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Why Minecraft Matters (crunchgear.com)
191 points by solipsist on Jan 15, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 80 comments



Minecraft’s story is even more impressive than the article makes it seem. The game was not developed by a few people, it was developed by one guy (“Notch”). He hired six people only recently and they started working together around Winter 2010/2011.

He now gets help with the business and support side of running a company but only one of the developers he hired is working on the game with him together. The other developer is getting their next game up and running.

What’s also interesting is that Notch does not want to run the business, at least not at the scale at which it is now. He hired people to do that for him.


Notch is amazing. In case you missed it the first time:

"Time-lapse screencap video of a games programmer"

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1629810

Go Java!!


If you think Minecraft is an impressive one-man project, have you ever played Cave Story? (Doukutsu Monogatari)


Agreed. Doukutsu Monogatari is, rivaled only by Braid, the most beautiful, fun, and moving video game I have ever played. It is astonishingly creative and innovative. The gameplay is challenging, but fun. And there’s not even a hint of repetition.

It is a masterpiece. I wish that I could play it again for the first time.


Thank you both.


Or Love (Eskil Steenberg) http://www.quelsolaar.com/love/


Love is a neat game. Steenberg's toolchain for building the game, on the other hand, is incredible: http://www.quelsolaar.com/love/tool_video.html


What’s also interesting is that Notch does not want to run the business, at least not at the scale at which it is now. He hired people to do that for him.

Do you think that might be a concern? I would very much love to see Notch continue to be successful, and it would be a shame to see him lose his multi-million dollar company due to silly legal reasons.


I don’t know the internal structure of the company but I would assume that Notch legally has all the control. Whoever runs the business can presumably be vetoed by Notch at any time.

I don’t see any problems with that, at least if Notch hired the right people. If you think that running a business (that’s not just one guy selling a game on the Internet but a real business with an office and employees and all the rest) is not your strength and if you much rather want to spend most of your time coding it should be possible to let someone else run the business for you.


What's really interesting is that it's not Mojang that has the following, it's Notch. If Notch gets screwed, he has tons of loyal fans who will jump to his defense. Unless he does something stupid himself (and he doesn't seem the type), he'll have a strong following for a long time.


Very true. Did not think of that.


The reason you should care is because a team of four or five people using free libraries and cross-platform tools have just made a mockery of the last five years of franchise-oriented, $50 million budget, yearly-release, AAA game development.

Eh, I would not say that. Minecraft is not seriously competing with AAA big-budget titles like God of War. They have completely different audiences. Yes, GoW is extraordinarily expensive to create, but it offers a gameplay experience that Minecraft doesn't and never will. Or at least, by the time minecraft can procedurally generate an experience like GoW, the big-budget AAA franchises will have moved on to something flashier.

And certain franchise titles are attractive because of the licensing, eg the NFL. That is unfortunate but not something the gaming industry can do much about immediately.


But the idea is that it doesn't matter if the game genres are completely different. What matters is that indie developers like notch have shown that they can make games that will become immensely successful in new genres, such as sandbox games. Perhaps the audiences are different, although I'm sure there is still quite an overlap. However, even if the audiences are different, this just goes to show that indie developers are beating top notch companies (no pun intended) to taking advantage of these audiences.


The audiences are different, it's possible for people to like Minecraft and God of War, but for different reasons. That's what I mean by different audiences. I like classical Opera and NFL Football, but they have different audiences.

I picked GoW to contast with Minecraft because its a big-budget title with exactly the strengths that Minecraft lacks. It's narrowly focused on the theme of a god-slayer who engages in brutal close-combat. It's loaded with detailed, hand-crafted content that all fits together coherently, supporting that theme. The story, the art, the scenario/level design, the cinematic design, which is seamlessly integrated into the actual gameplay and superb performance on its target hardware (at least, for the length of time I've played it) all make a difference.

A cow in Minecraft looks like a Gateway computer box: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD6qUTQDvU4

A cow in God of War is a 35-foot tall minotaur whose armor spews some sort of steam as Kratos rends it asunder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_xbbD7RgCg

I'm not taking anything away from Minecraft here. It is a fantastic game-- the point of Minecraft is entirely different from the point of GoW. Anyone playing Minecraft cares more about what the cow represents than what it looks like. But people playing GoW care a great deal what that Minotaur looks like. They care how he looks, how he moves, how the camera tracks him during the encounter, whether there is a brief fps hit when the garbage collector kicks in, etc. Currently, to get a game full of scenes like the one linked in that GoW youtube video, you need a team of designers, artists, and developers working with excellent directors and leaders.


But here's the thing: Who is pushing the idea that people want the God of War cow? Are players really asking for that, or is it a fantasy on the part of publishers?

Publishers definitely like the idea of pumping up their games with unnecessarily large budgets, even though it works against them on a risk/reward basis, because, at least in theory, throwing money into a game will lead to a work of higher quality than the competition. And internally, everyone in charge of such projects can fall back on the prestige and instant attention assumed from having such an obviously detailed, polished work.

And yet Nintendo has never felt much need to compete on that level. They give their games plenty of marketing, for sure, but product development stays pretty tight. As far as the public knows, they never let a product explode into a monumental 4-year effort. But their games are still good and still attract a sizable audience, and they've had the most success of the big publishers in substantially expanding the game market.

Comparing the two approaches, I take the opinion that most of the console publishers are overextending themselves with an outdated strategy. It was more compelling to try to push the budget upwards in past eras, where the technology was just barely making new things possible each time, and the market was full of early-adopter types who wanted to see the shiniest thing around. But the differences between the best-looking games of 2011 and the best-looking games of 2006 are pretty subtle to the uninitiated viewer, nothing like the gap between any previous five-year comparison. And the overall trend of gaming has been towards more accessibility and less (overt) complexity. So our notions of quality have to change with it, and that greatly upsets the balance of power in game development.


>Who is pushing the idea that people want the God of War cow?

The people buying games? God of War 3 moved 1.1 million units in a single month[1] at ~$60 retail. Minecraft just topped 1 million units total last week, at $13-20 a piece.

This isn't taking away from Minecraft's success at all -- and what was essentially a one-man show making $15M+ off a single title is absolutely phenomenal success -- but I think it's silly trying to directly compare the two given the differences in scale. Neither is a replacement for the other.

[1] http://www.next-gen.biz/news/npd-god-of-war-iii-tops-march-s...


internally, everyone in charge of such projects can fall back on the prestige and instant attention assumed from having such an obviously detailed, polished work.

Reminds me of what I heard happened with American cars. The more space your team's components had under the hood, the more prestige you had in the company. As a result, American cars kept on getting bigger and bigger. American companies kept on ignoring the small car market, which left an inroad for foreign companies.


It's entertainment. It doesn't matter if people are asking for it; it matters if people can be convinced to want it.


Who is pushing the idea that people want the God of War cow?

That question is almost entirely irrelevant. Here are some relevant questions:

1. Is the game entertaining? (If so, why?)

2. Do enough people buy the game to cover development costs?

3. Do the people involved in the project feel they are fairly compensated for their work?

4. Do the people involved in the project derive satisfaction from their work?

Publishers definitely like the idea of pumping up their games with unnecessarily large budgets, even though it works against them on a risk/reward basis, because, at least in theory, throwing money into a game will lead to a work of higher quality than the competition.

I don't have much game industry experience but from what I've seen of business in general there are different parties pushing in either direction and a final budget is a product of negotiation and chance. I doubt such a generalization about the game industry is actually true.

Comparing the two approaches, I take the opinion that most of the console publishers are overextending themselves with an outdated strategy.

Fortunately, there are more than two approaches to game development.


Good point. I'm pretty sure most people I know would prefer the harmless, funny, boxy cow. The audience for casual, simple, social games dwarfs the audience for 'xbox' brute-force violence style gaming.


I'll go with that: the audiences are different. Obviously indie developers can't tackle every audience/genre, but notch and other indie developers have found a audience that they can server better than any big company can. That's what matters. Minecraft showed that the audience I'm talking about has tons of potential.


developers like notch have shown that they can make games that will become immensely successful in new genres, such as sandbox games

I would be the first one to want that to be true (since I'm trying to break into indie gamedev). However, only notch with minecraft showed that so far, and while it is an immense success for an indie game - sales figures are modest in contrast to AAA games.


> Or at least, by the time minecraft can procedurally generate an experience like GoW, the big-budget AAA franchises will have moved on to something flashier.

Sure, but there's a large audience who doesn't care about flashy, they care about fun. Minecraft is fun; flashy doesn't make a game fun.


Absolutely, and I am not taking anything away from Minecraft except the article's assertion that it "makes a mockery" of big-budget games.


I think that the big paradigm change is not for game consumers, of course GoW is both more expensive and has a very rewarding gameplay for almost every player.

The big paradigm change here, is for people who want to create videogames.

If I want to create games, I probably will send resumes to all big videogame companies and call it a day. But minecraft has shown me that doing indie game development is a much more rewarding path, both in terms of money and in the feeling of accomplishment.

So lots of brilliant programmers that could have ended making money for the big-budget AAA franchises will probably start making money for themselves.


At leas one person ditched Starcraft II he waited for for years an plays minecraft instead. Minecraft is in competition against AAA games and it seems that it sometimes wins.


Seems like a silly argument. Sometimes, people choose something different than they expected they would have enjoyed more.


To me, the more interesting part about minecraft's success is that it gets a lot of people doing things that look like work to me for fun. Also, it does this with a high learning curve and without using any kind of reward schedule mechanics that are in vogue now. As far as I can tell (and I've only watched others play), the appeal is based on the joy of creation and sharing your creations, and the difficulty of it actually enhances the experience. It just seems so fresh compared to what everyone else is doing.


> Also, it does this with a high learning curve and without using any kind of reward schedule mechanics that are in vogue now.

The game has a reward schedule in the form of hard to find materials (diamond). It's not uncommon to spend half an hour strip mining underground looking for materials. 19/20 times you just find more stone, but every once in a while you find coal, iron, diamond, etc.


Its worth noting that the audience/gamer who plays this game is pretty unique as well.

I heard of the game from the dwarf fortress forums, penny-arcade, and then later on Techcrunch and other blogs. The people talking about the games, who made the most out of it, tended to be the type with gaming experience, willingness to turn a blind eye to its current graphic set, and an imagination large enough to see the potential of the game world.

Basically, outside of the core audience of the game, there will be a sudden drop in the number of people who would be willing to give it a shot.


Except that many who get into it, gets their friends into it and their families into it (since it's such a great family game). I think you underestimate the appeal of a sandbox game like this. It's got all the casual gaming characteristics and enough depth for hard-core gamers. It's really quite impressive that way.


As opposed to, for example, God of War mentioned above?

I'm sure that will first sell to teenage boys, then by word of mouth to their sisters, and from there to their mothers and grandmothers.

Not even all boys like noisy games that require fast reactions and a zillion different key combinations (which I guess applies to GoW)


Notch seems to be adopting Google's 10% time (to some extent), but rather with 50% time.

   "Because I want to avoid us just focusing on reaching release,
   I suggested that we should dedicate 50% of the development time
   in Minecraft towards adding fun new stuff. Basically, any developer
   working on the game (two people at the moment) can just come up with
   something they’d want to add on a day-to-day basis, as long as the
   rest of the team thinks it’s a decent idea. If it ends up being fun,
   it gets added." [1]
Sure, that 50% time will still be spent working on Minecraft. But it won't be the same as the other 50% time when the developers are trying to reach deadlines and so forth. I think that Notch is now taking control of how the company functions, which is a good thing. Before, it was just him and there was nothing but meeting deadlines. Now that he has more people to help him, he can focus on fun things like this.

[1] - http://notch.tumblr.com/post/2687176736/information-dump-inc...


Excerpt:

   "Braid and Minecraft are both examples of how a few good
   ideas, executed in an accessible and affordable way, will
   outsell franchises by orders of magnitude."
This just about sums it up. Many indie developers are harnessing potential new game genres. They're finding low-budget ways to create addictive games with a high chance of becoming viral. They're finding classic ideas to expand on and platforms to build off of. Big game publishers are failing to do this. They'll spend tons of money, yet lack the innovation to break through in these new areas of the market.


Except that quote's not accurate at all. Minecraft has sold 1 million copies lifetime. CoD Black Ops sold 7 times that amount in 24 hours. The franchise outsold Minecraft by an order of magnitude.


To get some useful figures to compare:

How much profit has CoD made after all costs are accounted for? (including advertising, which minecraft skipped by going viral)

How much money did CoD make per developer?


This isn't a good comparison; Minecraft is an extreme statistical outlier.



Does anyone know the development cost for Minecraft? Presumably this would be measured in hours of time, as Notch did all the work himself (except for the music)


This is a great article on techcrunch on why the gaming industry needs to wake up and try new things and not keep on going for IP that has already been done before again and again. Sometimes gamers actually want new and fresh games not the next FPS.


It's not "sometimes" - it's some gamers most of the time.  Look anything from Mario to Madden.  The majority like the status quo, and the likes of Braid and Minecraft still aren't making EA money. Additionally, the creative thinking required to make these games don't scale to the masses of average knowledge workers employed by the big companies.


Really? So each developer that worked on Mario and madden are now multi-millionaires?


Read on. As tl correctly points out, EA doesn't employ 1,000 Minecraft developers. Their staff consists of maybe 3-5 Notch-like people, quite a few idiots, and 900 thoroughly average developers.

This specific group of people maximizes profits by producing big AAA titles which require some genius but mainly a lot of solid work. If they started churning out 1000 pseudo-Minecrafts every year, 99% would crash and burn. The rest would make good profit -- not as much as one Call of Duty, though. For EA- or Blizzard-like entities, the Minecraft-model makes a lot less sense than producing predictable juggernauts like Starcraft III and Halo 43.


and 900 thoroughly average developers.

Call of Duty: Black Ops credits 60 artists. It's very clear, watching Minecraft, that they have hired zero artists.

Making a commercial game is not merely about hiring 900 average developers. Frankly it's becoming clear to me that many people posting here have never been involved in a large creative project, even something as common as stage crew in your high school musical.


I don’t get the point you are making. Could you elaborate?

I don’t really see the connection to Minecraft. It managed to be commercially successful and critically acclaimed without any artists, isn’t that just the point? It’s nice that economies of scale allow us to throw 60 artists at a game and that’s something independent games can probably never deliver but that doesn’t automatically make games by big studios better than those that cannot afford 60 artists.


I don’t really see the connection to Minecraft. It managed to be commercially successful and critically acclaimed without any artists, isn’t that just the point?

The main difference between Notch and EA is not that EA has 900 "thoroughly average" developers, that's the point. If EA has 900 developers it's probably because they have dozens of projects going on at the same time. The difference is that EA's approach to game development typically requires a diverse array of specialized talent, which incurs administrative and organizational overhead, which is costly and slows everyone down at least a little. But, the goal is a game that could not be made by just one person. The number of "notch-like" developers they may have would just be one factor in the success of the game.

EA is old, enormous, and there is almost certainly full of bureaucratic inefficiency and mismanagement that a single programmer won't have, but "900 thoroughly average developers" aren't representative of those resources.


"not the next FPS" is funny. I have 3D sickness and can't play FPS anymore. And I got sick watching the YouTube videos about Minecraft.


Are you sure your sickness isn't being caused by an unnaturally small or high Field of View (FOV)? This is a common cause of motion sickness-like symptoms in gamers. Usually adjusting to a FOV of 90-100 degrees fixes this (depending on your screen's aspect ratio).


Then it is a good thing that we don't know each other in real life.

People would get motion sickness watching me playing Descent.

I would turn around when moving forward just for the sake of it.


Notch is a really refreshing person. Instead of all the wannabe-entrepreneurs that want to build apps/games for money (mostly), he just seems to really enjoy what hes doing. I also think all the money doesnt mean too much to him, other than he now has the freedom to only do "fun stuff". The fact that he doesnt want to run the business and just keep coding underlines that even more.


I like that Minecraft is proof you can write something cool in Java, a language considered by many to be corporate and boring.

All Java haters should watch the video of Notch coding away in Eclipse.


I'm one of those haters who thinks Java IS kind of corporate and boring. On the other hand, it's just a programming language, and it's what you do with it that counts. You could write enterprise CRUD apps in Lisp if you wanted to.

I think it's more interesting that Minecraft is a Java APPLET. (at least the free version I played was)


Once you click that "allow permissions" button, an applet is pretty much exactly like any other Java application. It has all the permissions it wants, up to and including running native code.

The paid version gives you the option to run it either as an applet or a downloadable auto-updating jar.


Jeez, someone cut APB some slack. It may have been a flop but it was hardly your run-of-the-mill linear action game.


I do think its massive budget was its undoing. I thought APB sounded pretty fun, but the pricing structure just sounded usurious and I wound up not even trying it out. I don't recall the specifics, but as somebody who has paid for lots of subscription services and games in the past, APB just sounded singularly like they were nickel and diming you.


I think it's ridiculous to use one game like Minecraft to announce a new era for videogame developers. Who's to say Minecraft wasn't an anomaly, a result of a ridiculously talented person like Notch and a perfect storm of hype and word-of-mouth PR?

> Why it matters

>

> Sounds interesting, you say, but why should I care that a few guys have put together a cool little indie game? The reason you should care is because a team of four or five people using free libraries and cross-platform tools have just made a mockery of the last five years of franchise-oriented, $50 million budget, yearly-release, AAA game development. And it’s not just a fluke. The Humble Indie Bundle, World of Goo, Braid, and a number of other extremely low-budget titles have electrified the gaming community, while games with millions in marketing budget like APB and Kane & Lynch fall flat on their face critically and commercially. Gamer discontent with these barren blockbusters is palpable, and Minecraft is the new poster boy for it.

Oh, they've "electrified the gaming community", have they? But how well are they doing financially?

Apple's App Store has enough successful apps to give developers hope, but the PC videogame scene needs more data points, before I'll start considering going "indie", as the kids call it.

How well does Minecraft do in terms of protection against piracy? I haven't heard a lot about it, and considering games like the aforementioned World of Goo's problems with it[1].

This is like saying that the success of Audiosurf on Steam ushered in a new era that developers would now be able to repeat. Steam has definitely made a big different, but everyone, calm down and take a deep breath for a second.

Notch is a friggin' wizard, and as much as people will try to reverse engineer its success, don't try to create a trend graph with one data point. I think it'd be devastating to give aspiring developers the impression that the road to success has been paved. Notch has found a way, but he hasn't paved it for the rest of us.

[1]: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/11/14/world-of-goo-vs-p...


This fits right into the pattern we've seen in the game development scene for the last two years. It's getting cheaper and easier for indie gamers to go from zero to hero every day. If you look at tools like Unity3D then its easy to imagine that the dream of so many people to be able to get a sustainable income from gamedevelopment AND gamedesign(people working as a coding monkey at EA aren't really living the dream, are they?) is closer than ever.

In a while i'll show HN my project relating to this. :)


But it also doesn’t have ... a scruffy 30-ish white protagonist, ... or any of the other hundred things that plague gamers in practically every major release.

I find myself thinking only of Half Life and Portal. Half Life, in which people were crazy about Gordon Freeman (and he fit the part) and Portal, which did not do this in the slightest.

Has it become conspicuously common? I've fallen a bit out of touch with modern games.



I've long thought that new tools (especially procedurally generated content) will pave the way for a new era of game design that allows much, much smaller teams to create top tier games. It's a lot more difficult to express an artistic vision through a large and complex bureaucratically controlled organization than it is to express it through a small group or an individual (compare the artistic quality of books written by a single author vs. by committees, etc.)

Moreover, the incredibly high cost of production of many modern games limits the sorts of games that get made. Minecraft level sales are barely enough to cover the costs of making a game at a company like EA or Activision.

Hopefully Notch's success will lead to the development of Minecraft as a highly modable platform for roughly similar games and also to the development of new low-cost game systems that produce no less enthralling experiences.


Something interesting to note is that this would've been extremely much harder to do in 2000. Small companies and one-man teams would have a hard time publishing games and gain enough ground to stand a chance against the giants at that time.

And when we look at the quality from that time period - A little over a decade ago - games like Diablo, Starcraft, Quake (2) and Unreal were the ones with the best quality. With a bit of effort, indie developers and startups these days can easily beat the quality they had.

If this continues, what will we see in 2020? As the quality a game can achieve converges towards some limit (At least I'm assuming so), will indie games be more and more common and actually manage to make games that will challenge big-budget franchises?


A point that seems to be missed is that Minecraft is a niche game. That niche is geeks. Now, that may be quite a profitable niche to exploit, but a game which is essentially about building things out of blocks will never have the mainstream appeal of a God Of War or an Angry Birds.


FPS + Farmville = Profit?


It's more than that; you also get to build scructures with as much flexability as lego, explore a randomly generated world that sometimes produces amazingly beutiful scenery, figure out how to build complicated systems from small trivial components and top it all off with the random-interval reward system of mining.

Minecraft hits so many of my "god I love this game!" features it's easily my favorite game of 2010, even though it was an alpha release.


FPS + Procedural generating soapbox then?

It doesn't sound like Farmville (also seems to have negative connotations here for some reason).


More like FPS meets Lego (building, not the story stuff Lego has tried in the past).


I'd say FPS + Lego + RPG + Diablo.

And the lego includes a few sets of mindstorms for programmable fun.


In other words, trying to boil down Minecraft in this fashion is pointless and silly.


Minecraft is not an FPS, neither does it have elements to it that are similar to Farmville's. Go try out Minecraft and come back when you're more informed on the subject.


well. It's an FP RPG then ?


FPS = First Person Shooter, there's melee and range weapons. What is your definition of a FPS?

For Farmville part. Isn't there not much to do after the 'survival mode' at night?


While Minecraft may be in first person and let the user use an bow-and-arrow as a weapon, calling it an FPS is distorting what the game really is. Shooting is a feature of it, but it is not what the game is known for.


An interesting note here for those of who who like Minecraft: There has been another sandbox game called Dwarf Fortress out for a while now, which Notch said he used as a big inspiration for Minecraft. Dwarf Fortress lets you build out your world in millions of unique ways, liquid flow mechanics are accurate, gravity, civilization actions, pretty much everything.

However, one huge warning: The learning curve is 100 times harder than Minecrafts, and the base art for he game is asci!(although you can upgrade it with user made graphic packs) It will also take all of your processing power.


Dwarf Fortress definitely deserves a plug - its run by a two brother team and the game is... hard. They currently earn through donations and are able to keep themselves plugging along.

The games ambition is to simulate an entire fantasy world, literally. His recent update was on the lines of:

" Now you can take rock nuts, for instance, mill them into a nut paste, then put them in a screw press to get oil (into a jug) and a press cake. Both of these can be cooked and the oil can also be made into soap. The press cake shouldn't be as yummy, probably, or maybe it should be restricted as animal feed, but currently it is just food. Jugs are currently anything but clay pretty much, and clay is the next step." - (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/index.html)

The game procedurally generates a world, identifies different types of biomes, soil layers, weathers the terrain, flows rivers, amongst other pre-start activities. After that it populates the world with civilizations, and simulates interactions, wars, kidnappings, interactions/fights with monsters/demons, for about a 1050 years before presenting you the world to do what you will.

The game creates a LOT of emergent scenarios and stories, one of the more recent ones was this: http://www.nzfortress.co.nz/forum/showthread.php?t=20768

Its immense fun, but the learning curve is brutal; the starting screens without any graphics pack look like the matrix. Really - http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/screens/dwf5.html

The game is mind-bogglingly complex, and immense fun. Worth taking a look into.

Some other interesting stories which derived from the game- Boatmurdered - http://lparchive.org/Dwarf-Fortress-Boatmurdered/ Tholtig- http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=42702.msg7905... Curated thread with links - http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=41896.0


Sorry meant to up-vote you but my finger slipped. Thanks for plugging DF it really is an awesome game.


I recently tried to get into DF. I downloaded the lazynewb pack and tried for hours to get it to run at a proper resolution. The window would never size to what I had set it in the config editor as included with the pack or with manual editing.

I really wish I could have played that game.


Looking at the list of what's included with lazynewb, I really don't see much in there that I'd expect to reduce the difficulty for a new player. Plenty of utilities and such for making the interface easier to understand, but the gameplay mechanics are untouched. I'd say you're far better off with a good tutorial (even better, someone who can help you in person).


I had a similar experience the first time I tried it. It was unplayably slow, but now I can get a solid framerate. Check back in a few months, the DF guys seem to be making some progress in performance, etc and the next build might fix your issue.


I don't think it's my computer performance (I have an i7), but something with the package.

I'll try again with vanilla DF when I have the time.


Minecraft is awesome. But nothing about it's business or distribution model is new. I was playing computer games I got from "The Net" (well, back then, it was BBS's-over-modems) that were (a) made by a single guy and/or small team, and (b) sold directly (or mostly so) and/or pirated. Now, this thing is awesome and he did a hell of a job at overall game design and coding. But this meme I've seen going around how the fact that it's the work of basically one guy is some new new thing: it's not.




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