Again, I'm not questioning the importance of multiplayer. What I'm questioning is the idea that fixing everything in multiplayer should come before any new additions to the game.
The sane thing to do, and what most developers do in fact, is set a feature set checkpoint for the client, reach it, and only then you make it all work on multiplayer. That way you don't bounce back and forth between different types of problems and parts of the game logic, you are more focused and, therefore, more productive and less prone to errors. If you don't do this, you eventually end up dealing with the same issue multiple times. Say for instance that Notch has already some plans to completely rewrite redstone or minecarts. If he makes them work on multiplayer before he rewrote them in single player, he'd have to deal with the server-side issues TWICE.
Improving the client should always come first. It's surprisingly that the game even has multiplayer at this stage, to be honest. But most people here have no experience developing anything to understand that.
And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying single player should get EVERYTHING before multiplayer begins. I'm saying Notch clearly has his SSP checkpoints set before he starts focusing on SMP.
But like Ascadia said, knowing the pains of being a developer doesn't mean you can't be disappointed. But at least we understand it more.
While I see your points and agree with most of them, I have an alternate path that is often taken lately in the game industry.
By working your single-player and multi-player game modes such that they're very similarly functioning, developers are able to make content then add it seamlessly to both modes of gameplay. Games with both styles of content are often made, more recently, "multiplayer first" in a way ... in that if something is coded to work in multiplayer (a more complex procedure than making it work in singleplayer very often) then getting it to function in single player is as easy as tinkering with a little code, as opposed to building it completely into single player, then having to REdo it all over again for the multiplayer functionality.
Look at Starcraft 2 (obviously totally different games, budgets, studios, etc - I am using them purely to illustrate my previous point) ... it was build primarily as a Multiplayer game, and balanced and coded as such. They took and built the single player experience using those multiplayer resources. It is becoming "the norm" to set up your development software to make new content flow easily into both game modes simultaneously.
I think the issue here, I'd wager, is that Notch never really envisioned doing multiplayer (at least at this stage) so he doesn't have both game modes functioning in parallel, and therefore he can't just "code in" a features that'll pop into place as easily as dropping a block in game.
He is building multiplayer functionality into his single player dream. The whole thing is in motion now, though, so imagine the screams if he Twittered that he is going back to square one to build the engine differently at this point.
Its kind of unfortunate that this post, and its included quote, pretty much describe and detail the main issues with the game development, but that no one is really reading it. It's got more intelligence and civility than 97% of all threads started today. I wish I could sticky a post. :sad.gif: