Two hundred sixty-two quadrillion, one hundred and forty-four trillion. When was the last time you used that number? It's about 26,000 times the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. It's also the total, cubic volume (measured in blocks) of a single Minecraft world. An infographic courtesy of FriskyShotgun on the Minecraft subreddit explains how one comes by this staggering figure, among other things.
A team of builders have created the entirety of King's Landing in Minecraft. In a post to Reddit, one of the members of WestorosCraft explained the scale of the project. "It took me and about 100 other builders a little over 4 months to build the whole thing. We estimate there are around 3000 unique buildings, all hand made and all fully decorated on the interior." Y'know, I'm barely even surprised any more. Minecraft players are insane. Not Lannister insane, but still.
Cobalt livestream: Oxeye playing the game and answering your questions right now [Update: It's over, so enjoy the trailer instead]
Update: ...And it's finished.
Oxeye, developers of the Mojang published side-scrolling multiplayer shooter Cobalt,
are were livestreaming their game, and answering fan questions over the top of its madcap action.
We've previously brought you our picks for Minecraft's 25 best mods and maps, but the game's passionate and talented community of creators are a fast moving bunch. Thanks to the rapid flow of new content, it's easy to miss some real gems. Hence this, the Minecraft Spotlight, highlighting some of the best recent releases that might have otherwise slipped into the Nether.
This month: biff, bash and bosh your way through mobs, find a use for those 46,656 spare strips of rotting zombie flesh, escape a giant block of flats in the sky, explore a gorgeous land for bits of wool, and coat the game in a fresh lick of RPG-inspired paint.
One day, the Minecraft community's consistently stupendous creations will no longer be a continuing source of amazement to me. Not today though, because check this out! It's a functional basketball mini-game, complete with scoreboard and blocking mechanism. There's even victory fireworks.
Sweden's The Local are reporting that a school in Stockholm has introduced compulsory Minecraft lessons for their 13-year old students. I can now imagine school kids saying, "Maths? Lucky you! I've got double Minecraft." Not really, of course. I'm just jealous: my IT lessons were mostly about spreadsheets.
In a show of humility, Notch expressed skepticism over Twitter after Edge Magazine named Mojang the number two game studio working today. The emperors of indie came in just behind Valve at the top spot, with the two of them making up the only PC developers in the top five.
Lobbies are great. Where else can you talk to a snooty hotel concierge, browse a selection of outdated magazines, or ponder whether or not you need to go to the toilet? They're also great in online games, providing an in-game common ground/nexus/stargate-command that's a wee bit more exciting than simply selecting servers from a list. PCGamesN report that developers HighlifeTTU and lazertester (as they are known on Reddit at least) have created such a lobby, complete with a swimming area, a lounge and even a dancefloor, for when you want to bust moves rather than blocks.
Blocky recreations of BioShock's city beneath the sea are a popular construction choice for Minecraft's watery areas. Builders Kevin, Jake, and Stewie of the HungerCraft community chose the impossible, sinking their Rapture remake entirely underwater with meticulous detail. The scale and sheer complexity of their project would impress even the industrious Andrew Ryan, I suspect.
You needn’t see out the last few days of 2012 wallowing in a figgy pudding-induced sugar-crash: perk yourself up with this collection of the great features we’ve put up on the site this year. We’ve got informative how-to guides, insightful retrospectives, polemics, play-throughs, ‘making of’ stories and much more. You’re sure to find something in here to jolt you back to life or, at the very least, help to annul the post-Crimbo indigestion.
Mojang have seen a meteoric rise to fame, supported by a game that's beloved by millions and a community that excels in creative expression. It's quite the story, and, after a successful Kickstarter at the start of 2011, 2 Player Productions are finally about to tell it. On 23rd December they release their documentary Minecraft: The Story of Mojang for direct download and streaming. Here's the trailer:
Minecraft isn’t just Minecraft any more: it’s as multifarious as the things people build with it, constantly repurposed by custom map makers to become a variety of different games - total conversions of a kind you now rarely see in other modding communities.
Blame The Controller, as he likes to be known, is one of the leading lights in the scene, with as many as 300,000 downloads for his creative efforts. His best-regarded adventure map series, Kingdom of the Sky, is shortly to launch its third episode, a 12-15 hour epic with hundred of items, quests, minibosses, multi-part bosses. He says he’s going for "Skyrim in Minecraft", and judging by the trailer’s epic panoramas of vast fantasy architecture, he’s not far off. Check the video below, and hear what he has to say about the modding scene and its future.
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 may have been held in Disneyland Paris, but it seems that MineCon 2012 wasn't just a thinly veiled excuse for Mojang to spend a weekend on the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blaster. Minecraft's lead developer, Jens Bergensten, used the event to announce the upcoming 1.5 update. Titled The Redstone Update, it's part of a new plan to release more frequent patches that will each focus on a specific element in the game. First up is that magic red dust that clever people who aren't me can use to do amazing things.
Mojang have officially released their 1.4.4 update to the 8 million copy selling phenomenon Minecraft. As with all one-point-something-point-something updates, it focuses more on bug squashing than feature adding. When you next load up the client, you can look forward to no longer seeing squids breathing happily on land (sadists) or inverted chicken head movement (who would even notice that?)
You know what's sold a lot of copies? The Sims 2. But Minecraft is steadily closing the gap, with Mojang bringing word today that the PC version of their blockbusting hit has sold a whopping 8 million copies to date (8,000,139 to be exact). Mojang's Jens Bergensten responded to the news by stating that "I can't think of anything clever to say. It's simply amazing,” while Notch went one better by revealing that "69I960EHE0A4A0IVG0EHE02500R4R0G1T30PLJ00V6V0EHE0V1U01V10U5U0VGV0V4R". Honestly - he can't go one day without making a dig at Windows 8.
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.
I think I was already fucking rich by the time I realised, ‘I’m gonna be fucking rich.’” That’s how quickly it all happened for Markus ‘Notch’ Persson.
He’d made a game called Minecraft – you may have heard of it. It did rather well. Is doing, actually: three and a half years after the alpha version went on sale, Notch’s studio, Mojang, is still selling 43,420 copies every day, and that number continues to climb.
I think I can hear the sound of death-metal bands furiously scrambling for trademark papers. PCGamesN spotted a couple videos by Minecrafter Docm77 showing the construction and...er, "supervision" of a witch farm erected after the release of the Pretty Scary Update. Don't rattle those pitchfork-shaped brooms just yet—while witches are beauty-challenged humans, they also carry numerous useful resources for builders such as Glowstone dust, sugar, gunpowder, and bottles.