An update for Minecraft Pocket Edition is now out! The list of updates includes the following:
New controller option – Split Touch Controls. This is option may be more suitable for those with bigger screens (hello tablets!). You got a cross hair and the right half of the screen lets you rotate the camera. Touch to place block, hold down to remove blocks. Just like you did before
Flying is changed; ascend/descend by sliding from the center button to the up/down button
Ever wanted to have a pet pig on XBOX? What about a pet creeper? How about a diamond sword and Notch hat? All these goodies and more are now available for your avatar! The selection is quite diverse, comprised of equippable and wearable items, pets and more. What better way to get ready for the upcoming console release of Minecraft than to deck out your avatar? Check it out - click the banner above!
Long ago - before Minecraft Beta, Alpha, Infdev or even Indev - our favorite sandbox building game was still in its infancy, only just assuming the beginnings of Creative. In those days, there was no "official" place to talk about the game, and it still had a very small but growing following. It was then that citricsquid decided, on June 16th, 2009, to make a forum dedicated to the game. From the very first post to the present day, 1,000 days have passed - that's right, the Minecraft Forum and Minecraft Wiki are one thousand days old today! We are now a much larger community (with over a million registered users), and a larger staff than in those days - the forum has come a long way since then!
From these humble beginnings came one of the most active game forums in existence! Want to know more details about the people who keep this great forum going? Check out this link for more stats and info; you can also leave a comment on the site about what the forum means to you! Congratulations on 1,000 days - here's looking forward to 1,000 more!
Pico gives us news on WoW, Minecraft, Battlefield 3, Athene's YouTube Announcement and Partnership with CurseNetwork, Mass Effect 3, LoL, and Caveman Craig 2 - check it out!
The Escapist is currently running a developer's contest, and Mojang is in the running! The popular indie studio is pitted up against some pretty stiff competition - companies like Turbine, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Capcom and LucasArts, just to name a few. Want to see Mojang beat out the heavy-hitting competition? Head on over and vote for them right now! Click on the image above (or this link), and vote for Mojang. Let's show them our support!
Pig, Enderman & Creeper Still Standing - Can They Win?
Week 3 of the popular March Gaming Bracket Challenge is underway, and Minecraft still has competitors! While Steve lost out last week to Deathwing (strangely appropriate, given the difficulties Steve faces slaying dragons), but the Enderman, Pig and Creeper are still going strong! Pig is now pitted up against Aela the Huntress, Enderman is threatening to steal Rytlock Brimstone's blocks, and Creeper is contemplating a well-timed explosion for Onyxia. Can they win? Can this contest come to a showdown between only Minecraft characters? Your votes will decide the outcome - click the banner above (or this link) and vote for these iconic Minecraft characters today. They are counting on you to win!
No More Lawsuit - Scrolls is Scrolls
Long ago - before the dawn of history - we saw the beginnings of a lawsuit from Bethesda Softworks/Zenimax over the rights to use the word "scrolls" as a title for a new game Mojang was developing. Time went on, and it eventually ended up in court, with indie underdog Mojang refusing to relinquish their use of the new title. Now, it seems that the lawsuit has come to a close, with Mojang the victor. The final verdict? As told by Mojang CEO Carl Manneh, they will be allowed to use the name "Scrolls" for their new game title, but will not maintain control over the trademark of said word. This marks the end of a long road between the software publishing giant and indie game studio, and all things considered, there was minimal conflict. Carl added, "it was never about the trademark, but being able to use 'Scrolls' as the name of our game, which we can".
One could say that the lawsuit took an arrow to the knee.
Bethesda Softworks/Zenimax originally wanted Mojang to stop using the word "scrolls" for their new game for fear of confusing it with their "Elder Scrolls" franchise. Scrolls is a CCG-like game which "offers a new and unique game play where you fight to outmaneuver your opponent on the battlefield using the destructive powers in your collection of magical scrolls". You can sign up for the Scrolls Alpha by going here and providing your email.
Community Spotlight - Savage Realms
This week, we take a look at the incredibly diverse SMP server "Savage Realms" - definitely a server worth visiting if you want an endless bounty of activities combined with a solid, tightly-knit community. Check it out! Special thanks to cr0ssVtW, acidsinn, hungoverfurball and Mayhem for giving me the grand tour! My only regret was that there was so very much to see, it was a constant battle to figure out what would make it into the video. If you head over to their server, be sure to check out their "Underworld" region - it really is something else!
XBLA Minecraft Sneak Peek - Split-Screen!
During the recent Game Developer's Conference, we had a chance to check out the upcoming XBLA Minecraft, now with split-screen action. Take a look!
This week, David & Toby cover a range of topics, from Notch's recent BAFTA Award announcement, a look at the new split-screen gameplay feature of the XBLA Minecraft port news on this week's snapshot, and a sneak peek at an interview with Jens "Jeb" Bergensten, with special focus on modding for Minecraft - take a look!
Notch Revisits Piracy
Not long ago, Notch had a chat with Chris Hecker (of Maxis fame) at the recent GDC regarding the sensitive, ongoing issue of software piracy. While his quote is often mis-attributed ("If someone copies your game a trillion times, you won’t have a single lost cent”); the message seemed less about legitimizing piracy, and more about sending a message that worse things exist in the industry - and that pirated copies of the game could easily become bought ones, if the potential future customer were treated right. He went on to say that he "still think[s] piracy is wrong, but it's the level of wrong...me calling my friend an idiot. It’s wrong, but it’s such a minor thing. It’s ridiculously small."
He Also Reveals...
In other discussions at GDC, Notch talked with Chris about his thoughts on developing Minecraft, indie titles in general, and the curiously unanswered mystery of why no females appear to exist in the game. Among other things, Notch speculated that "about 62.5 percent" of any given behavior in-game was intentional, the rest being emergent behavior from the code that he wasn't expecting, but liked anyway. Wolves chasing sheep is one example of such a happy accident that ended up becoming an important bit of the setting as time went on.
He speculated that one of Minecraft's strongest suits is its lack of proper tutorials or official instructions in-game, as it always encouraged players to interact with each-other to exchange crafting tips and secrets. He was especially thrilled at how players became dependent on one another for the information, and it developed a culture of its own - a culture of crafting. Of course, despite all the unearthed crafting secrets, apparently one still remains; regarding a secret recipe, he said "there is one [recipe] people haven't found yet."
From there, he was curiously silent about what it could be. Can you discover it?
Some time ago, we talked about how Minecraft would not see release on the Playstation Vita; it would seem that Mojang has an exclusive deal with Microsoft for release on their platforms. Generally, an exclusive deal with a producer means that a given game can only be released on their licensed consoles - when (or if) the exclusivity of Minecraft may expand to other platforms is, at the moment, unknown.
We recently had a chance to look at some of the upcoming features of the XBLA release, such as customizable textures and skins, a rather innovative approach to multiplayer support, and the future of modding. What will the future hold for the console port? While the PC version is miles ahead of it's console sibling, it very well may be the standard by which the sandbox port is measured.
This week, Pico talks about Minecraft, WoW, Diablo III, Assassin's Creed, Infinite and Waking Mars - take a look!
Who is up for the prestigious BAFTA Award? Mojang's own Markus "Notch" Persson, of course! Notch himself expressed a measure of joy about his latest accomplishment:
Quote from Notch »
I’ve always considered the BAFTA Awards to be one of the most prestigious awards one can receive, and I was very happy when it expanded to cover video games in 1998. When I first heard that I would receive a BAFTA Special Award, I was blown away and deeply humbled. Going to London to accept this award is going to be a very positive and interesting experience that I’m very much looking forward to.
Proving that there is a place on BAFTA's list for games that defy the hype and fanfare of the big-name publishers and blockbuster sequels, Minecraft held its own against such triple-A titles as Call of Duty: MW3, Battlefield 3, Portal 2 and Skyrim, just to name a few. BAFTA called Minecraft a "...bizarrely repetitive and perilously addictive [game]...offering very unique gameplay, challenging players in ways that no other game does, or possibly would ever consider trying!"
Notch will be travelling to London later in March to receive his latest award in person. "Persson in person", if you will.
Hookshot's Kieth Stuart had the chance to ask the XBLA developers of Minecraft some in-depth questions recently, and they revealed a plethora of information about the upcoming console port. Among other things, the following tidbits were revealed:
Character skins will be editable (though, not at launch)
Mods will not be available "yet"; the developers want to focus on textures, skins and mods (in that order)
Multiplayer? Absolutely! Players can do up to 4-player split-screen or 8-player networked games, or any derivative thereof (two households of 4-player splitscreen, for example)
Achievements? Of course, it's XBOX! What XBLA game would be complete without them?
Can the XBLA version play with PC games? Not quite; the PC version has been (and likely will be for a long time) far ahead of the console port version, so having PC and console game sessions interact would be tricky at best - though this may change in the future
Avatar clothes/collections? Yes, although no specifics at this time
Kinect compatibility? Not just yet, but it may come in the future
What is the price? "To be announced"
The console port of the hit sandbox game is expected to be available some time this month - keep an eye out for it.
Did you vote last week for your favorite Minecraft character in the March Gaming Bracket Challenge? Your votes definitely counted - Steve and Enderman both won their respective battles! Do you think they should beat out WoW's Deathwing and Guild Wars' King Adelbern? I know I do (and I voted already) - go show those other games that they can't hold a candle to Minecraft!
David & Toby take a look at some of their favorite texture packs, including Thistle, Glimmar's Steampunk, Misa's Realistic and more - check it out!
This week on Minecraft News, David and Toby give us an in-depth look at the recent 1.2.3 update (which includes jungle biomes, iron golems, doubled world height limits and so much more), Jeb's recent engagement, the recently covered dividend giveaway by Notch, and more!
In addition, I am very excited to bring you a new feature to the front page of the Minecraft Forums - Featured Videos! The new video section is at the top of the home page, and offers up to four videos at once. To watch them, simply click the box, and you're on your way! This section will include community-made videos, as well as relevant gaming media from around the network - there will always be something for everyone to enjoy! You can try out this new feature right away, if you like. Instead of clicking the video above to watch David & Toby's latest installment, try clicking the left-most frame in the Featured Videos section, above this article at the top of the home page:
Video #1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively
That's all there is to it! We will feature videos from many different places - the Curse gaming network, the Minecraft Spotlights channel and - back by popular demand - Digital Diamonds! (Today's Digital Diamond - listed on the far right of the Featured Videos area - is a curious tale about an iron golem. Check it out!) Of course, all the latest Minecraft and Mojang news can still be found right here, as always. We hope you enjoy the new features!
The popular hand-held version of Minecraft recently cleared one million sales - congratulations, Mojang! It wasn't long ago that we began speculation on when the "1 millionth sale" landmark would be achieved, and it took just shy of two weeks to go from 750,000 sales to this remarkable milestone. Our attention now turns to the 2-million mark; it likely will not be long in coming.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition launched on Xperia Play last summer and quickly became the Android Market's most worldwide-downloaded app. The recent Survival Mode update to the game makes Pocket Edition more of an action-oriented experience, with health bars, weapons and animals included, as well as the addition of more blocks from the PC version of the game. Creative mode continues to see improvements as well; while the portable sandbox isn't expected to be a mirror of its PC counterpart, it nonetheless holds its own as a solid gaming experience.
Don't have Pocket Edition yet? You can grab it at the Android Store, or the iOS App Store right now - check it out!
The XBLA version of the game is still expected to hit consoles in March 2012.
You read it right - Instead of pocketing his sizable dividends, Markus "Notch" Persson distributed nearly 3 million dollars to fellow Mojang employees! He stated that his fellow employees (often referred to as "Mojangstas") are "a massive part of the reason Mojang is the best place on earth to work at right now." There are 25 employees working at Mojang - you see can see them all right here!
Since launch, Minecraft has generated approximately $100 million in revenue, covering the spectrum of Alpha, Beta and Full Release sales for the PC version of the game, as well as the highly popular Pocket Edition, which is currently available for Android and iOS handsets. The XBox Live Arcade version of the indie blockbuster is expected to see release this year - and if the popularity of the PC and handheld game are any indication, this figure is likely to rise dramatically.
For those of you curious what a "dividend" means in everyday terms, it is basically a form of payment made by a corporation (paid regularly, typically quarterly) to its shareholders out of its profits (or reserves). For Notch, this means "money paid to him by Mojang as a shareholder". So, Notch has taken the available dividends paid to him for the fiscal year of 2011, and distributed them among his fellow staff members, rather than take it home himself.
It is truly moving in this day and age to see such generosity from one man, especially one as successful as Notch. That a single gesture can even move a fellow co-worker to tears speaks volumes about the impact his offering has had on his teammates - perhaps, we can all look to this as an example of selfless generosity, and emulate it in kind.