Mojang aims to launch Cobalt alpha on Friday

Minecraft developer Mojang Specifications is hoping to launch the debut alpha version of Cobalt by Oxeye Games this Friday--assuming all goes to plan--to kick off its first foray into third-party publishing. Like Minecraft, Cobalt will let you pre-order to receive playable alpha versions.

"We haven't told anyone [about the release date] yet because we're aiming for Friday, but we don't know if we can make it," Mojang CEO Carl Manneh told Edge. "But I think we can."

The biggest hold up, Manneh explained, is implementing the newly-revealed Mojang account system. All Mojang games, including Minecraft, Cobalt and Scrolls, will use the same shared login.

Mojang and Oxeye need to polish Cobalt up a little too. Manneh explained, "The game has been demoed at PAX and Minecon, but there are certain things we need to make sure are ready... You have to make sure that the user experience works without having someone holding your hand, like we can when standing next to people at events."

The initial Cobalt alpha release will be Windows-only and pack three same-computer multiplayer modes, in the form of co-op survival and competitive CTF and deathmatch. Beyond that, Mojang has detailed its development plans for Cobalt as it passes through alpha, beta, and gold status.

Here's a peek at an old-ish version of Cobalt's survival mode, played solo: