Minecraft is a sandbox indie game originally created by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson and later developed and published by Mojang. It was publicly released for the PC on May 17, 2009, as a developmental alpha version and, after gradual updates, was published as a full release version on November 18, 2011. A version for Android was released a month earlier on October 7, and an iOS version was released on November 17, 2011. On May 9, 2012, the game was released on Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade game, co-developed by 4J Studios.
All versions of Minecraft receive periodic updates. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and combat. Gameplay in its commercial release has two principal modes: survival, which requires players to acquire resources and maintain their health and hunger; and creative, where players have an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger.
A third gameplay mode named hardcore is the same as survival, differing only in difficulty; it is set to hardest setting and respawning is disabled, forcing players to delete their worlds upon death. Minecraft received five awards from the 2011 Game Developers Conference: it was awarded the Innovation Award, Best Downloadable Game Award, and the Best Debut Game Award from the Game Developers Choice Awards; and the Audience Award, as well as the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, from the Independent Games Festival in 2011.
In 2012, Minecraft was awarded a Golden Joystick Award in the category Best Downloadable Game. and as of January 22, 2013, over 20 million copies across all platforms. Gameplay Minecraft is an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game. However, there is an optional achievement system. The gameplay by default is first person, but players have the option to play in third person mode. The core gameplay revolves around breaking and placing blocks.
The game world is essentially composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes—that are arranged in a fixed grid pattern and represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. At the start of the game, the player is placed on the surface of a procedurally generated and virtually infinite game world. Players can walk across the terrain consisting of plains, mountains, forests, caves, and various water bodies. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle, with one full cycle lasting 20 real time minutes.
During the daytime, non-hostile animals, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, spawn. They may be hunted for food and crafting materials. Although limits exist on vertical movement both up and down, Minecraft allows for an infinitely large game world to be generated on the horizontal plane, only running into technical problems when extremely distant locations are reached. The game achieves this by splitting the game world data into smaller sections called “chunks”, which are only created or loaded into memory when players are nearby.
The game’s physics system, in which most solid blocks are unaffected by gravity, has often been described as unrealistic by commentators. Liquids in the game flow from a source, a liquid block which can be removed by placing a solid block in place of it. Complex systems can be built using primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits, and logic gates built with an in-game material known as redstone. Minecraft features two alternate dimensions besides the main world – the Nether and The End. The End is a barren land in which a boss dragon called the Ender Dragon dwells.
Killing the dragon cues the game’s ending credits, written by Irish author Julian Gough. Players are then allowed to teleport back to their original spawn point in the overworld, and will receive “The End” achievement. The game primarily consists of two game modes: survival and creative. Unlike in survival mode, in creative mode, players have access to unlimited blocks, regenerate health when damaged, and can fly freely around the world. Health replenishes when players have a nearly full hunger bar, and also regenerates regardless of fullness if players play on the easiest difficulty.
Players can craft armor, which can help mitigate damage from attacks, while weapons such as swords can be crafted to kill enemies and other animals. Emerald ores are often the currency of the villagers, although some trade with wheat or other materials. Dropped items can be recovered if players can reach them before they despawn. Enchanted items are generally more powerful, last longer, or have other special effects. Creative mode In creative mode, players have access to most of the resources and items in the game through the inventory menu, and can place or remove them instantly.
Players, able to fly freely around the game world, do not take environmental or mob damage, and are not affected by hunger. The game mode helps players focus on building and creating large projects. Gameplay is similar to survival mode but introduces various player restrictions such as disabling the ability to place blocks and destroy blocks without the appropriate tools. Multiplayer Multiplayer on Minecraft is available through player-hosted servers and enables multiple players to interact and communicate with each other on a single world.
Players can run their own servers or use a hosting provider. Single player worlds have local area network support, allowing players to join worlds on locally interconnected computers without a server setup. Minecraft multiplayer servers are guided by server operators, who have access to server commands such as setting the time of day and teleporting players around. Operators can also set up restrictions concerning which usernames or IP addresses are allowed to enter the server. A gamemode, PvP, may be enabled to allow fighting between players.
Development The developer of Minecraft, Markus “Notch” Persson, began developing the game as an independent project while working for King. com and later jAlbum. He was inspired to create Minecraft by several other games such as Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, and later Infiniminer. At the time, he had visualized an isometric 3D building game that would be a cross between his inspirations and had made some early prototypes. Minecraft was released to the public on May 17, 2009, as a developmental “alpha” release.
Although Persson maintained a day job with Jalbum. net at first, he later quit in order to work on Minecraft full-time as sales of the alpha version of the game expanded. Persson continued to update the game with releases distributed to users automatically. These updates included features such as new items, new blocks, new mobs, survival mode, and changes to the game’s behavior . On December 11, 2010, Persson announced that Minecraft was entering its beta testing phase on December 20, 2010.
He further stated that sers who bought the game after this date would no longer be guaranteed to receive all future content free of charge as it “scared both the lawyers and the board. ” However, bug fixes and all updates leading up to and including the release would still be free. Over the course of the development, Mojang hired several new employees to work on the project. Mojang moved the game out of beta and released the full version on November 18, 2011. The game has been continuously updated since the release, with changes ranging from new game content to new server hosts.
On December 1, 2011, Jens “Jeb” Bergensten took full creative control over Minecraft, replacing Persson as lead developer. Audio Minecrafts music and sound effects are produced by German composer Daniel “C418” Rosenfeld. The background music in Minecraft is non-lyrical ambient music. On March 4, 2011, Rosenfeld released a soundtrack, titled Minecraft – Volume Alpha; it includes most of the tracks featured in Minecraft, as well as other music not featured in the game. The video game blog Kotaku chose the music in Minecraft as one of the best video game soundtracks of 2011.
Platforms Personal computer versions The PC was the original platform for Minecraft; the game runs on multiple operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Apart from the main version, there are also other versions of Minecraft available for PC, including Minecraft Classic and Minecraft 4k. Minecraft Classic is an older version of Minecraft, available online for players. Unlike newer versions of Minecraft, the classic version is free to play, though it is no longer updated.
It functions much the same as creative mode, allowing players to build and destroy any and all parts of the world either alone or in a multiplayer server. There are no computer creatures in this mode, and environmental hazards such as lava will not damage players. Some blocks function differently since their behavior was later changed during development. Minecraft 4k is a simplified version of Minecraft similar to the classic version that was developed for the Java 4K game programming contest “in way less than 4 kilobytes”.
The map itself is finite—composed of 64? 64? 64 blocks—and the same world is generated every time. Players are restricted to placing or destroying blocks, which are randomly located and consist of grass, dirt, stone, wood, leaves, and brick. Minecraft – Pocket Edition On August 16, 2011, Minecraft – Pocket Edition was released for the Xperia Play on the Android Market as an early alpha version. It was then released for all other compatible devices on October 8, 2011. An iOS version of Minecraft was released on November 17, 2011.
The port concentrates on the creative building and the primitive survival aspect of the game, and does not contain all the features of the PC release. On his Twitter account, Jens Bergensten noted that the Pocket Edition of Minecraft is written in C++ and not Java, due to iOS not being able to support Java. Gradual updates are periodically released to bring the port closer to the PC version. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition The Xbox 360 version of the game, developed by 4J Studios, was released on May 9, 2012. On March 22, 2012, it was announced that Minecraft would be the flagship game in a new Xbox Live promotion called Arcade NEXT.
The version’s crafting interface does not require players to place items in the correct place in a crafting menu. The interface shows the blocks required to craft the selected item, and crafts it if the players have enough blocks. Minecraft: Pi Edition A port of Minecraft for the Raspberry Pi was officially revealed at MineCon 2012. Mojang stated that the Pi Edition is similar to the Pocket Edition except that it is downgraded to an older version, and with the added ability of using text commands to edit the game world.
Players can open the game code and use programming language to manipulate things in the game world. The game was leaked on December 20, 2012, but was quickly pulled off. It was officially released on February 11, 2013. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition During their E3 2013 press conference Microsoft showed a trailer for Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. It will build off Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition but feature larger worlds, expanded multiplayer features, and enhancements powered by the Xbox One. This version will be released “within the Xbox One aunch window”. User-generated content and DLC A wide variety of user-generated content for Minecraft, such as modifications, texture packs and custom maps, is available for download from the Internet. Modifications of the Minecraft code, called mods, add a variety of gameplay changes, ranging from new blocks, new items, new mobs to entire arrays of mechanisms to craft. The modding community is responsible for a substantial supply of mods, including ones that add to the game elements from Pokemon, Portal, and The Hunger Games.
To make mods easier to create and install, Mojang announced in November 2012 that it plans to add an official modding API. Texture packs that customize the game’s graphics are also available. Custom maps have become popular as well. Players can create their own maps, which often contain rules, challenges, puzzles and quests, and share them for others to play. In version 1. 4, Mojang added content specifically designed for playing custom maps, such as adventure mode Unlike the PC version, however, this version does not support player-made mods, texture packs or custom maps.
At the same time, the game had no publisher backing and has never been commercially advertised except through word of mouth, and various unpaid references in popular media such as the Penny Arcade webcomic. By April 2011, Persson estimated that Minecraft had made €23 million in revenue, with 800,000 sales of the alpha version of the game, and over 1 million sales of the beta version. In November 2011, prior to the game’s full release, Minecraft beta surpassed 16 million registered users and 4 million purchases.
By March 2012, Minecraft had become the 6th best-selling PC game of all time. At the beginning of April 2013, Minecraft broke 10 million sales for PC. The Xbox 360 version of Minecraft became profitable within the first 24 hours of the game’s release when the game broke the Xbox Live sales records with 400,000 players online. Within a week of being on the Xbox Live Marketplace, Minecraft sold upwards of 1 million copies. GameSpot announced in December 2012 that Minecraft sold over 4. 48 million copies since the game debuted on Xbox LIVE Arcade in May 2012.
In 2012, Minecraft was the most purchased title on Xbox Live Arcade; it was also the fourth most played title on Xbox Live based on average unique users per day. In addition, Minecraft: Pocket Edition has reached a figure of 7. 3 million in sales bringing the total sales for Minecraft across all platforms to over 20 million. Critics have praised Minecraft’s complex crafting system, commenting that it is an important aspect of the game’s open-ended gameplay. Most publications were impressed by the game’s “blocky” graphics, with IGN describing them as “instantly memorable”.
Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun also recommended the alpha of the game, calling it “a kind of generative 8-bit Lego Stalker”. On September 17, 2010, gaming webcomic Penny Arcade began a series of comics and news posts about the addictiveness of the game. The Xbox 360 version was generally received positively by critics, but did not receive as much praise as the PC version. Although reviewers were disappointed by the lack of features such as mod support and content from the PC version, they acclaimed the port’s addition of a tutorial and in-game tips and crafting recipes, saying that they make the game more user-friendly.