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BIG THINGS AHEAD 👀

2023 is off to a rockin' start, and this is just the beginning!
I'm proud to say that it's the end of January and I've only mistakenly written the date as "2022" just once so far. Please, hold your applause.

Welcome to 2023! We've already hit the ground running and there's no shortage of exciting news to talk about — including a massive showcase of Minecraft Legends' new PvP mode. So, let's dive in!

Oh, and be sure to read to the end for a chance to win a digital copy of our 180-page Hardspace: Shipbreaker art book (more on that below).

💪 SAVE THE OVERWORLD IN APRIL 💪
  MINECRAFT  LEGENDS  

Chaos and fun run rampant in this Minecraft Legends Dev Diary.
Did you catch Xbox's Developer Direct last week?

Minecraft Legends headlined the show with a dev diary deep dive (try saying that 10 times) into its thrilling PvP mode. When Minecraft Legends launches on April 18, you and friends — or strangers — can pile into a procedurally-generated map for some 4v4 action.

Don't worry if your friends are on other platforms (or, like me, you just don't have many) because Legends will also support cross-platform play and online matchmaking.

Watch the full video above for a better look at the new PvP mode, or check out some of the in-depth previews from our friends at PC Gamer and Eurogamer.

Minecraft Legends launches on April 18, and we can't wait for you to play it!
FUN FACT!
World-renowned cellist
Tina Guo, whose signature style you've likely heard in many of Hans Zimmer's soundtracks, also contributed music to Minecraft Legends. Keep an ear out for her!

🔍 DEEP DIVE WITH THE DEVS 🔎
  HARDSPACE: SHIPBREAKER  

In space no one can hear you scream — that's a bit of a problem if you're designing the audio for a game like Hardspace: Shipbreaker.

In this blog for Audiokinect, Audio Director Ben McCullough walks through the enormous challenge of creating an immersive soundscape for a game that frequently jumps between the vacuum of space and pressurized environments. It's a fascinating read.

Elsewhere, Hardspace Game Director
Elliot Hudson appeared on the Seria Ludo podcast to talk about its origins in our Skunkworks game jam program, the inspirations behind its mechanics and commentary on labor, and its success on Steam. Be sure to check out Part 1 of this interview, too, which focuses more on how Elliot got his start in game dev, with some fun tidbits about Blackbird's history.

More Important Shipbreaker News:

🌠 LOOK! UP IN THE SKY! 🌠
  SPACE & SCIENCE  

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) as captured by astrophotographer Chris Schurs.
In just a few days, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reach its closest point to Earth, creating a dazzling green glow in the north-eastern sky that you'll be able to see — assuming you have a handy pair of binoculars and you're willing to venture out of your warm home after midnight on the 1st or 2nd of February to drive as far from human civilization as possible.

Want to take a guess at the last time C/2022 E3 (ZTF) stopped for a visit? 50,000 years ago.

The last time anyone might've glimpsed this vibrant green glow with the naked eye, they were Neanderthals using stone tools. Though, I'm willing to bet our ancient ancestors weren't looking up at the sky all that much.
LOST IN SPACE!
Astronomers just dropped the largest catalog of the Milky Way to date: a 10-terabyte collection of 21,000 photos featuring about 3.32 billion celestial objects. It represents only 6.5% of our night sky — a tiny sliver! — and, yet, it'll take us decades to fully study.
Check it out here!

😍 BE STEEL, MY BEATING HEART 😍
  COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT  

What weighs 15kg, is made of 304 stainless steel, and is absolutely breathtaking? Why, it's this massive Homeworld Dreadnought model created by Cybertron's Emissary, one of our fans from China!
Isn't this incredible? I reached out to Cybertron's Emissary to get some information about the model and how they built it. Turns out, Cybertron's Emissary has been making Homeworld ship models for almost a decade — they even own a patent in China for their unique building process. This particular model took over three months to build.

Thanks to Cybertron's Emissary for sharing these pics!
FUN FACT!
Did you know that our original studio space now houses the first mech ever designed for competitive racing? It's called Prosthesis, a massive 4000kg, quadruped exosuit designed by Jonathan Tippett.
Check out this video to see it in action!

 🎉 WATCH PARTY 🎉
  LIFE AT BBI  

It's already been a busy month at the studio as everyone returns from the holiday break. Last week, employees gathered in the Atrium at Studio 03 to watch Microsoft's Developer Direct and cheer on the Minecraft Legends team (many of whom were featured in the dev diary headlining the showcase).

As Minecraft Legends (codenamed Project Badger) reaches its last few milestones before release, one way we're celebrating is with a new BBI patch for all employees. Above, you can see our CTO Yggy King has already sewn it onto his jacket. He'll soon need to swap to the other sleeve as more of our projects reach completion!

🎨 WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS 🎨
  HARDSPACE: SHIPBREAKER  

That's what a picture is, right? Meaning our Art of Hardspace: Shipbreaker digital art book technically has more words than the first Dune novel in its entirety.

Spread across 180 pages are thousands of artworks that detail the creation of everything from Hardspace's iconic ships to its endearing cast of characters. Along the way, you'll get insights directly from the development team that explore their approach to ship designs, thematic elements, and more. We're so proud of this art book and all that it contains, and we can't wait for you to get your hands on it.
The Art of Hardspace: Shipbreaker will be available on February 1. Grab it on Steam or Epic for $5 USD or as part of a bundle that includes the game and the original soundtrack for $42 USD. 
DID YOU KNOW?
Hardspace: Shipbreaker is partly inspired by real-world shipbreakers who scuttle beached boats and sell the materials. Widely considered the most dangerous job on the planet, this
Atlantic article has some fascinating insights into the life of shipbreakers.

You could win one of five copies
of The Art of Hardspace: Shipbreaker!

All you need to do is reply to this email and, in a few sentences, tell me one thing: What are you most excited about in 2023? It doesn't have to be gaming related. It can be a personal project, a vacation — anything goes! I'll read through the answers and randomly choose five winners.

Good luck!
And that's a wrap on our first newsletter of 2023. Thanks for sharing these few, precious moments with me. I'm going to be trying some new experiments with this newsletter over the coming months and would love to hear from you. So hit that reply button and say hello :)

Cheers,
- Steven & the BBI Team
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