Markus "Notch" Persson's legendary game, Minecraft.

A technical demonstration of liquid simulations for the voxel genre
, Liquid Cubed is a WIP project developed by a coder and his brother with the free time they have on the weekends. There aren't any particular objectives in the game, but you are able to build dams, pump water, drain lakes, and otherwise experiment with the liquid system within the building area.

The algorithm used for the liquid simulation was developed over two years in a modified version of Infiniminer. After Minecraft's wild success, we thought it was about time we built a standalone "proof-of-concept" in the hope that the algorithm could be integrated within Minecraft, but unfortunately more work will have to be done before this can become a reality.


We've e-mailed Markus "Notch" Persson (creator of Minecraft) on several occasions regarding integrating the algorithm into Minecraft, but for the moment it's not a feasible option. Aside from Minecraft's more pressing development issues, without our algorithm having A) proof of internet support, B) a stable framerate in an "infini-world", and C) proof of compatibility with MC's lighting, it doesn't make much sense to throw another wrench in the works, does it?

In the meantime we will work to improve the system so it can run harmoniously in a similar blockType environment! UPDATE: Please read the news below (3/23/11) for an important update on this.


While we're still finishing up our "Warcraft vs Starcraft" WC3 mod, progress on Liquid Cubed will be slow and steady with new public builds being made available about every week or so. Plenty is planned to reach the goal of the liquids being "super effective!", below is the current priority-feature list: UPDATE: Please read the news below (3/23/11) for an important update on this.

  1. Finalize the 1.0.4 iteration of the rendering engine to further improve performance
  2. Stable framerate with a far draw distance in 1.0.5
  3. Liquid system functioning in a Minecraft-style infinite world
  4. Multiplayer and Dynamic Lighting


Download Latest VersionVersion 1.0.4c

Size: ~6.88mb
Date: 3/23/2011

Liquid Cubed was built for rapid prototype development, and although we may switch to DirectX or OpenGl if/when the opportunity arrives, for now the game is built under XNA, requiring XNA 3.1, DotNET 3.5, DirectX 9.0c+, and a Shader 2.0 3.0 videocard. Legacy ATI video cards currently aren't supported, but with Zarat's help we're working on a solution.

Please report any bugs or suggestions on the forums here.

If you can't get the game to run, first check to make sure you meet the requirements, and then follow the instructions in this forum thread to confirm the necessary software has been installed. If it still fails to run, follow the thread's instructions to retrieve your computer's dxdiag.txt so we can attempt to decipher the problem.



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6 comments by [ZanMgt]Aaron on Mar 23rd, 2011


We've shared in everyone's excitement for Liquid Cubed's prospects in Minecraft; however, the further we've developed progressive systems and parsers (with much still left to do), the more we've recognized that the modifications to Minecraft's rendering engine would be a very large operation.

In combination with Minecraft's advanced stage of development and Mojang's goals for the game's release, we've concluded integration in the end is unrealistic at the present time. We'd be willing to consult with Mojang regarding the liquids if they were interested, but up to this point they are not, and we have to move on.


We first fell in love with the freedom of voxels in Zach Barth's Infiniminer back in 2009. A whole slew of limitations forced upon games were suddenly broken with Infinimer's concept “everything matters”, and it was nothing short of brilliant. The real inspiration for us however, came from the game's infamous lava.

While expanding upon the concept of a more advanced liquid algorithm, we spent the next couple years modding Infiniminer off-and-on with many other little hair-brained ideas. Having contemplated adding “constructable flying blimps” in the Fall of 2009, we were led to an even crazier string of thoughts:

“What if you were mining an asteroid instead?”

“...What if you could walk around a starship you built from stem to stern, power conduit to warp engine, and every part of the ship actually matters?”

“...What if you could suck people out into space, blast apart a ship's power arteries, cut a ship in half, work together with your buddies to hold off a boarding party, raid derelict vessels for parts, and land on procedurally generated planets to force the locals into digging up gold for your intergalactic conquest!?”

At the time, the wishful ramblings of a 'pure voxel starship' game seemed ludicrous, and since 2009 we've added quite a bit to the wish-list for a “Starship: Infiniminer”. But after testing the necessary components in Liquid Cubed, gaining several years of experience within the voxel environment, and building a plan that will support the long-term development, we believe we're capable of pulling off this ambitious concept.


What will follow for the tentatively titled “Blockade Runner” should be familiar to those already experienced with agile indie projects: Rapid development builds, the indie-funding-formula “pay less now for alpha”, and a team forgoing the publisher's capital investment to ensure the bold vision is never lost to 'market appeal'.

Full-time work on Blockade Runner by Nathan has already begun, with an in-development version of the game being prepared for release on April 11th . The six month plan is to focus on multiplayer with build-able, crew-able, functioning, “living” starships using cellular automata. This will then lead to further development sprints reaching procedurally-generated stations, planets, and beyond.

More information on Blockade Runner will be available as the new ZanMgt website is unrolled during the next few weeks.


We'd like to thank everyone for their support for Liquid Cubed. Your help and suggestions have been an enormous blessing and are very much appreciated. Although we're disappointed in having to cut Liquid Cubed short of meeting our stated goals, we're very excited about the future and hope you'll join us in the development of Blockade Runner!

In the meantime, please enjoy Liquid Cubed 1.0.4c!

– Aaron Harris,
Creative Director, ZanMgt

Rejoice! When the line tool accidentally flies off you can now revert the mistake! Press CTRL+Z to undo the last tool events, press CTRL+Y to redo the tool events.

Note that water will not be affected by undo (although you can undo a water conversion).

You can alter the default number of undos inside the Settings.xml. Some of the tools can take up more RAM than others, so use discretion when altering the number of undos (100 should really be more than enough).

A superior form of sealing the water polygons was constructed in the past two weeks. This was to resolve a coding issue as well as provide a solution for dynamic and smooth water, which will now be carried onto Blockade Runner.

A parsing mechanism that works in combination with the polygon sealing now helps to reduce the GPU load considerably. Liquids closer to the player will update their visual status faster than the liquids in the distance.

If you do something absurd (a floor of water across the sky), you might see some absurd results. In this case, water floating in the air for longer period of time, but this parser is meant more for slower machines.

The special effects for water dissolving in the 16x16x16 course is now available in the larger courses as well. You can press the “L” key to cycle through the different levels of the special effects.

We had listed Shader 2.0 as a minimum requirement, but after reviewing the amount of instructions we were sending to the GPU, Shader 3.0 is unfortunately the lowest Liquid Cubed can use as a minimum requirement.

Blocks can now be created in the air without having to build off of a block. With the Line tool, this allows you to fire a line from where you're standing to where you're looking.

Undo functionality was a “fun feature” added in this version of Liquid Cubed. Even though all new development is focused on the new game, I still wanted to share the ranking results of everyone's combined prioritization lists for those who are interested:

Thanks for prioritizing: Ludsoe, CMD Keen, Nukepb, Nick650, Duartel, and SairenSA!

A. (-1.3) More Blocks
B. (-2.7) Improved Liquids
-- (+5) Undo Functionality
C. (+0.7) Perlin noise terrain
D. (+2.2) Walking/swimming/collision
E. (+3) Some More Tools
F. (-2.2) Re-designed interface
G. (-1) 2D Sprite Critters
H. (-4.3) HD Visuals

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
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Liquid Cubed 1.0.4c -- (6.88mb)

Liquid Cubed 1.0.4c -- (6.88mb)

Mar 23, 2011 Full Version 2 comments

The Undo ability, a new parser to reduce the memory of water for slower computers, and active dissolves in larger courses make up the brunt of this update...

Liquid Cubed 1.0.4b -- (6.33 mb)

Liquid Cubed 1.0.4b -- (6.33 mb)

Feb 12, 2011 Full Version 1 comment

Line tool, Dot Tool, Floor Tool, and Convert Tool are part of the requested features, while drastically reduced map filesize prepares Liquid Cubed for...

Liquid Cubed 1.0.4 (6.85 mb)

Liquid Cubed 1.0.4 (6.85 mb)

Feb 1, 2011 Full Version 4 comments

Improved performance, distance fogging, bug fixes, and more in this update! *** Please be sure to check the requirements / known issues below! ***

Liquid Cubed 1.0.3c -- (7.01mb)

Liquid Cubed 1.0.3c -- (7.01mb)

Jan 25, 2011 Full Version 0 comments

Vertical pumps are the new toys, but an under-the-hood upgrade will allow us to expand the system substantially in the future. *** Please be sure to check...

Liquid Cubed 1.0.3b -- (6.82mb)

Liquid Cubed 1.0.3b -- (6.82mb)

Jan 12, 2011 Full Version 4 comments

Custom themes by editing .PNGs, height maps are now editable, graphical fixes, reduced file size, and more in this update! Please be sure to check the...

Liquid Cubed 1.0.3 -- (11.84mb)

Liquid Cubed 1.0.3 -- (11.84mb)

Jan 2, 2011 Full Version 8 comments

Large scale courses, improved rendering system for greater performance, and many other new additions are included in version 1.0.3 of Liquid Cubed. Please...

Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 84)
mude89 Jan 20 2011, 6:48am says:

notch should use it!

+10 votes     reply to comment
MrMattWebb Feb 4 2011, 11:09am replied:

Notch should switch to c++, utilize directx, stop using java, And Then integrate this. That would be a start.

-1 votes     reply to comment
kennedyzak Feb 13 2011, 3:40pm replied:

Java is actually a really good choice for MineCraft as it is cross-platform and can run in the web browser with little to no hassle. switching to C++ and using directX focuses the developing platform to more Windows only and the web browser version probably wouldn't exist, not to mention mods, and adding new features (updates) would take longer and would be harder to do.

+4 votes     reply to comment
xilefian Jan 13 2011, 10:56am says:

Excellent water physics, if this could be mimicked on height mapped textures at a larger level on vertexes then realistic running water like this would make excellent texture effect in 3D games.
I hope someone understands what I just said, because I don't.

+5 votes     reply to comment
thunderising Jan 6 2011, 10:16am says:

It's like Minecraft, only smaller in size, about 1/3rd and free.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cake_ Feb 13 2011, 9:49pm replied:

Plus, the liquid simulation is perfected. Minecraft focuses on light, mobs, block physics and other stuff, but not much about the water.
Liquid Cubed has like, a 50 times better liquid simulator than MC.

+2 votes     reply to comment
paindoc Jan 7 2011, 8:19pm replied:

you forgot the liquid physics. Go on, do it and let your imagination go crazy like you can in minecraft. The results will be satisfying.

+4 votes     reply to comment
CMDKeen Jan 18 2011, 9:10am replied:

Well, this IS supposed to be in Minecraft, the similarity is intentional (and fully desirable, unlike in Minecraft ofshoots).

-2 votes     reply to comment
paindoc Jan 5 2011, 7:30pm says:

Finally! I am so glad to hear you guys did this! Great job, no, incredible job! Can't wait for this weekend so I play it! I am way too excited about this...

+3 votes     reply to comment
MDMonster Jan 5 2011, 5:10am says:

This bugger keeps crashing the VERY second its launched.
I'm on windows 7 x64

PS- If your wondering I am on the vesion 1.0.3

+2 votes     reply to comment
MDMonster Jan 5 2011, 5:17am replied:

lol nvm, I have XNA 4.0, so I didn't think I'd need the 3.1 but I did. It's all good now :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Liquid Cubed
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Released Nov 25, 2010
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64 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (2 agree) 10/10

I. WANT. THIS. IN. MINECRAFT!!!!!! It works awesomely.

Jan 11 2011, 11:54pm by Aiyoux

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