The oceans might have shrunk in Minecraft’s update that changed the world (to a 4000 block limit - positively tiny, until you realise that’s the same as an entire map on Xbox), but at least it’s not going to be short on streams.
That’s a pun, or play on words - for streams, you see, are what we in The Business call the live footage found on Twitch, where Minecraft regularly draws in several thousand viewers at once. Sensible, then, that Mojang have partnered with Twitch to bring one-click broadcasting to the game itself.
Snapshot 13w48a landed this week, bringing a bunch of bug fixes like not being able to take screenshots of chat or inventories, misaligned textures, and various problems with the newly-added Twitch streaming capabilities. Shortly afterwards, we got 13w48b, fixing a few other bits and changing how you get out of Minecarts. Nothing tremendously exciting.
Instead, all the action has been going down in the community. For starters, congratulations are in order for Curseforge on gathering together 500 Minecraft mods. We weren't that impressed by what the 500th mod actually was, so if you're making a nifty Minecraft mod, you might want to go list it there.
Charlie Brooker’s changed. First his hair, miraculously transformed from a head-hugging rug to a beautifully blown barnett that suggests he’s scalped Stephen Fry. And now his discourse. Formerly PC Zone’s reviewer-most-likely-to-cite-poo, age and happiness seems to have altered his mood such that he now feels like celebrating things.
Tomorrow, he’s celebrating videogames. All of ‘em, from start to finish - where finish is about now, not the heat death of the universe. Towards the latter end, we’ll get to watch heads talk about Minecraft. In fact, here’s some of them now.
At Minecon this year we learnt that Minecraft was actually, finally, recieving support for Twitch.tv broadcasting. Back then it seemed so far away, but now it’s here and live, ready for you to boom into a microphone a running commentary as you stream to your adoring public.
Snapshot 13w47c contains everything you need to become a Minecraft internet superstar, and it’s just a few clicks away.
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ComputerCraft is the incredible mod that allows you to create computers and turtle robots in Minecraft. We've seen some mind-bending projects created with ComputerCraft, but this latest result is something altogether more Van Gough. Redditor Mattijv has used a ComputerCraft turtle robot to build an artistic masterpiece.
The Minecraft annual is the bestselling book of its kind in the UK this week. Not Lego, nor Simon Cowell’s most technologically advanced boyband-borgs, nor his backup troupe, whatever they’re called. No: publisher Egmont have announced that their book about blocks has gone straight to the top of the annuals chart.
There’s a certain number of platform exclusives we can stomach. Forza can wait, Killzone’s said to be cack, and Knack was always a no-go. But this - this we didn’t expect to see anywhere but the PC. A new cooking component for Minecraft, developed first for Pocket Edition.
When Double Fine Kickstarted an adventure game in the infinite vacuum of pre-history, they made a big deal of the fact that three men would be tracking the entire process - lugging heavy cameras about their San Francisco office and bugging Ron Gilbert.
Well, guess what. Back when they didn’t sleep chained to a leg of Tim Schafer’s desk, those same three men made a feature-length documentary about a man who called himself Notch, and a game then splurging outwards in every direction, like lava from a bucket.
There’s only a handful of rounded game development personalities who can be slotted into the square hole of showbusiness. Cliffy B used to don his leather pants and do the rounds on American TV couches, and Rockstar sent Laslow to conduct radio interviews for GTA V. But Notch? Notch was the introvert hidden under a fedora - right up until he walked through Craig Ferguson’s stage door last night.
Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball video made little sense. In its wake, many have been left unable to cope; you may have seen the poor sods lying listless on a bus stop bench or sitting in a supermarket trolley gently weeping. Others are only able to make amends with the image of a 20-year-old fellating a sledgehammer by creating parody videos in Minecraft.
It’s tempting to say that Mojang’s fans are working on more of their games than they are. Last year’s 60-hour MoJam game, Catacomb Snatch, spawned its own ongoing community project. And no sooner had Notch dropped programming-in-space game 0x10c than it was picked back up by his fans.
Now Notch hammers out tiny Unity experiments like Drop and Shambles, while the rest of the studio plugs away at Scrolls. And to hear the formerly fedora’d man talk at last weekend's Minecon, experimental is how it’s going to stay.
The Minecraft community descended on Orlando this weekend to attend Minecon and learn all the juiciest bits and pieces about the game they love. Top of the billing was the news that Minecraft will soon be integrated with Twitch streaming-friendly features.
The move should make it much easier for wannabe streamers get started.
The other bit of excitement this week is the start of Minecon. At the time of writing, the annual festival of all things Minecraft hasn't yet begun, but everything's ready to go. It's way too late to buy tickets now, but if you're heading to Florida for it then have a wonderful time - we're all very envious here.
Update 1.7 is being referred to by Mojang as "the update that changed the world". They're not bragging - the entire world generation system has been revamped, doubling the number of biomes, adding an "amplified" option for those who like ridiculous terrain, reducing the amount of ocean, and adding stacks of new trees and flowers.
There are new blocks too - two new types of wood, stained glass in both block and pane form, packed ice, red sand, and a type of dirt called podzol. Portals can now be considerably larger too, and fishing has been completely revamped to add the ability to catch both junk and treasure. Top tip: it's easier to do the latter if you enchant your rod. That wasn't a euphemism.
Minecraft’s last major update was released back in June. Considering it added horses, you could fairly argue that the updates changed the face of Minecraft irrevocably for the better. Yet it’s update 7 that Mojang are subtitling The Update that Changed the World.
As it doubles the amount of biomes in the game, adds stained glass (which I think is up there with horses), and has a completely rewritten network code, you can tell why.
Last week Mojang decreed that carpet would catch fire, bringing to an abrupt end the rug’s halcyon period as a fire-retardant material somewhere between stone and obsidian. The least they could do was provide a decent countermeasure in short order - and so here we are, a couple of days before the usual Snapshot Day, to celebrate the new viability of safety cauldrons.
There’s a new Minecraft mod doing the rounds in which blocks can simply disappear in any given moment. Other blocks have been known to activate from some distance away when players have dared to look at them. Sounds buggy - until you learn that it’s the work of Google’s Quantum AI Lab - an online space built with NASA to accommodate international research in quantum computing.
“We built the Quantum A.I. Lab to explore the potential of quantum computing, and figure out what questions we should be asking," explained the info monarchs. “One question is clear: Where will future quantum computer scientists come from?
The latest Minecraft update-in-testing is a mixed blessing for budding church builders. They’ll no longer be mortified to discover that their Stained Glass recipe yields just six panes rather than the expected 16. But equally, if they’re not careful they’ll lead a procession of flame down the aisle via the plush red carpet they’ve had installed.
This mod adds a camera, as found in CorridorDigital’s Photoreal, when snapped it forms a screen ahead of the player, showing the view that was just there. Kinda hard to explain.
The camera can be found naturally in Mineshaft Corridors chests, albeit at a very low rate. Consider yourself lucky if...
If you fancy living during a arctic wonderland filled with frosty ice and exquisite snow, you may wish snow to act additional am fond of it will in reality, slowly spile up and creating superb natural art like rolling hills of pure sparkling white. This mod adds new effects and slowly spile snow...