The game is centered around a large group of Human Popsicles who find themselves with the unfortunate luck of waking up from their hibernation to find that the computers controlling their sleeping chambers have wildly malfunctioned, awakening them in the year 281,474,976,712,644 CE. To make matters worse, star formation is long over, black holes are everywhere, and the future universe is well on its way to the Big Rip.
What separates 0x10c from other spaceship sims, apart from its lo-fi graphics, is its fully programmable 16-bit emulated computers. Notch anticipates a cottage industry springing up in which programmers develop software — including games, graphical front-ends, and viruses — for the in-game computers.
This videogame provides examples of:
- After the End: Or rather, right in the middle of it.
- Alternate Reality Game: Notch ran two of these in the leadup to the release of the game.
- Apocalypse How: Universal scale, in progress when the game starts.
- Computer Virus: The game will include computers that can be programmed and networked. It's inevitable.Q: How will you stop malicious viruses etc?Notch: I won't stop viruses, the players will have to do that themselves.
- Crapsack World: The game is set during the dying millenia of the universe.
- Expendable Alternate Universe: Word of God has stated that when killed, the Player Character and their Cool Starship respawn as alternate reality versions of themselves.
- Human Popsicle: The player begins the game after awakening from stasis.
- Magical Computer: 0x10c's computers aren't too magical, but they're an enormously powerful tool within the gameworld capable of everything from automating ship functions to hacking into other ships to playing simple video games.
- Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Notch has claimed the game would be as scientifically accurate as possible, but that the game focuses on fun and playability first and foremost.
- No Product Safety Standards: This all came about because of a byte order error in the software used to operate cryogenic sleep capsules.
- Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: Invoked. The game's graphics are low-poly and (apart from computer monitors and planets) untextured, with the intent to make the game look like the future circa the early '80s.