August hasn't been particularly kind to Minecraft conventions, official or otherwise. Following that worrying news about the unofficial 'Mineorama' convention comes the sad news that there will be no Minecon this year. Mojang COO Vu Bui announced as much on the Mojang site, stating that "while we’d love to do MINECON every year and it’s the only event we do as a company, we want to make sure we can give it the attention it needs, and that means that springtime next year will work best". In the meantime, there's nothing stopping you from holding your own Minecraft convention in the zombie-infested tunnels under your house.
What could possibly be better than playing Minecraft? Watching someone else play Minecraft! At least, that's the case for the great number of people who make Minecraft one of the most popular games on the streaming service Twitch. A post on developer Mojang's official site has announced that the pre-release of version 1.7.3 has added integrated Twitch broadcasting. Hooray!
This is almost certainly how you'd make every decision if your game had sold 11 million copies. "What should I play today?" Thwack! Sword in the Steam library. "Do I want a cake?" Squelch! Sword in the dessert tray. "Where should I hold this year's Minecon - the annual convention celebrating indie mega-phenomenon Minecraft?"
Minecon was a busy old time for Mojang’s bearded, be-hatted co-founder. When Markus “Notch” Persson wasn’t on-stage or in interview he was being mobbed by hundreds of fans, barely kept at bay by the towering mass of his bodyguard. Yet, when I catch up with him in a backroom of the New Yorker hotel, he doesn’t seem especially exhausted by the relentless bustle of celebrity. Quite the opposite: he talks with eager enthusiasm about space-faring game 0x10c, Mojang’s attitude to microtransactions, money, and how future technology will change both gaming and shake the very foundations of the internet.
As for what Mojang can do to top this year’s Minecon in Disneyland, Notch giggles and says: “I dunno, maybe go to space or something.” You heard it here first, folks!
Minecon wasn’t only about Minecraft. Mojang were good enough to invite along the bright lights of the indie dev scene to give a series of inspiring, funny lectures, describing how they got into the business and what they’ve learnt along the way.
Taking to the stage in chronological order: Hello Games, purveyors of deceptively chirpy stunt-biking game Joe Danger; C418, Minecraft’s maestro of electronica; Introversion, creators of Uplink, Darwinia and the tremendously tempting crowdfunded clink-sim, Prison Architect; Suspicious Developments, aka Tom Francis, aka maker of Gunpoint, aka PC Gamer writer, aka man sitting two metres two my right as I type this and looking rather dashing too, I might add; Mike Bithell, the dev behind clever platformer Thomas Was Alone; and Mode 7, creators of simultaneous turnbased-tactics masterpiece Frozen Synapse.
Hit the jump for the videos of each talk, and watch out for our PCG-helmed indie dev round-table which we'll publish in the next few days.
It’s hard to imagine how Minecraft could become any bigger than it already is, or how Mojang could spend the money if it did. Then the Mojang guys tell me. It sounds like a good plan.
Instead of indefinitely expanding Minecraft’s in-game content, Mojang intend to gift its future to the modders and tinkerers.
Mojang and the House of Mouse have joined forces to stage this year's Minecraft convention, taking place on November 24th and 25th at Disneyland Paris. The amusement park has been hired exclusively for this event, so the amassed fanbase for its block-based imaginarium can mingle, make merry and attempt not to throw up on the rollercoasters without the usual crowds and queues. If that sounds incroyable to you, head over to the official MineCon sitetoute de suite - tickets are sure to go fast.
Last year's MineCon took place amid the bright lights of Las Vegas, aside from a few hiccups, much fun was had. The conference for all things Mojang and Minecraft will "most definitely" be happening this year somewhere in Europe. Mojang's Lydia Winters has posted on their blog to say that she's "headed to a secret location next week to check it out and hopefully sign papers for the location and date," adding "WOOHOO!" for good measure. "After everything is confirmed we will be giving you ALL the details." I'm primarily hoping it's Buckingham Palace. The Louvre would also do nicely, thank you very much.
Minecon was supposed to celebrate the launch of the finished version of Minecraft, but that's been overshadowed by disagreements between Minecraft's creator, Notch and the Yogscast team.
A couple of days ago Notch tweeted his disappointment at the alleged behaviour of the video podcasters, whose Minecraft-centric videos attract millions of international viewers every day. "Celebrity or not, you don't f-bomb kids," he said, adding that “Yogscast repeatedly insulted people, talked behind their backs, refused to cooperate, and acted like total spoiled divas nonstop.”
The Yogscast team have now denied this in a response on Reddit, saying "the quotes and actions that Notch attributed to us were not said by us or published anywhere by us."
Minecon wasn’t quite the Minecraft celebration developer Markuss “Notch” Persson was expecting. In fact, it’s the fallout that followed that’s put it in many gaming sites’ headlines - including Edge’s. It seems Notch and Minecraft-centric video podcast Yogscast had something of a falling out at the show.
Seemingly, it all comes down to Yogscast’s behaviour during Minecon. Notch started subtly without naming names, tweeting: “I'm very sorry about the behavior of the people we won't work with any more. Celebrity or not, you don't f-bomb kids.” This was rapidly followed up with, “Yes, Yogscast.”
Minecraft's been stealing gamers' time and replacing it with pure, unbridled joy for more than two years, but that - as they say - was only a test. Today at Minecon, Notch officially flipped the switch on the full release, showering streamers on an audience that'd probably kill just to touch a person who touched the rim of Notch's hat.
As is only proper for newly launched games, Minecraft is now experiencing customary crippling server troubles due to extreme demand. Aaaaaw, they grow up so fast.
Mojang have just released a new Minecraft 0.9 pre-release build, which is incredibly close to the final Minecraft 1.0 release, and even includes the boss fight. "Please help us test the ender fight in multiplayer as much as possible. :)" tweets Notch. Mojang dev Jens Bergensten tweeted a link to the latest pre-release build, which you can grab here.
Minecon will celebrate the release of Minecraft 1.0 next week. Mojang are almost ready. "Left to do: The new sounds, fixing bugs from this prerelease, some minor polishing. And we'll do that on Sunday," says Notch. "We're getting closer..." says Jens.
Minecon kicks off next Friday in Las Vegas and Hat films have released the official Minecon trailer. A few weeks ago they launched a competition seeking character skins from their YouTube followers, which is where they got the spectacular outfits worn by the party guests. The Yogscast guys get a cameo, too, and it takes place in a fantastic boxy recreation of the Mandarlay Bay building, which you can download here and explore for yourself.
The Las Vegas event also marks the launch of Minecraft version 1.0, which is exciting. And it means we get to review Minecraft! The Hat films chaps made a making of video that goes behind the scenes on the massive Mandarlay build. You can watch that below.
The Hat Films chaps have popped up to offer their subscribers the opportunity to have their Minecraft skin appear in the official trailer for Minecon, which will celebrate bowler hats and all things cuboid when it kicks off in Las Vegas on November 18. If you win the competition you'll get to see your character appear alongside the Hat Films guys, and maybe even blocky versions of team Mojang.
As the walrus says in the video, "We will randomly be selecting subscribers from our Youtube channel and messaging the winners for their Minecraft user names, so that we may tear the skin from your virtual blocky bodies and thrust them upon NPCs in game."
Now all you have to do is immediately change your character skin to Commander Riker, thus ensuring that the Minecon trailer is entirely populated by hordes of Rikers bouncing around the landscape.
We recently announced that Mojang plan to celebrate the launch of Minecraft with the MineCon convention in Las Vegas in November. Notch has just tweeted to say that ticket registration site for the event will open "tomorrow!" at "6PM CET." That's 5PM BST, 12PM EDT and 9AM PDT. You'll want to jump in quick if you want to meet Notch in Vegas. "There's a limited number of tickets," he says.
The first details of Minecon, the Minecraft convention, have been released to PC Gamer. The event will take place on November 18th-19th and will coincide with the launch of Minecraft's full release.
"For me, MineCon is about celebrating the full release of Minecraft," said Notch via email. "I'm really looking forward to getting up on stage and pushing the button to upload the final build." Read on for more details.