Notch's new space game is called ... Mars Effect?! [April Fools!]

It looks like the Elite-inspired space trading game Mojang's Notch has been working on finally has a name: Mars Effect. The game's official site just went live with a smattering of gameplay details, as well as insight into the philosophy behind Mars Effect's name.

"After several weeks of trying to come up with a good name for the game, we finally decided not to learn from previous experiences and pick a name that's already kind of in use by a huge existing franchise," says Notch. "After playing around with names like 'Elight,' 'Wind Commander,' and 'Steve Online,' we finally settled on the very catchy name 'Mars Effect'."

The game's bulleted list of features includes things like "waist high walls" and "a game ending that makes sense," among other things. Notch also outlines the game's "fixed wattage" system: All ships produce a finite amount of energy, and your ship's features require specific amounts of power. Activating a cloaking device, for example, requires so much power that other ancillary systems like computers and lights must be shut down in order to free up wattage. Each ship is also equipped with a fully emulated 16-bit computer, which "can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish."

Update: Rather than play along with these gags as they happen, we've decided instead to tag each April Fools' Day prank as such in the headline, in order to avoid as many dashed hopes as possible. While we never believed for a second that Notch would actually call his next game Mars Effect, we wouldn't be surprised if some of these gameplay mechanics ended up in his actual space game.

[Thanks, Jason!]