1. Minecraft is an absolute work of art as a standalone game. The possibilities are endless and it works everywhere. It's simple to play yet is possible of incredible complexity.
2. Relative to the playtime, the game is actually very inexpensive, especially if you got the beta/alpha discount
3. Notch really seems like just about the most pleasant guy in the world and really just wears his passion on his sleeve. He's an easy guy to like.
4. Notch and everyone at Mojang really love video games and it shows. I always really respected guys like Kurt Cobain and Flea growing up because they always tried to give credit and lend their popularity to fellow musicians and influences. Everyone at Mojang does this and are surely leading kids toward a lot of great games. They even support the Minecraft clones.
5. It's been covered but Notch has used the massive profits of Minecraft in smart ways to build Mojang slowly and really help out the developers who make it possible. Great bunch of developers too, very public and responsive. They are also smart about what actually gets added to Minecraft.
6. Best community in gaming currently, hands down. The user made stuff is jaw dropping.
7. They continue to spend most of their resources working on Minecraft despite the fact that they are both working on other games now and could sit on their thumbs and rake in the cash on Minecraft if they wanted. Let users fix the bugs. You know, like Bethesda does.
8. Cutest mersh ever.
Archive.org has the page but not the files! http://web.archive.org/web/20090728013239/http://www.mojang.... :-(
I realize I am in the minority, but something about him just rubs me the wrong way. This is not a criticism of him, more just a personal preference.
I will say that I think it's incredibly self-absorbed that he hosts livestreams of him coding, but a lot of people seem to enjoy watching them, so it's not too bad.
Is there anything specific that rubs you the wrong way about him?
Although I don't stalk Notch online except when he dips into Twitter, I mostly see that guy giving a ton of credit to other people at Mojang or at least often enough where it's my general impression of him.
Game jams such as Ludum Dare heavily encourage participants to stream their sessions and include tutorials on how to get the whole thing set up.
Considering how many eyes would be on him, I'd think it'd be humble that one would be willing to allow people to watch them mock up anything and critique over-shoulder.
Revenue growth is slow, but not bad considering he attempted to live off of donations at the start of the financial crisis. There is still organic growth however, and as larger milestones are reached I am genuinely curious to see how the community responds, especially once the global economy is out of the current creep its in now:
It's like watching the rise of Banksy. The game is now featured in MoMA. He's had a 6-page article in the New York Times magazine. Every AAA game studio I've walked into at least deeply respects Dwarf Fortress and Bay 12, even if they don't play the game. If he ever gets to finish it (2030 perhaps), it makes you wonder where it will end up in the zeitgeist.
I suppose you could include Linux Torvalds etc but only if you consider big corporate sponsorships as donations.
>>>5. It's been covered but Notch has used the massive profits of Minecraft ... and really help out the developers who make it possible
Notch may have helped out some of the developers who made Minecraft possible, but I hadn't heard that he helped out the ONE developer who made Minecraft possible.
Here are Notch's words for which developer made the game "Minecraft" possible. http://notch.tumblr.com/post/227922045/the-origins-of-minecr...
>>>But then I found Infiniminer. My god, I realized that that was the game I wanted to do.
Has Notch given some of his massive profits to Zachary Barth, the developer who made Minecraft possible?
It makes me think of "Dizzying but Invisible Depth" Google+ post from awhile back. https://plus.google.com/112218872649456413744/posts/dfydM2Cn...
To clarify, I think it speaks positively to Notch's character when he says that Infiniminer was the game he wanted to make, and also publishes the statement on his own website for all the web to see.
And I think it's great that he and others were inspired by Infiniminer, and added their own tweaks. I just wish the original inspiration was still around so everyone could see where it all came from.
It honestly surprises me that I haven't heard about Notch helping Zach out financially, since most people seem to think that Notch is a pretty nice and honorable person.
It doesn't get a lot of mention which only really adds to the idea that they're doing this out of honest kindness rather than marketing.
The oldest one wanted to create pink wood to build herself a pink wood house. Why? Well duh, its pink (her words). We quickly dug the source code and had a pink wood block in a short time. She was so happy and learned about Java. A double win in my book.
Have you seen Aureylian and her (very young) daughter playing Minecraft?
I especially like the Zoo episode (http://youtu.be/kPMq0V_6KH8)
This is an example of bad editing of the title. The original one was much more descriptive and got to the core of what is interesting about this article. The edit has made the title bland and uninformative.
Mention a small indicator ('*' or '~') below or after a renamed title, clicking on which will show a log of the original title, the name of the admin who made the change and a footnote.
This is a pointless edit: A useful, descriptive, non-sensational / non-opinionated title replaced with something that is just plain worse.
How did this even get started? Too much bitching / derailing about editorialized titles?
Well, the Hacker News guidelines say:
> Please use the original title, unless it is misleading or linkbait.
This rule is frequently violated, because a lot of the times the original title is bad. So submitters that are used to reddit re-title the link, sometimes for worse and sometimes for the better.
But HN is pretty strict about the title rule, so they get edited back to the original pretty quickly.
You can make up a new title if you want, but if you put gratuitous editorial spin on it, the editors may rewrite it.
It seems that part has been thrown out the window and rewrites are no longer welcome. A shame.
But those who rewrite the title to something more obviously relevant get decent views even if the submission is re-titled later.
The sad fact is a lot of people who create great content are really, really bad at titles.
Seems like a rule worth changing to me.
E.g. I'll bet Bill Gates didn't personally pay (10s of) $billions in income taxes either.
Just as a side reference, the dividend and capital gains rate in Sweden is about 30%.
Can someone explain why this thing exploded how it did?
On the family multiplayer server, I made sky houses out of giant mushrooms and bone dust. I made a hockey arena in the snow. I laid roads out of gravel (wood for bridges) that stretch for days of in-game time. There are waystations that you reach just as night is falling. We made a monster trap that drops tons of resources next to a powered railroad track, so you can get in a cart, whiz by monsters, after which they burn in lava, then their byproducts fall down a waterfall. I made an underwater dome out of glass.
My son loves this game and we play it together.
But there is also a special beauty when playing alone. You are marooned on a planet the size of earth. You have the power to keep yourself safe by your own efforts. You can explore vast caves to find treasure. You can light areas with torches to create zones of safety. You can grow crops and breed animals to feed yourself. You can look at the sunset through windows at your beach house, then go to bed. This is all with the tragic realization that virtually no one will appreciate your efforts (and in the game), so whatever experience or meaning you derive from it is for you alone. The world is by turns bleak, elegiac, beautiful.
Lately I've been playing hardcore mode, which gives you only one life to live and deletes the world when you die. It is easy to starve, so the first few days are scrambling just to get to a subsistent existence. It's hard even for veterans, and it turns up all that tragic stuff to 11.
There is in-game programming that people have used to make adders and ROMs and clocks. There are notes that you can use to make music (my doorbells play Raiders of the Lost Ark). You can make secret doors that open with pistons.
And that's all in the base game! Modders have had an endless field day with this game. It's now a game that contains other games, contains multitudes.
Commercial video game studios produce what are effectively interactive movies. Building and exploration take a back seat if they exist at all. I hardly game anymore, but I have high hopes for 0x10c.
Another thing that got me hooked is mods, specifically Minecraft Forge and the mods that are built on top of it. It's added so many new dimensions of gameplay.
Edit: To add there are also whole mini-games being build within vanilla Minecraft. SethBling is one map making genius. You can play his Super Smash Bros. style PvP map. Or try Vech's series of Complete the Monument style adventure/puzzle maps.
The many Let's Play Minecraft series on YouTube that should also be mentioned: Etho, BdoubleO100, Generikb, Direwolf20, KurtjMac, Guude and many more. Some of these have been YouTube partners for a while, Working at it full-time and producing ~30 minutes of content every day.
When I game these days it usually has to have a good narrative so I can get something from it, rather than something open-ended and "pointless" like Minecraft or an MMORPG. Even the social elements of an MMORPG doesn't seem worth it, given the time-sink of all the level grinding and learning arcane key combinations and the like...
If you're playing a single player world, sure it can lose its appeal pretty quickly.
But sharing your creations with your friends... walking them through something you just built... or going on adventures for specific resources together is soooooo much fun.
Everyone on voice chat via Mumble, with the Minecraft Wiki open on a second monitor....
Thats what minecraft is all about. I think a large part of its appeal has todo with it working so well in conjunction with other things. Like wiki softawre, and voice chat software, etc. Combine all these together and you really do have something special and infinitely entertaining.
I must admit after building my 3rd castle the novelty wore off, but I can understand why so many people love it.
It's lego for adults.
As a programmer, my life revolves around creating stuff out of basic building blocks. Anything I can imagine.
With the added benefit that people actually pay me to do this stuff. Score!
In a scripted game an NPC might give you a quest to go to some particular place and do a particular thing. In minecraft you create your own quests based on your own needs and desires. For example, you might decide that you want to create potions, for this you need netherwart, which you can only get from the nether realm, but to get to the nether realm you need obsidian, which can only be mined using diamond tools, so you start off by deciding to get diamond tools and mining some obsidian. To achieve that you may have to travel far distances, explore deep caverns, fight off hordes of monsters, and narrowly survive many threats. And along the way you are likely to have an experience that is just as exciting and just as memorable as any scripted quest.
Also, getting lost is a big deal in minecraft, which makes it a bit unlike many other games. Ending up several days walk from your home with no idea where you are and with night closing in and monsters soon to be everywhere is something you don't get in most games. You are far more in control of your fate in minecraft which makes your successes that much sweeter and your failures that much more painful.
It's not for everyone, and there's a good argument that the game is too easy once you've mastered it (although there's always hardcore permadeath mode) but there's no denying that there's a lot of fundamentally good gaming in there for people who enjoy the style of play.
Personally, I'm one of the goal oriented ones, so it is hard for me to really get into minecraft. I usually set goals, try to achieve them, and move on to another game. I did get my money's worth with minecraft though.
I honestly think it would be better to not be so goal-oriented in my gaming, but I just can't let it go. I miss being a kid.
Minecraft's strength is that it appeals to both creators and non-creators.
In a game such as Little Big Planet, where it could be argued that the whole point is creating levels, less than 50% have got the "Creator" trophy, but most players have the trophies you get when you complete ready-made levels.
You can repeat the exercise with other creative games on console. Here's Minecraft XBLA (unfortunately the achievements chosen for this title are less enlightening).
It's true that tracking sites like Exophase and Raptr only track achievements from people who sign up. These sites cater to players who really care about achievements, so the results would be skewed in that direction (and which I would say is the opposite direction to creativity, which has intrinsic fun).
For those who want to create, it offers virtually uninhibited creation. The world is a box of lego for you to play with. For those who want to explore, it offers infinite exploration, but there is no pressure to explore if you don't want to. For those who want to socialize, it offers multiplayer (and pets as allies), or you can enjoy the solitude. For those who want to kill or fight there are monsters, and for those who don't there is an option to switch them off. For those who want to collect, there are rare minerals. If you don't want to collect or build or grind, cheats are accepted by the creators and the community as a valid way to play.
In terms of flow, the day-night cycle changes the play context often. In standard play it offers a sense of pressure (for those who want it), while ensuring that the player never becomes too overwhelmed for too long, or becomes bored by a lack of action. The desirability of items that you can craft in the game is usually proportional to their usefulness, but also requires proportionally more effort to obtain. Crucially, most of the tools and items are non-essential or it's easy to craft basic versions that will make do. The free-form nature of the game and lack of extrinsic rewards makes it perfect for self-directed goals, which are essential for flow.
Its blocky art style is based on programmer art and technical limitations but has a functional purpose and carries a certain style. It's stylistic, not so cartoony as to put off adults, but so unrealistic that the zombies, spiders and skeletons are not scary enough to put off children (or the even the arachnophobic).
In terms of accessibility or usability it's awful. Crafting is virtually impossible without the wiki open, for example. Not even the basic mechanics are explained. There's no in-game help. There must be a significant number of people who have played the game only once because of that. Still, if you manage to persevere for an hour or so, you'll have a solid grasp of the concepts of the game. The difficulty is mostly self-directed, as per flow theory.
My question is, was all this deliberate? Does Notch have an calculating eye for game design, is it instinctual, or did he manage to hit on an excellent formula by chance? Can he repeat it?
Beyond that, the world is very immersive and lets you create elaborate homes and environments (think HGTV for gamers). Now with more multiplayer features and it's fast becoming the "Counterstrike server" that all groups of gamer friends have.
We just set up a minecraft server for our startup, and it's awesome.
This however is a blast: http://www.aceofspades.com/
Perhaps I'm just evil, but I take more joy in destroying my opponents and their castles :)
> Perhaps I'm just evil, but I take more joy in destroying my opponents and their castles
This is possible on the right server! Some of them welcome PVP and griefing.
Sentiment against big budget games with poor gameplay had risen dramatically which was opening a bigger market for indie games where simple graphics were a badge of honor. Many of these titles lacked strong replay or the ability to play with friends. Releasing in such early alpha (for money) built a highly engaged fan base (as most closed alphas tend to be) and yet set expectations rather low. Notch's clear passion and close relationship with the community along with frequent updates did a lot to build a strong community that essentially became invested in his success at a personal level. The simplicity of the game also created a situation where seeing how much could be done with so little became a big part of the appeal or at least what grabbed outsider's attention. The result of all of that was a genuine grass roots movement that snowballed into an unstoppable promotion machine.
It's not to take away from the game or his skills at all, I have a ton of respect for him and what he built. But I think it's very unlikely Minecraft would have been much more than a blip if it had been released as a finished product by faceless game studio.
Basically what every kid has ever wanted.
(And I still like Lego.)
The key is knowing where they are, and the best way to get them. Diamonds are only near the bottom of the map, and the best way to find them is to dig long tunnels just above the lava layer. You take a few iron tools and some basic equipment with you, dig a long tunnel until you've broken half of your iron pickaxes, then dig a parallel tunnel back to where you started. You'll pick up enough iron to replace all the tools you broke and then some, a lot of coal, and a reasonable amount of rarer materials.
It's still time consuming, but tends to be much more effective than wandering around caves or digging randomly.
Or you could cheat, and use some mod that helps you find ore. There were mods that add xray vision, or auto maps that can show the position of hidden ores.
Or just use creative mode, if you just want to build stuff.
On the other hand, what is the appeal of Facebook? Is just a glorified chat room.
Generally, if you don't have an idea for a project, for example, making a tree house, the game can get quite boring if setting up automatic resource gathering stuff isn't your thing.
Simulation games tend to be top-down and focus on controlling large swaths of things from an abstract point of contact.
Sandbox games tend to be perspective-based and focus on controlling some single person or group of persons from an intimate point of contact.
Or, more pithily: In a simulation game, you pan; in a sandbox game, you walk.
Also from the article here: "Markus Persson gave away his part, about 27 million, to the employees."
edit: Just wanted to make it clear what the article said, it was not meant to sound negative. It is truly an awesome and very kind gesture from Markus!
Not making a comment about how awesome or not-awesome giving away $4M USD is. Just adding context.
Minecraft-sized space game? Where you have to program your ship?
If anyone wonders, the PC version is not the best seller (currently) for Mojang. The XBox version sells more than the PC version and the Pocket Edition (iOS, Android) sells more than both combined.
Daily stats for the PC version here: http://minecraft.net/stats
My son loves it, especially building complicated redstone devices -- kind of a form of in-game programming.
Probably a few users of Eclipse out there, as well.
Not sure whether you want to buy? Just press that button there...
Videos are probably the easiest way to see the possibilities of the mod.
This may get me the rest way into Minecraft... I've been wanting to write an L-system generator for large-scale objects and this sounds like it may be just the ticket.
To the OP, HN is not a Swedish language site.
Rather, I think you may instead be highlighting the problems of producing a cross-platform game -- especially when the given target OS has a something like a 1% desktop market share.
It's also a fallacy to suggest that more money == immediately better development, such as illustrated in 'The Mythical Man-Month'. The revenues should indeed help them to build better teams and processes, but one can't realistically expect that to happen overnight.
I've never used Minecraft and actually I haven't a clue what it is. I just know that from a business perspective it sounds like there is no need for the makers of this program to invest in correcting its problems. The market seems to think the software is fantastic.
I suggest checking the release notes before assuming this. Most of what's been going on with minecraft over the past several releases has been targeted at addressing gameplay issues and bug fixes.
 Stable Releases - http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Version_history
 Development Releases - http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Version_history/Developmen...
The comment I replied to implied that since they made so much money it is somehow odd that he is still able to find problems that perhaps have existed over several versions. My point is simply that making lots of money could demotivate someone from working harder to perfect it if the market is telling them that the product is pretty damn good as it is.
The programmers are active on Reddit, twitter and youtube. There have been several examples of people posting information about bugs or suggestions and those things being implemented.
A great documentary you can download with ads on it from PirateBay, or buy a full copy:
PB Free with Ads:
Purchase for $8 (US):
After we started building together I tried to destroy our island in many ways, including dying with handfuls of equipment, but am getting better fast.
P.S. Not that I didn't want to play MC in the first place...
What would've happened if Minecraft were made open source? How would that alternative reality be different from our current one?
I've gotta say these kind of posts piss me off. A programming language is a tool, nothing more, nothing less. Certain tools are better than others for certain jobs.
I program in C,C++,Java,VBA,JavaScrip,PL-SQL and I've even dabbled in Ruby, Perl and LISP. However, I still find it offensive that some noob Ruby developers think somehow that they are the chosen ones and can bash other developers without expecting any backlash.
Keep trying, though. You'll snark well someday.