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This week has seen some interesting developments!  We take a look at Mojang's latest hire, a few new games - namely, Oxeye's latest gem, Cobalt - a rolling, shooting, fast-paced and highly entertaining platform shooter - and Notch's Ludum Dare entry, an amusing romp through what could easily be interpreted as the prelude to Minecraft's rather elusive back-story - take a look! Back to Top

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We saw a lot of neat things at Minecon, many of which we have already covered here.  Still, even the most awesome convention in the world wouldn't have been worth it without you guys, and we saw a LOT of you there - roughly 5,000 attendees packed into the convention, waited in long lines, traveled from booth to booth, saw numerous panels and even met Mojang in person.

At our Curse booth, we had a green-screen photo op, where people could get themselves inserted into the Minecraft world, and from where I was sitting, it seemed like nearly every attendee paid us a visit at some point!  It was really awesome getting to meet some of our users, and see the creative ways they could immerse themselves into their chosen backgrounds.  Below, we show off some of our favorites - check it out!  You can click on any of the images for a larger version.

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I didn't know they implemented back-stabbing mechanics in the game already!


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Pico likes hitting sheep until they do her bidding.  Give me your secrets, sheep!


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Everyone says that creepers just want a hug.  He went above and beyond!

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Steve has taught us that punching trees is not only a viable wood-gathering method, but that we can't be injured from it!


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While the other guy tried to make nice with Mr. Creeper, this one seems less amorous and more terrified.  Better get out of the blast radius!


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She seems less concerned with the spider and more focused on the guy with a pickaxe.  Maybe he's a griefer?

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She wields this spider like a fencing foil, which sounds strange at first, until you consider how awesome it would be to chase other players around attacking them with your own spider.


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He was waiting for someone else, but the creeper showed up instead.  ...unless he was waiting for the creeper...


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One may think he's trying to keep the creeper at a distance, but what you don't see off-camera is the legion of silverfish rushing at him.


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Father/son traditions are as old as time itself, and this is no exception.  If you can't teach your boy how to hunt mobs, who can?

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The Game

During the weekend, Notch was hard at work producing "Minicraft" for the Ludum Dare contest, and the end-result is a fascinating one, to say the least. Pulling elements (yet not the entirety) from Minecraft, this top-down Zelda-esque game contains a lot of familiar themes: mine materials, craft new and better items, slay monsters. It is, in this respect, where the two games diverge a bit, thematically. Building homes isn't an option, in the conventional sense; while you could push together a number of workbenches to achieve that affect, it serves little purpose to do so. No, the goal of the game is simultaneously much simpler than that, and much harder to accomplish: Kill the only other sentient person in existence, so you can be alone, forever.

Once the game starts, you begin with a bare handful of equipment (not including the classic pick), and must gather materials to create workbenches, anvils, tools and more, all the while exploring a large, diverse environment. As your equipment improves and you explore more of the world, it all culminates into your sole objective (kill the Air Wizard) - at which point, you are victorious, if not endangered.

One thing quickly becomes apparent; what sounds like a childishly simple task reveals a startling level of depth and complexity, especially for a game developed in approximately two days.

Aside from the eerie theme, the game could be said to draw from Minecraft, rather than be a 2D port of it. While certain aspects of the game are shared between the two (mining, crafting items), the driving goals of the game are wildly divergent. Stacking up against 700 other competitors, time will tell how Minicraft fares - you can play it right here.

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Have you heard about Reckoning? We got an exclusive release video on this very game - check it out!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARtOCjVTVwM

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Send In the Sheep

Sheep have been a popular focus for the two most recent weekly snapshot releases, although this attention has definitely produced positive results. Sheep will - in 1.1.0 - be able to regrow wool, which is a welcome addition for crafters and builders alike; gone will be the days of scouring the countryside for sheep who still bear their glorious woolly gifts, littering the landscape with bare livestock. While it is true that they eat grass to do this, it seems a small price to pay - grass is easy to replenish, and is everywhere.

I can finally open the painting shop made of technicolor cloth I always dreamed of on SMP servers.

This is, of course, not the only improvement on the horizon; sturdier farmland, multiple bugfixes (including a fix for a particularly insidious SMP glitch) and multi-lingual support all feature heavily in the coming updates, setting the stage for a cleaner, more refined Minecraft experience. One must wonder what features will follow, but one thing is definitely clear - Minecraft is showing no signs of slowing down.

Ludum Dare Returns; Notch Answers the Call

The Ludum Dare is upon us again, and Notch has returned for round two. This event always produces some highly entertaining games, but more importantly, showcases programmers at their best: under a tight deadline, doing what they love. What sort of innovative short game has he devised this year? You can see for yourself - without giving anything away, it is certainly innovative, and worth a look. If nothing else, I can say this much about it - if you like top-down style games, and you like Minecraft, this game will certainly seem delightfully familiar.

Just don't try and hit zombies with wood planks.

Cobalt Underway

Cobalt is currently in the Alpha phase, and like Minecraft before it, you can pick it up while it's still in development. Before I could play it, I knew only that it was an action platformer with a decidedly robot flavor, and while that was enticing enough in its own right, I couldn't appreciate the full depth of the game until I played it myself.

There is so much rolling. So very much rolling.

It's strangely addictive, in its own way. I grew up in the era of platform games, when they were at their peak; in hindsight, I only remember a handful of them standing out. Cobalt is definitely the sort of game that stands out - while it certainly occupies a populated genre, it does so in an endearing, memorable way. I never tire of rolling enemies' attacks back in their faces, to say nothing of the insidious tricks I've picked up while playing multi-player mode. It's a heated topic, one I discuss frequently with others.

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Don't forget that we have a Star Wars-themed Content Contest going on right now - check it out! Back to Top

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The Day Has Come - For Cobalt

Long ago, side-scrolling platform games were the final word in gaming - they were the measure of entertainment, skill and determination.  As time went on, that unique brand of fun somehow never wore out - if anything, it only got better with time.  And now, here we are in the future; better hardware, smarter players and an ever-growing demand have come together into a single, shining point of light - and that light is Cobalt!

Much like Minecraft in it's infancy, Cobalt is being released in an Alpha stage today, to let people have a chance to play-test it, and see the game as it develops firsthand.  Developed by indie team Oxeye Game Studios and published by Mojang, this highly addictive action platformer already has the makings of a great game.  Want to try it out for yourself?  Check out the official Cobalt Forums and Cobalt Wiki now for details!

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This week, we take a look into the recent Video Game Awards, the previous week's snapshot release (#49), with a particular focus on the new "Mob Egg" objects, which allow you to spawn any sort of critter or monster you like into your Creative games - take a look! Back to Top

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Two weeks ago, we had a TF2-themed Weekly Content Contest that absolutely blew the two previous contests out of the water. There were so many quality entries that it seemed unfair to merely spotlight a handful, when 99% of them were solid gold. Still, the contests have been a great way to showcase some of the best creations the community has to offer, and we want to take it a step further, to give you guys something back for your amazing creations!

Star Wars: The Old Republic recently started early access for those who pre-ordered the game, with the full launch slated for the 20th. In celebration, we will be hosting a Star Wars-themed Minecraft contest, right here on Minecraft Forums! So, how does it work? Simple!

  • Create something awesome in Minecraft that has something to do with Star Wars - go wild! Videos, skins, constructions, mods, anything at all - as long as the first impression it gives is "wow".
  • 10 lucky winners get picked to win a FREE Curse Premium Subscription!


That's all there is to it! Once you have your submission ready, fill out the form below:

  • Entrant name(s):
  • Entry type (Video, Construction, etc):
  • Approximate Time to Create:
  • Additional Notes (anything you'd like to add):


Submit this form, along with an attachment containing your entry, to our contest mailbox, and you're set! Please note, ALL entries must be submitted in this format to be considered. Videos, texture packs, and skins should be submitted "as-is", preferably compressed in an archived format, such as WinZip/WinRAR/7Zip. The exception is constructions - we understand that these may be built either in private games or on servers, so screenshots and/or videos of your in-game creations are all we need!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6YXk0VQCic


A sample entry - what can you make? Show us!



This contest runs from December 15th, 2011 through January 15th, 2012. Entries must be received by the final date for consideration - no exceptions! While we have no stipulations for any content you may have already created, we do ask that you provide proof of ownership - ideally, by presenting the original source - for consideration. Note that entrants may make more than one submission, but if they do, only one will be considered (if both are winners), to give everyone a fair shot. Good luck! Back to Top

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Week 50 Snapshot Now Live

The Week 50 Snapshot was recently released for testing! As with prior weekly "snapshots", this must be installed over an existing minecraft.jar file in order to be tested out. What's new in this test version? We'll list the info as it becomes available!


  • Sheep eat grass and tallgrass (confirmed)
  • Multiple language support - continued revisions
  • Added a few multiplayer spam protections to prevent packet spam and chat spam
  • Added a few new lines to the splash texts


Eager to test out these new features? You can grab the snapshot client right here; SMP server hosts can test these out in multiplayer as well; get the server jar right here! To use these, you need to replace the jar file in the application folder and then start the game normally. Find a bug? Report them here!

The language files are still work in progress, so translation errors and mistakes may still exist. As stated earlier, the snapshots are in development versions of the game.

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Download this week's "snapshot" files below:

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Mojang has always been a company of innovation; from the time it was a company of one, up to the present day where approximately 10 employees just isn't enough, they have always embodied a sense of "breaking the mold". Not content to simply follow the trend of war-based first-person shooters, they aimed for something completely different, and Minecraft was the result. Given the resounding success of the game, it's not hard to see why everyone is excited about their future projects.

Even the personal projects generate an unusual amount of positive attention.

Mojang continues to pile up awards, winning over virtually every establishment capable of bestowing such accolades one by one. It's amazing in a way I never thought possible in the gaming industry - as we watched the same sort of games get produced year after year, one indie game dared to do something different - and succeeded phenomenally at it. Who would've thought two years ago that a simple block-building game would essentially define a new genre?

Weekly Content Contest - Trials and Tribulations

What began as another simple contest quickly grew beyond its means, at an alarming rate. While prior contests had been popular enough, this particular one exceeded every expectation possible, and it rapidly became apparent that there were too many good submissions to fairly pick a mere handful. What began as a struggle to objectively categorize a daunting number of high-quality submissions became a lesson in player creativity; we will not make the mistake of underestimating how creative people can be going forward. I welcome everyone to check out every single submission here, and choose a favorite (or two, or five) for yourself. In the end, all of them were phenomenal.

In light of the overwhelming number of entries to our most recent contest, we offer the following in return - a contest with real prizes. What prizes? What contest? You'll find out on December 15th - keep an eye out for it. We promise that it will be worth it.

Going Forward - Mojang, Minecraft & More

We've had the opportunity to sit down with a number of notable figures this week. Carl Manneh offered his insights into the future of Minecraft and Scrolls, as well as a surprise reveal for Cobalt, announcing its arrival in the very near future. He added that Mojang is hiring, and invites anyone who thinks they have what it takes to sign up. Skill, teamwork and a love for games are the chief points, but not the only salient ones. If you have ever wanted a chance to shape the future of the games you love, a better opportunity has never presented itself.

LEGO®, Localization

When LEGO® opened their CUUSOO project, they tried to determine what the ideal time-frame would be for a submitted idea to reach the required number of supporters. Their own words speak volumes on this very thing:

LEGO® CUUSOO said:

We never expected a project to meet the threshold this quickly while still in beta. It took our first launch, the Shinkai 6500, 420 days to reach 1,000 votes in Japan. Hayabusa took 57 days to 1,000. With the start of Mojang’s Minecraft CUUSOO project it took just 48 hours to get 10,000 worldwide. We admire your passion as a community first and foremost of Minecraft fans, and second as LEGO fans.


3 server outages and 10,000 unique supporters later, Mojang's Minecraft-themed LEGO® ideas entered the review phase. One has to wonder what the first official Minecraft set could be - grassy plains? A scale-model creeper? A dungeon in a cave? This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of player-made designs either, and that says a lot about the nearly endless potential of Minecraft LEGO® sets. What will you build?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA24HKCBbXY



This week's Weekly Round Up touches on a wide array of goings-on in the gaming world. This week, we take a look at Diablo 3, World of Warcraft and, of course, Minecraft. Take a look! Back to Top

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Do you like Minecraft?  Do you think you have what it takes to be a developer with Mojang?  Today's interview touches on this very subject!  We had a chance to sit down with Carl Manneh - CEO of Mojang - to discuss their recent employment openings, the development direction of Minecraft & Scrolls, and a surprise about the upcoming adventure side-scroller, Cobalt!

Carl gave us a solid break-down of the kind of developer they are looking for; without giving too much of it away, we can say that applicants must have the ability to work in a dynamic environment, and have a healthy love for games.  Later on, we discussed the future direction of Scrolls, as well as multi-platform support for Mojang's games.  Finally, Carl generously offered a bit of secret information about Cobalt - we don't want to spoil it, so check it out!  

If you want to know more about Cobalt, check out our Cobalt wiki - we update it constantly with the latest Cobalt news, so don't miss out!

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Don't forget that we still have one ultra-rare Minecraft-themed Xbox360 to give away!  Want your shot at this once-in-a-lifetime collectors item?  Head over to our sign-up page for details! Back to Top

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