In a recent interview with The Penny Arcade Report, Markus "Notch" Persson unleashed some new details on his upcoming Fly A Spaceship With A 1980s Computer simulator 0x10c (which, for the record, I pronounce as "Zero to the Speed of Light"). Among them was the fact that he might just start the whole project over.
Join us live at PAX Prime in Seattle today for the PC Gamer Megapanel, featuring a discussion on "The Incredible, Uncertain Future of Storytelling" with the super-creative minds of Jake Solomon (XCOM: Enemy Unknown), Dean "Rocket" Hall (DayZ), Greg Kasavin (Bastion), Sean Vanaman (The Walking Dead), and Markus "Notch" Persson (Minecraft).
The panel starts at 2:30 pm PDT (4:30 CDT, 5:30 EDT, 9:30 GMT) - if you're at PAX, come see it at the Kraken Theater, but if not: don't worry! You can watch it all live on the official PAX livestream inside.
If you're going to this year's PAX in Seattle, Washington, then we'd love for you to join us on Friday for an unprecedented gathering of PC gaming's finest developers and storytellers at the The PC Gamer Megapanel: The Incredible, Uncertain Future of Storytelling!
External visualiser programs do a wonderful job of turning Minecraft's worlds into beautifully lit landscapes, as these images from the Westeros Game of Thrones project demonstrate, but wouldn't it be nice to get some of that sparkle into the game in real time? Allow Cody Darr aka Sonic Ether to help with that. IGN spotted a video of the latest version of his mod, Sonic Ether's Unbelievable Shaders, which brings lovely lighting and water effects to Minecraft. Take a closer look at the sunsets, sun beams, morning and evening lighting and rippling, reflective water in the video and screenshots below. You can download the latest version from the Sonic Ether Facebook page.
Join Tyler, Logan, Evan, and T.J. as they stab silence in the heart with talk of PlanetSide 2, KOTOR II modding heroes, Steam's dominance, Windows 8, and the possibility that Gabe Newell is a time traveler. Plus, T.J. breaks up with WoW, Evan explores the fun mechanics of Counter-Strike, and new voices join in for a special edition of DayZ storytime.
PC Gamer US Podcast 323: Newell News
After the spectacular success of the Steam Summer Sale, I wondered again why Minecraft still isn't on there. Looking back at developer Markus Persson's blog post on the subject a year ago, it seemed like the things they couldn't previously do on Steam are now possible. So I asked him: that?
For the benefit of children, TF2 Mixup invited me to play a few rounds of Team Fortress 2 with some Important Internet Individuals. The roster: Notch (Soldier), Freddie Wong (Sniper), Robin Walker (Demo), our pal Brian Brushwood from Scam School (Heavy), and more. The first round of three, on cp_gorge, is watchable inside. Any ad money generated from the video is being donated; and hey, you can still donate yourself.
Notch tweeted over the weekend with news that Mojang are being sued for patent infringement. The suit is being brought by IP-gatherer, Uniloc. In their words, they "look at many ideas. Pick an outstanding one. Patent it. Commercialize it. Reap the rewards."
The suit claims that Mojang have infringed on a patent owned by Uniloc by creating applications "that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, Mindcraft," a description that quite neatly sums up one of the most frequently used forms of copy protection in the industry.
Minecraft is expanding again. Mojang have announced that the game's new 1.3 update will arrive on August the 1st and will bring with it "A huge number of changes". It's been a bit of a wait since the last Minecraft update, but Mojang say that's because they've been making some significant structural changes to Minecraft's engine, they've "kicked out single-player, and made it a shell on top of multi-player," which brings us one step closer to mod support, and will ensure that any tweaks to multiplayer will work in single-player as well.
According to the Mojang website 1.3 will include "lots and lots of bug fixes" and performance enhancements. Those will be needed however, as the new singleplayer/multiplayer combined build will be more performance intensive. According to Mojang "When playing single-player, the game needs to be able to both simulate and emulate the world, which take many more CPU cycles."
Have you seen WesterosCraft yet? It's an incredibly ambitious effort to recreate the world of Game of Thrones in Minecraft, and it looks astonishing. These screenshots really show the whole thing off perfectly.
We've assembled a gallery of some of the coolest landmarks, so click through and take a look.
Remember how Notch mentioned that he'd like to create a sandbox space trading game? Well, the famed Minecraft creator is working on it, and he's just announced the title: 0x10c.
The Financial Times report that Minecraft creators, Mojang, have filed their finances in Sweden, declaring $80 million in revenue. With interest, taxation and depreciation deducted, that's $13.5 million on profit in the 15 months since players were able to buy the first alpha build of Minecraft back in October 2010. Just imagine the number of Choc Ices you could buy with that.
Unsurprisingly, Minecraft's creator, Notch, is the main shareholder of the company. The FT say that his $3.7 million dividend has been shared with the rest of Mojang. Minecraft is the only game they've released so far, though they're publishing Cobalt, and are currently working on their fantasy card trading game, Scrolls. Notch has also started work on something new, an open world space trading game inspired by Elite and Firefly. We'll have to wait and see if Mojang can strike gold twice, but adding FIREFLY to ELITE in my brain is setting off some pretty good mental fireworks.
After stepping back as lead designer of Minecraft earlier this year, Notch has been considering what to do next. Right now he's working on a little roguelike called MiniTale, but he has bigger plans for the summer. While he's still deciding exactly what he wants to work on, he told us that he'd quite like to do a sandbox space trading game like Elite, "except done right."
Notch is aiming for something with a bit more character than the classic trading sim. Instead of being the spaceship, you'd be a character inside the spaceship. "I want the space game that's more like Firefly," he said. "I want to run around on my ship and have to put out a fire. Like, oh crap, the cooling system failed, I have to put out the fire here."
Sometime soon, I'm going to be called to defend the honor of PC Gamer against Notch, Robin Walker, Yogscast, Freddie Wong, friends of PCG Brian Brushwood and Veronica Belmont, and other people that are more important than me. The men behind TF2 Mix-up have organized another showmatch, a 9-on-9 battle royale between web celebs that benefits Child's Play.
Want to play with us? Donators are eligible to fill a vacant player slot. On April 1, the event's organizers will randomly pick three donors who will each be offered a place in the match along with some signed merchandise. Donate more, and you'll increase your chances. Donate here. The match's date is secret, but it should be held sometime in April. We'll post the match video once it's available, assuming I don't dishonor you all.
Notch has just finished his "Fireside Chat" with Chris Hecker at GDC. It sounds cosy, but that didn't stop the Minecraft creator taking on the thorny issue of piracy towards the end of the talk.
"If someone copies your game a trillion times, you won't have lost a single cent," said Notch. "Some people are using that to ruin the internet."
As reported on MCV, Notch is getting a BAFTA! The Swedish creator of Minecraft is "blown away and deeply humbled" by the news.
Notch will be picking up his BAFTA Special Award at the London ceremony on March 16. He got it for his constantly evolving block builder, Minecraft. You should probably check it out.
BAFTA Special Awards honour "those who has made a significant contribution to their sector and may not otherwise have received the recognition they deserve." Previous winners include Tony Hart, Blue Peter, KODAK, Michael Palin, The Chuckle Brothers and The BBC. Those are all awesome things, but are they as awesome as Minecraft? Doubt it.
The Games Developers Conference has just begun in San Francisco. Devs from every corner of the industry are congregating to talk about their craft. It’s a very exciting time.
GDC is less console iteration and booth babe than E3. It's more about quiet announcements and candid industry chatter. That said, this year’s show is already shaping up nicely, especially for us PC gamers. We have men on the ground, sniffing out scoops in real-time.
Will Valve open the Pandora’s box that is the Steam Box? What’s the mystery game that EA are due to announce on Tuesday? What will Sid Meier have to say in his keynote speech? Are Hitman Absolution’s crowds extremely good or a bit good? Read on for the highlights.
Notch is currently busy "streaming development of something that probably never will be released at all," which seems a shame, because it's a lovely little Team Fortress 2 RTS. You can watch Noch magically turning numbers and letters into scenes of TF2's eight classes fragging each other in the livestream box above. Don't worry, "Herp Derp Herp Fortress" is only a working title for now. You can suggest some alternative names in the live chat happening alongside the stream on Notch's Twitch TV channel.
LEGO Minecraft's "Micro Worlds" are available for pre-order at Jinx.com right now. The beans have been well and truly spilled at a conference in Denmark this morning. You'll actually get your hands on the sets in the Summer. Until then, reserve your blocks by laying down $34.99/€34.99/£29.99 on the official site. Mojang are donating 1% of the proceeds to charity.
"I played a lot with Lego bricks as a child, and that's influenced how I made games. I prefer games with levels that are modifiable. I don't like static levels." said Notch, speaking at the conference today.
Each "Micro World" is cube-shaped. "Because Minecraft is cubes," says LEGO's Tom Courtney. Each block is represented by a 1x1 LEGO plate with a tile on top. They're not completely square, like in the game, but each "modular vingnette" comes with its own selection of hidden resources, which is canon. Whether you'll be able to melt down four brown blocks to construct a workbench block is yet to be confirmed. Actually, I'll confirm it now: you can't.
"Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen" said Notch a few weeks ago. Yesterday, he offered Tim Schafer 13 million to fund the anticipated sequel, before clarifying his intent. Later in the day, he posted confirmed details on his personal blog.
Even though Notch mentions he and Tim "haven't spoken much," he confirms the high profile pair are planning on meeting at GDC, which happens in a few weeks. He also mentions that the 13 million quoted by Tim was "three times higher" than his original estimate, but that he's still up for fronting the cash. The Minecraft dev says he would be operating purely as an investor, saying "I wouldn't want to have any creative input."