final cube-cracking blow and discovering whatever meaning of life marvel waits entombed within. Prices of DLC chisels will vary from 59p for an iron chisel, to £50,000 for a diamond chisel. Yes. That's £50,000 for a virtual diamond chisel. Although it is 100,000 times more powerful than the regular chisel and there will only be one DLC diamond chisel for sale, so I can see how it would be totally worth it.

From the perspective of a sane-person this whole thing would seem like a complete waste of time. But not Peter. He has designed Curiosity - which is only the first in a series of 22 experiments - to explore the psychology of social-media users. How so? For example, Peter wants to discover how the player who ultimately cracks the cube shares the good news. Peter says: "How will this person prove it? That in itself becomes a fascinating aspect of this experiment."

Above: At no point has Peter Molyneux actually said those words

And what of the £50,000 for a virtual diamond chisel - what does Peter say about that? He says this: "It's an insane amount of money." And he's right. Will anyone pay that sort of money? Will anyone be that curious and ludicrously affluent to find out what's inside the cube? This is what Peter wants to extrapolate by charging £50,000 for a virtual diamond chisel. Peter says: "This is not a money-making exercise. It is a test about the psychology of monetisation."

Say what you like about Peter and his adventures from beyond the rabbit hole (please do in the comments), but I like the guy. I like what he's doing. It's interesting. It's entertaining. What could possibly be inside the cube? And will someone actually spend £50,000 on a virtual chisel to find out? And will that person be completely sick all over themselves if someone with the 59p chisel cracks open the cube before them?

Maybe Half-Life 3 is inside the cube.

Who knows? You'll be able to chisel away at your Curiosity in a few weeks when its released on PC and mobiles.

Once Peter has finished with his experiments, he's going to use the results to help him complete the final design for a game he's planning to release in 2014. I'm already looking forward to it.

For more on Curiosity, read the original article at New Scientist where I pilfered all this information from.

Now, back to E3...

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40 comments

  • NullG7 - June 8, 2012 11:08 p.m.

    Affluent Man Picks Cube Gets Bored Spends 50K Gets Pick Click... Click... Click... Cube Breaks Man Is Never Seen Again
  • Viron - June 8, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    I'm already sitting down, should I get a chair for my chair?
  • Tenlo - June 8, 2012 7:26 a.m.

    I always enjoy reading about Molyneux and people's reactions too. This isn't a game its an experiment and an interesting one to see how much people will pay to be first to something. It happens all the time, I know games where people are so obsessed with being no 1 that they will quit out of games if they look like they're losing so they can stay in 1st. I may even purchase this if its a reasonable price, and seeing as people buy apps on their phone to see a cat sing or other such rubbish on the iOS it's not that much of a leap of imagination. I also like the fact that he has the guts to do something different. Look at E3, loads of games all blurring into one. One racing game looks like another, each shooter is now using the same mechanics. What's wrong with doing something different. No-one is forcing you to buy these games so why complain about them. Would you rather a load of stories about how the next shooter is using some uber named shooter physics to get eh same effect that hundreds of other games have had. Also if people look beyond Fable, Molyneux also created Dungeon Keeper and Theme Park. Two games which there was nothing like when they came out and got copied to death by others. This guy has created a lot of original products and yes the Fable series did get worse but was that Molyneux's fault or Microsoft forcing him to publish things he wasn't happy with. We'll never know but I feel it's probably the latter of the two.
  • winner2 - June 8, 2012 6:17 a.m.

    Lol'd at the Half Life 3 thing
  • Mooshon - June 8, 2012 3:42 a.m.

    Second experiment will be called 'smell my finger'. Even though his games never deliver on his hyperbole... I love the hyperbole.
  • CUFCfan616 - June 7, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    "Maybe Half-Life 3 is inside the cube." And that one player will be the only one to be able to play it. Here comes Gabe buying the $50k chisel :P
  • TheValiantBob - June 7, 2012 2 p.m.

    Doesn't Team Fortress 2 already do this with their crates? They provide mystery content that you have to pay for, sometimes you will get something good, sometimes you will get crap. I would say that Valve has already proven the powers of human curiosity over us. Bob out.
  • Malakie - June 7, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    I think it is an ingenious way to 1) frustrate a lot of people, 2) get a lot of people to spend a lot of money. However, people are going to get real bored real fast just tapping away at a cube. If some kind of incentive is not given within hours, no one will be tapping away. Next, what happens after the cube is opened? Let's say I spend 50k on the diamond chisel and I open the cube to find.... What's next? Another cube? Will my diamond chisel work again on that new cube or am I expected to pay another 50K? Finally, the ONLY way I can think of for this to even work partially is if the prize is money or similar. How would you feel if you won only to find a picture or a coupon for a video game or whatever? The prize will need to be something substantial to keep people interested.. Nice gaming rig, lot's of money, new car, hot women willing to give you a night of .... hmm whatever you want! :-) All I can say is good luck to you who get suckered in... I am headed out now with my hot woman on my Goldwing Motorcycle.. I will check back in to see how you all did someday..
  • Rowdie - June 7, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    tap tap tap... tap tap tap.... You're all curious.
  • alex-roy-bristol - June 7, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    A genius... I love, absolutely LOVE how butthurt some people are getting (TheHowetzer, for 1...) at Peter. He's a great, intelligent guy, and some people just don't get that not EVERYTHING that's for sale in the world is for them. It's an 'EXPERIMENT'... Get the fuck over yourselves... Also, yes, Torono13, I COMPLETELY agree with you on and about how it's now just "cool" to hate on Peter Molyneux, and how it's quite saddening too... :'r
  • TheHowetzer - June 8, 2012 4:25 a.m.

    That's so great that YOU LOVE how "butthurt" people are getting at Peter, but I am NOT one of them. I don't give a crap about this guy, and I dont give a crap about what OTHER people think about this guy, I think he is a nutjob and this "experiment" is a load of crazy crap. Did you also notice that like FUCKING NO ONE says they will PAY for this? Thats great you think its so fucking genius have fun being the only one who payed for it. I guess at least you'll get to see whats inside the cube right? Dont worry though I am SO sure it will be worth your time. Ah just for the record here, so we can definatley put you down for a copy of this "game" and perhaps some digital chisels?? Are YOU going to pay for this? You are going to give some of the time you have on this planet to take part in this "experiment"? Cause I know I WON'T, and I really dont give a fuck if you don't like it. Also, since we know my stance on this please explain to me how as you put it: "and some people just don't get that not EVERYTHING that's for sale in the world is for them" are you saying that I don't know that? Look pal, I am the LAST one here you want to try to explain the free market to alright? I KNOW this aint for me that's why myself, and alot of people will NOT be buying this joke. They say there's a sucker born everyday, congratulations! You JUST proved that proverb true! I saw Divinepaladin do this once and I liked it since I know sometimes I can write long responses, and people are too fucking lazy to read them: TL:DR Fuck off.
  • thinkBrigger - June 7, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    Maybe the cube holds all the finished versions of the Fable games we were promised and will show us how they're truly the greatest RPG of all time.
  • Setlok17 - June 7, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    I have to say, as often as I have been disappointed by his games I'd rather he keep trying to be innovative and origional then pulling a CoD and keep dishing out the same thing year after year. I have no intention of buying this "game" but I am curious to see how it plays out and looking forward to laughing at the poor bastards that bought into this. Seriously thou no matter what he puts in that cube nothing would live up to the hype he already set for it. The dude already set himself up to fail by raising everyones expectations too high.... again.
  • GeedAwesome - June 7, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    I'd say chisel at Molyneux's head to see what's inside but we already know it's just hot air.
  • illway - June 7, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    I hate Peter Molyneux. Seriously when will he go away? He's so far up his own ass that I'm starting to think he truly enjoys it... In his ass.
  • scaler2000 - June 7, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    "Maybe Half-Life 3 is inside the cube." i loled
  • ncurry2 - June 7, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    Won't people just dig through the code and find out what's inside? Seems way easier and cheaper...
  • BladedFalcon - June 7, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    Oh Molyneux, you crazy blabbermouth you. Regardless of how good his actual games are, I just have a laugh at everything he says and does.
  • gazzc - June 7, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    If I cracked it, I would tell no one. I would let everyone else continue to chisel away for ever.
  • wingsdjy - June 7, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    Time to order a new controller to play this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/981b/?cpg=froogle

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