There's no doubting Minecraft's phenomenal success, but I've often wondered how much of that is down to the actual game. You know, the part that begins that first day you have to scramble to survive, and ends the time you see/build your first giant penis, when it's become more of a giant LEGO kit than a terrifying survival simulation.
It's a shame, because those early horrors, the feeling of building a home out of the world around you, of exploring a map on an adventure, those were for me the best parts of the game. So it's awesome seeing some independent developers deciding to focus solely on that in the upcoming TUG.
TUG is "a multiplayer open-world sandbox-RPG" that owes a lot to Minecraft, from the voxel engine to the crafting, but it's seeking to build something more focused out of the blocks and procedural terrain, with an actual story and intelligent characters to interact with.
Some of TUG's more grandiose claims sound a little too Molyneuxy to take at face value, but even accounting for "promise but can't actually deliver" fatigue, this still looks like a project worth keeping tabs on.