The 'make a game in a weekend' Ludum Dare competition has drawn to a close for the 26th time, spawning over one and half thousand games along the theme of 'minimalism'. Minecraft man Notch took a whack at creating something for the contest and ended up with Drop, a simple game about falling into an endless cube while tapping keys as letters appear on your screen. It's inspired by Super Hexagon and the corner of the room Notch was sitting in when he thought of it. I'm terrible at it, because fingers.
I spent about 10 minutes just now trying to work out precisely how Most Influential Markus Persson and Jens Bergensten are, but it seems Time have de-numbered their list. Instead, according to Will Wright and a magazine who have been doing this for a very long time, the two men of Minecraft are ‘Titans’.
The internet has spoken. After Time Magazine opened a poll asking which figures should be included in their annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, votes poured in for Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson. With the polls now closed, Notch sits in second place with 156,694 votes, just behind Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Markus ‘Notch’ Perrson’s follow-up to Minecraft, space game 0x10c, which puts you in charge of a ship and a programmable computer, is “on ice" at the moment as the director of Mojang works through a “kind of weird creative block" that he says has “been going on for too long".
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In mid-February, nine indie dev teams assembled in New York, in the Netherlands, in Mojang’s lush Stockholm office and elsewhere to make nine games in 78 hours. 86,531 fans picked the theme of their games, watched their development via live streams, and donated more than $500,000 to Block by Block and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Sadly, though, the fine beard of Mojang head Markus ‘Notch’ Persson did not survive a flippant promise he had made to donors before proceedings began.
Sometimes, Twitter is the electric blue conduit that joins the dots between human beings and makes things happen - campaigns, revolutions and running jokes. But on other occasions, it’s a hub of hubbub, misinformation and exciting propositions that end in disappointment.
See, when Notch told Double Fine’s Tim Schafer via Twitter that the pair should “make Psychonauts 2 happen", he really meant it. But that was before he’d seen the price tag.
A year before Kickstarter became a household name among video gamers, 2 Player Productions were comfortably successful in their attempt to use the site to crowdfund a feature-length documentary about the creators of Minecraft. Nearly two years on, a hundred minute documentary is the result. A mixture of montages and talking heads (and featuring some of the games industry’s most famous figures), it looks outward much more than it looks inward and is more a film about the reach and the impact of Minecraft than it is the game itself, or the studio that created it.
But is it good? And is it worth watching? Only if you’re a Minecraft fan, because The Story of Mojang feels like a film for fans and perhaps even by fans. While that satisfies someone like me, I don’t know if it’s going to convert you.
Yes, Christmas was a week ago but some of us are still shaking off from our minor hibernation and have found our news stocking rancid with ripening morsels of information. Naturally, we're passing this off to you, fair reader, before it leaves a stink in our kitchen.
So, hold out your hands and gratefully read that Minecraft sold a further 453,000 copies in a single night, Christmas Eve to be exact.
Good God. Can somebody elongate the word ‘rumble’ for me so that it lasts for the duration of this post? TF2 Mixup 5 is in the offing, and brings together some of games development and internet culture’s finest voices and minds. After that, it has them blow the bananas out of each other.
As if Notch’s Elite-ish didn’t have enough directions to spiral out into in the infinity of space, he’s gone and decided to work on an editor for the thing. It’ll allow players to place the rooms of their ships willy nilly, but will eventually do more than that.
Yesterday, Markus 'Markus "Notch" Persson' Persson responded cryptically to Minecraft's milestone shattering eight millionth sale, simply commenting with the following string of digits and letters (spaces added to avoid bursting the site): "69I960EHE0 A4A0IVG0EH E02500R4R0 G1T30PLJ00 V6V0EHE0V1 U01V10U5U0 VGV0V4R". But what does it all mean? Is it a secret message? Is it an ARG? Did Notch spill Capri Sun on his keyboard? Or is he chuckling away to himself as we all scratch our heads?
We've put our top men on the task, and they're working tirelessly to refresh the Reddit thread several times a minute to discover the secret behind Notch's secret message. Here's what we've discovered so far.
Minecraft's sales would be impressive alongside any other PC title, but consider too that this is a game that you haven't seen advertised at a bus stop or on the metro, that you haven't watched TV spots for or caught on the back cover of a magazine. While most publishers and developers will send press releases by the dozen when they so much as add a single new feature to their game, the most that Mojang tend to bother with is a casual tweet. And Minecraft keeps selling.
After the enormous and quite extraordinary success of Minecraft, and after he passed the reigns to his colleague Jens Bergensten, everyone was interested to see what creator Markus “Notch" Persson was going to try next. In March this year, he announced that he was working on a game inspired by Elite. Soon after came the title, the enigmatic 0x10c and, bit by bit, slow trickle of information followed. I’ve rounded up every piece of information that I could and herded them into the fact pen, where the bleated all their details to me. Here’s everything we know about Notch’s new project.
By Notch’s own acknowledgement, 0x10c is barely there - a game with far more potential than features. Yet we’ve already seen more of it than we'd dare to ask for, thanks to its creator's fondness for open-doors development.
The latest from the mind behind Minecraft shows off an early build of the Firefly-sim’s multiplayer mode, which includes a bot more Wall-E than war machine.
They're unpredictable, those Mojang people. You turn your back for but a second and they start doing all sorts, surprising us with new features or new mobs or, this time, giving us the latest snapshot a day early.
Scrolls is hard. I didn’t expect to be saying that. I thought I was going to sit down at my PC and have a nice time with Mojang’s collectible card (sorry, scroll) game, but I wasn’t prepared for just how nuanced it can be. With its simple hex map and its turn-based, scroll-playing mechanics, Scrolls is a game that could easily exist outside of your PC and on your living room table, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that makes it simple. Woe betide any fool who goes into the game thinking that it will be.
The term "Minecraft IRL" has been used in all sorts of contexts over the years, including for elaborate in-public cosplaying or examples of real-life behaviour that mirrors the game, but lately it's become more and more associated with a particular kind of image manipulation. Lately, and particularly on reddit, Minecraft IRL has come to stand for photoshops that suggest the world of Minecraft sometimes exists just beyond our own. Here's a few of the most popular posted on r/Minecraft/ in just the last 24 hours, representing only a few of the many, many images out there.