Minecraft Dev Diary - staff intro, clan cloaks


PC Gamer is always willing to release secret cables exposing embarrassing developer secrets. The last Minecraft diary contained information on new merchandise and Mojang's next game. This new diary introduces the staff, has updates on the merchandise, and talks about prioritizing new features.

Hello again!

It's our second time writing in this diary and a lot of things have happened during the past two weeks. First of all, “ Junkboy ” and Jens Bergensten joined the Mojang family, making us six men strong! With them in place, we have most bases covered although we are still missing a front-end developer who can help us set up our sites properly. I imagine those who have visited mojang.com knows what I am talking about. We are however in the process of hiring one and it shouldn't be long before our sites gets a well deserved face lift.

We still haven't gained access to all of the office we are renting, so at the moment there are six of us cramped up in one room. Oh, and we are still sitting on kitchen chairs as our office equipment haven't been delivered yet.

I guess this could be viewed as a problem, but at the moment everyone is so excited about the projects we are undertaking, that I think we could easily fit another four or five people and sit on the floor without hardly noticing it. The only real problem with our current situation is that we have bought quite a few toys, but lack the space to actually play with them. As I am writing, shiny new boxes with consoles and games are staring me square in the face mockingly as we have no place to unpack them. But I guess all things come to those who wait, and we are only three weeks from having all the space we need.

As I mentioned earlier, we are now six man strong, and as I promised in the last entry, I will give you a short presentation of who we are. So off we go:

Name: Markus Persson

Position: Game Developer

Favourite games: Dungeon Master 2, Doom, X-Com

Special talent: Can look directly at the sun with only minor permanent damage

Twitter alias: @notch

Name: Jakob Porser

Position: Game Developer

Favourite games: X-Com 2, Master of Magic, Diablo 2

Special talent: Recursive for loops

Twitter alias: @JahKob

Name: Carl Manneh (starts in January)

Position: CEO

Favourite games: FIFA 10, Resident Evil, Tetris

Special talent: I can clone myself

Twitter alias: @carlmanneh

Name: Daniel Kaplan

Position: Business Developer

Favourite games: Street Fighter IV, Tetris DS, Zelda: A Link to Past

Special talent: I type very fast

Twitter alias: @Kappische

Name: Jens Bergensten

Position: Back-end Developer

Favourite games: Starcraft, Doom 2, Don't Look Back

Special talent: Eating cheese doodles with chopsticks

Twitter alias: @jeb_

Name: Junkboy

Position: Art Director

Favourite games: Wild Guns, Metal Slug, Full Throttle

Special talent: Laying down digital mosaic

Twitter alias: @jnkboy

That's everyone at the moment, but I wouldn't be surprised if I get to introduce some more people soon.

So what have we been up to? Notch is, as always, busy implementing new stuff in Minecraft. He recently implemented server-side health and is now working on server-side inventory. Once that is complete, Minecraft will finally go beta! Some readers have expressed concern about this as they have interpreted "beta" as the game being done except for bug fixes. Have no fear fellow crafters, because we are far from done with Minecraft. We still have a ton of ideas we want to implement ranging from new materials and recipes to completely new ways of playing the game. The problem is not so much coming up with new ideas for Minecraft as it is to prioritize them. For instance: Should we prioritize collecting herbs to create potions vs setting up proper animal farms, or add food recipes that do more then just fill your health bar?

Also, there is a rumor flying around the interwebs saying "dynamic clan cloaks with custom textures." Want me to verify it? OK, consider it verified. But like I said, there is still the problem of prioritizing what is to be implemented. We will, as usual, seek help from the players and set up polls when the time comes. Although, if you are really itching for a specific feature, there seems to be alternative ways of getting them implemented. Just check out http://games.on.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=182798

As always we are but puppets to our customers demands.> =)

Myself, I have kept busy working on the prototype for the new game we are going to make. It is starting to feel pretty good, and hopefully we can begin working on the real thing within a week or so. As I have mentioned before, we feel it's a bit early to talk about it too much, but to give you a hint, I will throw in the phrase “board game styled turn based strategy”. It is pretty vague, I know, but I promise to give you some more information soon.

Jens has truly been the office hero this week. Not only did he set up the newly bought server, but he also took care of some network issues AND managed to get a whole lot of coding done. Among other things, he has set up so that you will be able to buy Minecraft as gifts! So if you haven't done your Christmas shopping yet, consider your problems solved!

I also have to mention our “layer of digital mosaic” Junkboy. You got a taste of his magic on the avatars next to our presentations. He is currently helping out with getting our sites in order, working on logos and working on t-shirt design. All in his first week. Hmm...Maybe we could use another Art Director after all?

With that, it is time for me to head back to the world of programming and see if there are some recursive for loops that needs doing. As always, you can mail your questions and feedback to pcgamerblog@mojang.com. Be sure to add us on twitter for regular updates about Mojang activity and development status.

Jakob Porser