Minecraft 1.2.5 main menu window
4J Studios (Xbox 360)
|Designer(s)||Markus "Notch" Persson
Jens "Jeb" Bergensten
Markus "Junkboy" Toivonen
|Composer(s)||Daniel "C418" Rosenfeld|
|Release date(s)||PC (Java)
May 9, 2012
Minecraft is a sandbox-building independent video game originally created by Swedish creator Markus "Notch" Persson and now developed by his company, Mojang. In 2011, Jens Bergensten, also known by his pseudonym Jeb, took full creative control over Minecraft.
Minecraft is focused on creativity and building, allowing players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. Gameplay in its commercial release has two principal modes: Survival, which requires players to acquire resources themselves and maintain their health and hunger; and Creative, where the player has an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger. A third gameplay mode, named Hardcore, is essentially the same as Survival, but the difficulty is locked on the hardest setting and respawning is disabled, forcing the player to delete his or her world upon death. An outdated Classic version is also available for free, although it is no longer being developed. Creative Minecraft resembles Classic, but with many more features.
Minecraft was released as an alpha on May 17, 2009, with a beta version on December 20, 2010. Official versions for iOS and Android have been released and the full version of the PC game was released on November 18, 2011 at MineCon 2011. The Android release was temporarily exclusive to the Xperia PLAY but is now available to the rest of the Android Market. On May 9, 2012, Minecraft was released on Xbox 360 as a live arcade game, it is co-developed by 4J Studios. As of May 25, 2012, the game has sold over six million sales on PC and over nine million copies across all platforms.
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A player in Minecraft has a lot of freedom to choose how to play the game, with the primary goals being surviving attacks by monsters, also known in-game as "hostile mobs" (such as Zombies, Skeletons and Creepers) and building shelter. The core gameplay revolves around construction. The game world is essentially made of cubes arranged in a fixed grid pattern which represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. While the players can move freely across the world, objects and items can only be placed at fixed locations relative to the grid. The player can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus potentially creating various constructions.
Minecraft has three gameplay modes: Survival (and its Hardcore variant) and Creative, Classic. Classic is the earliest free version and initially featured only the Creative game mode with only building (block placement and removal) aspects of the game and unlimited block supply. The game was then split into single-player survival mode (referred to as Survival Mode Test), which contained monsters and a much greater variety of blocks and items, as well as requiring players to mine their own blocks.
The game starts by placing the player on the surface of a virtually infinite procedurally generated game world. The player can walk across the terrain consisting of plains, mountains, caves, and various water bodies. The world is also divided into biomes ranging from deserts to snowfields. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle. Throughout the course of the game the player encounters various non-human creatures, referred to as mobs. During the daytime, non-hostile animals spawn, which can be hunted for food and crafting materials. Hostile mobs, such as large spiders, skeletons, zombies and the dangerous exploding Creeper only spawn in unlit areas like caves or during nighttime.
Complex systems can be built using the in-game physics engine with the use of primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits and logic gates built with an in-game material known as redstone. For example, a door can be opened or closed by pressing a connected button or stepping on a pressure plate. Similarly, larger and more complex systems can be produced, such as a working arithmetic logic unit – as used in CPUs.
The game world is procedurally generated as the player explores it. Although limits exist on vertical movement both up and down, Minecraft allows for an infinitely large game world to be generated on the horizontal plane, only running into technical problems when extremely distant locations are reached.[† 1] The game achieves this by splitting the game world data into smaller sections, called "chunks",[† 1] only created or loaded into memory when the player is nearby.
Although Minecraft is mostly a sandbox game, it contains some adventure elements. And, with that, a primary win condition, which is achieved by traveling to another dimension known as The End and defeating the powerful Enderdragon that flies around the map. This dimension is also home to Endermen, a race of seemingly-sentient beings that are only rarely seen on the main world. To go to The End, one must locate underground ruins of an ancient civilization (referred to in-game as Strongholds) which can be found on the main overworld. They must then activate the stronghold's portal using items crafted from drops from Endermen and Blazes, which can be found in alternate dimension called The Nether. Upon beating the boss creature (and claiming an exclusive reward consisting of a shower of experience points and the elusive Ender dragon egg), the player is allowed to leave the dimension via a portal, which will cue the game's ending sequence, written by Irish author Julian Gough, and credits roll. The player is then teleported back to their original spawn point in the overworld, and, if certain criteria are met, will receive the exclusive "The End" achievement.
In this mode, the player has a health bar which is depleted by attacks from monsters, falls, or environmental damage, such as drowning or falling into lava. The player also has a hunger bar, which must be periodically refilled by eating various food (porkchops, bread, etc.) in-game. Armor can help mitigate damage from mob attacks, while weapons can be used to kill enemies and other animals. Health replenishes when the player has a full hunger bar or by playing on the easiest difficulty, where the health bar regenerates by itself. Upon dying, items in the player's inventory are dropped and the player is respawned at current spawn point, which by default is where the player started, but can be set by sleeping in in-game beds. The items can be recovered if reached before they despawn.
The player can acquire different resources and craft tools, weapons, armor, food, and various other items. By acquiring better resources, the player can make more effective items. For example, tools such as axes, shovels, or pickaxes, can be used to chop down trees, dig soil, and mine ores respectively, and tools made out of better resources (such as iron in place of stone) perform their tasks quicker and can be used more heavily before breaking. The game has an inventory system and the player is limited to the number of items they can carry, specifically, 36 spaces. The player can acquire experience points by killing mobs. Experience can then be spent on enchanting tools, armour and weapons. Enchanted items are generally more powerful, last longer, or have other special effects. The player may also play in a Hardcore mode as a variant of Survival mode, differing primarily by being locked to the hardest gameplay setting and featuring permadeath – upon player character's death, their world is deleted.
In creative mode, the player does not take environmental or mob damage, is not affected by hunger, and can fly freely around the game world. The player also has access to unlimited resources or items through the inventory menu, and can place or remove them instantly. All creatures in the game, including hostile ones, may still spawn under proper conditions, but they cannot damage the player. The only possible way in Creative for a player to die is to fall down the Void, the bottom of the map.
Older versions of Minecraft are also available for players. Unlike newer versions of Minecraft, Classic is free to play, though it is no longer updated. It functions much the same as Creative mode, allowing players to build and destroy any and all parts of the world either alone or in a multiplayer server. There are no computer creatures in this mode, and environmental hazards such as lava will not damage the player. However, some blocks function differently as their behavior was later changed during development. For example, in Classic mode, TNT will act like any other block and break when hit, but in newer versions it will detonate after its fuse is lit.
The developer of Minecraft, Markus Persson aka Notch, had previously worked on games such as Wurm Online and as a game developer for King.com for over four years. Minecraft development began in May 10[not in citation given], 2009, soon after Persson had quit his job at King.com in order to concentrate more on independent development. Persson was inspired to create Minecraft by several other games such as Dwarf Fortress, Infiniminer by Zachtronics Industries, and Dungeon Keeper by Bullfrog Productions. He was still working out the basics of gameplay when he discovered Infiniminer and played with others on the TIGSource.com forums. At the time, he had also been visualizing an isometric 3D building game that would be a cross between his inspirations and had made some early prototypes. After discovering Infiniminer, Notch declared "My god, I realized that that was the game I wanted to do". Infiniminer heavily influenced the style of gameplay that eventually resulted in Minecraft, including the first-person aspect of the game and the "blocky" visual style.
Minecraft was first released to the public on May 17, 2009, as a developmental "alpha" release. Although Persson maintained a day job with Jalbum.net at first, he later moved to working part time and has since quit in order to work on Minecraft full time as sales of the beta version of the game have expanded. Persson continues to update the game with releases distributed to users automatically. Persson plans to continue these updates after the release of the full game as long as there is still an active userbase. These updates have included features such as new items, new blocks, an alternate "Hell" dimension (accessible through construction of a portal) that Persson terms "The Nether", tamable wolves that assist the player, and changes to the game's behavior (e.g., how water flows). Persson plans to eventually release the game as open-source after sales have dropped off and when he wants to move onto other projects.
In September 2010 Persson announced that he and a friend were starting a video game company, Mojang, with the money earned from Minecraft. This company was intended to back the development of Minecraft and an unrelated game, Scrolls, which his friend would primarily work on. As part of creating the company, Persson has hired "an artist, a web site developer, and a business guy", additional programmers, and established an office in Stockholm. Although Persson plans to spend the majority of his time working on Minecraft while his partner spends the majority of his time working on the other game, he says that "everyone working at the company will be involved in both projects to some degree". Persson said that part of his motivation behind hiring staff was that he felt he was spending too much time working on the website and reading emails rather than developing Minecraft. The four additional employees hired in 2010 were Jens Bergensten, a programmer; Daniel Kaplan, the "business guy"; Jakob Porser, who will be working on the other game for Mojang; and Markus "Junkboy" Toivonen, a pixel artist. The plans for Persson's new company were delayed by weeks when his account with PayPal, containing over US$763,000 in proceeds from Minecraft sales, was frozen due to a "suspicious withdrawal or deposit". On October 20, 2010, the official Minecraft website suffered a prolonged DDoS attack.
On December 11, 2010, Persson announced, via his personal blog, that Minecraft would be entering its beta testing phase on December 20, 2010. He further stated that users who bought the game after this date would no longer be guaranteed to receive all future content free of charge as it "scared both the lawyers and the board." However, bug fixes and all updates leading up to and including the release would still be free. At the start of 2011 Mojang expanded to include Carl Manneh as a "managing director" and Tobias Möllstam as a programmer. On April 7, 2011, Persson made a post on his blog that Mojang has decided to move the game out of Beta on November 11, 2011; however this would not be the "finished product", as the game would be continuously updated before and after the release.[non-primary source needed]
Minecraft.net provided online systems to authenticate logins and host the player's profile including its modifiable character skin pattern and the purchased gift codes. On January 18, 2011, Persson announced in a blog post that Minecraft's web servers would be switching to being hosted solely on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) content delivery network. Notch stated in his personal blog that their old web host was having trouble and that Mojang would be switching to using AWS as their host for both Minecraft.net and Minecraft's web functions such as logging in. This was followed by a tweet the next day confirming the migration and that Tobias would be the one to set up the new servers. Upon this hosting migration, both Minecraft.net and Minecraft game features experienced fluctuating down time. On February 21, Mojang hired Dan Frisk to oversee the servers and back end for both Minecraft and Scrolls.
On December 2, 2011, Persson announced via his personal blog that he would be stepping down as the lead developer of Minecraft, with Bergensten becoming lead developer. Persson would remain as a developer of Minecraft but would be taking time away from the game in order to work on an unannounced project. On February 28, 2012, Bergensten announced that the main developers of Bukkit, a community-based project that works on Minecraft server implementation, joined the ranks of the Mojang team to work on "improving both the server and the client to offer better official support for larger servers and server modifications".
|Minecraft – Volume Alpha|
|Studio album by C418|
|Released||March 4, 2011|
|11.||"Mice on Venus"||4:41|
|23.||"Droopy likes ricochet"||1:36|
|24.||"Droopy likes your face"||1:56|
|This section requires expansion. (January 2012)|
In December 2011, Mojang submitted the concept of Minecraft merchandise to Lego for the Lego Cuusoo program, from which it quickly received 10,000 votes by users, prompting Lego to review the concept. On January 24, 2012, Lego Cuusoo announced the concept was approved and they would develop sets based around Minecraft. In February 2012, the first Lego Minecraft set of Micro World was showcased and made available for pre-orders, with a release set for the summer of 2012.
|GameRankings||92.79% (21 reviews)|
|Metacritic||93/100 (33 reviews)|
|Game Informer||9.25/10|
Minecraft has received favorable responses from critics, and has had notably large numbers of sales. The game has been praised for the creative freedom it grants its players in-game, and for how dynamic the overall gameplay is. PC Gamer listed Minecraft as the fourth-best game to play at work.
A review of the alpha version, by Scott Munro of the Daily Record, called it "already something special" and urged readers to buy it. Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun also recommended the alpha of the game, calling it "a kind of generative 8-bit Lego Stalker". On September 17, 2010, gaming webcomic Penny Arcade began a series of comics and news posts about the addictiveness of the game. Video game talk show Good Game gave it a 7.5 and 9 out of 10, praising its creativity and customization, though they criticized its lack of a tutorial.
In December 2010, Good Game selected Minecraft as their choice for "Best Downloadable Game of 2010" title, Gamasutra named it the eighth best game of the year as well as the eighth best indie game of the year, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun named it the game of the year. Indie DB awarded the game the 2010 "Indie of the Year" award as chosen by voters, in addition to two out of five Editor's Choice awards for "Most Innovative" and "Best Singleplayer Indie". It was also awarded "Game of the Year" by PC Gamer UK. The game was nominated for the "Seumas McNally Grand Prize", "Technical Excellence", and "Excellence in Design" awards at the March 2011 Independent Games Festival and won the Grand Prize along with community-voted "Audience Award". At Game Developers Choice Awards 2011, Minecraft won the award for Best debut game, Best downloadable game and Most Innovative game award, winning every award for which it was nominated. It has also won GameCity's videogame arts prize
On May 5, 2011, Minecraft was selected as one of the 80 games that would be displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of "The Art of Video Games" exhibit that opened on March 16, 2012.
In September 2010, after an impromptu free-to-play weekend, the game had a spike in sales of over 25,000 purchases in 24 hours. On January 12, 2011, Minecraft passed 1,000,000 purchases, less than a month after reaching Beta. At the same time, the game had no publisher backing and has never been commercially advertised except through word of mouth, and apparently unpaid mention in popular media like Penny Arcade. By April 2011, Persson estimated that Minecraft had made €23 million (US$33 million) in revenue, with 800,000 sales of the alpha version of the game, and over 1 million sales of the beta version. On July 1, 2011 Minecraft passed the 10 million registered users mark.[non-primary source needed] As of November 7, 2011, Minecraft had over 16 million registered users, and over 4 million purchases.
The Xbox 360 version of Minecraft became profitable within the first hour of release.[non-primary source needed] Within the first 24 hours of the game's release, Minecraft broke the Xbox Live sales records, with 400,000 players online. Within a week of being on the Xbox Live Marketplace, Minecraft sold upwards of one million copies. It was announced in July 2012 that Minecraft has sold over three million copies since the game debuted on Xbox LIVE Arcade in May 2012. This brings the total projected sales for Minecraft over seven million over all platforms in its lifetime.
Minecraft – Pocket Edition
On August 16, 2011, Minecraft – Pocket Edition was released for the Xperia PLAY. It was then opened up to the rest of the Android market on October 8, 2011. The current version of the software concentrates on the creative building and the primitive survival aspect of the game. The current release allows for multiplay across a local wireless network. An iOS version of Minecraft was released on November 17, 2011. On his Twitter account, Jens Bergensten noted that the Pocket Edition of Minecraft is written in C++ and not Java, due to iOS not being able to support Java.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
The Xbox 360 version of the game, developed by 4J Studios, is planned to support Kinect play and cross-platform playability with the PC version. The gameworld size is limited to 1024 by 1024 blocks, although this might later be expanded through the next updates. At the Game Developers Conference, it was made known that Minecraft for XBLA would be coming out on March 17, 2012. However, Daniel Kaplan said on Twitter that it is Microsoft's decision on when it will be released, 4J Studios told Microsoft that the game was ready for release, Microsoft waited for a date that they are happy to release. It was announced that Minecraft would be the flagship game in a new Xbox Live promotion called Arcade NEXT. The game was released on May 9, 2012. Currently Minecraft for Xbox 360 is limited, although in time the game will be in sync with the PC version, but on the first release, Xbox Minecraft was many versions behind the current 1.2.5. Although many features are planned, they will not be added until a later date. The game has a large amount of content that is special to the Xbox 360, including the newly designed crafting system, the control interface, and the ability to play with friends via Xbox Live.
On May 11, 2011, Persson announced via his blog that an official Minecraft convention titled "MineCon 2011" would be held November 18–19 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States and on August 11, the MineCon website was launched. The event included the official launch of Minecraft; keynote speeches, including one by Persson; building and costume contests; Minecraft-themed breakout classes; exhibits by leading gaming and Minecraft-related companies; commemorative merchandise; and autograph and picture times with Mojang employees and well-known contributors from the Minecraft community. After Minecon, there was an Into The Nether after-party with electronic musician deadmau5. As well as this, free codes were given to every attendee of MineCon that unlock Alpha versions of Mojang's other upcoming game, Scrolls, as well as an additional non-Mojang game, Cobalt, which is being developed by Oxeye Game Studios. MineCon sold all of its 4,500 tickets.[non-primary source needed]
On 9 April 2012 it was announced that MineCon 2012 would take place in Europe at a to be announced date.
- Lightweight Java Game Library, a Java library used by Minecraft.
- Minicraft, a 2D action/survival game made by Persson
- In a blog post, Persson explains:
First of all, let me clarify some things about the "infinite" maps: They're not infinite, but there's no hard limit either. It'll just get buggier and buggier the further out you are. Terrain is generated, saved and loaded, and (kind of) rendered in chunks of 16*16*128 blocks. These chunks have an offset value that is a 32 bit integer roughly in the range negative two billion to positive two billion. If you go outside that range (about 25% of the distance from where you are now to the sun), loading and saving chunks will start overwriting old chunks. At a 16/th of that distance, things that use integers for block positions, such as using items and pathfinding, will start overflowing and acting weird.
Those are the two "hard" limits.
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- Handy, Alex (2010-03-23). "Interview: Markus 'Notch' Persson Talks Making Minecraft". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27719/Interview_Markus_Notch_Persson_Talks_Making_Minecraft.php. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- "Minecraft (alpha)". Forums.tigsource.com. 2009-05-17. http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=6273.0. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
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- Chatfield, Tom (2012-01-09). "Ending an endless game: an interview with Julian Gough, author of Minecraft's epic finale". Boing Boing. http://boingboing.net/2012/01/09/ending-an-endless-game-an-int.html. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
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- Persson, Markus (2011-01-03). "2011, here we go!". Mojang. http://notch.tumblr.com/post/2582321901/2011-here-we-go. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
- Persson, Markus. "11/11/11". http://notch.tumblr.com/post/4423138657/11-11-11.
- Persson, Markus (2011-01-18). "The web server is struggling, we're migrating". http://notch.tumblr.com/post/2812089385/the-web-server-is-struggling-were-migrating.
- Mollstam, Tobias (2011-01-19). "Battle plan of cluster structure leading to world domination has been had!".