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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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The Video Game Awards - an annual award ceremony in which gamers vote on the best computer and video games of the year in numerous categories - recently saw Minecraft chosen as the winner for "Best Independent Game"! This is certainly exciting news for Mojang, adding another prestigious award to their ever-growing list of accolades.

Mojang continues to work hard on the popular sandbox title, even as they strive to complete Scrolls and Cobalt - could these titles be competitors for Minecraft at next year's VGA? We may soon find out! Back to Top

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We recently showed you a bit about what went into the making of Minecon, covering the logistics of setting up the convention, and the overall experience itself - and now, there's more!  This episode touches a bit more on the personal side of Minecon; we talk about the attendees, including a few stories about getting to Minecon, meeting Minecraft Chick, and more.  We also address the "rock star" aura of Mojang's employees, noting the air of mystery and presence that follows them in the wake of their smash-hit indie title.  If you want to see a more personal side of Minecon, this is definitely worth a watch!

Minecon was, without a doubt, one of the best conventions we've had the pleasure of attending; the attendees were great to meet, Mojang had some great shows put together, and the numerous sponsors had a staggering amount of actvities, including a sneak-peek at the XBOX version of Minecraft.  We had a great time this year, and look forward to doing it again! Back to Top

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Minecraft News


This week, we've seen some amazing developments.  As Jeb steps into the Lead Developer position for Minecraft, we've seen the beginnings of language localization, a flurry of new game features and fixes, and more!  Additionally, Mojang set a record with the LEGO® CUUSOO project, landing 10,000 supporters in an impressive 48 hours!

We discuss all of this and more in this week's Minecraft News segment - give it a watch! Back to Top

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Week 49 Snapshot Now Live

The Week 49 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?


  • Sheep eat grass and regain their wool
  • Farmland is no longer destroyed by items and particles
  • Added multiple languages
  • Corrected a setTileEntity multiplayer bug
  • Corrected a powered rail bug
  • Corrected a redstone update bug


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!

Pertaining to language support, Jeb had the following to add:

Jeb said:

I would like to give a huge THANKS to all of you who helped out translating the game, and to the Minecraft Coder Pack team for helping out with the administration of the language files. Also a big thanks to Ryan ‘Scaevolus’ Hitchman for help with the Unicode rendering.

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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Multiplay Hosts Annual Xmas Contest

Do you love building?  Do you build on anything from a solo-to-six man team?  If so, Multiplay has something that may be your cup of tea - their annual Minecraft Xmas Creative Build competition!  They are running two separate types of contest - Creative Build and Speed Build - each with some pretty sweet prizes on offer!  

Creative Build Prizes:

  • 1st: $1000 and Mojang Signed Minecraft T-Shirts (One T-Shirt per player in the team)
  • 2nd: $500
  • 3rd: $250
  • 4th: $125
  • 5th: $75
  • 6th: $50

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Speed Build Prizes:

  • 1st: $500 and Mojang Signed Minecraft T-Shirts (One T-Shirt per player in the team)
  • 2nd: $250
  • 3rd: $125
  • 4th: $60
  • 5th: $40
  • 6th: $25

Multiplay also lists Game Server vouchers among the prizes to be won, as well as sponsor-donated gifts.  You can head over here for sign-up details, including team limits, deadlines for the contest, and more.  Entrants with questions or concerns regarding the contest can log in right over here, and submit a ticket to Minecraft Tournament Inquiries. Good luck, guys!

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TIME Magazine Lists Minecraft in a Top 10 List

TIME Magazine recently assembled a "Top 10 Games of 2011" list, and named Minecraft in the #1 spot!  They note the games' nearly endless, player-driven complexity and open-ended design as major draws, adding that "[Minecraft is] so great, it should be on the list every year."  The game was lauded for its replayability and overall "fun" factor:

TIME Magazine said:

The complexity comes from you: the Minecraft universe is so endlessly, pleasurably reconfigurable and customizable that it rewards you for the zillions of hours you sink into it by becoming a reflection of your imagination.

Minecraft's popularity is already well-known in gaming circles, but with each passing day, it becomes a known and loved fixture in more and more places; it is, in many ways, a cultural icon - one which is embodying a new generation of gaming.  Who will be next to discover this amazing game?  Time will tell! Back to Top

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Minecraft Pocket Edition On Sale

Minecraft: Pocket Edition has been one of the hottest portable apps available for some time. Did you ever want to get a copy, but were concerned about the price tag? Today may be your lucky day - PE is currently on sale for $0.10! Yes, that's "ten cents" (or £0.10, or €0.10 - whatever your local currency may be) - now is the perfect time to grab a great portable game for practically nothing. While it is still currently in Creative mode only, Mojang already pointed out a Survival mode for the future - the timing couldn't be better to pick up this gem. Give it a look! Keep in mind, this sale is only for the Android version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

One Account to Rule Them All

It seems that Mojang is preparing for the future release of titles, with their current players in mind. In the near future, Mojang plans to have one player account merge with all of their titles, such as Minecraft, Scrolls and Cobalt, with a single login. From there, the ability to create separate player profiles/names will be possible, allowing for a number of scenarios, including having a single account for multiple users in a household. They had this to say on the new account system:

Mojang said:

The reason for this change is first and foremost to keep things simple for players who wish to play our other games, or to have several Minecraft accounts under the same roof.


While existing Minecraft accounts are not being forced into the new system, there will be a mandatory "opt-in" sometime in the future. It is their hope to have the system rolled out for Cobalt some time this month, then early next year for Minecraft accounts. Mojang has requested feedback from users on the topic; you can leave your feedback here. Back to Top

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LEGO® and Minecraft - Together?

LEGO® is working on an exciting new project, LEGO® CUUSOO - and Mojang is getting in on it! The idea behind the project is simple - come up with an idea for a LEGO® model and submit it to the project. If entrants get 10,000 or more supporters of their idea, then it has a chance of becoming a full-fledged LEGO® product! Mojang has entered into this project, and you can support them - head over to the site, sign up, and vote for Mojang - and we may begin to see authentic Minecraft-themed LEGO® sets in the near future! Mojang noted that they have included a number of LEGO® enthusiasts to design sets with them, and are interested in seeing yours as well! Supporters with great ideas may be invited to join them in their collaborative efforts, to be a part of their efforts.

Mojang said:

Seeing LEGO Minecraft sets is also our dream, so we linked to one of the projects. It’s clear to us that there are many creative people with good ideas for this and we want to throw our own hat into the ring and start this project to bring the best LEGO Minecraft builders together.


Want to help design LEGO® models with Mojang? Want to show your support? Head on over and vote now!

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The Future of Minecraft - Pocket Edition

Daniel Kaplan recently elaborated on the future of Minecraft - Pocket Edition, amid speculation regarding future updates, fixes and more. He noted that one of the earliest priorities during the release of the iOS version was ensuring the stability of the game, which temporarily suspended updates on the Android version. However, as the last major update for the iOS version prepares to roll out, Daniel has shared that one of the first things they plan to work on is a version of Survival Mode for Pocket Edition. While it will not be a point-for-point carry-over of the desktop Survival Mode - which isn't conducive to a touch-screen environment - he provided the following itinerary for future updates:


  • A new file system – to make sure we can support items and mobs in the world
  • Item system – to be able to pick up items
  • Crafting – This will probably need some iterations since the interface will be customized for the touch devices
  • Inventory system
  • Mobs – animals and enemies!
  • Optimizing rendering code – we are experimenting with caves but need to make it work better before we are able to release it
  • Clean up of code and overall optimization
  • Please note that we don’t have any dates set yet. Also, please make sure you update your phone/pods to the latest version of your operating system for best compatability.


No release dates are currently available; however, Daniel strongly recommends keeping portable devices patched to the most recent version, to ensure best compatibility. We will announce any release dates as the information becomes available - check in frequently!

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Bukkit Panel Revisited

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



Not long ago, we brought you an insider's look into the Bukkit panel at Minecon. Today, we have a high-quality remake of the panel - complete with enhanced audio - check it out! Back to Top

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We had a great time at Minecon this year!  Without a doubt, one of the most exciting aspects was getting a chance to give back something to the community for all their support and encouragement, in our Diamond Deposit Scavenger Hunt!  Before we announce the winners below, we would like to give a special thanks to each and every person who came to see us - it was incredibly exciting and fun to conduct the scavenger hunt, and we couldn't have done it without you!

Now, let's get to the winners of this year's Diamond Deposit Scavenger Hunt!

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Posted Image  Minecraft-Themed 250GB Xbox   

Winner:
  • DeltaKilo81


DeltaKilo81 is now in possession of one of only three customized Minecraft Xbox 360s in the world!  Want a shot at the last one?  It's not too late - sign up now for a chance to own an ultra-rare collector's item!  You can see more details in this video - check it out!


Posted Image Ultimate Razer Gaming Peripherals Pack  
Naga gaming mouse, Goliathus extended speed mouse mat, Anansi gaming keyboard, Electra gaming audio

Winners:
  • Robert Bund
  • Josh Young
  • Natty Coleman (realitybroken)
  • Franz Michael


Razer gaming peripherals are world-renowned for their high quality, incredible precision and unmatched performance - specifically tailored for gamers, by gamers.  Congratulations!


Posted Image Minecraft Branded Xperia PLAY 4G (signed by Notch)

Winners:
  • Jordan Chipman
  • Jonathan Bottger


Xperia Play is a gamer's dream smartphone.  As the first Playstation-certified smartphone, this feature-packed handset is everything a gamer-on-the-go could ask for!


Posted Image Solid-State Drive

Winners:
  • Criswell
  • Matt Slote (5c11)
  • UNICORNSSS
  • GI Ibinezie


These 160GB monsters have incredibly fast load times (over 270 MB/s!), so you spend more time playing, and less time waiting.  With built-in data-loss protection, incredible performance and variable sizes for your needs, these solid-state drives are a must-have for any hardcore gamer!


Posted Image Xbox 360 250GB Kinect Holiday Bundle (signed by Notch)

Winners:
  • Duncan Platt
  • Spencer Reed
  • Zachery Young (Big Zed)


Kinect brings games even closer to the real world, by making you the controller!  With a fluid, innovative interface and a library of awesome titles, Kinect is a definite hot-item for the modern-day gamer!


Posted Image Custom-built gaming PC
Featuring a Core i7 (3.40ghz) Processor, 8GB RAM, MSI Overclocking, liquid-cooling and nVidia-powered graphics

Winner:
  • David Haskins


Cole2's World offers the finest in Minecraft server hosting - with superior servers and a unique ranks/rewarding system, Cole2's World is a sure bet for stable, high-performance Minecraft servers!


Posted Image $100 J!NX Gift Certificate

Winners:
  • Jacob Ross
  • Tyson Acree
  • TheDemon021
  • Cameron Stanton
  • Amber Breitigan


J!nx has been a gamer-clothing powerhouse since 1999, providing a huge assortment of excellent, high-quality gamer T-shirts, accessories and more!



Congratulations to all the winners!  We would also like to extend our sincerest thanks to our partners for their participation in this incredible event - you guys are amazing!  Finally, we thank you guys, for your participation, support and love of the game.  We had a great time putting this together for you, and we look forward to doing something even bigger at next year's Minecon - we'll see you there!

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Pico goes on the Scavenger Hunt!


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Xbox Giveaway Contest Details!

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One of the greatest challenges in covering Minecraft is, without a doubt, "where to begin?" As one of the most open-ended sandbox games we've ever seen, it presents almost limitless possibilities - does one use it in Survival, and attempt to carve a one-man (or multi-player) nation from the soil? Do we shift instead into Creative, and attempt mind-blowing architecture, redstone machinery, or something even more exotic? Do we install one or more of the massive number of game mods to add new angles, challenges and content to an already robust game? What can we cover, with so much on our plate?

A better question might be, "what can't we cover". That list would be much, much shorter.

The last two weeks have seen a flurry of activity in every direction - Mojang released the full version of the game at a sold-out Minecon, and players began creating mods, texture packs and more like never before. In a sense, Minecraft grows by the efforts of more than just an amazing company, but an equally amazing player-base. Both have shown immense amounts of love, dedication and effort to make something great become even greater.

Full Release, Forever Growing

The release of Minecraft was never meant to be an end - rather, it has been described as a milestone. While the full release gave us a number of additional features - nether architecture, new biomes, even dragons - it still has so much to offer, and to add.

Even the company that created the game is undergoing changes of its own; the recent announcement of Jens Bergensten becoming the new lead developer for Minecraft certainly earned a great deal of notice. Notch expressed the utmost confidence in his colleague's abilities, and reiterated that he was not removing himself from development entirely, simply stepping down as lead developer. Jens has always shown himself to be a positive force in Minecraft, and we certainly look forward to where he will take us.

Updates for the game are ongoing; weekly "snapshot" releases continue to involve the player-base in the updating process directly, giving them an opportunity to see and test upcoming features and fixes. When looked at objectively, this is an interesting approach, as not many game developers get the community involved in the patching process. At least, not until the patch or update go live. From a player's perspective, this can be seen as an unprecedented amount of involvement with the development team, an opportunity to help shape a game as it's being worked on. It's a rare thing, and one that really cannot be overstated.


The Community, The Contests

Some time ago, we began a Weekly Content Contest. It was our hope that we could get the community involved in an engaging, ongoing project that gave artists, coders and other creative minds the exposure that only a massive community can offer. It has been incredibly exciting to see what you guys come up with, and whatever obstacles have been presented up to this point, it has been an amazing run so far. This week, the community has assembled a daunting array of Team Fortress 2-themed monster skins, many of which are nothing shy of incredible. There will be a poll to vote on your favorites soon - keep an eye out for it.

We don't want to reveal too much, but next week's planned contest is going to be a big one.


C418 Speaks; Collector's Xbox Giveaway

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



C418 was kind enough to offer his insights on composing, the future of Minecraft's music, and a look into a few of his favorite games. I had a lot of fun speaking with him - both off- and on-camera - it's always an interesting experience to speak with an accomplished person and get their insights. It's funny how often we lose sight of just how human our heroes are - that they may enjoy the same music or games that we do - still, that very thing is part of what makes people like C418 so remarkable. Perhaps it's the inspiration such individuals offer; it shows us that some heights are worth striving for, and a surprising number of them are attainable.

That he happens to be a fan of Skyrim doesn't hurt either.

During Minecon, J!nx was selling 500 glow-in-the-dark creepers, the only ones like them anywhere. While I had access to the booth before the convention, I couldn't bring myself to buy one before the guests arrived; it wasn't fair to them. Out there, somewhere, are 500 people with an amazing piece of Minecraft history in their hands, and they can hold them up proudly, knowing that they are in possession of something that will never be made again, something that says, "I am a dedicated Minecraft fan." In some ways, it's always been about the fans, those dedicated gamers who have lifted an indie game from one man's home into the annals of gaming history. That the gaming community itself should give something back to them seems only right.

Earlier in the week, we made mention of a particularly special Xbox 360, and it is still up for grabs! There are only three like it in the world, and two are already accounted for. This could very well be the last opportunity to get your hands on a true gem of a collector's item - check out the details here. Back to Top

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