Take a deep breath: once a cult sandbox builder, Minecraft has racked up a total of more than 10 million sales across PC, Mac and Linux. Looking at the rather handy Minecraft Stats page, you can see that right this second 10,002,651 have bought the game, with 11,321 of those sales made in the last 24 hours. Those stats have probably changed by the time this post goes live, but just take that as evidence that Minecraft sells. A lot.
Scrolls, Mojang's turn-based card collecting strategy, is finally set for a public release. You'll be able to tear open the game from the shiny foil wrapper of the internet next month - with the launch planned for some point around the end of April. Initially releasing in beta, Mojang are planning a discounted version for early adopters. It makes sense: they did the same for Minecraft, and that's now made about 25% of all the money in the world. Probably.
In real life, game development sounds hard. You've got to create, debug and fix all manner of problems. A bug could appear in only the most specific and hard to track circumstances. Or an errant line of code could cause the entire floor to disappear, killing everyone on your level. But in this Minecraft visualisation, released by Mojang, development looks almost looks like a game in itself. The avatars of its creators float about, zapping features into existence. In eight minutes we're taken from Alpha 1.2.6 to yesterday's release of Minecraft 1.5. That serene unfolding of pretty development branches represents 826 days of hard coding graft.
The internet is a dangerous and disturbing place. You can find anything on here. You can even find a picture of Chris Thursten atop a digital horse. Chilling. It's only natural, then, that parents would want to protect the little ones from the wild west of the online world. For companies like Mojang, the question is how to offer kids a Minecraft multiplayer experience, while simultaneously ensuring they're kept safe? With Minecraft Realms, they might have found their answer.
Minecraft's Redstone update is out now. With it comes the bittersweet knowledge that, on the one hand, there are new mechanisms and blocks to play with, but on the other, most of your installed mods and adventure maps have most likely broken. It also comes with a whole bunch of community made trailers, courtesy of Mojang's Reddit campaign to get some video round-ups of the added features. They're pretty handy, because I no longer have to attempt an explanation of how Comparators work.
Modding Minecraft is just like enjoying a spelunk of a particularly large hole you just dug: there's a surprise around nearly every blocky corner. The colossal constructions of the sandbox's community deservedly soak up the attention, but many more mod-crafts glimmer in the background like precious gems. Here's a particularly interesting find (via Reddit): the Real Life Seasons Mod, a texture pack that automatically coats your biome's climate with the appropriate season indicated by your computer's calendar.
If your idea of playing Minecraft is simply mining a bit of ore to build some better weapons with which to biff Creepers, the patch notes for the upcoming Redstone Update probably read like some alien language. It adds new sensors that create a signal output in response to variable weights or differing amount of sunlight. Then there's the Capacitor block, which allows for variable signal strengths. What's any of that got to do with the price of diamonds?
For the community's talented mapmakers, though, the added flexibility should be a huge boon. As well as the extra redstone circuitry, the update also provides more uses for the clever Command Blocks - giving extra tools to create amazing adventures, all without the need to install extra mods.
Each month we plunge face first into the rushing river of Minecraft community creativity, and rise to the surface again, triumphantly clenching fresh mods, maps and more in our terrifying beak-mouths. Need more? Check out last month's spotlight, or our best mods and best custom maps features.
In this month's Minecraft Spotlight: try on textures fit for an ancient Roman emperor, fill your pockets with an RPG inventory system, show off your book-learnin', discover the modern wonders of handheld illumination and immerse yourselves in the sprawling splendour of King's Landing. As always, be certain to read the instructions and check for version compatibility (these all work swimmingly with 1.4.7). PC Gamer accepts no responsibility for crashes, spilt milk, tears, the awakening of dread Cthulhu from his millennia-old slumber or imploding minor universes.
Who is this new, rather unsubtle assassin in the reveal images for Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag? Evan, T.J., and Omri discuss. SimCity and the Arma 3 alpha are both out next Tuesday, and we're actually allowed to talk about at least one of them. Plus, some of the best listener questions we've had in a long time. Keep 'em coming!
Mojang's Mojam, the charity game making competition, has come to an end. Teams had three days to make a game themed around a choice of words from a list including Nuclear, French, Endless, War, Kittens, Spaceship and Pizza. As a result, a game called Nuclear Pizza War now exists. Still, at least we've avoided Endless Kitten Pizza. That would just be bleak.
Mojang are about to kick off Mojam, their charity gamejam session. It's due to start at 5pm GMT, so maybe they already have. Look inside! Do you see Swedish indie folk rushing to create a game in only three days? Or possibly engaging in "bacon slapping distraction"? If so, then it's on. Don't worry, we don't expect you to watch all of it.
Mojang have released a mini-Minecraft for the pocket-sized Raspberry Pi computer. Minecraft: Pi Edition is a modified version of the game's Pocket version for mobiles, adding new features to keep it in line with the educational philosophy at the heart of David Braben's £30 computer. Available as a free download, the game hopes to help people pick up programming - supporting a variety of languages to let users hack and modify the game's code.
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.