What the Fuck is Minecraft?
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is a game about squares.
In a world made of blocks, you (a rather blocky person yourself) must use your wits and common sense to build and carve a way to safety. This is a dangerous world, make no mistake – monsters appear from out of the dark, mountains themselves can roar at you, and an errant poke in the wrong direction could bury you alive under tons of soil.
But all is not lost. You’re a smart adventurer, after all. After tearing down some trees with your bare hands and building yourself a rudimentary shelter, you’ll begin to explore the mineral wealth of this new land – iron, coal, gold, and even stranger treasures await you deep in the cores of these mountains. The question is, can you work your way to the heart of the earth, plunder its riches, and return to tell the tale?
Developed by one-man creator Markus Persson (also known as Notch), Minecraft is a Java-based, sandbox-style adventure. It fits squarely among more difficult survival games such as Dwarf Fortress and NetHack, while keeping the simple charm of one’s younger building-block days. It is outwardly simple, internally complex, easy to play, and difficult to master. Perhaps best of all, despite being constructed of laughable square blocks, the game manages to deliver a wonderful atmosphere of fear, paranoia, determination, and reward all in one package.
All right, what can you do?
There are basically 3 modes of gameplay; Adventure, Survival and Creative.
Survival mode is great, you start out with your bare hands and nothing else, you are dropped into a randomly generated world and are forced to fend for yourself. At night zombies, gigantic spiders, and all sorts of ghoulies come out to try to kill you- or as someone else put it
Survival is a near-perfect example of what we hope developers mean when they start talking about "emergent gameplay." Beginning with nothing but the ability to punch the hell out of things in a variably hostile and procedurally generated world, you can with a little effort and luck and time build something worth bragging about to your disinterested family and friends. Build a house or a lake or a farm or a subterranean lava maze, brick by fucking brick. Hunt spiders for thread. Kill pigs for delicious ham. Master the red flower. Run out of torches so far beneath the earth that digging upwards in a panic is as likely to get you a face full of lava as it is to get you a face full of ocean. Build shit no one else has ever built in places no one else has ever been.
Survival mode features a lot of terrain, nearly 8 times the surface area of the Earth, in fact. Her's a video by Notch, the creator, demonstrating the randomly generated terrain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NszGurDUlHc
You can play around with lava, water, currently the only weather really available is Winter though. Notch also puts out a secret update every Friday.
It's still being worked on since Notch is first developing the multiplayer for survival but it is nevertheless awesome- You have an infinite amount of blocks and whatever you want to build anything, think of it as digital lego.
Not much is known about this but Notch has mentioned it on his blog
This is a bit early, but we were discussing it on irc, so:
Announcing the Dungeons and Levers Expansion Pack
+ Dungeon Mode. Like Survival, except you can’t destroy walls or craft items.
+ Programmable Tiles. Pressure plates, levers, doors.
+ More mobs.
+ More usable items. (Potions? Teleporter stones? Keys?)
+ Official public level file format
+ Play on either player generated levels or randomly generated levels
+ 100% free for anyone who has bought the game!
[edit: This expansion pack will come in the distant future, after the game has been released. It’s currently only in the planning stages]
The rationale for Redstone
“But why”, some people ask, “are you making Minecraft programmable?”. The reason is, adventure mode!
The three main game modes when the game is finished will be:
* Creative mode. You can build anything for free, and there’s no health bar, and no inventory.
* Survival mode. There’s a health bar, an inventory, and you need to gather resources to be able to build.
* Adventure mode. There’s a health bar and an inventory, but you can’t destroy or place blocks, you can only use items.
(You can combine at least the two latter game modes for different players in multiplayer)
I foresee a future where people can design “challenge maps” in creative or survival mode, then share them with people so that they can try to beat them in Adventure mode. Being able to create interesting puzzles or trigger events requires some more advanced programming than the sand and water based stuff we’ve seen so far, yet still I don’t want to introduce real programming into the world.
I don't know, can my computer run this?
I've heard the general rule of thumb is if you can run Half Life 2 you can run this, it's not the most advanced game but don't let it's simplicity fool you. Here is also a Newbie Guide if you want to get started, currently it only costs $10 USD to buy it.
Wait, pay for a game that's still being tested? Fuck this.
Yes Minecraft is still in the Alpha phase but trust me, for $10 you are practically stealing this game but you also get
Here's what you get:
You never have to pay again!
You get all future versions of the game, including all expansions and addons.
You help fund the development of Minecraft
Custom skins in multiplayer
Once you've bought the game, it's yours. No DRM.
Build your defenses during the day, fend off the incoming masses during night.
Capture the Flag
Defend your base and flag against the enemy team while trying to steal their flag.
Various custom level mods
Want to import a doom map? How about playing in a random dungeon?
After the game is actually released the price will about double so you should definitely buy it and support this dude because he made this awesome game by himself and he's practically giving it away.
You've sold me! Where do I go?
Currently though the site is being slow for some reason, he mentions this on his blog but says that he's currently away and can't repair the problem. It was a pain buying an account because of this but I figured it out with some patience:
After you go on register and type in the captcha just leave the page there for maybe 10-20 minutes and if the Username isn't taken it will take you to the page where you can buy it. It worked for me vOv
If you go on the site you can also play a free version that lets you dick around with blocks and see how the game runs on your computer. I should probably mention that while you can download a client to play the game you can also play it in your browser.
Minecraft is Just Awesome
If you want a sort of startup video guide you can watch This Guy. You can watch the first couple to get a feel for the game and what you need to know but if you don't want the whole experience spoiled you should probably stop after the first few. The LP itself is really entertaining though and I'd suggest you watch all of his videos.
Official Minecraft Forums
A site where users submit skins you can use