Markus "Notch" Persson's latest game is all about a horse and a ball. It involves leading the quadruped aimlessly along mountainous terrain, sometimes nudging a giant sphere around the same environment, and little more. According to a Reddit post, Cliffhorse was inspired by Notch's own references to the notoriously strange equine physics in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
"I also threw in a loving jab at paying for early access."
It took Notch about two hours with the Unity game engine, a handful of free assets, and encouragement from the public to create the free-to-download game. Best known for his work on Minecraft, he says that Cliffhorse is a riff on "the more embarrassing minimum-effort Greenlight games" and Goat Simulator's incredible success. Notch added, "I also threw in a loving jab at paying for early access, which is how Minecraft got here at all."
Though unnecessary, it's possible to purchase "early access" to Cliffhorse with dogecoin, a meme-inspired crytocurrency beloved by the Swedish developer. Since yesterday, the game has made roughly 280,000 doge, or about $100. "Is ironically buying an ironic game for ironic money actually ironic?" asks Notch. "I don't know. Does it have to be?" Cliffhorse is currently Windows-only, and there are no guarantees of future updates.
(I can't believe this somehow ended up being my first commercial game after Minecraft)— Markus Persson (@notch) June 8, 2014