Category Archives for "Minecraft News"

Inspiration, motivation, stress, and abandonment

A normal project for me goes through three stages. I will summarize and review them because I’m waiting for a very slow script to finish and have nothing better to do! 😀

Ah! A new idea! I think I know how I could do an awesome thing, or there’s a new aspect I want to try with an existing feature. Development speed is amazingly high and new ideas get thrown around. Some of it might not be perfect, and there’s a significant risk of abandoning the project at this stage.

Fun: 5/5
Usefulness: 2/5
Fulfillment: 5/5
Productivity: 4/5

After the initial stage of inspiration, the project moves into the motivation driven phase. Features get tweaked and polished, and the overall design gets a final overhaul. Some boring things get pushed up until later, if possible.

Fun: 3/5
Usefulness: 3/5
Fulfillment: 3/5
Productivity: 5/5

Suddenly I realize I need to finish the feature! Doubt sets in, and some deadline starts looming. Is it good enough? Is it even usable? Productivity drops suddenly, and the major motivator becomes just getting it done before the deadline. This usually leads to last minute work. Despite this, much of the work ends up being actually very good.

Fun: 1/5
Usefulness: 3/5
Fulfillment: 2/5
Productivity: 1/5

Eventually, the project is considered “good enough”, or the deadline passes, and whatever is there will just have to serve as the final version. Sure, I could spend infinitely more time working on it, but new projects are either deemed more important, or some new inspiration sets in. The project is wrapped up and released.

Fun: 3/5
Usefulness: 5/5
Fulfillment: 4/5
Productivity: 3/5
Yes, I’m talking about the ender dragon fight. 😉


Next week is MineCon week. That means we’ll release the full version of Minecraft (which will be called “Minecraft”, and have a version number of 1.0. The current version is “Minecraft Beta”). We’ll keep working on Minecraft for a long time after the full release, but it’s a huge milestone.

That milestone also means people might start reviewing the game. There have been a few reviews already, but I have a feeling most people are waiting for the full release.

This makes me nervous.

It does feel like the game has already proven itself. Lots of people play the game, and we receive a lot of friendly and positive emails from players. We’ve won several amazing awards, so several people in the industry seems to enjoy what we’ve done.
Now it’s just the press left.

It’s a bit weird, but gaming scores have become so big and bloated, I can’t help but feel like I would be disappointed with a score that would be a great score for something like a movie or a music album. And even if the score means relatively little compared to the players and the awards, it’s a distinct number people will use to compare the game to other games.

But what REALLY makes me nervous is the fact that I’m going to have to do at least some public speaking at MineCon. I’m fine with meeting fans and signing stuff, and even with having my picture taken, but standing on stage and trying to get a point across really terrifies me.

Important news regarding chickens and eggs

Ok, so.. For a long time, I’ve claimed that obviously the egg came before the chicken, as the first chicken had to be hatched from something.

We had a discussion about it today at work, and Jens contested that claim. So now I’ve revised my position.

Chicken can lay eggs without them being fertilized. This means the eggs are made up of non-genetically-mixed material, and that the fertilization alters the contents of the eggs (the thing that gets hatched).

This means that some kind of proto-chicken got fertilized, laid a proto-chicken egg that contained a mutated offspring that we would today call a chicken.

So obviously, the chicken came first. QEFD.

I hate “free to play”

Ok, that headline it a bit overly inflammatory. While I am sceptical of the free to play trend, what I hate is the wording “free to play”.

The reason some people are moving to this area is that free to play showed up in the “social gaming” segment (facebook) and made a few people (zynga) very rich. It’s been tried in other genres in other markets with decent success. By “success”, I mean “it’s profitable”. The reason anyone switches to “free to play” is to make more money. You get your players hooked on your game, and then you try to monetize them. The idea is to find a model where there basically is no cap on how much the player can spend, then try to encourage players to spend more and more money. Various psyhological traps like abusing the sense of sunk costs get exploited, and eventually you end up with a game that’s designed more like a slot machine than half-life 2.

So instead of calling it “free to play”, we should call it “as expensive as you want it to be” or something.

I do not mind paying for games after the purchase. I like customizing my character, or getting a few extra levels (DX HR:Missing Link, woo!), or even paying a subscription cost for something with running costs.

But let’s get one thing clear: people who think “free to play” is a great future are mostly game developers, not game players.

I’ll go play some team fortress 2 now until dota 2 is released. I can’t wait!! =D

Battlefield 3 is looking amazing

Ok, so I missed out on the Beta, but everything I’ve seen looks amazingly fun. Like ridiculously so. Even the bugged out crawling animations look hilarious.

While I think some serious competition to Steam is a good thing for everyone involved, especially the customers, I’m a bit skeptical of Origin. That said, I’d GLADLY start using it just to be able to play Battlefield 3.

Heck, I’d gladly gnaw my own feet off to be able to play Battlefield 3.

Happy birthday, us!

One year ago, we started Mojang. Back then, Minecraft had sold between half a million and one million copies, and now we’re up to almost four million copies sold, we’re expanding to two new platforms, and we’re getting good progress done with our new game. In one month, we’re going to Las Vegas to celebrate the full release of Minecraft with our fans. And we’re getting sued by one of my favorite game developers.

I started working on Minecraft in the summer of 2009, starting with a top-down isometric mining game. The elevator pitch for the game was “Dwarf Fortress meets Rollercoaster Tycoon meets Dungeon Keeper”. It was an interesting game for sure that I’d still like to see someone make, but then I played a game called Infiniminer and realized the first person perspective with blocky graphics worked really well and started prototyping it. The game went from being about controlling a team of characters to being a single player first person experience, with a focus on resource gathering and a somewhat coherent fantasy setting that would provide hopefully constant challenges and things to do.

After a little more than half a year of working on the game, people started talking about it and paying attention to it, so I was able to quit my day job and focus on it full time. I got flown out to Seattle to talk to Valve (and Bungie, as a bonus! :D). Valve’s one of the places I’d absolutely love to work at, the people are really nice and creative, and their new offices are amazingly nerd friendly. But I decided to instead focus on doing my own thing, called Jakob, and told him to quit his job.

Daniel joined, then Carl, then me and Jakob took a short field trip to Uppsala to meet with Junkboy, then Daniel suggested Jens, and all of the sudden we’re 12 people in the office, with three more signed up. We’re looking for a bigger office now. Fun!

We’re officially one year old now, and things are more fun than ever. 😀 Thank you, everyone working at Mojang. You may miss morning meetings sometimes, and some of you have horrible taste in music, but I love you all! And, of course, none of this would’ve been possible without the players and the fans, so thank you, person reading this!

Also, we’ve won a big pile of awards. ;-D

Pre releases and Adventure Updates

The adventure update is going great! We’re adding features and cramming in content, and then started feature creeping and content creeping. What we’ve got on our hands now is somewhere in between a finished Adventure Mode update and a version of the game we’d be proud to call just “Minecraft”. Not “Minecraft Beta” or “Minecraft Alpha”, but just plain and simple “Minecraft”.

And we’re going to release that version of the game live on stage in Vegas at MineCon! Woooo!

Up until then, instead of trying to squeeze in another real release, we’re going to do weekly (or so) pre releases, aimed at advanced players. We release these via twitter, so make sure to follow me (@notch) and Jens (@jeb_) if you’re interested in those.

Also, we’re finally adding a dragon.

A short response

I just saw this:

I feel the need to clarify a couple of things:

We realized we should apply for the trademark “Minecraft” to protect our brand. When doing so, we also sent in an application for “Scrolls”. When Bethesda contacted us, we offered both to change the name to “Scrolls: <some subtitle>” and to give up the trademark.

They refused on both counts.

Whatever reason they have for suing us, it’s not a fear of us having a trademark on the word “Scrolls”, as we’ve offered to give that up.

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