Shows that exceptional indie products can get huge traction on a traditional platform, sort of like Braid on XBOX / PC / etc.
That said, also excites me for the future when MSFT's & Apple's standard OS come with a servicable app store baked in.
Which seems to be the dorkiest and most uncool language on the planet if you were to ask HN.
Everything else is just hot air.
See also: PHP
The verbose libraries and configuration addiction of many java library vendors, including nearly all Sun libs i know, is the real problem.
You can, on the other hand, find a massive amount of really nice and concise libraries that make java feal great for many tasks. Even custom compiler extensions for language simplifications or cross breeding with groovy etc. aren't uncommon.
Also if you look at the JVM as a platform and java as the beginning of learning to work with a platform, you've got a great pool of languages to choose from, too. That wouldn't be possible without java.
I sometimes dislike java myself, but then i abstract the verbose parts behind some static builder methods, for example and write a lot less with great outcome in java.
The real shortcomings in the language design itself can suck hard. By ignoring these parts and using libraries for it and knowing what to watch out for, you can really get proficient with java. Keep Blochs "Effective Java" in reach and everything will be fine.
Actually i'm not programming in java that long. But I've written some desktop apps and some little JSP pages.
Besides that i enjoy learning and following frameworks like the Play framework, because i think it's really promising and valuable for web development.
Also getting to know many open source libraries is nice.
But the JVM is an important platform and Java is the native language. There are lots of interesting applications written in Java.
Java is too verbose? So what's Eclipse for? Sometimes, a bit too verbose can be good in terms of maintenance and readability.
It's in C\C++\.NET but also has bindings for Python, D, and Ruby. http://www.sfml-dev.org
If you want to do 3D but aren't up for writing OpenGL, check out OGRE3D. Open-source and former Diablo 2 developers from Bizzard North released a game called Torchlight with it recently. http://www.ogre3d.org/
One thing to watch out for if you use the unreleased 2.0 branch of the library, is that the OS X port is not quite there yet. So if you want to target that platform it may be better to use the stable 1.x branch.
Java is a painfully verbose language that does not trust me with any power tools. When I work in it I wind up cursing its name approximately twice per hour. But the combination of Extreme Portability and Libraries For Absolutely Everything and maybe a little bit of Everybody Understands It often draws me in anyway.
I don't love it, but sometimes it is the right tool for the job.
Dear HN: If someone asks a serious question in the comments -- there isn't a need to downvote them. Downvote crap like "f1rst p0st" - leave questions as they are.
Contrary to what you repeatedly hear about Java, it actually has very decent performance. Sure, the ME edition is horrible (if that was somebody's only exposure to Java game programming I'd forgive them for never wanting to touch the language again), and some years ago applet performance was awful (which seems to have left a bad taste in the mouths of a significant number of hackers), but these days if you avoid Swing (and why would you want such a toolkit for a 3D game like Minecraft anyway?) and use a library like LWJGL then you can produce a game with decent performance and graphics. Minecraft is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to scaling down to older machines, but it still runs reasonably well on quite a lot of older hardware (up to about 5 yrs old, or thereabouts). That leaves you with a very large potential userbase.
Also contrary to what you might hear, Java's actually not that shabby of a language either. Sure, you sacrifice some of the features and syntactic sugar found in higher-level languages like Python & Ruby (in return for performance), but garbage collection and higher-level features like reflection that are not found in C/C++ mean that development speed is still pretty good. There are a wide variety of available libraries to help you out too.
Lastly, much of Java's reputation for verbosity doesn't apply to games development. You don't have to use any of the libraries that require XML-heavy configuration like Spring or Hibernate, nor any of horrifyingly verbose stuff like EJBs or JDBC (actually there's nothing forcing you to use those for enterprise stuff either). Once you've taken care of the performance-intensive graphics stuff, you're "only" left with the core game logic. While a higher-level language like Python, Ruby or Lua could reduce the amount of code you need to write by a certain amount, the difference is not as pronounced as it is between, say, C++ and Lua, due to Java's automatic memory management.
And seriously, who gives a toss about whether something's dorky and uncool? I didn't care back in high school that people thought I was a dork for programming or even just for using computers (this was before the internet and Apple made computers cool!) and nobody should have to give a shit what programming language snobs think of their choice of language either, as long as they're getting the job done.
When you show a real programmer the path to financial independence, he will code even in brainfuck.
On the upside, it allows him to do rapid development, and you can even try Minecraft in the browser.
You wouldn't be able to guess this from the graphics style.
EDIT: Upvotes for both responses. My love of command line is showing; I know next to nothing about graphics and what it takes to make them perform well.
That doesn't mean that C++ is slow. It means we have no idea how much these custom indie game engines have been performance tuned, and how much logic is being performed in the background (DF is a hugely deep game). They are both written by a single programmer, not a team of game engine developers.
Edit: I don't doubt that performance tuned C++ is faster than Java. But for a small development team, who aren't building a graphically taxing game, performance optimisation is well down the list of priorities. They are usually better off spending the time expanding their game.
Modern 3d games involve using both the CPU and GPU, and most intensive graphic computation is done on the GPU.
Graphical elements like having complex models, shader effects, filter passes etc. all put strain on the GPU, but don't touch the CPU too much.
Game logic elements like destructible terrain, AI, pathfinding, physics, and generally extensive game rules all put strain on the CPU.
Different games have a different balance between the two (but eventual framerate and performance is determined by the slowest side), a highly detailed FPS (say, Halo) is likely to be GPU-bound, whilst a complex strategy or simulation (eg. Minecraft) is more likely to be CPU-bound.
4. Shock-value asks- How do you like Java as a language? In what ways is it a positive and in what ways is it a negative compared to a lower level language like C/C++, especially as related to the development of Minecraft? Alphakamp asked a wonderful followup question- Do you think you will stay with java or will you ever restructure the code base with a different language?
I love java! I'm a bit worried now that Oracle owns it, and they haven't exactly shown any great interest in the client side of it. Sun used to speak to me all the time, even way back when me and Rolf made Wurm Online, but Oracle hasn't said a word to any game developer as far as I've seen. The biggest technical advantages with java is that the development speed is extremely fast with almost no compilation times and an excellent code hot-swapping in debug mode. The disadvantages is a slightly lower speed than C/C++, and less than perfect support for OpenGL. The LWJGL guys have done a great job with the binding, but java still suffers from rather large per-call overhead in JNI. Or in English; OpenGL calls are slow in java.
Maybe this guy's amazing success will serve to change some minds here, tho.
The real problem isn't that Java is spent, it's that (most) Java programmers are dorky. I avoid the language mainly to avoid associating with the community.
Much better experience than I've had with the supposedly enlightened lisp community.
Also, Markus programs in straight java, not scala or clojure.
Let me restate the problem another way: there are many more programmers who only know Java, than programmers who only know [other language X]. Single-language programmers usually aren't familiar with very much theory, and don't know any design-pattern-like abstractions, borrowed from intrinsic features of other languages, that they can put in place instead of just writing tedious, repetitive, dorky (er, I mean, "enterprise") code. 90% of Java's libraries are very, erm, "enterprise."
Are they? Apache's Commons collection of libraries such as ArrayUtils, StringUtils, IO, and the like, along with JSON-Simple/jvYAML, the servlet API, any database driver, Log4J, and just about every other library I use on a daily basis has a clean, focused, well-designed, and impeccably well-documented API.
I'm sure there are no shortage of "enterprise-y" libraries and APIs, but could you offer a few examples of common, popular libraries used in a large portion of J2SE (not EE) projects whose APIs are poor on a level beyond that which may offend your aesthetic sensibilities? Some that come to mind for me might be Swing (I don't write GUI apps), but am curious to hear what you've encountered.
Let me restate the problem another way: there
are many more programmers who only know Java,
than programmers who only know [other
I know many more programmers who only know php, actionscript, or perl than programmers who only know java.
I know you're not one of the cool kids around here if you don't build compilers in haskell, erlang or some dialect of lisp but this unsubstantiated anti-java sentiment is ridiculous.
I've programmed in a dozen+ languages (including scheme and python, which seem to be considered acceptable with the cool language crowd) and consider myself proficient with 4 of them (as in - I would have no problem starting a new project in those languages and will not often need to look up language docs) and for many uses I still prefer Java.
I suspect I am not the only one who shares that sentiment.
If your first language is PHP, or ActionScript, or Perl, it is very likely that you picked it up on your own—and thus are interested in the topic of programming in general, and will continue to learn from there, picking up bits of programming theory and new languages as you go. However, if your first language is Java, you learned it in school, because that's what they taught—you didn't yearn for anything more—and then there was a big bubble of EE employers ready and waiting to insulate you from the rest of the programming universe. Straight out of school, you start work for one Java company, and then transition to another, and pretty soon you're 32 and don't know what a combinator is or how you could possibly implement something like the JVM.
Having attended one of these Java schools for a semester, I can guarantee you that no one who graduated from there will ever learn another language. They know what they know, and they're happy with that. That what they know is Java is immaterial, except that that means that only knowing Java, by Bayes' law, becomes a positively-weighted-feature in the detection of these work-a-day programmers who need to be avoided at all costs if one wants to hire in a startup.
Couple days ago I decided to shut my eyes off articles that compares programming languages and decided to stick with Java and Ruby. I don't plan to learn 10 different programming languages for the rest of my life unless I happen to get an offer in a company where they would want to train me in their technology. I have no plan to be a software developer for the rest of my life because that is a bottom-line job. It's useless really. Especially when there are too many effing opinions in our industry such as:
- We prefer young people (remember, y'all going to get old at some point, you'll be out of the game soon)
- We prefer TDD, Scrum, and Agile (those of you who dislike TDD will be crossed out from this list)
- We only do games (those web developers are out)
- We only do web-development (don't know HTML/CSS/JS? get out)
- We only do internal IT (you're a software product guy, you won't last long here)
- We do "Digital Social Media Marketing Branding SEO" (you're just a PHP developer, go make something)
- We do SAP, PeopleSoft, and Oracle Financial (you're not qualified even though you know .NET)
- We do embedded (web developer and enterprise developer, the door is right there)
- We only use Apple (not an Apple fanboy? doesn't worship Jobs? out please)
I'd rather spend my time learning the business domain, leadership, management, networking and how to live a life and achieve happiness than learning LISP, C, C++, HTML, CSS, Python (I know a few things about Python but by no means I can be qualified to work in a startup that uses Django).
I don't want to be 50 years old hacker unemployed (due to age) and have no social skill to convince people that I'm still worth. Besides, I want to have a retirement that doesn't bother my kids's financial situation.
Do you have any idea how long it takes to learn and master a programming language and the ecosystem (libraries, tools, the community, etc)?
It's a life choice that I decided and I don't think you should look down at other people choices.
By coincidence—not by any flaw of Java or the generalist programmers who happen to know it and like it—the language that will most frequently appear on the resume of a single-language programmer is Java. This means—in the same way that given races of people get tested for given congenital diseases because they are statistically more likely to be afflicted by them—that if you're interviewing a programmer and all the previous projects listed on their resume are Java projects, it becomes more important to ascertain whether they know any other languages, because they are statistically less likely to.
This point is just a combination of the famous and well-received "programmer vs [language X] programmer" rant, and a bit of Bayesian analysis to determine which people applying for "programmer" jobs (i.e. generalist jobs, of the kind needed in startups) are most likely to actually be "[language X] programmers" instead. If you trained a spam filter on generalist-y-ness, it would flag Java as having a high correlation with non-generalist-y-ness—that's all I've been trying to say.
 ...which is very explicitly not causation, I think I have to remind everyone at this point.
That's language prudishness, right there.
I also find your assertion that if someone learns PHP as a first language they're likely to end up a "better" programmer than someone who learns Java as a first language absurd. There are good schools teaching Java, and smart, inquisitive people studying it. Many of the best programmers I know still use Java for pretty much everything since it allows them to get their jobs done. Some know other languages, some don't. It's a purely pragmatic choice, but to say that those people would not be valuable to a startup is crazy.
Maybe the process you use when interviewing is good enough to separate these people from others who really don't know how to program, but it seems like they're going to be starting at a significant disadvantage if you're interviewing them.
Little girl (appalled): AAAH!!
Plumber (outraged): Oh yeah? I bet you love to take a shit though.
So yeah, Java is dorky and uncool, but I bet we love to play Minecraft (I don't know, since I haven't played a video game in at least a decade).
Notch - please don't blow your money on trying to rent a fancy office and hire a lot of people. You'll be surprised at how quickly that money goes.
They also cost orders of magnitude more to create. Also, at this rate it could possibly get to be a 100 million dollar title over its lifetime.
It seems pretty clear that at some point iOS (and a desktop version of its touch paradigm) will be the future on Mac desktops.
Although Steve Jobs isn't yet standing on stage gushing about it yet, Apple clearly plans to bring the touch paradigm to the desktop.
iOS isn't just about touch, it's first and foremost about direct manipulation — touching the very thing you want to interact with. This paradigm does not translate well to OS X, which is mouse driven — there's a pointer between you and the thing you want to manipulate.
As for patterns, well, most of the stuff they patent never sees the light of day. Some of them are probably just red herrings, Apple prefers when nobody knows what they're doing.
But hey, let's check back in June of 2011. Looking forward to it!
* Multi-touch gestures via trackpad and mouse.
* No touching the screen.
* No iOS apps coming to the Mac, instead bringing some ideas and concepts over.
* iOS and Mac OS X stay separate, ideas converge.
My take on the future of OS X; not converging with iOS. Direct manipulation touch interfaces demand different solutions than mouse/pointer-driven interfaces do.
Love the ideas they're bringing over to OS X from iOS; like instant-on, apps that resume from the state you left them in, autosaving, etc. Also love the new way you manage apps as previewed in Mac OS X Lion.
It seems clear to me that if iOS device sales haven't already outsold Mac OS X computers, they will shortly, both in terms of both dollars and # of units.
It also seems pretty clear, and insiders everywhere seem to agree, that the paradigms introduced in iOS will (and already have, see multitouch) trickle into what is now known as Mac OS X.
Apparently, there are some people who strongly disagree, so what's your viewpoint?
I don't think the Mac is going anywhere soon. I do think we'll see substantially changes to Cocoa with a lot of things (coughbindingscough) being effectively deprecated in 10.7. I expect the next revision of AppKit to look a lot more like UIKit.
It's better than a lot of internally-developed "professional" engines I've been forced to work in, over the years.
The best day (9/23) had 25663 sales, or about $255k. This came on top of the server being down (0 sales) for 3 previous days. The recent average is around 10k sales ($100k / day).
EDIT: As pointed out by bananaandapple below, the price is in euro not USD, which brings the best day to $347k. The recent average works out to about $136k / day.
1 euro = $1.36 USD
so that comes out to
After all the fees and costs, that's 3 mil before taxes,
b: valve pays well north of $50k/year
c: valve likely has profit sharing of some variety, which could be quite substantial
d: likely valve wouldn't just hire him but would purchase his company, giving him a several million dollar lump sum payment
Factor that in with the temptation to use valve's resources in developing your game, it's not such a bad deal. Nevertheless, if one is making even $10k a day and feels they can continue to support and develop their work independently then any offer of full-time employment is going to be an uphill battle.
If he sustains it for 2 weeks he's pretty much set for life.
Pretty sure he could BUY Valve at this point. :p
2) What 15% fees? Health care in Sweden is financed through regional income tax.
But looking again, he's in fact born before 1983, which means that he has to pay pension contributions as well, bumping the total contribution up to nearly 30%. In addition to income tax, that is.
Anyway, I can see how the grandparent comment could somehow be right because of the technicality of how Markus' current company is set up, but his assumptions were still flawed, and he still didn't read the article. And 3 million € is still gonna be a pretty nice sum even after Swedish taxes.
Could you fund a company and buy health care through that company?`I don't understand that system...
If you had 3 million in the bank, you could easily afford a plan through many of the private health insurance companies in the US.
Of course that doesn't necessarily extend to less successful developers.
350k/day = 7 years of 50k/year. If he pulls 10 days of 250k/day he's made 50 years of income, or $2.5 million. |I'm really worried for the guy.|
Bad news: You will probably not be one of them.
I'm not the most amazing software developer in the world, nor am I the most astute businessman, but after a little more than decade of work and persistence, I'm in a position where I can do pretty much everything I've always wanted to do. Part of that time was spent figuring out what I actually always wanted to do (age brings clarity of focus, I think). I travel full-time (I'm in Bozeman, MT right now, on my way to Yellowstone), I run a company that builds stuff I'm really proud of and millions of people use, I work with two guys that I really enjoy working with, I occasionally get to meet up with our users and customers and they're awesome, and I make enough money to live on without having to think too much about money, and the revenues continue to grow at a modest but steady rate. I'm definitely not rich, and the subject of this story has made more in a couple months than I've made in four years of running Virtualmin, but I've got nothing to complain about.
Most importantly, I have as much freedom as anyone I know, including several millionaires and a few billionaires.
Jason Rohrer , programmer and indie games developer, author of recent award-winning Sleep is Death , manages to get by on around $10K/year. From what I hear, lifestyle this can support in the USA is frugal to the extreme.
 Jason Rohrer homepage: http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/jason-rohrer/ wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Rohrer
 Sleep Is Death http://www.sleepisdeath.net/
I currently live on about $40k/year, but I've had years where I lived on credit cards for months at a time (I don't recommend it; too much stress; but I had the house with mortgage and everything and thought all that stuff was important; I know better now, and could squeak by on $15k/year if I was willing to live like the regular folks and park in one place for the whole year). In the past decade, my best years tax return showed income of $85k and my worst showed income of about $8k, with most years being closer to the low than the high. I've been on a very steady upward trajectory for the past four years (with the first year running Virtualmin being the $8k year, where I lived mostly off of savings from the $85k year, which was the year previous).
My definition of "pretty good living" is that you get to do the things that matter to you and you don't go hungry or go without medical care, and don't have to think much about money. My definition of "pretty good living" does not necessarily include a McMansion in the suburbs, an SUV and a sports car and a motorcycle in the three car garage, 52" television in the "media room", etc. I know plenty of those guys, and I'm way happier than they are. You can make more money working for others, in the short term (and sometimes even in the long term, though I suspect my net worth will cross those guys by a dramatic margin sometime within the next five to seven years).
This feels like even more luck than hitting the top lists in the app store. One particular example relevant to hacker news would be Jeff Vogel (http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/), I'd wager that in the long years he has been in the indy game industry nothing has taken off like this, sure hes games aren't really aimed at these type of novel concepts that have to potential to take off but it somewhat illustrates the different between a successful indy games producer and something on the level of success of minecraft currently.
I wonder how much time Mark Persson spends on HN?
OTOH one clear business lesson that experience has taught me is that it doesn't really matter how hard something is to do. What matters is how many people will pay for what you've done, and how much they'll pay.
Difficulty can be a moat to deter competitors, but that's about it.
Still, sometimes the "I wrote web app, I'm teh hot programmer!" can be annoying to us systems types.
returns to putting money where mouth is...
Thank God. Not that they haven't been successful, but I really want this to stay entirely in Notch's control, as that's precisely why it's succeeding.
And, given his success, he's likely near-guaranteed a job at high-profile companies for life if he ever wants one. No reason to jump now.
Better: depends on your metric. Fewer customers = less feedback = more likely to get your idea implemented. More customers = more employees = more code backing the game (overall better), and likely more bugfixes and better-performing graphics. More control in the hands of one person = more personality-driven design decisions = ? (and I wish to point out that Apple works largely this way with Jobs - though again, "better" is still subjective)
But, at an absolute minimum, being part of Valve will put more pressure on sales than there currently is. Even if they explicitly say "do anything, we won't even look", there's an implicit push in that direction. He's now made enough money to do literally anything he wants with this game, with no pressure to make more sales. I count that a purely good thing, because there is no game for everyone, and without pressure to appeal to more people it's more likely (IMO, also still subjective) to become better in its niche.
Valve seems like one of the companies least pressured by sales. They could push out HL2: Episode 3 tomorrow and it would sell a million copies, even if it were dreck (but they wouldn't, of course). They've always had a huge bankroll (even at the beginning), and have taken the time to refine each and every one of their products before release. It's no surprise, then, that every single thing they've release has been a huge success and considered among the best games ever written.
With that said, I don't necessarily believe Minecraft is "Valve material," but I would definitely be curious to see how it would turn out with Valve's energy, artistry, and pure talent behind it.
Really? Do you know anything about Valve? If they had so much pressure on sales, why no ep3 yet? Why no new Counter Strike? Why no Half Life 3? Why a free Alien Swarm? Why Portal to start with (it was released as a pretty minor freebie of the Orange box, there were few things hinting at it getting such a cult following)? ...
Valve is Gabe's company, and as long as Gabe is there Valve's main focus will not be "pressure on sales" but "pressure on good games". They know sales come from that.
I wouldn't see Minecraft fit in Valve's universe and structure well, but I don't think it would change anything to Notch's control of his baby.
Of course he'll probably be rich enough to never have to work again by then, but an offer of his own uber-well-funded development team working on whatever the hell he feels like might well be tempting if he's the kind of guy I think he is.
Then again maybe he'll take the money and retire to bonk supermodels in Tahiti. Who knows?
E.g. Buffett / Berkshire are famous for letting their subsidiaries be run by the original, passionate management.
Use somebody else's money to build your dream product with a huge incredible staff.
Get gauranteed, huge up front salary to do so.
Take away a sizeable piece of the action on the success.
I'm happy that he's decided to stay independent, but I think Valve could actually handle a hire such as him correctly. They've got a great reputation with most of the gaming community for doing things right, and I'd be surprised if they screwed something like that up.
The entire reason Minecraft is so successful is because there IS NO HUGE INCREDIBLE STAFF. The game spawned from the thoughts, dreams, and abilities of just a single mind. Add more minds and the game becomes something it was never intended to be.
I'm not saying he should have taken the job, but Valve has earned my faith that if they take on a project, they will do it justice.
According to Minecraft's stats, in the last 24 hours 12,025 people bought the game, times 9.95 Euro = 119,499.50 Euro, which is a bit less than $163k/day in American dollars.
1) converting 2D images into 3D minecraft world for artists and lazy people
2) Connecting 26 adjacent worlds to have a fluid adaptive minecraft universe. As users move from one world to the next it pulls in the data from the next set of adjacent worlds (no crossing lag). Folks can host their own worlds and pay for virtual real estate (hosting) or lay claim to a parts of a big cube, Thematically clustered worlds would be fantastic (hell worlds, water worlds, sky citiies, shopping districts, space worlds.. etc).
There's something oddly beautiful about building your own game world.
Seriously, we had that exact idea implemented around 1997 -- and it even supported multiple authentications (anonymous worlds, versus worlds with user accounts) all transparently. And it could even do VRML, crowd control, dynamic downloads (so you could link to new worlds), and a built-in world builder.
It seemed that we had thought of everything... And then management took over.
Something tells me he is selling it for too cheap, especially with all the buzz it is getting. The license is also a lifetime license, so he has ongoing server costs for the next 5+ years that need to be covered with what he is bringing in atm (minus the huge tax bill he will be hit with).
He is selling what is a recurring service at a flat one-off rate, a subscription at $20 year may have sold just as well.
To be more precise: Working at a larger studio like Valve means you trade some creative control and (in notch's case) some short-term income for reliable long-term income and access to things you could never get in the short term as an individual, like access to devkits for consoles, access to well-trained, highly skilled QA/art/programming departments, decades of design and programming experience from leads and senior developers, etc.
Hey I f'ing love Valve, my all time favorite game company. No one is trying to suggest working for Valve is a bad thing. But a little perspective is needed here.
Or 10.5 million copies a year. To tell the truth its pretty shocking how minecraft has taken off...the guy will probably end up making 100 million off the game. And if he sticks to iterating it, it might end up making over a billion over it's lifetime(say 40-50 years).
Which may seem like a huge number, until you remember that World of Warcraft is making close to a billion a year.
The reason the number looks that shockingly high, is because he is a one man show.
My guess is that he is going to end up using his new found fame/resources to start his own game development company.
While Minecraft looks like this:
Minecraft, on the other side, is about you, your personality and creativity. You're able to modify the game as you like: First off all, you're making your own world! Second, texture packs are available, in order to change both the world and your own character. By making the game less complex, it is also very easy to get into, compared to WoW.
(I'm sure there are other reasons as well, but I'm no professional game developer.)
Recently, someone built a 16-bit ALU in minecraft:
And a 1:1 scale model of the Enterprise D:
The current demand is for games that are fun, not games that are pretty or push your gfx card to the limit. It doesn't have to look polished, but the look has to fit the gameplay.
Minecraft's blocky graphics allow the player to use their imagination a bit. Don't underestimate that.
right now people are playing for the gameplay...just like they do with WoW
He's said in interviews that the improvements he wants to make are improvements that make the game more fun. He's not going to add features that won't somehow add fun, and if he finds that something isn't fun, it's out.
Because the graphics are purposely so simplistic, people are okay with that. As soon as you upgrade them and start to make them more modern, you start getting compared to other modern games like WoW, etc.
Keep it simple, people won't worry about the graphics.
He'd have to do a serious overhaul to fix the graphics. I'm not sure if I'd want him to, either; the look is very charming.
it might continue to do well, but i'm skeptical that he'll be able to keep up the rate at which it is currently selling.
either way, though, he's doing amazingly well for himself.
Once he has mainstream appeal, he can release it for the stores to sell. Which will boost his sales.
But yeah...either way he has already made a ton of money off this game....at least a couple million. Which should give him plenty of room to perfect his product.
He definitely nears market saturation quickly.
I don't know much about game development, but it sounds like it would be a pretty easy game to replicate, right?
Gameplay is everything.
It was tongue-in-cheek.
It's genuine fun, different and has QWAN.
(This post started out about being about being willing to ignore conventions, but drifted somewhat into the nature of gameplay, sorry.)
This is the first time I've seen him referenced "in the wild"
He also is responsible for Left 4k Dead (another contest entry) if you remember that from a year or so ago.
Then ago, the DF creator is passionatr about his vision, so who knows.
Notch's earnings are exceptional. He is probably the only indie game developer (or one of a very small group) making $350K a day on his own.
Not that there's anything wrong with that; he's making a game he loves and he's lucky that enough people agree with him to donate to him that he can survive on just those earnings. It's a great and fascinating game, but it's one that most people won't like.
Redstone is the other part of the game with an epic learning curve. It can be used to craft functional logic gates. Some guy on YouTube made a massive ALU using it...