Scrolls crafting update will let you merge cards into stat-tracking shinies

Tom Senior at

I do love a good collectible card game, but they have their foibles. The collector will know well the frustration of having duplicates you just can't shift, no matter how many strangers you accost on the street demanding that they just take them please go on TAKE THEM. There are times I've looked down at a few identical spares and wondered "what if?," pressed them carefully together and hoped that, by some stroke of magic they might fuse in the warmth, and transform from hopeless cardboard wastage into a glittering shiny.

This ... has never worked. But a new crafting system will bring that pleasure to Mojang's collectible card game, Scrolls. You'll soon be able to turn a bunch of duplicate scrolls into higher tier scrolls. This won't affect their stats and fighting prowess, but it will let scrolls track their own battle stats.

Minecon 2013 announced, and the location is...

Phil Savage at

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?"

Minecraft's "Horse Update" pre-release rides in, official launch set for next week

Phil Savage at

Mojang have launched a pre-release version of Minecraft 1.6 - referred to as "The Horse Update" - ahead of next week's official release. Given the name, you can probably guess what it adds. Carpets, for one. Also donkeys, name tags, blocks of coal. And, yes, it introduces horses, based on the popular Mo' Creatures mod, along with horse armour, which may or may not be based on the less popular Bethesda DLC. Either way, it's free this time.

PC Gamer Podcast #356 - Scrolls and Skrulls

PC Gamer at

This week, we're finally going to finish talking about E3. We promise. Specifically, which games from the show that might come to the PC do we want to see on our platform the most? Plus, we go in-depth on Mojang's new card battle game thing, Scrolls. And T.J. claims to actually enjoy Marvel Heroes, but how do we really know he wasn't replaced by some kind of alien bent on the subjugation of Earth?

Mojang's Scrolls is profitable after one week in open beta

Ian Birnbaum at

Mojang CEO Carl Manneh announced on Twitter last week that, after one week in open beta, upcoming collectible card game Scrolls has already recovered its entire development cost. "The game is profitable!” Manneh wrote After a long development process and lengthy alpha testing phase, Scrolls was released to open beta on June 3.

Minecraft Mod Spotlight: magic carpets, top texture packs and the power to part oceans

Cassandra Khaw at

Minecraft Spotlight: It's a magic carpet ride to a whole new world (of mods!). Oh, come with us, to a faraway place, where the caravans and the Creepers roam - er, ahem. In the latest instalment of the newly-reborn Minecraft Spotlight, we've got some brilliant mods for your perusal, many of which seem weirdly fit for Aladdin-themed jokes. There's an honest-to-god magic carpet, magic, magically realistic textures and Moses. Because Egypt shares the same Arabian nights, after all.

As always, check if you have the appropriate versions and what-have-yous installed. If your intricately concocted cubical sculpture of a Flying Spaghetti Monster collapses, we hold no responsibility. You have been forewarned.

Mojang on Scrolls' future and the trouble with microtransactions

Tom Senior at

Microtransactions have a bad rep. Drop the M-bomb into a conversation and you'll instantly see, from some, a disdainful curl of the lip. You might get a snort of derision. If you're unlucky they might be a little bit sick on you. Maybe it's that poorly implemented micropayment systems doesn't just feel like a bad deal, they feel exploitative, and it can be hard to tell how gentle the microtransaction system is before you've sunk a lot of time into the game. That's an unpleasant uncertainty to endure when you're settling down to have fun with something new.

So what of Scrolls, then? The card collecting/battling game is the latest from Mojang, the studio founded by Notch, who built That Game With All The Cubes. You can pay to buy into the beta now on the Scrolls site, and once inside you'll be able to lay down cash for cards. Is it reasonable to have microtransactions in an unfinished build of the game? Why are microtransactions so unpopular, and what are Mojang's plans for development in the next year? I put these questions to Mojang co-founderJakob Porsér, who argues that Mojang "definitely want to be good guys," when it comes to micropayments.

Scrolls beta release date announced, launch trailer released by Mojang

Ian Birnbaum at

Mojang, the Swedish developer behind indie superhit Minecraft, has been teasing us with glimpses of its next game, Scrolls, for quite some time. After two years of development, a long period of alpha testing and a protracted legal battle with Bethesda, Scrolls is finally set for a beta release next Monday, June 3.

Scrolls release date announced, launch trailer shows tactical battling and sacrificial bunnies

Phil Savage at

About a minute and ten seconds into this launch trailer for Scrolls, Mojang's strategy card game, you can clearly see a player firing a catapult at a little group of bunnies. Now I know morality can be a tricky thing, but come on! What harm have bunnies ever done? Lynched lagomorphs aside, the trailer also reveals the date of the open beta, due next week on June 3rd.

Minecraft update adds horses, horse armor at no additional charge

T.J. Hafer at

If you've been longing to gallop hard across the blocky plains and barren sands of Minecraft, now's the time to jump back in. Rideable horses have been added to the ever-expanding sandbox (based on those of the popular Mo' Creatures mod), along with horse armor, leashes, and a few other items.

Kerbal Space Program getting paid expansions on top of "all future content" buy-in model

T.J. Hafer at

Kerbal Space Program is a game where you send... aliens? I think they're aliens... on space missions. It launched its first alpha just about two years ago, and has since followed the Minecraft model of slowly adding features while increasing the price, in a lead-up to an official 1.0 release. Originally, much like Minecraft, the devs, Squad, promised that alpha adopters would, "get all future updates for free." A stir has recently been caused when the intention to produce expansion packs with a separate cost, post-launch, was mentioned in a livestream.

Minecraft hits 10 million sales milestone; will probably get horses soon

Shaun Prescott at

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' public beta due for release next month

Phil Savage at

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.

Minecraft visualisation shows 826 days of development - with lasers

Phil Savage at

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.

Minecraft Realms to provide easy-to-use server tools to help kids play online

Phil Savage at

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 launches with community trailers, musical interlude

Phil Savage at

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.

Minecraft Real Life Seasons mod is a sight to behold year round

Omri Petitte at

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.

Minecraft's Redstone update due next week, pre-release available now

Phil Savage at

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.

Minecraft Spotlight: February's best mods, maps and texture packs

Cassandra Khaw at

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.

PC Gamer US Podcast #346 - Some Kinda Pirate

PC Gamer at

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!