We recently had an opportunity to interview Jens Bergensten, Game Developer at Mojang, about a variety of topics - including (but not limited to) the highly-anticipated 1.8 Adventure Update! Take a look:
MCF: When did you first become interested in game development?
Jeb: Not sure actually, but I was very young. I always preferred games that had map editors. I remember a neighbor who had a shoot'em'up game maker for the C64, and I was very envious. I made hundreds of maps for Lode Runner on the old Apple, though.
MCF: What would you say has been your greatest challenge with developing Minecraft?
Jeb: So far most things have been fairly simple, but I'm really struggling with the NPC and dungeons. It's hard to add new "goals" to Minecraft.
MCF: With or without specifics, have you ever taken inspiration from the community, in regards to development direction?
Jeb: Sure, but I don't remember anything specific at the moment.
Touching on the 1.8 Adventure Update:
MCF: If you could summarize the overall feel or direction of the Adventure Update in one sentence, what would it be?
Jeb: Exploration, I think.
MCF: Are there any specific features from the update that you can tell us about?
Jeb: You can get beef now.
MCF: Some users have expressed a desire to make things like NPC villages optional - any plans for that?
Jeb: Yes it's already optional.
MCF: There have been many questions regarding the future of Survival as it exists currently - will it exist in any form after 1.8?
Jeb: I don't think so.
MCF: If you could pick one thing from the upcoming update as your favorite feature, what would it be?
Jeb: I like the new structures and biomes, because I really enjoy exploring the world. Once we get NPCs working I will probably enjoy trading as well.
MCF: There was a mention about a "roguelike" leveling system recently - any specifics on that?
Jeb: We've only spoken loosely about it... It's on Notch's table at the moment.
MCF: Are there any details about the new NPCs you can tell us? Will there be factions, alliances, etc?
MCF: Recent screenshots appear to show a hunger bar and what may either be a stamina or XP bar - can you tell us a little bit about that?
Jeb: The food / hunger bar is refilled by eating (which takes 1.6 seconds). If you have 90 % food you will regain health slowly, but if you have 0 % you will lose health instead. The "stamina bar" is the XP bar and shows your progress to the next player level.
MCF: It looks like dungeons will be very different after 1.8, can you tell us a bit about them?
Jeb: The old dungeons still remain, these are just bigger with corridors, doors and stairs.
MCF: Sprinting has been a hot topic with players lately - what can you tell us about that?
Jeb: You sprint by double-tapping forward. It's quite nice but needs to be better synchronized in multiplayer.
MCF: There have been a few teasers suggesting new mobs (including the elusive Endermen) - what can you tell us about that?
Jeb: Nah I rather not =)
Stay tuned as we continue to provide up-to-the-minute updates on the upcoming Adventure Update!