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Ask Jeb Anything - Many Have, and Jeb Has Answered

Jens "Jeb" Bergensten recently wrapped up his "Ask Me Anything" session!  He talks about his feelings on the current enchanting system (and possible changes to it), his favorite addition to the game, his pre-Mojang history, and so much more.  You can read all of his answers by clicking this link, be sure to check it out!  Want a sample of the sorts of questions he addressed?

Jeb said:

Villagers are still barely done. I also want to look at the experience / enchanting system. And I really want to add to the farming stuff... It's hard to find time for these things, though, because we are working on bigger things "outside" of the game at the moment.
I don't plan to add a new dimension at the moment. It's just to performance heavy on servers, and the current dimensions need more attention before we start adding new ones.
I'd remove all the lighting bugs without decreasing game performance ;)
I don't want to add new ores just because I can. I want new ores to serve a new purpose.
Not sure about the status of expansions at the moment. I think an expansion needs to be something of a total conversion.

You can see Jeb's entire AMA session by clicking this link.  Do you still have questions for Mojang?  You can still ask them directly - Mojang has their AMA schedule freely available; just click here to see their upcoming schedule, so you can ask your favorite Mojang developer anything you like!  We have already heard from Daniel Kaplan (aka Kappische) and Jens "Jeb" Bergensten - coming up on Monday, April 9th is Nathan "Dinnerbone" Adams, formerly of the Bukkit team.  If you want to ask him anything, be sure to mark your calendars!

Notch Focuses on Space - A New Game

Anyone following Notch may have noticed his most recent project, a game focusing on space, computer engineering and other sci-fi themes.  His project - currently named "0x10c" - brings to mind a sort of space-survival theme, with a focus on ship maintenance, landing on planets, programming a real in-game computer, and more.  In Notch's own words:

Notch said:

In a parallel universe where the space race never ended, space travel was gaining popularity amongst corporations and rich individuals.

In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.

It's now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.

The game isn't yet available for testing, although he wishes to approach it much as he did Minecraft in its early days; players will be able to play-test it in Alpha (and throughout development), with a fairly low price to begin with.  Without a doubt, the star of the show is his in-game computer, a real, programmable machine that can be programmed, updated and tweaked much like a real-life one:

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Each ship has a generator capable of producing a fixed wattage, and everything you connect to it drains wattage. A cloaking field, for example, might require almost all the power from the generator, forcing you to turn off all computers and dim all lights in order to successfully cloak.

The computer in the game is a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.

You can follow his progress on the game right here.  I know we will be watching for it.

User-Made Mod Review: "Move Plus"


YouTuber "TheGamersCave" brings us a look at the mod "Move Plus", which allows things like double-jumping, wall jumps and even parkour-specific controls in normal terrain.  Anyone looking for a mod to make their game a little more acrobatic, this mod is definitely worth a look - be sure to check out TheGamersCave's review, and let him know what you think!

Fireside Chat with Notch

Recently, the GDC Vault had a chance to sit down for a candid talk with Markus "Notch" Persson on his many thoughts on Minecraft.  They cover a wide range of topics, including why he chose to simulate some things in the game accurately and not others, his predictions for the future, "girl" options, and much much more.  Check out this link to see the full discussion - it is nearly an hour long, and he doesn't hold back on the juicy details!

Minecraft Companion App, FTW

Having a massive, comprehensive wiki on Minecraft is usually the first stop for anyone looking for recipes, redstone tips and all things Minecraft.  However, what about those who want a mobile option for in-game information?  Minecraft Explorer Pro might be for you - this iPhone App offers detailed info on in-game items, recipes, and even a "Skin Studio" to browse, create and alter skins for your game.  This app is definitely a welcome addition to any hardcore Minecrafter's toolkit, and is super-cheap besides, weighing in at 99 cents USD.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed! Back to Top

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Numerous Minecraft characters made their way through the March Gaming Bracket Challenge, but now - in the grand finale - only the creeper is left standing.  His opponent?  Diablo's "Tyrael"; truly a fearsome opponent.  Can our creeper beat him?  I think so - head on over and vote for him now!

Mojang to Host AMAs on Reddit

Ever wanted to ask a member of Mojang a question, and have a real shot at getting an answer?  Your time is now; Mojang is hosting their own AMA ("Ask me Anything") series this month!  You can see the current schedule right here - included in the upcoming AMAs will be Markus Persson (aka Notch), Jens Bergensten (aka jeb_), Jon Kågström, Daniel Kaplan, Tobias Möllstam, Nathan Adams (aka Dinnerbone), Nathan Gilbert (aka Tahg), Warren Loo (aka EvilSeph), and Marc Watson.  Don't miss your chance to Ask Mojang Anything!

Today, you can ask Daniel Kaplan - Mojang's Business Developer - anything, so head over and ask away! Back to Top

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We take a look at the second and final half of our interview with Jens "Jeb" Bergensten, lead developer of Minecraft - we finish up our discussion about the upcoming Mod API, and chat a bit with Jeb on a variety of topics, including the future of SSP/SMP. In addition, this week's Round-Up includes Lindsay giving us news on WoW Pandaria, Diablo III, Star Wars: Old Republic, Guild War 2, and the indie game of the week, ColourBind. Check it out!

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Jeb Speaks: Mod API, Better AI & More



Today, we have a special treat - an interview with Jens "Jeb" Bergensten, lead developer of Minecraft! We touch on a number of topics, including the future of Minecraft, possible AI updates and - the moment everyone has been waiting for - the introduction of a fully supported mod API! Take a look!

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This week, David & Toby tackle a number of interesting topics, including Pocket Edition updates, updates on the recent "Scrolls" lawsuit, and more - take a look! Back to Top

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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.

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Community Spotlight - Savage Realms



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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!


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XBLA Minecraft Sneak Peek - Split-Screen!



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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! Back to Top

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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.

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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. Back to Top

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After many months of providing an amazing plug-in service for the Minecraft community, Bukkit has officially joined the Mojang team!  There are some immediately obvious benefits - official support for the game, better resources to develop Bukkit further - as well as the ability to develop tools, mod support and more which can be officially integrated into the game!

Bukkit developer EvilSeph stated numerous reasons for the move, including a desire to have better mod support for the game, that was more easily accessible to the community at large.

EvilSeph said:

When news broke out about Mojang organising a Minecon, the entire community was alight with excitement and anticipation. Even today, I still find the sheer dedication from the fans unbelievable and overwhelming. Though we were also excited about Minecon, there was no way we would be able to go since Bukkit is an open source, free project. Much to our surprise, though, Curse had other plans in mind. They decided to fly us over, cover our tickets and accommodation, host us in their booth and setup a panel for us. I've never met a company that cares more about gaming than Curse: when the possibility of their supporting the Bukkit project first came up, we were all blown away. Curse wanted to throw themselves behind our project. They wanted to provide us with the support and resources we needed to continue functioning, no questions asked and their desire to send us to Minecon further reinforced this opinion we had of them. Thanks to their support, we were able to go to Minecon, have a great time and put together a panel filled with our fans, as well as sneak off to a secret meeting with Mojang.

From that meeting, a partnership was born.  We here at Curse are proud to have supported Bukkit, and to do whatever it took to help them continue doing what they did best - making an incredible set of tools for Minecraft players.  We very much look forward to seeing a Bukkit-driven multiplayer experience in the coming days, and wish them the very best with their future at Mojang!  You can read EvilSeph's full write-up right here, as well as Mojang's official statement on their home page - check it out!

Bukkit started in December of 2010, with the intent to develop tools to help run and extend SMP servers.  Response to their project idea was massively overwhelming - so much so that their hosting server almost outright failed numerous times.  Around this time, Curse & Multiplay's Steve Hartland offered their support, to make sure Bukkit was able to keep moving forward.  While the Bukkit team had often dreamed of developing a proper Mod API (and certainly had the skill-set for it), they lacked the experience of handling something of that magnitude.  Mojang, upon meeting with them at Minecon, discussed their ideas and the future of both Bukkit and Minecraft, and from there, the rest is history.

Once again, a HUGE "congratulations" to the Bukkit team from everyone here at Curse and the Minecraft Forum!  Your hard work and perseverance definitely earned it!




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The March Gaming Bracket Challenge presented by Curse and Alienware is a tournament that pits random video game characters against one another!

Each week in March we will be matching up characters from your favorite Curse Network fansites; from Skyrim to Starcraft, WoW to Minecraft. Who gets through to the next round is up to you since your votes decide who rises up and who falls in this arena!  Do you want to see Steve, the Enderman or some other Minecraft star win the battle?  Head on over and vote on your favorite!




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Pico gives us news on Minecraft, LoL, Guild Wars 2, Realm of the Mad God, Aion and Border Lands 2 - check it out!





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Dead Worker's Party member Brent Copeland has a LP series!  Check it out! Back to Top

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Minecraft for PS Vita? Unfortunately...

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It seems that Minecraft will not be coming to Playstation after all. In a business meeting including Daniel Kaplan, it was confirmed that there were "no plans" to bring the indie title to PS Vita (Sony's handheld equivalent to the Nintendo DS), despite overwhelming success on the Sony handheld, Xperia.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition launched on Xperia Play last summer and quickly became the Android Market's most worldwide-downloaded app. Approximately 8500 people have played the game on the device since its unveiling. 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.

The XBLA version of the game is still expected to hit consoles in March 2012.

Want to Code "Catacomb Snatch" Yourself?

With Mojam all wrapped up, Mojang's new title "Catacomb Snatch" is, technically, complete! However, Jeb has decided to encourage budding programmers by giving tips on how to use the open-source code of the game. He goes over his own history of getting into game development, as well as offering some helpful instructions to prospective game designers who might decide to take on the task of working on "Catacomb Snatch" further. He also offered sources for the development tools needed to code a Java game (using his examples), as well as positing a number of tasks and challenges for anyone brave enough to take them on. What can you add or improve on "Catacomb Snatch"?




Dead Worker's Party - The Eye



The Dead Worker's Party begins a new adventure this week, "The Eye"! What strange things await the entrepid trio? Can they solve the mystery of their amnesia? Will they ever get that minecart to work correctly? Give it a watch to find out! Back to Top

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Minecraft has hit over 5,000,000 (five million) sales, and over 20 million registered users! It seems like only yesterday that Minecraft was fully released at Minecon, and features were still being added even then. From beds to bedrock fog, Minecraft spent 2011 in a constant state of growth, and continues to do so well into 2012. As the game grows, so does the player-base; it wasn't long before over 4 million people bought the game, and now, even that number seems so far away.

Now, it seems that Pocket Edition has some catching up to do! Having hit 750,000 sales in January, the portable Minecraft port has quickly become a fixture in its own right - how long will it be before we see over 1 million sales for this ever-expanding game for the travelling builder? Every update brings more and more of the popular PC title to handhelds, with the most recent update bringing elements of Survival to Pocket Edition, including monsters, tools and even more blocks than before, to name just a few.

It's almost impossible to really grasp the totality of how far Minecraft has come, and how much Mojang has grown. What will the next major landmark be for the smash-hit sandbox game, and the blockbusting team behind it? We're not sure, but with Mojam still in full swing, there exists ample opportunities to aim ever higher. Back to Top

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Mojang is in full swing with their Humble Bundle project, Mojam! What is it? Simple! Mojang is writing a fully complete, playable game from scratch in the span of a weekend! As with previous Humble Bundles, you can pay whatever you like to get the game upon completion, and all proceeds will go to your choice of four excellent charities. Taking feedback from their earlier poll on the topic (with over 100,000 votes!), Mojang is teaming up with Humble Bundle founding team Wolfire Games to create a real-time strategy shoot-em-up, with an Egyptian steampunk theme! Cobalt creators Oxeye Game Studios are tackling an equally ambitious project - a dungeon-crawler beat em' up set in post-apocalyptic World War 2!

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Graph updated: Mojam has completed!



Want to see these killer teams at work, live? Head over to the Humble Bundle site, where you can watch all available live feeds, chat with other viewers, and more! Is all of that still not enough? There's more - you can also hit up their Google Moderator session for some Q&A! We will be updating all links regularly (included below in a list for your convenience), so be sure to check back often. Good luck to Mojang, Wolfire and Oxeye on your upcoming titles, we're looking forward to it!







Updates!



  • In the early moments of Mojam, Minecraft cleared over 5 million sales! Congratulations, Mojang!
  • MinecraftChick confirmed during today's livestream that tomorrow (2/19/12), the stream will be "interactive", including tours of the office, giveaways and more
  • For users who have already donated, a new build of Catacomb Snatch has been released!
  • Oxeye intern Frall spent some time chatting directly with users on the stream!
  • Notch to arrive at 10:00 GMT +1 to work the remaining 12 hours - Oxeye gets some much-deserved rest!


Videos!



Mojang hits their $75,000 mark - so Notch & (shirtless) Jeb arm wrestle!




Jens Bergensten (Jeb) being fabulous!



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A sneak peek at Mojang's title, "Catacomb Snatch"!

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