‘Castle Story’ Developers Outline Why Voxels Make Terrible Castles

Castle Story
Castle Story

The latest blog from Sauropod Studios goes back to the very basics of their upcoming RTS Castle Story and explains why it is that voxels make such bad castles, hence why they are not using them in the game.

There’s a reason that you won’t find many castles made out of cubes outside of Minecraft. Have you ever had anyone or anything actually attack a castle in Minecraft? No you haven’t and if you had the structure would soon collapse as if the tower in a game of Jenga. Cubes don’t support each other is the message from Sauropod Studios, which is why they use 1×2 bricks in Castle Story.

Castle Story Voxels

As you can see in the picture above, once a single cube is taken away from the wall, the rest of the cubes above it simply fall away. What you would need for a stronger wall is a way for the components to support each other via overlapping. This is why Castle Story, a game in which you build a castle to defend your population for monster attack, uses bricks. You’ll see in the shot below that by having bricks rather than voxels makes your castle a hell of a lot stronger against attack. Of course, you’re bound to get a few idiots who forget to overlap each layer of brick…

Castle Story Bricks

You can see how this small design decision makes a big difference in Castle Story and it also goes to prove that while voxels are good for building things, they are awful when placed under more stressed scenarios, i.e. firing a cannon at them. This just in: voxels are not the best thing ever created. The best thing about this new blog post is how it displays the developers’ way of thinking to make this an RTS that is more than what a lot of people want to call it, “another Minecraft inspired game”. While there are resemblances to Minecraft in that you can build things in Castle Story and a lot of the land is build out of destructible voxels, that is about as far as it goes.

The whole blog post can be read on the official Sauropod Studios blog and more information about Castle Story can be found on the official website.




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  1. Chris Priestman

    Minecraft utilizes a 3D approximation of voxels so the comparison is valid. This is also why you see a lot of people call any game which has either voxels or at least destructible 1×1 cubes as a feature, a Minecraft clone or at least inspired by Minecraft, hence the mention in the above article.

  2. Chris R.

    Their reasoning behind using 1×2 and 1×1 bricks is pretty poor IMO. voxels aren’t necessarily a physical object, they are a volume element, they are essentially the 3d equivalent of a pixel.

    and people blow shit up all the time in Minecraft, nothing falls down because almost nothing has physics. A better comparison would be voxatron, everything is made out of voxels, and everything is a physical object. and no nothing falls down unless you blow away all the support, then everything does. it is really quite fantastic.

    Still this article doesn’t make me feel like the developers at Sauropod (or the author) really understands the problem. really a 1×3 brick would actually be two 1×1 voxels stuck together, if they were voxels, and because they’re rotating I don’t really think they are, it’s more like a bunch of physical objects thrown together like the bullet physics videos: http://bulletphysics.org/wordpress/

  3. Chris Payne

    I think it’s a term that is being appropriated as shorthand for a budding genre of cube-building games. The word “voxel” is a contraction of “volume element”, just as pixel/texel are of “picture element” and “texture element”. Voxatron is a genuine voxel game – the voxels are the smallest component of the gameworld, whereas Minecraft’s blocks have over two thousand texels on their surface.

    But I’m whinging about a technicality. Castle Story *does* look like a cool game – I like the idea of using more real-world principles in building your fortress, and it does niggle me that most unsupported blocks in Minecraft don’t fall.


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